In recent years video has become an essential tool for savvy marketers everywhere. Video is fast becoming the preferred method of connecting with an audience, but with so much content out there, your business needs to find ways to stand out. Here are 10 common mistakes you should avoid when creating video content.
#1 Lack of Purpose
Creating videos just for the sake of creating videos is rarely a wise allocation of your time or money. You should have a specific goal for each video you create. This will help you, and your collaborators, steer your video in the right direction. Whether you’re goal is to drive a specific action, or simply to spread brand awareness, you should have a goal in mind throughout the process of creating each and every video.
#2 Lack of Focus
Knowing your goal doesn’t do you much good if you aren’t focused on it. Much of the ineffective content I see on the web today is the result of the filmmaker’s inability to focus on their goal. Too many content creators get sidetracked and try to cram as much information into each video as they can. Smart marketers know that driving home a singular message is much more effective.
#3 Too Much Information
This is the biggest problem I see in video marketing today. Your marketing videos should not be the equivalent of a brochure that you can put on youtube. Informational or “explainer” videos have their place, but they are rarely useful when trying to initially engage your audience. People want to be entertained, not sold to. If your videos aren’t getting any shares, that’s probably because you’re trying too hard to sell your product or service instead of trying to connect with your audience.
There is one exception to this rule. The “how to” video can be a very effective marketing tool because so many google and youtube searches begin with “how to.” My only caveat is to make sure you are providing value with your “how to” videos, and not just using it as an opportunity to dive into that sales pitch.
#4 An Ambiguous or Missing Call to Action
The best way to get someone to do what you want them to do is to ask them to do it. If you want to drive traffic to your website, you’d better tell them your web address. If you want people to buy a gadget, you’d better tell them where they can buy it. If you want people to share the video, ask them to share it with their friends!
#5 Your Videos are Too Long
If you want people to watch and share your videos (which you do) you need to be concise. Your audience’s attention span is shrinking, and there are thousands other videos out there for them to watch. If you don’t grab their attention and keep it, they’ll move on. As a general rule, your audience is less interested in your product or service than you are, so if you find that your video is losing your attention, it’s time to make some cuts.
#6 Indifference to Quality
Believe it or not, your audience expects that you will create quality content for them. Failure to deliver on this expectation can be detrimental to your brand. It’s much better to create a few quality videos than dozens of videos of sub-par quality. People will associate the quality of your brand with the quality of the content you release, so make sure you’re sending the right message.
#7 Not Gearing Your Message to Your Target Audience
Creating amazing content doesn’t do you any good if it’s not targeted toward the right audience. When developing your content, make sure you think about who your message is targeting. Be as specific as possible, and really think about what those people want to hear.
#8 Expecting Immediate Results
Building and maintaining an audience for your content is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time for people to trust that you are going to consistently create great videos for them to watch. You might get lucky and go viral, but this is hardly a solid strategy.
#9 Choosing the Wrong Collaborators
When it comes to your content, you need to be picky about the people that you work with. For some people, the videos you create will be their first impression of your brand so it’s vitally important that your content screams quality. If your current videos aren’t working for you, take a closer look at those videos and ask yourself if they really meet your standard of quality. If you are hiring a video production company, make sure you insist on a quality product and quality people who ask the right questions. A professional that just does as they are told will never elevate your content to next level.