How to Keep your Video from being an Information Overload

If videos were donkeys, a lot of them would look like this:

How do you make sure that your video isn’t overloaded with information? We’re going to take a look at examples of good and bad product introduction videos and try to figure out the difference between them.

Too much going on

Here’s an example of a video from Mixpanel that, we think, is trying to cover a little too much content:

It’s difficult to keep up with the flow of information in this video. Even worse for Mixpanel, after I watched the video, I couldn’t clearly describe the company or remember most of the features. Since I was trying to absorb too much content at once, it all got jumbled up in my mind.

Just Right

Take a look at the contrast between the Mixpanel video and this one from Playrific:

The Playrific video is straightforward and easy to watch. I came away from the video with a clear idea of what Playrific is and why I would want to use it if I were a parent.

How to identify an overloaded video

Maybe Playrific had a easier time making a succinct video because the product is much less complicated than Mixpanel. But we think that Mixpanel only seems much more complicated because of the way the product is presented. A good rule of thumb for making introductory videos is that if your product seems complicated, you’re doing something wrong.

Another way to know whether your video is trying to cover too much is to check whether you can easily break the video into three or more sections which could be turned into complete videos themselves.

How to fix the problem

Since Mixpanel’s video goes into detail to fully explain every product feature, the explanation of each feature could have been its own video. If you can break your video into separate smaller videos, you probably should. If you’re staunchly against using smaller videos, you can at least partition an overloaded video into sections or chapters. For each smaller video or section, identify the message that you are trying to get across and don’t stray from your point.

Playrific did a good job sticking to the purpose of their introductory video. They explain what their product is, why it’s useful, and who would want to use it. What do they leave out? They don’t cover the hows - how their product works, how kids use it, how parents use it, or how to set it up. Instead, they have separate videos on their How it Works page that cover all of that content.

Why breaking up big videos works better

Videos should portray complete, small units of information. That way, a video can fully cover its topic without leaving its audience in the dust. Separating an overloaded video into smaller videos makes the content more manageable because audiences can easily keep track of what they’re seeing. When you make smaller videos, you can stay focused on the purpose of the video without getting bogged down by details. If you find that your video has more than one purpose, you should think about making more than one video.

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