#10 – Making a video just to make a video (without a plan)
Producing a video without having a broader marketing plan and distribution strategy is the #10 top biggest mistake in video marketing. We have all heard the adage, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It is especially true for video. Video should be a part of a larger marketing/branding strategy – keep in mind why you are making the video, who it is intended for, and what the desired action is after the video is complete. To avoid making this mistake in video marketing, and before creating your video, think about why are you making this video, who the intended audience is, the action you want viewers to take after watching, where you are going to post and share this video, and what tools are you going to use to measure video success.
#9 – Not branding your business and/or services correctly
Failing to include your logo, your tag line, your website URL, and anything else that can help set you apart (brand-wise) in the mind of a potential customer in your video, is the #9 top biggest mistake in video marketing. Many times we get so wrapped up in actually making a video, that we neglect to make sure that our video is doing its job: communicating your benefits and promoting your business. Don’t make this mistake! After a few seconds of watching your video, your viewers should be familiar with your: Business Name, Logo (if applicable), and Website (or means of contacting you). To avoid making this mistake with your video: Always be sure that your business’s logo, tagline, and/or website URL appear in your video. The ideal location is at the beginning of the video (we will explain why later on). Think about what the intended use of your video is going to be, where it will be placed, and who the target market is. Craft a message that addresses those things, and be sure that message is in your video.
#8 – Making your video too long
Making your video too long is the #8 top biggest mistake in video marketing. The internet has trained people to have limited media attention spans. This means that if you want your video to be watched, it needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. To avoid this mistake, adopt a “shorter is better” attitude, and trim the video fat. Have a target length in mind from the onset of your video planning. We advise aiming for 30-90 seconds, with 60 seconds being the real sweet spot. Dump the long intro, and get straight to the point. If you spend the first 10 seconds of your video with a lengthy opener, by the time you start on your message you’ve already lost a large portion your audience. Front load your video! Since data shows that most viewers do not make it to the end of your video, be sure to include your logo, website URL, value proposition, and call to action (more on this later) in the beginning of your video.
#7 – Not focusing on a single message
Producing a video that does not have one clearly defined message, and that jumps between multiple topics is the #7 top biggest mistake of video marketing. It is very tempting to try and force a lot of information into your video (especially if it is a video that is being prominently placed on your website). However, when you do not have a singular focus, your message can quickly become disjointed and difficult to follow. You only have a short amount of time to entice, engage, and educate your viewer. Spending time addressing all of your benefits is going to take more time than your viewer is willing to give, so focus your video on a single selling point! To avoid this mistake, develop a focused message, keep your video on target, and provide one main call to action. If you have separate topics or messages you want to cover, think about making separate videos.
#6 – Not including a clear call-to-action
Producing a video that does not have a clear call to action, leaving viewers unsure of the appropriate next step is the #6 top biggest mistake of video marketing. A call to action (or CTA) is a simple direction or set of instructions that you give to your viewer, which tells them the next step you would like for them to take. If you have left a viewer thinking “So, what now?” after watching your video, you have not fully completed your job. Even the most intelligent viewer needs to be told what to do after watching (do not ever assume your viewer will take the correct action). Instead, tell them exactly what you want them to do next, and remove the ambiguity. To avoid this mistake, before you finalize your video ask yourself: Would a viewer unfamiliar with my service know what action to take next? Have I told them what to do next? If you answer “no” to either of these questions, you’re missing a call to action!
#5 – Failing to implement SEO practices
Producing a video without using proper SEO techniques, therefore missing out on the SEO benefits of higher search rankings is the #5 top biggest mistake of video marketing. Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO) is the techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of quality traffic to your website, by improving your ranking in search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing). For the same reason that it is important to have a good foundation for your house, solid Video SEO practices will set you up for success down the road. Your videos, whether they are shared on YouTube or posted on your website, can even help drive traffic to your website. However, in order to do so they need to be properly optimized. To avoid this mistake, be sure to properly title your video with keywords related to the content, take the time to properly fill out your video description (including links back to your website), and add keyword tags with industry and brand terms.
#4 – Expecting instant results
Expecting a new initiative to drive instant results is the #4 top biggest mistake in video marketing. Most marketing campaigns take time to gain momentum and produce a return, so this is rarely the case, and video is no exception. “Viral video” success is rarely due to random luck. Typically, the brand or individual behind the campaign has a strategy for distributing and spreading their video (and usually a pretty large social media following). Even if you do not have a large online following, a sustained and persistent video effort can still yield great results. Results come as visitors to your website watch, share, and return to see your new, engaging videos. To avoid this mistake, realize that video marketing is an ongoing effort, that will yield results over time. Overnight video marketing successes rarely happen, and when they do they are most likely the result of planning, strategizing, and a bit of luck, not to mention they are often very short-lived and lack sustained longevity. Instead of betting on luck, realize that creating great promotional content for your business is a marathon and not a sprint.
#3 – Improper placement of selling points
Improper placement of selling points is the #3 top biggest mistake in video marketing. Creating a video with the selling points at the end, results in a majority of your viewers missing your key selling points. As we addressed in mistake #8 (making your video too long), your viewers are not likely to watch your entire video. Therefore, you need to make sure your benefits and call to action are communicated in the beginning of the video, preferably in the first 10-20 seconds. To avoid making this mistake, take a journalistic approach when organizing the content of your video. Place the juiciest information at the beginning, then follow with supporting details. Remember: if you make your viewers wait until the very end of your video to get to the good stuff, chances are they will never hear your message. Ask yourself the following questions when creating your video: Did I begin my video by introducing my selling points (things to hook the viewer), or did I put them at the end? Do I have enough information in the first 10-20 seconds to inform and hook the viewer? If a viewer stopped the video after 20 seconds, what new information would they know about my business?
#2 – Failing to address a target audience
Creating a video with a message that does not address a specific audience is the #2 top biggest mistake in video marketing. Although you might have services or products that everyone can benefit from, any video you create should focus on only one target market (although your business might target multiple markets). Individuals from any target market have certain pain points and needs, and they are looking for answers to their particular questions. The goal of your video should be to address those concerns, and provide information that reaches this target audience. To avoid this mistake, research your target market, determine their demographic profile, their pain points (as they pertain to your service/industry), and what emotional pull will best draw them in. You should strive to make your video relatable to your audience on multiple levels. This goes for the content and message of your video, but also the visuals and people you use!
#1 – Choosing the wrong video partner
Selecting a video partner that lacks the resources, knowledge, and industry experience needed to deliver a premier quality video is the # 1 mistake that businesses make in video marketing. It’s unfortunate, but your viewers and potential customers are going to be critical and judgmental of you by the quality of your video (bad video = bad business). This can directly affect not only your brand, but also your success. Although video can be created by anyone with a smartphone, one big mistake that business owners make is putting a video online that is a poor representation of their brand and business. It is important for businesses to work with video production partners who are not just familiar with their industry, but also excel in it. To avoid this mistake, ask yourself: Do I have the time, resources, and expertise necessary to attempt producing a video myself? If I choose to partner with a video production company, are they professionals and do they have expertise in my industry to deliver a great product that best suits my specific needs? You have one chance to impress a potential patient, make it count!
Michael Mogill, President of Crisp Video Group has produced video content for major international brands, including Coca-Cola, Verizon and Red Bull, and has carved out a successful niche in the medical and dental industries. He’s also a member of Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.