Does the quality of your video matter when you’re video marketing?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Does the quality of your video matter when you’re video marketing?

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    • #43308

      This is more a question from the view of non-videographers…

      We’ve been having discussions with several internet marketers who have told us that just shooting a simple video and getting it out there is all you need. As a videographer, I also think some thought should go into how it looks and sounds as well.

      I’d like to know what others think in this area. We were thinking we had a market for a series of “how to shoot good video for video marketing purposes” but now are wondering if it’s worth the effort.

      Thanks for any comments on this.

    • #181632

      The reality, Kim, is video can pretty much work provided the content is viable, so even with somewhat poor (but discernible) audio, and so-so video quality, content otherwise carries the day in reality.

      I cannot help but think, however, being into marketing, quality, video production and delivering “steak” with my “sizzle” that over the long haul, and with the higher level, more sophisticated consumer client, that quality pays dividends in more ways than simply marketing the product or service at hand. The reflection and impression, and establishment of the perception, if you will, that THIS is/was a professionally produced video with perfect audio, GREAT framing and lighting and excellent visuals has to carry weight with other professionals in the marketing community. This would bring more business from discerning sources who view the work and make that assessment.

      Being affordable helps, and quick on the turnaround, but to say quality doesn’t matter regarding the effectiveness of a video production in internet or other marketing might be true to a degree when assessing the results is to overlook the long term potential of what we produce.

      Those who are out for the quick buck and have no real appreciation for overall quality can take their pleasure where they want, and will likely not be interested in your proposed series. Those to whom it matters will and that might be a fairly significant marketing community for you.

    • #181633
      Moab Man

      Here is my 2… and I figure I am probably your target demographic.

      I own an off-road magazine and we shoot video on some of the products. These video shoots are entirely for internet use and are not meant to be professional shoots. I would best explain our video intent as (how to say this?) trying to be “real” for our customer base and not another highly polished professional video trying to convince you to buy a turd with our really pretty high-end professional video packaging. However, we still work to provide the best video production we can without losing that “real” factor. This is the reason I have signed up for this website.

      Now that you know a little about my background, to answer your question, it would all come down to price and it would have to be cheap. Many of the companies we have worked with just want to see a respectable showing of their product (proper lighting and no camera shake) and are content with leaving the highly polished for off-road television shows.

      At least from my little niche of the world it might be difficult to make it cheap enough while making it profitable and worth your time.

      That’s my 2.

    • #181634
      Grinner Hester

      As with anything, it depends on the intent. I shoot several videos with perfect lighting and audio. Most of my original programming though is very home movie-esque. I intentially shoot handheld, light little to nothing, and often use the camera mic… because that’s the look and feel I want. I also do alot of marketing videos the exact same way for the exact same reason… because authenticity is the desired vibe and over producing it would deminish that.

      Even fast food needs to be the best it can be. Run and gun reality is made beautiful in post.

    • #181635

      I went through a seminar recently about marketing on YouTube and to have a completely polished video is a no no. If there are flaws in your videos and the color is not perfect, that is ok. What most people are looking for in that arena are amateur videos not trying to sell them anything. While I do try to provide the best possible footage that I can capture I will include a blunder here and again to give it a less than perfect look. Do I like it, no. I want every video that I shoot to be the best that I can produce but the audience is all that matters. If you are looking to sell a product or service on YouTube you dont want the most polished look available. On the other hand, if is solely for their website, it had better be the best that you can produce. Remember, the audience and the end results are all that matter.

      If you are looking for YouTube vids, create as if it is for YouTube. If you are creating for a customers website, make if professional. Just make sure your budget is suited for the venue you are producing for.

    • #181636

      Here is an example The audio is decent, the color is ok but I could have shot this a few more times but the venue is what matters the most not the presentation. It gets the point across and does not destract from the message being prosented.

