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5 Reasons Why 2020 Is the Year to Invest in Binge-Worthy Content

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In 2019, we watched TikTok explode with popularity among today’s youth. We also grappled with the fact that the athleisure trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (which is arguably more impressive). But here at Wistia, we were only focused on one big trend as we closed out the decade, and that was all the hype around binge-worthy content.

Brands like Mailchimp, Shopify, and ProfitWell all launched their very own show networks last year. And given their success, we’ll likely see even more brands follow suit in 2020.

Binge-worthy content is here to stay, but staving off the competition is only one reason why the trend won’t fade away like the once-beloved fidget spinner. Here are five other reasons why 2020 is the year to start creating video series and podcasts.

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Digital advertising and inbound marketing were once innovative ways to promote your brand — now they’re simply part of the status quo. For instance, due to a 113% increase in ad spend from 2014–2019, more than 25% of U.S. internet users in 2019 have ad-blockers enabled on their devices. Similarly, content marketing, the foundation of any successful inbound marketing strategy, has also experienced a similar uptick in adoption and decline in impact. While more than 4 million blog posts are published every day, only 5% of all the content created by businesses generates the majority of the engagement for brands. In other words, 19 out of 20 blog posts get little to no engagement.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of traditional digital advertising and content marketing will continue to wane as marketers cement these methods into the mainstream. That’s one of the reasons why investing in the creation of binge-worthy content like an episodic video series or a podcast can help brands stand out from the crowd.

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Marketers often assume the only competition they face is the rest of their industry. But with most people consuming work-related content before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m., almost every brand is in direct competition with an ensemble of media companies that, frankly, they don’t stand a chance against right now.

The sheer amount of high-quality entertainment that people can access with a click of a button is staggering. And the only way brands can compete in this battle for attention is by crafting content that their audience would actually consume on their own time — and not just because it’s for work.

“The only way brands can compete in this battle for attention is by crafting content that their audience would actually consume on their own time — and not just because it’s for work.”

Nowadays, people crave entertainment and media companies are more than happy to satisfy their appetite. With 23% of U.S. adults listening to podcasts daily or a few times per week and the average U.S. adult subscribing to 3.4 streaming services, it makes complete sense why Spotify plans to spend upwards of $500 million acquiring podcast companies and why Disney invested $2.6 billion to launch Disney+. They’re giving people what they want and now it’s time other B2B and B2C companies do the same.

Obviously it’s a bit unrealistic to expect brands to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, but we don’t necessarily have to. The demand for binge-worthy content bleeds over to the branded content space, so any content that’s more entertaining, creative, and unique than the standard blog post or social video will help to pique your audience’s interest.

As a business, creating content that’s so good people can’t help but want to watch or listen to more of it is still a pretty novel concept — which means there’s an opportunity to become an early adopter. As we’ve learned from Mailchimp and their early advertisement on the mega-popular podcast Serial, being one of the first businesses to take a risk on a new marketing tactic can be a real competitive advantage.

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Image by: FLICKR User TOMOSWYN

Staking a claim in this space now will enable you to cut through the noise faster and, in turn, grow a bigger, more loyal following than your competitor’s. But remember, it’s not about the volume or how fast you can churn out this type of content. The value truly comes from creating something entertaining that resonates with the right members of your audience. So, don’t rush out to launch your show without doing your homework first. Clearly defining your niche audience, your show’s concept, and how you’ll create your show is just as important (if not more!) than simply releasing it to the masses.

Effective storytelling is a difficult skill to master, but if you can hone your creative chops now, you’ll be able to future-proof your podcasts and video series. From coming up with a great idea to streamlining the creative process itself, it takes time to grow your storytelling skills. Making a commitment to pushing yourself creatively in 2020 is the first step to seeing success with binge-worthy content in the long run, so why wait to get started?

For Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, it took years of practice to consider himself a good content creator. “I always believed I didn’t start creating good content until after 1,000 blog posts. Creating great content is a process. You generally don’t catch lightning in a bottle,” he says in a Marketing Showrunners’ blog post. The importance of finding your voice and your audience as a content creator can’t be understated, and that process doesn’t happen overnight.

“The importance of finding your voice and your audience as a content creator can’t be understated, and that process doesn’t happen overnight.”

