By Tom Clifton, Animoto
Online video marketing is getting hot — and affordable. And that’s just how Google wants it.
One of the many disruptions brought on by the rise of the smartphone was easy, good-enough-quality video capture. Most people can now shoot HD video at any time, with no premeditation or special equipment. The word “camcorder” already feels dated, having been replaced by a constant stream of new mobile apps for capturing, editing, and sharing video.
But while the video craze has grabbed consumers with apps like Vine, Instagram, and now Instagram’s Hyperlapse, businesses are lagging behind, with only a relatively small percentage making videos regularly for marketing programs.
Google would like to change that.
The world’s second most valuable brand (or maybe first or third) purchased two interesting video companies within one month, iPhone-only video maker Directr and cloud-based rendering platform Zync Render. The former provides a simple, and now free, tool for anyone to create personal and business videos using step-by-step storyboards, while the latter allows video production studios to use the cloud to quickly render complex video files. The two may not seem directly related, but they demonstrate Google’s interest in video – and not just video hosting (i.e. with YouTube), but video creation.
Why? The easy (and correct) answer is ad dollars: Google wants to own all the eyeballs watching online videos, so they can monetize those eyeballs through advertising. Google already has a nice chunk of the market. According to a study by eMarketer, YouTube alone nets Google over $1 billion a year (about 20 percent of all U.S. digital video ad revenue) by taking 45 percent of every ad dollar generated by content creators.
But more broadly Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, and what’s still the most impactful and rich medium for communicating information? That’s right, video. Google is — and wants to continue to be — at the center of it, for both businesses and consumers.
So Google has a lot to gain from raising the profile of online video. It’s a virtuous cycle: the more video content online, the more consumers will accept and expect it, which in turn will drive more video online. If Google can organize all that valuable content and make it universally accessible, it will also collect ad revenue at every turn — the same strategy it’s successfully used for search and the rest of the web.
That’s why it wants you to make videos. Not only that, Google wants you to make videos on both sides of the fence — as an advertiser who pays Google to show your ads to its very captive audience, and as a content marketer who supplies more videos on YouTube to monetize.
The good news is that your marketing program — regardless of the size of your budget — stands to benefit from all this. On the advertising front, the ability to narrowly target audiences online at low cost-per-view means video advertising is becoming affordable to the majority of businesses. Meanwhile, because it’s still relatively uncommon, video is becoming the new must-have in content marketing, the way to stand above the deluge of weaker and derivative content.
In either case, it only takes creating a video to get started.
Video creation itself has historically been the time-and-cost hurdle for most businesses, but there are a growing number of DIY video marketing tools hitting the market that make the production of great video content easy and affordable for any budget. Small businesses and marketers still think of video as a huge effort requiring a hefty budget, full production team, weeks of shooting and editing, and limited opportunity for edits after it’s live. But in the same way website builders brought down the cost and expertise needed to get online, new tools are making it easier and more effective to create videos yourself.
All the cool video apps on the consumer side have demonstrated how easy it is to capture video, but businesses need to take it one step further to produce professional videos that are impactful and on-brand — and there are now simple, budget-friendly tools on the market that can help them do just that. Video is a huge opportunity in content marketing, advertising, product marketing, and social media, and it’s quickly becoming accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Now go make some videos.
Tom Clifton is cofounder and head of B2B at Animoto, a subscription-based web and mobile platform that enables businesses and consumers to create dynamic, professional videos. Launched in 2007, Animoto has grown to over 12 million users and has won every major industry award, including two Webbys, a Crunchie, and a SXSW Interactive Award, as well as being chosen as Crain’s Top 25 Best Places to Work in New York City. As cofounder, Tom has played major roles in product, marketing, engineering, and strategy, including building and leading Animoto’s first product design and product marketing departments. In addition to his main responsibilities in setting overall strategy for the B2B unit, he remains actively involved in the product, design, and marketing teams within the organization.