More Brands Should Use Video! (But Avoid these 5 Video Marketing Mistakes)


Since the advent of TV advertising, video has been a powerful marketing tool. This has accelerated in the digital age where consumers now carry video in the palm of their hand, and by 2021, video traffic is predicted to make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic.

There’s a significant opportunity for marketers and business owners to leverage video, and we don’t just mean traditional TV ads.

Why Video Marketing?

If you aren’t using video to reach potential customers, your competition probably is. However, that’s not the best reason to leverage the brand-building, ROI-boosting potential of video.

Here’s a snapshot of just a few reasons why video marketing is worth investigating:

  • Customers expect it and look for it. Half of internet users will search for videos about a product or service before visiting a store, and another 80% find demonstration videos helpful in making purchase decisions.

  • Video improves brand perception. 63% of consumers say brands that utilize video know how to reach their audience, and another 56% believe that businesses should have video content on their websites.

  • Video improves recall. — While only 14% of consumers will remember the very last display ad they saw, an amazing 80% could recall a previous video ad they’ve seen.

  • The cost of failing to utilize video could be steep. One in four consumers say that they’ll lose interest in a company that doesn’t incorporate video into any of their channels.

Now that you know why it’s important, how do you get started? Which platforms do you pick, and what kind of content will you deliver?

Different video platforms offer different benefits to your brand, and your decisions will be based on your marketing goals.

For instance, a home improvement company looking to establish itself as a market leader may want to air :30 TV spots during the local news to reach older homeowners with disposable income, while a retailer wanting to build brand awareness among teens may leverage Snapchat and create short clips around a fun shopping experience. A restaurant could run pre-roll video ads on contextually relevant websites, like a popular local food site. Opportunities for creativity are endless, but ultimately your marketing strategy will guide your video marketing plans.

Of course, it’s important that videos be executed correctly. What that means will vary from platform to platform—video production expectations may be a little looser for YouTube videos than TV commercials, for instance—but know that the quality of your content can have a major impact on how your audience perceives your brand.

Top 5 Video Marketing Mistakes

When developing a video marketing strategy—whether it includes TV advertising, pre-roll, explainer videos on your homepage, demonstration or how-to videos on your YouTube channel, interviews on Facebook Live, or others—avoid these common video marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Forgetting Your Goals

You could produce a beautiful video that highlights your staff and talks about your core values and company culture, but if your marketing goals don’t include growing your team, you might be wasting your time and marketing dollars. Come to the table with a clear understanding of what you want your video marketing to accomplish, then track your progress against those objectives. Avoid general goals like “grow awareness” or “increase leads.” Be as specific as possible, so you can set yourself up for more effective monitoring of your video marketing success.

Mistake #2: Forgetting Your Audience

Research from Google shows a steady rise in product-related searches on Google Images and YouTube, so make sure you show up where potential customers are looking for ideas and inspiration. Do you know where your audience is spending their time, and what devices they’re using? Commit to the research necessary to know for sure that you’ll be utilizing the video platforms that are going to actually reach a targeted, qualified audience and garner positive ROI.

Mistake #3: Making Assumptions About What Platforms Can Deliver

Just because you’re trying to reach Millennials, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus exclusively on YouTube or Snapchat. On the other hand, if your target demographic is 65 or older, don’t assume they’re not on Facebook! An experienced media team will have insights about your target audience and the best media and platforms you can leverage to reach them.

Mistake #4: Thinking One Creative Approach Will Work Across the Board

Simply put, all video is not created equal, so consider your platform carefully. The TV commercial you develop for a network broadcast station may not be well received in the middle of your followers’ Facebook or Instagram feeds. Brief is always better, but longer content (two minutes or more) is well received on YouTube. No matter what, make sure you’re grabbing attention right away—viewers who watch the first three seconds are most likely to finish a video, so make the first frame strong.

Mistake #5: Not Understanding What You’re Buying

If you’re advertising on TV, what programming is your brand being associated with? If you’re buying in-stream advertising, do you know whether you’re buying pre-roll or mid-roll, and is the ad going to be skippable or not? Some services will blend pre-roll and mid-roll, which makes it harder to know what you’re paying for and what your ROI really looks like. That’s why it’s a good idea to partner with digital marketing professionals who can help you get the most return from your video advertising.

Brands can’t afford to ignore the power of video. But it’s just as important to avoid critical video marketing mistakes that could hurt overall efforts and put business objectives and audience conversion further out of reach.

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