For Marketers, Video is King and Quality is Queen


Long ago, the original ad men popularized the idea that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but it wasn’t exactly an original idea. There are similar quotes attributed to Napoleon (“A good sketch is better than a long speech”) and Confucius (“Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once”). What would these ancient souls think of video?

You already know what the largest search engine is, but do you know which is number two? It’s YouTube.

To get a sense of how increasingly critical video is to today’s marketers, one only needs to look to the next generation of consumers. A recent study by Defy Media asked nearly 1,500 people between the ages of 13 and 20 about their media habits. It showed that Generation Z simply can’t live without YouTube. That was literally one of the questions. When asked which social platform they couldn’t live without, YouTube topped out at 50 percent. If our generation wanted our MTV, today’s youths (next gen consumers) want their YouTube. Ninety-five percent of them use it. It is also the top platform they use for shopping recommendations.

A similar study by Accenture Interactive found that while video advertising is still viewed as invasive, quality makes all the difference. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents reported “the value of content isn’t lost to consumers even if sponsored by a brand.” Thirty-five percent said they would register with a brand and share basic personal information in exchange for free, compelling content. There’s a reason that the Dollar Shave Club video has been viewed nearly 25 million times. It’s funny and eminently sharable.

The key word here is “quality.” Producing subpar video is arguably worse than producing none at all. You could be making the best widgets on Earth, but if your videos are lousy, it just reflects poorly on your brand.

If the budget is tight, it’s tempting to do video on the cheap. If you really want to do it yourself, it’s not impossible to pull off, but it still takes time and planning. Invest in a good camera and a great microphone. You can do a lot with simple editing tools like iMovie without the steep learning curve of high-end programs like Final Cut Pro. Watch a lot of YouTube videos. (See how handy that site is?) But trying to produce quality video on your own is difficult and frustrating if you don’t have the experience or proper equipment. You’re better off hiring a crew that knows what they’re doing.

Professional videos are not cheap, but they are worth it. And when it’s done right, consumers will not only embrace it, but engage with it and share it as well. Here are some quick tips when shopping for professional video services:

Give your project plenty of forethought. Get your message and strategy straight. The more you can specify who you’re talking to, what style you want and what channels you’re using, the better your production team can execute.

Get several estimates. Prices can vary wildly. Don’t hesitate to ask about how they got to their number. It will inform you on how they price items such as crew members or equipment, and also what each producer thinks your project will take in terms of resources.

Meet with the video teams and discuss your project in depth. Each one may have different perspectives, approaches or even a connection with you and your team that could make your project even more compelling.

Know that, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Between the videographer a friend recommended and a production/agency powerhouse, you may find a tenfold quote differential. Professionals command higher rates because they have the tools and experience to make your videos look great and bring your stories to life.

To quote myself from a previous article, “if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is priceless.”

Originally published in Sacramento Business Journal  – Oct 19, 2017, 2:54pm PDT
© 2017 American City Business Journals

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