You won’t hear this from any other video marketing companies: you don’t have to be doing video.

Peer pressure is never the right place to start your marketing efforts, but when marketing experts constantly promote video’s value, eventually even the smallest businesses feel forced to dip their toes in the water, only to end up over their head in the complexity of the medium. “Make a video” isn’t really a thing. Conversations need to sound more like discussing the potential of live video vs. curated, the viability of vlogs for branding, or the difference in risk/reward between TV spots or YouTube ads. The pivot to video promised miracles, but demanded yeoman’s work in the fine print.

The results of the big pivot to video teach one crucial lesson: too many companies let the excitement of new technology pull them away from proven process. Video is only a medium, capable of whatever heights or depths the marketing campaign contains. Not every idea deserves to become a video; not every idea fits inside video’s box.

Video is only a medium, capable of whatever heights or depths the marketing campaign contains.

Take a step back and assess the marketing needs of your company. Do you need to drive more customer interaction via social? Are you rolling out a new product that benefits from visual storytelling? Are you updating your brand or website (or both)? Video fits into or expands the reach of an existing marketing system. The pivot to video assumed new technology would open up new revenue streams; and for some it did. But for most, as was the case with many of the media companies who laid off writers, it forces existing streams to filter in through a new avenue.

Additionally, it costs more to make a good one-minute video than an eight-hundred word article. So if the only means for buying video is cutting out an article, the end result will be a bad video. This happened en masse, clogging the video pivot’ers main distribution avenues (Facebook and YouTube) with competing subpar media. 

What video does not do is automatically fill in the gaps for missing marketing research... [and] without answers ... no video can hope to produce much more than any piece of advertising would in any other medium. 

All this to say, video hasn’t failed at doing what it can, but it has failed to meet expectations. Marketers expected that ad creation and ROI would soar to unprecedented heights on video’s wings. What we got is a modern communication form that links scale in ROI with scale in quality and quantity, which in turn is linked to spend. What video does not do is automatically fill in the gaps for missing marketing research. What are the product’s demographics? Are those demo’s in a place where video is optimized to reach? Without answers to these questions, no video can hope to produce much more than any piece of advertising would in any other medium. 

This is a small excerpt from our 2018 Video Marketing Guide. Sign up HERE to receive a free copy when it's released!

Hunter Smith