My problem with animators and videographers

Before I ruffle some sensitive animators’ and videographers’ feathers, let me acknowledge my own appreciation of their work.

I love a good promotional video or TV advert. Whether it’s Virgin media’s “Seal of Approval” TV spot, or a sizzle reel for an upcoming boxing match; I’m a sucker for promotional content.

So yes, I understand the power that a good video can provide, but that’s me appreciating the most talented teams in the industry who are creating pieces of content for other industry leading companies and events.

What I don’t appreciate is videographers and animators who use misinformation to force small businesses or brands into spending hundreds or often thousands of pounds on a promotional video that will either never be seen or just isn’t very good.

Something that many videographers and animators cling onto is the “fact” that video is proven to improve your online conversions. This can be true given a few things;

  1. It’s used in conjunction with other forms of promotion to draw eyes to the video.
  2. The video is actually good.
  3. It’s used for a product or service that people will actually want to watch a video about.

Sticking a shit video on a low traffic website about windscreen replacements isn’t going to automatically generate sales.

How are people going to find the video? Are they going to actually click the play button? Is it immediately engaging enough for the viewer to not click away? It’s simply not going to work.

I think everyone in marketing knows of companies who have splashed out thousands on video marketing only for it to have no improvement on their advertising’s results. Or, even worse, that video only racks up 20 views in a whole year (I found quite a few of these in my research, and these videos are featured on relatively high-traffic websites… which means none of the thousands who visited the brand’s website ever pressed the play button).

I understand that videography and animation is a hard industry. It’s time consuming, small changes take ages to complete and it’s difficult to find well-paying work. However, encouraging a business to spend thousands on a video through misinformation won’t help your referrals or repeat business.

This isn’t to say other forms of advertising aren’t also guilty of the same crimes, but generally speaking website design and advertising is much more of a gig economy because you can have a go with a shitty Chromebook from Argos.

Unlike video or animation, which requires an expensive camera and/or an expensive computer for editing. Because of this, a lot of people don’t question the cost, but really if video is an investment into the company’s online marketing it should be questioned more frequently.

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