IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS VIDEO
I first got into video back in 2002 when I took a video production course and I can remember the first day as clearly as if it was yesterday… we all arrived for our induction day, with not one of us even having picked up one of those huge, broadcast cameras before, and we’re told “there’s the kit, now go out and shoot a mock news-reel for the evening news”. There was about £50,000 worth of professional, broadcast standard shooting kit in front of us, and we had 24 hours to find a story, script it, shoot it and get it into the edit suite.
Everything about that course was hands-on and it was a massive learning curve to say the least… and I loved every minute of it. It seemed that I’d found my ‘thing’, the thing I could do well, without it ever feeling like work.
Within a year of being a newly established freelancer, I was snapped up at a leading digital agency in Birmingham, doing everything from motion graphics, shooting their corporate videos to editing high end promo films. I got to work on some truly big name projects and essentially this is where I learned my trade. One day I’d be editing an interview for the CEO of Vodafone, the next day shooting a TV ad with James Nesbitt. That’s not to say it was all big names and blue-chip clients though, a large chunk of the work was with much smaller businesses… which was actually just as rewarding. SME’s don’t have the the massive brand reputation of larger corporations, so you really have to go that extra mile to craft a film really highlights their USP.
Some of the producers and directors there had worked in TV for decades so I was certainly learning from the best. So, I absorbed what I could and tried to better myself each day. By the time I was ready to leave there, I’d worked up to the position of ‘Head of Video Production’, leading a team of producers, directors, graphic artists, camera operators and editors. But as much as I enjoyed it, I knew it was time to setup my own business, so www.essdub.co.uk was born.
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE WHO
Whenever I have a client looking to make a video, the one thing you’ll hear me harp on about, time after time, is WHO. Who is watching? Who is buying? Who is making the decisions? Knowing who is absolutely the first step with anything to do with video. Video is beyond doubt, one of the greatest marketing tools out there, but sadly, too many video producers get caught up in trying to replicate what they’ve seen work for someone or something else… so they begin their client’s journey concentrating on the wrong thing. Instead of analysing their market, they begin with style and content. Which means at the end of the process the client has a great looking video, but it fails to speak to the audience that will ultimately be making that business money.
When I start a video project I have just one thing on my mind – ‘This video has to work FOR my client’. Whether it’s to promote or disseminate, highlight or educate, video must consider WHO is watching. And only once we’ve truly analysed the intended audience do we even begin to think about message, style or content.
THE FUTURE OF MARKETING
Video marketing has firmly planted itself in the arsenal of today’s businesses and for a very good reason – by 2017 almost ¾ of all web traffic will be video content. Anyone who has any online presence, needs video. It’s as simple as that. And if you’re not using video, there’s a pretty good chance that your competitors are!
Video also brings in a huge return of investment. A recent report states that if a viewer likes your video, they’re more than 97 times more likely to buy from you, and with over a 100 million internet users watching online video each day, that’s a lot of potential new customers.
And for B2C and B2B, video is now the number one marketing tool – just by placing video in your emails will increase click-through rates by up to 300%. And it’s not just sales that it helps with, but SEO too. A well placed YouTube video is 53 times more likely to get your site onto the 1st page of google than traditional SEO.
2015 is undeniably the year of video marketing and with mobile and tablet viewing increasing year on year, isn’t it time you invested in video?