Is Your Brand Worth Professional Treatment?
(Posted on September 21, 2011)
You may not remember the 1950s but the so-called "Golden Age" of television was in general pretty bad. Yes, there were some great, groundbreaking programs, but there was also a lot of crap, especially the commercials that for the most part were emotionally and psychologically clumsy despite their pseudo-innocence.
We may be nostalgic for Speedy Alka Seltzer but it hardly stacks up to the Evian Baby T-Shirt videos that to my mind were even better than the more famous Roller Babies, a campaign where technical gimmickry overpowered the message. Of course in the 50s, the medium was new and the technology was rudimentary, especially by today's standards.
With an audience raised on radio, TV producers could get away with almost anything, but today's audience brought up on television and big budget movies expect and demand a far greater level of presentation sophistication.
If you want to communicate to today's Web audience, you have to understand the techniques used to make your message understood and memorable. And just as importantly, you have to understand the negative impact of video presentation inadequacies. When we speak of ineffective communication, we are not just talking about technical issues like poor lighting and audio room tone, but more importantly poor messaging and mediocre performance.
Audiences Demand Quality Marketing Presentations
The days of face-to-face meetings are all but gone; even the telephone has become a worthless marketing tool thanks to the auto-call-robots harassing everybody with pitches for duct cleaning and cheap windows and doors. Today people rely on email, text messaging, and social media. These venues have their place for couponing, contests and discounting: promotional tactics that work for nationally advertised brands that have the budgets and built-in demand to take advantage of every marketing platform. Unfortunately these venues are not conducive to delivering a branded marketing message with the style, sophistication and nuance needed to convince an audience to purchase a non-nationally advertised product or service. If you're an entrepreneurial company, you have to think like one, not like Procter and Gamble.
Websites Are Still The Most Valuable Venue
Websites are still the most important marketing resource for prospects trying to find information about a product, service, or brand. Websites are the new phone directory, encyclopedia, catalogue, news magazine and shopping mall all wrapped into one customizable, brandable, multimedia resource. And when it comes to engaging a media savvy audience, video on your website has the potential to deliver the impact, immediacy, and the mind-altering persuasion needed to boost sales - if you know how to use it.
With easy access to relatively inexpensive hardware and software it's easy to become a "shooter". Just about everybody owns a video camera and with a little practice, anyone can become proficient in using it; but that is not the same as producing a commercial message. It's your business, and if you want it to prosper, you better find someone who knows how to tell your story in a way that will make your audience care.
Hiring an outside professional video communication firm to develop your video presentation may seem like an extravagance but you have to ask yourself, how much is your reputation worth?
What Professionals Bring To The Table
No one has more pride in what they do than owner-managers of small and medium size businesses, and one could argue that running a SME is far more difficult than running a major corporation. SME executives are so involved in running the day-to-day operations of their businesses it is not surprising they don't have the time to develop the cutting-edge skills required to implement a Web video campaign in-house.
In the long-run, quality video marketing will bring in more business, expand your market penetration, and enhance your image and reputation. And isn't that worth investing in an expert who can get it done.
Multi Function Creative and Technical Skills
In order for a video to communicate a marketing message effectively it requires a variety of creative and technical skills including scripting, lighting, audio, videography, photography, editing, special effects, and sound design. Getting by with hackneyed images, stock music, templates, and amateur shooters and presenters will ultimately reflect on your image and cripple your ability to convert visitors into customers.
Conceptual Brand Understanding
There are times when it's difficult for everybody to see the forests-for-the-trees, and working from dawn to dusk on day-to-day problems leaves little time to think about your business from a conceptual point-of-view, but that's just what professional marketing companies do.
Every experienced marketer understands that campaigns based on features alone are not the way to move product and grow businesses. Promotional campaigns based on discounting, sales, and contests are nothing more than short-term fixes with little long-term payback and the danger of turning regular clients into discount junkies.
There has to be something more behind a marketing campaign; you need a conceptual basis for audience acceptance. Developing an effective video campaign requires someone who can turn your product, service, or brand into an emotional aspiration. Marketing success requires going beyond the "need" into the realm of "desire."
Marketing is like romance; you have to woo your audience with style and substance. It's one thing to take a date or your spouse to dinner at some fast-food joint, it's quite another to take her to a five-star restaurant. Both may fill the need but only the gourmet dinner will light the fire of desire. Marketing is no different. If your video presentations are nothing more than a burger and fries, it's time to start thinking of filet mignon, but even an expensive meal can cause indigestion if the chef doesn't really know what he's doing.
Professional video marketing firms produce material for a variety of companies in many different industries. That kind of experience can be a valuable asset in developing a campaign approach that works for your business.
An experienced producer will not only know what works and what doesn't, but he or she will also know how to save you monéy by not allowing you to waste your budget on costly ineffective concepts, stunts and production techniques.
It's An Investment Not A Cost
Web video production must be viewed as an investment not a cost. Doing it right means hiring the right company who knows how to develop a presentation that enhances your image and attracts attention. Homemade or semi-pro efforts may seem like a bargain at the time, but they will ultimately turn out to be a costly waste of resources that can do more damage than good; then again if you sew your suits, act as your ówn doctor, and grow your food, perhaps you don't need a professional.
About The Author: Jerry Bader is Senior Partner at MRPwebmedia, a website design and marketing firm that specializes in Web-video Marketing Campaigns and Video Websites.