Classic Strategy Mistakes with Web Video and how to avoid them

November 16, 2012
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Lots of companies have lots of different reasons for wanting to make web videos, some may even confuse these reasons with strategies. At Creativa Web Videos we work on all sorts of Video projects for all sorts of clients, some are big and have large budgets, and others are not so big, but it doesn’t really matter how small (or big) your budget is, if you don’t have realistic strategic expectations.
So surprisingly, what you spend and what you expect to get will rarely determine the success of your video. The one thing that can have a direct impact on this outcome is a solid plan and even more solid Video Marketing Strategy. To put it simply, without this you will fail… or at best succeed by accident.
To try and help you avoid failure and increase your chances of success (accidentally or otherwise), I have highlighted two of the most unrealistic, not quite web video strategies that I have encountered. Please do not try these at home…
This is not a strategy 1)
I want to make a Viral Video that everyone will share on Social Media because that seems like a really cheap way to promote my business…strategy.
Ok… And in and of itself this is not totally ridiculous, but just because you have 37 hours of awesome footage of your cat being hilarious and you decide to intersperse that with meaningful company messages, it still doesn’t mean you will have a successful viral video.
You really need to stop and consider the fact that most Viralvideos are in fact seeded. Seeding is a paid for service whereby influencers (people with large social media followings) are paid in a kind of cash for comment scenario, to promote a video… I know… sneaky huh. The next thing you know there will be companies who take money and try to trick Google into placing certain websites on top of search results… hang on.
Having a distribution and usage strategy across clearly identified networks with a realistic budget is the only way to guarantee the success of a web video. Everything else is just unicorns and rainbows. A connection on LinkedIn recently reminded me of the importance of the 4W+H or What, Where, When, Why & How. If you can answer these questions in relation to your video then you are halfway to having an effective distribution strategy and potentially achieving some form of viralsuccess.
This is not a strategy 2)
I am going to make a 10 minute promotional video about door hinges. People need them… and once they see this video on YouTube they will buy them from me. In other words, make a long boring product video and put it on YouTube and wait for the sales to come rolling in strategy.
You can obviously replace door hingeswith pretty much any product but you get the idea. There are two things wrong with this strategy, let’s start with the length of the video and work our way from there. 10 minutes is way too long unless you are providing CONTENT or entertainment (ask me about content later). Most people will only pay attention for up to 2 minutes and even that can be a stretch if the video is not entertaining. Despite what the home shopping network will have you believe, nobody loves infomercials, so condense your message and apply the K.I.S.S rule (keep it simple stupid). The other obvious flaw in your plan is that you seem to be relying on YouTube to do all the work for you… But they have Billions of views each month and are owned by GoogleI hear you say. While this is fundamentally correct, the internet is surprisingly like the real world… full of people and very noisy. You have to be clever to get your message heard. Just having a video on YouTube is no longer enough, sadly the Field of dreamsdays are over. So instead, now you have to research it, build it, position it, figure out who your target market is and understand what a realistic viewership / conversion rate will be, to justify your return on investment, before they will come. What do I mean by all that? Well, imagine your hinges are really special and they sell for $500 each. Through research you know that there are approximately 1,000 people in your target market online, so we’re talking about a market worth approximately $500,000. Rather than making a prospecting video about hinges that tries to talk to everyone, why not make a video about How to choose the right hingesbecause you know that this is a topic your target market are researching and now you can talk directly to them. This is known as providing Targeted Contentand I know you’ve been dying to ask me about it.
To achieve realistic return on investment your video should be able to provide sales opportunities that didn’t previously exist. It is then simple maths to say that if 1 in 10 viewers buy a hinge the video should return approximately $50,000 and if you spend $5,000 making the video your ROI = 1000%. So would this video with 1000 potential viewers be less successful than a non targeted viral video with 1,000,000 views? You decide.
There are plenty more Not Quite Web Video Strategiesand we have sat through our fair share of meetings with the next YouTube sensation, so you could say we have learned from these things so you don’t have to. The one thing that you should take away from this article is that there is No Substitute For A Good Plan, so start there and hopefully we will see your video soon.

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Creativa provides complete video production and animation services for clients direct or for agencies nationwide, specialising in creating content that engages Aussie audiences. Working with local crews dotted around the country to capture live-action video footage, we manage all the coordination for you. Whatever type of video you need, we’ve got you covered.