Consumers love to share videos with their friends, colleagues and families. In fact, our exclusive survey of 1,000 web users revealed that 61% like to share videos – more than news stories (50%), research (28%), vouchers (24%), competitions (21%), advice guides (19%) and infographics (16%).

But we also asked people what they find most annoying about video ads on social media. And they told us about these video mistakes.

Consumers’ top video bugbears

Pop-up ads drive us insane (54%)

Yup, if you really really want to annoy your customers, get into pop-up advertising. It topped our ranking of the most annoying things about social video advertising – and the biggest video mistake made by brands.

Don’t bombard us with your ad (42%)

While consumers don’t mind receiving video advertising on their social feeds, 42% get annoyed when they see the same ad again and again.

Don’t show me irrelevant ads (42%)

As well as seeing the same ad too often, consumers are irritated when the content advertised at them is irrelevant. It’s relatively easy on most social platforms to accurately target based on interests and demographics so there’s no excuse for making this video mistake.

Don’t mislead me (40%)

40% of our panel reported that misleading ads really do make them mad. Don’t trick your user into clicking on your ad by pretending they’ll get to see a video of kittens playing with puppies.

Urrrggggh we get so frustrated by those unskippable pre-roll video ads (39%)

You know when you’re trying to watch that 28 second panda sneeze clip on YouTube, but you first have to sit through 90 seconds of advertising for a team management app – just show me the mommy panda freaking out when the baby panda sneezes please!

Don’t shove rubbish in my face (31%)

Poor quality ads really get under the skin of 40% of consumers. And remember that our research has shown that the quality of your video is a reflection on your brand, so those cheap, pixelated, grammatically incorrect, stock animation ads will do double the damage to your business.

Don’t embarrass me with your autoplay (31%)

Consumers want to be able to sneak a look a their social feeds when they probably shouldn’t be – in a lecture, while having lunch with a boring friend or in an open plan office. Don’t catch them out with autoplay ads with the sound on!

Don’t make me turn the sound on (19%)

In fact, when it comes to sound, a small minority (19%) want their video ads not to have any.

Don’t be a creepy stalker (13%)

We were quite surprised that only 13% of our panellists are bothered by ads that are relevant to their previous online activity. So, dear marketer, remarket to your heart’s content!

A video director’s top video mistakes

Nobody wants video mistakes ruining their brand-new content – especially considering how valuable a video can be when done well. Unfortunately, too many company videos are produced very badly and end up repelling, rather than attracting, viewers. Video is a cool medium but you can’t just sit your CEO down with a script to read and hit play on your uncle’s camcorder. Believe it or not, quite a lot of hard work goes into making a corporate video sound good, look great and help you achieve your business objectives.

As a corporate video production company, we keep a close eye on the video mistakes we see marketers making time and again. Here are some of the worst we can think of.​

There’s no clear target audience

You can’t aim your corporate video at everyone. The thing is, first-time home-owners are a very different kettle of fish to retired pensioners. Students are not the same as teachers. Parents of teenagers have very little in common with actual teenagers.

Before you commission a corporate video, make sure you know who you’re targeting. WHO is the very first question you have to ask – this will help define what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Your target audience will dictate the style, content and message of your video.

The objective has gone a.w.o.l

Why people why?

There’s no need to have an existential crisis but your corporate video does need a purpose. Why are you commissioning the video? What do you want it to achieve and what are its key messages? All too often, someone somewhere will want to include everything that ever happened in the history of your company from year dot. This is known in the industry as OMG TMI. You need one clear message to communicate your overarching objective.

It’s a never-ending story

One of the most common video mistakes is making something last too long. Our attention spans are getting shorter – and the length of videos is decreasing to fit this trend. Generally, the 90-second mark is the sweet spot.

As soon as your video starts to drone and drag, viewers will leave and move on to something better. It’s a fickle world so make sure you work with a production team that can help you cut out all the unnecessary fluff and keep your message on target.

The script sounds too scripted

A boring or badly-delivered narrative, can reduce your message to nothing – or have the opposite effect you were aiming for. Your video’s script needs to be effective and authentic. If your video sounds fake, it will rub off on your company. Don’t put your CEO in the video if they aren’t great on camera (a classic video mistake). You might think that they’ll add to your video’s authenticity but if they can’t ‘act’, think again and rather choose a good quality voice artist for the narration.

The video isn’t mobile friendly

Take an average video and more often than not, over half its views will be from mobile devices. In other words, if your video isn’t easily accessible on a mobile device, you might as well just say goodbye to half the people you could entice, persuade or inspire with your message. Plus have you considered subtitles for all the people watching with the sound turned off i.e. most people on Facebook…

Also, strategic distribution of your video content is as important as creating something of quality. How you start is crucial but don’t forget to consider the end-point and make sure it’s user-friendly.

Poor production quality

One of the biggest, most unforgivable video mistakes you can make is cutting corners on production quality. Most viewers don’t notice when a video is made well, but everyone will notice if it’s poorly produced.  Without proper investment in the production you’ll end up with ugly compositions, bad lighting, poor colour grading, dodgy graphics and an out-of-focus picture. You may have saved some pennies but you’ll have to reshoot your video which will ultimately cost more.

If you want to avoid making unforgiveable video mistakes, give Jamie, our managing director, a shout. No disrespect to your uncle or anything. 

You will probably also like:

The survey of 1,000 internet users across the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA was commissioned by Definition and conducted by Pollfish.