Great work takes time, and refining it takes even more time. So, start working on finding the best stories you can possibly tell right now. Otherwise, your video series may end up turning out more like Cats than Parasite.

Building a dedicated audience of fans for your brand is definitely a long-term game. However, the people who have invested early in the creation of binge-worthy content are already seeing a return on their investment. For example, the folks at ProfitWell have found that creating just one season of their show Pricing Page Teardown is actually cheaper than producing an eBook. Because they’re able to shoot several episodes of one season in a day, they’re able to create this high-value content, faster than an eBook, giving them ample content to share for the months to come.

More broadly, according to Patrick Campbell, CEO and co-founder of ProfitWell, “We’ve discovered that the life of an eBook had basically lost 80% of its velocity. Very similar to a blog post, you’d have one eBook do really well, and another do really well, and then one kind of do terribly.” Some businesses responded to this decline by simply creating more eBooks, but Campbell argues that doesn’t they’re necessarily maintaining the value that content brings.

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On the revenue side of things, Mailchimp has noticed that the people who have engaged with their shows actually buy their products faster and spend more money with them. Mark DiCristina, Head of Brand and Mailchimp, said, “We wanted that to happen. And we were expecting that to happen at some point, but from the minute we launched this content we noticed people were behaving differently.” Boasting low costs, a high revenue potential, and, in turn, healthy margins, binge-worthy content is one of the most effective — and fun — ways to grow your business.

The binge-worthy content space is still in its early days, but there are some clear indicators that prove it’s going to be one of the best ways to build a brand in 2020 and beyond. Getting started early by experimenting with different shows and formats can help you stay ahead of the curve, so don’t wait to get started with your very first video series or podcast!

If you’re looking for a place to start, be sure to check out some of our resources for creating binge-worthy content. To get the lay of the land, we recommend checking out our Brand Affinity Marketing playbook, and once you understand the principles of this strategy, be sure to check out our post about the types of video series your brand can make today. We can’t wait to see what types of shows you create, so be sure to share your progress with us along the way! Remember, the first thing you make probably won’t be your magnum opus, so there’s no time to waste. Get started today and learn how you can make the best binge-worthy content out there!

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Video Marketing

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Podcast

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Podcasts have become one of the most popular ways to consume content. Most folks have a favorite show and would eagerly seize any opportunity to tell you why they love it and why you should listen, too. So it’s no surprise that brands have started creating podcasts of their own to help build their audience and foster brand affinity. Just take a look at our friends over at HubSpot and Privy who have both launched branded shows; you could spend days with their content and still not get enough.

But once you’ve created an awesome podcast for your business, how do you make sure people “see” it? Spoiler alert: you’re going to want to use social media.

The internet is chock-full of things to read, watch, and listen to — so, it’s important for you to find your own corner, or niche as we like to call it, no matter how big or small and promote your content there.

Now, without further adieu, let’s dig into all the ways social media can help promote your brand’s podcast.

Let’s dive into some tried and true tactics that you’ll want to use to promote your podcast on social media.

Keep promotion close to home

For a B2B or B2C business, the goal of making a podcast is to give your audience more opportunities to spend time with your brand and build affinity for it. When thinking about your social media strategy, all the decisions you make should be in service of that goal.

One question you might be asking off the bat is whether or not your podcast should have its own social profiles. In our experience, the answer is no — at least for most B2B businesses making podcasts, and especially when you’re just starting out.

Your branded social profiles have an audience that has already expressed interest in your business and content. Why not leverage that existing audience? Starting from scratch can be a long and rocky road compared to relying on your tried and true fans. This will also help improve your show’s association with your overall brand — which is ultimately what you’re going for.

As an example, Red Hat software is currently several seasons deep into their “Command Line Heroes” podcast, which is promoted via their branded social profiles. Recently, they noted a 96% brand recall when listeners were asked to identify the brand behind the show. Now that’s what we call a success!

Another downside of building new social profiles for a brand new show is that your concept hasn’t been proven and your audience might not be large enough to support dedicated pages. You’d be doubling your team’s workload for a concept that hasn’t been truly vetted.

As your show matures and your audience grows, there might be a case for breaking out of the brand pages and developing a unique presence — but in most cases, your branded content should sit with your established pages and audiences.

