7 Common Business Video Fails.

Illustration of Devil Like Head

Are you looking for new business or simply following the crowd?

I moved my retail design and presentation consultancy into the digital economy in 2008, in part, because I perceived a need for our B2B presentation skills. Much of my time in those early years was spent, on what now seemed like an evangelical mission, trying to get businesses using internet based video as a sales & marketing presentation tool.

Now, more than ten years later. When I say I produce illustrated stories or explainer videos for websites and social media distribution, most people have a much better idea of what I do. Yet I see so many people around me jumping onto what has now become the online video bandwagon, wasting money making one or all of the following seven most common mistakes.

Mistake Number 1. Not knowing why you are producing it.

A common request I receive is. “I need a video for my website. How much will it cost?” Clearly, if cost is your first and only consideration. Then it is unlikely that you have a clear and distinct purpose for the video you think you need. Fail!

Not knowing exactly why you are having, or have had, a video produced for your business. Or knowing exactly what effect you want your video to achieve suggests that yes. You really are simply flattering your ego and really just wasting your money.

Mistake Number 2. Not knowing who your audience is.

Your audience is who you want your video to engage with. It will dictate the type of information you include and the style of video you produce. In marketing terms this is critical. Gone are the days of broadcast mass marketing with a generic message. 

The more defined your audience is, the more targeted your video can be, and the more likely it then is that your audience will make a connection with it. They are also more likely to share it with others who have similar interests.

Mistake Number 3. Not having a distribution plan.

If you don't have a distribution plan for your video, then all you are doing is flattering either your own, or your video producers ego. Worse still, you are potentially wasting your money. Harsh? Perhaps.

Other than video produced for internal training purposes, you will want as many people as possible to watch and share it. Simply uploading your video to YouTube, and embedding your video on your website, will not help you get people to view it.

When you have invested in a video with an audience and a specific purpose in mind. It is vital that you know where that audience is, so that you can bring your video to their attention, hoping that a percentage of these will want to watch it.

Mistake Number 4. Your video is all about you.

Your video is all about you and only you rather than your customer.  Sorry.

You really do need to get over yourself. Other than family and friends. Or possibly, if your video has been produced purely to entertain and manages to do that. Then the chances are that no one else really cares about you personally. They may be interested in how you can help them. But talking only about yourself is unlikely to persuade them to share your masterpiece with anyone else.

Mistake Number 5. Your video fails to provide any value.

There is value in being quirky, outspoken, entertaining or different in some way if that is where your audience is. Generally, within a business context, information is what most people seek from your videos and your website.

Your goal therefore should be to make yourself the fountain of all knowledge within your specialist field and the “go-to” authority within your sector. Sharing information with your audience which they will find useful or instructive is your best strategy for growing your audience beyond those who already know you.

Finding ways to make it entertaining as well as being informative will also increase your opportunities for your video being shared.

Mistake Number 6. You believe that video is for advertising.

Understandably perhaps if you are more familiar or comfortable with print based advertising.

Most established businesses saw the arrival of the internet as a more cost effective and immediate method of publishing information about their business than print. So you are not completely wrong in your beliefs. But the internet has quickly evolved and introduced new elements which are cause for a need to revise this view.  

The impact of social media being the major game changer in this respect. Being seen to be overly pushy, or be overtly selling anything, is almost guaranteed to have the opposite effect.

The last thing that the bulk of your video should therefore be associated with is promotional content. It still has its place, but only in very short doses, if warranted at all, depending on your offer and your audience. It has little or no place on your website but may be fine for high impact advertising campaigns on the best social channels for your product or service.

Mistake Number 7. You believe that video is not for you.

Not all video is the same, so not all videos are equal or share the same value.

Back in 2006 though to 2012 this may not have been the case. There is good circumstantial evidence to suggest that Google was so keen to encourage business users to engage with YouTube that they provided anyone doing so with an artificial hike in page ranking if they followed “the YouTube Rules”.

Those days went when the Google Penguin update to the search algorithm was introduced back in 2012. It did however result, and still does result in a lot of valueless video being posted online. This however should not be a reason for not engaing in the production of high value video for your business.

If you still haven’t produced your first video because you don’t think video is relevant to you or right for your business. Get over yourself.

It is the fastest most memorable and sharable communication format available and is now so affordable everyone should be using it. You just need to make sure you follow a few simple and to me obvious rules by not making any of the mistakes listed in this blog.

If this article has created more questions than provide answers then please do get back to us with these in the comments block below and I'll get back to you with any clarification you have asked for.

About the Author

I'm Sam Finlay, the founder of moreVisible and I originally trained as an Industrial Designer back in the early 80s. My career developed from technical illustration and visualising within the manufacturing sector, to design consultancy servicing high street retailers and brands, visualising future products, explaining how these would look or function for B2B presentations. Before moving my creative skills into online video & animation production for the digital economy in 2008.