9 Minute Read

5 Ways to Ruin Your Marketing Video Even If You’re a Pro

Ever since video killed the radio star, companies have been trying to use the magic of moving pictures to promote their products and services. Some of them do so incredibly well, while some others…not so much. While not every marketing video needs to be a slick Hollywood production, you do want your company or recruiting video to be interesting and watchable. Here are 5 common ways people mess up their video marketing.


1. Intermission Please!

People are busy and have a lot to take in on the internet and their time is stretched pretty thin. So to all of you out there with 5-minute long videos explaining why your product or service is the hottest thing, you’re losing your audience. 80% of people will watch all of a video that is less a minute long, meanwhile less than 60% will watch all of a 4-5 minute video. That dip means you’ve lost a lot of people who were at least initially interested in your video. A great example of that is Andy Alagappan and epromotionz1 for SEOHoustonBlog, a bunch of 1-3-minute videos that dominate the view counts for B2B on YouTube (the dubstep group B2B aside of course). If they were all 20 minutes I doubt they’d have the same results.

A shorter video saves time on production, uploading, distribution, and cash money. So how to avoid those long-winded videos? It’s either bad writing or poor direction. Even one page can take more than those precious 5 minutes and  if your video production team insists on using all their favorite shots, it will bog down the video.

Explain time constraints to everyone involved (feel free to use the above stats). For the writers or photographers reading this, just remember Shakespeare’s famous line “brevity is the soul of wit.” Your shots of office plants aren’t that great!


2. Hi, Vanilla

I said it before and I’ll say it again – your video has insane competition. 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. Your marketing video has to compete with 103,608 hours worth of other video (many with Beyonce in them so….) every day – is it really worth it to have subpar production and script?

Well, you’re in luck. Shelling out for actual music is probably the quickest and easiest way. Royalty-free music is free and easy to use; it’s tempting but it’s hard to discount the power of using a popular song. I mean “Get Lucky” has almost 200 million listens on Spotify, meanwhile the piano score that someone made for free and uploaded online has 0. If you are serious about using a video to increase traffic, don’t discount a good music bed. It also pays to invest in solid editing software and learn how to use it. Take full advantage of tools like Adobe After Effects or Apple Motion 5 to give your video some extra polish.


Your marketing video has to compete with 103,608 hours worth of other video. Click To Tweet


3. Blair Witch Project

Good video can be tricky, especially in an office environment. The lighting is less than ideal, the space isn’t great for bulky cameras, the click clack of keyboards ruins audio, or you have old or subpar equipment. There are a million ways the office environment can ruin your video. But you have to have video for a video project, right? So how do you shoot good video consistently? Try this cheat sheet designed to help beginners fake it! Remember that while the old phrase “We’ll fix it in post” is true to some extent, you can’t fix bad video any more than you can unbake a cake.


4. Return to Sender

Every marketing initiative needs a goal and video is not different. If you aren’t paying attention to the statistics and demographics available, then you’re not really marketing, you’re just playing Spielberg for awhile.

YouTube internally keeps track of the age, location, gender, and a million other batches of data about your audience. On top of that, there are loads of other services that are either free or paid that will give you even MORE info on the audience for your video. 100 million people watch videos on YouTube every day! Trust me, this is information you need. If you ignore the statistics YouTube provides, you’ll never know who you are attracting with your video – target audience or not. So take the time to look at all of the information YouTube gives you!


If you ignore statistics YouTube provides, you’ll never know who you're attracting with your video. Click To Tweet



As an audio guy at heart, bad audio physically hurts. So video equipment can be expensive. A great DSLR camera body can cost upwards of $400 – that doesn’t include the lenses you’ll need to operate it well or the software to edit it well. I can understand the pain of purchasing the equipment and programs, but a good microphone can cost less than 20 bucks for either a lavalier microphone or a shotgun mic (if you don’t know what those are and what they do, then you don’t get to shoot video!) and it makes the world of difference. Because cameras are focused on the video-taking portion of your project, you’ll need to spend an extra Jackson on your audio.


6. That’s Showbiz

So this section is less about how to make your video good and how to make it popular. I mean that’s probably the real reason why you are here anyway. The best way to make your video popular is knowing the ins and outs of video SEO, not shockingly what you title your video and what tags you put in actually matter! Make sure you tag it not only with relevant tags but tags people will find. If you make a video of travel tips “Travel Tips” is a better tag than “travel tips for business professionals” feel free to tag it with both but just be aware of what tags are popular. Another cheap but effective tactic is to tweet at someone relevant to your video that will probably share it, spreading that love around.


Recording usable video and editing it into something people actually want to watch may seem like a daunting task. This guide isn’t a cheat sheet to churn out the type of video you’d see at an award-winning news channel but it will make sure your video doesn’t end up on AFV or some equally terrible show where they hire a washed up actor to make fun of bad videos.

Learn more about marketing with these stats!