DEAD ENDS
Don't go this way. There are mistakes we want you to avoid making.

We need to talk. The videos you made for us are great and we love them! But, they just aren’t working. Sincerely, your client.

These words make us feel a whole lot of pain. Especially when we see clients are feeling perplexed that something they believe in — and we believe in — is not delivering the results they wanted. So, what goes wrong in video production that a professionally made and expertly crafted video would fail to reach its intended audience?

These are just 5 missteps companies make that can sink a new video, but they all come down to the lack of one thing: Strategy.

No matter how outstanding your video is, creating video content without a marketing strategy is like trying to sell your house without telling anyone it is for sale. It all starts with the number one mistake you can make as soon as video production becomes a blip on your radar.

Fail to Strategize.

From the first moment you begin writing a marketing/branding strategy that includes video (AND IT SHOULD), important production planning begins. Writing a marketing strategy ensures that your team knows why you are using video, who it is intended to reach, and what the desired outcome will be. These are among the first questions we ask every client before we begin a production. Every second of the video should be purposeful in its message and direction. It should be worked into your social media outreach. It should be linked from the signature of every employee in your company. It should have a clear and attainable objective. From the budget for video to the analytics you’ll use to evaluate its performance, video works best when it is fully integrated into the marketing strategy from the getgo.  

Don’t Promote It.

Video is crazy popular. Getting your video noticed takes some know-how and dedication. The reasons we suggest a short run time, crisp message, and targeted audience is because this lowers the competition for attention among the people you care about watching your video. Good promotion means you put it everywhere it makes sense, talk it up, share it with everyone you know. If you have a PR team, get them in the loop so they can include it in their outreach. Use it on every social media channel you can. Work it into a blog post. Need more ideas? Help implementing? Someone to come in and take it on for you? (We have the know-how you need. Let us help.)

Bury It.

Where is your video? No, seriously. Because we can’t even find it on your web site. Front and center on your website is primo real estate. It’s where you put your most important outreach. And it’s also the place you want to keep your freshest content to encourage visitors to come back for more valuable content. Utilize a YouTube Channel for your entire video collection and feature them one (or a few) at a time on your web site. Embedding a video on a page deep in your site is a sure way to kill it. So is doing anything just once. Use it multiple places, multiple times.

Skip the CTA.

A call to action (or CTA) is a simple direction that tells a viewer what to do after they watch. Don’t let them leave your video without a clear notion of what should follow. While it is better than nothing, “Visit our Website” is the most ambiguous direction you can give, especially if your website is not set up to thoroughly engage a new visitor. If your video has a specific message, for a particular audience, then it must also have a desired, measurable response. This is your number one need to demonstrate ROI for video. Use action words like join, apply, subscribe, learn, sign up and send those viewers to a simple but stunning landing page to encourage conversions.

Don’t Optimize It.

If you aren’t using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase the amount of quality traffic to your website, you’ve are losing your biggest free opportunity. SEO can improve your ranking in search engines (such as Google, Yahoo and Bing). Your videos, whether they are shared on YouTube or posted on your website, can help drive traffic to your website. Be sure to properly title your video with keywords related to the content, take the time to properly fill out your video description (including links back to your website), and add keyword tags with industry and brand terms.

The best part about this list is that if you fully complete #1, you won’t really need to worry about numbers 2-5, because you’ll be a smart planner with all your resources rallied to for success. Need more help? Ask your video production team for tips. Or, you could just call us. We’re happy to help you plan your video content strategy.

Need more help? Just contact us. We’re happy to help you plan your video content strategy.

 

Susan is VP Marketing & Client Relations for MF&M. Previously a client of Manley Films, Susan is a writer/editor and marketer with 20+ years’ experience working with nonprofits, municipalities, economic development, startups, small businesses, political campaigns, environment, technology, higher education and the arts.

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