Video is a powerful marketing tool that can help create a personal connection between you and your clients, but getting the medium right can be a tricky thing. Whether it’s poor lighting, an overly scripted message, or just a video that goes on for way too long, marketing videos can backfire when you don’t get the details right. Here are 6 tips that will help you make the most of your marketing videos. Video is the marketing genre of 2015 and it’s time to get on board.

Video Mistake #1: The Endless Video

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make when creating a marketing video is letting the video go on for too long. We all understand that you want to communicate your message clearly and thoroughly, but too many words can actually be worse than too few.

It’s important to understand that the average viewer will abandon a video within the first ten seconds if they aren’t immediately grabbed by it. If the video is interesting enough, though, they’ll stick around for a minute or even ninety seconds if you’ve done an especially good job. Anything more than that and you’ve likely lost the viewer no matter how good your content is. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

Video Mistake #2: Getting Off Message

Another common mistake found in marketing videos is the meandering message. The video starts out with a clear concept but somewhere along the way it loses the thread. You get excited about a secondary project or end up talking about business details that don’t matter to your viewer. It’s important to go into a marketing video with a clear goal and to stick to that message. When you start talking about other things, your video’s impact diminishes.

Video Mistake #3: Bad Lighting

We understand that your business expertise isn’t stage lighting and it’s absolutely fine that you don’t have the budget to hire professionals. However, when making a marketing video, it is absolutely vital that you use good lighting in your video. Poorly lit videos that leave the viewer straining to see your face or videos taken with glare from windows are a distraction from your message.

Again, while you may not be a professional videographer, your clients expect you to look like a professional in all ways. Think carefully about lighting and make sure your video has the right look.

Video Mistake #4: Sticking To The Script

It’s important that your video has a clear message and that you know what you plan to say from the start. At the same time, however, it’s important that you not hold too tightly to your script. Overly scripted videos come off sounding unnatural and awkward and that isn’t appealing to viewers. Speak in a natural way, using the language you would choose if your client was sitting on the other side of the desk or the dinner table. Videos are intended to show personality and create a link that goes beyond just a marketing message. Over-scripting ruins this affect.

Video Mistake #5: Forgetting A Call To Action

When you make a marketing video, it shouldn’t be just a sales pitch but it should encourage your client to engage with your company in some way. Videos without a call to action leave the viewer hanging and allow them to move on without taking further steps such as looking at your services on website, sending your company an inquiry, or reading your blog. Offer a concrete call to action at the end of the video to keep the connection going.

Video Mistake #6: Poor Sound Quality

The same people who make their videos in front of a window that offers more glare than natural light tend to be the ones who overlook audio quality in their marketing videos. Many companies assume that if you’re making a video in a relatively quiet area, the camera will be enough to guarantee good audio. This may be the case with some high quality cameras used in ideal environments, but most of the time it’s not enough.

If you’re going to be making marketing videos, invest in a lapel mic. These small microphones will allow you to capture professional quality audio without all of the surrounding interference. The last thing you need is employee chatter in the background distracting from your message.

Making a great marketing video isn’t a hard science, but if you start the process aware of the most common mistakes, you can avoid replicating them in your work. Video marketing is a very popular genre right now and you don’t want to make a mediocre video that will blend in with a mass of average sales pitches. Get the form right, however, and you will grab the viewer in those magical first ten seconds and keep them hooked until the very end.