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Is Video on your website really that Important?

Broadcast Television effectively started in the 1920's and since then has steadily increased its influence on the lives of all who watch it. It's influence can be seen in how it is used to manipulate fashion, culture, politics and even individuals attitudes towards others. Television is the most wide spread medium crossing distances and language barriers and, according to Wikipedia, "In 2013, 79% of the world's households owned a television set." Think about that for a sec. 79% of the WORLD'S households own a TV. We aren't talking about 79% of the US or even developed countries but the world! But, with all that said, is streaming media passing broadcast TV by in popularity?

New content is being not only delivered on streaming media but created exclusively for streaming media. Netflix, Disney, YouTube, Amazon and others have put money into new content for their streaming platforms and that does not even include apps, such as SnapChat and Periscope, that allows anyone to become a star in their own "Made for Streaming" shows.

I first got involved in streaming video in late 2003 when Microsoft made it possible using Windows Media Services in its Windows 2000 Server OS. The church I attended in Winter Park, FL was introduced to streaming audio by a gentleman named Robert Henley and we created a radio station that streamed music 24-7. We later added live radio shows run by church members. I was so impressed by that simple piece of software that I took the time to study it and see what we could do with it; how far we could take it. When I realized we could also streaming video I, along with Tyrone Cobb and others, built a machine just for encoding, impressed the church to get 2 T1 lines installed (a big deal back then) and streamed video of the services from our church. We weren't the first church to stream video (I still don't know who that honor belongs to) but we were definitely one of the first adopter. I'm glad to know that they are still streaming to this day.

What does all this have to do with you, small business owner? Well, are you utilizing video on your website? Any video? It doesn't have to be live streaming video but you should have something. According to a 2014 New York Times article the next generation has different viewing habits that previous generations. Speaking on a young lady called Abigail McFee the article stated she, "has never owned a television set, nor do 90 percent of her friends at school..." How will you influence that new, emerging market if you aren't even making a minimal effort to reach them how they are used to be reached?

It may seem self serving for the owner of a company that does video production to speak on the necessity of hiring a video company for your organization but I am speaking about creating a message for your company that can translate to the next generation using video. Learn to get comfortable in front of a camera or, once you realize that you will never be comfortable, find the right spokesperson who can deliver your message. Start with your cellphone, record a minute or two, watch it and realize what you need to do to fix your elevator pitch. Hone your skills, develop your talking points and before you know it you will be good at it and ready to bring in my, I mean, a production company to create that amazing video for your website.

Don't let a whole medium pass you by while you stay stuck in the past. Embrace the new market and how they expect to be reached because if you aren't doing it I guarantee that your competitors are.

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