When promoting your podcast on social media, at the end of the day you’re really just promoting your business. The podcast is an extension of your brand, not necessarily a brand in and of itself.

“When promoting your podcast on social media, at the end of the day you’re really just promoting your business. The podcast is an extension of your brand, not necessarily a brand in and of itself.”

Create social posts based on each episode

Now that you know where to promote your podcast content, the question is — what do you promote?

You don’t get people’s attention for very long on social media, so you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the time that you have. When crafting your social media posts, you want to pull out the most interesting tidbits of each episode. You can look at every post you make about your podcast almost like the first sentence of a story. It’s a hook that entices followers and fans to consume more.

If you’re not a part of the production process or on the show itself, make sure you listen to every episode from start to finish so you can understand the narrative and identify key themes. What is the overarching message and supporting ideas? Did your guest gush about their cute dog? Did they share the story about how they first broke into their current industry? Ask yourself — why would someone want to listen to this episode? From that answer, start to build your social media content.

Look at how Serial promoted their upcoming season. Their first episode tells the story of what happens after a small town bar fight. So, what did they post on social media? Check it out.

It’s a simple yet eye-catching video of a quintessential small town bar, with an accompanying caption that gives the context needed. Adding supporting content like this helps paint a picture in the listener’s mind and evoke associations that could make them feel more connected to the content. When creating posts about your podcast, you want to set the scene and leave your listener wanting more — and simple posts like this one will do just that.

Another way for you to create social posts from your podcast is to create images or video clips of the episode. Take a look at this post from our friends at Privy.

This post is great for several reasons. For one, it is very eye catching with its bold colors and animation. Thanks to the captions, it is accessible for everyone. And last but not least, the clip is engaging — it uses a relatable reference to pique interest and pull you in.

The best part is, a post like this can be repurposed across multiple social channels. We just saw the example on Twitter, but this same post was also used on Instagram. Reposting content across different platforms is helpful because it keeps your messaging consistent and reaches a larger audience without extra creative legwork.

Now, if you’re wondering how you can make something like this, worry not. There are a ton of apps that can help you do this. For example, Headliner is a handy tool for creating social images out of audio clips. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a designer or audio editor to use the app. If you’re just beginning the journey of promoting your podcast on social media, this type of creation tool is a great place to start!

Make unique content to support the show

Beyond creating content that is pulled directly from the episode itself, you can also create content that is relevant but not overly promotional. Remember, you want to create as many opportunities for someone to spend time with your brand.

Once you have a few episodes under your belt, try creating a blooper reel of edits from the cutting room floor. You could even have some fun with it and get edgy with the edits. Take this video we made after filming Brandwagon. (We know it’s not a podcast, but the same idea applies!)

When recording your podcast, get video of the session to increase the opportunity for content creation.

Posting videos like this to promote your podcast will help build anticipation and enjoyment even before an episode comes out. Additionally, including social posts like this throughout your distribution plan will keep your podcast consistently top of mind.

You can also repurpose your podcast by turning the show notes into a blog post. This doubles as another way to promote your episode and drive listeners to your site. Not only that, but it opens up the option for folks looking to consume your content in a different way. Check out our example from “The Brandwagon Interviews” podcast. Once you have that, you can easily break the blog post down into an Instagram story or Twitter thread. Doing so makes your content more accessible and helps you get more exposure.

Match your tone to each platform

When making content for your podcast, think about how each post can be amplified by the platform you’re using. Each platform has different best practices that you should keep in mind when creating your content.

While some best practices are more tangible and concrete — for example, the word count on Twitter or giving photo credit on Instagram — some are a little more nuanced.

For instance, you might recall the #DollyPartonChallenge. It was a social media challenge started by the legend herself that asked participants to post pictures of how they represent themselves on popular social platforms. This fun challenge took social media by storm because everyone who saw this post immediately understood it and was able to recreate it.

While there’s no definitive “right” and “wrong” way to craft brand content for different channels, a few general rules of thumb apply. For example, LinkedIn is a more professional setting for buttoned-up content, while Instagram is a great place to showcase your brand personality. When posting on the multiple platforms, keep these nuanced differences in mind. This could be as simple as customizing the text on your posts to match the tone and audience of the platform; doing so will help your posts resonate more strongly.

