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How to avoid 10 common business video mistakes

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | July 7, 2015
With millions of videos on the Internet, how do you make your business video stand out?

Adam Bowers, marketing communications manager, Urjanet, which provides a platform for automated big energy data, agrees. "Many business videos try too hard to have interesting visuals and end up producing a busy mess," he notes. "Most stock transitions with flying elements should never see the light of day. As with most things in business and marketing, keep it simple," he says. "Avoid busy backgrounds, superfluous movement that doesn't add to the story, and stick with simple dissolves or tasteful cross-fades to keep the viewers' attention on what really matters: the message you're trying to convey."

Mistake No. 5: Telling, not showing. "Create a winning video by making the product [or service, not the CEO,] the hero," or focus, suggests Hope Bertram, founder and director of Digital Marketing, Digital Megaphone, a social media events and digital marketing company. "Blendtec does an outstanding job of this with their 'Will It Blend?' video series. In this series, they blend items not typically blended, such as an iPhone, to prove the power of their blenders. So without even overtly saying, 'our blenders are powerful,' they get the message across."

Mistake No. 6: Making videos that are too long. "The optimal length can vary based on intended purpose of the video," says David Laubner, vice president, Marketing, ThinkingPhones, an enterprise cloud communications service. For example, "an introduction or 'explainer' video should be a maximum of 2 minutes, with a goal of getting it to 1 minute." Why? "A study from Visible Measures showed that you will lose 20 percent of your audience after 10 seconds and more than half at 60 seconds."

And while some video marketers say it's okay to make videos that are five minutes or longer, most agree that shorter is better.

"Do not make a business video that is over two or three minutes [or] you will lose most of your audience," says Kevin O'Keefe, creative director, SmartFile, a secure business file sharing company. "People will either not watch it [or] skip ahead and miss content. Unless your video consists of Michael Bay special effects with a classic voiceover talent and a free t-shirt offering, your video needs to be short and to the point," he states. "If [it isn't], break it into separate videos. It's more content for marketing that way."

Mistake No. 7: Making the video a sales pitch. "This is a pretty common one," says Tyler Lessard, CMO, Vidyard, a video marketing company. Instead of selling, "your video should entertain and inform your audience and leave them wanting more. A good video will help move a buyer along the customer journey. It doesn't have to close the deal."


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