Content Marketing

Video Marketing Gone Wrong: How to Avoid the 8 Most Common Video Marketing Mistakes

Video marketing showcase

Video marketing is on the rise, and every successful company knows about it. If you’re just starting out with video marketing, you might feel as if you’ve entered a minefield. Just as SEO, social media, and even the internet once seemed bewildering, video marketing may appear like an enigma that’s impossible to crack.

But it’s very important that you do crack it – because video marketing is the future. Don’t put it off any longer or make excuses about it being expensive or a waste of time – these are video marketing myths that need to be left in the past. Video marketing is what you need to bring your company into the present day.

If you don’t believe how important video marketing is, let’s look at some video marketing statistics: YouTube states that it has a 100% annual rise in mobile video consumption every year, videos on social media are shared 1200% more than combinations of text and images, and 64% of video viewers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video on it.

So, it’s vital that you do learn about video marketing, including which type of video you should choose for your business, as soon as possible. But as it is a new concept, there are some easy errors that can be made in video marketing. This guide helps you avoid the common errors and identify video marketing best practices so your video marketing campaigns will be successful and fruitful for your company!

1. Using Stereotypes or Controversy

It’s not uncommon for brands to deliberately use stereotypes to build on mental links or to even deliberately create controversy. But this is an archaic practice that should be left in the past. The most common stereotype is perhaps the happy housewife or the modern mom, but both use traditional ideas that any middle-aged woman must have a nuclear family. Today, this is just not relatable for many and is more likely to cause offense than anything. This is just one example of how the breakaway from stereotypes is very important.

Controversies should equally be left in the past. You want people to be talking about your video marketing, but not because it insults a group of people. Controversial campaigns that the world could have done without include the McDonald’s carry-on campaign, which mentioned 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing in a ‘tasteless’ fashion.

Controversies and the use of stereotypes do get people talking, yes – but more than often they’re talking about a brand that is as best, tactless, and at worst, bigoted. Don’t be that brand.

2. Using Hyperbole or Clickbait

Using hyperbole or clickbait can seriously damage your reputation. Inventions such as the wheel of the airplane were ‘life changing’ or ‘mind-blowing’ but, although you probably do have a very useful product that will aid a certain part of your customers’ lives, it probably doesn’t live up to those hyperbolic buzzwords.

An example of this is the campaign for Mellow Mushroom Pizza. By claiming that their pizza can help with indigestion and mood swings, they make a bizarre hyperbolic link between pizza and medicine, which Vidyard states leaves viewers “neither wanting pizza nor a medical consultation”.

Buzzwords are typically unnecessary and often dilute your message - you’ll have more of an impact without them. Plus, the fact that a lot of companies do use buzzwords means that your message will look just the same as everyone else’s.

Clickbait equally, should be avoided, for the main reason that if your product does not match up with said clickbait, you will lose reader faith. In fact, Facebook has recently banned clickbait and it is detected by determining “whether you deliver on your promise”. Clickbait is so widely disregarded in the media world, yet it is still one of the most common video marketing mistakes.

3. Not Having a Clear Message

One of the most important video marketing tips is that campaigns need to have a clear message – otherwise, how on earth is everyone meant to know what you are talking about? If your video is a general rundown of your business with no concrete aim, you’ll struggle to convert customers. Equally, if your campaign is too creative with no concise point like the Super Bowl Ads are often thought to be, you won’t get many new clients.

But having too many messages is confusing and overwhelming. Customers who view videos have a very short attention span; and if they must focus on more than one underlying message, they’ll be out quicker than you can say on YouTube.

Ensure that you are direct with your customers so there is no doubt surrounding what your message is. But be sure to just stick to the one.

4. Videos Being Too Long

As previously mentioned, customers have a very short attention span. Videos that are too long don’t keep their interest – the secret to keeping customers entertained and wanting to come back for more is to keep videos short and compact.

Some video marketing facts and figures tell us that only 46% of viewers watch videos all the way to the end. If your video is exceptionally long unnecessarily, this statistic will drop even more.

