3 Common Digital Video Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There’s little doubt that video content can be a great asset to your digital marketing efforts. After all, many people are visual learners by nature, and the data behind digital marketing statistics tends to support the power of video marketing.

When three-fourths of “online video viewers” state that they interact with video ads on a monthly basis, and a full 90% of users find product videos to be beneficial in their decision-making process, it’s obvious that there is a lot of potential with video.

Unfortunately, even seemingly minor mistakes can hold you back from getting the most out of your video marketing efforts. Here are three surprisingly common digital video marketing mistakes, as well as what you can do to avoid them.

Be careful with YouTube embeds

Embedding video content on your website can be a great marketing tactic, especially for companies looking for a quick, user-friendly way to explain how their product or service works. Videos can be informative. They can be entertaining. They can even contribute to your overall SEO rankings. However, a YouTube video embed can serve as a double-edged sword.

Embedding a YouTube video is less likely to generate strong SEO results for your website than a natively-hosted video, but it is also an understandable option when trying to expand your reach through social media or keep your page loading time up to speed.

But as anyone who has used YouTube knows, the social video platform likes to suggest other videos to watch once you complete your current video. And this can be problematic for businesses.

For example, a recent article on Business2Community highlighted a marketing expert’s experience reviewing a company website. The landing page contained a link to a short, engaging YouTube video that perfectly highlighted the benefits of the business.

But when the video ended, what did YouTube recommend to watch next? A video accusing the company of being a scam.

Not what you’d want customers to see on your website. Yet this problem could have been easily avoided simply by unchecking the box “Show suggested videos when the video finishes” when the video was embedded. A single click could have prevented this disaster.

Autoplay videos

Another website video problem can occur when you set your content to automatically start playing when a user visits your site. Few things are more jarring to a user’s browsing experience than when they’re suddenly blasted by noise from your video—especially if they don’t have headphones plugged in.

There’s a reason countless articles exist on how to stop autoplay video. While video can be helpful for many web users, that doesn’t mean everyone wants to watch the video. Some people prefer to read. Others might want to plug their headphones in before viewing video content. Or they might want to watch your video, but with the sound muted.

Setting your embedded video to play automatically can ultimately cause people to click away from your website without ever viewing your content. Avoid this video pitfall by giving users total control over their video viewing experience—from clicking to start the video to controlling the volume.

Because many users prefer to watch muted video (especially when in a public place), it may also be helpful to add text overlay or captioning to your video content. This way, users can digest your entire message, even when they need to have the audio turned off.

Sharing videos on Facebook

As big of a platform as YouTube has been for viewing and sharing videos, Facebook has become an increasingly important part of digital video marketing. The social media giant reported that 8 billion video views occurred daily in 2016, and the introduction of live video streaming added yet another marketing opportunity.

Unfortunately, far too many businesses are shooting themselves in the foot by simply sharing links to their YouTube content, rather than uploading videos directly to Facebook. And that can result in a huge missed opportunity.

Part of the reasoning behind this is that Facebook wants its users to stay on Facebook, rather than clicking off-site. Because of this, a YouTube link doesn’t receive the same level of organic distribution as a video that has been uploaded directly to Facebook.

In fact, one recent study found that while native video content has an average organic audience reach of 8.7%, links only have a reach of approximately 5.3%. This translates to differing levels of engagement as well.

While it may seem nice to try to increase your total views on YouTube, for an improved return on investment for your Facebook video content, don’t share a link. Upload video content directly to Facebook so you can generate improved reach and engagement for your brand.


Are these simple video marketing mistakes with equally simple solutions? Absolutely. But they continue to plague startups and well-established businesses alike.

By taking a few extra steps, you can avoid these pitfalls that prevent your video content from being truly effective. Then you’ll be in a better position to leverage your video marketing campaigns as a positive influence on potential customers, and see a stronger ROI as a result.

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