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40+ Marketing Experts Reveal Their Awful Video Marketing Mistakes

Expert Roundup hero image

“Video marketing isn’t rocket science,” said no one, ever.

A successful video marketing strategy it’s so much more than simply recording a video and uploading it on the Internet. From the right format to how you address your viewers, you need to match all the pieces together to get your message across effectively.

Let’s face it. It is normal for businesses to make mistakes here and there when planning their video marketing campaigns, especially small businesses, and startups.

The truth is, even the most experienced video marketer has made at least one huge, gigantic mistake in their careers.

After all, creating the perfect video that quickly goes viral and skyrockets your sales to the moon is just, of course, wishful thinking, isn’t it?

But, you can dodge the bullet.

We reached out to marketing experts and asked them to riff on the theme of video marketing mistakes:

“What is the worst video marketing mistake(s) you’ve ever made, and how did you solve it?”

We’ve compiled all their answers so you can learn from their biggest mistakes and avoid making the same mistakes.

Their keen insights shed some lights on some areas for improvement, such as:

  • Set the goals clearly
  • Don’t make the videos too long and hard-selling
  • Pay attention to the analytics
  • Invest in video SEO

Okay… enough with the spoiler.

Here they are, in their own words!

Headshot of Chris Stanislawek
Chris Stanislawek, Marketing Manager at Wishpond
Underestimating video analytics was a big mistake we made.

We usually had ideas, produced the content and then checked the results in our analytics panel. What we weren't doing is going deeper.

We started checking video analytics and learned where we lost engagement and in effect, we gained something we could act on. Don't only trust your on-page analytics, but also go one level deeper and see how people interact with your video and where they lose interest to make it better next time.

Headshot of Amir Shahzeidi
Amir Shahzeidi, SEO Lead at Uscreen
The biggest mistake was to create a video marketing strategy that was only built to attract new viewers and not retain the current audience.

Video content marketing is not only about creating and distributing valuable videos to attract a large audience. Ultimately, it's about engaging and retaining a well-defined audience to drive conversions and sales.

When planning your video strategy, make sure that you create content that can both attract new viewers and engage your current existing customers and subscribers.

Headshot of Surya Ranjan Pandita
Surya Ranjan Pandita, SEO strategist at SocialPilot
I usually kept my marketing videos straight to the point without any fun factor.

The biggest video mistake that I made was that I usually kept my marketing videos straight to the point without any fun factor or an entertainment factor.

I solved it by adding some memes/trending topics to my videos and the results were pretty good.

Headshot of Roy Emmerson
Roy Emmerson, Media Relations Coordinator at CleverFiles
My main mistake in video marketing was making too long videos.

Wistia's research shows that videos lasting up to two minutes have the highest engagement rates.

Already in the period from the 2nd to the 3rd minute, viewer engagement drops significantly from 53% to 37%. There is no perfect timing, but in seven years we've come up with a proven standard:

Explanatory videos - 90 seconds or more

Image video - 60-120 seconds

Video advertising on YouTube/TV/social networks - 15-60 seconds

Headshot of Henny Kel
Henny Kel, Social Media Strategist & Brand Manager at Designhill
We empowered our video strategies by adding time stamping, infographics and included it in daily life!

In the beginning, we made many mistakes, but as well as we did more, we understood that timestamping and visual content is more effective than a simple instruction video!

We were creating promotion or review videos but we were not getting enough response. We added emotional value to our videos and added the aim and told how it can be beneficial for any who needs something like this!

Headshot of Irina Weber
Irina Weber, Content Strategist at SE Ranking
Failing to use SEO for your video marketing strategy.

It's important to get your audience to see your video online.

Just publishing it on YouTube isn’t enough anymore. Using SEO and Video Marketing together can increase the discoverability of your videos and rank your site as number one in search results.

Headshot of Denise Langenegger
Denise Langenegger, Outreach Strategist at Instasize
Overlooking the video thumbnail.

Thumbnails are everything. While the video itself was great, our rush to publish made us overlook the video thumbnail and simply choose the first frame.

