8: Common Video Production Mistakes & Pitfalls
Unsuspecting Companies Make
Getting A Video Production Created
A Guide to Everything You Need to Know to Get the Most From Your Video Marketing
riginally we were going to make this article all about how to protect yourself from the problems that can arise during the production process – mainly arising from working with a bad Video Production company, or not dealing properly with an average one.
But then we realised that video production mistakes are not just about avoiding mistakes to do with your Video Production Agency – it’s also about not taking opportunities, or going the extra mile that could make your video marketing much more successful are actually just as common and just as damaging.
So Part 8 covers both of these situations.
Most of it we have covered before in the previous chapters, we just thought it would be handy to have an easy to reference list – If you’ve been through a bunch the content in this Guide so far (congratulations!!) – think of this as a memory jogger of some of the most important things that we covered in each Part.
If you are reading this one first – then why not use this as a great summary by itself – but also if you want to read further about the topic then click the chapter heading and it will take you to the Part in question.
Some of the points are just good practice and some are crucial to avoid!
Oh yeah two quick disclaimers:
1) Some of the points in this list were added as we thought of them and do not appear in the previous parts.
2) Remember this guide is all about Businesses that want to use video to market their business, or create more sales.
Let’s get cracking!
Part 01: Table Of Contents:
Each part of the guide has it’s own table of contents so you can get the info you want quickly and easily!
Part 01: Power of Video on the Web.
Let’s start with a big one:
Creating Your Videos yourself – Video production mistake number 1!
Comscore revealed in 2012 that “Professionally produced video optimized for eCommerce, outperforms user-generated video (UGC video) by 30%, delivering a 24.7% lift as compared with an 18.7% lift for the UGC video.”
It can also harm your brand.
Unless you’re very good at sewing you don’t wear a suit that you made yourself to a meeting with important clients – you wear something that an expert made for you – it’s the same with Video – Let the experts make you look good – and stick to the job that you do best.
It’s certainly not brain surgery – but there is a lot you can get wrong in Video Production, it’s best to leave it to those who know what they are doing.
Getting your nephew to make them / hiring Family or friends.
See above – unless they are professional and experienced forget it.
Not starting your video with a hook.
20% of your viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or less.
These days especially if your content is destined for the web you have to give your chosen market a reason to want to watch – think about what will hook them in and then promise it at the start.
Recycling TV commercials for the web/not making content specifically for the platform.
As most TV commercials work by bombarding us with during ad breaks there is a very good reason why people will click away online – they don’t want to see them again.
Instead create content that is made for the medium and is fresh and new.
Part 02: Choosing the Right Video Production Type for Your Business.
Making the video about you instead of your ideal customer – What your market segment want to watch is more important than what you want them to see.
Content in the wrong context is useless, so do your research and match the medium with the message – make sure your content is matched to what your viewers are wanting to see.
Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people get this wrong – we also go into more detail about this in Part 7.
Try to entertain, add merit, or info in all of the communication you have with your market.
This is the truest, surest way to add trust and connect. If you make it your business to be in your market’s best interests – then you will build a loyal customer base.
We’ll cover more of this a little later.
Trying to achieve too many things in one video.
Stick to one major objective per video. (you can have a few minor objectives as long as they support your major objective).
What do you want to achieve from someone watching the video?
Everything in the video should be in there to support that desired outcome.
Commissioning a Video Production Company with no track record to create a guaranteed viral hit for you! – Be very suspicious of anyone guaranteeing a viral hit.
Just because a Video Production company is young and hip, and lives on Facebook and Vine does not make them viral creators. – There’s nothing wrong trying to create viral content – but don’t be fooled into thinking that your Video will be a sure thing.
Part 03: How Much Does a Professional Video Production Cost,
How do I Avoid Blown Out Budgets or Getting Ripped Off ?
This is one of the big themes of this Guide and therefore one of the Key video production mistakes to avoid.
You’d be amazed at the amount of bad communicators in the communications industry.
Never assume, especially when you don’t have a working relationship with your Video Production Company.
Not Getting it down in writing!
What should you get in writing?
