It wasn’t that long ago that corporate websites were considered an unproven novelty.
The same can be said for social media, mobile apps, and any number of other tools that have since evolved from being extraordinary novelties, into ordinary tools of the marketing trade.
Video marketing is steadily evolving along the same path. Once the extraordinary tactic of the few, video marketing is quickly becoming the ordinary tool of the many.
So, what changes can we expect to see, as video marketing evolves from the extraordinary into the ordinary? The evolution of those earlier tools holds the secret.
Evolutionary Pathways for Video Marketing
I’ve been at this marketing game long enough to have seen websites, social media, and mobile apps (to name but a few) emerge, as brand-new marketing tools. Without exception, all of them were received by marketers with great fanfare, but lethargic adoption.
Video marketing is no different.
When corporate websites first emerged, they were built by talented amateurs, because professional website agencies didn’t exist.
After a while, it was clear that websites were here to stay, and that encourage professionals in marketing and its allied disciplines to specialize in websites, start new agencies, or build website practices within existing agencies.
Technology has now evolved to the point where most anyone can build a simple website. But, sophisticated, top-performing websites are still the realm of experts, and anyone serious about building a website for their company, doesn’t give the project to “that new kid, down in Marketing.”
Video marketing is at a similar stage in its evolution. Talented amateurs still produce much of the video content for all but the biggest brands. (After all, anyone with a smart phone can be a video marketer.) But, people serious about video marketing rely increasingly on video marketing experts.
Moving Past the “Big Deal” Syndrome
This is all well and good for agencies, like Thoughtcast Media, that specialize in video marketing. But, for many brands, video is still something of a novelty. Very few have integrated video into their marketing mix, much less adopted a video-first marketing strategy.
That means that when many brands want to produce a professional-level video, it’s always a Big Deal.
Requirements must be developed. RFPs must be drafted. Vendors must be interviewed, and so on.
Video marketing is an investment. Treat it like one.
Most businesses need outside help to get video done right, but hiring the wrong agency or studio could be a disastrous waste of time and money.
Download the Video Marketing Buying Guide and get it done right!
A New Way
The work that goes into finding video marketing support ultimately makes it impossible for anyone but the biggest of brands to integrate video marketing into their marketing mix in a serious, programmatic way.
The process is too cumbersome and slow, and only the most dedicated brands can keep up with the overhead on their side.
But, that’s beginning to change.
Advantages of Having a Video Marketing Agency in Your Corner
The promise of a video-first marketing strategy is that the power of video can be leveraged for a wide variety of marketing assets.
It’s not just the big projects, but the little projects that need video. But, if the process for procuring video assets is so cumbersome that only big projects can be sourced, the promise of a video-first strategy will remain unfulfilled.
Let me give you an example.
A software company releasing a major upgrade to their product may very well understand that a professional video could help spur sales and adoption. That’s a project that may well be worth a careful search for the right agency.
But, that same software company will have a variety of other smaller projects that could benefit from video, too. Partner announcements, user group meeting announcements, customer testimonials. The list goes on and on.
Those videos will never get sourced because the process is too slow and cumbersome. No one in a busy marketing department has the time to write an RFP for a partner announcement.
So, brands are beginning to add video marketing agencies to their marketing ecosystems. With a marketing agency on retainer, you can dramatically reduce the amount of overhead and cost required to execute on video marketing projects, making it possible to expand the use of video throughout your department and company.
Retainer Vehicles for Maximum Flexibility and Lower Cost
There are a variety of different retainer vehicles available to give even smaller brands access to video marketing resources, quickly and affordably.
At Thoughtcast Media, we assign cost units to different video marketing activities. Our customers buy as many units as they think they will need, and then allocate them to projects as they come up.
A customer might budget for enough units to pay for a series of testimonials they plan to produce, but later decide to reallocate some of those units to help fund an interim release video that they really want but didn’t anticipate needing, at the beginning of the year.
Customers can pay for units over the course of the year, buy new units to fund projects beyond their previously anticipated scope, and carry unused units into the next year.
We believe this retainer arrangement provides for the maximum flexibility and lowest cost for our customer who are serious about their video marketing programs.
Other arrangements, akin to the typical retainer arrangements offered for years by PR firms, are available through other agencies.
What role do you want video to play in your overall marketing strategy?
If you’re content with producing the occasional video as needs arise (and many marketing shops are), then you probably wouldn’t benefit from a retainer relationship with a video marketing agency.
On the other hand, if video is playing an increasingly important role in your marketing mix, a retainer relationship with a good video marketing agency might be just what you need.
The ability to just fire off an email to get the ball rolling on your next video project, without the need for RFPs, contracts, and other paperwork, can take your video marketing to a new level. It will allow you to more fully integrate video into your marketing mix at every level.
Plus, because your agency can count on a certain amount of revenue from their accounts over the course of the year, they’re often willing to reduce the price they would normally charge for one-off projects. (That’s certainly the case at Thoughtcast Media, where our retainer customers enjoy the most affordable rates we offer.)
So, when you’re ready to more thoroughly integrate video into your marketing mix, you should consider entering into a retainer relationship with a reputable video marketing agency.
They can help you transform video from being an extraordinary novelty, to a regular, manageable, and affordable part of your marketing strategy.