    • #181637


      The primary reason to produce quality video is to allow your audience to focus on the content. With poor lighting, sound and what-not it detracts from the information you’re trying to convey in addition to reducing your credibility. Now, as Grinner suggested it also depends on the scale of your message and the intentional style you employ for the intended audience. But there are plenty of people out there who will accept crap looking work and spend their money. So ‘good enough’ video can be used. The drawback with that is while you’re trying to build a reputation the possibility of being perceived as producing non-professional looking work will one day bite you in the soft parts. You don’t have to spend tons of money these days to make professional looking video these days. However, you still have to put in time effort and be resourceful to do so.

    • #181638

      Thanks for all the great and in-depth comments! I like the variety of perspectives and I think the thread that I am getting from you all is it also depends on your audience and what you want to project about yourself, i.e., your image or company image but having some knowledge about how to shoot video is still important. I do think however, that you can get away with poorer and not perfect video quality better than bad audio. If your audio is tough to listen to, you’ll lose that viewer.

    • #181639

      I remember back in the early days of SIV video TAPES LOL the idea was the content was most important. I think that still holds true. If the content is what the viewer wants, they will sit thru some shaky, or bluish video. Bad audio can be highly annoying like say a buzz or hum in the audio, and that can make a viewer tune out. I remember watching a cable show on Alumalloy, obviously shot on VHS, color bleeding like a stuck pig (when there was color) shaky camera work, bad edits, but the audio was acceptable and I was intrigued by the content so I watched the entire 30 minutes.

      As for polish, you can buff things until they are worn raw.

      A lot depends upon your audience. If you are doing something aimed at DIYers, then you don’t want it to look like it’s a million dollar production. If you are doing a marketing piece for a Fortune 500 company, you probably do want it to look polished and professional.(unless of course their audience for that piece are DIYers ;-D ) Both however should have a basic level of video quality.

    • #181640

      AUDIO. It has to be good. You can have a mediocre quality video but decent audio will decide whether it gets watched or the viewer goes for the ‘x’ button based on the online research I’ve done. There’s almost nothing worse than trying to watch a video and the sound is either poor quality or you have to pin your volume control to hear it. Of course, this is based on online videos.

      Better quality= better response, quality counts, it’s your image & reputation. If you take the time to do it, why not do it right?

    • #181641
      Grinner Hester

      “right” is subjective. My most viewed clip on youtube is a locked down shot with no sweetening or color correction. Why? Because of the content, not because of production value or lack of. Big companies know this, hence their high priced viral marketing usually consisting of a shaky iphone vibed shot with nobody clipped with a mic. The best example I can think of is blutooth’s viral video of the phones popping corn on a coffee table. The budget went to post and even that was wrapped up in a day. Proved to be a great success for them… and wouldn’t have been if someone demanded it be done “right” in the traditional sense.

    • #181642
      Luis Maymi Lopez

      I totally agree that audio has to be good and understandable. Also you need to consider that better quality video, to most of us is HD, means that the video file can be too large for Internet marketing purposes. When doing Internet marketing campaigns you need to make sure your audience will be able to see the content of your video. Waiting for the video to load is not an option here, so you need to compress the video in a way that almost every Internet speed can manage (H.264 is your friend here).

      “We were thinking we had a market for a series of “how to shoot good
      video for video marketing purposes” but now are wondering if it’s worth
      the effort.”

      You do have a market there and a HUGE one I must say. I’m a Internet marketer myself (well video Internet marketer is more accurate) and I can tell you there are many people looking for exactly that. Many newbie video Internet marketers struggle doing video and they don’t understand this world. They use the point and shoot approach (which is not bad if you know how to do it), they don’t practice good audio and stay with one camera angle all the time (which again is not bad if you know how to do it). Like everyone here mentions it depends on the audience, but I believe that most people don’t want to see a top of the line video production, they want to see who is the person speaking, what are his/her struggles, passions, goals and on the other end, does the video satisfies the necessities of the viewer?. Most of the time the general audience wants to see how someone triumph over all their problems and they want to know about the “secret” way they overcome their problems. Using video is the single most powerful way to get this message and again a top of the line video production is not a necessity. For example, a person can design their own set in a quiet room of their homes with things they like or already have available and record everything there. If they don’t understand how to add complex graphics in post, they can simply use a drawing board or show some pictures printed on cards. They can use any camera, any editing software, in the end is how good they can get their message across.

