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Video can be an essential component of a strong content marketing strategy — especially when you do it right. Avoiding these common video mistakes helps ensure your video marketing efforts pay off over time by effectively promoting your brand and increasing your reach.

What Is Video Marketing, and How Do You Use It?

With its ability to engage and inspire, video is a powerful marketing tool for brands in just about every industry. Video marketing uses audio/visual recordings to connect with an audience and provide information about products and services. The most successful videos are entertaining and engaging. However, there can also be room for more straightforward video content to do things like answer how-to questions or provide quick guidance. This ultimately positions your brand as trustworthy and helpful to consumers.

Video can help your brand perform well in search, engage existing customers and reach new potential customers who may not be aware of your brand. A good video marketing strategy will allow for posts in a variety of places, from your company website to YouTube and Instagram.

Posting in the right place to reach your ideal audience is one important element. Your video marketing strategy should also focus on telling stories and answering questions that are most relevant to your target market. Beauty brands, for example, should focus on creating videos that show their products in action, with plenty of aspirational imagery to show good results. Tech startups can incorporate animated screenshots of their software in action, while culinary brands can show their products in use during a recipe tutorial.

10 Video Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Every individual brand should develop a personalized content marketing strategy for its unique brand identity, products and audience. However, there are certain video marketing mistakes that anyone can make and everyone should avoid. Regardless of what your specific approach is, watch out for these common errors when you create and present your video content.

1. Letting Long Run Times Lose Viewers

It’s essential to put your audience first when you create marketing content of any kind. That usually means that you need to understand how much time your readers or viewers are willing to invest in your content. Shorter is almost always better, especially for video. You can try experimenting with longer-format video once you have an established audience.

2. Starting Too Slowly

As part of keeping run times short, get to the point quickly. You’ve got about 10 seconds to grab your audience’s attention before they’re likely to bail on your video. Don’t waste valuable time with an extended intro.

3. Having Unclear Branding

Don’t forget to include discernible, straightforward details about your brand and product. This includes succinctly saying your brand name and that of the product you’re featuring. Add on-screen captions with these details spelled out briefly.

4. Adding Sales-y Content

There’s a reason many people install adblockers on their internet browsers and use their DVRs to fast-forward through commercials. Some people just don’t want to spend their time watching advertisements. That means you need to carefully balance the need to promote your brand and products while also providing content that’s worthwhile for the audience. Choose a video format that allows you to provide useful information or create entertaining scenarios that keep viewers engaged.

5. Getting Too Complex

It can be tempting to come up with a complicated idea for each of your videos, but that’s not always necessary. As part of your goal of keeping things short, you should avoid trying to do too much in the time available. If you’re using YouTube bumper ads, for example, you only have 6 seconds to get your point across. Focus on a specific aim for each video, whether that’s communicating something about your brand or demonstrating a product in action.

6. Overblowing Production Values

Similarly, you don’t necessarily need to make each video an Oscar-worthy production. If you look at some of the most popular YouTubers, for example, many get hundreds of thousands of views with nothing more than a ring light and a decent camera. Those basic equipment investments can be worth it if you plan on making video content a major part of your marketing strategy. If your content is good, you might not need to do more than that.

7. Having Boring Content

You don’t necessarily need to have the most conceptual and artfully produced video content to capture your audience’s attention. You do need to make your videos worth watching. Choose an engaging setting or narrator and use music to keep your content interesting.

8. Emphasizing the Wrong Point of View

Remember that your ultimate goal in creating video content is to reach your customers and gain their interest. You don’t want to make every video a sizzle reel of your brand. That’s not an engaging point of view for people who aren’t as enthusiastic about your brand as you are. Emphasize the user more than the product.

9. Neglecting the Metadata

YouTube and other video-sharing sites are essentially content search engines. You want to make sure that features like suggested videos and discover pages can find your content and recommend it. Use titles, tags, descriptions and other text fields to make your content searchable.

10. Lacking Flexibility

It can be easy to get excited about the direction you’ve chosen to go with your marketing strategy. But, as with any other type of content, it’s important to make sure your videos are actually doing what you want them to do. If you aren’t getting the performance metrics you want with your current strategy, be willing to change things up.