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As 2015 wraps itself up with a pretty little bow, we started to look back at the year that was and reminisce on the ups, downs, lefts, rights, and everything inbetween. 2015 is leaving us with lots to celebrate and much more yet to learn. One of the biggest takeaways from the year is the depth of impact it has made on the marketing landscape... especially with video. And, you guessed it, that's why we're sharing this post!

We learned that... 

1)  YouTube Isn't "Trendy", It's Real
The days of counting YouTube views and postulating about the growth potential of the internet are long over. Not only is it painfully obvious that consumers engage with brands on YouTube (and other video platforms), it is undeniable that those engagements rapidly flow into conversations... and that's across industry verticals. Video marketing is not a fad. It's not just your nephew Timmy who watches gaming vid's (nor was it ever); it's your bosses, bosses, boss utilizing and interacting with high-level, well-crafted content.
 

2)  People Watch Videos for Two Reasons...

  1. They were already interested in the content (think gamers watching "how-to" videos on their favorite video games or cat lovers watching cat videos because, well, cats).                                                                ...OR...
  2. The story was compelling enough and told effectively enough to bury the sales pitch (here's a great example). Do you remember all of that Christmas shopping you (hopefully) completed last week? Do you remember why you bought what you bought? Or maybe the better question is do you remember why the presents you bought were desired by the people you gave them too?

People have stories -- we live them every day -- and people buy things because that thing, whatever it is, makes their story better right now. Here, today, their story is better because of your thingamabobber/doohickey/device. Facts tell, stories sell and 2015 made this obvious is a million ways... one of the best (for all of you fact-hungry folks) was with the YouTube Trends Blog.

As Tommy Walker puts it, "This whole idea of "all you need is a webcam" is garbage. And don't take my word for it, just be honest with yourself. When was the last time you actually watched someone's webcam video for an extended period of time? I'd love to tell you differently, but even just one quick peek at the YouTube Trends Blog will say otherwise.
 

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3)  Every Organization Is A Marketing Organization
Yes, every last one of 'em! And that includes you, you, aaaand you! Media use to be just audio, video, print, and the modern day cave-wall (aka: billboard and bus signs). Those were the only places to effectively get the word out about your business. A split-second opportunity to scream your phone number a dozen times to anyone who could write and drive at the same time . Don't get me wrong, radio, TV and print are still very valuable ways to reach your audience but they aren't the only platforms any more.

Yep, it's the wild wild west of the internet age. If you have a website, that means you are in what we marketers call "the media mix". AKA: You have become a media company. This may come as shock but you really have. You are a media company that offers something. It may be music, news, food, auto parts, or blenders.

...but you are communicating and you're doing it through a medium. That medium, especially in 2015, is digital. The internet and all of the content you can push through it allow you and your company to connect with people who aren't directly looking for your services but still vitally need them.

Think of someone searching to repair a leak in their home when, in reality, they need to fix the whatever machine so that the leak stops happening... that person isn't looking for your machine fixing services not because they don't want them, but because they don't know that they would benefit from them. The internet (and video content) allow you to target those types of consumers and grow business by providing demonstrated value quickly, easily, and (yes) cost-effectively.


4) There Is A Revolution Taking Place
This is a big one because it talks about how people are creating marketing that actually works. Let's face it:  at the end of the day all that matters is whether or not your marketing dollars were a cost or an investment, right? Did you make money from the black hole you threw those Benjamins into or was it an expense?

The best way to avoid your video marketing being an expense instead of an investment is to ensure that the right people will watch -- and act -- on it. Here's three insights that our good pal 2015 shared with us:

  1. You Have to Be Narrative
    That means the old adage "Facts Tell, Stories Sell" ...is true. That means it's time to talk about your customers lawn instead of your grass-seed, so to speak.
  2. Consistency = Success
    Consistency is different than Frequency. Understanding why and how is a key factor in building a successful strategy.
  3. Developing a Strategy Is the Secret Sauce
    Yes, that means you can't just throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. You don't approach your direct mail, email, phone calling, business plans, or anything else that way so why would video be any different?


...And Here Comes 2016!

Ok, so now we're looking at 2016... what do you do to ensure success in the new year? We'd recommend a few simple steps:

  1. Use Video. It's (almost) 2016, for goodness sakes. It's not a trend, it's not a fad, it's not a flash in the pan. Video is necessary and you are leaving money on the table if you aren't using it.
  2. Contact a video production company (there are different kinds, we'd recommend talking with a Video Marketing Company) to plan how and why you'll use video in the coming year.
  3. SHARE YOUR BUDGET WITH THEM! Buying video is a lot like buying a house... there isn't an "Average Video Cost" because there are a variety of ways to produce a video. A Video Marketing companies job, similar to a Realtor's job, is literally to get you the most bang for your buck. So... let them do that.
  4. Track Your Results. This is kind of a "...well, duh!" point but it's worth mentioning. Again, video marketing is no different than any other marketing campaign so don't treat it differently. Track your results, share them with your video partner(s), and don't be afraid to adjust and pivot your campaigns as the year unfolds.


Here's to a wonderful, successful, beautiful 2016!


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About the Author
Jake LeVoir is the Director of Sales at Slate and Main. He has built a career on helping organizations grow by developing engaging video campaigns that drive consumer traffic and increase brand awareness.

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