August 14, 2014 Jayesh Sahasi
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video may be worth a million.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s likely that your customers are increasingly tuning in to video content online. According to MarketingProfs, in the U.S., each person consumes an average of 19 hours of online video content each month. This trend is likely to increase – Cisco expects the number of people watching online videos to double to 1.5 billion by 2016.
Videos are a great way to get a lot of information across succinctly, and research shows that video can hold attention longer than audio or text alone. In fact, according to ON24’s customer benchmarks data, live video events are watched for 20 percent longer average duration than audio events.
Yes, video is more complicated than simply reading a script with only audio. Businesses of all sizes are still wrestling with how to use video effectively, and, especially for smaller companies with limited budgets, this can seem like an insurmountable task.
The barriers to more widespread adoption of video by SMBs can be broken down into three major categories:
SMBs are on a tight budget and often can’t afford to hire a professional third party to produce video content. SMBs are also tight on time and often are forced to focus efforts and budget on other high-impact priorities.
Videos require an articulate and comfortable spokesperson, for one thing. A small business is not always equipped with an eloquent spokesperson eager to jump in front of the camera. And while larger companies have evangelists who perform this task, oftentimes with an SMB this falls to a product manager or marketing VP who already has a laundry list of other priorities. In addition, while enterprises rely on IT teams to help support the content creation process, SMBs often lack a dedicated IT team that can aid in the technical aspects of video initiatives.
SMBs may lack the necessary technical equipment, including high-quality cameras, speakers and good lighting, needed to produce a professional video. Many SMBs also lack the marketing know-how to effectively broadcast and distribute that video content. And what is the point of content if it’s not distributed properly?
Fortunately for SMBs, integrating high-quality video content into marketing programs doesn’t have to be impossibly daunting. In addition to platforms that may immediately come to mind like YouTube, Vimeo and Vine, there are also other formats, like video webinars, that enable you to reach thousands of people in an interactive and professional way, without the need for IT expertise. With webinars, you can also track and rank leads to better measure your results.
SMBs can further maximize their investment in video content by chopping it into “digestible” segments and redistributing portions of it across social media, the company website and partner/customer newsletters, for example. The specific content of the video will determine the channels that are most appropriate.
Audience demand for video is fast-growing, and the business that is up to the challenge stands to gain. Those that don’t will be left behind. Text- and audio-only communications may well become as “quaint” as faxing documents!