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Sometimes, it’s what you don’t say that really counts. This couldn’t be more true for marketing videos, where choosing your words wisely makes a world of difference to the success of your campaign. 

In this post, we’ll look at what NOT to say in your marketing video. From scripts that aren’t realistic to videos that omit that all-important call-to-action, if you avoid the common pain points on this list, your marketing video will be a hit!

Treating your audience like customers rather than people.

Most of us don’t respond well to aggressive selling techniques. The hard sell may work well in the short term, but in the longer run, an approach that focuses on building a relationship between customer and brand is one that will yield better results.

Marketing videos that are most successful tell a story, often about how people use the product or service, to improve their lives. One shining example of brand storytelling is this video for Dawn dish soap:

Note that the videographers opted to portray a use of the product that wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. Rather than explicitly stating that this brand of dish soap is incredibly gentle, this message is clearly suggested by using the chicks as a subject.

Showing, rather than telling, will make for a more interesting video for your viewers. Just be sure that what you are showing is clear.

Not reading the script out loud before filming.

Even if it feels silly, reading your script aloud will help you catch errors and improve its flow. This is a great way of ensuring that the script is sharp, natural, and mistake-free.

Adopting a tone that isn’t appropriate for the audience.

As a video marketer, you should have a clear idea of the demographic of your target audience. Make friends with them. Marketing videos are typically short, so don’t waste time telling them what they already know or aren’t interested in.

If you can find something your audience cares about, this makes for an effective, relevant marketing video. It may be something that directly affects them (like saving them money or time), or something that appeals to their caring side, such as this GoPro marketing video:

GoPro doesn’t state the obvious, that their cameras are so durable and lightweight that firefighters use them when on duty. Rather, they told an inspirational story about one particular kitten who got a big helping hand when it needed it.

Overcomplicating the message.

Strike a balance between sharing the details of your product or service, and keeping the message easily comprehensible for all viewers. Showing clearly, rather than telling, is key when it comes to keeping things simple and interesting for the audience.

Trying too hard to be funny.

You can make a funny video if your product lends itself easily to humor. Likewise, you can make a humorous marketing video even if your product isn’t intrinsically funny. The important thing to remember is that your storyline must be funny – trying to shoehorn humor into a storyline that isn’t funny will fall flat.

Check out how Gusto (ZenPayroll) used humor to market their services. Their payroll and benefits services aren’t particularly funny, but the storyline (how HR professionals are the real CEOs – Chief Everything Officers) definitely is:

The script is inaccurate.

The QR code used by Heinz ketchup that accidentally directed customer to a pornography site has gone down in marketing blooper history. When you’re putting together a script, check, check and check again that your message is accurate. The same applies to the written content at the end of the video. And, as the marketing team at Heinz learned, make sure all locations you direct customers to remain under the control and ownership of your brand.

If the worst happens, and it’s discovered that a mistake has been made after the video is released, it’s best to remove it from all platforms and make a totally new one.

Failing to make the takeaway clear.

This all comes back to writing a clear, concise script. If your message is confused or overly long, one outcome is certain – your audience won’t engage. We recommend reading the script to colleagues or even family members and asking if they can tell you the takeaway. Then, when you have completed the first edit, ask again whether they can share the takeaway message with you.

Forgetting to include a call-to-action.

“Visit our website.” “Call into your local store for a tasting session.” “Mention this video to get 20% off.”

Does your audience know what to do after watching the video? If they’re not certain, you will lose leads or clicks. Make sure you incorporate a clear call to action in the script, or in the customizable post play links offered by SproutVideo.

Do you have any other tips to share on the best way to script a marketing video? How do you engage your audience? Share your experience with the SproutVideo community on Twitter, Facebook, or in the Comments section below!

Written by Laci Texter

SproutVideo blog contributor. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Posted October 17, 2016

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