Welcome to part one of our series devoted to marketing shifts. In this series, we aim to take a deep dive into several areas of the marketing landscape that are experiencing significant seismic shifts in both theoretical and practical application.

When we talk marketing shifts, we are zeroing in on specific areas of marketing that have experienced — and are continuing to undergo — profound changes as access to technology and communications tools influence consumer behavior. Take for example shifts in video, a topic we will unpack in today’s post.

Traditional marketing historically reserved video production for the agencies and freelance shops that had the lighting, sound, film, and editing equipment necessary to create high-quality brand video. Until the rise of social media, the majority of brand videos were intended only for broadcast. And as broadcast media transitioned from analog to digital, this necessitated a professional production quality that was simply unattainable outside of the professional shops. While it is still the case that high-quality production elements are essential to effective video marketing; the rise of technology has shifted the terrain so that these high-quality productions are no longer the only option for video marketing.

ProAm Video Production Culture

Professional-Amateur or “ProAm” is an interesting and helpful way to put words around what is happening in today’s video marketing culture. The definition of ProAm is simply this: a mix of professional and amateur competition within a sport, or collaboration between professionals and amateurs in a scientific discipline. What we are seeing now in the world of video production is the equivalent of an open invitational where professional productions are being viewed online side-by-side and in competition with the more beginner “grab and go” creations. Actually, whether you think of video production as sport or scientific discipline may speak loudly into which of these two camps you belong.  

ProAm Pros and Cons

Twenty-first century smartphone technology is making armchair directors and producers of consumers worldwide. Anyone with a video camera on their phone, tablet, or pc can create, produce and upload video to the web. This reality can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your objectives. If your goal is to create a brand video to establish your value and differentiate your business in a competitive corporate climate, a JV approach to video production will very likely cost you both customers and credibility. This is a case of “just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should.” Professionally produced brand videos are an essential component of a sound visual marketing strategy and must never be jettisoned for a quick and easy solution. To put it bluntly, you get what you pay for, and your foundational brand elements deserve the polish and shine that only a professional shop can provide.

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On the other hand, if your goal is to give consumers an inside look into the personality of your already established brand, build a platform, and lead potential customers on a journey to becoming brand loyalists, you may very well accomplish that level of community engagement with the combination of a GoPro and a quality microphone. Many brands are creating vlogs (video blogs) to connect with customers and finding that the entry-level video production tools get the job done. Furthermore, you wouldn’t want to invest the time and expense of hiring a professional shop to livestream your press conference when an iPhoneX mounted on a tripod can get the job done for you.  

Who Will Win?

More and more consumers will grow to expect and depend on video content to inform their level of engagement with your brand. This is evidenced by the popularity of YouTube as the number two search engine in the world, immediately behind Google. The trend that we need to zero in on here is that consumers are choosing video (and voice, more on that later) over reading the written word.

How your brand plans to engage with these audiences must be at the top of mind as you plan for and develop content. We believe that there is a place for BOTH the professionally produced content and the accessible layman videos. How the two work together and serve each other to propel your brand above the competitors is a complex mix that depends on the type and quality of your content, and your audience’s expectations.

In our next post we will discuss the effective mingling of the two approaches to video, including the use of live video and social media, and offer some tips on how to create a social video strategy that works.

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