Viva la video

Video may have killed the radio star, but it likely won't kill your business - so long as you exercise proper video etiquette. Everyone's better served with a few million YouTube views under their belt. Still, resistance and misuse remain two of the biggest factors that prevent businesses from launching successful video campaigns.

Resistance is futile

Producing a commercial, TV spot or flagship video comes with a price tag. Generally, the higher the production value, the greater the cost. This barrier can be too much to overcome for business owners who want to realize an immediate profit off each video view, but the benefits of video marketing aren't always so apparent - or immediate, for that matter.

Companies like Hilborn, a knowledgebase and resource for charities and nonprofits, suggest video as a way to increase donor retention. They break down video campaigns into four main parts: the flagship video, annual reports, video blogs/newsletters and a generic "thank you" spot. These four items keep customers engaged and building a relationship with your business in a way static images and standard websites can't.

Misusing and abusing

Your business probably runs on a core set of philosophies; your mission statement is a veritable gold mine of marketable material, no doubt. Not only do you want to convey these ideas to your customer, you want to show them what a sweet product you have and how awesome your corporate culture is. Your company's bursting at the seams with ideas, rife with opportunity and standing as the envy of the industry.

Don't cram all that into a bulky 15-minute video spanning your company's birth, growth, challenge periods, future goals, greatest accomplishments, community outreach programs, employee pet-day programs, and other minutae. Your viewers will drown in the aftermath of the 50-foot-tall crashing wave that is your monstrous video clip.

Our attention spans are ever-shrinking. Between June 2012 and June 2013, the average length a viewer watches a video clip - like on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook - plummeted from 7 minutes to 5 minutes.

Even more grim is the drop off in completion percentage for videos between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. The average completion percentage for a 30-second video hosted on Wistia was 85%, compared to 50% for the average 2-minute video.

Compartmentalize your campaign - give your viewers easy-to-digest nuggets of content they can chew on with production values you can both afford and respect.