4 Reasons Your Marketing Videos Aren’t Converting—and What to Do About It

April 5, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


During the 2018 Super Bowl, Dodge ran an ad featuring footage of their Ram truck with snippets of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Drum Major Instinct” speech playing in the background.

The ad sparked online outrage over Dodge’s decision to use Dr. King’s sermon in an attempt to sell Ram trucks. It has since gone down in infamy as one of the most misguided ads in history. Just like that, Dodge’s goal of getting more people to buy their Ram trucks fell flat on its face.

Dodge’s failure serves as a cautionary tale. To get viewers to take a desired action — whether that’s making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter — your video can’t be thoughtless. A video that succeeds at lead generation speaks to an audience’s interests and values, is highly visible, and encourages a clear next step.

Whether you’re looking to improve your landing pages’ conversion rate, generate subscribers from your webinars, or increase sales from your product videos, we’re here to help.

Here are four common reasons why your videos might not be working as well as they could be and how you can individually solve each problem to increase conversions.

1. Your videos aren’t actionable enough

Have you ever watched a compelling documentary and just had to find all the other pieces to the story online? You end up spending hours on Google, sifting through material and puzzling over it like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Watching the documentary inspired you to get up and go down a deep research rabbit hole, right then and there.

Great video content moves people. It inspires action. For business videos, that means having a clear, deliberate Call to Action (CTA). After all, how will the video help drive business if viewers don’t know what to do after watching it?

Simply put, if generating leads with your videos is part of your content marketing strategy, you need to ensure your videos service this goal with actionable next steps for viewers.

How to improve

The easiest way to make your video more actionable is to include a clear and concise CTA in your video. In most cases, a CTA appears at the very end of a video after you’ve highlighted the value of a specific aspect of your product to viewers.

“The easiest way to make your video more actionable is to include a clear and concise CTA in your video.”

That said, it’s also acceptable to add a CTA somewhere in the beginning or middle of the video. The point is to make sure the viewer understands the value of clicking the CTA before receiving it. It should make sense why they’re being given this next step.

Our platform allows you to create custom CTAs that will help convert viewers at all stages of the life cycle.

The action you want viewers to take should always align with the stage of the marketing funnel they’re currently in. A top-of-funnel (ToFu) video might simply ask for a viewer’s email so you can send more valuable information to them. A bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) video is likely a more direct sales pitch to inspire a purchase.

Wording is critical when it comes to CTAs. This isn’t the time to play coy! Use strong and purposeful language that is clear and accessible.

Check out our guide to video marketing CTAs for a more in-depth look at what this messaging might look like.

2. Your videos aren’t customer-focused

When people watch a business video, they want content that will benefit them in some way — whether that’s by providing entertainment or useful information (or both!).

We’re all for an incredibly creative brand video that’s subtle about selling. For an example we’re proud of, check out our Mighty Ducks-themed sales video.

We had plenty of fun with our D2: The Mighty Ducks references, but we made sure not to stray far from the video’s main point — educating the viewer about our features.

Whether it’s an in-depth product tutorial or a funny ad, video content should always center on customer needs and issues.

How to improve

To create customer-focused video content, start by thinking about what the viewer wants to see based on where they are in the marketing funnel. Not every viewer is ready to make a purchase, so serve up some sweet ToFu or middle-of-funnel (MoFu) video content to raise brand awareness and educate potential customers first, like explainer videos.

If they are well down the funnel, deliver the types of videos that make a strong case for your product and nudge them closer to making a purchase, such as case studies and testimonials. Highlight how a new or specific feature of your product can help viewers streamline their business efforts or solve a problem they’re facing. Keep in mind when creating videos that B2B leaders and marketers run on tight schedules and want to quickly understand how your product can help them.

3. Your videos are hard to find

There’s nothing worse than putting a bunch of work into a high-quality brand video you’re excited about and then having very few people watch it. Beyond being disappointing, less engagement means less brand awareness and fewer conversions.

One possible contributor to low watch numbers? Your videos are hard to find. Your videos may not be optimized for search engines, which means viewers aren’t seeing them in relevant Google searches. Or, you may be sharing videos on channels that have little to no traction for your business and missing out on valuable placement opportunities. Discoverability should be an essential part of your video marketing strategy, and an investment in video SEO is well worth the effort.

How to improve

Like written content, video content also needs a little search engine optimization love to rank on Google. Optimizing video content will help more viewers find your videos and increase the chances of a conversion. On the Wistia platform, our built-in video SEO functionality can help automatically optimize your video content.

If your video appears on random Google searches for terms your company doesn’t need to rank for, you should realign your video SEO efforts to match the right intent. Make sure you include the right keywords in titles and meta descriptions so Google can pick up on them.

If you’re looking to boost your video SEO efforts, check out these tactical video SEO tips to help you level up.

In terms of missing valuable placement opportunities, approach where you publish videos from a viewer’s perspective. If you have a product demo video, it shouldn’t be buried in a YouTube Channel with less than 40 views; the people who would be interested will never find it! Take that same video and embed it directly onto your product page for website visitors. Someone on this page is already considering your product, so it’s the perfect time to show a demo and encourage a conversion.

Action Item
Once you have the right eyes on your videos, put that data to use! Learn how to use video retargeting to nurture viewers across social media and search properties.

4. Your videos don’t deliver on user expectations

Using clickbait is standard practice on a platform like YouTube, where brand credibility isn’t always a priority for viewers. But if you’re using clickbait in client-facing B2B videos, it’s a surefire way to get those clients to discard your videos entirely and make your business appear noncredible.

When you put together a video titled “10 Tips to Make Your Blog Posts Better,” viewers are expecting exactly that. If the video fails to deliver insight on how to improve their blogs, they’re going to feel misled and disappointed. That disconnect will decrease your conversion rate and can erode consumer trust in your brand.

That same breach of trust can also extend to your video SEO efforts. If your video’s meta descriptions and tags are not an accurate representation of your video, Google can push back, penalizing video content that doesn’t deliver on user expectations.

How to improve

The first thing you should always ask yourself after you put together titles and descriptions for your video is simple: “Do these accurately represent what viewers can expect from my video?” If the answer is yes, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If not, you need to be honest with yourself about the inaccuracies and how to adjust.

“Always be truthful with what you convey to your target audience.”

Always be truthful with what you convey to your target audience. Use compelling and specific language, but don’t overpromise. Even if you don’t get as many initial clicks as you might with a more exaggerated title, the viewers you do get will see your business as credible and knowledgeable. Delivering on your promise can also increase click-through rate (CTR) and boost conversions by building trust with your brand.

Want to convert more customers? Try a professional video marketing solution

Getting viewers to take action based on a video requires some finesse, and it won’t work the same way every time. As you experiment with different digital marketing strategies, consider investing in a platform that will allow you to analyze data on your different videos and identify why some do better than others.

Wistia offers a number of useful features, such as A/B testing and video SEO functionality, that can help you quickly gather accurate insights into video content performance and use that information to create even better videos going forward.

Meisha Bochicchio


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