Mistakes to Avoid When Producing Your First Video

When a company produces their first corporate video, they are understandably nervous about the investment of time and money and the benefits it will bring. To maximize the value not just for branding purposes but to generate leads and increase sales, you must avoid making some common mistakes that can doom your video to the dustbin of wasted marketing dollars. Here are a few key mistakes:

  • Saving the Key Message For Last: Many viewers won’t even be watching by the time your video ends, especially if it’s more than 1-2 minutes in length, so you want to hook your viewers immediately. Present a strong question addressing a customer need, then give an answer. For instance, “Looking for a great way to boost brand awareness and increase sales? Videos provide the best return on investment according to marketers worldwide.” Start the video by telling viewers what they are going to see, then show them the details.
  • Cramming Everything Into One Video: Along with the first point, viewer engagement decreases massively the longer the video runs. Wistia, a company specializing in video analytics, found that when a video runs 1-2 minutes, about 4.9% of people stop playing the video within the first 2% of the run time. But when the video runs 5-10 minutes, a whopping 17.3% of viewers don’t even make it past the first 2%. They notice the length of the video and immediately decide they aren’t interested in watching something lengthy. Keep your first video short and to the point. TubeMogul found that half of visitors will stop watching a video after one minute.
  • Heavily Scripted Statements Without Professionals: The biggest mistake I see frequently is having footage with the company founder or CEO reading a prepared statement or delivering a stilted, stiff message about the company’s core values and ideals. Professional actors are great at memorizing and internalizing dialogue and making it seem completely natural, but most people aren’t trained to deliver scripted dialogue in such a fashion. If you’re going to have a CEO or other key executives speak, keep the dialogue natural by gathering it in an interview fashion. Ask the person questions and have them answer like it’s a conversation over dinner, rather than a public presentation. “What made you decide to start your company?” “What are some of the strengths of your company over the competition?” People are excited to speak about their passions, about what they’re good at doing, and about their work in general (hopefully!), so harness their energy by asking the right questions. Avoid stilted, heavily scripted statements.
  • Poor Audio or Video Quality: By skimping on the production budget or choosing the cheapest option available, many companies greatly damage their message and branding. Quality footage and clean, crisp audio should be a given in today’s era of readily available, affordable production equipment. Brightcove, a marketing company, found that 62% of consumers had a negative image of a brand that had poor quality videos and 23% would hesitate to purchase anything from the brand. Don’t make the mistake of trying to “save” money in the present and costing your company future sales.
  • Not Preparing Properly: Many clients expect that once they have found a great video production company, their job is pretty much done. No matter how great the company, though, they are relying on your teamwork and input to refine the messaging of the video, the key points you want to make for your business, and your company’s feeling and culture. A great video is always a perfect collaboration between the client and the production company, which is based on proper planning and preparation. Most videos are shot at a company’s office or place of business, so make sure that your location looks its best, that employees are ready to help on the day of production, and that any interview subjects are prepared and know what they want to say in a general sense.