As much as we want to believe we know how to make an exceptional marketing video, there are many things video-makers do that take away from their projects. Most of these can be easily avoided, so check out the following reasons why many business videos aren’t up to par — and avoid these mistakes to improve the quality of your production:
- It’s too long. A common and easy mistake is having your video turn out too long. We want to give our viewers all the information we can, but there is a point where that amount of information begins to bore viewers instead of intrigue them. Expect the best response from your viewers when you keep your videos under two minutes. It’s been proven that you only have about 10 seconds to get the attention of your audience and that after a minute has passed, 45 percent of people leave. So keep it short and to the point.
- There are too many features and not enough benefits. As awesome as your product’s features may be, customers really just want to know what’s in it for them. Talking solely about features throughout your video can do more harm than good. So instead, use that time to show how these features will make the customer’s life better or easier. The ShamWow commercial doesn’t go on about how absorbent the towel is. Instead, it shows how that feature helps the customer. The man shows that customers can use the towel to dry their clothes, clean stains and pick up anything wet. This method shows the customer the product’s feature without directly saying it.
- There’s too much story. You’ve created the product and know everything about it, so obviously you’re going to want to let your customers in on all of it. However, this can easily backfire. Give your customers a taste of your product; if you show the customer everything, what would be the point in them getting the product themselves? Showing your viewers everything can be too much. Think of your video as a trailer; you want to persuade viewers to see the whole film, not just give it away.
- The script is boring. In order to have a great video, you need an interesting story to tell. Without it, your viewers are way more likely to get bored and drop out. Like your English teacher told you, a great story requires a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning of your video should incorporate the problems that your product will solve — common things customers may deal with. The middle of the video should show the audience the solution to these problems. The end should tell your viewers how you use your product to solve the problem and how they can get it. Using this sequence in telling the story maintains the interest of your audience and keeps them engaged.
- There’s too much voiceover. Voiceover’s purpose is to complement your video’s animation. However, sometimes too much is done on the voiceover and it ends up harming the animation on screen. In a one-minute video, you can usually get about 140 words in. Even though that may not seem like enough to get your points across, expert copywriters can easily help you tell your story in that amount of space.
- The voiceover is badly recorded. Something that’s often overlooked is using quality microphones for professional voiceover. It actually makes a big difference in the outcome of your video’s overall quality. Using a more enthusiastic voice, doing several takes and making sure to pronounce your words clearly and correctly are just a few things that can go a long way when it comes to the nature of your video.
- The music wasn’t paid for. Unfortunately, if you don’t pay for the rights to use the tracks you’ve incorporated, it leads to trouble. YouTube now mutes your audio when you add music you don’t have the rights to. This can ruin your entire project, especially as audio is usually needed to understand a video. Try buying songs online for your productions; there’s all different royalty music that you can use to enhance your video.
- The characters or animations are badly drawn. Using characters in your video can be helpful in telling the story, but having badly detailed illustrations can dampen everything. Using expert illustrators is important in maintaining good quality. No one likes to see poor animation or faces not drawn properly. Skilled drawers are your best option.
- There isn’t enough movement. While voiceover can sometimes be too much, animation can often be not enough. Having movement on the screen is essential, and having enough movement is what keeps your audience engaged. No viewer wants to sit through a video with mostly narration with barely anything happening on screen. People want to watch your video, so give them something worth watching.
- There’s no CTA (call to action). You can’t leave out a call to action in the closing statement of your video and expect to get a lot of sales. You want to leave off on a note that will have customers waiting to see more. Give them access to your web page or phone number so they have a way to contact you, and make sure to remind them why your product or service is for them.
A version of this article originally appeared on the author’s blog.