This resulted in low click-through rates and views. Since then, we make it a point to include a thumbnail image as part of the deliverables when producing any video marketing content.

Where possible, include the title of your video or relevant keywords and choose an eye-catching shot. Think of thumbnails as modern-day movie posters. Use close-ups of your subject so scrollers can quickly preview what your video is all about in one glance.

Headshot of Mike Sadowski
Mike Sadowski, CEO at Brand24
Making our first videos so long that they were more infomercial than short and sweet marketing tools

Our biggest mistake, in my opinion, was making our first videos so long that they were more infomercial than short and sweet marketing tools. Because of this, viewers would simply lose interest halfway through and go about their business.

It’s been a learning curve but I now understand that keeping videos short, engaging and informative, with a clear CTA, is absolutely the way forward.

Headshot of Oliver Bridge
Oliver Bridge, CMO at Bonjoro
Without strategic planning you might end up shooting your videos and having no effect on how people view your business.

Defining why you are doing it and who your target audience is can greatly affect production. I’d like to say that as the number of videos on the web continues to grow, so does its importance and value.

Video marketing is not a simple endeavor for brands as they must take into account what their consumers want, how long it will take them to create content, patience with testing (i.e., failures), and understand that video content can increase engagement, lead traffic to your site or generate new customers.

Headshot of Johannes Rastas
Johannes Rastas, Affiliate Marketing Manager at Supermetrics
For me, the most important lesson was about including a CTA early on, even if it feels promotional.

As long as the video content matches the intent viewers have when they use that search query, a short call to action is not going to drive them away.

Similar to written content, your video should focus on a single message to a well-defined target audience. And if you don’t have an established presence yet, choose less competitive search queries related to your product and audience that you have a realistic chance of ranking for.

Headshot of Skirmantas Venckus
Skirmantas Venckus, Growth Hacker at Sender
One video - one goal.

In the past, our videos were longer and we took a lot of purposes. However, when we cut long videos into shorter ones. We left one goal for each short video (for example, to inform customers about new features).

That mistake improved our user’s engagement, it became clear to them what is the purpose of our video and what do we mean by that.

Headshot of Mile Zivkovic
Mile Zivkovic, Head of Content at Better Proposals
My biggest video marketing mistake is not doing more of it back when we started.

A few years ago, we recorded a bunch of videos for our target audience - freelancers and small businesses. They actually performed really well and over time, they accumulated quite a few views.

That’s the mistake - we didn’t know they would do so well and we should have done more of them. In hindsight, that’s the only thing I would change.

Headshot of Brad Smith
Brad Smith, CEO at Wordable
We used to focus more on the spoken content

and soon realized that the production aspect of a video is as important as the content.

Having the right background, the right resolution, the right equipment to cancel background noise, the right production software, and much more!

Headshot of Farwa Anees
Farwa Anees, Digital Marketing Executive at Content Studio
Making a generic video that covers all the features

and setting high expectations from that one video was the biggest mistake.

At first, it seemed like the more global a video is the more views it will get but that's not the case. The audience doesn't want to watch a video that doesn't answer their question right away.

Solution: Producing multiple innovative videos for each aspect increased the click rate immensely.

Headshot of Adam Steele
Adam Steele, COO at Loganix
The biggest video marketing mistake I've made is not focusing enough on YouTube search.

YouTube search as a source of new viewers (and potential customers) from the very beginning.

In the last 10 years when video marketing started to gain serious traction, there was a lot of emphasis put on hosting a video on your own site. But, it actually seriously limited the size and scope of the audience your video could attract.

Meanwhile, YouTube is growing rapidly and now has become the 2nd largest search engine and plays a significant role in new customer acquisition.

Now I realized that there's a lot that can be learned from the top YouTubers you, your customers, or even your kids, are watching.

Headshot of Mark Condon
Mark Condon, CEO/Founder at Shotkit
Jumping straight into video production without properly considering storyboards, scripts, and other preparatory steps.

It's easy to think that you can just rattle off a video, especially if the content is something you're familiar with and/or short, but taking the time to properly script and even storyboard a video can really help save time, as well as force you to really think about what it is you're about to do.

