93% of Marketers Are Failing with Video Content (But You Can Win)

by Katy French

Over and over, data proves that video content is one of the best ways to reach your audience. And over and over, we’ve seen how a good video campaign can give our clients a huge boost. (Our Dropbox recruiting video campaign helped increase their market perception 7%.)

91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.
2023 State of Marketing Report (Wyzowl)

But despite video’s explosion in recent years (especially with the advent of short-form content), most marketers are dropping the ball on their video marketing. Whether it’s because they’re working inefficiently or not creating the right content, their videos aren’t giving them the ROI they should.

Only 7% of marketers say they use video to its full potential. The other 93% are working to close the gap—or have a long way to go.
2023 Video Visual Storytelling Survey (Content Marketing Institute)

This is a problem for marketers across all industries, but it’s also a huge opportunity—for you. As platforms evolve and more tools become available, you can master video marketing the right way and easily turn video viewers into lifelong customers. 

Unfortunately, according to the Content Marketing Institute, there are a few recurring issues that make video content marketing challenging. Lucky for you, we know exactly what pitfalls to avoid—and how to work around them. Content Marketers Guide to Brand Video CTA-19

5 Tips to Create More Successful Video Content

We’ve seen all sorts of video marketing mistakes (and made a few ourselves), so we know the ins and outs of production. If you’re just starting to dive into video content, or looking to improve the videos you’re already producing, here are the core things to keep in mind to ensure you’re as successful as possible. 

1) Start with a video strategy. 

Video requires a lot of moving parts, so you need to ensure that everyone working on the project is working toward the same goal.

Although we’ve been in business for over a decade, we’re still shocked to see how many marketers are creating content without a strategy. Video is its own beast, so you need to approach it intentionally. 

60% of marketers say they need a video strategy.
2023 Video Visual Storytelling Survey (Content Marketing Institute)

Before you invest time, money, or effort, get your strategy on paper, including: 

  • Goal(s)
  • Audience
  • Messaging
  • Channels
  • Budget/Resources
  • Timeline
  • Etc.

The more knowledge you have about your larger vision, the easier it will be to keep your team aligned at each phase of the production process. Getting things on paper can even expose gaps in your knowledge. 

For example, when Dropbox asked us to help them improve their employee recruiting efforts, we didn’t start with a video. We started with heavy research to understand the current talent brand perception, how employees felt about the brand, and how they were publicly perceived. With this intimate understanding of the brand, were able to identify ways to differentiate from the competition, build story pillars around Dropbox’s mission, and create video content that supported that core story. The result? We increased market perception 7%, improved their Glassdoor rating, and more—all thanks to a carefully thought-out strategy. 


Tip: Find out more about why a video strategy is crucial, and download The Content Marketer’s Guide to Brand Video to find out what elements you need to consider when you craft a video strategy.

2) Create the type of video your audience wants.

We often have clients ask us for a specific content format, but after reviewing their goals, we realize that format isn’t the best vehicle for a campaign. Creating video is a heavier lift than leaner content—and it can have a huge payoff. But you need to make sure that video is the type of content your audience wants.

45% of marketers say their audience consumes video but doesn’t prefer it over other format types.
2023 Video Visual Storytelling Survey (Content Marketing Institute)

Before diving in, ask yourself:

  • Is video the best format for this story?
  • Do they like short or long videos?
  • Do they prefer live-action, animated, or a blend of both?
  • Do they prefer horizontal or vertical video? 
  • Why would they be watching the video (explainer, tutorial, entertainment, etc.)?

Consider your personas’ needs, your overall goal, the story you’re trying to tell, etc. If video is the right choice, optimize your video to make it as easy to consume as possible. And if video is not your audience’s preferred format, explore how other formats can better tell your story.

Tip: Make sure you choose the right runtime for your videos to keep their attention and deliver information as effectively as possible. 

3) Optimize your production process to work more efficiently. 

Many marketers are hesitant to add more video to their content mix because they are overwhelmed by the production process (aka the time and budget it eats up). 

