Video Marketing Mistakes That Cost You Sales

Using video on your web site can help sell your products or services. But did you know that sometimes the very videos meant to boost sales could actually be costing you sales? Here are several video marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

If you follow many of the Internet marketing gurus, you’ll see and perhaps be taught that one of the most powerful ways to launch a new product is with video marketing. The strategy is to provide a lot of really high quality content on one or more videos — so much good content that the customer essentially thinks, “If the free stuff is this good, I have to buy the product to get even more really useful information.”

That approach can work, when it’s done right. But the problem (or one of them) is that some people just aren’t good at making videos.

Case in point: I got an email from someone who was launching a training product he wanted us to promote. I thought it might be a really useful product for certain niches within our audience. So, I went to his website to learn more about him and the product before I contacted him.

I read a couple of entries on his blog, and while they covered information in the subject matter the product covers, almost all of the blog posts pointed to content on magazine websites written by people other than himself. Then I looked around his website for an “about me” page to find out what his credentials and past experience was. The only thing I could find was a link that said “bestselling author” but didn’t give the name of the book. There were no other credentials.

Since there are still (surprisingly) a lot of real subject matter experts who don’t get the web and what should be on their site or blog, I clicked on the link to a video on the page. The video was of the author, and he was talking about the subject matter of his product. The factual information he imparted during the video seemed pretty accurate, but the author was stumbling over his words and moving around too much, making it seem as though he really didn’t know or believe what he was saying.

He didn’t look professional, either. His open-at-the-neck shirt looked inexpensive and a little bit sloppy –definitely not the right look for the subject matter. The video quality was poor, too. It looked like it might have been shot in a dark spot with a single spotlight glaring straight at him.

While the author may convince some people to buy his $300 product, I suspect the number of people who do so will be minimal. And perhaps he’ll find some people to promote his product, but I won’t be one of them. The reason: The quality of his video, the lack of credentials and original content on his blog, contradict his claims to expertise.

Although I’m sure the author worked hard to put together the promotional videos, he shouldn’t be using video marketing  to promote the product since he was obviously uncomfortable standing in front of the camera ( and perhaps hadn’t practiced his presentation, either). Instead, he should spend time putting his credentials and more original content on his blog and should use some other method to promote the product.

Choose the Right Marketing Techniques

Just because “everyone” is using a particular marketing technique, doesn’t mean you should. This is true of any technique, but particularly so for video marketing. If you’re uncomfortable talking in front of a camera, it will show, and it can make it seem like you don’t really believe in what you are marketing, or like you’re really not an expert. So, if you don’t perform well in front of a video camera, don’t do it. There are plenty of other marketing techniques to use.

Know your audience. Not everyone prefers or even likes to watch a video presentation. If your product does not need to be demonstrated and if your intended customer is over 40, or typically has very limited time, video may not be the right marketing solution. Text or audio (MP3) might be a better way to reach them.

If you do plan to use video, practice, practice, and practice some more so you aren’t stumbling over your words. Build in starting and stopping places – natural pauses – so that if you do mess up, you can stop the recording, and redo the part you messed up, and then move on to the next segment. The whole thing can be pieced together with editing.

Be sure you dress appropriately for your audience and the subject matter. If you’re selling a product to help train dogs, wear what someone training their dog might wear – just be sure your casual attire is clean and neat. But if you’re selling management training, dress more professionally. In either case, if you’re selling a product that costs several hundred dollars, make sure your video doesn’t look like you recorded it in your basement with someone shining a big flashlight on you.

Be sure you have a blog or website where the prospective customer can find out more information about you and can easily find your credentials and some content that clearly demonstrate that you are an expert.

Have a few people who will be honest with you look at and evaluate your video(s), website, and promotional material before you launch your product. Evaluate any negative feedback they provide to see if there are changes that need to be made before you start sending out your promos. (If several people say or hint that something isn’t good, chances are you need to make a change.)

Finally, plan to test and change everything about your promotion. One headline or video may bomb, while another may bring in dozens of customers.

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