5 pitfalls to avoid in video campaigns

You’ve marshaled your determination. You’ve organized a budget. You’ve done your research. Now, you’re ready to start adding videos to your business plan. And you’ve found a production company that promises to give you exactly what you want.

Which can be a problem.

Some video companies don’t like the idea of giving pushback to clients. Who wants to tell someone they’re wrong about something, especially if that someone is paying your rent for the next three months? While Hencar will give you honest assessments of what you’re looking for and offer plenty of alternatives, you can’t always count on another company to be so honest. Forewarned is forearmed. So here are some things you need to consider in your video campaign which the production company might, or might not, red-flag for you.

1) TMI:. This can be a video killer. While you want your viewers to come away informed and engaged, you don’t want them to come away with burning chasms where their brains used to be. Many, if not most, of us have been forced to sit through painful presentations which were just…toooooo….muuucch. Maybe it was in a business setting, maybe it was in a classroom, definitely it was counterproductive. The average brain can only absorb and process so much information at one time. And the information has to be presented in an engaging way. Repeat the core message periodically to emphasize the point, not to fill time because you paid for a 20 minute video but had only 7 minutes of worthwhile information to convey to the viewer. This brings us to:

Is it over? Please tell us the video is finally over

Is it over? Please tell us the video is finally over

2) The video is too long: If you really have oodles of good, need-to-know information, consider having several shorter videos rather than one long video. Organize the content logically so that each video builds and elaborates on the preceding one without being too repetitious. Aside from making it easier for the viewers to digest the information, it looks better to have three or four videos on your YouTube and Vimeo channels, and your website, rather than just one long one. And don’t forget, people will be checking out the videos to see how long they are before hitting play. If your video is too long, they may hit the back button to return to their search results and find someone else to give them what they need.

3) Not keeping an active video release schedule: Unless you’re offering up a web TV series, your followers and clients probably aren’t waiting with baited breath for the next video release to appear at exactly 12:34 AM on the third Wednesday of every month (unless that happens to be Leonard Nimoy’s birthday, which is a moveable feast day in some circles, meaning the release is pushed to the following Friday). But they might expect regular video releases, say every month or every two weeks if you’re really prolific. The trick is to keep the content coming at a steady clip, instead of dumping a ton of content onto your site and your channels at one time. Regular pacing makes your site look active. Of course if you have time-sensitive material, you want to get it out on an appropriate date. But schedule everything else so that the releases are evenly paced. That conveys organization and reliability to potential customers. Don’t forget to coordinate the video release with social media posts to let people know there’s new material on your site. Your posts don’t have to be day-of, but can come a couple of days later. You can stagger the posts across various social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn so that you have a steady stream of views rather than an en masse stampede.

"Am I supposed to know what flux capacitor means? I don't know what it means! Wait! Stop the video..."

“Am I supposed to know what flux capacitor means? I don’t know what it means! Wait! Stop the video…”

4) Being too “insider” with the message: OK, by now everyone knows what Rachel Ray is talking about when she says EVOO. She even has other chefs doing it. But really, the first time you heard the term, did you have any idea what it was? Or did it sound more like a variation on Old MacDonald’s “ee-ai-ee-ai-oh”? If your intended audience is strictly within the industry, then specialized jargon is fine. But if there’s a possibility that potential customers or collaborators might watch your video, then make sure everything is understandable. So say “extra virgin olive oil” instead of turning it into an acronym. Remember, relevance is a crucial aspect in any video, and you need to be relevant to as broad an audience as possible to get the type of engagement you want.

5) Being too timid: We understand that if you’re in a conservative industry, like finance, you don’t want to be too sideshow (remember the “Free Money” guy?) But there’s an important factor in creating an effective video, and that is differentiation. If your video looks the same as someone else’s, you’re either not doing your research or you haven’t hit on a way to make yourself unique. And your video is your calling card to the world. If it says: “Boring Follow-the-Leader, 531 Hack Way, Blend-in City Idaho, website www.obviousdomainname.com” it will be tossed aside. You’re paying good money for a video that should make you stand out. If it doesn’t, do you think other people will hand their good money over to you? Look at what the competition is doing, figure out why (or if) their video campaigns are hooking viewers, then find a way to set yourself apart. This is why pre-production consultation is so important. Through concept development and storyboarding, you can see where your video shines and where it needs to be polished before the first frame is even shot.

Your first steps into the world of video production should be a source of excitement and anticipation, not second-guessing and doubt. Perhaps the biggest pitfall you might face is not speaking up enough. Remember to ask questions. And then ask some more questions. While we at Hencar hope that people trust our expertise in content generation, we absolutely don’t want anyone walking away less than satisfied with the end product. So we encourage questions, and do our best to explain our reasoning if there seems to be a disconnect with the client’s expectations. Any other reputable video production company will feel the same way. Handled properly, investing in a video campaign can produce great returns.