“There are loads of marketing videos on the web now, and some are extremely effective,” says Jennifer Santoro, integrative marketing specialist and chief happiness officer for InVidz Smart Video Technology (www.InVidz.com). “But there are plenty that just don’t work.” Santoro says she’s noticed common themes among the latter group. Based on those, here are her five factors that will destine your video for failure.

1. The video takes too long to get to the point. In the age of the “tweet,” marketers have only a few seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. In order to get the viewer to engage, put serious thought into what the main point of the video is and then clearly communicate that message as quickly as possible. The attention span for video watching seems to be about 60 seconds. Every word counts. Don’t use five words when three will do.

2. The video content is inauthentic. Today’s consumers value authenticity and they can smell B.S. a mile away. Never try to portray yourself or your salon as something you’re not. Embrace who you are and what you actually offer; people will relate to and engage with that content. As soon as viewers suspect pretense, their trust will be gone.

3. Distracting noises on the audio. Rule of thumb: The visual can suck, but the audio can’t. Visually you don’t have to do anything fancy. A simple shot of you speaking in front of a nice background will never be distracting. However, distracting noises in the audio will kill your video every time. If you’re on a budget, put your money toward a decent microphone as opposed to a fancy camera. It’s amazing what you can do visually with an iPhone. However, without a proper microphone, the recording will pick up too many distracting noises. (Try the Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone to get started. It’s affordable and compatible with an iPhone; you just need the adapter.)

4. The intention of the video is not clear. Too often we get distracted by special effects and features, or telling elaborate stories, and forget that the video needs to have a clear and concise message. Never shoot a video simply because you think you’re supposed to have a video. Before you ever pick up your audio equipment and camera, spend significant time clarifying the intention of the video and composing your script around that intention.

5. Viewers can’t take immediate action. The whole point of a marketing video is to get your viewer to take some sort of action. Consumers are much more likely to follow through on a decision if they are motivated to act upon it instantly. Smart video technology from InVidz.com even allows viewers to take immediate action directly from the video itself.

One final tip from Santoro: Remember the rule of quality over quantity. One extremely effective video is better than 10 ineffective videos.