Headshot of Christopher Vasilis
Christopher Vasilis, Founder & CEO at Woorise
Forgetting a Call-to-Action (CTA).

Every video you upload has the potential of containing a clear CTA but do so with caution.

Throwing a million links all over your video as it plays and being all up in people’s faces with exclamation points isn't the right approach.

Instead, throw your CTA in a clear and contextual manner. At the end of the video, add in a link that recommends a webinar or eBook that would benefit the viewer, ask them to follow your social accounts, or to check your products/services.

Headshot of Kristina Žiaukė
Kristina Žiaukė, Content Manager at Sixads
The biggest video marketing mistake we've made was not considering videos in our content marketing strategy more seriously.

So, we decided to fix the situation by investing more in videos, making them a crucial part of our overall marketing strategy. As a result, we got our brand message out effectively and in minutes.

Videos also helped us define and segment our audience more accurately. We created audience segments based on how much of the video was watched.

So for those who watched almost a full video, we market our products slightly differently than those who watched only a few seconds of it.

Headshot of Neal Taparia
Neal Taparia, CEO & Founder at Solitaired
We created a number of videos that focused on showing our solitaire games

and how they worked. When we started adding video content showing people having fun playing our games, we found that engagement considerably increased.

In other words, we were focused on the features of our product in our video marketing, and not the benefits.

Headshot of James Rose
James Rose, Founder at Content Snare
The biggest mistake we've made is creating sales videos that don't engage the video from the first few seconds.

The result is spending a bunch of money creating videos that don't get watched and therefore don't drive sales.

To fix this, we hired a professional copywriter and video marketer to edit our script, make it MUCH less boring and turn it into a funny, well-produced video.

The difference in what they were able to achieve vs what originally wrote was staggering.

Headshot of Jacek Ptak
Jacek Ptak, Co-Founder at Krakow Direct
I think the one mistake we made at first was to focus on the brand rather than the potential customer

which resulted in our videos being too ‘salesy’.

We now realize that it’s super important to concentrate on the user question, ‘What are the benefits for me?’ Since then, we’ve had much better results with our video marketing

Headshot of Jeffrey Kagan
Jeffrey Kagan, Chief Revenue Officer at Nifty
The biggest mistake that I have made was to treat video marketing as a sales pitch.

I changed our company's approach and strategy via video to educate and teach our existing customers instead.

Now that our customers get more value from our video, we finally saw a large bump in engagement across the board!

Headshot of Jack Zmudzinski
Jack Zmudzinski, Senior Associate at Future Processing
Incorrect branding.

My mistake here was that I didn't ask anybody for feedback until I've already posted a few videos. People later pointed out that both my brand and my name weren't very visible in the videos.

Later on, I fixed that by changing the placement appropriately so that they became easily noticeable and much easier to recall.

Headshot of Anastasiia Avramenko
Anastasiia Avramenko, YouTube Manager at Railsware
We’ve faced a problem with our most popular video Google Sheet Tutorial for Beginners.

On our educational YouTube channel, we share various tutorials – from data analytics to the most popular product development approaches.

While we focused on explaining the most basic GSheet functions in one of our videos, we didn’t adapt the video flow to fit beginners

In particular, our viewers shared comments about the presentation speed and the level of detail. And we listened to the viewers’ feedback.

Fortunately, the solution is simple yet effective: when creating videos, always check them from a viewer’s perspective. If possible, test a video draft with the actual target audience.

Headshot of Varun Goyal
Varun Goyal, Inbound marketing at StoryXpress
The biggest video marketing mistake made by marketers is making YouTube as the one and only place to host videos.

As per recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours, Google could either return the YouTube landing page in search results or the web page where the YouTube video is embedded.

Secondly, YouTube's video recommendations are designed to keep people watching videos and not to encourage users to sign-up for your product.

To overcome this, I have started hosting my videos on StoryXpress, a cloud-based video platform for business. Now I can personalize the video player, video page, analyze video performance, and can add in-video CTAs, leads forms, and banners.

