6 Common Video Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

8 Min Read

Video marketing is a burgeoning trend in the world of digital marketing. Companies of all sizes have an opportunity to use this medium to connect with customers in a whole new way while circumventing social media algorithms. Video marketing materials also have excellent reusability for more bandwidth with a smaller marketing budget. And these days, even something like an AI video editor, which will drastically help your video look far more professional than if you just used the default editor that comes on your computer, can fit into a modest production budget.

However, there’s no point in making a video just for the sake of it. Here are six common video marketing mistakes to avoid when exploring this opportunity.

Lack of Quality or Professionalism

One of the benefits of modern technology is that almost anyone can create a great looking piece of video content. However, it’s important not to make the mistake of sacrificing quality for simplicity.

Ensure that your video has the basic professional qualities: good lighting, decent sound, and decent editing. You can create great corporate promo video ads with pre-set templates and simple editing software. While businesses no longer have to spend thousands of dollars to create great videos, they should still look professionally made.

Lack of Brand Alignment

Every piece of content produced by your business should be in congruence with your brand. While hopping aboard viral trends is an effective way to expand your reach and build engagement, there’s no point in doing so if it doesn’t appeal to your target audience. Having a follower base of more than one million people doesn’t matter if none of them are interested in your products.

Ensure that each video you publish is in alignment with your brand. This approach will give you a better return on investment when creating video content.

Start by taking some time to understand your target demographic’s expectations from your brand. For example, Budweiser customers expect to see something comedic and engaging when they view a Budweiser ad. The advertisements are crafted to appeal to a specific demographic: men aged 45 and over that make less than $65,000 per year. Does this segmentation mean their video marketing doesn’t appeal to anyone else? No, but it makes it more likely that the content resonates with the people they’ve determined are most likely to consume their product.

Don’t be afraid to niche down and segment your larger customer base to create videos that appeal to subgroups as well. This exercise helps identify the potential for market expansion (as Budweiser has since attempted to do with Millennial-centric offerings). Outline the customer journey to determine how they learn about your product and how you can use a video to navigate them to a conversion.

Creating a Long Video

Long videos have a time and place in your business’ marketing plan. Video webinars and live information sessions are fantastic ways to connect with warm leads and mid-funnel prospects. However, long, drawn-out advertisements and clips aren’t practical for daily marketing efforts.

When creating a video advertisement, the quicker you can get your message across, the better. Facebook recommends videos of five to 15 seconds in length for in-stream ads and 15 seconds maximum for stand-alone promotional videos. Aim to cap your videos at 15 seconds when looking for shareability and audience reach. 

Considering the video length often leads to another question: how short is too short? If you’ve spent time scrolling through YouTube or other social media platforms, you’ve likely seen quick car advertisements that last under five seconds. These quick spots are relatively new.

The “Get a Load of Milk” campaign of 2009 revolutionized commercial length during an era where air time was still paid for in 15-second, 30-second, and 60-second segments. These ads were designed to span a mere five seconds, with eye-catching visuals and a clear, concise message. This allowed the Dairy Farmers of Canada marketing team to triple their number of video advertisements on television without tripling the cost.

There’s no clear answer for how short your video should be. Some companies may be capable of conveying an effective message in three seconds, while others need five. The key is finding the balance between duration and message quality.

Keep in mind that longer one-minute videos are a great way to showcase visually compelling product profiles and behind-the-scenes looks at your business. However, it can be a fine line between an exciting video and an infomercial. Walk that line carefully. 

Convoluting the Messaging

Keep your messaging short and precise. Know what you’re trying to convey in the limited time available, and say it clearly. Many businesses will erroneously try to pack too much information into one clip. This approach leads to information overload and leaves viewers feeling confused and overwhelmed. 

Keep in mind that a piece of video content will rarely lead to a sales conversion; they’re meant to build awareness and attract people into the sales funnel. Create a quick video that makes people want to learn more, then provide information in a more appropriate setting, such as a webinar or landing page.

Forgetting the CTA

Don’t forget to tell your audience what to do at the end of the video; otherwise, the next clip will load, and you’ll be lost in the noise. A CTA (call to action) closes the clip and tells viewers what they should do next. 

The CTA could invite them to “buy now” or “click to learn more” or “follow us on Instagram.” The message ultimately depends on your goals with the content. The important part is clarifying and communicating that goal effectively at the end of your video. Remember to make the action as simple as possible. Include a live link or button to take your viewers to the goal destination.

Not Adding a Hook

Finally, don’t forget to add a hook at the start of your video. You have two seconds to stop someone from scrolling and convince them that you’re worthy of their time. A hook could be a visually compelling opening or thumbnail or a brief preview of what’s to come later in the video. Think of this as your live-action headline. 

Learn from the mistakes of other companies who have forayed into video marketing. Avoiding these mistakes will save your business time and money.

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Becca Williams is a writer, editor, and small business owner. She writes a column for and many more major media outlets.