17 Jul 2019
Video Is More Than a Marketing Tool

Video Is More Than a Marketing Tool

For years now I’ve blogged about video as one of the most versatile and important content engagement tools for marketers. But I realise I’ve been missing the main point.

Video and animation is more than a marketing tool. Sure it does the job admirably for those visual content producers who can convert a client brief who know how to squeeze the maximum messaging out of a promotional spot. Ads which are these days are no longer than 20-60 secs.

But in fact, video is the pre-eminent digital solution available to a business for communication with a mass audience. Other more specialist devices such as AR and virtual reality may be ready to go, but are yet to find a universal platform for scaled up engagement.

Video and animation is the key to communications transformation within businesses; for training, messaging, managing behaviours and handling stakeholder engagement. It also has its more usual external function as marketing content. To complement photography, copy, graphic design and illustration in the online space. For example on websites, social media channels, streaming networks; as well as in the offline environment in presentations and display.

Why does video alone have this unique power of transformation for businesses?

Because well-made video and animation is a complex, multi layered conveyor of information. Streets ahead of other content in its ability to grip, engage and instill memorable detail, at a cost that is commensurable with its value. And because the online and mobile environment, in a relatively short period of time, has developed sophisticated codecs and delivery mechanisms to supply increasing amounts of video to a wildly enthusiastic audience at a very low price entry points.

Two factors: 1. the nature of video as a coherent, self-contained and highly engaging information container and 2. the development of a ready-made, low-cost, global, distribution network make video irresistible as a transformative communications tool.

But the digital revolution has been so rapid that organisations from state to corporate structures have a hard time keeping up. There is nervousness about future-proofing when the future is changing before our eyes.

Digital departments that appear alongside existing internal arrangements need rethinking. Digital doesn’t exist in a silo, it’s everywhere. And that means everywhere within an organisation needs transforming and innovating. Civil servants know this. Business directors know this. But digital implementation at speed is damn hard for big players that have grown up with organising principles based on tasks and roles.

And where is video in all of this?

Video is in the eye of the storm. It is such a transformative medium that businesses should consider appointing a board director responisble for video communication at the heart of their setup. Someone who oversees and organises video output whether it is training and stakeholder management to promotions and messaging.

There is good reason for this. Well-produced, accurate and downright excellent video or animation requires experienced practitioners. As well as specialist equipment and a robust work flow.

In-housing this particular type of content production entails an understanding of the skill set to make it effective, the amount of initial outlay for the right kit, the ongoing funding requirement and this all takes time to put in place. Video and animation has a high cost base but a dramatic and influential impact on an organisation’s communications. It makes sense to ensure that it is under centrally controlled management with the power to deploy it across all departments.

The most cost-effective way to implement video into the arteries of a business is through high-level control of the medium. Whether that means creating a production unit within an organisation. Or outsourcing it to a specialist video producer so that it’s no longer the responsibility only of the marketers or the online team, it’s important that video has a command structure and budget of its own that can be planned and applied across all departments.

And don’t take my word for it.

Just look at existing businesses that have flourished because they have put video at the heart of their communications investment. Honda, Red Bull, Nike, Coca Cola, Harley Davidson, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove. Or brands and influencers that have become household names in a matter of years because they predicated their growth using video. ASOS, BuzzFeed, GoPro, HubSpot, PewDiePie etc.

If video can give business the edge in communications; if it has the power to transform the way a business operates – then creating a video strategy is one of the most cost effective, efficient and innovative solutions a transformation leader can put in place. Either with a well-resourced, in-house team or by integrating an outsourced resource.

By Nicky Robertson, Director