If a Photo is Worth a 1,000 words, What’s Video Worth?

In a previous blog (See: To Tweet or Not To Tweet: That is the Question) I talked about tweeting and how it's migrated from “who cares,” to providing real business value. I guess the next question is, “to video or not to video?”

Since the introduction of YouTube, we've seen an overload of videos with cats playing pianos, people doing dumb stuff and other people trying to be the next American Idol. The rise of the video as a means of communicating new products and services has accelerated with the proliferation of low-cost video recorders, such as the Flip video cameras.

Should you and your business use videos to communicate to employees, customers, and prospects? Consider this — {complink 1131|Cisco Systems Inc.} says that “Video is the number one opportunity to engage with customers and many customers now trend towards searching video sites when looking for information.”

Research also shows :

  • 70 percent of online users watch video
  • More than half watch video in the workplace
  • More than 700 billion videos were viewed in 2010

So my question is, are videos a good way of communicating with employees, potential clients and current customers? Then, do you watch them, and why, and how long?

I have been involved in creating videos since the 1970s with {complink 3517|Molex Inc.}. I felt the video trend would expand, but talking about and doing something about it are two different thing. Luckily, I have some great people working with me that, just over two years ago, helped launch an electronics distribution-specific video portal. The objective was simple: provide another source of education for our customers. Eighteen months ago, Avnet became a reality.

When {complink 577|Avnet Inc.} first started, we were the only ones in our industry and distribution who had a tech video portal. Now we’re seeing all of our competitors and industry publications jumping into the game as they see the value of providing these videos.

Avnet and its suppliers now do special training videos to help our engineers, buyers and value added resellers learn more about the products and services we sell. In addition, we’re producing shows internally, some of which feature our CIO interviewing our suppliers on various topics. In just 18 months, we’ve gone from a few videos to 620 active videos and over 10,000 views per month.

Today almost anybody can produce a decent-looking video with the Flip video camera and similar products — almost all editors have them nowadays. The trick is to have it produced for a relatively low cost while also getting your message out in a professional manner.

Who knows? You could be the next video sensation on YouTube. Like the “Old Spice Man”. Or at the very least, help your business or yourself by communicating with video. What’s your take?

15 comments on “If a Photo is Worth a 1,000 words, What’s Video Worth?

  1. electronics862
    January 31, 2011

    Definitely videos are a good way of communicating with employees and customers. Videos are being used by companies today to help move their businesses forward.It can be used for product demonstrations like s how how product works – highlight the features that differentiate it from competitors and corporate overviews are often the starting point for companies using video to promote their services.Videos can be usefull in executive presentations, staff presentations, training, internal communications,marketing etc

  2. Himanshugupta
    January 31, 2011

    I prefer to have a face-to-face conversation than just a message or call. It provides me much more information. I believe that with the growth of high speed internet and smartphones, we will see another revolution in the way we now communicate with each other. If i could have a live feed of the person/company with whom i am communication then i can present my opinions/ideas/self better. I think the videos are worthless.

  3. seel225
    January 31, 2011

    In order to keep up with this fast paced trend and stay ahead of the competition, many businesses are deciding to use online video as part of their promotional strategies. Using this form of media can create several advantages for a business.V ideos create a more personal interaction between a business and its customers.Video allow you to communicate your message quickly and effectively. Using video presentations companies can interact with their clients in different locations and well planned and carefully executed videos saves lot of time of business users. Some companies do training through recorded videos and they include recorded videos in their website to view future purpose.

  4. AnalyzeThis
    January 31, 2011

    I think it was funny that you quoted Cisco's, “Video is the number one opportunity to engage with customers and many customers now trend towards searching video sites when looking for information” assertion.

    Well of course CISCO would say that… they have possibly the best (and most expensive) virtual meeting technology platform on the market (TelePresence), a consumer virtual meeting gadget (Umi), and of course the Flip camera line (which you even mention later in the article!).

    Anyhow, I think video can indeed be a useful tool for business, both communicating information internally and of course in marketing and communication with customers.

    Now video isn't always the best solution and text certainly still has its place, but with time, I think you'll see adoption of video increase simply due to the fact that the next generation of employees and customers are accustomed to the YouTube method of consuming content.