Timings, expectations (from both parties), the production process (what to expect)
A detailed Production schedule with clearly defined stages and delivery dates.
Costs – is it a fixed cost? What circumstances will change the cost and by how much?
If your Video Production won’t give you these (don’t worry about the reasons why), go with a team that will.
Being scared to ask questions and/or leaving it all up to the Video Production company
If you don’t understand something ask.
The Video Producers might know video – but you know your business best.
So if you think something isn’t quite right speak up!
Hiring yes men.
Be very careful of a company who say yes to everything.
You could be engaging with a company who don’t have the experience to know what can and cannot be done.
Or you could be engaging with a company that is going to charge you for everything you ask for – every time you make a change they might be seeing dollar sings appear before their eyes.
You could be in for a very rude shock when they send the bill.
Not vetting the production company – check the company out – talk to past clients find out what they are like – look at the examples on their website – are any of them in line with what you want made? Are they any good? Get in touch with the clients that they were made for ask them about their experience, were the videos delivered on time and to budget?
Going for the cheapest price.
What’s cheaper ?
Someone inexperienced costing you $20 an hour and taking them 4 hours to work out how to do a task that takes someone who charges $60 an hour, just 30 minutes because they’s done it a hundred times before?
“Ahh!” I hear you say,
“but what if I get a package deal, that’s all inclusive and still the cheapest?”
Run a mile – you’ll regret it otherwise.
Going for the most expensive price.
Have you ever heard the saying you get what you pay for?
Well you just paid to get ripped off. – Unless you have the budget, the history and the metrics to prove that there is a healthy ROI, you’re better off finding an upper middle ground Video Production firm that you like and trust and survive your vetting process.
Parts 4A, 4B & 4C: The Video Production Process – How Professional Video’s are Created.
This is our second big theme in this guide. So as you can imagine there are a bunch of video production mistakes that come about from this.
It pays for you the client to be organised.
But it’s crucial that your Video Production Crew are organised
Engaging with a Production company that do not do their due diligence and their Pre-production
There is a bunch of things that can go wrong – especially on shoot days.
A good Production Company will be aware of most of these pitfalls and will have systems in place to avoid as many as humanly possible.
This means doing their due diligence during Pre-production and making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
To see a detailed summary of the some of things that they have to think about click here
Not communicating due dates and expectations to the all involved in the approval process on the client side.
Many productions have gone over time because the CEO is too busy to approve the the rough cut, or makes sweeping changes to a production at the 11th hour.
By communicating and organising your end of this process – you can reduce the chance of serious time and budget bottlenecks.
Approving and recommending Video and production changes via committee.
It rarely works and when it does the completed product is never anywhere as good as it could have been.
We once heard an exasperated editor say “When everybody put’s their 5 cents worth into something you don’t end up with a shiny 1 dollar, you end up with a pocket of useless change”
Not rehearsing or worse yet being nervous and uncomfortable on camera with a bad director.
If you are getting a member of staff to be on camera to represent your brand – choose carefully.
While authenticity is very important – a nervous or under prepared Presenter can undermine your message and your brand.
Going overboard on the shoot unnecessarily.
This goes for both huge shooting budgets as well as sheer amount of video recorded.
Big shoots are exciting!
It’s like being on a Hollywood set.
But let’s face it; you’re not making a movie are you.
In fact if this is for the internet or your company lobby – you probably don’t need to spend a fortune on a film shoot – in fact you’d be better of spending that money on a few different video sequences – with great content.
Unless you are one of the big players in your market and competition justifies the need for this, then stay away.
If you are getting a corporate video created and you know what you want in it.
Then get the video crew to just film that – over indulging into getting too much shot can mean the editor having to trawl through a bunch of footage that for this project is useless.
This could then impact on your budget as Post-production takes that much longer.
Wearing stripes or small checks on green/blue screen
Have you ever seen someone like the weather man wear a stripy tie while standing in front of a weather map?
There’s a very good reason – it can create a horrible strobing effect that is hard to fix in the video edit suite
Wearing green / blue on a green/blue screen.
Green screens are designed to replace the colour green with video that gets added in the edit suite.
Blue screens replace the blue.
