Cover Image Pexels. CCO Licensed.
Video marketing can be a very effective way to promote brand awareness and build customers. A report by Animoto found that video ads were the #1 way consumers discovered a brand they later purchased from. A survey by Wyzowl meanwhile found that 84% of people reported being convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
Like any form of marketing however, video marketing has to be executed properly for it to be effective. A badly produced video ad could in fact cause more harm to your brand than good, potentially driving customers away and costing you a lot of money to make in the process.
By avoiding a few common mistakes, you can ensure that your video ad is a success. Below are just 10 video marketing mistakes to avoid.
The worst thing you can do is make a video that looks cheap and amateurish – as it will make your brand look cheap and amateurish too. Your video doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production. In fact, if you’re looking for a short video to post onto social media for your small local business, it could be something as simple as you sitting in your office and talking into the camera. However, video production quality has to be good either way.
A few low quality production indicators to avoid include:
- Dim lighting
- Shaky camera work
- Low quality picture and audio
- Bad editing and graphics
If you haven’t got any video-making skills, it could be a sensible option to hire professionals. This could be a professional live action video production company or an animator depending on the type of video you’re looking for.
If you’d prefer to do it yourself, make sure that you’ve got all the right tools. When shooting a live action video, such equipment should include a video camera, external microphones, lighting and video production software. If you’re looking to make something grand and stylish, you may want to invest in some cooler tech such as this DJI Air 2S drone to create some aerial shots. When it comes to creating an animation, make sure that you have high quality animation software.
Whether you’re making a TV ad or a short announcement video to upload onto Facebook, it’s worth always scripting out your video advert. A video that is improvised is not only more likely to contain errors, but it may come across as rushed – which may suggest that you don’t put much care and attention into your brand.
Even if you’re producing a quick video tutorial on a product, it could be worth loosely scripting out what you plan to say so that all the important points are covered. For bigger video adverts, you may want to hire a script writer to help get your points across in the most snappy and engaging way.
Poor acting can be cringeworthy and sometimes unintentionally comical. It could make your advert stand out for all the wrong reasons – consumers may end up not taking your brand seriously and your reputation could suffer.
This is why it can be a good idea to hire professional actors if you’re going to be portraying characters in your video. Even when it comes to animations, hiring an actor to do a voice-over could be beneficial for making sure that the intonation is as convincing and gripping as possible. Don’t try to do any acting yourself unless you’re professionally trained. In fact, even if you are professionally trained, it’s probably not a good idea to play any characters if you’re the face of your brand.
The first few seconds of your video are so important – particularly when publishing it online. If you want your video to be displayed as a Youtube Ad, you’ll literally only have five seconds to grip viewers before they can ‘skip’ it. When it comes to posting videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you have to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling down, giving you even less time.
Make sure that the first few seconds count. This is known by video marketers as creating a ‘hook’. A few effective hooks include:
- Starting with a question
- Starting with fast action (humans are hardwired to immediately notice things that are moving fast)
- Starting with faces (a close-up of a facial expression can be a great way to grab people’s curiosity).
- Beginning a story (this could include using the fairytale ‘once upon a time’ opener or introducing a character with a line such as ‘this is Jeff’).
If your video is too long, your audience will lose interest. Just how long is too long? It depends very much on the type of video.
If you’re creating a product tutorial for existing customers, you don’t want the video to be anywhere over 20 minutes (the ideal length is 3 to 6 minutes). If you’re creating an explainer video for outlining your product on your website, it should ideally be no more than 2 minutes (90 seconds is the sweet spot). If you’re making a video ad to be played on YouTube, social media or TV, it should ideally be no more than 30 seconds. In fact, with most ads, the shorter the better. Different platforms have different requirements for minimum length – YouTube ads need to be at least 12 seconds long while an Instagram ad could be as short as 3 seconds.
85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute. If you’re planning to publish your ad on Facebook and you don’t provide captions, you could fail to get your message across.
The likes of Facebook now have an automatic captioning tool, although it can sometimes be better to write out your own captions (this could minimize captioning mistakes). On top of making sure that everyday consumers can watch your video on mute, providing captions could make sure that deaf consumers are still able to absorb your videos.
Too much hard selling
If you’re creating a video advert, then the objective of the video is to convert customers. However, you should still avoid being too ‘salesy’ in tone. Studies show that hard selling is becoming increasingly less effective as a marketing tactic, in many cases putting people off.
More customers now prefer a ‘soft sell’ strategy when it comes to video content. Instead of listing off what your product can do or telling people to get in touch today, try a more indirect approach. This could include showing customers what your product can do instead of telling them. The story approach is one of the most popular ‘soft sell’ strategies – this could include telling the story of a customer solving a problem by using your product or the story of how your company came to be. Behind-the-scenes videos can also be popular in some industries.
Lack of brand consistency
The branding in your video needs to align with branding used in other forms of advertising. If there’s not brand consistency, customers may assume they’re two different products altogether.
Think about the color scheme and the tone of voice used within the rest of your branding and try to replicate this in your videos. For instance, if you tend to use lots of reds and yellows in your branding and you tend to use a warm and informal voice, make sure that this is also projected within your video.
While you want to avoid being too ‘salesy’, your video still needs to have a clear CTA (Call-to-action). This is either audio or text telling your audience where to go to buy your product or find out more information. Without a clear CTA, customers won’t know where to go to follow-up if they are interested.
There are different ways to add a CTA to a video. You may be able to use a voiceover or text within the video itself telling people to visit your website or call a number. Alternatively, you may be able to use an ad overlay if you’re creating a Youtube ad. There may also be the option of putting information in text below or above the video. For example, you could post a video as a Tweet along with a URL to your site directing people where to buy your product. This guide at Convince and Convert offers a few more tips on using CTAs.
Lack of performance tracking
It’s essential that you track the performance of your videos. Without tracking performance data, you won’t know how successful your video has been. Such information could be important when launching future video campaigns as it could help you to focus your efforts in the right direction.
The likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all offer analytics on who is interacting with your videos. You may discover that your video gets more interactions among a certain age group or that it converts more leads on a certain platform. This could allow you to create another campaign aimed at that particular age group on that particular platform to help maximize leads.