3 Common Reasons Why Your Marketing Video Isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)

Josh Lomax
April 14, 2022

3 Common Reasons Why Your Marketing Video Isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)

So you’ve just spent a fair penny on a professional video and it’s not doing as well as you thought it would. What now? Before you swear off video marketing for life, we ask you to consider listening to just 3 reasons why your video marketing isn’t working and the steps you can take to fix it.

Unfortunately, this is more common than you might think.

When this does happen, business owners and brands begin to question the effectiveness of video marketing and if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same boat.

Never fear! We can assure you that video marketing is still as effective as ever, if not even more so than when you first started your project. The video industry is constantly growing!

So why doesn’t your video work? 

Well, there’s a whole host of reasons why your video may have underperformed. There’s plenty that can go wrong at all stages of the video production process, which is one of the main reasons we recommend commissioning a professional video team. 

Out of all the reasons though, the following 3 are what we’ve found the most common.

Let’s hash this out!

1. No defined purpose or objective

A video without a purpose is like a game of football without a ball.

It’s pointless.

Before you touch anything, and we mean anything, ask yourself - what do I want to achieve from this project?

So many people get lost in the midst of a creative idea they’ve had that they never actually stop and think about the purpose of it all. This is just as dangerous as starting a video project with no idea at all and winging it. 

Now, some of you may scoff at this if your goal is to sell a product/service because you'll think that the purpose is obvious. You just want to sell.

The problem with this is that it’s not really defined. How are you going to sell your product/service? How are you going to approach this with regard to your target market?  What makes your offering different and more appealing than the hundreds, if not thousands of other similar businesses out there?

An example of a clearly defined purpose would be something like this:

This video will help [insert audience] understand that [insert product or service] solves the problem of [insert problem the product or service solves] and provides [insert benefits]. We will measure the success of this video by [insert metrics for success].

It’s simple and clearly defined. Don’t get us wrong you could, and probably should, go into much more detail than this but it’s a very good base point to get you started on your project. We’ve also added a metrics for success section at the end because you should always set goals for what you want to achieve from your video.

2. No obvious message

A video with no message will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears.

Even when you have a clearly defined objective, your message has to be clear and well executed.

It’s not enough to just say why your product or service is so good. You have to do it in a convincing and original way for it to really resonate with your audience.

So, what makes a good message?

A good message is authentic, original and creative. A good message doesn’t just say something, it shows it.

Oftentimes this is in the form of problem solving. Think about your service or product, what problem does that solve for your consumer?

One of the best and most common ways to effectively get a message across within video is to tap into human emotion. 

Why? Because emotions lead to impulses and impulses lead to actions and in the case of marketers, viewer actions = happy marketers. 

You’ll have no doubt seen hundreds of adverts that target your emotions. Car adverts often go for the adrenaline, action packed approach that lets us envision a life of being “cool” and looking good. Food advertisements will try anything to target your desire and hunger, to the point of literally creating food products that look nothing like their real life counterparts. Charities and organisations will often appeal to your sympathetic side by using upsetting imagery and disheartening voice overs/music in hopes that you’ll sign up or donate.

Now, none of these are wrong to do. If anything they’re really effective, hence why they're so common.

We’re not saying to copy what others have done, we’re just illustrating how effective targeting someone's emotions can be.

There are some common mistakes to avoid here too:

  • Too general - don’t try to appeal to everyone. As the common quote goes, ‘if you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one’ (multiple sources, [online]). Find your target audience and speak directly to them, don’t worry about it not being relevant for everyone, it’s not supposed to be.
  • Too much fluff - what we mean by this is there’s too much nonsense in there. Don’t make your video longer than it needs to be, if anything be absolutely brutal by cutting it down as much as you can. Admittedly, this can be hard to do but follow this simple rule - if it doesn’t help with your message, get rid.
  • Too much you in there - don’t make the whole video about you. As harsh as it may sound, your consumers won’t really care about what you’ve achieved or how many awards you’ve just taken home, they just want their problem solved. You need to focus on showing them that you can solve their problem for them. 
  • Avoid jargon - don’t flabbergast your audience with jargon. It’s disengaging, it’s confusing and it’s often hard to understand. I understand that sometimes some jargon is needed but please, keep it at the absolute minimum.

This can be hard to get right and you shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself for not getting it right straight off the bat. This is why split testing and running multiple ads can help. It will show you what works and what doesn’t. 

3. No consideration of audience

We’ve just briefly touched upon this but it’s so important that it deserves it’s own section.

No matter what goal or message you choose, you have to make it relevant to your audience.

Without an audience, you’ve got nothing.

There’s not too much to tell here other than to understand your audience. If you don’t feel like you understand your audience, then take steps to learn about your audience.

Research your demographic, see what competitors with a similar target market have done, directly ask members of your target audience if you can.

Whatever you do, you must learn about what makes them tick. This will be your best way to succeed in any form of marketing.

There are troupes which all audiences will somewhat follow. For instance, if your target audience is residents over 65, maybe don’t go for the all out action promo video. Just like if your target audience is parents who have toddlers, maybe don’t go for some profanity filled trendy dance video. 

Never say never though, if there’s a market for 65 year old thrill seekers then by all means, go for it. 

Ultimately, what we’re saying here is to tailor your video to your target audience. There’s no cheat sheet here, you’ll know your target audience best.

Don’t worry about the masses, focus solely on your audience. The more specific the better.

Bonus point - Poor marketing and promotion

As a final bonus point, we thought we’d quickly add poor promotion onto our list.

You could do all the 3 previous points perfectly and still see no results.


Well, unfortunately (or fortunately if you work in marketing, otherwise we’d have no job) we have to actually market the video for people to see it.

Just posting a video and leaving it to do it’s thing with no attempt at promotion will be about as much use as driving a car with no wheels. It won’t get you anywhere.

We’re not saying you have to go and spend a fortune on advertising, we’re saying you have to make active efforts to promote your video. 

Posting your video when traffic is high, using relevant hashtags, creating an engaging thumbnail, asking people to share it, integrating it into your other social media platforms - these are all going to help with the success of your video. We aren’t going to list all the possible methods here but there’s plenty you can do without spending a penny.

If on the other hand you do have the budget for advertising, that will definitely help your video. Paid ads are a great way to force your video in front of the right people.

Final thoughts

We’ve just covered 3 common reasons why your video marketing isn’t working and the relevant steps you can take towards fixing it. 

There can of course be other issues with video marketing that aren't related to what we’ve spoken about in this article but the points we’ve discussed above are undoubtedly the most important. They work as a bit of a trio, if one is out of line, the others will be too. This is part of the reason they are so important and can be such an issue for video content.

It’s important to remember that even if your video project doesn’t achieve exactly what you want it to, it’s not the end of the world. If you feel like you’ve done everything right and it’s still not working, don’t worry. You’ll never succeed every time and you’d be surprised at how beneficial a “poor” video can be when you give it another go knowing what you know from the first attempt.