Headshot of Datis Mohsenipour
Datis Mohsenipour, Marketing Manager at Hey Orca
Perfectionism is a common mistake made by marketers when working on video campaigns.

This is something I've battled with a lot throughout my career and how I've overcome it is by asking myself, ‘what is the job to be done for this project?’

When you focus on the job to be done, you gain clarity on what you need, what you can expect, and how much time you put into the project.

Let's say you're planning to create a video overview of the product or service you are marketing - asking yourself "what's the job to be done" can uncover the structure of your video, the length, the features/services you mention, and the channels you want to use to promote it.

Headshot of Andriy Haydash
Andriy Haydash, WordPress Developer at Progmatiq
I feel like the biggest video marketing mistake that I've made was that I didn't start making YouTube videos early enough.

Video is a great way to build trust with your audience as people can actually see who you are and hear the way that you communicate. YouTube is an amazing place to post your videos. Even though it's somewhat saturated now, you can still get a lot of traction and eyeballs on your product or service.

And the best part about it is that once you make a video, it will be "working" for you while you sleep because people constantly search for videos on YouTube.

Headshot of Matt Janaway
Matt Janaway, CEO at Marketing Labs
One of our biggest video marketing mistakes we've made in the past was not making the most of the videos we created.

You can't simply post a video on social media or upload it to YouTube and expect it to bring in results, and yet so many people do just this.

If you're investing in video creation, you need to utilize your videos across multiple platforms and over an extended period of time. This means email, social media, and your website, as well as making the most of suitable advertising.

A detailed plan for your video content will increase reach and engagement, delivering more ROI for each video.

Headshot of Eduard Paziuk
Eduard Paziuk, SEO Specialist at Phonexa
My worst mistake in video marketing: I didn’t create video based on keywords related to my business.

Now I realized not only do keyword-based videos create an informative and useful video, but it also helps to reach a wider audience of potential customers who need your products or services.

When it comes to promoting your company on the web, video marketing and SEO go hand in hand. You can create a blog post and its short version for the video and then use this text for your YouTube video.

As a result, you create a seamless customer experience and provide readers with more information when sharing your video explainer based on the same keywords.

Headshot of Georgi Todorov
Georgi Todorov, Founder at ThriveMyWay
When I was recording videos for my link building training, I went through different processes in detail.

Some people sent me feedback that I am going too much into details and sometimes less is more.

I learned that people who buy those courses are busy online entrepreneurs or agency owners who don't have a lot of time to watch videos and they want the information synthesized. I'll stick to that for my next video course.

Headshot of Dima Suponau
Dima Suponau, CEO & Founder at Number For Live Person
This is definitely a learned skill and, for us, it’s been a case of trial and error.

When first starting out, we were making fabulous videos but making the mistake of not making our branding clear.

This meant that people were watching it and then going away without a clue as to who we are. We now make our branding crystal clear both orally and in the text on the screen.

The one mistake I made early on in my marketing career is approaching video marketing without a plan.

Of course the campaign didn't work out as I had planned. Seeing such a constant low average video watch on the analytics, I decided to actually watch a couple of my videos to see where I'm making mistakes.

That’s where I know that I need to learn how to produce high-quality videos, or I'm just wasting my time. So, the lesson you can get from my mistake is that video marketing is the same as any other type of marketing. You need to know your chops and you need to learn and prepare before doing.

Headshot of Milosz Krasinski
Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting
Video marketing can be hugely effective when done right but, like most people, I’ve made the odd mistake along the way.

Probably the biggest of these was on my first ever attempt when I made the mistake of making my videos way too long.

This meant that people lost interest and got bored before they even got the main point. I’ve since learned to get to the point quickly and keep my video messaging short and dynamic.

Headshot of Nikola Roza
Jacek Wieczorek, CMO at Bank Opening
I was recording a video that included a shared screen.

I didn't realize that I used another browser, with personal settings and tabs opened. It was nothing serious or incriminating but still unprofessional.

