The social media world has been talking about the power and popularity of video for many years now. I’m not sure it’s reached the mass appeal everyone was predicting but video is clearly changing the way we do business. There are a few reasons for this:
Accessibility – Both Fran Melmed of Free Range Communication and Kris Dunn at The HR Capitalist have written recently about how technology is making video very easy and effortless. Years ago the only way you could get video was to hire a professional crew. Now, that’s all changed.
Quality – Expectations regarding the quality of video are changing. Used to be, the only kind of video anyone saw was either highly polished or just plain terrible. Now that doesn’t mean shooting video when you first wake up with bed head is the best approach either. But looking the way people see you every day, in the clothes people normally see you in…is considered professional, acceptable and authentic.
Cost – Needless to say, accessibility and quality are driving down cost. When you can record decent quality video on your phone or great quality using a Flip camera, this is a game changer. Where video used to be cost prohibitive, it might not be anymore.
That being said, video is now being used for so many different aspects of business.
Product announcements – Since I have an iPhone, I’m interested in the latest announcements about the product. When Steve Jobs conducts a presentation on Apple updates, it’s recorded and posted as a podcast in iTunes. As a subscriber, it automatically shows up in my account and I can listen at my leisure. Just think of the ways your company could use video to communicate new products and services with customers.
Tutorials – I use a note-taking app called Evernote to record ideas when I’m out of the office. Evernote provides a series of video tutorials to help users get the most out of the product. Consider the ways your organization could use video to teach customers how to use your product or service to its fullest potential.
Education – Colleges and universities are recording entire courses and posting them on iTunes U. They’re free. Let me say that again…they’re free. You can attend an entire semester of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior or Principles of Accounting for zip, zilch, zero dinero. What a creative addition to your training and development plans!
Sales – I had to save the best for last. Video can have a positive impact on sales. Real life example: Original Skateboards was founded in 2002 by two brothers, Scott and Brad Imbrie, using their college fund. For the first 6 years in business they basically had flat growth. Then in 2007, they started using YouTube as a marketing channel. Sales increased 40% in the first year.
In 2008, sales increased 80% and in 2009 profit increased 432%. In 2010, profit is estimated to increase over 300%.
The numbers speak for themselves. And so does the video:
Video is a very powerful medium to communicate with your customer base. It does mean we have to let go of our hang ups past perceptions in order to take advantage of what this medium can offer. Are you ready?