The internet runs on content.
And most of that content comes in the form of useful advice. No matter what you are looking to accomplish, there are multiple voices trying to tell you how to do it. The video marketing space is no exception – it’s full of would-be gurus and experts that have just the ticket to a video campaign that will move your business forward.
Unfortunately, not all advice is good advice. Some video marketing tips and tricks are actually terrible ideas – and, some can actually be downright harmful to your brand.
Sorting the diamonds from the rough can be difficult, especially if you haven’t been around the video marketing block a time or two. Luckily for you, we have.
We’ve not only read, watched, and listened to most of the content out there on this topic, but we’ve practiced what they preach by helping some pretty awesome companies tell their story through video marketing. Let us use that knowledge and experience to help you avoid the three most common “tips” for video that could hurt your company’s image and engagement.
Ready? Here we go.
Bad Tip #1: Repurposing Content (for the sake of Repurposing)
Scroll through a few marketing articles, and at least one will suggest repurposing content. In and of itself, not a bad tip – we repurpose content all the time around here!
But some of these posts essentially ask you to cut corners by suggesting you make quick, low-quality videos out of other pieces of content. Some even go so far as to suggest making slides with the same information as a blog post and throwing it up on YouTube.
One problem with this advice: video is incredibly unforgiving as a medium. A video that feels like a cheap afterthought will be treated as such by your viewers – and honestly, no video is much better than bad video. If you’re not going to commit to quality, don’t bother!
Another problem with this is that not every piece of content needs to be a video. If your topic lends itself to supporting visuals, then maybe maybe a video is the way to go. For example, if you’ve got a blog post profiling a member of your staff, you could absolutely turn that blog post into a recorded interview. Otherwise, you may be able to repurpose your content in more effective ways.
Repurposing is a great way to get more out of your content. If you have popular content in one form, logic dictates that it would serve you well in other forms (most of which are ok if done well). But a good blog post turned into a poorly-done video does not a video marketing campaign make.
Bad Tip #2 Do What’s Working – for Others
Have you ever scrolled through Netflix and thought that an A-list Hollywood movie was available for streaming way earlier than you thought it would be? With anxious excitement, you scroll over the image… only to find out that it’s just a knock off with a similar title and the exact same premise.
It’s frustrating. Why? Because no one likes a copycat.
Nevertheless, advice exists compelling businesses to try and create a viral video campaign (as if it’s a power that can be harnessed) in the wake of other brands’ success. Sure, there are companies who come up with genuinely hilarious videos that work. Old Spice, Dollar Shave Club and a few others have managed to do something great that others have attempted to copy: Going viral through humor.
But with so many companies trying to break into this “hip” trend, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get the desired response. And while you could try and create a fictional mascot to be loved by all (like the Dos Equis guy), but instead come out with a terrifying puppy monkey baby.
If a viral video fits your goals, then by all means go for it. But taking a shot at being liked (or hated) is an obvious risk, and may not even make sense for your brand. Please don’t be a copycat, especially when you have something that works – your story.
Bad Tip #3: Take Care of Video Marketing “In-House”
High quality video cameras, lighting, and sound are becoming very cost effective. There are some great benefits to having this type of equipment (if set up correctly), and so many ways you can use it to make awesome in-house video content.
- Staff Training: Recording key meetings and training videos
- Content Creation: Regular updates for existing customers, live Q&A’s
- BTS: Shooting “just because”, candid around-the-office stuff
With all of the uses for an “in-house” video crew, some are suggesting creating all your marketing videos in the office.
But if you’re a sizeable brand or a B2B SaaS company, this may not be a good idea for you. Landing clients may be difficult if your video isn’t carefully crafted. Things like subpar editing, lighting and sound can have a huge effect on conversions (at best) and possibly even tarnish your image. Like I said, video is very unforgiving.
If you want your brand taken seriously, you have to take your video marketing to the next level. While vlog posts, internal pieces, and Instagram videos are great for your in-house capabilities – your homepage video or YouTube series needs a bit more TLC. So be sure to choose the right video marketing partner for you!
Most of these video errors boil down to a misunderstanding of what video is for. It’s not a silver bullet – it’s a megaphone, designed to amplify your brand message. And just like an megaphone, there are times when it’s appropriate and powerful… but there are also times when it’s ineffective and in poor taste.
So when you’ve got that video megaphone in your hand – make sure you’re using it right.