Without a firm grasp of your campaign’s purpose and message, your marketing efforts are bound to fall flat.
There’s a new telling of an Old Testament parable, which goes something like this:
When the storm was coming, a man of faith sat in his chair and listened to a radio report that said, a storm is coming! The time to leave is now. He thought to himself, I am a man of faith. My Lord will protect me.
The rains came and water rose. A woman in a canoe rowed past the man on his porch as the storm picked up strength. She yelled, You there! The waters are rising! Come with me to safety in my boat! The man shouted back, I am a man of faith! My Lord will protect me. The waters continued to rise and rise until the man was forced to huddle wet and shivering on his roof. A helicopter came by, and through its thunderous PA system a pilot shouted, Hey you down there! The waters are rising! Grab this rope and we will take you to safety! The man looked up and called out, I am a man of faith. My Lord will protect me!
The man drowned.
At the gates of heaven, the man came face to face with God and said, Lord I held out faith, I prayed — how could you let me die? And the lord looked back at him and replied, I sent you a radio report, a woman in a canoe, and a helicopter with a rope. What the hell are you doing here?
This illustrates a bit of a messaging problem.
This type of challenge is surprisingly common; getting your message out in a way that grabs your target audience’s attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Here are the six most common mistakes companies make with their video marketing campaigns, and how you can avoid getting lost in the flood:
1. Mixed Messages
Naturally, marketers want to emphasise all of the positive features of their product or service — but trying to say too much can leave your message muddled. In this video for Samsung, the brand avoids mixed messaging while still emphasising the myriad benefits of its product. The reason to buy Samsung is clear.
2. Obscure Objectives
Marketers jump to video because of its amazing potential to capture the consumer zeitgeist, but do you know why your marketing goals are best accomplished through the execution of a video campaign specifically? For Sue Ryder, the benefits of video couldn’t be more clear: it allows the brand to treat a sensitive subject with compassion, speaking directly to those who may be grappling with the death of a loved one. What’s more, the organisation’s objective — to provide a supportive community for these individuals — is made explicitly clear.
3. Too Much Talk…and No Call to Action
If you don’t know what you want your viewer to do after viewing your video, then you can’t very well expect them to know, can you? This video clearly lays out the benefits of Canon Enterprise Solutions, speaking directly to companies searching for ways to streamline their day-to-day operations.
4. Sells Too Hard
When Microsoft launched a New Year’s “Make It Happen” campaign to emphasise their versatility, they knew they had to walk a fine line between authentic messaging and a gimmicky hard sell. By drawing viewers in with an engaging story and showing the human side of their Lumia product, Microsoft successfully avoids the hard sell.
5. Looks Like Everyone Else’s Video
Do everything you can to avoid overplayed tropes. If people have seen it before, they don’t want to see it again. Seeking to attract prospective employees with this unique employer branding video, Jaguar Land Rover successfully sets itself apart from the competition. As a recruitment ad, this is in a league all its own.
6. In-House Production
There are some things you just have to leave to the professionals. Rather than tackle the production side of your marketing campaign in-house, partner with pros who know the ins and outs of audio recording, lighting, sound mixing, and post-production. The waters are rising: establish a meaningful video marketing strategy to ride the waves (or partner up with us and board the Ark before the flood sweeps you away)!