Is it truly necessary to continue to spend hundreds, if not, thousands of marketing dollars for a pricey commercial spot during prime time? For major billion dollar companies, it’s a no brainer. They can afford to have a rather lofty budget set aside for an all inspiring cinematic commercial shot at some exotic location. Hey, whatever it takes to get you into that brand new 2015 vehicle.
It’s frightening for many of us to realize that many youth today will never know a time before the Internet. Truth be told, most of us can admit that regardless of what generation we’ve been born into, we now can’t image doing without the Internet.
Back in 1992, the Internet was limited to large companies such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research that launched CERN, which will go down in our history books as the very first website launched. Now days, anyone can create their own website. Simple template-based tools such as Wix and WordPress.com allow anyone with browser access to create a professional site without needing to know a lick of code.
Any small or large business today understands the value of having a website for their business. And any working professional especially those in the creative fields with a portfolio understands the enormous gain in having a personal website that can help market their artistry and skills. While there are various ways people learn, it’s becoming evident that most folks today are highly visual.
A website is a visual representation of what a company or individual has to offer. It’s the same with a resume, why some job seekers are transitioning from paper to video resumes. According to a Data Point article, 48% of online users prefer to spend their time watching free videos on YouTube. This Statista study recently conducted in March 2014 showed that people preferred YouTube over: Netflix, Hulu, Premium Channel Site Apps, Amazon Instant Video, and other sources. If you notice, YouTube is the only subscription free entertainment site requiring users to spend no money to watch videos.
Regardless if free is the incentive or not, 48% of these online users are preferring to spend their time watching free videos when on the Internet above going on social media sites or doing anything else. What can this mean for businesses? Sizzle-reel promotional videos are becoming the best marketing tool for any size business today. Unfortunately, not all businesses are realizing the importance of utilizing promotional videos, tours of their office, testimonials from clients on their website and the like. Some business owners and CEOs are still short-sighted and more wrapped up in quick tangible ROI (return on investment). They don’t see the big picture and don’t find spending money for videos to have any lasting effect on marketing their brand.
On the contrary, there’s a reason why YouTube videos that generate millions of views suddenly gets publicists and media outlets attention. Look at people like John Green and Justin Bieber; both were nobodies before their YouTube videos went viral. It wasn’t until Green’s vlog generated millions of hits before literary agents suddenly found him to be a good writer and decided to publish his books. Personally, I find them flat and exhaustingly formulaic. I would never consider John Green or Danielle Steele to be purveyors of true literature. Instead, they write books you read on the beach or in airports to pass time. I am also not a Bieber believer. I don’t think he’s the most amazing, talented musician. I find him to be a teen sensation with mediocre skills accompanied by an even more gifted marketing team behind him.
Regardless, YouTube can make many otherwise normal people ridiculously famous, wielding similar power as Oprah once had whenever she’d recommend a book on her show. No one knows the formula and what exactly gets millions of people to watch grumpy cat videos or funny pranks on YouTube. Most marketing and social media gurus are continuously trying to find what clicks with people. Whether you get a couple of hundred hits or millions, we can all agree that having video on a website stirs curiosity.
YouTube has proven that people love to spend their Internet time watching free videos, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that these videos aren’t necessarily created by expensive production teams. I spoke with a highly successful real estate agent recently who makes homemade funny videos, in which he demonstrates how close a beach house is in proximity to the beach. He is filmed riding his bike and talking to potential clients, explaining to them how much fun they can have if they rent the beach house for the summer. He does very well for himself and the videos hook his clients. Other professionals see the value in video and hire professional videographers to shoot promotional videos for them.
The Bottom Line:
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on quality promotional videos. There are plenty of freelance videographers and self-employed video professionals with their own equipment, able to work within your budget, no matter how small. Ultimately, you have to be a big-picture thinker and see beyond what you’d consider an immediate return on investment.
Today people have shorter and shorter attention spans. A 2014 Pew report compared approximately 42% of adults in 1978 who read at least 11 books within the year. In 2014 this percentage dropped significantly to 28% of adults that read roughly the same number of books annually. Is there a correlation between those who read less and the extremely high percentage of individuals who spend their time watching silly videos on YouTube? If you’re a business owner or professional working adult trying to market yourself, it behooves you to do your own research and find out. Is there value to be had in spending some marketing dollars on a visual video package that helps strut what your company has to offer? An interactive video just might set you apart from the competition. Doesn’t your business and your livelihood demand you at least consider the possibilities?