When you’re getting into using videos for marketing purposes, you’re bound to make some mistakes. Even when you use a professional, if you don’t truly understand why you’re making the video, it can still go badly.

Here are some of the mistakes most people find when developing videos for the first time to avoid:

Excessive ‘Hard Selling

No one likes to be sold to, period. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the medium of video, text or audio, if someone feels like you’re ‘hard-selling’ them, you can be sure that you’ll lose their attention very quickly.

Always develop videos with the intent of adding value first before asking for a sale. In most cases, you almost never ask for a sale until you’ve nurtured your audience first anyway.

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jab jab jab right hook book

Credit: Gary Vaynerchuck

Referencing Gary Vaynerchuk’s theories in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, he outlines a strategy of giving to your audiences profusely and being human with your communications so that they feel comfortable and are likely to reward you in return with a purchase.

Videos are not part of a campaign

If you develop a single 1-minute video and expect it to reap massive results, you’re in the wrong frame of mind. Although there are video trends to suggest epic results to be reaped from using video, numerous brands put out tens to hundreds of videos before they ever see a meaningful correlation between the production and their bottom-lines.

The truth is, you almost never get it right on your first try and using video for marketing is a never-ending process of trial-and-error. If you get it right though, the payoff is handsome.

Poor title and SEO in your video

As famous ad-man has touted, your headline (or title) is the most important bit of copywriting in your marketing collateral or production. Similarly for video titles on YouTube or on any other platform, having a persuasive title is crucial to getting buy-in to watch your video in the first place.

The second important thing to note is that Google’s algorithms also take into account keyword density in descriptions of videos, this helps them to provide relevant videos in search results to searchers that you want to get in front of. If you aren’t optimising your videos for click-throughs and SEO, you’re bound to lose out.

Disharmonized content

Trying to mix live-video and animated videos together in a single video? Great. You had better know what you’re doing though, otherwise, this could turn out nasty.

Having a video that’s inconsistent across or looks like a mish-mash of different videos might not only reap you no results but also encourage undesired consequences.

Netizens are quick to call-out faults in company collaterals and productions whenever convenient, if you want to put a video together, either take the time and effort to put together good content or hire a video professional.

Not harnessing the full power of video

Videos are immersive and cinematic because they utilize both audio and visual media.

If you aren’t using audio elements like music and sound effects to your advantage, you’re not utilizing the full potential of what your video can become.

Using free programs like Audacity or paid ones like Adobe Audition, you can turn an otherwise flat production into one that sizzles with excellent sound effects. Afterall, it’s the 21st century now, silent movies are a thing of the past.

Under-using social media

So your video is on YouTube now, great. Are you also on Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter, SlideShare, Snapchat, InstaStories and more?

Since you’ve already put time and money into developing your video, it only makes sense to try to get in front of as many people as possible through the myriad platforms that are available.

Try using the live functions of Facebook, Facebook Live, Facebook 360 and live recordings in Snapchat and InstaStories to engage with your audience on a deeper, more personal level. Have a look at some animation blogs and how they spread their videos on social.

Videos are too long

Great videos are brief, concise and don’t stretch too long. Our attention-spans are no longer what they used to be. We’re constantly bombarded by advertising and other forms of distractions on digital media.

If you’re developing a video to explain your company, it shouldn’t last more than 2-minutes if you want to continue to keep the attention of the viewer. Generally, unless you’re filming a mini-documentary or movie, you’re better off keeping your video as short as possible.

No story

A video without a storyline is a wasted attempt. If you don’t have a compelling script, nobody is going to react well to your video. In fact, it can look amazing, but if the message does not make sense or flow in a logical manner, viewers are not going to be able to understand the be motivated to take the next steps.

Using proven narratives like the Hero’s Journey can help to ensure your video story structures turn out to be something interesting and persuasive rather than bland and overused.

Always write your script and storyboards first before even beginning to film or animate.

Your videos are off-brand

When your prospective customers watch your video, can they instantly relate it to your brand? It’s like how we can differentiate a video from popular sports brands Nike and Adidas. Have a look at this video below and notice that you almost instantly know it’s Nike’s.

Identifying the personality of your brand as well as using visual elements like brand colors, fonts, the tone of voice can help boost your brand recognition and avoid leaving viewers confused with whose video they’re watching.

Your videos are too complicated

The whole point of the video is to distill complex information into a simple bite-sized format that people can consume quickly. If you’re over-complicating concepts in your video, you’re doing it wrong!

For example, this video explaining the blockchain is a great example of how we can use visuals and simple conversational words to explain a difficult concept. Some ways to avoid being to complicated:

  • Don’t use jargon
  • Use visuals to show, rather than tell concepts
  • Tap on familiar existing schemas of information
  • Failing to address target audience

Ever tried selling ice to Eskimos? Of course not. Nobody in their right mind would. This video by WIRED is a great example of how to explain complicated concepts with simple language. It also happens to make for great video content too.

Similarly, if your videos are not customised and optimised for a particular target audience, you’re simply wasting your time and money as the message is likely to have fallen on deaf ears.

Decide immediately from the get-go on who you’re targeting and list out the specific problems they face and benefits that you can provide to alleviate those problems to include in your video.

Taking the extra step and time to fully understand who you’re speaking to before animating or filming any scene can do wonders for your conversion rate.

Developing low-quality videos

These can, in fact, cause some damage instead. Having low-quality videos associated with your brand can lead to dire consequences such as prospects assuming that your company only provides low-quality services and products or having them completely misinterpret the value of your services.

Using watermarked stock-footage, shaky phone camera footage with bad editing, acting and scripting is simply a recipe for a grand failure.

If you’re going to develop a video, do your best to put a quality production together, or if you lack the expertise do consider hiring a video professional.

Making videos for the sake of it

The worst video mistake of all is to create a video without a clear objective or intention. Why are you even making it in the first place?

Is it meant to drive more direct physical sales, drive traffic to your landing page, build awareness for your brand, optimize for SEO to attract search traffic or simply to attract shares?

Having a clear video objective defined at the beginning helps you to stay focused and allows you to measure success on your investment. If you don’t clearly understand why you’re making the video, you can’t decide at the end of it whether you’ve succeeded or not.

Save this article to your favorites and review it before you build your next video to avoid these common mistakes made by others when tackling new video projects and campaigns.

Did we miss any video mistakes? Let us know below.

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Kendrick Huang

Kendrick is the digital marketing executive at Motionsauce. He puts together riveting content and enjoys a competitive game of DOTA in his spare time.

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