10 Jun 2019

How Does Video Support Digital Innovation?

Can we imagine the online world without video content?

Once upon a time not so long ago video on the internet was just an endless buffering icon that burnt the eyeballs. A large data package containing moving pictures squeezing its way along copper wires to connect with codecs unfit to process it into film.

In those days the excited talk was about broadband roll out and decent software to make online video a reality.

Oh what a long way we have come in a short period of time.

Video now

Nowadays, it’s all about fibre and 5G on mobile or tablet. Distribution technology is developing because of the insatiable demand for streamed content, especially music, and above all, video or video-related forms – animation, AR and VR.

Video and its derivatives have become key tools in digital innovation. Whether by chance or design. Think of video conferencing, online training, product demonstration, security monitoring. These all produce cost effective, better ways of ‘show and tell’ in business.

Such utility video saves air miles and does the job of training, selling and marketing to a mass audience. And in a more controlled and more precise way than before the advent of the internet.

buffering icon

The opportunity for video

Video producers have long struggled to articulate why their expertise is worth investment. Hampered by the legacy of TV advertising. Believing video is seen as just an extension of the old way of doing campaigns, they have sought to be part of a shrinking and highly competitive agency culture.

But online has untethered video from just such an arena. It is a medium that everyone everywhere is deploying at break-neck speed. It’s in-fact a medium without boundaries that we all consume.

Rules used to apply to formats, timings, quality and so on. But these were set by dominant delivery platforms like TV and cinema. And they have been kicked into touch.

So where does this leave us? And where does it leave businesses wanting to harness digital innovation?

Valuing the return video can bring to corporate and business culture would be a good start.

Don’t see video as a tacked-on extra, farmed out to a reluctant marketing junior. We should embrace it as the best ultra-flexible communications tool in the box. And commission it with commitment and care.

Video’s part in innovation

Video works because it is the most engaging form of online content, aside from music. Take Fruugo’s Tony Preedy’s piece on the importance of good online copy in ecommerce. Like video production, copywriting is a skilled profession. And well-placed words will help sell product.

But according to 2019 stats compiled by Hubspot, seeing a product in action accelerates the buying-decision by 144%.

Does the type of video commissioned by a business matter? Yes. If it is doing a job and representing the standards of a business, it needs to be crafted with intent. But also with efficiency.

Quality, style, consistency and value are all important. And this is where the video producers can start to make a difference to innovation.

If you need training for a global staff of thousands. Or if you need to demonstrate products to consumers. Or if you need to communicate operational instructions.  How best to do it?

Video and animation provide solutions that are transformational. And these should command appropriate budgets to make content that is fit for purpose.

As innovators themselves, video producers are the early disruptors of the internet age. In the noughties they moved out of the shadow of huge monopolistic platforms controlled by TV companies and into the digital uplands of the new era.

Their experience can underpin business improvement by producing digital solutions that work.

By Nicky Robertson, Director