      In my case if I want to do a video I can make martians attack the Earth, make complex animations, make a war movie just to announces a product. I can do that because I know how to do it and have the editing and motion graphic experience to do so, but the importance is the quality of the message and how well I can satisfied the necessities of my audience. Also I will not do this kind of “explosive video” unless I have a community that already knows about my struggles, passions and goals. When they see this videos they will know is me expressing my passion of doing complex video productions.

    • #181643

      Hi Kim,

      Forgive me if I’ve repeated anything here but I didn’t have time to read all the comments before posting mine. I have taken the stance that there is no substitute for professional video. If you hire me, that’s what you get in every frame no matter where the video will play. Sure, some productions aren’t as involved as others but to simply set up a camera, point it at a product and hope the room or window light and on camera mic is enough to make it work is just silly.

      I believe that the internet marketers who are telling everyone that less polished video is better are simply finding ways to get customers to accept lesser quality so they can put more money in their pocket at the end of the day. Can’t fault their capitalistic ways but they are misleading the public.

      In no way, shape or form is a low-quality video more effective than a higher quality video. Marketing is marketing no matter where the message is posted. Sure, it’s possible to be too slick but if your product does everything you say it will, high production values will only improve response rates. People want to believe they are spending their money on quality products.

      What it really comes down to is that people who can’t afford professional work are willing to accept bad video just so they can get in the online marketing game. Sure, bad video can be better than no video but the question still remains, is that the quality you want representing your business?

      Thankfully, it’s not good enough for my clients and the calls keep pouring in for us to produce high quality work at professional rates.

      I’ve chosen to leave the low quality, low budget work for those who want it and to instead focus on working only with those businesses who only want the best their money can buy.


    • #181644

      “Marketing” implies you want your product to be as tantalizing as possible. Regardless of your video, audio, keeping it “real” or “getting professionalism in every frame” – a marketers job is to entice the customer base. How you do it is entirely up to you. Heck, you could draw silly pictures and include goofy sound…as long as it gets customers to the merchants door/website…

    • #212133

      I love it when a long dead topic gets ressurected by exactly the kinds of people who have no idea about the business they are commenting on – but they know the advantages of monetisation, which of course wasn't remotely what this topic is about. It's actually interesting to see that in the few years since this topic started, things have changed a bit, I think. Image quality isn't that critical any longer now that we have got used to the look of phone images, but the problem that few people above considered is that viewers are used to the video they see on hundreds of TV channels – they see steady, well framed and composed pictures, and the amateur looking wobbly cam stuff stands out a mile and says in a loud voice RUBBISH. If used for business promotion, the argument that the content is all that matters is simply crazy – We all watch facebook videos, and how many do we click off before the end because they are awful? Tons! We are drawn to the bad bits, and we often share them again simply because they are so bad. We laugh at the dreadful presentation skills, or the background noise that stops us hearing the presenter – or ham acting. There's even a current advert (Halfords?) that uses this type of advert as the meat of the story. How many of us have tried youtube tutorials done by technically competent experts but full of ums, aahs, and mistakes? They make me cringe.


      Any business considering using video needs to mimic as far as they can, how professional videos are constructed – who wants their business promo video picked up on facebook and shared as funny to watch?


    • #212141

      If you want to represent your brand in a positive way, the more professional, the better. If you don't care about the public's perception is of you, then just do "whatever." But don't ask me to do "whatever" for you. Because what I do, reflects my brand, as a content producer.


    • #215730
    • #215753

      I assume it should look professional for any occasion. I would keep good quality standards because all videos which you create always stay as part of your portfolio.

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