7 Do’s and Don’ts of Video Content for Marketing (With Examples!)

Video content has been steadily conquering marketers’ and audiences’ hearts for years now. Truth is, there’s hardly a better medium to portray products and services while also connecting emotionally with the audience – and sales reflect that!

However, a lot of marketers jump blindly into the video marketing bandwagon. And while plenty find success from the get-go, plenty others end up committing a lot of time and resources on approaches that turn out to be less than stellar or even efficient.

The good news is that you won’t be one of them!

In this piece, we’ve put together some of the most useful tips and practices that anyone who’s diving into the world of video marketing should know – alongside some serious mistakes they should avoid!


1. Do Keep Your Videos Short.

Not even your strongest lead will sit through a long video about your products and services – their attention span can’t endure that much! So, your video content should be short, or at least as short as possible.

We find the ideal length for explainer videos sits around 90 seconds, but it can extend to 3 to 5 minutes for educational content. So, there is some leeway depending on the type of video you go for.

That said, the type of video isn’t as crucial in terms of length as it is the distribution strategy you have planned for it.

Viewers that stumble across your video on social media don’t have the same watching behavior as those who search for your video on the web. The former viewers are usually less willing to spend much time learning about your company, so try to keep your social videos near 30 seconds.

Don’t worry: a short video doesn’t necessarily translate into an incomplete message. Most video experts can boil down long, complex topics without compromising any vital point.

Take the following video as an example. We managed to fit Gravity Forms’ key value proposition in just a 30-second piece. A short video like this can work wonders for raising brand awareness as a social media ad. However, we also did a longer and more comprehensive video better-suited to further prospects down the sales funnel.

Video marketing guide for 2020

2. Don’t Adopt a ‘Salesy’ Tone

When it comes to watching video content, people are pretty selfish viewers. We don’t care about stories that we can’t link to our lives in one way or another.

By the same token, we aren’t interested in a video solely focused on selling your product or service. So, a salesy piece that only mentions your offerings’ qualities and bombards the audience with “Buy Now” CTAs is likely to attract few viewers… and convert even fewer.

Fortunately, you can turn that situation around if you convey your value proposition from the customer’s perspective. Instead of telling the viewer what your product or service does, you should explain how it can solve their pain points. This way, the video would put the customer in the spotlight, making people interested in watching it while still mentioning your offering’s features and benefits.

3. Do Use a Relatable Story

We’ve just mentioned your video should focus on your customers’ pain points and how your product or service deals with them. No, we weren’t talking about giving a list of your offerings’ benefits – we were referring to a good story that the client can identify with.

Storytelling is vital in video marketing since it helps to make a topic more entertaining, understandable, and, above all, relatable. Relatability can have a massive impact on your video content strategy, as the more the viewer can see themselves in the story, the more likely they will see your brand as a viable solution to their problem.

Moreover, an interesting and relatable story can spark an emotional response in the viewer – and I can’t stress enough how significant that is! If the viewer can connect with your story emotionally, they’ll get closer to your company and hold it in higher regard. In other words, they’ll become more loyal to your brand. Let’s check out an example of how that works.

This video we made for Shift focuses entirely on the story of a military veteran using their service. The whole video transmits a sense of empathy bound to strike a chord with former military people struggling to find a good job. They can immerse themselves in the story and identify with the character, seeing Shift as a valuable help.

Find more marketing video examples like this in our portfolio.

4. Don’t Neglect Mobile Users

People watch video content on their mobile phones even when they are at home! Not thinking about these devices and the user experience they entail is a big mistake.

If your video is uncomfortable or simply impossible to watch on mobile, then you are likely to lose multiple viewers that may have engaged with it otherwise.

In this context, you should always create marketing video content that can be effortlessly enjoyed on a smartphone screen – namely, videos with a portrait, vertical, or square aspect ratio.

By the same token, remember that many mobile users will consume your video on the go. So, they are unlikely to watch it with a loud volume and disturb everyone around them – unless, of course, they are quite inconsiderate.

An excellent solution is to make your video understandable on mute, whether by using captions, self-explanatory visuals, or text overlays. This way, viewers don’t need to turn the volume on to understand your video!

5. Do Brand Your Video Content Effectively

All your corporate videos should say something about your brand, even those that aren’t about your company per se! Any piece of content you share should reflect your brand’s unique style, making it recognizable and memorable for viewers.

So, when creating a marketing video, remember to include all the elements that set your brand apart: its logo, color palette, typography, and, above all, its attitude!

Your video’s tone should fit with the way you want people to perceive your brand. Whether you want your brand to come across as fresh, innovative, professional, or whatever, your video content should scream that.

Check out this video we created for Trim & Proper, for example. The company presents itself as trendy and young while flaunting its unique color scheme and logo throughout the whole piece. Cool, isn’t it?

6. Don’t Waste the First Seconds

Online, people have little patience. When they find an uninteresting video, they give it up straight away. In fact, most people will quit your video after just 10 seconds of watching!

Yep, you read that correctly: 10 seconds! That’s all you have to catch the audience’s attention and keep them glued to their screens.

In this context, the introduction can make-or-break your video’s performance, so you need to start your video in the best possible way.

One great way to go about it is to hint about what the audience will gain with your video. Remember what we said before: people are selfish viewers – they will stay watching your video if they know there’s something in it for them.

You may have seen many YouTubers implementing this strategy and telling viewers the purpose of the video at the very beginning. But that’s not the only way to carry out this tip! A fantastic alternative is to begin by mentioning your audience’s pain-point. If the viewer is enduring that problem, they’ll instantly relate to the video and realize you are about to point out a solution.

See this tip put into practice in this explainer we did for Safe Hands. Within the first 10 seconds, it conveys the audience’s pain-point and introduces the product without beating around the bush. As a result, the viewer is likely to continue watching!

7. Do Measure Your Video’s Performance!

There’s a good reason why this subheading has an exclamation mark! It’s because this tip allows you to improve your videos in the long run and prevents you from wasting time and money on strategies that don’t work for you.

Analyzing the metrics of your videos will help you realize what your audience prefers, honing your strategy according to those results.

So, whether you post an organic video or an ad, always remember to check how it went. Looking at the number of views and the online engagement rate will give you a general idea of your video’s performance. However, if you want to see where it went wrong, you’ll need to look at the following metrics:

  • Average View Duration/ Average Video Watch Time. It informs you how long viewers stayed watching your video. This data helps you realize if your content is too long or lacks a powerful hook.
  • Click-Through Rate. It tells you how many clicked on your video after noticing it. With this information, you’ll know whether your video thumbnails and titles are compelling enough.
  • Shares. People sharing your video often indicate that your video provokes strong reactions, whether positive or negative.
  • Audience. Some platforms like YouTube and Facebook gather data about your viewers’ age, gender, and location, allowing you to check if your video content suits your target audience.

Parting Words

Video marketing is proving to be more effective every day, and it’s not hard to see why: people’s attention spans (and patience) are getting shorter by the hour, so they need short, compelling content that can grab their interest.

The thing is, not every video can do that – some pieces are made without having the viewer in mind. They have a self-centered approach or are long, unoriginal, or uncomfortable to watch on mobile.

On the other hand, successful videos are built according to what’s best for the audience. This way, they can resonate with targets and pique their interest while ensuring a comfortable viewing experience.

Hopefully, the do’s and don’ts you’ve learned today will guide you through the right path and help you create a video that can win your audience’s hearts.

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