  5. Damilare
    January 31, 2011

    i totally agree with all the benefits of video communication, but what i want to know is why the growth of this technology has been progressing so slow over the last couple of years. i feel the cost of installing and maintaning it is one of the major factor. I thought video communication would have it big by now but it seem to be taking its time.

  6. Taimoor Zubar
    January 31, 2011

    @Damilare: I agree with you on this. While it may not be such a big hassle for home users to play videos, lately the IT departments of many organizations have been facing issues in managing the increasing bandwidth requirement. A major reason for this is the use of online video streaming in the enterprise. That's why a lot of companies have still banned online streaming within the company's network. While the use of videos may be very useful in the enterprise, the bandwidth issue is also critical and has to be dealt with.

  7. Mydesign
    February 1, 2011

        I totally agree that videos are a good way for communicating with employees and customers. Video talk gives us a face-to-face real-time conversation effect, by sharing the feelings and emotions. In such cases we can say that a video clip is worth more than million words. The rapid growth of high speed internet, wi-fi mechanism and smart phones or tablets can contribute much in this sector.

         Nowadays Video clippings are very much used in many companies to promote their businesses and products. In my opinion it’s a better way of marketing strategy in this fast moving world. It can be used for product demonstrations for explaining, how that particular product works, highlight the special features and how they are different from the competitors etc. MNC’s and corporate giants also started using the video systems for presenting the corporate overview profiles, presentation for board of members, staff presentations, internal communications, marketing etc.

         Another major application of video presentation is that it’s one of the best ways for employees training, where the employee can view and practice many times, irrespective of time and place.

  8. Ariella
    February 1, 2011

    TamioorZ is correct. Videos take up so much bandwidth that companies may feel they are not worth that particular cost. Now videos are, certainly, popular,  but I really wouldn't want the internet to become a vast host of videos.  Though I enjoy a good film as well as the next person, I really prefer to take information in the form of text.  I can read the words that would be spoken in a video much more quickly than it takes for the video to play.  So if I had a choice, I would always opt for reading rather than watching and listening. But for auditory learners who also enjoy visual aids, videos can be a much more effective form of communication for essential information. 

  9. saranyatil
    February 2, 2011

    i would prefer streaming some sessions of information on few topics compared to reading them, once you start reading it gets monotonous and you start loosing interest. always pictures and some voice modulation remains to be captivating type of communication amoung all generations. with the improvement s in technology and voice protocols being developed any thing can be done who know few videos can become doctors tomorrow in cases of emergency.

  10. prabhakar_deosthali
    February 2, 2011

    Whether Video has more impact than just an Audio clip or a textual content depends upon the content itself. While watching a video more attention naturally goes to the  presentor and his way of talking, his movements and so on. And sometimes you just get mesmerised with those moving images and have a false sense of listening to everything and having understood everything that is said and shown. But for long video sessions this may turn out to be just an illusion. You may have just absorbed about 5% of what was intened to be conveyed to you. So I would say that videos are good when they are short and sweet!

  11. Ariella
    February 2, 2011

    I agree parhakar_deosthali, short and sweet is definitely the way to go with videos.  I've noticed even on discussion boards that longer videos — and here longer is anything beyond 3 minutes — have far fewer comments than blog posts, probably because the participants only have to devote 2 minutes to reading a blog post and do not want to invest a great deal of time to watching a video.

  12. stochastic excursion
    February 2, 2011

    Motion picture technology has increased the volume of information that can be conveyed to the viewer many orders of magnitude over still images.  This means not only factual information, but also emotional appeal can be presented.  Companies taking up video as a tool for communicating would do well to look at the motion picture and television industry, where production crews shape all aspects of the sight, sound and pacing of images to convey thematic and factual content.  The influence of cinema and later television on politics has been transformational.  The success of the film industry shows that people will pay generously to view content with a message that appeals to them.

  13. t.alex
    February 6, 2011

    A 1 to 2-minute video will speak thousands and thousands of words, but i longer video probably will attract less attention. 

  14. Ariella
    February 6, 2011

    Too much of a good thing is still too much, so even video fans usally prefer to get their information through short pieces rather than longer one. 

  15. itguyphil
    February 6, 2011

    I agree. Most Youtube sensations are short, interesting clips. You can watch it over & over within a few minutes' span.

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