Video is King

The ability to serve both aural and visual senses of a user at the same time is powerful. It has been for years. But not everyone had access to expensive video equipment in the past. Taking a photo was and will always be the easiest way to capture an experience. But now with easier, cheaper tools, and multiple platforms focussing on video content, where videos get many times the interactions as would an image, it’s never been better to start sharing video content.

We are currently living in a post-image society. Where images and pictures still play an important role as they did 10 years ago, around about the time that the smartphone revolution exploded into the world in 2007. This marriage of smartphone and social media in the hands of anyone anywhere, opened the gates for content creation to just about anyone who wanted to make something. Since then, at least from a social media and video content aspect, photos have been at the forefront. Until now.

Video is seeing an explosive peak in popularity due to easier¬†accessibility, better tools on smartphones, social media company’s prominence on video content and the competition between these companies vying for your content.

Video has always been a popular way to advertise. It’s the go-to experience for many large and small brands. This hasn’t changed. Companies put vast sums of money into advertising budgets for video content on various platforms for the last few decades, from traditional TV, and now to YouTube / social media channels. What has changed is how accessible video is to anyone with a smartphone and access to the internet.

Think of how we have changed our consumption over the years. There was a time when there was rarely a video to be seen on popular social media sites, unless a site was only dedicated to hosting video YouTube, Vimeo etc. Now social media companies are shifting the way we see and use their sites. For instance, Facebook in 2016 made a huge change in the way we consume content on their site and are aggressively promoting and pushing a ‘video-first’ approach. More than likely, 4 of every 5 posts you scroll through will be video content. You can play the content right there in your feed, not even loading separate ‘popout’ screen for the video. It’s preloaded when you visit and autoplays when you arrive at it in your feed.

The fact that videos appear higher than any other content and with autoplay enabled means marketers and business who focus on video have a very powerful advantage in sharing their content. There are a myriad of statistics and studies linked to increased purchases, click-throughs, subscribe rates etc. linked to video content, all you have to do is google a study and you will find how much more persuasive and powerful it is on a consumer compared to any other media available (at this time).

Businesses are getting more engagement with videos and hosters are receive more money for video content, it’s a win-win situation for both involved.

It’s never been a better time to start creating video content.

And not just from a big budget business perspective. The explosion in videos popularity is down to people. Everyday people. Users of apps like Snapchat and Instagram, who have shaped the tools and direction of these multi-billion $ companies are to applaud in the video’s rise of not just popularity, but it’s ease of use and accessibility across so many platforms. It was because of people’s adoption of a particular social media app, that made video a prominent feature, which changed the approach of other apps and social media companies toward video.

It’s not inaccurate¬†to say that the users of Instagram and Snapchat are behind the popularity of video across so many social media platforms now.

Start creating video

But what does this mean for you and your hobby/passion/brand? It means that you have access to powerful tools and an audience hungry for video content like never before. The cost of entry to start producing video is relatively cheap, although quickly spirals out of control when you want to factor in extra tools, and software. But if you want to get into video, and want a cheap, out-of-the box solution that allows you create and post content all from the same device. Buy a smartphone.

It’s not the tools that are important, it’s what you do with the content that makes it great.

Sure the audio won’t be perfect, nor the quality of the video as good as that a dedicated camera. And this is how video expenses can spiral out of control. But it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the content. The average person, which is the vast majority of people who don’t know anything about video, won’t care. For them, it’s all about the content and it’s message. They don’t know the technical aspects and the tools used to create the video.

We spend so much time stressing about the minute details of our work, when in reality, the vast majority of people won’t notice, nor care about that detail. Nothing is perfect.

The sooner you realise this and start to live by it, the more value you can produce.

Start a YouTube or a Vimeo. Depending on what market you want to reach, both platforms have their strengths and preferred audiences. Once you do, start putting a plan into place of what kind of video content you wish to capture for your hobby, passion, or if you have a personal business / brand even better. How can you reach a new audience and how will they engage with this content. Are you going to solve problems or entertain, are you going to teach with tutorials, are you going to educate with speaking?

These are some of the important questions you will have to think about while beginning to put a plan in place for your video content. Although this is easy compared to what I imagine is people’s number one problem with it;

People’s number one problem with video is themselves.

You are your own worst enemy. You have to stop thinking that you are an imposter and start to act professionally. Fake it till you make it, confidence-wise. Pretend like you know what you are doing, even if you have just started, even if you think you shouldn’t be doing video because you think you have no experience and don’t know what you’re doing. Everybody had to start somewhere.

You’re going to criticise yourself over small nuances in your insecurities. Insecurities which in part stem from the imposter syndrome of creating video content for the first few times. This is all in your own head.

What is stopping you from creating video right now? Solve this problem.

A lot of the time, when the conversation about video comes up, people revert to the classic “I’m too shy” and “my voice sounds terrible”. People are insecure about how they might act, or say something they weren’t meant to, or slip up. These are all aspects you can work on, and come from confidence, and confidence comes from practice. You’re voice sounds different to you compared to everyone else, due to your sense of hearing and it’s relationship with how it’s processed in your brain. Other people hear that voice 100% of the time when speaking with you so it’s not a sudden shock to them when hearing their voice played back. You have been used to that way all your life. Practice hearing your voice a few times and you will get used to your ‘external voice’.

Video is multi-sensual. So you are exposing yourself to a couple of different sense at a time. This is why people can feel vulnerable when being recorded, because they feel like it exposes too much of them at a time. Not just on a podcast where you can hide your appearance, and not just as an image where your voice is unheard. But as a video with your appearance, and voice exposed. It also introduces a sense of space and movement. Taking into account how you act and hold yourself.

Practice presenting yourself. It’s one thing that will not change in the future.

Start thinking about video, think of the possibilities you can do with it for your brand or passion.

The engagements go up, you can have great conversation around it, people can learn from it, be entertained. You catch people’s attention. It’s another facet to your work that your audience can enjoy. Not only that, it’s a deeper facet.

Yes, its harder to create than just an image. There is a lot of thought that goes into producing this kind of content; the editing, writing/scripting, learning of software etc. But its worth it’s weight in gold if you create meaningful, valuable content that people will enjoy.