3 Typical Marketing Media Mistakes- and tips to avoid them

Law Jackson
Jul 20, 2017 · 4 min read
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Video marketing has been on the rise for years but viewers are more frustrated and more guarded than ever. As consumers it’s second nature to know when a commercial seems like it can’t be fully trusted. Maybe something’s ‘off’ about the tone of the messaging or imagery. Or maybe the overall approach lacks credibility. Whatever it is, something stops us from wanting to inspect the claims of the brand any further. But when it’s our turn to storytell, what kind of marketing play-book do we consult? Is our way of telling marketing stories any better?

There are lots of bad marketing plays that could be called out, but here are 3 of the worst:

Does anyone actually LIKE being told what to do?

Advertisements of yester-year could afford to be obnoxious. Before the internet age audiences were truly held captive with no way to escape. Listeners and viewers had to rush home to the radio or television and be on time or completely miss out on their entertainment, and this was true for decades! In those days radio dramas and moving picture shows were so novel that commercial advertisements kinda added to the charm of the entertainment. But in our day of syndicated video on demand (SVOD) subjection to any and all ads sounds like listening to a story of what it was like when our gran parents grew up. Remember the Drive-In Movie Theater?

Fast forward to video marketing today. Without a doubt, video ROCKS as a communication medium but the “hard sell” is probably the least effective way to drive a viewer to action nowadays. But if you look carefully you can still see the hollow command to “buy now!” on and offline. We’re in the aftermath of a revolution of who’s in control of popular attention span and audiences can choose what they watch and when they watch it. Viewers have too much more control to take their attention for granted and many marketers have wised up to take careful account of the needs and interests of their target audience. But many of us are still learning what to do. Here are few tips to avoid the mistake of hard selling:

• Viewers have limited attention so it’s best to keep marketing media short and sweet; share a link where they can learn more if the story needs more time to be told.

• Consider showing a story about people using your product and show off its benefits. Demonstrate it in action and let it speak for itself.

• Many consumers make purchases after collecting research and information- consider an education based marketing approach.

MARKETING MISTAKE #2: TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch)

Since 2016 Facebook has had upwards of one billion daily active users who watch over 100 Million hours of Facebook EACH DAY. Few platforms can provide insights into viewer behavior and video marketing trends like this particular social media platform can. Check this out!

• Users spend an average of 50 minutes each day on Facebook.
• 85% of Facebook videos are consumed without sound.
• Adding captions to videos increases the watch time by 12% on average.

The sweet spot for video on Facebook and Instagram is just under a minute but, be sure to get to the point! Viewers take less than 3 seconds to decide if video will be watched:

• 20% of viewers stop watching after 10 seconds
• 33% of viewers stop watching after 30 seconds
• 45% of viewers stop watching after 60 seconds
• 60% of viewers stop watching after 2 minutes

Even though the recommended length for marketing videos is becoming shorter, this doesn’t mean that short videos are the only ones you’ll need. To be sure- when it comes to social media- the shorter, the better. But there’s a time and place to go for length and take as much time as is needed for your marketing story.

The superior marketing strategy produces a mix of shorter marketing videos from a longer, master project. Ideally, during the planning phase of a project the marketing media should be designed to be as long or short as it needs to be. Some subject matter will need longer time than others, but by really telling the kind of marketing stories that deserve to be told that larger project can be remixed and deployed as several shorter videos in a way that is contextually relevant.

Another way to put it is- it is better to order ten $5,000 videos, than spend $50k on one single ‘blockbuster’ commercial.

MARKETING MISTAKE #3: Under-delivering and over-expecting

A recent study shows that 22% of small businesses plan to post a video in the next 12 months, yet hundreds of millions of hours of video are being viewed on social media platforms every day. This means that 22% of small business owners don’t understand the relevance or importance of video today.

A single video released into the social-digital world can’t effect much good for a brand- at least, not for very long. (Just look at the old Old Spice campaigns). Instead of regarding video as a gimmick companies need to commit to telling marketing stories to build deep connection and loyalty with their customers.


• Keep marketing media short and sweet

• 85% of videos are watched without sound- use subtitles for ALL VIDEO posted on social media.

• Post videos regularly so they don’t get buried by new posts; it’s better to recycle older media than go silent and be forgotten.

• Plan and create content weeks or months at a time to avoid falling behind on your marketing calendar.

• If you don’t have a marketing media calendar start one. We’d love to help!

• Get professional help. Strategic planning, copywriting, graphics, voice over and video production can be overwhelming. Keep a short list of creative shops and freelancers who can become regular vendors to help you.

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