In 2023, 91% of companies plan to utilize some form of video marketing. This is a dramatic uptick since 2016, when only 61% of businesses used video to connect with customers. Video content has become increasingly easy to invest in over the years. It used to require complex camera equipment and video editing software, but companies can now create quality videos with their smartphones.
Despite the popularity of video (nearly 92% of web users watch online videos each week), it’s possible to make mistakes that put off customers and prevent your content from getting noticed. Even the best-made videos can get ignored if they don’t meet customers where they are. Here are seven video mistakes to avoid in 2023 if you want to maximize your ROI.
1. Forgetting Subtitles
One simple trick to increase the number of views on your video content is to add subtitles. Make sure you include accurate and easy-to-read captioning on all of your videos — whether you are creating a YouTube video or a short for social media.
Captions will help viewers who are hard of hearing. This is an easy accessibility function for your customers who are deaf or who cannot hear clearly. About 15% of adults in the United States (37.5 Americans) have some trouble hearing, and that’s no small segment of your audience.
However, captions and subtitles can also improve the viewing experience of your general audience. Surprisingly, 75% of people watch videos on mute (which jumps up to 85% of millennials). People will watch videos without sound when they are in the office, in the bathroom, settling down to go to bed, and even while they are watching TV.
A video without subtitles will quickly get passed over if someone tries to watch it quietly. Plus, subtitles can also serve as a hook — they let people know what you are talking about and can encourage viewers to unmute the content.
Check to see if there are automatic subtitle options for your video tools or add them yourself. Even if there are automatic features, double-check that the captions are accurate and improve the viewer experience.
2. Filming Video Horizontally
A decade ago, web users constantly criticized people who filmed video content vertically on their phones. Most video platforms (like YouTube and Facebook) were made for horizontal video, so people would turn their phones to watch content. Video footage that was filmed vertically was challenging to watch.
Then Snapchat debuted in 2011. It introduced 10-second video clips that people filmed vertically. Then TikTok became a social media powerhouse where viewers watched vertical videos posted by content creators. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Shorts, and Twitter all followed suit, and now vertical video content is all over the web.
Approximately 57% of smartphone videos are shot vertically, while 94% of users hold their phones vertically in their hands. It’s more natural now to watch a video that was intended for vertical viewing instead of turning your phone horizontally to watch footage.
Keep this trend in mind as you develop video content. This doesn’t mean your long-form how-to video for YouTube needs to be short vertically, and neither does your professional webinar. Instead, you might develop a mix of horizontal and vertical videos which are intended for different channels. This means you are being mindful of where and why you are creating content — which will drive better results.
3. Neglecting Lighting
First impressions are particularly important with video content. If your video looks low-quality and poorly made, viewers will likely skip past it. Investing in lighting solutions is worth your time so you (and your video) look as professional as possible.
You don’t need a ton of pricey lighting equipment to film video content. Throughout the pandemic, countless people attended job interviews and led sales meetings with the help of a simple ring light. While these can be harsh to look into, they are easy to set up and allow you to film videos by yourself.
If you have the resources and want to invest heavily in video, look into some additional lighting solutions. You can turn a windowless office into a video studio because you won’t have to worry about the sun and clouds creating shadows. Some companies even develop a permanent video setup which saves time because they don’t need to put up and take down their equipment each time they film a video.
Also, don’t neglect extra lighting if you are filming outside or in an area with a lot of natural light. It might seem bright, but an unexpected shadow could reduce your professional appearance. Plus, no one wants to watch a video where the host squints into the sun the whole time.
4. Using a Shakey Camera or Hand-Held Device
While you are establishing your video setup or in-house studio, look into a tripod to hold your camera or smartphone that you are using. There are multiple tripod options that can hold smartphones and allow you to film horizontally or vertically. These can be placed on desks or on the ground with the camera still at eye level.
A common video mistake is asking someone to hold the camera while filming. While smartphone technology has advanced over the years to account for shaky hands, it’s still apparent when a person is holding the device. This can distract the viewer and make your content look less professional. Also, even if you are filming a good take, the person holding the camera could shake or drop it, causing you to have to redo the whole thing.
Tripods can help you save time on filming while enhancing your video quality. Once you clip in your camera or smartphone, it’s not going anywhere.
5. Assuming Viewers Will Watch Until the End
Written content is meant to be scannable, which is why blog posts have subheads, graphics, and a call to action at the end. However, most readers still don’t read every article word-for-word. The same can be said for your video content. If you can keep people around through 50% of your content, then you have a relatively high retention rate. The vast majority of people will bounce from your video content before they watch 70-80%.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to shorten your videos. You might have a similar jump rate from one video to the next, regardless of length. Instead, you need to be aware of the user experience and cater to how people watch videos.
Ensure you put the most important information at the front of the video. What is the main takeaway the audience needs to know? While all of your video content should be important, you can build a hierarchy of information as you write your scripts.
Also, don’t wait until the end to include your call to action. Test out building CTAs into your introductions (when most people are watching) and potentially into the halfway points. Try to make these calls to action natural and use them to segue into the rest of your content.
Every brand is different. Check your own average video duration and see which videos people watch all the way through. You don’t need perfect viewership metrics but should constantly strive to improve your key performance indicators (KPIs) from where you are now.
6. Fearing Live Video
Your videos don’t need to be highly scripted and edited. In fact, you can save time and publish content faster by creating live videos. More platforms than ever (Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube included) allow live video options. Viewers can tune in, react immediately, and like or comment on the post. This is often a preferred way to engage with videos. One survey found that 82% of social media users would rather watch a live video than look at a brand’s posts.
Live video can also be highly engaging. If a viewer has a question, they can ask it in the comments. The host can thank the viewer personally, read the question to the general audience, and then answer it. The content can become more conversational, and viewers can dictate what the video covers.
There are certainly drawbacks to live video. Your host will have to think on their feet and answer questions in a non-scripted manner. You will also have to deal with trolls who might leave rude or unsavory comments. However, you can reduce your risk by working with a partner when you go live. Make sure one member of the marketing team is reviewing comments and let them alert the host if there is a valuable question to answer.
7. Getting Burned Out
There’s no doubt that video content is a fun and exciting way to engage with your audiences, but it can also be a waste of time and money if you aren’t careful. Too often, businesses invest in expensive video equipment, spend days creating content, and then let their channels go dark when they need to work on other projects. An account will switch from publishing videos daily to barely publishing once a month.
Look at your content calendar and consider what you can realistically commit to based on your time, budget, and editing needs. It might be better to publish new content once a week instead of engaging in a constant start-stop cycle.
There are multiple ways to keep up with a regular content schedule. Some teams dedicate an entire afternoon or day to filming a month’s worth of content. They can then schedule the videos even when they are busy with other tasks. Other companies set aside time each week for video marketing. They will go live with viewers and then break down the long-form video into smaller clips.
Maintaining a regular publishing schedule is essential for maintaining high viewership levels and engaging your audience. You might not drive the desired results if you haphazardly share video content whenever you have extra time.
Elevate Your Video Content With J&L Marketing
You don’t need a large budget and a library with hundreds of videos to effectively run a video marketing campaign effectively. Instead, you can make an impact with a well-planned strategy to engage your audiences. Don’t work harder. Work smarter. This will stretch your budget and drive better results in your videos.
If you need help with your video content and marketing plans, contact our experts. We know that 60% of local auto shoppers will visit a dealership after watching a video, and we want to help you drive customers to your showroom. Let us help you create and promote your video content to turn viewers into buyers.