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Video: It’s No Longer an Expensive Marketing Luxury, And It’s No Longer an Option.

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Nothing works better at helping place a brand into the customer’s worldview.

Video killed the radio star. The Buggles sang about that in the 1970s, in reference to television’s arrival in the 1950s to put an end to radio broadcasting’s dominance since the 1920s. Video never looked back. It’s gotten even bigger.

That’s because although the Internet is a place in cyberspace where words, sounds and images – both still and moving – can all live separately in peace and harmony, the world prefers that they all play together. Only video can deliver.

The end of words?

Don’t even think about killing your blog – or cutting back, for that matter. The Internet didn’t destroy books. The Chicago Tribune reports that about 72% of us have read one in the last 12 months. Turns out that the written word in long-form text is still how many people like to consume complex information. Especially if it’s news.

Even when your long-form blogs are doing the heavy lifting, surveys show that people appreciate a video complement. Video distills complex ideas and helps create emotional reactions.

Seeing is believing

Video ascended to the top and cemented its position there with the adoption of broadband and Wi-Fi. We all started watching YouTube, which slowly began to transform from a collection of amateurish videos featuring cats, to… well, just about everything. Want to know the right way to shake a martini? Take your pick of YouTube clips on the subject. Want to see how you can replace the cracked glass on your smartphone? Head to YouTube. All this and more in between made-just-for-smartphone versions of movie trailers with multimillion-dollar production budgets.

Social media blew video sky-high. We all know the amazing stats for YouTube. By virtue of its searches, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine by volume. When people search there, will they find you?

8 billion videos will be watched on Facebook today. As advertisers look for ways to linger in our minds, they’ve discovered that video is the way to do it. The power of video and social media is that people are more likely to share a video than a blog post or even a photograph, and people they know are more likely to watch it because of the recommendation.

You can’t not have video

How’s that for a double-negative threat? Video demonstrates how a product or service works. It shows people the end result of using it. Nothing works better at helping place a brand into the customer’s worldview.

Hold the buts. Especially the one about affordability. Video production costs used to be expensive. The price to create a consistent stream would be excessive to most small businesses, and even medium-sized businesses. Here’s the thing: We don’t want to watch Wonder Woman up on the big screen shot with a smartphone. She needs to be perfect.

We want a stronger emotional connection to the brands we’re inserting into our worldview, and smartphone-quality video makes it more real for us. Look at the production values of videos that go viral. Big budget? Try no budget.

Don’t toss your aspirations of becoming the next Ridley Scott into the cinematic trashcan. High quality marketing videos do have their place, and they don’t go unappreciated. The best part is that the equipment to inject professional quality into do-it-yourself video has become affordable. Expensive crane shot, meet cheap drone bought on Amazon.

Automatic SEO

Video to complement your blog has the added value of entertaining, as well as showing, customers how your product or service can solve their problem. This packs a potent punch for driving SEO, giving your videos big boosts in search ranking.

And as we all know by now, Google gives preference to video in searches.

Short and sweet

A study by IAB shows that Millennials like short videos, while older viewers prefer longer ones. Numbers, please? Non-Millennials want you to keep it around 30 seconds, while the sweet spot for the younger generation is a mere 10 seconds.

It’s all about time – but more about respect for it. These videos aren’t the place for messages that need explanations. You’ve only got a couple seconds to resonate, or the viewer is on to the next message. What’s more, that tune-out is an association in their minds as a negative experience.

When you keep it short and sweet, three out of four viewers say it’s a reason why they visited a website. These short videos are excellent ways to preface your long-form content – where you do take the time for explanations.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It does have to be short. But, most of all, it has to be a story. Visual storytelling is the most effective way to communicate the value proposition of your brand.