YouTube and Vimeo and Instagram, Oh My!

Why using video in your marketing plans is not the great mystery many think it is

Back in the 80s, when MTV first went on air, they opened with a video for a song about the video. At the time, many in the music industry and among the general populous did not see nor could they anticipate how huge video would become for the music industry. A similar wave started in the world of marketing, and while it is growing into a virtual tsunami, many small and medium-sized business owners believe that video marketing is beyond their reach. The reality is that they could not be more wrong!

In looking at the viability of video to promote a business, you have to start with the most basic questions before taking the first creative step. Questions such as

  • What are your goals?
  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Where are you most likely to reach your target market?
  • What type of video do you want to create and what is your budget?

That last question is the one that in all probability would probably be the biggest sticking point for many if they are not aware of all the possibilities. What the possibilities are is a great mystery when it comes to video marketing for the uninitiated.

The video is one of the easiest and most popular ways to share information about your company and your services online. Beyond the well-known video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo or the various social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram) that support video, using video on your company website and in your email marketing are also among the popular uses of video marketing. Many companies who participate in trade show and other live events will use video in their physical presence as a way to draw people in and keep them engaged until a rep can speak with them.

Video has become so prevalent that not only are their multiple places you can use video but multiple ways that video content can be created. In fact, for many, the slightest discussion of creating marketing videos might conjure up Spielberg-like visions of multiple cameras, professional actors and elaborate locations. While some corporations can engage in such undertakings, for small and medium-sized businesses that lack the budgetary flexibility, an effective promotional video can be created with far fewer people and much less money. Depending on the type of video you wish to produce, a single person with a laptop and some creativity can create video content that is in as little as 72-hours.

The technology exists for companies of any size to create effective marketing videos quickly using technologies that can be purchased in your local electronics store or through Amazon. As you read this, there are companies using DSLR cameras to shoot video in their offices or on job sites, featuring their employees and even some satisfied customers. These videos may then be edited on a regular desktop or laptop and then launched on any of the platforms previously described.

For those who want to create videos where real people are not seen onscreen, whiteboard animation technology allows people to create animated presentations that are just as effective as live video but with a greater degree of flexibility. In the last few years, since its inception, whiteboard animation has become so readily available and easy to use that the number of available technologies is growing each year. In fact, you can create a basic video using Microsoft PowerPoint, automating and animating a presentation that can even include a narration and background music.

Of course, the next big question after learning all of this is ‘Do I have the time and money to become competent in creating a video?’ The answer is you don’t have to. Many companies that offer graphic design and marketing services now also offer video and whiteboard animation video services. However, as with all decision related to your business, due diligence is necessary. Be sure to shop around, talk to people you know who may have used these technologies in their marketing, check out discussion boards online. Get educated before taking the plunge but definitely take the plunge as the video is one of the most popular online content formats, and its growth will continue to surge in 2019 and beyond.