Make it easy for your team and guests to share about it

You’re making a podcast to support your brand, so it makes sense that you would want your employees to help amplify your reach and share episodes, right? Definitely!

Social sharing might seem like an easy ask for marketers, but not everyone has a knack for creative writing. To help employees spread the podcast love, do the heavy lifting and write social posts for them. This also ensures the messaging stays on-brand and your teammates get the relief of not having to craft a social message from scratch. It’s a win, win.

Having folks reshare your business’s social message is another way to leverage your team to help get more eyes (er, ears) on your podcast. When a new episode is released, drop a message in your team Slack channel or via email with the link to the post so that it’s easily accessible and easy to share. Often, employees aren’t on social media during the work day and might have otherwise missed the post, so giving your team a friendly nudge is a great way to move the engagement process along.

Did you know you can also use in-app notifications to alert your team about new posts? When you create a post from a business LinkedIn profile, there is an option to notify your team. Simply press the button and a notification will automatically be sent to your colleagues letting them know the post is there and prompt them to share it. It’s such a low input, high output step you’d be hard pressed to not bake it into your workflow.

Similarly, you want to make it as easy as possible for your podcast guests to share about the episode as well. Think about what you would want to share on your profile and create that for your guests. Pre-written posts, behind-the-scenes photos that feature them, and unique clips from their episode are all things you can share with them. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for guests to promote their episode, and providing high-quality content will make it hard for them not to want to spread the word.

Include a call to action

No matter what channel you’re using, a strong call to action is a key element to social media success. Remember the end goal: engage listeners with your show and build brand affinity.

How do you do this? By building an audience and directing them to your podcast — preferably on your own branded channel. After someone has been “hooked” by your social content, they are likely going to be looking for a place to get more. Make sure you’re one step ahead and include a link to listen on your site in the post.

“No matter what channel you’re using, a strong call to action is a key element to social media success.”

Why direct folks to your website? Having a central hub for all of your branded show content is a surefire way to showcase your brand and build a raving fanbase. Better yet, include a video on the landing page and use an email capture form to help build an owned list of subscribers to nurture with exclusive content and first-alert notifications.

Not only will your audience enjoy the content you shared, but they will also be able to learn more about you and what your company can offer them. Not to sound like a broken record, but it sounds like we’ve got another win-win on our hands.

Another way to perfect a strong call to action is by incorporating engaging language like action words and personalization. Addressing folks directly by using words like “you” and tapping into the novelty we all crave by using words like “new” will help make your copy more persuasive and drive viewers to take action.

Each social media platform has its own unique marketing features. Facebook started the trend with event pages and groups, but now there’s something to use on almost every platform that can help get your podcast content in front of more people.

Here are some free features to consider when promoting your podcast on social media.

Facebook

If you’re going to be promoting your podcast on social media, we suggest using video as your primary medium. Over 500 million people watch video on Facebook every day. That’s a lot of viewers! With that, the average engagement rate for videos on Facebook is 6.13%. It might sound like a low percentage, but when you’re working with an audience of 500 million, 6% still presents some pretty good odds of someone engaging with your content.

So with this in mind, create video content to promote your podcast. Instead of just posting an audio clip, film the recording sessions and use a video clip of you in the studio. Or, try a Headliner-style graphic (we chatted about this one earlier) to immediately stand out on the feed.

Facebook is also a great platform to re-purpose the unique content you already made for promotion. The blooper reel or funny edit you made can be showcased here. Upload the video with a funny caption and pin the post to the top of your timeline. That way anytime someone comes to your page they’re greeted with a laugh and a reason to stay for more.

“Create video content to promote your podcast. Instead of just posting an audio clip, film the recording sessions and use a video clip of you in the studio.”

Twitter

Speaking of pinning posts, there’s the option to pin a tweet on Twitter. Pinning a tweet automatically glues that post to the top of your feed so that it’s the first thing someone sees when they get to your profile. And it really does help boost engagement! After an experiment Buffer ran, they found that pinned tweets lead to 10x more conversions.

But not all pinned tweets are created equal. That same study showed that the best pinned tweets are the ones with high engagement and a strong call to action.

