Why Is Video Important?
Who remembers Buggles and ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ back in 1979? It has been played so often since then too though! I had a brief exchange with a client this week and the song was mentioned. We were chatting about ‘why is video important right now‘.
It has been on my mind for some time to write about video so here goes. During 2020 one of the biggest changes in the industry has been the adoption of video. You don’t have to look far to see it. Just check your social feed, your favourite websites, Zoom calls, TV streaming and much more. In a very short period the landscape has changed dramatically.
Why Has Video Become So Important Recently?
Video has been around for many years so why is it so important right now? Well its true people have been able to record video and play it for many years. Video recording was invented in 1956 but it wasn’t until 1972 that Sony started to sell affordable consumer VCR units. In 1997 we saw things go digital with the invention of the DVD. That progressed in 2006 to a higher quality in the form of Blue-Ray.
Although there was widespread adoption for leisure use in the home by then things were still in their infancy online. YouTube was established in 2005, Netflix launched its streaming service in 2007. Companies like this could see what was coming but at that time the infrastructure was still in its infancy. It was around this time that home broadband connections finally overtook the older and much slower dial up internet connection. Who remembers dial-up? It seems so alien now – connecting, doing things as quick as possible because you were paying by the minute then disconnecting. Everything was so slow and limited, nothing like what we have today!
How Has Internet Speed Influenced Video?
In 2005 less than half of the population in many 1st world countries had broadband at home. Although some cities experienced faster connections most people had very slow broadband. Even where they had it it was near impossible to run reliable video on. Even if it was, get 2 or 3 people on the system and things soon ground to a halt.
Mobile phone internet access lagged even further behind. Faster speeds started to appear with 4G which started to roll out across the world from 2009. In 2011, though, 90% of the world’s population still lived in 2G areas.
In recent years computers have been more than capable than ever of handling video. Smartphones have appeared which rival many of the top end video cameras only a few years previous. Amazing video editing software and apps have appeared. What has really turned the tables in the last 12 months, however, is the wide uptake of high speed broadband right around the world, in business, in the home and even on the mobile phone!
High speeds mean that video is much more widely used than ever before. The days of buffered video are gone. Companies like Netflix have packages where several people in the house can watch different video simultaneously. They can do that on different devices because of the high speeds available.
5G is bringing similar high speeds to the mobile network. This landscape has all changed dramatically in the last year or two around the entire world! Companies can now assume what they could not assume previously – that the majority of their target market can now easily access and consume video content from them – at work, in the home and on the move!
Some Interesting Statistics
Here are some really interesting statistics I found at Key Internet Statistics to Know in 2021 (Including Mobile) – BroadbandSearch
- 45% of people globally watch an hour or more of internet video content per day now
- Video is an integral part of the buying journey for consumers in the modern world
- 50% of people watch product videos and demos before purchasing anything online
- In the last few years mobile based video advertising spend has increased by 95%
- In 2020 50% of internet traffic was from mobile devices
- YouTube is the 2nd most visited site surpassed only by Google
- YouTube has 1.8 billion monthly visitors (that is almost double Instagram and lagging close behind Facebook).
I have seen video on the rise throughout most of 2020 and these statistics make it clear why. The technology is now here for worldwide adoption making conditions perfect for the rapid expansion we are seeing.
How Has The Pandemic Changed Things?
Things have been changing for a while. With the global pandemic that we have seen since March 2020, however, a perfect storm has been created. This has simply accelerated things that were already happening. People have had to find ways of working from home and working remotely. Products like Zoom and other video calling software have experienced rapid growth. People are becoming comfortable using Zoom, Facetime, Whatsapp Video and so on at a time when they cannot see friends, family and colleagues in person and travel is so restricted.
Things that were forecast to take place over the next 10 years have taken place within less than a year. People are soaking up video both live and recorded.
The Know Like Trust Acceleration
You cannot just expect to sell online like you can in person. In person people can touch and feel your product and get to know you very quickly. They need that to get the confidence to buy. Online there are far more barriers that you need to break down first. One of the ways to do that is by increasing the know, like and trust factor with your customers. You need to find ways to get them to know you. You need to get them to like you and trust you. Once you achieve that it will be so much easier to get them to purchase from you.
Traditionally you have probably been doing this on your website and social media by making regular contact with images, text, newsletters, blog etc. Hopefully you will have been explaining your processes. You will have been giving background on you and your work. You will have been showing product specific material. Typically, however, from first contact it can often take up to 6 months until purchase as you build customer confidence.
Why Does Video Accelerate This?
Research suggests that you can dramatically reduce this time through video. Video includes much more than your static images and text. It includes your voice, face and body language. When showing products it provides and experience much closer to being able to touch and feel the products in person. If you ask me what is the best way to sell art, craft or photography I will always tell you – in person. Video, however, is by far the closest thing you have to that online.
Don’t misunderstand here though, I am not advocating forget online and just sell in person! What I mean here is that if 10 people visit your show stand more will buy than if 10 people visit your website. That said unlike a show your website is open 24/7. Its even open while you sleep and has a global reach with a much higher footfall potential. What I mean is that video will dramatically increase conversions of people who visit! Video will build the know, like and trust factor that can take months normally online. It will reduce it to a period of weeks if not days or even hours!
In ‘145 – Video Killed The Radio Star (Part 2)‘ next week I will cover a bit more about what kind of video you should be thinking about producing, where and how!
Are you using video yet? I would love to know what you are up to and what kind of results you are experiencing?