There’s no arguing with the fact that strong video content helps businesses reach their target markets and actively engage with viewers. Many iconic brands produce remarkable video content, and their results speak to the effectiveness of this marketing tool in building their brands and spreading their messages to an eager audience.

Unfortunately, small businesses don’t always see that kind of success.

It’s sad to see many coming up short with this powerful marketing method. In fact, in some cases, the video content does more harm than good. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Businesses of all sizes can take advantage of the power of video marketing. You just need to be conscious of a few common mistakes. Avoid these problems and you’ll be well on your way to producing something that captivates the world.

Making a splash

1. Your Video is Too Promotional

No one likes to feel like they’re being sold on something. Too many small businesses make the mistake of producing online videos that feel like commercials, but that’s simply not the way to use video marketing in today’s online world.

Solution: Focus less on selling and more on telling a story. Video provides a unique opportunity to share an entire narrative in a few minutes. Take advantage of that through powerful, engaging storytelling. In fact, our entire process is built around telling stories. We dive deep into what makes a brand unique, and bring that out in the best form, whether that be a short documentary, branded entertainment or a commercial.

Got video strategy?

Stop and think about your video strategy. Stop making these mistakes.

2. You Don’t Have a Clear Branding Strategy in Place

On the flip side, you can’t neglect your branding all together. There’s got to be an element of your business in the video; otherwise, people won’t get to know you and your brand. Nike has pioneered the hyper realistic look, with a lot of contrast and deep dark shadows in their commercials, and when you see a Nike commercial you instantly feel like it fits their brand.

Solution: Find the balance between overly promotional and a lack of branding. Include logos and call-to-actions where applicable to keep a consistent message across your videos.

3. Your Video Goes On Too Long

Say what you mean and mean what you say – there’s no need to ramble on and on. The online world doesn’t have a long attention span. You’ve got to get to the point or you won’t hold their interest.

Solution: Stick to accepted standards for video length, which varies depending on the type of video you create. This article on TNW gives some great advice, broken down by video type.

Are your videos too long?

4. Your Video Lacks Any Entertainment Value

People love to feel entertained – it’s the main reason we consume video content in the first place. But don’t worry – you can make your video content entertaining, even if you feel like you’re in a “boring” industry. A bit of flare and creativity will go a long way.

Solution: Find a way to make your content entertaining (and remember that “entertaining” doesn’t always mean “funny”). It’s just a matter of making people want to watch your video rather than do something else. That’s why creating a strategy in pre-production is so important. You get the chance to figure out how you’ll make people want to watch.

5. You’re Giving Viewers Information Overload

Don’t try to share everything you know in just one video. It’ll overwhelm the audience, and they won’t watch the video all the way through. No one likes information overload, and you’ll see that reflected in your average drop-off rates.

Solution: Stick to one main point in every video – remember, you can make more videos later. It’s great that you have a lot to say, as this means you’ll be able to keep up a consistent flow of videos. Don’t limit your future video creation opportunities by forcing all of your material into a single clip. More videos means a greater opportunity to invest in a solid distribution strategy and reach more customers.

Trying too hard to go viral?

6. Your Focus Too Much on “Going Viral”

Too many small businesses focus on “going viral.” That’s all they want to accomplish, but people can tell when something feels forced. That kind of thinking will lead you straight to the graveyard of awkward, unwatched online videos.

Solution: A viral video happens when you focus on the right things. Think about what you can do for your viewers first. Only after you have them, their interests and their needs firmly in place at the front of your mind can you create something worthy of the virality you desire.

7. You Don’t Have a Clear Video Marketing Strategy

A clear video marketing strategy includes several different components:

  • A simple, one-line statement that summarizes: The type of video you want to create, the target demographic for the video and the takeaways you want the audience to leave with.
  • An understanding of the topic, as well as how you’ll use your video to further your business goals (e.g. facilitating internal training, marketing a new product or supporting the sales department).
  • An outline of who will create the content. If you have a strategic production partner, make sure to document who is involved and what their responsibilities and requirements will be. Or, if you’re using an in-house team, break down each step of the production process and note each person that will be involved along the way.
  • A clear guide for where you’ll distribute the video.
  • An understanding of how you’ll measure the performance of the video marketing campaign from start to finish.

Solution: Take a few hours – even a few days, if necessary – and use them to create a clear strategy. That way, after your clip is completed, you can evaluate your efforts based on the above criteria and implement any necessary changes in your next video marketing campaign.

8. You Expect Instant, Overnight Results

Many business owners upload a video and expect thousands of views by the next day. But that’s just not realistic. The work doesn’t stop when the upload starts – in many ways, that’s when the real work begins.

Solution: Set clear, attainable goals for your videos. If you don’t hit the mark, that’s okay. Measurement leads to insight, and insight can help you improve your videos for next time around.

Is your video strategy dead?

Confusion is abundant. Get a clear strategy.

9. Your Video Isn’t Optimized for Distribution

Want more engagement and better responses from your viewers? Any of the following small steps can help get your video in front of a wider audience:

  • Use target keywords in your video titles, descriptions and tags to optimize for SEO.
  • Share your on top video hosting platforms like Vimeo or Wistia, not just on YouTube.
  • Create a prominent landing page to host and promote the video on your website.

Solution: It may seem like extra work, but you should always take the time to optimize your video for correct distribution. If you want a video that brings results, you’ve got to make it easy for viewers to find it and share it with others.

10. You Haven’t Chosen the Right Production Partner

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make? Producing a low-quality video.

That’s why you need the right production partner. If you don’t have an in-house team, look for a company that’s open to understanding your vision and capturing it for you; someone that cares about your needs and seeks to meet them throughout the entire production.

Solution: Meet with several production companies and evaluate them based on how you feel from the initial meeting (we’d love to snag a meeting with you too!). The right company will stand out from the rest, making your decision easy.

 

There you have it! The 10 common mistakes that business owners make with video marketing. Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? What plans do you have for avoiding these faux pas with your next video? Share your thoughts by leaving us a comment below!

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