To get more eyes on your podcast, choose a tweet about your most played episode or the tweet that announced the series. If it’s what people are going to be seeing the most, you want to make sure you’re putting your best tweet forward.

LinkedIn

Go live on LinkedIn! Several other platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have experimented with and launched “live” features over the years. While the “newness” has somewhat worn off on other platforms, LinkedIn Live is still fairly underutilized and a great way to capture attention and grow your professional audience.

When you go live, LinkedIn automatically notifies everyone who likes your business page. Host a live recording of an episode or hold a live event to announce the debut of your podcast. It might seem out of the box, but when it comes to promoting your podcast, why not make the biggest splash you can? You already have a great audience and the more you engage with them, the more chances they have to build their affinity for you.

And of course, don’t forget those in-app notifications that we touched on earlier! These alert your teammates about new page posts, making it easy for them to share with their connections and amplify your reach.

Instagram

When promoting your podcast on Instagram, use Instagram Stories. There are a lot of built-in tools that will keep your audience engaged.

One feature that is particularly helpful for generating buzz is the countdown sticker. When promoting a new episode, make a story a few days before it drops and add the countdown sticker. Your followers will then be able to tap on the countdown, set a reminder for when it finishes, and get a notification when your new episode is released. We did this for our series Brandwagon.

The cool thing about this feature is that you can see how many folks tapped your countdown and set a reminder, giving you more insight into how effective your social efforts are.

Other Instagram tips include adding a link to your podcast channel in your bio, showcasing video or audio clips as posts to entice listeners, and promoting show content with a dedicated hashtag, like we did for our Change the Channel event #WatchCTC.

For the record, hashtags are effective on all social media platforms — but their level of effectiveness changes frequently. To stay up to date on which ones work best, regularly google the top-performing hashtags for your industry. That way you always stay on top of the algorithm!

Is there a better way to support your podcast that you’re super proud of than with a grade-A social media treatment? We think not!

Remember: quality over quantity. Don’t feel pressured to go all in on all platforms at once. If your brand naturally has a stronger presence on any particular channel, lean into that area. Do what works best for your brand and don’t be afraid to try new things or pull back on what’s not working.

Hopefully, with these tips and tricks you are on track for creating the social campaigns of your marketing dreams. So don’t waste any more time. If you’ve got a great podcast, start promoting it on social media and making your niche the most entertained corner of the internet there is.



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Video Marketing

7 Wistia Integrations to Boost Your Video Marketing Efforts

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In today’s digitally integrated world, it’s critical that all of the tools you use work well together. That’s why we’re excited to share some of our favorite Wistia integrations!

Did you know? Wistia integrates with more than 35 unique partners in the marketing space. Each of these integrations has something valuable to offer and can help marketers connect the digital dots by collaborating seamlessly during the video production process, unlocking actionable information from your videos, saving precious time with automation, and more!

Check out these super handy integrations and start connecting your MarTech tools today.

What makes a lead “good”? And when is the right time to move a prospect from a lead to a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead?

While there’s no cut and dry answer, migrating all of your marketing touch points into a single source of truth can help connect the dots. This is why linking Wistia to your marketing automation platform of choice is a great way to close the loop on engagement and nurture data as it relates to your video content.

“We use Uberflip for our video forms since it is already integrated with our other reporting tools, then we get the added benefit of the branded experience with Wistia.”

BJ Dodenbier, Digital Marketing Specialist @ Workfront

Wistia’s marketing automation integrations can help you capture leads directly from your video assets, score leads based on video engagement, automate marketing communications based on behaviors, and assign leads when a prospect meets certain criteria. It’s pretty nifty.

Featured Partner: HubSpot

Hungry for more? Learn more about the power of pairing video with marketing automation, and check out our complete list of marketing automation partners.

Great video production and great video hosting go together like peanut butter and chocolate; they’re just so much better together.

While you might have a dedicated internal or external team on the video production front, there are also simple solutions available to do the heavy lifting for you — particularly for short, catchy videos for social media and marketing communications.

A recent Neilsen report found that the average U.S. adult spends more than 6 hours per day consuming digital content, so it’s no surprise that the demand for tools that simplify this process has increased significantly.

