Skip to main content

6 reasons why your videos aren’t working and how to get them working again

video not workingVideo is an essential marketing channel for most organisations. From explainer and product videos to testimonials and company culture videos, they each have a valuable role to play. But only if your target audience watches them.

Whether you’re creating video communications for internal or external purposes, it can be difficult to get people’s attention – and, most importantly, their engagement. If your videos aren’t working, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

1. Lack of targeting

You need to be clear about your target audience. If you’re doing an internal video about new procedures within your HR department, for example, it has to be created with your HR team in mind – which might not be the way you would communicate to employees in other departments. If you’re trying to raise awareness of your latest product with potential new customers, your approach and language will need to be tailored accordingly.

2. Lack of engaging contentimage of women looking at phone to support article about videos not working

It doesn’t matter how good your video is if people don’t watch it – or if they only watch a few seconds and then give up before you’ve got your message across. If the content is dull and boring, people will not watch the video for long and probably forget what they’ve seen within a day or two. Just because content is designed for an internal audience – or it explores a ‘boring’ subject – does not mean your video has to be boring too.

Have a look at this video we produced for The Deaf Health Charity aimed at NHS professionals. Although it was commissioned to explain very complicated and convoluted legislation, it isn’t boring. The result was that our client received a lot of positive feedback – people watched it, understood it, shared it and commented that it made a difference.

3. Using the wrong channel

The medium you use to distribute your video content can be a significant reason for comms not working effectively. Perhaps you’re sending all of your content via email and people are just not watching the video or ignoring the message. Testing different channels – such as YouTube, LinkedIn etc – to see which ones drive the most engagement can be a powerful exercise in improving the performance of your video content.

4. Lack of proactive marketing

It is always a challenge to get content in front of your target audience. Having identified the right channels, it might seem like a straightforward exercise to share links via email or social media and watch the views clock up. But it doesn’t always work like that. Your content has to compete with everyone else’s. Digital technology offers many opportunities to deliver highly targeted messages and video content to your prospects – using programmatic advertising, for example. It is about getting your content in front of customers away from your website and social media profiles.

5. Lack of alignment with brand or values

Whether you are trying to build a brand or have an established brand, consistency is key. Otherwise, you risk confusing your audience and they will be more likely to remember the less-consistent aspects of your video rather than the intended message. This isn’t just about logos and straplines – it’s also about tone of voice, imagery and core values.

6. Not measuring performance

Measurement is absolutely critical when it comes to understanding and improving your video comms. The following are some of the reasons why companies struggle to get an accurate picture of their performance:

  • Lack of measurement tools
  • Lack of time or resource
  • Lack of knowledge of what metrics are relevant
  • Lack of clarity on the right metrics to measure for each channel

Investing cash or time to improve measurement will help ensure your video comms are more effective. This recent article will provide more detail. Typically, you should be looking at the following:

  • Number of views
  • Average time watching the video
  • Completions of the ‘call to action’
  • Level of understanding – a short survey can help with this

Constantly testing and implementing your learnings can drastically improve the overall performance of your video comms.

Now we have looked at the reasons why your videos aren’t working, let’s look at ways to get them working again.

6 top tips for effective visual engagement

1. Focus on your target audience

A high viewer count is only useful if your video or animation is being seen by your target audience. Otherwise, it is not going to translate into the sales or other actions you are hoping for. Whatever way you choose to promote your video content – internally or externally – make sure you’re getting it in front of the right people.

2. Manage viewer expectations

It’s tempting to oversell your video content to get prospects to click on the link and watch. But if they’re promised one thing and it turns out to be something different, you’ll see a high bounce rate. If your video content is aligned with your target audience, this won’t be a problem. And choose wisely when you’re uploading a thumbnail to sit alongside your video – this can make or break first impressions.

3. Get to the point

Attention spans online are short. In fact, the average attention span is estimated at just 8.5 seconds. So the pressure is on to grab attention quickly as people scroll through the feeds or browse your website. You need to convince people that what they’re about to watch is worth their time. A lengthy title sequence with graphics and logos or a long-winded introduction will lead to viewers dropping out. Jump straight in by showing and proving your point instead of talking around it.

4. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)

Clear, concise videos take viewers through a well-executed narrative that keeps their interest throughout. Remember, you’ve only got a short amount of time to get your message across – so you need to bring your story to life quickly. Whether it’s a snapshot of your business, a training guide or a message from the chief executive, don’t over-complicate things. Keep it simple to make it more engaging.

5. Troubleshoot where viewers drop out

All is not lost if you find viewers are dropping out early from your video. Analyse what is going on. Is there a specific point at which they are giving up? You might be able to edit and refine the video to build longer engagement. At the very least, you can learn from it for future video productions.

It’s also worth checking if viewers could be dropping out because they’ve got what they came for and so don’t need to watch through to the end. If so, is this a problem? It might mean you still get the sale you needed. But perhaps you’ve given viewers a solution too soon – before you’ve had a chance to get your message across or tell them what to do next. If so, consider splitting your content into multiple videos so you can include that call to action immediately after they get their solution.

6. Keep viewers engaged until the end

It’s not over until it’s over – don’t unwittingly signal to your viewers too soon that the video is over and you’ve shared all your valuable content. Avoid phrases such as ‘and finally’ or ‘in summary’. Instead, keep viewers engaged right through to the end, especially if you have a call to action that’s an objective for your content. Make sure any music you use doesn’t sound like it’s wrapping up too early either.

If we’ve kept you engaged to the end of this blog and you would like to discuss how to make your video comms more effective, please get in touch. Call 01252 717707 or email

Caroline Edmonds

Author Caroline Edmonds

More posts by Caroline Edmonds

Leave a Reply