Video Killed the Radio Star… and Then Everything Else

Dig, if you will, this picture; you’ve got a product or service, and you traipse on down to your local television station to meet with a sales manager. You inform her that you want your commercial to run on the air about ten times a day. You also tell her that you want to be able to cut into programming and go live any time you want, for as long as you want. Then you drop the biggest demand of all… you want all of this to be absolutely, 100% free. Not only would you be laughed out of the station, you could possibly soon find yourself in a rubber room devoid of sharp objects.

Yet, here we are. In 2016, if you have a video that advertises your product, you can blast it across multiple platforms as often as you like. Need something a little more urgent? Want to promote and cover your live event? With apps like Periscope and the emerging technology of Facebook Live, you can broadcast yourself 24 hours a day. Don’t believe me? Check out this link:

That’s a map of everyone in the world who is live at any given moment on Facebook. If you’ll notice, the majority of people going live is, well, just for fun. It’s still in its infancy enough that Businesses and organizations haven’t quite figured out how to monetize it yet. But that will come.

Technology changes at such a rapid rate that it’s sometimes difficult to tell if you’re on the verge of a revolution, in the middle of one, or at the end of one. Right now, we’re at the beginning of one, and it will explode within a decade. Video is taking over web and social media marketing at an exponential rate. I won’t bore you with the hundreds of statistics pointing to that trend, I’ll let a Facebook executive do that.*

Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president for Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa says that the amount of text being posted is on a “year-on-year” decline, and that the world’s most popular social network will “probably” be “all video” within the next decade.

All video? Like YouTube? Yes (Oh, by the way, you can go live now on YouTube as well).

Wait a minute, wait a minute… are we just talking about Facebook here? What about other social media platforms. Are they on board with this video boom, too?

In a word, hell yes.

Recently, Instagram upped the maximum length for a video from :15 to 1:00, and I promise you that they didn’t do it to see more footage of waterskiing squirrels or cats batting yarn around. Just last week, Twitter announced that they too were upping the maximum length of a video from 15 to 140 seconds (get it?).

What it all boils down to is this: If you have a website, then you have to have video. If you have a product, you have to have video. If you want engagement, then you simply must incorporate video to be viable now and in the future. You’re an author? Do a video book trailer. You’re a plumber? Have video testimonials from satisfied customers. You’re a financial planner? Instead of an FAQ section on your website that is comprised solely of text, have video of yourself answering these questions. Get creative for how you incorporate video for your benefit.

Video builds credibility, it entertains, it informs. It brings palpable emotion to a situation where it might not be so easily noticeable. If a writer penned a detailed blog about going to the store, buying a toy, walking back to her car and then playing with it long enough to laugh herself silly, you might be mildly amused. But let her shoot a one minute clip of herself playing with it, and boom… Celebrity sensation “Chewbacca Mom” is born, and a popular department store makes a fortune. Don’t dismiss the power of video coupled with unbridled joy to reach vast numbers of consumers and, most importantly, get them to act.

A quality video is easy to make, and also not as expensive as you might think. There are certain elements that are essential, but they are easy to master (Good shot composition, good audio, a call to action, etc.). This is where a video professional who specializes in producing material for a variety of platforms for specific audiences can really make your company reach its full potential in today’s competitive marketplace, and for a fraction of what it used to cost.

“But I can’t afford to produce a video.”

No. You really can’t afford NOT to.

*I lied. Here are some stats about video in video form:

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