Video & Content Marketing 101: The Medium Is The Message

Companies across the globe are creating original video content at an incredible pace, and using it to drive new business like never before.

Well-produced content backed by the right marketing strategy is undeniably one the most effective methods for new business acquisition…But even the best, most captivating original content can only succeed when it’s properly marketed and distributed.

And unfortunately, many video production companies neglect this reality, overlooking one of the most critical facets of any distribution strategy - playing into the medium.

In the famous words of Marshall McLuhan - “The medium IS the message.”

Every medium - television, internet, social, etc. - are entirely different beasts. No single piece of content could succeed on all platforms, so it would be silly not to custom tailor every piece of content for each vehicle. But that’s exactly what most production companies do… They often focus entirely on the visual production value (which is certainly important too), but have little interest in re-tooling the creative to ensure it’s received properly on the intended medium.

They don’t always understand that if your campaign is supposed to run on Instagram (just as an example), it should look, sound, feel, and be markedly different than if it was intended for television. One size does not fit all.

You must consider what the audience’s headspace is like while using any given medium (or platform). Only once you understand how your target customer interacts with each medium individually, can you then tailor the messaging and format of your campaign to best serve them.

Let’s continue using instagram as an example, as it’s one of the fastest growing, most cost effective and powerful advertising platforms on the planet.

At its core, Instagram is a purely visual platform designed for continuous scrolling. It is literally engineered in such a way that your finger has to move as little as possible in order to slide up to the next image or video. 

This makes it easy for the user to consume as much content as possible quickly, but extremely difficult to capture their attention. Some would say more difficult than any other medium.

So naturally, if you’re planning to create a piece of content for Instagram, you need to take into account its distribution challenges - not only the obvious opportunities you have to target an audience.

Most instagram users scroll past videos in their feed within the first 3 - 5 seconds. That includes videos from users who they actively follow and engage with. And that alone should tell you that when it comes to IG - your content absolutely has to hook the viewer immediately.

Timing is only one variable of course. There’s also factoring in the screen size, aspect ratio, the written component, and perhaps most importantly - Sound: 70% of people watching videos on social media have their sound turned off… So if your Instagram (or Facebook, Twitter, etc.) video is not formatted to include subtitles or text overlays, your messaging is almost guaranteed to get lost in translation.

Technical considerations aside, the creative direction of any content-based campaign needs to suit the medium as well. Instagram videos should not necessarily look, feel, or even resemble your 30 second TV ad or a 2 minute Facebook spot, for example..

We’ve found that focusing on brand identity (often though tone, mood, and style) drives far more conversions on Instagram than information-based content.  It’s not about cramming as much info as possible into 15 seconds, it’s about to delivering the right message that will get users to click off of instagram and onto your homepage, or a sales page. Once there, you have much more flexibility in what you share.

This is why most of the social media campaigns we run also rely an additional component - such as a blog based sales funnel.

Like social media, blogs are an incredibly powerful format, but they also represent a completely different paradigm. This is why we always approach our blog content with the same understanding that the message is the medium. We can take advantage of its unique format too.

The audience that reads your blog engage with your content in a completely different than they would on social media. They will be looking for more detail and nuance, and the format of the blog will allow you to deliver that value to them.

It’s just content marketing 101 - Leveraging the power of each unique platform, to not only drive more results, but stretch the budget further too.

We often work with clients to derive multiple deliverables from a single production. Rather than simply shooting a one-off web commercial, we often recommend producing additional content concurrently that can be used on different mediums. It’s an extremely cost effective way of generating a high volume of content that is optimized for different forms of delivery.

With little (or no) extra budget spent, we’re able to generate far better content that can reach far more people. All it takes is a little planning, and a true understanding of the role the medium plays.

To learn more about how we can leverage video, photo, and written content to grow your business, be sure to email us at: