Video 101: The Most Common Mistakes Brands Make When It Comes to Video Content

September 16th, 2019

‘By the end of 2019, 80% of all internet traffic worldwide will be video.’ – IAB

Video is everywhere. Everyone all over the world is jumping on the digital bandwagon in order to catch a slice of the action. However, as brands, video creators and video strategists know, it’s one thing creating video content, it’s another making sure it succeeds in reaching audiences.

So, without further ado, here are 5 of the most common mistakes brands make when it comes to creating and deploying video content, and what to do in order to rectify these video blunders.

MISTAKE 1: Not getting straight to the point.

Considering there is such a vast amount of video on the internet, it’s crucial to use the first few frames wisely in order to gain the audience’s attention.

Brands, however, often take this moment to place their logo in the centre of the screen for the first three to five seconds, wasting the opportunity of piquing the viewer’s interest.

After all, the first few seconds of any film are a lifetime in scrolling years, and therefore should be seen as a brand’s chance to let their viewers know clearly and honestly (click-bait not welcome) why the video is important and worth their time, what its purpose is and where it will take them – the value exchange.

MISTAKE 2: Prioritising view count as a metric for success

Views are important, but they are often held as the primary metric of video success when, in fact, they need to be considered in combination with other factors such as watch time, click-through rates, completion rates, traffic sources and engagement rate.

Even if these new figures are scarily small numbers, they represent reality and marketers, therefore, must reset their expectations and judge the success of their content on meaningful metrics.

To find out more about how to measure the success of your video content in more detail, click here: ‘From Zero to Hero: How to Measure the Success of Your Video Strategy’.

MISTAKE 3: Thinking content-led distribution rather than distribution-led content.

Thinking about how content is going to reach audiences is often an afterthought in the video creation process, when really it should define it.

If marketers don’t consider where and how the content will be consumed then it will inevitably struggle to find and engage its intended audience.

Every piece of content should have been created with these four steps in mind:

  1. Audience: who are they?
  2. Platform: where is this audience most likely to engage?
  3. Content: what does this audience want to watch?
  4. Paid media: what is the best way to deliver this content for each platform/media channel?

MISTAKE 4: Not focusing on the long-term strategy.

Due to its prominence, video is no longer just a one-off marketing opportunity; it’s a consistent, long-term strategy.

Brands, therefore, need to think about video as a 12-month plan, considering how they will make content covering a range of subjects in the most fluid and consistent way throughout the year. By doing so, the audience will begin to expect and anticipate a brand’s video content.

MISTAKE 5: Creating video just for the sake of it.

The final, and probably the most crucial of all the mistakes above, is creating video with a lack of value. Undoubtedly, video does seem to be the trend that just keeps on trending, one that isn’t going to change anytime soon; however, video only truly works if it’s created with a clear objective in mind and with creativity and quality at its heart.

Content should always be created with a purpose (and just because competitors are doing it is not a valid purpose.) It’s important to always create something the brand believes in, that its employees would share, that audiences can relate to and engage with.

In other words, the most common mistake brands make when it comes to video content is focusing their attention solely on what to create without sparing a thought for the how: how to get the message across, how the audience is going to see it, how to distribute it over the year as well as how to measure its success.

The key point to keep in mind, therefore, is this: great content needs to be distributed and a distribution plan needs great content, neither can exist in isolation.

Stuart Stubbs, Founder at Navigate Video

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