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5 Mistakes Companies Make When Choosing Video As a Marketing Tool

We are totally biased, but we believe video marketing can be an effective tool for any company and, if used correctly, can communicate any message across most channels we use today. If used correctly. Yes, we know we repeated ourselves. That is right. Video marketing can also totally miss the mark. Some videos can confuse rather than clarify; they can frustrate rather than empower, and they can pour money spent on a sales funnel straight down the drain. Here's how video can go so, so wrong.

1. Forgetting your why.

Yeah, yeah, Simon Sinek. We know that ‘knowing your why’ is important, that is why we are investing in awesome video content to market our great product or service!

Let’s pretend a small lending company came to us with a problem that they believed could be solved using a clever explainer video. Their ‘why’, they explained, was ‘to bring some transparency to the loan application and approval process so that customers are prepared for what is to come before they apply, answering FAQs and managing expectations to ensure a smooth and efficient process for both customer and company. Say the company had a few ideas about the look and feel of the video and how they wanted to incorporate branding, but we would ask a few key questions that could make all the difference:

Q: Is the loan approval process the same at every lending company? A: Essentially, yes.

Q: So you would be spending your marketing budget on an explainer video that helps people understand what is involved in applying for a loan… so now that they understand the process, what is making them apply for a loan with you?


The video went from being an explanation of a process to being the promotion of a service designed to help a customer through that process, and rather than lecturing on everyone’s pain points, we were highlighting the company's point of difference.

2. Sharing a video across channels without adapting it to suit

What a great idea! We will invest in a totally great video and share it everywhere from email campaigns to Facebook ads. We will put it on our YouTube channel, post to LinkedIn, Instagram, oh the places our video will go!

Problem. Sure you will be preaching a consistent message. No one can argue with that! But the following things must be considered:

  • Is your audience the same across those channels?

  • Is this content aligned with the other content you publish on this channel?

  • How are people accessing the channel and are there any limitations, e.g. does it matter if you don’t have the sound on?

  • Is the length of the video appropriate to the channel?

  • Is it easy for your audience to access a call to action e.g. swipe up, links to click?

  • How will the content be framed? Do you need captions?

  • Will people be able to respond to the video in some way, e.g. in comments, and how will that be managed?

  • Is the video being published on this channel at the right moment in the customer journey?

We have two pieces of advice to ensure you share across your platforms effectively. One is to do your research and find out more about video marketing on each channel. Two is to chat with our amazing Think Ink creators about the potential to scale your videos so that they suit multiple channels e.g. a shorter, sharper video for Instagram, and a longer one for your website.

3. Getting carried away

We know better than anyone that it is easy to get overwhelmed with the possibilities of video and animation. Try to remember these key things to avoid losing your way:

  • Do not try to cover everything in one video. Stick to one product; solve one problem; drive home a simple message.

  • Do not be tempted to pull out all the bells and whistles. Find a style of video and animation that fits your brand and stick with it. Focus on the content and how the message is communicated, not how many ways it can be communicated!

  • Do not let your personal style and preference take precedence over creating content that is suited to your brand and audience.

  • Avoid including elements that will date quickly, unless it is just a temporary campaign.

  • Road test your ideas with a variety of people to ensure your messaging is clear. Remember to include people who are not familiar with your brand or what you are trying to achieve.

4. Access denied

We scrolled, we saw a cool animation, we did not have our headphones on, and there were no captions, so we kept scrolling. Yep. Happens every day. Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words, and you have a video! But unless you ensure your message is accessible both visually and audibly, what you really have is a missed opportunity. If you have voiceover, include captions, a transcript, or an explanation, depending on the channel.

5. Losing your voice

It is easy to get carried away in the creative journey that is video marketing and ensuring your branding is present in just the right amount is crucial. How you incorporate your branding really comes down to the purpose of the video. If you are introducing your brand to a new audience, you want to guarantee your brand is introduced clearly and memorably, however, for existing or familiar audiences, you can be a little more subtle; perhaps you always use the same musical riff, or the same animated character. Perhaps you are more explicit and include your logo and colors throughout.

The Takeaway

Yes it is true, video marketing is one of the most effective tools to tell your brads story. Approaching these videos strategically with a plan in place is key to increase the lasting impact of the message. Avoiding these 5 mistakes will keep your business on the right path in creating a successful video campaign.

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