In the Circle

The Value of Video

Let’s just say it: video ain’t easy. It takes some expertise to create video for your organization. It takes equipment. It takes preparation. But if you do it right, the analytics may just take your breath away.

Here are just a few numbers that show the true value of video to companies, associations and political organizations trying to get their message out in a noisy information marketplace.

  • Video accounted for 73 percent of the world’s consumer Internet traffic in 2016, and will account for 82 percent by 2021, according to Cisco.
  • Fully 90 percent of customers say videos can help them make a buying decision, and 59 percent of company decision makers prefer video to an article or blog post, Forbes reported.
  • More than 76 percent of marketers and business owners who have used video say it had a direct impact on their business, Hubspot reported.

Video is Mainstream

YouTube passed an impressive milestone this year: people are now watching a billion hours of video on the site every single day. That’s more than 8 minutes for every person on the planet, according to TechCrunch.

The point here is that video is mainstream. It has become an expectation in the marketplace. There are studies showing that video improves engagement in almost every channel, boosting email opens, social clicks, landing-page conversions and more. If you are serious about engaging your audience, video must be part of your arsenal.

“Video is long past the status of an ‘up-and-coming’ marketing tactic,” wrote Lindsay Kolowich, on Hubspot’s marketing blog earlier this year. “It's here, and it's an increasingly powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects.”

How To Do Video

You can create video in-house and plenty of organizations do. But here’s the truth: it can be a long, hard road to produce anything more than a few seconds of social video. Real video is an investment of time, money and manpower, and ramping up an internal team can be a false economy.

You will need to hire someone who understands the medium, or assign someone to learn. You will need to buy equipment, such as a camera, microphones, lighting and a studio background. You will have to experiment to get your format down, and then your crew will have to spend time shooting and editing. It can be months before you get something that you really feel is ready for prime time.

The alternative is to go with a professional firm. This costs more money up front, but the experience can be very different. Professional firms handle everything you need, from writing a script to the final cut. You can expect a high-quality, professional product. And, perhaps most important, you can have all of this fast -- far faster than you could cobble something together internally.

Another option is to purchase a white-label product, meaning video packages that are created by a professional firm and can be branded by your organization. For example, Vote Watch 2018, a collaboration between SevenTwenty Strategies and David Wasserman of The Cook Political Report, offers video analysis of next year’s election for less than it would take to hire a paid intern to work on video.

If you are stepping into the video game for the first time in 2017, you are arguably behind. Hiring a firm or purchasing a white-label product allows you to wade in with serious offerings, without having to spin up a team and wait for it to mature. Think of it as a pilot program. If you like what you see, you can always buy more.