Just how relevant is video, anyway?

After 45 years, the VHS tape has finally ceased to exist – with Funai Electric, the last company still producing VCR players, having announced in July that they would cease production entirely. In many ways, it’s the end of an era. In the same way that vinyl records enabled everybody to enjoy music at home, VHS tapes were the first mass consumer video product.

However, while old viewing habits have faded or become obsolete, video in general is more popular and prevalent than ever. In response to a Nielsen study, 64% of brand marketers claimed they believed video content would become the dominant medium for their brand strategies. Cisco estimate that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, with demand service traffic trebling. Meanwhile, Youtube has now become more popular than Google.com on desktop PCs. Video clearly dominates both the internet and the content creation strategies that go into it.

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Just look at social media. The most popular mobile social networks are video and photo-oriented. Brands are making increasing use of Instagram and Snapchat’s feed features in order to share a wide range of original content with a wide range of followers. Snapchat in particular is now considered to be the most important social media platform of them all; it is certainly the most popular among teens. What these types of social media have done for brands in particular is to give them an easily accessible platform—and audience—for marketing strategies that previously would have been very time-consuming and may not have even reached the right viewers at all. It is undeniable that people love video and want even more of it. Couple that with consumer-level technology which makes it exceptionally easy to produce video content and circulate it among very specific audiences, half the job is already done for you.

With so much video content available to viewers, the challenge becomes one of ensuring your content is relevant and valuable to your audience. That’s easier said than done, but in a technical environment that encourages amateur video production, a professional, well-made and original video is already one step ahead.

Here the question of making video content relevant to the right audience emerges. Millennials and baby boomers, as two demographic examples, share a love of video; but they have wildly different video consumption habits, tastes, and interests which are continually shifting. Producing video is becoming increasingly inexpensive, and it’s fully possible for even startups to generate a video-based marketing campaign that targets different content to different audiences.

This means that, with the right resources and research, it is fully possible to simultaneously produce relevant content for a variety of potential viewers. That’s why so many brands and startups rely on social media insights and video analytics—and these certainly should play a role in any video campaign in order for you to develop an understanding of what makes your viewers tick.

Analytics and numbers are no replacement, naturally, for a qualified, experienced production team—while visual mediums have changed dramatically since the early days of video, the basics have not. If you want to stay relevant and produce a fantastic visual campaign, at the end of the day it comes down to the same things which have always made art and media good—inspiration and talent.