Modern Tech is much better these days – but wearing a green dress the same colour as the green screen can make your choice of fashion look really strange, and can make the video editor very frustrated.
Becoming a Backseat Director: It’s important that you are on set, you might pick up something that the crew does not about your brand.
But offering your advice directly to the presenters instead of letting the director do their job, can be very damaging to the performance and the general moral on set.
We know it can be tempting especially if the presenter happens to be someone you are usually in charge of.
Instead voice your concerns and opinions to the person assigned to you or if very important tell the the producer when they are not too busy.
Micro-managing the process – not giving your production company enough leeway to do what they do best.
Getting the video production company to seek your approval for small things and minute changes will almost always cause Video to be delivered late.
We understand, there’s a very good chance that your butt may well be on the line here – but if you have picked the right Video Production Company, briefed them well enough and have kept an open line of communication open then trust your Video team to do the best they can.
Changing your mind too much – every change to the production, effects the timeline and the production process – this can end up blowing budgets and delivery dates.
Drip feeding changes to the production – an alternative version of the previous point – by only giving the Video Team a few changes at a time the whole process can be slowed drastically and can effect dues dates and budgets.
Part 05: What to Demand From Your Video Production Company.
Not providing enough background info about your target demographic and what you want to communicate to them to the production company.
The more your video production company can understand and modulate the message to suit your market segment, the better chance of a wildly successful video marketing campaign.Part 5
Part 06: How long Does a Video Production Take?Part 6
Being a guinea pig for the video production company to experiment on / being cutting edge with no clear defined boundaries.
Being a market leader can be great for getting your brand some great attention -and can make your brand seem like it is cutting edge, but be very wary of overly complicated video productions, or new special effects.
Being a pioneer often comes with a price – and that’s unexpected technical hitches and previsouly unsolved problems.
A good rule of thumb is the more expansive or technical the production is – the more time you should factor in reserve just in case things don’t go according to plan.
Getting a fixed price for these productions are always a wise idea.
Hiring an unexperienced crew for technical or complicated jobs.
This is in a similar vein as the point above except if your video producers are inexperienced it might not take a highly technical or complicated cutting edge job to get them unstuck – it only has to be something that they have’t done before.
You’d be amazed at the amount of beginner creatives that spend 6 hours trying to work out how to fix a problem when, it would only take them 5 minutes to search for the answer on the web.
But we all have to start somewhere; if it’s a basic job then you can probably give beginners a go.
Wanting too much in too little time.
Wrong expectations. You don’t expect a chef to whip up a gourmet feast in 15 minutes.
Why would you expect the same for your video production?
If you have a short time frame – then keep your job simple.
Do as much pre-production as possible before hand and make sure that you have communicated with you Video Production Company so everything that needs to be achieved is clearly understood.
Parts 7A & 7B: How to Leverage Your Completed Videos.
(& Avoid the Big Mistake That 90% of Companies are Currently Making.)
Not planning ahead.
This is our third Big Theme
One of the major themes we have in this guide is the need for planning ahead.
One of the biggest video production mistakes we see clients make is not having a clear plan of what result you want from each of your videos and your entire video campaign.
And not knowing precisely were each of them will live and how they will be accessed.
BEFORE YOU CREATE THEM.
This is probably the most important point on the page. By knowing exactly what you want each of your videos to achieve and how they all fit together as a whole you can leverage separate elements and marketing hacks in each video that will give a good percentage bump in effectiveness. Once they all add up together you end up having a truly remarkable marketing campaign.
Work out what you want to achieve before you go out and get it made.
Are they part of a marketing sequence, what is each of the video’s objectives?
Where will they be seen? How can you modify that environment to best work with your video?
How can you modify the Video to best suit the environment?
Have you communicated to the Video Production Company, where they are going to end up being played?
They may have some great suggestions as to how to maximise the video for that platform.
By knowing how best to use your videos in harmony with the environment they are being seen on and understanding the behavior and expectations of Viewers in that environment, you increase the power of the engagement and follow up action immensely.
The rest of the points below can all be grouped into the loss of opportunity of not taking advantage of the environment that the videos are playing from.
