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Video's expensive. Should businesses do it?

The cost of creating video can put some businesses off, but starting small, finding out what works and producing it in-house can all help to maximise ROI.

Read Time: 3 minutes

Here’s the deal… If you’re creating content (or having content created for you), it might take four hours in total to produce a two-minute-read blog post, including researching it, writing it and updating it following feedback. A two-minute video – depending on what form it takes – might take double that.

You can see where this is going. Is the extra time and cost it takes to produce a video – or have a video produced for you – really worth it? Can a video work any harder for a business than a blog post?

The stats

As most businesses will be aware of, the stats say yes. Of course, the extent to which they apply varies from industry to industry and business to business – and general stats being thrown around like ‘over 500 million people are watching video on Facebook every day’ don’t help to inform decisions about whether to move forward with video.

Others, though, do provide a little more worthwhile insight. For example, according to HubSpot, when there’s both video and text on the same page, 72% of people prefer to use the video to learn about a product or service. That immediately provides some sense of the value of video compared to copy.

Elsewhere, we’ve been told variously that video increases social shares by 1,200% compared to text and images alone, can increase your chance of being on the first page of Google search results by 53 times and can increase landing page conversion rates by 80%.

Some of these figures are more current and robust than others, but they do provide some sense of the impact that video can have. So, how do they translate into practice?

The reality

Let’s assume that the use of video will indeed increase your social media engagement, website traffic and conversion rates. To work out whether it will be worth the extra cost for video, you just need to know what those figures are, what the cost of producing your video is and what your social media audience size and engagement levels are.

Of course, you may not have all of that info and it would be silly to take a big risk. So, start small. By creating simple, low cost video to supplement other content, you can begin building up a picture of what impact video will have specifically for your organisation.

For example, how much coverage do your press releases typically get? And how much extra do they get when they’re accompanied by a short piece to camera from a relevant spokesperson? How much traffic do your blog posts get on average? And how much do they get when their links are shared on social media with an accompanying 10-second intro video?

The long-run

Over time, you can experiment with different video formats and the more info you build up about their performance, the more you can be confident in making bigger investments in video. The question when you get started is whether to produce video yourself or get an agency to help. There are various factors to consider with this, like whether you have the internal resource and what quality you’re comfortable putting out.

The right answer to this will vary from business to business. An agency will cost more, of course, but there are some benefits to going with one – particularly to begin with. Firstly, they’ll take you through a process for determining your target audiences and what type of video content you should be putting out. Secondly, you’ll get an idea of the sort of quality you should be aiming for.

If you do kick things off with an agency though, you should consider whether there is scope for bringing your video production in-house eventually. If so, once you have the initial strategy and insights, your investment is arguably best directed at video training, particularly if the type of content you’re creating isn’t too complex. What will be a larger initial outlay will deliver a better and ever-improving return in the long run.

Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash

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