Video Is The New Black

Ok.. it’s not that new. But Let me explain after my disclaimer.

If you are already implementing the use of video in your business or at the very least, have a strategy set out to do so then you have my explicit permission to stop reading here.

Evergreen Fashion or Fad
When I came up with the title of this post I actually had to stop and reflect for a moment. Is video truly the new black? Or is the new black AR/VR? When you consider that black is always in fashion and on trend, to me it’s a staple. It’s the beginning of any wardrobe. It’s easy to find and everyone can wear it.

I believe this is befitting of video. It is the trend. The medium we readily consume. In the scheme of ‘internet things’ we are at the cusp of a very real immersion into world’s that are no longer actual, literal or as they seem. Enter VR and AR. Realities that don’t accurately represent the environment that you’re in (necessarily) but rather intentionally enhance it to achieve an end goal.

I see VR and AR as those couple of crazy outfits you see at New York Fashion Week that make you think “who in there right mind would wear them?” but always pique the interest of a few fashion forward celebrities. Time would tell us also that what is seen as crazy and eccentric this year, people will likely be wearing some sort of iteration of that the following year.

Video however is the staple. While for some it feels new and perhaps out of their wheelhouse, it is only because it’s a new cut. But it’s the same cloth. It’s just visual content. We’ve been consuming this way for years and it’s not going to change any time soon. In fact, Kim Larson, the global director of Google BrandLabs said that by 2017 74% of all internet traffic will be video. That’s next year for those of you playing at home.

All this to say — if you don’t already have a video strategy playing out in your business or one ready to implement then I predict that the years ahead might be a bit rougher than they need to be.

Just a side note — right now we are coming through harvest time in the economy. Times are not lean like they’ve been in recent years and it’s easy to rely on one or two marketing practices but the fact of the matter is that when things inevitably fall lean again it’s in your best interest to have a diversified marketing strategy. All that really means is that you need to have a bunch of different strategies going in order to avoid the famine and feast life cycle that business inevitably brings.

So while right now you might think it’s not a necessity to be creating video content, you are going to regret not starting sooner when customers are predominantly consuming visual content and you haven’t been creating it.

I just want to pause here for a moment and stress that I don’t think video is replacing blogging and I don’t think blogging in and of itself is a dead medium. Internet marketing prognosticators have, for years, been predicting the death of blogging and it just hasn’t happened. What *has* happened is that blogging has begun to fall more inline with other types of content delivery methods such as vlogging, podcasting and infographics etc.

Don’t Let Lack of Choice Become Missed Opportunity
If (a representative of) Google, the #1 search engine, is predicting by next year that 74% of search will return video — brands should be listening. Google might have failed in many ways — Google Glass or Wave anyone? But they DO know search.

While I understand that we as humans have our preferences as to how we create and deliver content, we are in an age of choice and if we fail to deliver on that choice then we are at risk of alienating part of our audience.

We are all familiar with creating tiers or options within our products and services and I believe that we have to treat content output the same way. It is entirely possibly that your return customers or most lucrative clients consume content in a way that is consumed least by your overall audience.

One final thought I want to leave you with is to consider the way in which you prefer to consume. This doesn’t necessarily mean via the internet either. Do you come home at night and flick on the TV? When you want to know how to do something, do you prefer someone to show you? Do you search on YouTube for a ‘How To’ tutorial? (Yes, I know… internet). While this kind of thinking is anecdotal, you are still representative of the way people consume.

If video has not been on your radar up until this point, consider how you might implement it in the coming months and whatever you do — test and measure feedback, results, reach, engagement, conversions and brand awareness as best you can in order to gauge video’s effectiveness in your own marketing strategy.

Sarah is the Lead Strategist at Eleven Lights Media and is on listening to Sia — This is Acting and knee-deep in video editing.

This article first appeared on my website.