What made it worse is that I realized it AFTER the video was published, not before. I edited and corrected the entire thing, took it down, and reuploaded the proper version.

Now I always make sure to double-check every aspect of a video before pressing the publish button.

Headshot of Paul Granger
Paul Granger, Content Marketer at Website Promoter
Outsourcing - If you’re out to make a great first impression you may be tempted to outsource your video creation to a third party for a debut that truly wows.

However, regularly outsourcing can prove very expensive and until you really know your analytics you may not be able to accurately gauge your ROI.

It may be cheaper and more effective in the long run to amass the equipment and skills to tackle video production in-house.

Headshot of Marty Rogers
Marty Rogers, Co-Founder at Fresh Lead Finder
I once sent a video out to my email list with a huge and exciting product announcement

(at least for me) and 2 hours later, feeling flat and deflated from lack of engagement on my landing page.

I realized that the video was actually marked as private so it wouldn't play because it was embedded. I quickly changed it to public and sent out an email admitting my blunder. Quite embarrassing at the time but I can laugh now!

Headshot of Stefano Pisoni
Stefano Pisoni, LinkedIn Lead Generation Expert at SP Company
The most trivial? Having a bad microphone.

I made several mistakes in making videos for my marketing. The most trivial? Having a bad microphone. Now I know that audio is KEY when recording videos!

The other very common mistake is not to think about who is watching your video. Try to be concise but provide value and useful information. The attention of the viewer is crucial.

The last mistake is to overcomplicate things. Try to create a video that is interesting for both beginners and those who already know the subject.

Headshot of Patrick Mazurkiewicz
Patrick Mazurkiewicz, CEO & Founder at WirEntsorgen
Not using SEO.

Even though my niche is pretty small, I did expect at least some clicks on the videos. What I didn't know about, is the fact that SEO applies to YouTube as well.

After optimizing the videos for proper keywords, I started to see the results. It was a piece of cake to fix—enriching your description and titles with particular phrases does the job.

Still, you have to do keyword research to see which ones apply to your niche. It took some time until the videos started ranking, but in the end, I did gain some traffic from them.

Headshot of Mandy Wodnick
Mandy Wodnick, Senior Manager SEO at Resume-Now
Not making our videos SEO friendly.

Not making our videos SEO friendly was one of our biggest mistakes as we gave our videos zero chances to rank high on the search results.

Optimizing a few things such as the title & meta description of the video, choosing an engaging thumbnail image, focusing on one video per page, and making sure the content of the entire page is relevant to the video will help your video rank higher and as a result be seen by more people.

Headshot of Vincent Bucciachio
Vincent Bucciachio, CEO/Founder of Socially Infused
I'd mention three main mistakes when running video marketing campaigns.

One is forgetting that they're not just marketing to their own niche - many of your prospective customers are watching the same videos as the people who are already subscribed to you. So, chances are that if there is a major breakpoint in your video content or if your call-to-action is weak, it will bother people outside of your niche's comfort zone.

Then, companies fail to engage viewers with their content. The first step towards engagement is an effective introduction, which should break any ice and set the tone for the rest of your message or story.

Also, they present themselves as a salesperson instead of an expert in their field who is only summarizing information already publicly available. It's important to act like you're giving advice away rather than trying to sell something (even if you do want people to buy something).

Headshot of Natasha Rei
Natasha Rei, Digital Marketing Manager at Explainerd
In our experience, the worst video marketing mistake we have ever made is making it too lengthy.

We didn't know about the viewers' time commitment and didn't provide a lot of information or depth to what's being advertised. After all, if no one watches your video because it takes too long to load and is boring, you're out of luck!

Here are some quick tips on how we got over the mistake and turned our marketing videos to succeed:

  • Keep your videos short and sweet
  • Include captions in each scene so viewers know why they should keep watching
  • Use engaging thumbnails if you're posting on social media
  • Optimize SEO for better search results
Headshot of Dimitar Karamarinov
Dimitar Karamarinov, Co-founder & Editor Briefer Copy
Not paying attention to the video script.