69% of marketers cite time as a top video creation challenge.  
2023 Video Visual Storytelling Survey (Content Marketing Institute)

Fortunately, improvements in technology have lowered the barrier to entry, making it easier to produce video than ever before (even if you’re remote). But you can save the most time and budget by optimizing your overall production process and efficiency. There are a few ways to do that: 

  • Build in review time to ensure you have stakeholder approvals before moving on to the next stage. (Late-stage feedback has sabotaged many video projects in our experience.) 
  • Educate yourself about best practices in everything from scripting to editing. This will save you time and avoid rookie mistakes. 
  • Review your tech stack to see if there are better tools to support your video efforts. 

You can also hold postmortems after each video project to identify ways to work more effectively. 

Tip: Explore our roundup of AI tools to see where AI can improve your process. (Only 18% of marketers use AI to assist with video creation.) That said, AI can’t replace your video production entirely. You need a human touch to ensure you’re creating something that is going to work for your audience. 

4) Know how to measure ROI. 

Whether it’s a lack of buy-in or tightening budgets, it can be harder to justify investing in video production. That’s why you need a clear plan to measure success and determine your ROI. Some of the most common metrics:

  • Reach: Views
  • Engagement: Likes, comments, watch rate 
  • Word of mouth: Social shares 
  • Relevance: Play rate 
  • Conversions 

You can also A/B test to ensure you’re delivering the best messages for your audience (and making the most of any paid spend). 

Tip: If you want to get more ROI, you need to maximize every video you create. Repackage content into shorter clips, use video to enhance other content on your blog, etc. Find out more about how a divisible content strategy can help you get more bang for your buck.

5) Center your video on a strong story. 

Even if you’ve followed every tip so far—from creating a strategy to optimizing your production process—if your core story is weak, your video content will not be as effective as it should be. This is especially true as more AI-generated content floods the Internet. 

43% of marketers say the biggest benefit of video marketing is human connection.
2023 Video Visual Storytelling Survey (Content Marketing Institute)

Remember: Emotions drive good storytelling, especially when it comes to video. What is the core message? What is the compelling narrative? How can you give it an interesting hook or twist? Tap into your audience’s emotional drivers to bring them into the story.

For example, to help Dropbox recruit engineers specifically, we needed to differentiate the brand from competitors in a unique way. Since engineers are often courted by tech giants (and thus have many options), we centered a bold and bright video campaign around a simple idea to tap into what drives engineers: an invitation to build the future. This human-centric campaign garnered 275,000 views and became so successful that Dropbox decided to run it for a year.

Conversely, sometimes you need to surprise your audience to grab their attention.

For example, when Dialpad asked us to help promote their new VoiceAI technology, we could have tried to impress their audience with talk of innovation and technology. Instead, knowing that would be the expected angle, we decided to tap into humor with a behind-the-scenes look at the robot voices they didn’t use—an unexpected approach that scored the brand two Webby Award honorable mentions

Tip: If you want more inspiration to tap into your audience’s emotions, find out how to tell a strong story through video or follow these tips to come up with bold ideas.

How to Improve Your Video Content

As you continue to explore video as a medium, remember that each video you create is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your audience. To make sure you’re making the most of each piece, there are a few more things to keep in mind. 

  • Follow best practices. Check out The Content Marketer’s Guide to Brand Video to get inside tips for every stage of the video creation process.
  • Keep an eye on your competition. If you want to stand out in someone’s feed, you need to know what other people in your industry are doing, so take a look at what the competition is putting out. You can also get great ideas from other industries. Take a look at these roundups of entertaining explainer videos and standout B2B videos for more inspiration.  
  • Use the right partner. If you don’t have the know-how to create high-quality videos, consider bringing in some support. You can start your search with these tips to find a video production agency.

Most importantly, don’t look at your video content in a vacuum. It is part of your entire content ecosystem, and you should approach it as such. Experiment, iterate, and keep working to improve your process, your videos, and your final results.

Content Marketers Guide to Brand Video CTA-19

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