Video killed the radio star - Why video is so important to marketing?
Dave Thackeray's studying with Professional Academy towards his CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing. The failed thespian explains why, like him, every modern marketer needs to be shooting stories.
I was very much an indulgent am dram wannabe as a kid. I used to prance the flat I shared with my mum, stepdad and George the budgie, using each of them as characters in my make-believe world. George was unmoved.
It was inevitable that my downward trajectory into performing anonymity would include hospital radio, the rite of passage for any uppity young person with too much to say. Then podcasting happened, and I was hooked.
So I guess you could say that George - once a reluctant cameo and audience member - played a hand/claw in my meeting one of my idols, Dan Lyons, he of Fake Steve Jobs, Newsweek, the Emmy award-winning Silicon Valley show and most recently Valleywag - a snipey blog about all the lost souls in California's digital gold rush.
Dan and I hosted a run of 10 radio shows prodding a funny stick at the world of tech. We quickly built up a cult following. People like me always use the word 'cult' as a simile for 'small but possibly interested'.
Anyway, five paragraphs in, I reach the point of this article. During my time as ambassador to the European Podcast Award, which coincided with the Lyons/Thackeray comedy duet otherwise known as The Double D Guys, I start dabbling in video.
You might already be familiar with my screen persona after Professional Academy put together an advent calendar packed with videos of marketing ideas. I'm like a shambling Alan Partridge figure.
But I think that brings both sympathy and empathy to the table. And that's why I just launched Marketing Q and A, an irregular video show sharing tips, tricks and tools building bulletproof modern marketers.
Time to thrill
Be under no illusion that whatever business you're in, video deserves a place at your top table.
When the web was born, we just had a bunch of links to click and the odd picture to look at, which was just as well because each one took about 10 minutes to download.
Then social came along and we were able to talk with each other using the medium of keyboards.
Then Google bought YouTube, and we all started voraciously consuming moving pictures.
In a world obsessed with globalisation (see what I did there?), video is still the closest many of us get to be face to face with our consumers. 24 hours a day video-centric marketers can reach out to prospective customers and become meaningful and build relationships fuelled by trust.
In video, there's no escape and nowhere to hide. Savvy corporations have started embracing video interviews as the first step in recruitment. The smartest organisations are leading their content marketing efforts by literally showing customers how their products and services can make things smarter, speedier and smilier.
You can use video in a million different ways.
It's a method of starting a conversation. A way of reminding your customers they care. To demonstrate authority and thought leadership.
Or in my case, a way of expanding my portfolio and showing my taskmasters at Professional Academy that I'm paying attention to the changing marketing landscape.
The one golden thread running through every piece of web content is search engine optimisation. Labelling your video with the words and phrases your customers of today and tomorrow use is critical if you're going to reach people new to your brand and become even more meaningful in the lives of those loyal to your cause.
Getting social with web video
If you're still sat on the fence about video, ask Facebook and Twitter where they stand on bringing your screen alive.
The video arms race has really started getting interesting now major social networks have announced initiatives competing with YouTube. Facebook is looking to generate $700m in video ad revenue this year, and is focused on diverting people from YouTube whose traffic is 70% derived from Facebook users, according to International Business Times.
Twitter is looking to build a video platform competing with YouTube pandering to the attention-short but wealth-long Generation Y - a sustained play it has already trumpeted through the acquisition of Vine.
YouTube will continue to be highly relevant for many years to come, and even discounting its prominence on every Google search result as a free storage system alone it cannot be overlooked.
But its revenue is being devoured from all sides. Video hosting companies like Wistia are fast becoming more relevant to data-hungry businesses by offering more accurate engagement metrics, and with the likes of Upworthy and Buzzfeed making big drives into original video content, you know you're on to a good thing.
How to get started
I have a few resources to get you started on your journey to building a video strategy for your brand. I won't cover hardware here - but the www is full of suggestions on the right devices to use. My one tip here is pay attention to audio in equal terms as the footage you capture.
- iMovie (iOS, in the Apple App Store) and KineMaster (Android, on Google Play) are two free mobile video editors that help you cut, spline and gloss your video productions.
- YouTube Creator Studio (https://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/) is your one-stop-shop to create a compelling channel and develop a video strategy designed with your business in mind.
- And don't forget Getting Started in Web Video (marketingqanda), my 8-part playbook for mini movie success.
Have you got a video strategy - or are you thinking of starting one? Tweet me @davethackeray and let me help you switch on your customers.
Former journalist, editor and company owner Dave is now the web and social media officer at WLCT, a charity operating leisure services for councils. After years making his way through the marketing maze he decided to go back to basics and learn how to do it properly with Professional Academy and CIM. Follow his progress on this blog and feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter to ask about his experiences.
If you would like to Join Dave on a CIM Marketing Qualification Course you can contact Professional Academy for some advice or Download a copy of the Marketing Prospectus today.