This article was originally published on Marketing Land on March 24, 2016.

When it comes to creating engaging video content and optimizing the connection with your target demographic, brands need to have a clear video marketing strategy in place from the get-go.

Goals must be defined, and your audience needs to be identified. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be clarified beforehand, with a call to action front and center.

But there’s more to successful video marketing than just these basic guidelines. There are also moving parts at play that can greatly affect your video’s ability to deliver for your brand.

Here are seven common pitfalls for marketers developing their video content — and how to sidestep them…

Mistake #1: Setting your sights on a viral hit

Producing a viral mega-hit can obviously do wonders for your brand, but it shouldn’t be the centerpiece of your digital strategy. Why? Virality is an organic process, and it doesn’t come with a neat formula. It also represents a very small piece of the content pie.

The key is to shift your thinking to sustainability. Instead of breaking the bank with something that may or may not go viral, turn your attention to creating a steady stream of engaging video that’s relevant to your core audience.

Think about initiating a long-term conversation with your base by offering a wider variety of video content that they’ll actually value. This is how you convert your viewers into a loyal community that returns for more.

Mistake #2: Posting videos irregularly

To cultivate a loyal following, brands need to be consistent and reliable about how often they publish new content. Sporadically posted videos (no matter how well done) will likely be missed by your target demo simply because they didn’t know they were coming.

On the flip side, viewers will tune in if they’re expecting engaging content.

Carve out space in your marketing strategy for updated videos meant to attract and retain your target demo. The main idea here is putting out consistent, entertaining and relevant video content. This can include everything from informative service videos to entertaining Q&As.

Mistake #3: Forgetting to optimize your video for mobile

It should come as no surprise that more than 90 percent of people watching video on their mobile devices will go on to share it with others. And any brand trying to reach a millennial audience knows that it’s the only way a major chunk of this demographic views content.

Seamless viewing absolutely needs to extend from desktops to smartphones to tablets. It’s best to go light on plug-ins, media files and other heavy add-ons so that your video has a fighting chance on mobile.

If poor WiFi or not-so-great cellular data is enough to tank your video, it could translate to a major roadblock.

Mistake #4: Pushing “salesy” videos

One general rule of thumb when it comes to video content is to ask yourself if this is something that you’d enjoy watching yourself. Simply put, viewers will walk away if they feel like they’re watching an infomercial.

Instead, video content should be short, engaging and relevant. The plus side is that these are also the same attributes that make for shareable videos.

Delivering solid, original content is key, as it creates a more dynamic, satisfying brand experience. At the same time, it gives SEO a boost while setting the stage for increased referral traffic and better performance on social.

Mistake #5: Failing to integrate social media

With more and more consumers discovering, viewing and sharing video content on social media, these platforms double as a bullhorn for brand messaging. One report from The Verge even found that 80 percent of the top 10 most shared Facebook posts feature a video.

It’s more important than ever to utilize these channels to bring your material to the masses.

Can your video content be easily shared on social? Many of your viewers are unlikely to copy the link, open their Facebook app, then paste it into their status.

But you can effectively simplify the process — and optimize your video’s shareability — by including social sharing directly within the content.

Mistake #6: Forgetting viewers want to participate

A recent survey we conducted at Rapt Media shows that 64 percent of consumers are more likely to spend time watching a video if they have the chance to interact with it. This means that if your video is more of a one-way dialogue, you’re missing a huge opportunity for engagement.

Our research has actually found that traditional, static video falls significantly short in this department. In fact, interactive video drives up to three times more engagement than its linear counterpart.

Providing choice points and opportunities for your viewer to control the experience can make or break a video.

Mistake #7: Quitting once the video is live

Producing a video, putting in the work, and then releasing it online isn’t where the story ends for digital marketers. On the contrary, it’s absolutely vital to monitor your video’s performance. Otherwise, you’re flying blind.

If you’re going the interactive route, this also opens the door for deeper analytics. What parts of the video are your viewers clicking on? Which choice points do they care about? And which ones are being glossed over?

Being able to demonstrate ROI (return on investment) so specifically can greatly inform your digital marketing approach. And since your video can always be tweaked and edited in real-time after it’s live, you can tinker with it until you get a better feel for what’s working and what’s not.

Being able to collect meaningful insights enables you to inform the content and focus of future videos.

At the end of the day, not all video content is created equal, but avoiding these seven mistakes can certainly help level the playing field.

This article was originally published on Marketing Land on March 24, 2016.