The pros & cons of video content

Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt

Tara Hunt, CEO of Truly, has over 20 years experience in market research and strategy on both client and agency side. She wrote one of the first books on how the social web is changing business, was named one of 2013's Entrepreneurial Women to Watch by Entrepreneur Magazine and one of the Most Influential Women in Technology in Fast Company. She has built an engaged and enthusiastic business audience online of over 345,000 followers, including a significant number of thought leaders. Tara combines a data-centric with a human-centric approach to building an audience, leaning heavily on insights into consumer patterns and behaviors while keeping an eye on online trends and changing expectations.

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Video content: the apparent holy grail of content. But before you start picking up tripods, boom microphones, and a clapperboard – let’s think about this for a second. Should every brand adopt video? Well, maybe you should see if that’s what your audience wants, first. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of adopting video…

Con: a high barrier to entry

Starting out with video content is not as simple as hopping online and firing out some tweets (although, you shouldn’t be doing that, either – remember strategy, people!) and therein lies the first — and arguably largest — hurdle: a high barrier to entry. To do video well, you’ll need certain skills and there are lots of steps to take, whether you’re acquiring these skills yourself or outsourcing. 

That being said, there are a lot of individuals who’ve become successful on YouTube, TikTok, or other platforms simply by recording themselves on a webcam or camera phone. But low-fi doesn’t exactly mesh well with many professional brands, so you’ll likely want much more polish to your videos. This means better skills, resources, lighting, and sound from the get-go, which all adds up.

Pro: a high barrier to entry?

That’s right. A high barrier to entry can also work in your favor. If you invest the time to learn about and adopt video, your competition will also have to jump through these same hoops to produce content that is up to your standard. At this point, you’ll be far enough ahead in your process so they’ll always struggle to keep up. The key here is to begin your journey into video production early. Although there is indeed a high barrier to entry, that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in the beginning. Your content can even be self-aware enough to acknowledge past mistakes and allow your audience to grow with you.

Con: continued cost and time investment

This goes hand in hand with the high barrier to entry. Because of the level of skill needed, the cost of continued video production can be pretty high. Of course, you can do it yourself and learn how to shoot and edit your own content but if time is money, you’d likely be better off outsourcing your video production. On one end, you have a plethora of free social platforms that you can tap into, and on the other is video – which if you want to do correctly, requires an investment of both time and money. 

Pro: deeper engagement and relationship building

Despite the seemingly high investment required, video is the most engaging form of content. A well-made video will combine text, images, and music – keeping your viewers interested. Video allows your brand to tell a story unlike any other medium, and we know how a great story sells. Video platforms and social media allow for your video to be much more sharable, too. Furthermore, videos are so personal – your customers love the intimacy of hearing voices and seeing faces, which allows your brand to really build a relationship with them. So yes, video content may be costly, but depending on your audience, your results may end up being far greater than your investment. 

Con: slow grown-up adoption (comparatively)

YouTube, for example, has over 2 billion users. However, the majority of this audience is younger. If your brand is aiming at younger people, this is good news. But what if your brand is aiming for a more mature audience? The 35+ and 55+ age groups are much smaller in comparison to the majority of YouTube viewers. However, this isn’t all doom and gloom because these two groups are actually the fasting growing audience groups. You’re trying to build a long term, sustainable relationship with your chosen consumers, not become a one-hit-wonder with randoms. You don’t need screaming fans, you need business. 

Pro: SEO benefits (especially on YouTube)

YouTube, being a Google property – means that a well-optimized, useful video is going to get you a fantastic spot in search results. What do you do when you have a problem? You Google it. How does that benefit your product or service? Well, more and more people are searching on YouTube about how to fix their leaky kitchen faucet, or maximize their investments. If your SEO is on point and your video content gives your audience what they’re looking for, you’ve got a great chance of appearing in a good position in their search results. Don’t forget, word of mouth (online and offline) may also lead to a lot of potential customers finding their way to your video content.

In conclusion, the cons of video are a high barrier to entry, cost and time, and slow grown-up adoption. The pros being a high barrier to entry (for your competition), deeper engagement/relationship building, and SEO benefits. Video is engaging and is the preferred medium of choice for marketers and audiences alike – it can be, however, overdone and sometimes terribly executed. The key to knowing if your brand should adopt a video strategy is to understand your audience and build a full picture of the type of content they’re looking for before taking the (potentially costly) leap.

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