Failing to formulate and strategically position tailor hook sentences throughout your script can make or break how successful your video is at retaining your viewers focus and attention. Attention span is dropping by the year and upkeeping dynamics of your narrative is now more crucial than ever.

Headshot of Georgi Todorov
Georgi Todorov, Founder at ThriveMyWay
I wish I didn’t have an intro for those tutorials.

A few years ago I created my first video course. I hired someone to make me an intro video and to include it at the beginning of each tutorial. It was a short 3 seconds video but the sound was a little bit higher than my voice. The students had to adjust the sound for every episode or to get annoyed by the intro.

I wish I didn’t have an intro for those tutorials. I wanted to make things fancier but sometimes doing things simply is much better.

Headshot of Abbey Claire Dela Cruz
Abbey Claire Dela Cruz, Marketing Manager at
Not being able to capture your viewers in the first 5-10 seconds is just plain waste. Not to mention bad script & editing.

We're often busy hiring the best editor, but we sometimes forget that the script is half the success of the overall video marketing. Moreover, the video should capture the viewer's attention in the first few seconds. Otherwise, they'll just leave it. Your effort would be wasted. A successful video is a collective effort of multiple pros in writing, editing, marketing, and more.

Headshot of Ransom Agui
Ransom Agui, Marketing Manager at Growth Collective
Failing to see video marketing's impact on organic search.

We embedded videos to key blog pages because we knew they would add more depth to our content. Later on, we focused on other content optimization activities and relied on videos less and less.

It was a huge mistake as we eventually realized that most of the best-performing pages we had in terms of organic search rankings had videos. Of course, there were numerous other SEO factors that came into play but we certainly had an "aha!" moment when we saw the numbers.

Avoiding Common Video Marketing Mistakes

It’s said that to err is human, and to forgive is divine. Perhaps we should add that to learn is angelic.

All those expert insights above build on each other, reminding us of how to address video marketing mistakes via best practices and how we can all do better.

That all said, learning from mistakes is one thing. Putting what you've learned into practice is another.

Here are some actionable tips you should prepare before running a video marketing campaign, so you can avoid common mistakes that sometimes not only get you frustrated but also cost you big bucks.

Understand Your Current Situation

It can be quite tempting to start your video marketing campaign right after you have a content idea.

But, spending quite a bit of your time thinking about the bigger picture will never hurt.

In fact, it will give you advantages.

Understanding your current situation– meaning all resources you have, the effort and commitment you’re ready to invest in, and your current position in the market can help you create a buttery-smooth, mistake-free video campaign.

No more getting stuck in the middle of the road.

You’ll understand what it will take to create successful video marketing in the first place. You’ll be more ready.

Have a Goal in Mind

A successful video is one that meets one certain goal. Choosing your video goal is one of the crucial steps before you create any video.

What do you expect from the video you’re about to make? Boost brand awareness? Make viewers visit your website? Convince viewers to buy your product?

Your goals give the whole video campaign direction, purpose, and vision.

They help you to choose the right video metrics to track.

This means they would make it much easier for you to understand whether the campaign is successful or not.

Also, one thing to bear in mind here is that one video should be specifically designed for one goal.

Social media videos are perfect for engagement, while professionally-crafted explainer videos do a great job of generating trust and increasing conversions.

Identify Your Target Viewers

In the business landscape, it’s almost impossible to reach everyone at once.

If you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to none.

This is why you need to understand your target viewers. Who will get interested in clicking the play button?

Identifying your target viewers allows your business to focus marketing efforts and dollars on the groups that are most likely to buy from you.

That way, you are generating business leads in an efficient, affordable manner.

You’ll understand what type of content you should produce, what type of video you should make, how often you should make it, and where to host it.

Do a Competitive Analysis

Your competitors are your best teachers.

Conducting a competitor analysis gives you keen insight into what works on a business similar to yours and what doesn’t– without taking a risk for yourself.

The point here is not to copy and paste your competitors’ video campaigns blatantly. Rather, you outsmart them.

When you know what works for them, you have a better chance to outshine them and attract their audiences.

Find out the type of videos they often make and how their audiences interact with them.

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