Six video mistakes – and how to avoid them
Nobody wants video mistakes ruining their brand-new content – especially considering how valuable a video can be when done well. Unfortunately, too many company videos are produced very badly and end up repelling, rather than attracting, viewers. Video is a cool medium but you can’t just sit your CEO down with a script to read and hit play on your uncle’s camcorder. Believe it or not, quite a lot of hard work goes into making a corporate video sound good, look great and help you achieve your business objectives.
As a corporate video production company, TopLine is often asked what the biggest video mistakes are that businesses make time and time again. Here are six of the worst we can think of - with accompanying examples that will leave your jaw on the floor. (Please note, no TopLine employees were involved in the making of these horror movies. If you need some positive refreshment after reading this post, check out our mad skills on our video company page).
1. There’s no clear target audienceYou can’t aim your corporate video at everyone – this one does try but as you can see, it’s a dull fail at best. The thing is, first-time home-owners are a very different kettle of fish to retired pensioners. Students are not the same as teachers. Parents of teenagers have very little in common with actual teenagers.
Before you commission a corporate video, make sure you know who you’re targeting. WHO is the very first question you have to ask – this will help define what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Your target audience will, dictate the style, content and message of your video.
2. The objective has gone A.W.O.LWhy people why?
There’s no need to have an existential crisis but your corporate video does need a purpose. Why are you commissioning the video? What do you want it to achieve and what are its key messages? All too often, someone somewhere will want to include everything that ever happened in the history of your company from year dot. This is known in the industry as OMG TMI. Or, nobody has a cooking clue and hopes no one will notice if they use some silly animation.
You need one clear message to communicate your overarching objective.
3. It’s a never-ending storyOne of the most common video mistakes is making something last too long. Our attention spans are getting shorter – and the length of videos is decreasing to fit this trend. Except for this one, sheesh. Generally, the 90-second mark is the sweet spot.
As soon as your video starts to drone and drag, viewers will leave and move on to something better. It’s a fickle world so make sure you work with a production team that can help you cut out all the unnecessary fluff and keep your message on target.
4. The script sounds too scriptedA boring or badly-delivered narrative, can reduce your message to nothing – or have the opposite effect you were aiming for. Watch this quite amazingly shocking video; the reaction you have is most certainly not what was originally intended but the script is just that bad!
Your video’s script needs to be effective and authentic. If your video sounds fake, it will rub off on your company. Don’t put your CEO in the video if they aren’t great on camera. You might think that they’ll add to your video’s authenticity but if they can’t ‘act’, think again and rather choose a good quality voice artist for the narration.
5. The video isn’t mobile friendlyTake an average video and more often than not, over half its views will be from mobile devices. In other words, if your video isn’t easily accessible on a mobile device, you might as well just say goodbye to half the people you could entice, persuade or inspire with your message. Plus have you considered subtitles for all the people watching with the sound turned off i.e. most people on Facebook…
Also, strategic distribution of your video content is as important as creating something of quality. How you start is crucial but don’t forget to consider the end-point and make sure it’s user-friendly.
6. Poor production qualityOne of the biggest, most unforgivable video mistakes you can make is cutting corners on production quality. Most viewers don’t notice when a video is made well, but everyone will notice if it’s poorly produced. Like this very lazy piece of who knows what. Without proper investment in the production you’ll end up with ugly compositions, bad lighting, poor colour grading, dodgy graphics and an out-of-focus picture. You may have saved some pennies but you’ll have to reshoot your video which will ultimately cost more.
If you want to avoid making unforgiveable video mistakes, give Jamie, our head of production, a shout. No disrespect to your uncle or anything.