Home Grown vs. Professional Video – Each Has a Role to Play in Small Business Marketing
Guest Poster: Peter Stassa of Davideo Company, corporate video production specialists.
You probably don’t have an unlimited budget. We get that, neither do we. We understand that while you value the use of video content to build brand awareness and credibility, you still need to stay within your means. So, ask yourself this:
Where is your content going to be seen?
If you’re posting short videos to consumer-driven social media (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) to promote live events or short-term special offers, go right ahead and shoot those yourself. The audience on those platforms is used to seeing a more impromptu, “selfie” style and is less critical of production quality.
But what about the important video content that lives on your website or is being embedded in email campaigns and newsletters? The “about us” videos that explain what your organization does and why you do it? The testimonial stories that are intended to build trust?
You may think: “My phone has a really good camera, I can save money by producing marketing videos in-house instead of hiring an outside company to do it!”
Yes, you can – you can also save money by doing your own dental work with a mirror and a pair of pliers, but it will cost you more in the long run.
For one thing, it takes more than just a good camera. Do you have the other necessary tools and skills to properly record and edit the raw footage so that the end product is worth watching? Do you have the time?
You have to be careful when cutting corners on the production process because home-grown video can backfire on you.
For example, a Brightcove survey of more than 1,200 consumers revealed that the quality of a video has the potential to change the perception viewers have of your brand:
“When consumers are confronted with poor-quality video, they are 62 percent more likely to have a negative perception of the brand that published the video.”
“23 percent of consumers who have been presented with a poor-quality video experience would hesitate to purchase from the brand.”
Sure, the world of B2B and B2C communication has become relatively casual in recent years, and some marketing pundits have been saying that consumers prefer video that is more “spontaneous”, less “flashy”, and thus more “authentic”. But if your camera work is shaky and your image is dark and your audio is hard to hear, your viewer will not stick with it long enough to absorb any of your “authentic” content.
Poor production values are a turn-off. They distract from your message.
Today’s buyers are doing most of their initial research online before they ever get to the point of reaching out for a proposal, which means your odds of getting onto their shortlist depend largely on the quality of the content you post online.
As the saying goes, “you get only one chance to make a first impression” and if the video content on your website, on business-oriented platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, and in your newsletters and email campaigns looks amateurish, it will pale in comparison with the content offered by your competitors… and you won’t be getting those calls.
Effective and engaging video does not have to look like the opening to the Super Bowl, but sticking to the basic best practices of clean production will allow the viewer to focus on your content. For this reason, you should stay away from a “homegrown” video for critical applications and consider working with a professional when your target audience is made up of your core prospects and potential partners and supporters.