We at ReelSEO always tout the benefits of video, and love to reinforce its value to brands and marketers by finding all of those good numbers that tell us we're going in the right direction.  However, there are occasional numbers that can be seen from all sorts of different angles.  CopyPress did a study (hat tip, eMarketer) that on first glance, sounds like video is exactly where it wants to be: it's one of the top 2 generators of return on investment (ROI).  It's also, according to the diverse number of people polled, considered too expensive and hard to find.

Video Does Its Job, But Businesses Either Can't Afford It or Can't Find It

The study gives us a list of marketing techniques and how they rank with ROI.  "Featured Articles" is in first place, with 62.2%.  Right behind it is video with 51.9%.  So with one of the top ROI numbers among all the different choices, what's the problem?  Well, another interesting part of the CopyPress study is that it takes into consideration the average budget of all the businesses polled.  Considering that a high-quality video can cost $10,000 or more, this is out of range for 80% of the businesses in this study.  Video led the pack with 50.4% of the respondents saying it was too pricey.

Now, we've discussed this before many times on this site.  You don't need a high-quality video:

In this post we did from a couple of years ago, YouTube's Group Product Manager Baljeet Singh dispelled a number of myths, and one was a video needs "professional polish" to be successful.  Here's a section from Greg Jarboe's article where he talked to Paul Eichen from Rokenbok Toy Company:

Rokenbok shoots all of their videos in-house. They write their own scripts, record the voice overs, shoot and edit all the content, which ranges from product demo videos for their "Rokenbok Product Demonstrations" playlist to educational videos for their "School of ROK" playlist.  Production value depends on the series.  For quick product videos, sometimes Eichen will quickly shoot, edit and post a product video all from his iPad. Check out the"X2 Elevators" video, which was completely produced and posted via iPad.

In fact, Eichen and his team have found that some of the "lower production value" videos that are shot while just playing around actually perform as well as the scripted "higher production value" videos.

I'm going to lean towards what is said here in Greg's article to say this: the myth of the high-quality video is what is keeping businesses from using video more than anything else.  As we all know, very cost-effective videos are getting done and posted for free on YouTube, or at least using the economical YouTube Promoted Videos or TrueView or whatever fits the best.  They are getting seen and improving the bottom line.

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The other factor is that businesses are having a hard time finding video, whether it's finding someone they trust or finding someone who can do it cheaper.  I think that the cost is directly responsible for the 49.8% of respondents who pushed video to the top of the list of marketing techniques that are "difficult to create."

Not all businesses are Blendtec, but they constantly show you don't need some amazing high-quality video to sell a product:

In the end, certain brands, businesses, and marketers need to get more creative with how they approach video, and finding ways to create good video content on a budget.  It would be a waste to lose all that ROI potential.

  • https://mobile.twitter.com/YanivAxen YanivAxen

    Great commentary Chris.

    And I totally agree with Grant.

    ROI looks at both "Return" and "Investment".

    When it comes to measuring "Return" there is a bigger question on how you measure the effectiveness of you video marketing strategy.

    See more here: http://info.sundaysky.com/blog/bid/179449/My-Perspective-on-How-to-Find-the-Hidden-Value-in-Online-Video

    In terms of "Investment", there are a lot of options on how much you spend and exactly what you want to create. When it comes to video marketing strategies, while it's clear that viewers want to watch video and would prefer it over other methods (e.g. reading, talking to a rep), there are multiple solutions out there for creating video experiences.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/author/grantastic/ Grant Crowell

    I did read the CopyPress report. It doesn't go into actually defining ROI (for video or any other content for that matter). What it does is share a common assumption that video ROI can only be achieved with expensive video, which i would call to be a myth. Video ROI is achievable with any budget, it's just a matter of establishing your KPIs and knowing how to measure them. What would be good for a video strategist to show is how to work within a lesser budget that reserves funds for video strategy, analytics, monitoring, and tweaking.

    Take the report statement: "Videos are an ROI rich media format, but marketers are having issues finding them, and within a budget."

    and this one:

    "I think it's interesting to look at where these marketers are getting their ROI later in the survey compared to their budgets, and likewise why they feel items like video are a bit out of touch from a resources and budgetary perspective. A high quality video can cost upwards of $10,000 depending on its source and that is well outside of 81.5% of our respondents monthly budget." (First person language?)

    I think it's clear from this report that it was authored by someone that is themselves unfamiliar with video marketing. However, it's still a helpful survey for video marketers to understand what they need to do to make the case for video, which includes establishing ROI case studies with smaller budgets (if that's a market they want to go after.) I've written before here at ReelSEO about how ROI is essential for video marketers to understand and promote.