In case you haven’t noticed, YouTube recently made some design changes, one of which included an updated video end-screen. Before, when you finished watching a video, YouTube would feature one video with a giant thumbnail, and then a couple others with smaller thumbnails. Now, you are given a choice of 12 videos, each evenly sized, to “make it even easier for you to find the next great video to watch,” according to YouTube.
This update reminds us that the world is constantly surfing YouTube, which is likely why the company is constantly trying to improve user-browsing ability. And to be a successful inbound marketer, you must recognize the need to live where the consumers live—but do so properly.
Here are nine mistakes you may be making with your video marketing.
1. Not Making Videos
America’s Funniest Home Videos was the first time many of us realized, hey, it’s hilarious to watch people do stupid things! That same idea has been translated into the online sphere. While you don’t have to make all your videos funny, we’ve learned that people enjoy watching videos online. So create interesting videos that are relevant to your target consumers, brand message, and industry.
2. Not Saving Your Password
I know this sounds silly… but I can recall at least three occasions where I’ve heard of a company or organization who created a YouTube account predicting that videos would eventually be uploaded… but then never saved the password or username email address. There goes your YouTube name. Now when people search for you on YouTube, they’ll be led to an empty page.
3. Uploading Only One Video
If you decide to jump on the video train (which hopefully you have by now), don’t simply upload one video. The new YouTube feature allows users to see up to 12 other videos from your account, so take advantage of this free promotion. Consistently create video content, as you would blog content.
4. Posting Videos on the Wrong Account
Often, marketers find it easier to simply upload a video to their own account. Or worse—you upload one of your own videos to your work account. You think it’s easier and you can log in with one email, but really it’s simply unprofessional. It provides that personal video the opportunity to pop up as a suggestion after a company video, and you want to promote the brand, not your latest shenanigans with your pal. This will also mess with your analytics when it comes time to measuring how well your account is doing.
5. Thinking You Need Fancy Stuff
You don’t need a studio, or expensive cameras, or any of that stuff. A simple flip cam, or even iPhone, can shoot the kind of basic video you need to get your video marketing going. From there, you can slowly build your quality by purchasing some basic equipment further along the line. The only thing you need to worry about is volume—investing in a small and low-priced microphone that can plug into your camera would be highly beneficial.
6. Make Videos Too Long
People have low attention spans. The likelihood of someone watching a video that is longer than 5 minutes is rare-to-never. If, however, you are providing a how-to tutorial, people will likely be willing to watch close to 10 minutes worth for the sake of learning. But other than that, keep it short, a minute maybe two at the most.
7. Forgetting Your Target Audience
Just because your company thinks something is hilarious or solid information, does not mean the world will. Really think about who your target audience is and produce content they will enjoy. Nothing wrong with your company enjoying it too—just make sure its relevant to your prospects and leads.
8. Obsessing Over Results
I mean, have you seen the movie that Beyonce stars in? Obsession is not okay, and the same applies here. Everyone wants to see how well their newly posted video is doing five seconds after it is posted. You want to see the views skyrocket and comments appear before your eyes! But views build over time, and sitting there refreshing the page constantly to see the watch the views increase is not healthy, or an adequate use of your time. (Seriously, you can make a whole new video in that time). Track how your video is doing, but don’t let it take over your life.
9. Fogeting a Call-To-Action
Every video you upload has the potential of containing a call-to-action—but do so with caution. Throwing a million links all over your video as it plays and being all up in peoples faces with exclamation points isn't the right approach. Instead, throw your CTA in a a clear and contextual manner. At the end of the video, add in a link that recommends a webinar or eBook that would benefit the viewer. Hopefully they'll navigate on over to your site, fill out a landing page, and now, now we're in business.
What are other mistakes you’ve seen with video marketing? How do you suggest improving online video marketing efforts?
Originally published Oct 24, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016