Plenty of things in life aren’t fun to do but help you in the long haul. Exercising can be strenuous, but it helps keep you healthy. Going to the dentist can prevent your teeth from looking like a picket fence. If you want to be able to drive to work, you have to deal with the horrors of the DMV. The same thing applies to your business and video marketing.
The little things, when added together over a long period of time, can make a big difference. For video marketers, the less sexy things that occur behind the scenes often provide the biggest dividends for your business. Many video marketers fall into pitfalls that trap their video marketing campaign and leave their business’s marketing wheels spinning.
Knowing the biggest video marketing pitfalls—and there are many—can help you avoid them outright. Common issues include not focusing on a single message in your videos, overthinking the process while experiencing decision paralysis, and not creating a sufficient call-to-action, to name a few.
There are three specific areas you should focus on if you want to avoid a majority of the pitfalls in video marketing: making a video without a plan, focusing on the wrong metrics, and producing poor-quality content.
Create a dynamic plan that yields high-quality videos with the right metrics to back them up, and you’ll avoid all other issues easily. First, let’s take a look at the three biggest video marketing pitfalls that can plague your video campaign and then see how you can avoid them altogether.
1. Making a Video Without a Plan
Even if you are a video marketing veteran, we all want the same thing for our videos: to go viral. In our imaginations, this means the creator makes something, they release it at the perfect time, and the world is ready to receive it. The truth is, it’s not only very hard to go viral, but the laziness that goal inspires can be a death knell for your video campaign.
Video marketers can be so concerned with putting out videos that they forget why they are making the video in the first place. It’s easier than ever to produce a video, which is why video marketing is so enticing for businesses. Yet even with a plan, most brands make mistakes when cultivating a video marketing strategy.
Before you think about making a video, create a plan with a clear set of actionable goals. The most common goals include driving more website traffic, creating social media engagement, acquiring more leads, and converting more leads.
Once you have created a concrete goal with specific numbers for your video, the next part is to determine what audience you are targeting. That sounds hard, but the easiest way to find out what your audience wants is to ask them.
Video marketers will often follow trends or try to duplicate their competition’s video efforts. This can work in the short term, but tailoring your video to your audience is a far more effective strategy. Key questions to ask about your audience include:
- Who is your typical customer?
- What social media platforms do they frequent the most?
- What type of videos is this demographic most interested in?
- Are you making an educational video, inspirational video, or some other type of video content?
Once you have a good idea not only of your viewer but where they tend to watch videos, then you can create the videos that most appeal to your target audience. One of the easiest strategies to pursue is to focus on your target audiences while posting to multiple social media platforms. Facebook users stream more than 100 million hours a day, YouTube user stream one billion hours a day, and Instagram is quickly catching up with an 80 percent increase, year-by-year, for video content.
2. Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
When most video marketers think of video metrics, their first thought lands on view counts. The thinking is, “If my video has a lot of views, that surely will translate into more conversions and sales!” While that may be true on the surface, there are better ways to see if your videos are performing well.
The biggest problem with view counts is that a view may be counted without the person getting anything valuable from the video. Most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter count a view after three or more seconds of viewing.
That means many people could be watching only a few seconds of your video, and your reliance on view counts could be providing false positives. YouTube is more reliable since they count views after 30 seconds. We recommend you always host your videos both on your website and YouTube to increase your brand’s reach and get more reliable view count statistics.
The only real benefit of view counts, in general, is that they can show the extent of your video’s reach. If that’s your marketing plan’s goal, then it may be the best measure for you to use. If your goal is to generate more leads and sales, perhaps delving into juicier metrics will help you determine the effectiveness of your videos.
First, determine the objective of your video. Is it brand awareness, lead generation, and/or viewer engagement? This question keeps being asked because it is crucial to figuring out what metrics you should use.
For brand awareness, view counts can be a good way to determine your reach. Even if the view threshold is three seconds, 47 percent of conversions from video campaigns exist within those three seconds.
For lead generation and viewer engagement, zoom in on the following metrics to see whether your videos are effective:
- Click-through rates
- Social sharing and commenting
- Average percentage completion
- Click-to-play metrics for autoplay video platforms like Facebook
- Top location and top audience
3. Producing Poor Quality Content
Doing a video wrong is far worse than not doing any video. Poor-quality videos can reflect your business and send the message that you are willing to subvert quality.
Consumers are 62 percent more likely to view your brand negatively if you publish a poor-quality video. Since video production is so accessible nowadays, everyone is trying their hand at making videos. Yet, inexperience on the part of the video creator usually results in low-quality videos.
To stand out in the very crowded field of video marketing, you need to produce high-quality content. High-quality video content provides something valuable to the user. There are many tips for creating great video content out there, but the most consistent tip is to partner with an expert who can communicate your brand’s message.
Cheap video can muddle your brand’s message and also cost you more money because you’ll most likely do it wrong the first time. Choosing the right partner, even if they cost more, can help you pay less in the long run. You are more likely to meet your goals and expectations for the video marketing campaign, plus you may gain insight from the production company that you may never have discovered on your own.