Video Marketing Is in the Eye of the Beholder

by Dave Toole  16 March 2016

Traditional advertising is going the way of the dodo. Instead, video marketing is the way of the future. But that’s old news. What you may not realize is that certain aspects of video marketing are becoming outdated as well. In an environment where a YouTube video can get millions of views literally overnight, some video marketers are still struggling to make their strategies pay off. What’s the difference between what takes off and what doesn’t in the world of video marketing? Let’s take a look.

A New Kind of Popular

Part of the problem is that many marketers are still viewing their video content as commercials. They’re not necessarily doing an overt sales pitch, but they try to play by the same rules: flashy, high end media, often using A-list celebrities to capture audiences’ interest. But that’s not what people care about anymore. The most popular videos on YouTube aren’t the slick interviews with movie stars. They’re the vlogs. They’re the “Let’s Play” videogame demonstrations, featuring someone in their living room making amusing commentary. They’re the silly sketches made by struggling actors in their spare time. They don’t need a huge budget and a big name celebrity to get views. What people respond to now is authenticity. What is it that appeals to us about these videos? It’s the fact that their creators are just like us. They’re real people, making videos in their living rooms and backyards. It helps us to connect with them more. And the fact that they’re not celebrities means that they can connect with us as well. Many of these creators respond to their fans personally, both in YouTube comments and on social media. You can talk to them, and there’s a good chance that they’ll listen. Suddenly, you’re not just their fans. They’re your friends. Some A-list celebrities respond to the occasional tweet from a fan, but the sheer number of interactions they get every day makes it much more difficult.

Adapting Your Video Marketing Strategy

So in light of this changing video marketing landscape, how can you adapt your strategy for more success? First, don’t worry about budget. You can film a video with your phone and have it go viral. Work with who you have and what you have. Of course, if you can afford thousands of dollars for video equipment, production values, etc., then great. There’s no rule saying that ONLY the people making videos in their living rooms become popular. The key is to be authentic. That doesn’t automatically mean low budget. It means making the best quality videos you can, regardless of your budget. And it means showing your audience who you are, underneath the corporate exterior. If you’re promoting your company, try giving people an inside look at it: who you are, what you do, who the employees are that make the organization tick, etc. Get a prominent person in the company to do a vlog. Nothing scripted or overly planned out: just a voicing of important issues related to your company and field. You can film it in a studio, or in front of a brick wall. The other important aspect of modern video marketing is collaboration. Find other people in your field who have a video following, and do a video with them. Offer to collaborate on one of their videos as well. That way, their followers can find you, your followers can find them, and you can both increase your reach. Collaboration and cooperation are a big part of modern video marketing. Video creators form their own communities, and work with each other to the benefit of everyone. The key to video marketing in today’s world, is not in what you say, but in how you say it. The goal for vloggers and sketch comedy troupes is the same as the goal for major corporations: get views, develop an audience, and make money. But if you go into video marketing like it’s an advertisement for your brand, then people will treat it like an advertisement and tune you out. However, if you take the time to be authentic with your audience, and show them who you really are, you’ll be much more likely to achieve your goal.

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