The web is evolving and one of the key characteristics of its development is the removal of technical barriers from previously complicated tasks. Tools now exist that allow users to create their own graphics (Canva), or operate their own marketing department by themselves (Infusionsoft). You can automate your book keeping (Xero) or build your own website (WordPress or Squarespace). Video is no exception to this and in recent years daunting tasks like editing and video effects have been ultra simplified and cost reduced with editing platforms like Camtasia and Video Maker FX. You can even set up a pro studio and get amazing results with an iPhone and a couple of lights for $50.
What Video Used to Look Like
When I first started working with and teaching video in the mid 90’s a pro video camera was a complicated beast with numerous colour and light controls, the additional lighting that was required for a studio shoot came in a box the size of a small sofa with wheels on it. A team of at least three was needed to operate it and if you wanted to do it ‘live’ well that required a whole extra room of equipment and at least three more people. To command this kind of set up for a small business was completely out of the reach of most budgets.
Social Media Platforms Pile in to Video
These days you need a laptop with a webcam and an Internet connection. That’s it. That’s enough to broadcast your message to the world instantaneously. That’s if anyone is watching of course. As the technology has developed so have the services to accompany it. Social networks seem to be unilaterally piling into video where they once occupied their own distinct areas. Instagram is for pictures? Well now it has video. Twitter for 140 characters of text? Oh by the way you can use video now too. And Facebook, not just happy with embedded video in its feed, as it has been for years, seems to be making a play for dominance against the biggest video platform in the world, YouTube. Not only has Facebook surpassed YouTube in terms of engagement in its own feed (a statistic which, under the surface, is a bit weighted) but you can now update your status directly from the video camera on your phone. Perhaps we’ll soon see the evaporation of text updates in the feed all together?
A New Everyday Language
So where is it going next? What does the future of video look like and how can businesses benefit? Clearly video holds a unique place in the spectrum of digital communication. Mostly because it’s the form of communication that is most true to real life. Yes you can get some software to create a nice logo or do your accounts, but how often do you do that? Video is a carrier for everyday life and as we all become comfortable with it and the technological barriers are removed, it will be come exactly that, an everyday media like writing. But what if you don’t like getting in front of a camera? Well that’s just down to exposure and repetition. Our children are already well adapted to digital environments and as keyboards are superseded by voice recognition so too will video replace written words for a multitude of functions. Learning to use this medium will become an essential part of any communication strategy. Video conveys honesty and integrity far more clearly than text or telephone and as we move into a global world integrity and trust will be ever more important.
Professional Video Needs To Stay on its Toes
Does all this mean an end of video production agencies and professionally produced video? Probably not. There is a big difference between delivering ideas to a web camera and producing a highly aesthetic tightly constructed story. Xero may look after your books, but it can’t advise you on the most suitable tax plan for your business, for that you need an accountant. Companies will always have a need to outsource and a professional video story teller can lean on years of experience to deliver something engaging and focused. However the lines at the edges will blur and as with all technical industries it will have to stay on it’s toes if it is to adapt to the rapidly changing market place.
Video has transformed from an inaccessible high ticket media to a tool within the reach of everyone but this is just the first few steps of its new life. There is a long way for it to travel yet.
Director – BlinkBack Video Marketing