10 common mistakes with corporate videos and how to avoid them

Simple fixes for your online video content to set you up for success.

Could you be making one or more common mistakes with your corporate videos?

More and more businesses are producing and sharing online video content.  Unfortunately, that also means more businesses are making the same common mistakes that are preventing them from realising the full potential of video marketing.

The good news is, in most cases, there are simple fixes that can be made to set you up for success with video.

Here are 10 common mistakes with corporate video and how to avoid them:

1. Not having a clear strategy

If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you’ll know why a Video Strategy is essential in effective video production. Before creating content, you need to understand what it is that you want the video to do.  What action you want your audience to take, how you want them to feel and what you want them to think?

Take the time to create a video strategy that considers your overall business goals and identifies your target audience. These first two critical steps will combine to inform your content and your methods for distribution. Then, by tracking the metrics that matter, you will build a deeper understanding of your audience and how you could use video even more effectively in the future.

2. Selling too hard

Video marketing is an entire waste of time if it doesn’t ultimately result in increased sales for your business.  However, sometimes businesses go for the sale too soon. This can be a hard watch for the audience.

Yes, people are savvy enough to know that they’re being sold too but they don’t need to feel like they’re watching a corporate pitch.

Instead, concentrate on ways that you can offer helpful, genuinely valuable video content to your audience. People want to feel that you’re talking directly to them and that you have their needs at heart.

This is why storytelling is so important in video. Ideally, the customer should always feel like the hero of the piece, with your business at their side as a wise guide or mentor.

The two most popular video content types on YouTube are product reviews and how-to videos. This serves to illustrate that the most-watched videos are the ones that offer real value by helping and guiding their audience.

3. Not focusing on a single message

Think one video = one purpose.

In wanting to maximise the results from each new video, many companies make the mistake of creating a corporate video that’s too generic so that they can use it in as many ways as possible. They want their videos to raise brand awareness, sell products, boost social media following, recruit new staff, and more.

But this approach can really dilute the impact of the video. The audience can’t tell who it’s aimed at or what they need to do after watching, which is a surefire way to make people switch off.

Your audience wants to feel a connection. One of the strongest ways to achieve this is by having a single, clear message in each video that you produce.

4. No call to action

Following on from the previous point,  every video should have a clear call to action that reflects the core message and purpose of the video.

A truth of human behaviour is that, when it comes to engaging with marketing, we like to be told what to do next. If your video doesn’t have a call to action (and a lot don’t), you risk viewers dropping off even if they’ve engaged with the content. Don’t give them that chance!

My advice is to keep your calls to action short, to the point and relevant to where the video sits in the customer journey. Some examples of simple but effective prompts include:

  • Subscribe
  • Make an appointment
  • Call today
  • Download now
  • Join my list
  • Sign up for a free trial

The call to action should tell people what they need to do but also give them some idea of what they’ll get – and how they’ll benefit – when they do it.

5. A one-size-fits-all approach

Many businesses assume that they can create one corporate video and release it on every possible platform to get it in front of as many people as possible.

There are several reasons why this is usually a mistake.

For a start, as we’ve seen above, the video needs to be tailored to the intended audience and where they are in the customer journey. This might affect which platform they’re using to view the video. For example, the first contact with a company might come from a short video on Instagram, whereas potential customers might seek out more in-depth videos on YouTube or your website when they know more about your business.

For this reason, it’s advisable to create platform-native content and to think about what the viewer might be doing when they hit play on your video.

Are they likely to be watching with sound on or off? (More about this below). Will they be scrolling through Instagram or watching IGTV? Will they have gone purposely to YouTube for a how-to video or tutorial?

We should also recognise that different sizes and aspect ratios are preferable for different platforms.

My advice is to ditch the cookie-cutter approach to videos and create different versions for different platforms.

Having a strategy in place before production will help you secure all the footage you need to create platform-native videos that share a consistent message.

6. Letting poor quality distract from the message

Poor sound, over-exposed video or out-of-focus shots can all be distracting for the viewer. And, if someone is being distracted by one or more of these issues, it means they’ve probably tuned out the actual message and content of your video.

For this reason, the quality of your video production is important. You want people to absorb your marketing message, and not be distracted by the technicalities of the video production process.

Yes, the audience tends to be a bit more forgiving if they’re viewing a Facebook Live, for example, but regularly publishing low-quality videos will damage your brand image.

7. Not measuring results

Launching a new corporate video is an exciting event but your work doesn’t stop the day it goes out into the world. Many companies make the mistake of thinking they can create a video and just watch the new customers roll in.

While your videos should certainly deliver results if you’ve produced them based on a sound strategy, you won’t truly be able to assess this unless you measure the results.

There’s an often-used quote in digital marketing that “What gets measured gets managed” and there is a large amount of useful data available to help determine the effectiveness of your videos in achieving the desired goal.

While the ‘vanity’ metrics like the number of views, social shares and likes are nice to have, don’t forget to look at how long people watch a video or which bits they re-watch as well as which bits they skip. This data will help you build up a clear picture of what works for your audience and what doesn’t. You can feed this knowledge through to your subsequent videos.

8. Not providing captions

Back in 2016, Facebook stats showed that 85% of videos on the platform are watched with the sound off. A survey from 2019 showed this figure could be as high as 92% when video content is viewed on a mobile.

Even though 60% of Instagram videos are viewed with the sound-on, you could potentially alienate more than a third of your audience if your video isn’t accessible without sound.

In other words, if you create corporate videos without captions, you risk losing the ‘sound off’ audience which could be catastrophic for your conversions, depending on which platform you’re using.

Make sure you always add captions for a sound-off audience and those that are hard of hearing.

9. Forgetting about SEO

It’s surprising how many businesses forget about search engine optimisation (SEO) when it comes to publishing their videos. And yet, SEO is how content is found online.

If you can give your corporate videos a properly optimised video description and keyword-rich/relevant title, this will help your video content to show up in searches.

It can also be helpful to give the search bots some text information about your video content so they know what they’re crawling.

A transcript of a video is the ideal solution when posted with a video on your website.

10. Expecting instant results

Thanks to the rise of viral videos, many companies hope that they will publish a video to an instant buzz and viral success.

In reality, even the corporate videos that seem to achieve overnight fame are actually the product of a video production strategy and, sometimes, years of tracking metrics and honing the message.

As with any content, videos take time to build up momentum. You need people to view, enjoy and share them with their network in order to open your videos to a wider audience.

If you can avoid all of the mistakes above and keep referring back to and refining your video marketing strategy, you should find that videos benefit your long-term marketing efforts even if it takes a while for them to be noticed.