The first video that ever aired on MTV was "Video Killed The Radio Star" by the Buggles. It couldn't have been more appropriate. The music video revolutionized the marketing of music; it helped launch the careers of many artists based on their "image" alone. The Internet's proliferation has shifted the marketing of music even more profoundly, but for the purpose of this discussion I want to focus on the parallels between the effectiveness of music videos and the opportunities that video production now offers any business.
The introduction of the music video allowed for the exposure of artists that otherwise might not have been played on mainstream radio. It also allowed artists to express themselves in a more dynamic manner and to help communicate with their audience more effectively. Through video the audience was able to identify with the artist better and assign personalities to them. Regardless if a fan's perceptions were correct, they still felt a better understanding of the artists as a result of their videos. The ability for any business to create their version of a music video is now more attainable than ever. Producing video is easier than you think and, if done right, a terrific augment to other marketing efforts. The written word is still important in the marketing mix but as the saying goes "a picture is worth a thousand words".
It has been widely predicted by Internet marketing blogs that 2010 will be the breakout year for online video. Online video has been around for a while and it was a slow burn until YouTube uncovered the huge appetite there is for video and Flash as an effective distribution platform. Video doesn't need to be an expensive production to be effective. There are a number of reasonably priced digital HD video camcorders that produce good quality video and consumer software like iMovie for the Mac or Windows Movie Maker for the PC that can help with basic edits and transitions. This type of set-up is all you need for basic video blog posts or multi-media enhanced news releases.
There are a number of benefits to the low-tech approach - If done properly it conveys authenticity, is personable, and can be easily shared via services like YouTube. There is no need for a custom video player and you can leverage the popularity of YouTube to aid in the video's distribution and indexing by search engines. In fact, online video often ranks higher in searches compared to the same item if just done as a text based web page.
For those circumstances when a more polished marketing approach is required, online video is still an affordable and effective tool to utilize. There has been a surge in video production companies offering services exclusively aimed at the online channel. These companies may allow you to bypass the overhead of an advertising agency by offering script writing, professional editing, and a communication strategy. One such company is Saskatoon based Hulo Films - They provide commercial services to help companies communicate their story through video that is easily embedded in websites and corporate presentations. Below is an example of an online video Hulo produced for Pacific & Western Bank:
The above video was produced in the matter of a few weeks yet adds a very professional touch that establishes credibility and allows the audience to hear the bank's story from it's best spokesperson - The CEO. It's a simple yet elegant production using very limited effects.
In summary, there are many advantages to incorporating online video in your marketing efforts - It can be affordable to produce yet adds a dynamic dimension to your communications, is an effective storytelling tool that makes it easier and more entertaining for your audience to learn about you, and will likely fair well in search engine results. And last but not least, it's just plain fun to to participate in the video production process. Who knows, maybe it will lead to your big break!
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