3 Mistakes To Avoid When Posting YouTube Videos

Do a quick search on YouTube and you’ll find videos without sound, ones that make no sense, poorly produced videos, and boring content. The worthless video is everywhere.

These poorly produced videos are fine if you’re uploading footage of your cat chasing your hamster or showing your kids playing in the ocean. But if you are a company using YouTube to promote your services, products, or expertise, then poorly produced videos will do the opposite of what you intended.

Posting a video just to post it: Posting a video without a clear purpose is a YouTube no-no. Not to mention a waste of your energy and the viewer’s time.  Before you create a video, you want to decide what the purpose is, the best way to provide prospects with valuable information, and the most effective way to execute it.

Let’s say a tour company wants to post a video about their latest tour promotion to Niagara Falls. Posting a video that just scans the falls and the spectators isn’t enough. Without some sort of explanation to orient the viewer, the video will have minimal impact. And a video like this does nothing to entice viewers to want to visit Niagara Falls. Sure it’s a nice view, but the video message isn’t powerful enough.

A more effective video would orient the viewer and include audio that talks about the tour, gives facts about the Falls, and / or include happy traveler interviews about their experience.

Your video should reinforce your brand, not hinder it: A poorly made video—whether it be bad quality, muffled sound, or flat-out pointless—reflects your brand image. Your videos should be consistent with your brand personality and with your brand message.

For example, if you are an adventure travel company and you have a video of you on a zip line high above a rainforest canopy, viewers will be okay with shaky video footage. It not only shows what your company does, but it creates an experience for them. By contrast, if you own a spa and you want to post a video on the latest and greatest facial services you offer, your video should be high quality. Your dress and message should reflect your brand.

Not using a call to action at the end of each video: Although the entire video should be working to drive the prospective client to take action, the last portion of your video should always provide a call to action and be accompanied by the appropriate contact information and links.  Having your information readily available after viewers finish your video will help drive them to take action, which could be calling your company, purchasing your product online, inquiring via email, or simply learning more about your company.

Whatever the action you want them to take, make it obvious.While the call-to-action usually comes at the end, if you have the appropriate video software you can display your website link and company phone number at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire duration of the video.

Michelle Salater

Michelle Salater is an award-winning writer and president of Sūmèr, LLC, a company which specializes in web copy writing, SEO copywriting, and the promotion and marketing of websites after they launch. In 2009, she was awarded the Forty Under 40 Award for her business and community leadership. 


  7 comments for “3 Mistakes To Avoid When Posting YouTube Videos

  1. January 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm


    Thanks so much for the great pointers.

    Do you have a video camera you would recommend that is affordable while providing sufficient quality to rebroadcast to appear professional enough for business purposes?

    What editing software would you recommend for adding sound, type and a call to action?

  2. January 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Nanette,

    The flip cams are great. Affordable and take great, professional quality shots. I would suggest getting a microphone to use. As far as software goes, I cannot recommend one yet. I’m currently looking for one. For the past few weeks, I’ve been borrowing a friends Mac.

  3. February 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Really? You mean the little ones that retail for around $100? I would have figured the quality would be lacking and shots would be jumpy. Thanks for the tip on this – and the microphone. Most of what I will be filming includes a lot of movement (which is why I’m little concerned about quality) but the sound will not be particularly important. Still, you’re right – you never know when you’re going to need to have sound and it’s good to be ready to ensure it’s audible.

  4. February 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I’d recommend a Flip cam — preferably Flip Ultra HD. I’ve tried the latest version of Cyberlink PowerDirector and one other editing program that doesn’t come to mind. However, thanks to some outside advice, I finally ended up settling on Quicktime Pro.

    Quicktime Pro is not particularly sophisticated, but it works. Even if you haven’t done a lot of video editing you can get the hang of Quicktime Pro in pretty short order. I don’t think you can go wrong with Quicktime Pro for basic Flip editing whether Mac or PC, Michelle and Nanette.

  5. February 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks, Chris, for your input. I’ve heard good things about Quicktime Pro and will check it out. I’m looking for something that is easy to use and does the job.

  6. February 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks too, Chris and Michelle. Once I decide on a solution, I’ll report on how it works for me. I really appreciate your input.

  7. February 9, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Michelle, I hope everyone interested in vlogging or adding video content reads this post. Too often people post videos without properly taking into consideration their audience’s attention span and interest level in the material. When content is not furthering the topic in a clear and concise way, I quickly tune out.

Comments are closed.