“If you have not fully engaged your audience after the first 30 seconds, you've likely lost 33% of viewers; and after one minute, 45% of viewers have stopped watching.”

The optimum length of your video campaign depends on a few factors: what platform you are using, what action you want the viewer to take (eg. to just be entertained, to make a purchase, to be educated, to be a repeat customer), viewer expectations, and the type of content.

There is no one size fits all, but as a rule of thumb, your video campaign should be as short as possible while conveying your message accurately and creating a long-lasting impact. An example of a very impactful campaign that is just 30 seconds is Airbnb’s We Accept. The message of the video – and the brand awareness – is long-lasting, despite its short timescale.

5. Forgetting a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

Without a CTA, your video is next to worthless for your company. You might entertain or educate watchers, but you won’t turn them into loyal viewers or customers.

Video Subscribe CTA

Creating a CTA is very simple, and less is more – in your CTA, you just need to focus on summarizing the whole video and inviting the reader to act. It should be in spoken form at the end of the video, so every viewer knows what to do next without having to dig around

Even if the video is not directly targeted at sales, you could encourage viewers to sign up for your newsletter or like your Facebook page. Alternatively, it could act as the lead magnet to your website, where the viewer will be able to find out more information about your brand.

Remember to be creative and to appeal to your customers’ interests. A successful video campaign happens when the customer wants to do whatever the call to action is. If you pique their interest and leave them wanting more, then there is every chance that your campaign will be a successful one!

6. Not Using SEO

A common myth with SEO is that it just applies to webpages – when in fact, it applies to everything on the net. Google ranks videos like it ranks written content. Quality, backlinks, and the actual content all play into account when Google’s algorithm is looking for more page one spots.

It’s therefore very important to include SEO in your video marketing production. You can optimize your videos by transcribing your written content and including keywords, optimizing your metadata, submitting a video sitemap, and doing keyword research. All of these factors are very beneficial in getting more eyes on your content and subsequently, more customers.

7. Just Using YouTube

YouTube is the most famous video marketing platform, and for good reason; it is hugely impactful. It is a fantastic platform for showing your brand in action and for entertaining videos. But other platforms should be used too. These include Snapchat, Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram.

Snapchat is great for brands targeting young users. Its snippet video module means that it is great for sneak peeks, humor and one-liners. Tiktok uses a similar concept, with very short videos, but uploads to this platform are shareable. Therefore, viral content works really well on Tiktok.

Uploading videos direct to Facebook is one of the most significant digital marketing choices you can make. Highly shareable content is one of the best ways you can get more likes on your Facebook page, and therefore have more potential customers!

Instagram is possibly the fastest-growing social media. I’ll let the statistics do the talking:

[quote]Users under 25 spend more than 32 minutes every day on Instagram, and over 4.2 billion posts are liked every day.[/quote]

Instagram stories are incredibly popular and very powerful for your brand, with over 300 million people using them each day. The potential target market is huge and shouldn’t be ignored.

So many brands have directed popular campaigns on Instagram, including Burger King’s video asking for an official sign for the whopper burger. They created a longer YouTube video as well but tailored this short video, especially for Instagram.

8. Not Branding Correctly

Branding builds trust and ensures repeat customers; who are the most valuable people to your business. You should always brand your videos clearly and succinctly, but not be too over the top with your message.

You can brand successfully by making your videos engaging and asking lots of questions, responding to comments, and to videos made about your business. Be as authentic as possible when depicting your brand and make sure you humanize your videos: this could come in the form of showing what goes on behind the scenes and using real employees in your videos.

Likewise, branding could also mean having an animated logo intro for all your videos. This helps your prospective customers to remember and recognize your brand better.


Video marketing can be a bit of a minefield, but if you avoid these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to creating content that is not only compelling and interesting but is easily discovered and that converts customers. Taking a step into this new marketing strategy may seem a little overwhelming, but the rewards will soon pay off as your company plows into the future.