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Eight common video marketing mistakes to avoid

By Alexandra Gavril - July 6, 2018

Video marketing is hugely popular and if you put some effort into it, it can yield incredible results for your business.

Just consider these numbers:

But planning, creating and sharing videos can be expensive, overwhelming and time-consuming, especially when you’re just getting started and don’t know what goes into creating a successful video marketing campaign.

While there’s no “right” way to do it, since what works for some businesses, might not be effective for yours, there are however certain mistakes you can avoid making.

Here are the eight video marketing mistakes we see all too often.

1. Not knowing your audience

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to start creating videos without a good grasp on their audience’s needs, wants and interests.

To be successful at video marketing, you need to always keep in mind who you’re shooting for. Your video should address the needs, interests and pain points of your target audience and how your business can be part of the solution.

So the first step is to identify and define your buyer personas, meaning your ideal customers. Try to gather as much information as possible about them, including:

  • What they are seeking in terms of information
  • What are their most common problems that may need addressing
  • Whether they enjoy short videos or in-depth explainers
  • If they prefer YouTube, Vimeo or some other platform to consume video content

This information is essential for your video marketing strategy since every video you create is for your prospects, not for you.

2. No strategy

Video can be such an exciting medium that often businesses will jump in simply because everyone else is doing it. But if you’re engaging in video creation just for the sake of it, without a strategy or goal, then a video is just a video.

You need to know why you’re doing this if you want to be successful at it, otherwise it’ll likely be a waste of time and effort.

So take some time to identify a problem you need to fix or a goal that you’d like to achieve with video marketing. Then set an objective like getting 30% more visitors to sign up for a free trial to test your product or 20% more visitors to register for your webinar. Once you have a strategy or a clear objective, the rest becomes clear.

3. Being too “sales-y”

Have you ever hung up on a cold caller? Or marked a promotional email as spam? It’s the same with videos.

If yours takes a hard-selling approach from the first second, it’s likely to be greeted with a quick click on the X. While you want people to buy from you, selling too hard or too soon is a video marketing mistake you want to avoid making.

Videos should be about educating, entertaining and engaging your audience with interesting content. It should be about giving them something of value and about delivering it without a hard pitch. That’s because the minute someone feels sold to, they’re going to click on the X and move on.

What you can do instead is to use video to create awareness around the problem your product solves. This will qualify viewers’ interest in your product for later content.

4. Too many messages

One single video can’t get every problem solved, or answer all your prospects’ questions. So don’t try to tackle everything in one video because that will only end up confusing and annoying your audience.

Instead, focus on having one clear message in each video. This means covering one topic, question, task, process. You can always create another video, and then another, for other topics.

The idea is to focus on quality over quantity so your audience gets as much value as possible from your video. This also increases the chances that they’ll return to watch future videos.

5. Too long

In this article from Wistia you can read more about why shorter videos produce a more engaged audience and what’s the optimal length for different types of videos from tutorials to testimonials.

6. No call-to-action

You’ve found a great topic and created an awesome video that received lots of views. But then… nothing. No new followers, website visitors, newsletter subscribers or buyers. Why?

If you don’t have a call-to-action where you ask viewers to do something, then don’t be surprised if they don’t do anything and just move onto the next video on their newsfeed.

So make sure you always add a call-to-action at the end of your video where you tell people what to do next, whether it’s to like and share your video, follow your page or subscribe to your YouTube channel.

7. Not optimising your videos

YouTube is second only to Google as the biggest search engine. So if you’ve already put so much time and effort into creating your video, why not optimise it to increase its chances of ranking high in YouTube’s as well as Google’s search results?

This guide on search engine optimisation for YouTube walks you through the steps to follow to optimise a YouTube video to ensure your content gets found more often.

8. Posting in only one place

One major mistake that lots of businesses make is posting their videos in one place – usually YouTube or Facebook. While there are occasions where a single video magically goes viral, most often it doesn’t, which means you’ll need to put real work in to promote it and get more eyes on it.

So if you’re active on several social networks, why just share it on YouTube? Post it on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram as well (if it’s under a minute).

Wrapping up

If you’re just getting started with video marketing, be patient. Your first videos won’t be your best but if you persevere, you’ll get better at it, and so will the results. Just make sure you avoid making the same video marketing mistakes we see time after time.

If you’d like to learn more about video marketing, these extra resources should come in handy:

Instagram allows a maximum of one minute per video while Twitter won’t publish videos longer than 2:20 minutes. Why? Because most people don’t have the patience to watch a 30-minute video on a platform that’s constantly being updated with new content.

So if you want to get people to watch your videos, keep them short, concise and interesting.