6 Mistakes Brands Make With Video in Social Media

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Is your brand making one of these 6 mistakes using video in social media?

It’s been said that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it and, even though video in social media is still relatively new, the internet is littered with brands that have had to learn the hard way. Fortunately, they provide us with the opportunity to learn from their mistakes!  Here are six mistakes to avoid:

1. Your video doesn’t tell a story.

When you create a humorous, interesting, thought-provoking, or problem solving video, people will share it. When you ignore the rules of storytelling, people tend to ignore your video. Good visual storytelling is about sequence and structure. Sure, rules are meant to be broken, but you need to know the rules before you break them. Here’s an important rule to know: the difference between filmmaking and videography is very important. Videography is pointing the camera at something as it is happening. Filmmaking is adding an element of fantasy. We created a simple video of a basketball game to illustrate this point of the difference between film making and video. Which one would you rather watch? The second one, right? Why? Because it tells a better story! They are both show the same exact event, but the second one has added the element of fantasy through the way it’s been shot. I was once in a meeting where the CEO of a company that had a huge marketing budget said, “We don’t need all of this,” meaning that he didn’t feel it was necessary to for his video to tell a story. After reading the proposal, he stated, “My wife has an iPad. She can shoot the video.” He didn’t understand the difference between videography and filmmaking. He didn’t understand the importance of telling a story.

2. You video lacks creativity.

Creative videos are the ones that are shared the most. However, creative is risky. Instead of creating a video that is creative, some companies choose to do the same thing as the company down the street, instead of coming up with their own unique idea.

3. You don’t have a budget.

We have talked with big companies that have wanted big fancy videos but didn’t have any money. In this economy, it is very common. Good video costs money because it takes a team of people to create and each member of the team has an important job to make it happen. If you run into someone that says they can create a video for a few hundred bucks, my best advice is to run. However, if you want to continue the conversation with them, make sure to ask to see some of their work before you commit to them.

4. You create a bad video.

This often happens because companies are trying to save money. My new favorite example of this is the Dominos Pizza app video (warning you can’t erase what you see from your mind once you see this video. Yes, it’s just that bad.)

Part of me hopes that they did this a joke.  Even if they didn’t, it has been successful in bring them lots of views. Most people are watching it to laugh at it, not because they are genuinely interested in the app. I’m not sure that this is the kind of attention a brand wants. It’s definitely not the kind of attention I would want for my business.

5.  You have no distribution plan.

‘Hope’ is not a marketing strategy. You need to have a plan for how people will watch your video. With 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, how do you get found. First, realize you don’t need everyone on YouTube to view your video. You just need to focus on your target market. Once you’ve realized that, your job is then to build relationships with that target market.  Search for the places that they are most likely to be: Facebook twitter linkedin, blogs, print, etc.   In YouTube, also consider using playlists to increase the number of videos a viewer watches on your channel. A lot of the work in your distribution plan should be done before your video is finished to make sure that you have a community to show the video to once it is finished.

6. You’re not social.

Once you have your distribution plan, you need to have someone whose job is to interact with the community, responding to comments that are made. Companies that aren’t social don’t plan out their content.  This means that they are not looking ahead to future videos. While a ‘one and done’ strategy might work for your company, often times your company has more stories to tell. It helps to have a long term plan.

Jayson Duncan
This monthly Social Media and Video column is contributed by Jayson Duncan. Jayson is an Orange County, California filmmaker and owner of the video production company Miller Farm Media. In 2003, Jayson began using video to help others tell their stories through his video production company, Miller Farm Media. He has created videos for Fortune 50 companies. In his spare time Jayson enjoys playing his guitar, song writing, and spending time with his wife, Gretchin.
Jayson Duncan


Orange County video production company. We create videos to explain ideas, business and products using the art of story.
What Should Your Company Budget Be For Video in 2016? http://t.co/5n2523cY5G - 3 weeks ago
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  1. says

    I really like what you have to say here Duncan! It was a great read and you really did quite a good job of bringing to light many of the issues/misconceptions of social media. Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    I first want to say, I couldn’t agree with you more! You are spot on here. But I have to say I liked the first video without the edits. But that’s probably just me. And I am really bad at basketball so it was interesting to see him do something I can’t in full sequence. Anyway, I also would add that people give up too soon. They do one video and then the results are not immediate so they stop. Consistency is super important. I’ve seen so many people give up just as magical things were in their grasp.

  3. says

    Great post Jayson! Thru video we can create a deep and extensive relationship connections with prospects and audiences so we really have to be careful in creating one. Your mentioned flaws will serve as a guide for us to be extra careful and not to commit the same mistakes again. Thank you very much!

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