Video Killed the Content King


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The headline is my clever attempt at spoofing the classic 1979 hit song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by a British band called The Buggles. The song celebrates the golden days of radio, describing a singer whose career is cut short by television. The song topped the music chart in several countries.

It was the first music video shown on MTV at 00:01 on August 1, 1981, the day the cable station was launched in the U.S. I found the video on YouTube, so here it is for those not old enough to remember and/or for those who just want a trip down memory lane. Enjoy!

What does this have to do with Internet marketing (IM)? Well, if you’ve been around IM long enough then you are probably sick of hearing that “content is king” online. However, lately it seems video is ready to run the lowly text out of cyberspace. The current trend is towards having video launches, video squeeze pages, video this and video that. I’ve even read somewhere that the only way to connect with online customers of today’s generation is with videos.

I’m a baby boomer (aging?) and IMO, video is just another, albeit a powerful medium of communication and not a replacement. A well-made video is great content to me. A video that is put together badly may engage our audiovisual senses but will convert just as poorly as badly written copy.

Video marketing does have its strengths and they are:

  • Demonstrate how simple it is to use a complex product
  • Paint a visual image of the end-user enjoying the benefits of your products and/or services
  • Quicker and easier to create a buzz about a new launch than waiting for a press release to be distributed
  • Creating a paid product or membership site with step-by-step “how-to” training
  • Provide more comprehensive customer support with short informative videos instead of a text based FAQ
  • Video testimonials appear more authentic than mere words
  • Viewers can zero in on specific topics with a video instead of searching through pages of text
  • They are easy to forward through emails thus increasing their viral power
  • Videos that solve real problems can position the creator as an instant guru

The one big disadvantage that I see is some video marketers become too clever for their own good. In an effort to be entertaining, they forget the real business purpose of creating the video. Then there are those who make basic mistakes like forgetting to include their URL and call to action within the video and in the text and not making effective use of tags (keywords) and categories for people to find their videos.

Effective video marketing does take some skills and practice. I’ve written a free report, you can download the free Video Marketing 101 report with the audio track from here.

Want to produce studio quality marketing videos but can’t afford them? Check out what these guys at iFlash Video are doing.


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