I tend to push back against the idea you “must” use video in your outreach.
Video is a pretty incredible tool for engaging with an audience, but I don’t think we need to pay too much attention to the internet influencers who scream that it’s all about video and you’d better use video and life is passing you by because you don’t have a video. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of successful businesses out there that never gave video a thought. It’s not cheap, after all. It takes time, and you’re never quite sure what your going to get until the project is finished.
There are, however, plenty of dramatic statistics that say the investment is worthwhile: YouTube says the consumption of video on mobile devices doubles every year; Cisco (they make servers, I think?) says 80 percent of internet traffic will be video by 2021; Forbes reports 90 percent of customers say video helps with their buying decisions.
The newspaperman in me urges extreme suspicion of any statistics in marketing or politics (as opposed to, say, use in a scientific or academic context) but it does point to a continued trend. That’s part of the reason I started this business. The reporting out there also suggests video is a pretty important marketing tool for small businesses as well as the big guys, even if the cost is more of an issue.
For me, none of this really gets at WHY a video is important, which because it can take a viewer inside an issue, service, effort or institution like nothing else. For a small business, a good video can introduce an audience to the people who make something happen. It can bring alive why some person thought it worth their time to create a coffee shop that was warm and inviting and served coffee that was completely new and different anything else around. Or, how a person’s frustration that mountain bikes no longer fit well on most car carriers spurred him or her to build and produce an attachment that solves the problem.
In Vermont, we cherish the fact that we know our neighbors; that we know what they do and respect what they bring to a community. An energetic, colorful and positive video can really bring that home, and allow an audience to see you in a much more human light.
That, to me, is the best reason to make video part of your branding.