Video…the missing ingredient

Active on Facebook….check.

Active on Twitter…check.

Good website…check.

Have a video….uh oh.

The above condenses a conversation I have had with some of my clients that are relatively active online.  These are the clients with a vibrant Facebook presence, hundreds of Twitter followers, and a dynamic and interactive website.  Even among the best of the best, use of video is limited.  Until recently video represented that next golden realm the Internet would reach someday, when plentiful visual content would quickly communicate messages better and in ways that text could not touch.  Well here’s a news flash, that golden realm is here, although perhaps it’s less shiny than we thought it would be.  Bandwidth on home computer systems and even mobile devices has increased so fast that video that would take minutes to download just 2-4 years ago now plays in seconds.  At the same  time, while some video offerings are still grainy, $5 productions, higher definition is increasingly cost effective, even for casual video creators.

The Wild West of online video is here with the continued popularity of YouTube, but also with new sites and business models, such as Hulu, Funny or Die, Daily Motion, and numerous others.  Millions of advertising dollars are also starting to pour in.

And yet with the technology and online platforms ready, video remains a big blind spot for many businesses.  Why is that?  There are a few key reasons.  1) Difficult to create.  While there is some techno know-how involved, most folks can set up a bare bones Facebook business page and Twitter profile.  They can even set up their own YouTube channel.  But creating video content is something that a much smaller population of people can handle.  2) Absence of past video marketing.  Many businesses have seen video as something that is forever beyond their advertisement and/or marketing budget.  TV spots can be costly depending on your market and that is without production costs.

Like so many other things, the Internet and other computer technologies has fundamentally changed these factors.  First, there are many services available to create online video that simply did not exist a few years ago.  These include creating short and snappy slide show videos, online tutorials, and of course live footage shot in HD.  Secondly, more powerful editing and video creation software, as well as sophisticated, but not loan inducing, video equipment has allowed video professionals to create videos for a wide range of budgets.  When combined with online platforms to post, share, and otherwise distribute videos, businesses suddenly have new video advertising avenues that TV never provided.

Bottom Line:  If you do not have a video, ask yourself why you would not integrate video into your online efforts.