video statistics: dream on

posted by Rob Stewart Apr 20, 2017


You see statistics published like “62% of marketers plan to use more video”, which sounds like an increase in opportunity for video producers, but what do the stats really mean?

Most statistics like this are still presented as a simple correlation between two variables: Then versus now = less to more. Makes a nice simple graphic in a blog. The unacknowledged assumption though, is that the population remains the same and the ‘more’ is more of the same.

Is that true?

Cheaper cameras and smartphones have had a huge impact by making the production of a video simple and cheap. I’d suggest though that the biggest driver of video growth is the change in distribution. We have gone quickly from the high cost of traditional broadcast or duplication of physical formats, to virtually zero cost for global reach in the online world.

Now that any business can join in, it means when questions go out aimed at marketers responsible for video content, the population has certainly grown significantly, but as a population they are from much smaller companies than before. Behind the big stats, one report acknowledged that less than 10% of respondents were from companies with more than 1000 employees. Further examination shows that over 50% of respondents have in-house capacity for their production needs.

Salary bill aside then, many smaller companies are happy with a smartphone or small camera, maybe adobe creative suite, and a video streaming account. This is all virtually free to them, and if they are comfortable with the quality they can produce in-house, the opportunity for a video producer is not quite what the statistics first suggest.

What is the opportunity then?

Trying to persuade someone that they should pay for what they already get for free is a rather uphill task. Producers need to look to where these zero cost productions do not provide the desired result. Just because a video is ‘out there’ does not mean it is being watched. Streaming sites often show the number of views a video has, and it is very easy to see how few views an un-engaging soft-launched video has got. It seems to be enough just to get the production out of the door, or rather just get the video online, and never mind the result.

Owning a camera and a streaming account does not automatically equal an engaging video. Understanding audiences, production management, creativity, and a launch strategy are needed to produce something that people will actually watch to the end to get to the action point, and then actually perform the action. This is where video producers can make a real difference and find opportunity: where real results from a communication actually matter.

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