By pairing your video production tools with Wistia, you’ll save loads of time downloading and uploading videos across your various platforms. Create content with ScreenFlow, get feedback with Wipster, optimize assets for social media with Wave.video, and then share it with the world all from your Wistia account.

Check out our complete list of video production partners to get started.

Data is at the heart of any good marketing campaign, and video data is just as important as data from any other channel. In fact, video is one of the most trackable content mediums.

Don’t make the mistake of siloing data across different platforms. Paint a complete picture of website engagement and campaign performance by integrating Wistia with one of our analytics partners. This will allow you to integrate playback data with events tracking, website goals, conversion tracking, and so much more.

“Medialytics has not only made our video analytics more digestible, but the in-depth breakdown by date ranges, location, and device truly helps narrow down our target audience and engagement. Wistia, YouTube, and Facebook have definitely found their perfect companion in Medialytics.”

Adam Lessell, Multimedia Coordinator at Valir Health

Dig into the data — check out our complete suite of analytics integrations.

Ready to see your click-through rates soar? Send your lists engaging and hyper-targeted emails featuring stunning videos with just a few simple clicks.

We actually tested this and consistently noted an increased click-through rate when an email featured a video thumbnail. One email saw a 40% increase in clicks!

Not only does Wistia allow you to easily add video to your email content, you can also track and optimize engagement based on individual viewer data. Neat!

“When we A/B tested a video thumbnail image versus a stock image, the video thumbnail consistently outperformed the stock image. One email even saw a 40% increase in clicks!”

See a complete list of our email marketing partners.

Digital content is all the rage — but not all content is created equally. While there’s definitely a case for providing value through useful and engaging free content, not everything has to be given away for free.

Online courses are one way to monetize your expertise through a simple and elegant paywall. These work similarly to lead generation forms except the goal is to collect and process payment information in exchange for access to the content.

Whether you’re a fitness instructor looking to charge for online workout classes or a career coach looking for a scalable way to build a brand and share content — placing a paywall in front of video content is an easy and efficient way to achieve your goals.

The process is easy peasy — just get your videos onto Wistia, pick the paywall platform that’s right for you, and get everything set up within a matter of minutes.

Get your revenue stream flowing with these handy paywall integrations.

Nothing captures the attention of a sales lead and builds trust quite like video. No — really! We tested this too and found that sales outreach emails that included video had a significantly higher click-through rate — 42% versus just 10% with no video. Wowza!

With Wistia you can include video in the tools you’re already using to build and convert your pipeline. This could be you:

Send a recording through live-chat platforms like Intercom, or include video in your more formal pitches and proposals with just a few clicks.

Build trust and close more deals with these savvy sales integrations.

Don’t have a screen recorder? Soapbox can be used to create videos which work seamlessly with all the tools Wistia integrates with.

The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese. Sometimes, working smarter, not harder, is the best approach — and Wistia makes it easy to get more done with our productivity app integrations.

Use the Chrome integration to drop videos into your emails and web chats, or include videos in Trello cards to keep track of all your creative projects. And tools like Zapier enable you to connect Wistia to a host of other tools, and expand video across your entire tech-stack.

“We use a Zap that integrates Wistia and Gmail for getting emails with leads information in real time, so we respond to the possible client in minutes.”

Oscar Granadino, co-founder of Qwantec

Be the mouse, not the bird, with these productivity integrations.

Video works hard for your business, and tools that make your strategy and processes easier and more informed can help your videos go that much farther. We’re proud to be adding on integrations that will help our customers succeed with video. Get started for free today!

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Video Marketing

Top 10 Most Common Video Mistakes to Avoid

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All too often, marketers and creatives end up making videos for their businesses that don’t engage their audience or make them want to know more about their brand.

You might be wondering, how does this happen? We’ll be honest with you, there’s no magic trick or marketing hack for making a successful brand video. But, we can tell you some common mistakes people make when producing videos for their company to help steer you in the right direction.

Read on to learn more about the video creation blunders you should avoid and how you can build up your creative muscle to start making better videos for your business.

Before you start producing your marketing videos, it’s important to get in the right frame of mind. What are the goals of the video? Where is the video going to be used? What is the best type of video to communicate your message? These are all important things to consider before pressing play. Here are a few mistakes to avoid in the video planning and pre-production proess.