Presenting your videos in the wrong context.
Content is only valuable in the right context.
YouTube is not a place to get sales and drive traffic to your site.
It is a place to build your brand awareness and engage with your audience.
Not Optimising the Video & it’s Opportunities for the Platform That it Will be Played From.
Trying to using youtube as a conversion and sales platform. We’ll say it again – build your brand- don’t try and sell.
Not building into the script and graphic elements calls to action to build subscribers or click on related videos in the series. Or even try and drive traffic to your site for further info.
Not optimising the videos around Video Keywords.
Some previous research fort the right kind of keywords to title your videos can yield better youtube and google rankings = more people exposed to your message and your brand.
Not making use of YouTube Analytics.
Look at what makes a success and failures in your videos and learn from that.
Measuring youtube success by views instead of estimated minutes watched and average view duration.
Not adding transcriptions and close captions. (this helps with ranking for a whole slew of keywords, and tells youtube what your content is all about – it helps the site and hearing impaired too!
Not creating a YouTube channel that is filled with value for your market place
Not creating a playlist of related material for people to easily watch everything that you’ve created that they are enjoying.
Dumping every video your company ever made on YouTube.
Don’t muddy the waters – only show what will add value and people will want to see.
Self Hosted & Third Party Hosted on Your Website:
Not optimising the videos around Video Keywords – Same as above except this time the goal is Google rankings that will send traffic to your site where you can then control what they see and what they are exposed to.
Not having a video site map: You need to tell the site engines what video you have on your site and where to find them.
Not studying your videos to see where you can improve and where you have struck gold and not making use of Analytics.
Same as above, learn what’s working and not working – learn what keywords are bringing you the most views and what keeps your viewers engaged.
Not using a html 5 player with flv fallback.
Not encoding in MP4
Putting your videos inside an iframe on your site (don’t do it!)
These are your best options to make sure that your videos can be seen on most devices and browsers.
– If you miss out on the mobile market you could be missing out on unto 60% of your traffic.
Not using any meta data: take advantage of using metadata like Facebooks open graph, twitter card tags and mark up using schema micro data.
This tells the search engines what’s your videos are all about and makes it easier and more likely to be indexed and ranked.
Not adding transcriptions and close captions.
See similar point in YouTube section above.
Making your content – or related content hard to navigate or find.
Concentrate on your page elements navigation and how you present your videos.
Make it easy for people to get the info they need and give them easy avenues for further viewing where necessary.
Making your video hard to share: make it as easy as possible via well placed share buttons for people to share your videos – makes sense doesn’t it?
No Matter the platform:
Unclear calls to action: people have stuck with your video through to the end they’ve liked you content that much – tell them what you want them to do next – or chances are they will not do it.
Not engaging with your audience – via your videos and the the social channel where your videos are shared and comments made.
A massive opportunity to build raving fans – always try and help out!
Conclusion : The Bright Light at the End of the Tunnel.
You might be thinking;
“Hooley Dooley! There is a lot video production mistakes that I might be making or stuff that I could be doing wrong! Why Should I even try?”
We don’t want to scare you off from video – the fact is that video is so powerful that an ok campaign is still going to do wonders for your business.
But we’re not about OK campaigns and we’re guessing you are not either.
Think of this page as a guide to create an awesome Video Marketing Campaign.
At the very least it can make sure you safe guard your brand from working with a bad Video Production agency.
You can also use it to engage your Video Production company in a some very fruitful conversations.
And if you take on board and action the opportunities that you were not aware you were missing out on, you will be increasing the amount of leverage you can get out of your video marketing.
Video Production for Clients Guide Table of Contents:
Here’s An Index of Every Chapter:
So you can get the content that interests you the most!
Ready To Get Started?
Why Rockmans Creative Media?
Rockmans Creative Media brings a professional skill set and over 18 years ongoing television experience to your video project.
We understand that we are custodians of your brand.
Our videos are unique, and are tailor-made to meet your company objectives.
We know how to produce engaging, attention grabbing and interesting videos.
Email Us At Sales@rockmanscreativemedia.com.au or fill out the contact form.
Or Give Us A Call On 03 9500 0053