Not too long ago, only companies with money to burn could afford to record and host web marketing videos. They were usually produced by Media companies or Advertising Agencies and because of the high cost, consisted mainly of branding or corporate promotion messages.
As you can imagine, the audience for a corporate advertisement is very small and so the return on investment for this type of video was extremely poor. That is unless you were the ad agency producing the clip!
But thanks to a convergence of technologies, producing online marketing videos to promote your business, service or products has become cheap and easily within the abilities of the average guy in the street. So what exactly were the turning points that have lead to this online video revolution?
Macromedia Flash Player
Macromedia (now owned by Adobe) developed their latest flash player with the ability to play flash video or FLV. This was a highly compressed yet high quality video standard which enabled webmasters to host video on a standard no-frills server. As the flash player is installed on over 95% of all computers and comes in many flavors including PC, Mac and Linux versions it meant that the video could be seen by almost anyone.
The Spread Of Broadband Access
As broadband access became more affordable to the average internet user, a high speed connection rapidly grew to become the most popular way to get online. This meant that streaming media was of high enough quality to be watched on a home computer.
The Birth Of Youtube
Possibly the biggest single reason that video took off so rapidly was the birth and dramatic rise of Youtube. For the first time, Youtube offered a free hosting platform for anyone wanting to put their video clips on the web. They didn't need an expensive server. They didn't need fancy software or geeky skills. All they needed was an internet connection and a video clip to upload and share with the world.
Quality Of The Hardware
As all the online components came together to make online video simple, the tools needed to create the video also dropped in price as the quality improved. A big factor was the affordability of DV camcorders which could be connected directly to the computer. The cost of the cameras just kept on dropping as the picture quality kept on getting better, putting great quality marketing videos within the reach of the average user.
Affordable Editing Software
Competition is great for the consumer and nowhere is this more true than in the world of computers. Microsoft went all out to capture the market by giving away Windows Movie Maker for free while Apple bundled iMovie on the Mac. Add to this the affordable power of programs such as Adobes cut-down Premiere Elements and producing high quality video on a home computer took a giant leap forward.
In conclusion, capturing, editing, producing and distributing a web marketing video are now both simple and affordable. It will soon be an essential skill that can be achieved on a daily basis in-house, rather than having to farm out the job to overpriced Advertising Agencies. All it takes is a small investment in time, equipment and enthusiasm.
Mark Heywood has been creating video for the web since the mid nineties. See how easily you could be creating your own promotional clips by visiting my web marketing videos website.