1. Not using a script — planning makes perfect

One of the most common video mistakes we see is marketers and producers not using a formal script. Don’t let the thought of writing a professional video script scare you — simply putting pen to paper (er, fingers to keyboard) is a great way to organize your thoughts and form a cohesive story. Be sure to show your script to other team members and to read it out loud before filming. You’d be surprised at how unnatural some written words or phrases can sound versus a more casual and conversational tone.

2. Setting the wrong tone — align with your brand

Knowing your brand values and the product or service you’re showcasing is extremely important for coming up with the concept for your video. From wardrobes and background music to scripting and lighting, these elements can all impact how your audience will feel after watching your content.

For example, if your product is a fun social app, make sure your video matches the fun and social aspect of your brand. You wouldn’t want to mistakenly use a somber tone and solitary voice-over in your video because it wouldn’t align with the essence of your product. If the style of the video doesn’t match your overall brand, you could easily confuse your viewers.

3. Assuming your audience will care — give them a reason

Another mistake you can make as a creator is believing your audience will be equally as fascinated by watching your video as your friends, family, and coworkers. The support of your closest cheerleaders is important, but you can’t assume your brand’s audience will instantly love your video and share it with their networks. Truth be told, your audience will only care about your video if it is useful or entertaining to them.

“Truth be told, your audience will only care about your video if it is useful or entertaining to them.”

To be useful, create a video idea around how your product’s features could help someone solve a problem or the benefits it provides. For example, we’ve built a robust library of video production content to help creators and marketers get started with video.

To be entertaining, there are an infinite amount of ways you can delight your audience while injecting a little brand flair into your videos. Think about ways to hook your viewers within the first few seconds or ways you can get them super excited about what you have to offer.

For some inspiration, check out this video our sales team made that has continuously proven to delight people:

In an effort to make a video that will connect and resonate with your audience, you should take a walk in their shoes and ask yourself: Would this video be interesting to someone who’s not already invested in the subject matter or familiar with my brand? These considerations could make all the difference in deciding which route to take so you can make a solid first impression.

4. Not using examples — tell a story

One of the best things about video is that it gives people the opportunity to tell stories about their products or ideas without losing any of the information they want to get across. That’s why you should consider using examples or storytelling in your content. Not only do examples and stories make videos more interesting, but they also make content easier to follow and understand.

Case studies and customer testimonials are fantastic ways to tell stories authentically. By asking the right questions, you can clearly highlight the specific ways your product or service has helped your customers. With this format, your audience can hear how your product might be able to solve their problems, too. Additionally, customer testimonials add credibility. If a viewer recognizes the company who uses your product, they might be more inclined to choose you over a competitor.

“Case studies and customer testimonials are fantastic ways to tell stories authentically. By asking the right questions, you can clearly highlight the specific ways your product or service has helped your customers.”

If you want to create a storyline from scratch, that’s a completely viable option as well. We’ve done that for Wistia Channels, our feature that turns your video collection into a binge-watchable format that encourages viewers to spend more time with your brand.

For the product video, our production team landed on a silly idea for it to take place in a guitar shop. Throughout the video, the guitar shop proprietor walks you through how he uses Channels to showcase all of his content, while also illuminating the greatest features Channels has to offer. Take a look at the video for some storytelling inspiration:

5. Thinking inside the frame — get creative!

Whether your business offers a physical product or a service, video is a great way to introduce your brand to the world! Video can be a valuable tool to help answer people’s questions and pique their interests. However, many companies fall into a similar mindset when making introductory and demo videos. We believe these types of videos don’t have to be boring.

To show off or announce a new product, your video doesn’t have to consist of someone demonstrating an in-app walkthrough or a hands-on how-to (though those are great places to start). In fact, it can even be entertaining! That’s where thinking outside the box comes into play instead of thinking inside the frame. You could film a fake game show about your product, record a catchy jingle about its features, or cook up an interesting narrative centered around how people actually use your product in action.

No matter what type of video you make, try to move away from the norms of its genre. If you stretch your creative legs a little, your video will be more interesting and memorable. Only by somehow defying what’s usually done can your video rise above the average.

