The Biggest Video Marketing Mistake You’re Making (Plus 2 Others To Avoid)

Video marketing is a practice that is highly popular and is only becoming more widespread. Thanks to advances in video editing technology, video content is now easier than ever to make.

But so are the mistakes related to video marketing.

While there are many errors that can be made, there’s one heavyweight that is highly prevalent. This mistake inhibits video quality and, crucially, the impact that video content can have.

No, it’s not your choice of camera or how well the content is edited. It’s the most fundamental building block of your video marketing success…


Video marketing strategy.

Defining Video Marketing Strategy

Before diving into the ways that this King of mistakes can damage your efforts, let’s look at the definition so that we know what we’re working with.

A video marketing strategy is an overall direction of video content and promotion, specific to a given market segment. It includes an overall objective and, crucially, activities to stay away from.

A video marketing strategy is a compass, not the actual steps taken to reach a destination. When stuck or lost, referring to the strategy will help to highlight all of the answers to keep you moving forward.

But, without a video marketing strategy, how will you know if the tactical choices that you’re making are going to serve the business?

How will you know that the content itself will resonate with the audience?

How do you know that your videos will stand out and provide genuine leverage?

Answer: you won’t.

And this is the biggest mistake that can be made in video marketing. Ignoring the importance of a strategy.

How to avoid this King of mistakes

Video itself isn’t a strategy.

Native social video isn’t a strategy.

But being crystal clear on who and what your video marketing content is for is already a powerful first step in constructing one.

Within a strategy, you’d expect to fully understand your audience – not just the demographics but also the psychographics – what moves them and what their desires and challenges are. Even just knowing this can give you valuable insights into what kind of video content is likely to engage them.

A good strategy will also include a content gap analysis. This exercise will give you a blanket view of the kind of content that your audience is already consuming. It’ll also provide clues on how you can go one better by creating differentiated content.

But a lack of strategy leaves you making random choices that may or may not be a hit with your audience. This is a risk to your brand’s growth and relationship with your audience.

Many brands start making tactical decisions (i.e. the kind of videos to make) without a strategy and pay for it – literally – because their ROI is so poor.

Building a Video Strategy

A good way to start putting your own video marketing strategy together is by answering the three questions below:

  • Who’s it for?

Who are you making your video content for? Which precise segment of the market do you want to connect with? What’s their worldview? What are their challenges, needs, and wants?

  • What’s it for?

What’s the purpose of your video marketing activity. Yes, you want to influence your audience, but what change are you seeking to make?

  • How will you know it’s working?

Aka, how are you measuring the change that you’re planning on making? Engagement? Conversions? Sales? What’s the most fundamental needle you’re trying to move within your business?

While answering these questions won’t create a full strategy, what it will provide you with is a very solid foundation on which to develop your video activity. Plus you’ll be doing something that 99% of the marketing population isn’t – which is a distinct advantage.

Diving straight into tactics without a strategy to provide insight and direction will cost you a whole lot of time, money, and missed opportunities to connect with your audience.

Be one of the few brands that “get” strategy and give it due attention. This alone will give you an advantage – leverage to take to your market and grow your business.


For those of you who love a quote, remember:

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu

Two Other Video Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Your video is too long.

This is something that’s widespread online; videos that are too long, with too many ideas packed into them. The result is a dull and potentially confusing mess.

Wistia reported that videos between 1 to 2 minutes in duration are the sweet spot in terms of attention.

A key metric that you’ll want to track is the percentage of the video viewed. If this is low (approx <60%), then you haven’t made a video that’s engaging your audience.

But if you’re keeping your audience hooked until the end, then you’ve made a connection. The study showed that videos between 1 to 2 minutes long averaged a % view rate of around 70%.

Videos longer than this started to drop off sharply. However, it isn’t as simple as just making a 60-second video and thinking that that will guarantee success.

You have to be very focused on the content. 60 seconds can feel like 60 minutes if your video is dull and irrelevant. 

So, start by asking “what’s it for” in relation to your video. This will help you to identify why you’re making the video. What the key message is and what you want someone to do once they’ve watched it.

If you clarify these points and build your video around them, which, by the way, can easily be made using an intuitive Moovly platform, you’ve just increased your chances of creating a piece of a video content that matters.

You Want It To Go Viral 

Just like designers bang their head on a table at the sound of the client request “Can you make the logo a little bigger”, us video marketers want to jump out of the nearest window when a client mutters the following:

Can you make it go viral?

On the surface of it, this is an understandable question. We’re seduced by reports of videos that get millions of views overnight and global fame for those behind it.

However, the truth is that is that trying to make your video go viral is a huge false economy. It’s a myth that a video is made, uploaded, and just like magic it’s discovered and shared so it spreads like wildfire.

Brands often pay huge sums of money to have video content seeded on high traffic websites where it might get shared.

Then it has to reach a critical mass of views – then, depending on the content and current social trends it might go viral. There’s absolutely no guarantee, and it comes with a hefty cost.

But crucially, you shouldn’t be tracking view count as a meaningful KPI. So what if a video gets 10 million views?

You want these to be quality views. Viewed by the right people, at the right time, meaning they take the right action (i.e. action that you want them to take) after having watched.

Viral videos tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator. This is the complete opposite of what you’ll find with a strategic approach.

In a strategy, you will have defined a target audience (by answering “who’s it for?”), with specific psychographics, specific needs and a unique worldview.

Your job isn’t to appeal to every man, woman, and child on the planet. Your job is to create video content that can help to create a change in your core audience. To refocus your efforts, ask yourself “who is this for?” for the specific video in question.

Be specific, and make something just for them.


Be anti-viral.

Wrapping up…

Now you know these mistakes, when you’re next watching video content, you’ll be surprised at how much now stands out to you.

Elements like; video duration – how engaged you are – how targeted the content feels. This is all good stuff to notice because you’ll be learning in real time and truly understand what these mistakes look like in practice.

Take note….and avoid them at all costs. Then, get cracking!

Video production has never been more accessible, and Moovly being an example of this. So you have no excuses for not making high-quality video content that’s designed just for your audience.

Author Bio:

Amir Bazrafshan

Amir runs Apricot, an agency that creates video campaigns stimulating client growth. Prior to launching the business, he worked in film distribution, devising marketing strategies for both cinematic and straight to DVD releases. Away from Apricot, he’s coached on Seth Godin’s altMBA program, reads avidly, and studies persuasion and the related fields in depth.