If you’re planning to produce a marketing video in the near future, you need to be careful your video doesn’t go down the tubes through:
– Going over budget,
– Being delivered too late
– Being plain ineffectual at achieving its goals.
Yet no marketing manager in their right mind would plan for this. Or at least not knowingly.
Having had the opportunity to see a lot of marketing videos produced over the last two decades, here’s a list of the 18 most common things that I’ve seen go wrong
– and how to avoid them.
I’ve categorised them under:
- Content issues
- Specification issues
- Schedule issues
- Goal issues
- Money issues
- Expectation issues
- Time issues
The name of the game is to try and not let any of these issues catch you out when it’s your turn to produce a marketing video.
Content is about what appears in the video.
1 – The talking head appearance is a non-starter
2 – The demo doesn’t work properly
3 – The expert cancelled
4 – Relying on images, eg, photos that never materialised
5 – Relying on using someone else’s copyright, eg, pinch a bit of footage off youtube
6 – The talking head doesn’t speak good enough English
Solution: Never assume. Whatever material is going to be used in the video must be available, legal and confirmed as agreed.
Specification is about what you get for what you paid.
7 – Expecting to get 10 minutes of runtime from a single day filming. Obviously, there isn’t enough shoot time allocated to do the job. What should take 2 days can’t be filmed in a single day
8 – Assuming the video crew could film in in 3 different locations miles apart – all in the same day
9 – Using own staff to play customer roles and looking amateurish. A professional actor then has to be hired, with cost overruns and delays
Solution: It’s better to overestimate and pay a little more, than underestimate and get caught out later.
Scheduling is really about avoiding delays and broken promises.
10 – If there are layers of corporate approval required for scripts and storyboards, then this can add 3 weeks to a schedule – but no one thought of this
11 – You delayed unexpectedly, and this had a knock-on effect with the video company, who added to the delay when reshuffling their schedules to accommodate the original delay
Solution: Allow at least a week for each layer of approval, whether C level, legal, your own colleagues, or even the overseas business development manager whose opinions count too.
Unclear goals or audience
Goals mean being precise about what you’re shooting for.
12 – Having goals that try to please too many people, and ending up pleasing none
13 – Using a video like a short range scatter gun instead of the long distance sniper’s rifle that it truly is
Solution: Don’t let others pile on additional goals to your video. It’s about winning business in a given market sector. Nothing else matters.
Getting the money wrong often starts with being badly advised by your video company.
14 – Not having amends & iterations included in the original cost specification
15 – Expecting ½ day shoots when video crews mostly only work full days
16 – Thinking a 90 second video would work, when in reality a 2.5 minute video is what’s needed to tell the winning story
Solution: Buying too cheap will leave holes in your video spec. Get detailed quotes and expect to ask detailed questions. Ask yourself “who do I trust?” then listen to them.
17 – Expecting a Hollywood blockbuster on a tight budget
Solution: Expect to produce a video similar to the samples you were originally shown. Anything else is a bonus.
18 – Not realising how much management time it’d take to produce even a digital marketing video
Solution: On and off, a video can take up to 4 days of a marketing manager’s time. It’s a job of work that needs allowing for.
It’s smarter to avoid problems before they occur.
Now you’re well armed with 18 ways a marketing video can go wrong, you’ll be smart too.
Good luck with your project.