Video marketing was far easier when TV was the dominant force; thirty seconds of eye candy, aural overload and unattainable ideals all blended together until the commercial took on a similar syrupy consistency to the soft drink it was pushing.

And for soft drink (or certain brands of sneakers), the paradigm really hasn’t shifted that much - people still like to be wowed with images of a lifestyle they will never possess.  They feel like they get to own a small part of that lifestyle every time they put on a pair of Nikes or crack open a bottle of Coke:

But when it comes to any product or service that hasn’t achieved this iconic status, people are far more discerning about where and how they spend their money. 

We are no longer a captive TV audience, held to ransom by commercial breaks.  Instead we are a mercurial and nomadic group that research what we buy before we buy it.  We feel a certain “wallet responsibility” and although we’re spending more than we ever have before, we don’t want to share our income with a business or individual that we feel is unworthy of our hard earned money.

There is an upshot to all of this though - viewer commitment.  When a viewer watches a video on your website, it’s no longer a passive television impression - where their senses must be inundated a number of times in order to parse the message.  There is the expectation of mutual respect -The viewer is active, they’re engaged, they’re switched on.  Their attention is squarely focused on your business — you have a product or service they already want — all that’s left is to win them over.  To give them permission to choose you over any other competitor. 

We’ve found that online video content is most successful when it achieves these four simple points:

• Informing the viewer

    (details about your product or service)

• Adding value to the viewer 

    (increase their knowledge base)

• Affirming your values and beliefs as a business     

    (breaking down the corporate-face & humanising the company)

• Creating a strong emotional connection with the viewer     

    (taking it a step further and help the viewer embrace the company as a collection of individuals.  Personal relationship)

The last point is what creates the strongest connection but it’s very difficult to access without also informing and adding value.  By showing a willingness to share information in your field of expertise, viewers are engaged, interested and ready to be emotionally drawn in.  I was somewhat disappointed (and vindicated at the same time ;)) to see Bunnings finally jump on the wagon not too long ago when they started a Bunnings TV youtube channel:

And I have to say that as the wheel keeps turning for online media, I couldn’t be happier.  This dovetails neatly with my own beliefs and those of most businesses I’ve worked with.  The constraints of 30 second advertising had always forced them to oversimplify their message or to sell by-analogy rather than being able to share the strengths of the product or the core values of the business itself.  Now, as an industry, we can finally get our hands dirty & sink our teeth into creating genuinely excellent productions that create massive value for businesses and customers alike.  Not just a candy coated shell.

There’s never been a better time to be working in video.

- Brecon James
Co-founder Luminary Studios