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4 Reasons Video Content Fails

Updated: Mar 2, 2021

You invested in video marketing, but the clicks just aren’t there. Shakes fist and shouts at the heavens, “Where’s my R.O.I!!???”

I feel your frustration. Everyone told you to put your dollars into video content, and that’s what you did.

So what gives?

It’s true the hunger for video is at an all-time high. People are consuming more video content now than ever before. And, video content is typically cited by consumers as their favorite medium for advertisements. Here are a few fun stats to drive this home:

  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.

  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.

  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.

  • 87% of online marketers use video content.

So yes, it’s difficult to imagine video content failing to get you a return, but it happens more often than you might think. There are 4 key reasons why video content fails to deliver.

1. Story One of the first questions we ask anyone interested in video production is, “Do you know what you want to say?”

Video should be a top priority for your business or organization. It should be discussed in all marketing meetings and should take up a good chunk of your advertising budget for the year. But, do not make the mistake of investing in professional grade video content or a video production of any kind until you have dialed in your messaging, core values, and mission. In other words, you need to crush your branding first, so that we can tell a damn good story about your business through video.

A company or business that jumps into video marketing without a clear brand direction, voice, and mission is akin to buying a $30,000 speedboat, and then paddling out with an oar. You’re not getting great mileage out of your investment.

So make sure you know who you are, and what you want your audience to feel about you first. Then, your message will be more creative and more powerful when told through video.

2. Quality I will never argue with organic video. You can, and should shoot organic video as a part of your marketing approach. The conversation about whether to go organic, stock, or opt for video production should center on purpose.

What’s the purpose for the video content? Once you understand the purpose, you can discuss quality.

Because, yes, you can and should shoot organic video as a part of your marketing approach. Yes, you can use stock video on occasion. There are times when these options fit the purpose. But, there are also times when a higher level of professionalism and quality matters more than going organic.

If the video is meant to be a brand builder, philosophy explainer, or anchor for your company. If it’s intended to drive more users to your website. If you’re launching a new product. If it’s going to air on TV or OTT as commercial advertising. If you want to drive donations or fundraising. You need to think about professionalism, you need to think about quality.

3. Optimization Optimization is a fancy word that basically means -- did you make the best or most effective use of “insert word here”? In our case, it’s video content. So, after investing in video, did you make the best or most effective use of it? Did you optimize it?

Is it placed on your website where people can see it and find it easily? Or, did you place it on your YouTube channel amongst a sea of old outdated, poorly shot videos that are voiced by a long-since-retired CEO and still branded with your old designs and logo from 10 years ago?Are the aspect ratios right for the platform? Is your website so slow that the video buffers for way too long? Did you add captions to the video and make it more enticing for social media users? Optimization matters, and it’s a common reason why companies spend a lot of money on a video production, and then feel they didn’t get a return for their investment.

4. Strategy If you're going to invest in video, it should be a compliment to a larger goal or strategy. This could be any number of things. We want to raise awareness, we're looking to grow our audience, we want a showcase for our homepage, increase sales, improve customer journey, explain our process, drive traffic, build up our brand, loyalty, authenticity... the list is endless.

Strategy also matters with regard to the creative concept, storyline, and how you shoot video. If you’re interested in something more long form, it’s probably better housed on your Youtube channel, website or OTT. That's not a hard and fast rule of course, every situation is unique and should center on the purpose (there's that word again).

Strategy also determines how you will measure success. At the beginning of this article, I referred to clicks. Clicks might not be your measure of success though. How will you define that with regard to your video marketing, and how will you go about making sure the video content hits the mark?

Don’t Assume Video Doesn’t Work When something fails, people are going to want to draw a lot of quick conclusions. Don’t assume video doesn’t work for your business or brand as a marketing tool simply because it didn’t go well the first time around.

Video storytelling and video production are powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. You just have to know how to use it!

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