For some inspiration, check out a video we made celebrating the launch of Wistia for Chrome:


Now that you’ve considered the purpose and tone for your video and have a creative idea in mind, it’s time to follow through with your plans.

Here are some production mistakes that often occur during the execution stage and a few tactical tips that’ll help you craft a high-quality video without a full-scale production crew.

6. Bad lighting — look critically at your shot

Is your lighting looking dull or shadowy? To get great lighting for your video, you don’t need expensive or professional-grade equipment. The best light to use for a shot is often the most convenient! Effective lighting for your video is all a matter of taste and being able to look critically at your shot to indicate the areas that could use some supplemental lighting.

“To get great lighting for your video, you don’t need expensive or professional-grade equipment. The best light to use for a shot is often the most convenient!”

Our Head of Production, Chris Lavigne, has created a super helpful guide for a technique he dubbed “Lighting on the Fly” that covers techniques for ambient light, light setup, light source, and color temperature as well as equipment you can purchase. And if you’re working with a smaller budget, our “Down and Dirty Lighting Kit” is an attainable and repeatable setup that will keep people on camera looking sharp and well-lit for under $100. While this kit isn’t the end-all be-all for lighting in every video, it’s one way to start developing your lighting instincts!

7. Poor sound quality — make sure your message is crystal clear

Audio also plays a major role in the way viewers experience your video. If people can’t understand your message, it can lead to poor engagement and a negative overall experience.

There are three main variables you should consider when recording sound for your video: the environment you’re recording in, how far your microphone is from the sound source, and what kind of microphone you are using.

We’ve created a guide all about recording audio for business video that covers choosing a microphone, setting the gain, essential audio gear, and how to record video with a DSLR camera.

Additionally, if you’re experiencing “roomy” or “echoey” audio in your videos, we have a post that’ll help you improve your audio quality with tips for getting your sound as natural and clear as possible.

Have you ever felt sea-sick watching a video? Shaky footage can be hard to overlook. Even though a lot of cameras and rigs have built-in stabilization, shaky footage still rears its ugly head from time to time. Luckily, this is something you might be able to fix in post-production — but we’ve compiled our best tips for shooting stable handheld video footage for when you’re on set to save some extra time. If it’s just you and your camera, you can use your body or elements of your environment to capture steady shots. We highlight some handy tricks that we like to use in this post.

For shooting folks speaking on screen, we highly recommend using a tripod instead of going stand-free. Of course, there are a myriad of other instances where a tripod is a must-have like capturing time-lapses, close-up shots, and especially for shooting video by yourself. The main takeaway here is that it doesn’t hurt to have stabilization gear at the ready!

And, if you’re trying to vary up your shots, we know three ways for shooting overhead video. Here’s a video that’ll teach you how to use a tripod, a boom pole, or a mirror to capture an impressive shot from above!

9. Not using a call to action — tell your audience what to do next

Although you might’ve created a beautiful video that’s getting a ton of views, you might not be driving the conversions you were expecting. That’s why incorporating a call to action in your video can help you tell your audience what you want them to do next!

Incorporating a call to action in your script is one way to drop a hint, but you can also do so in post-production with illustrations and graphics. If you use Wistia, you can simply customize your video with Calls to Action and other conversion tools throughout your content to create opportunities for deeper engagement, make the video experience easier and more enjoyable, and collect all kinds of interesting data.

10. Not customizing the video to match your brand — bring it all together

Lastly, if you want to familiarize people with your brand, you should bring elements of your branding into your video. Whether that’s with design in post-production or in another creative way, customizing your video to match your brand can tie everything together.

With Wistia, you can also easily customize the player color to match colors in your brand guidelines and make it look snazzy on your site! We think it’s a pretty neat feature if we do say so ourselves.

Want to nerd out over production? Check out this post for more video production faux pas to avoid!

Now that you know some common mistakes people make, we hope you feel more confident about going into the creative process. Video offers amazing opportunities to catch people’s interest with something educational, entertaining, and even artistic.

Making a great video can ensure your audience’s first exposure to your product or idea is a memorable and positive experience. But, if the video falls flat in some aspect, it can have the opposite effect. So, avoid making these common mistakes and start getting more creative with your business videos to effectively engage your audience!

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