Video is one of the most powerful tools that digital marketers have at their disposal. For one, it is an easily digestible format that gives viewers’ eyes a rest from the plethora of text-heavy marketing messages found online.
In this sense, it enables target audiences to take a more passive role in the marketing process, merely requiring them to sit back, relax, and be shown why they should buy into a brand’s products or services.
Given the ease with which video content can be consumed, it is hardly surprising that around a billion hours of YouTube social videos are watched every single day, according to the platform’s official blog. Considering this, it is clear that video has the potential to reach far larger audiences than text-based content, due to the more ‘active’ role that consumers must take in reading information, rather than having it communicated directly to them.
In many ways, therefore, video can be seen as something of a slam dunk for brands who are looking to get their name and messaging out far and wide – provided they take a solid approach to creating content.
Unfortunately, however, there are a range of common mistakes that consumer-facing companies make when putting their videos together, and it is crucial for brands to avoid committing the same offences when it comes to their own content.
#1: Making videos that are too long
With so many digital marketers out there all vying for consumers’ attention, it is true to say that if you fail to pique a viewer’s interest straight away, the chances are that you will have lost them for good.
Despite this, many marketers make the mistake of stuffing too much information into a single video, resulting in a lengthy running time that reduces the probability that viewers will watch the content in its entirety.
As figures from Hubspot show that only 37% of viewers watch videos to the very end, it is wise to adopt the mentality that the shorter your content is, the better the likelihood will be that consumers will stick around for the full duration.
#2: Overwhelming viewers with information
While shorter videos are generally the best policy, another common mistake is when marketers try and pack too much information into their truncated content.
By drowning viewers with detail, you are likely to alienate your audience, and discourage them from watching until the end or finding out more, thereby defeating the purpose of producing the video in the first place.
Instead, it is far more sensible to space your messaging out across a series of videos, and in doing so take your viewers on a narrative journey that drip feeds them information and encourages them to learn more about your products and services.
#3: Failing to take heed of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] is a central tenet of all successful digital marketing campaigns, and has a huge bearing on how widely your video content is likely to be viewed.
In ignoring the need for keyword research – through which you can learn what your target viewers are typing into their search bars, and therefore how you can optimise your content for the maximum amount of clicks – you are effectively consigning your videos to the forgotten annals of the internet.
Understanding what consumers are searching for and customising your videos accordingly means you stand a far better chance of showing up in their search results than if you choose to bypass the SEO process altogether.
#4: Neglecting to brand your business correctly – or at all
Branding is just as vital a part of video marketing as it is with other forms of advertising. Despite this, many marketers routinely make the error of failing to brand their business correctly through their video content, and sometimes not at all.
It can be easy to focus so much of your effort on producing a high quality, visually striking video that you forget to include essential details that will help lead to those all-important conversions.
To avoid making such a miscalculation, it is important to ensure that your videos are branded with your company logo, website URL, or any other relevant form of identification that will guide consumers down the paths that you want them to take.
#5 Hiring the wrong video partner
For brands, choosing the right video marketer to partner up with is vital to determining whether their videos will be a huge success or just a great big flop.
If the person you decide to work with does not have the necessary expertise, knowledge or experience in the field, your entire video strategy is likely to be affected, which could have severe implications for your marketing budget.
When looking for a video partner, it is therefore sensible to carefully research the marketers who are out there and ask your peers for feedback on the experiences they have had working with specific individuals. In this way, you are less likely to hire someone who is not up for the job and who could have a hugely damaging impact on your video content and brand more widely.
Don’t fall victim to these pitfalls
While video can certainly be one of the most rewarding forms of marketing out there, it is evident that there are many pitfalls that brands can make if they are not careful.
Producing videos that are both entertaining and informative without being too long or overly complex is sure to increase the level of engagement that you receive from viewers, while researching key words for SEO and correctly branding content are just as important.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is crucial that brands have those individuals in their corner who have a wealth of video marketing experience at their fingertips, so that they can be in the best possible position to avoid making the mistakes outlined above, and produce content that is envied by their competitors and adored by their viewers in equal measure.
George Hughes, Founder and Creative Director of Small Films