2016: New Year, New You(Tube Content)

It's a new year -- welcome to 2016! I hope you brought all of those glorious resolutions back with you from the long weekend. Seriously though, 2016 brings with it the launch of lots of new resolutions, goals, budgets, and trends. So what will the biggest trend of 2016 be in the video world? My vote goes to how it is purchased.

Everyone knows the old iron days of video production are long gone. Yet even as recently as this time last year, many companies made common practice of the old video production hiring model:

  1. Decide you want to create a video.
  2. Create an RFP (Request For Proposal) with requirements and explanations of what you feel are important to the success of your project.
  3. Collect quotes back from 3-5 vendors.
  4. Select the best bid (generally lowest price that proves it can do the project).

Ok, sounds like a good model right? Well, it was... back in glory days. The reason that model doesn't work anymore is actually pretty simple:  video isn't used as a "one-off" marketing effort anymore. But don't take it from me; Brad Jakeman, the President of Global Beverage Group at PepsiCo, claims, "the agency model won't bend, it will break".

Jakeman's argument is that most companies are stuck 20 years in the past, back when creating a few pieces of video content a year with a budget of X Hundred Thousands (or Millions) of Dollars per project -- aka, "big budget TV spots" -- was normal. The more common model now, Jakeman explains, is for brands to push out more like 400 to 4,000 pieces of content a year on a $10K to $100K budget (not all video, but a great deal of it being video).

"The agency model won't bend, it will break."

The reason it isn't practical to RFP out individual video projects and expect awesome results is because video is becoming increasingly more similar to email marketing, social networking, and other forms of what we would call "consistent engagement".

Think about it like this:  your competition when you make a video isn't just with others in your field; but with everyone else uploading video content. Why? Because if no one can find your video, believe me, they won't watch it. And the trouble is that "getting found" is more about producing consistent content than it is about creating one zinger... more on that here and here.

"Brands used to create 4 pieces of content per year... now they create closer to 4,000."

You would never send out just one email... you'd run a campaign! You would never send out one piece of direct mail... you'd run a campaign! Why would video -- the fastest growing form of communication (even outside of marketing) -- be any different? Video isn't different, it's exactly the same. In fact, if anything, isn't video marketing the one place you'd ensure consistency? Hopefully.

So... What Now?
2016 is going to leave a lot of marketers who refuse to adjust their approach to video in the dust. Successful marketers know they need video but the ones who see success with video will be willing to approach this content strategy with new eyes. Probably more similarly to this:

  1. Decide amount of budget to commit to video.
  2. Consult with 3-5 video teams on how they would recommend spending the budget -- whether that be in one big ol' project or 50 smaller ones.
  3. Hire the team and partner with them throughout the year.

I'd venture to guess the entire video production industry will begin to turn this way for four main reasons: 

  1. It's more cost-effective for everyone involved. Businesses know what they're spending and video companies know what they're working with. That makes things easy to plan and simple to execute.
  2. You can pick how you pay. Sounds crazy at first but listen: depending on the video company you are working with, I'm guessing things like monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc. retainer-type models will be totally normal. You'll be buying X amount of production time from your team per year and letting them deal with all of the details.
  3. You are maximizing your budget. This should be painfully obvious. when you buy in bulk, you save mula. What if your first video only has a larger price tag because it requires building a set... but once it's built that cost is gone forever? What if you could actually wrap all 10 of your unique commercials for the year up into 4 shoot days instead of the 10 individual ones (PS: that saves you $$)?
  4. You are fostering creativity. This one is a little more "out there" but bear with me... one of the biggest misunderstandings on the planet lives in the gap that is actively growing between "creatives" and "business" folks. I'm here to tell you that there are outfits (namely, video marketing companies) that bridge that for you... you just have to give them a little rope.

2016 will fundamentally change how companies purchase video content for their marketing. It will become a decision between hiring a full-time employee or an outsourced video marketing solution.

What will you choose?

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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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