It’s no secret that video is taking over the digital world. More and more businesses are incorporating online video into their marketing strategies, and there are thousands of statistics out there that talk about the benefits of video for business and how many people are watching videos online.
However, many forget that simply creating and uploading a video isn’t enough. Although millions of videos are uploaded every day across the Internet, many of them do not effectively engage their audience or produce the desired results. This is because of some common but easily avoidable mistakes that are made during video production or distribution.
Here are 10 of the most common video marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them to make better videos for your business:
1. Making a video just for the sake of it
Before making a video, take a step back and ask yourself: Does this video serve a strategic purpose? Why am I making this video? If you can’t answer these, take a step back and re-evaluate why you want to make a video and what you want it to accomplish.
How to avoid: Video should be approached in the same manner as any other marketing campaign. Ensure that you can achieve a clear business objective through the video before proceeding.
2. Making your video too long
These days, people are busier or more impatient than ever. Keep your video short, sweet and to the point. The average video view time on Facebook is 6 seconds – which means you have 6 seconds to grab your viewer’s attention and intrigue them enough to keep watching. If your video’s introduction is too long, it doesn’t matter how good the video’s content is if the viewers won’t get past the first few seconds. For example, if you’re creating an explainer video, remind yourself that it’s a hook and not a manual. The purpose of an explainer video is to intrigue and entice viewers to head to your website to learn more.
How to avoid: When planning out the structure of your video, make sure to put the meat of it first. Make your key points right at the beginning. It depends on the platform and type of video you’re creating, but a good rule of thumb is to keep it between 60-90 seconds in length.
3. It’s Off-Brand
It’s common for businesses to view videos as separate from the rest of their marketing. This is not true. Remember that your video, just like the rest of your marketing efforts, is an extension of your brand and should be consistent with your brand voice and tone. You want the viewers to instantly recognize your brand when they watch your video.
For example, if you’re promoting your fun new social media app, make sure the video aligns with the fun and social aspect of your brand. Don’t create a video that has a somber tone – it won’t align with your product or overall brand and confuse the viewers.
How to avoid: Know your brand values and the product or service you’re showcasing. Keep these in mind as you plan out the video, from script to lighting to music to wardrobe. You can even show test screenings of the video to a small group of people and ask them questions about it. Use their feedback to make any needed improvements before launching the video publicly.
4. Poor lighting
Lighting is a major factor in the quality of your video. Poor lighting is less than ideal, especially if the video is for professional purposes. Poor lighting can drastically reduce the video’s quality and subsequently, public perception of your brand.
Learn more about the importance of professional lighting here.
How to avoid: Whether you’re using natural or powered lighting, indoors or outdoors, you must ensure your subject is properly exposed and contrasted from the background. Ask yourself: Is my subject’s face visible? Are there shadows on either side? Is there enough contrast between the foreground and background? If you work with a trained professional or video production company, they can help you create the correct lighting setup.
5. Poor sound
Audio is another element that plays a major role in the way your audience experiences your video. Your audio must be clear and easy to listen to, or your intended message won’t come across. This is even more important for the portions of your video where you tell the viewer what you want them to do.
How to avoid: When recording sound for your video, there are three main variables to consider: the environment in which you’re recording, the microphone you are using, and how far the microphone is from the sound source. Different scenarios will call for different microphones, but 99% of the time, your camera’s built-in microphone won’t cut it. You’ll have to use external microphones and recording devices to capture clear, crisp audio.
- Lavalier mics are best for capturing audio in a crowded area.
- Shotgun mics are great for capturing audio in a quieter area with more than one subject speaking.
- Cardioid mics are ideal for voiceovers or interviews.
6. Shaky footage
The last thing you want is for your viewers to feel sea-sick while watching your video. Although a lot of cameras have built-in stabilization, shaky footage can still occur every now and then.
How to avoid: Fortunately, shaky footage can be fixed in post-production. On-set, if you’re shooting someone speaking on screen, try using a tripod or monopod. If you must shoot handheld, use a camera strap around your neck to stabilize your shots, place your elbows on a sturdy object to keep your arms steady, or tuck your elbows into your sides and hold the camera tight to your chest. Finally, there are some lens choices and camera settings you can consider. The wider the lens you use, the easier it is to keep steady. Try shooting in slow motion (higher frame rate) if your story calls for it — that helps smooth out any shakiness as well.
7. Expecting instant results
Don’t launch your video with the expectation of it going viral immediately. Virality is often not a true measure of success. Although achieving thousands or millions of views is great for brand exposure and awareness, most of those views are unlikely to convert to actual sales or actions. For example, a viral video seen around the world for a local plumbing business is unlikely to bring in a wave of new customers.
Check out our blog to learn more about video analytics and how you can use them to measure your video results.
How to avoid: Understand that video marketing requires patience, dedication, and consistency. Don’t let the idea of “going viral” cloud your vision. Stay focused on the message you’re trying to communicate to your target audience with the video.
8. Not focusing on a single message or audience
Try not to cast too wide of a net with your video. A common mistake is trying to appeal to too many demographics at once with a single video. This might be the single biggest mistake in all forms of marketing. If you market to everyone everywhere, you will reach no one nowhere. Your video will be most effective if you focus on one benefit of your product/service and highlight that to a targeted group of people. Remember that different people have different pain points, so you can create separate videos that focus on each of those.
How to avoid: Focus your video’s message on a well-defined, specific target audience. To do so, thoroughly research your audience, their pain points, and how your product or service will solve them. What channels do they consume most of their video content on (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)? Apply this information to the pre-production, production, and distribution of your video.
9. Not including a call-to-action
If you’re not seeing a return on our video marketing efforts, a likely reason is because the video has no clear call-to-action (CTA). While it’s important to ensure your video is entertaining, it’s also important to close with a statement that leaves an impression and motivates viewers to find out more about your business.
How to avoid: What exactly do you want the video to achieve? Can you track it? Your CTA should directly assist with meeting your objective and should give clear instructions on what you want people to do after watching it. Examples of CTAs you can include in your videos are visiting your website, downloading your app, donating to your cause, or signing up for a free trial of your product.
10. Choosing the wrong partner or producer
Your viewers and potential customers will equate the quality of your video(s) to the quality of your business. If you’re working with an agency or outside talent to produce the video, how familiar are they with your industry and the market? Don’t be afraid to ask questions to get these answers.
How to avoid: Do your due diligence before hiring any external video producers or talent to create content for your business. Everyone must be on the same page in order to achieve the results you want!
Now that you know some of the most common video marketing mistakes, you can take the appropriate steps to steer clear of them. Here at JIL & Associates, we want you to feel more confident going into the video production process. To avoid these and other mistakes related to video production, reach out to our team. We have the knowledge, experience and equipment to help you avoid these mistakes. We’d love to hear from you! Let’s Talk.