In an attempt to encourage a ‘have a go’ attitude, a recent article encouraged its readers to brandish their Smartphones, webcams and other ‘cheap cameras’, and create a promotional video. Whilst we would wholeheartedly support businesses and individuals harnessing the power of video on websites and gaining an advantage through this, it’s important to first consider the objective.
The article correctly announced that “now is the time to embrace online video” and continued with…”all you’ll need is a camera and a bit of practise aiming and shooting.” Finally, in one last crushing blow, the author dismissed the need for “lights, studios and production crews to get your video made.”
The claim that, armed with a video camera and a YouTube account, anyone can be the next ‘internet star’ is quite true; Justin Beiber is living proof. Even a dog named Fenton has been talent spotted and remade as a brand sponsored epic movie. However, amongst the gems and the lucky ones whose home movie went viral or reached the right audience at the right time, there are also several million REALLY awful, hopeless and unbearable self-promotional films lurking on YouTube.
There is no doubt that over the last couple of years, video has become an important element of integrated marketing campaigns and should undoubtedly be high on your ‘to do’ list.
Unfortunately sometimes, when we try and cut corners whilst brand building, the quality of the message is more often than not lost in the poor quality or execution of the product or activity. Homemade websites stick out like sore thumbs, ‘stock’ logos only serve to ‘cheapen’ a brand image, ‘off the shelf’ business cards and stationery sadly fail to impress.
Consequently, as video will often be the first marketing communication ‘touch point’ with a potential customer, first impressions are key. An amateur, low quality or poorly produced video will only serve to damage your customers perceptions of the business, leaving a negative impact.
If we extend this ‘can do’ attitude to our home lives, would we be attempting to fix the engine on our car, make our own clothing, replace the filing in our teeth and fit that new bathroom ourselves? In an ideal world we can proficiently change a car tyre, add a button to that jacket, polish our teeth and do a spot of tiling, leaving an expert to do the rest…
Professionally produced video shouldn’t cost the earth, and doesn’t always require studios and ‘crews’. Nevertheless, as with any marketing asset designed to reflect your organisation, it’s imperative that your message is communicated professionally and compliments your brand and values. This rule certainly applies for video.
Let’s embrace a positive ‘can do’ attitude, approach digital marketing with gusto and big ideas. But let’s also not risk damaging our reputations by trying doing-it-all ourselves.
Creating your own 6 second vine video is appropriate and becoming an increasingly useful tool for marketers. Audiences expect it to be shot on a Smartphone and for lower quality , due to its ‘spur of the moment’ nature. However, when considering your websites’ corporate or promotional video, poor quality will only damage your brand perception.
In summary, making just a small investment in professionally produced video will drive a number of business objectives and return the initial investment many times over.