Remember back when network television was the main vehicle that companies used to communicate with their audience? Whether it was the big brands or advertisers in local markets, thirty and sixty second spots were the platform for companies to build a relationship with their audiences and encourage people to take action. It was effective in part because everyone watched television and there were only a handful of channels to choose from. It also fostered a bond that was unique.
When cable came onto the scene in the late 1970's, viewer segmentation began to occur. People had more choices, which in turn had a big impact on targeting. It wasn't a one-size-fits-all landscape any longer and as new channels came on the air, the ability to parse out a message became more exacting. ESPN for instance segmented a male audience in a manner not previously experienced, to the delight of the automakers and beer companies. From its launch in 1982, Home Shopping Network carved out a niche appealing to homemakers.
Leaping forward, the Internet and Search in particular have redefined segmentation. What once was impossible, targeting (and paying) to promote your products / services with folks who have expressed an interest, is now a foundation of online marketing.
Video ought to become a component of your marketing initiatives in the near future. Here's why:
- Google and the other search engines are displaying video in their search results.
- Creating video content is relatively new for most companies and industries and, as a result, can be a valuable differentiator for early adopters.
- Video provides the opportunity to connect with your audience in a manner that traditional websites can't deliver.
- Broadband proliferation has made watching online videos much more viable than ever before.
- Production costs are effectively zero as homegrown content (without pro camera work or edits) is the norm.
Just like so many other dimensions of online marketing, video is a piece of the puzzle, not the be all, end all. Tastefully incorporating videos into your website and social media channels can be particularly effective moving forward.