As the leader of a modern marketing agency, I have the opportunity to watch a lot of trends unfold over time. I still remember when my company, William Joseph Communications, began, and digital graphic design was just beginning to take off. File sharing required special software (and a lot more time to process). Myspace, YouTube, and Facebook not only hadn’t been created, they hadn’t even been conceived of yet.

But we all know how the story goes. The rise of the internet, and social media especially, has made it incredibly easy to share our stories and our created content with one another, and with every smartphone doubling as a camera, there has never been a greater amount of images and video to share in the first place. As of last year, YouTube alone accounted for more than one-third of all mobile internet traffic. Apps like Instagram Stories and TikTok have normalized bite-size video clips and continue to dominate viewer attention all around the world.

Clearly the market for video content is out there. But how does that affect us as business owners?

 

High Quality vs. High Definition

The demand for quality video content (and that doesn’t always mean expertly-lit, professionally-edited clips, but it helps) has grown steadily over the last decade. Easy to digest, engaging to watch, and ready to share, it shouldn’t be a surprise that video has come to drive the online landscape in a world where  attention spans are short and competition is fierce.

A survey for 2020 found that 85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 95% of those are planning to maintain or increase their spending on it, seeing it as invaluable to their efforts. And good investments pay off; while a company like Disney might spend billions on content, they can expect to earn it back, as 88% of marketers reported a positive ROI on money they’ve put in. This statistic doesn’t even differentiate between low-budget, simple videos (like quick in-the-field updates) and highly produced, professional pieces. Boiled down, this means that choosing not to develop a video strategy will see you left behind, no matter how you slice it.

Some people get very caught up in the idea that every video has to be either quick and cheap or, on the flip side, heavily produced. Both types have their place, but a great strategy will use both. A poorly shot video can go viral if it’s so bad, it’s funny, but as a business you will want to ask yourself if you want the audience laughing at you. It’s good to be relatable, but it’s better to inspire your audience to dive deeper into your brand, while you’re connecting with them.

 

Misconceptions about Video Production

At WJ, we offer full video production capabilities, and we’ve been doing it for a long time. We often run into client misconceptions about making videos, some of which no doubt contribute to the hesitation clients may have about creating a full-blown strategy.

A lot of people think producing a video at an agency is overly expensive, and more costly than other strategies. More often than not, we find the opposite, because we have more resources (such as our own equipment, supplier deals, on-staff editors, etc.) and we can bundle them all for greater value. We have producers who make sure every shot counts on a set, and who can double up on efficiency by capturing interesting bonus content for future videos at the same time. As with any other strategy, we’re mindful of budgets, but we know that every dollar spent can easily be earned back with the ROI from an excellent end product.

A good video strategy isn’t just about handing us money and coming back a month later to see what we’ve made. There is a balance to be found between simple, amateur videos (think of how popular any cat is), and others that more beautifully showcase your brand and the way it appears to the world. We always want to work together, first and foremost, to identify what would be best for you, and invest your spend wisely to get the most efficient return. After all, we could make the greatest video on earth, but without the right strategic delivery plan, it could sit on a shelf for months, collecting dust while you wait for the “perfect opportunity”.

But the perfect time to develop that video strategy is now, because it’s going to be a cornerstone of marketing in the 2020s. Whether it’s livestreaming a product launch, animated infographics for a tradeshow, a perfectly-crafted recruitment video, or any one of the many other types of video formats, it will only elevate your brand in the process.

And if you need a bit of help…well, you know where to find me and my team.

 

Ryan Townend,
CEO of William Joseph Communications