Today, online video is an effective marketing tool. We watch video for entertainment, education, a sense of connection, and to fill down-time. Ads run 24-7 to inform people of the amazing new things that can help them in everyday life.
But it didn’t start out this way.
Fifteen years ago, video was just becoming available online and publishable by the average person. YouTube was one of the first sites to provide this innovation: before Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim programmed the site, it wasn’t as easy to upload video to the internet. The first YouTube video, “Me at the Zoo”, was published on April 23rd, 2005, and currently has over 143 million views.
About a year prior, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. At first the website’s membership was limited to Harvard students, but eventually expanded to other colleges in the area and by September 2006, was opened up to anyone with a valid email address. The site started out as Facemash, a “hot-or-not” game in which two faces were compared and commented upon; Facemash was sold for $30,201, which gave way to Facebook. In 2005, Facebook had 6 million users. In 2006, Facebook introduced video, and by the end of the year their number of users had doubled, which gave them over 12 million world-wide users.
We tend to think of these as the stereotypically huge companies they have become, whose foundations are set irrevocably in time. When asked for names of social publishing platforms, these probably come to mind quickly. We don’t really think about all the smaller companies who manage to eek out a living under the shadow of these much larger industries. So how did a local video production business like Wahoo Films gain any traction where anyone’s video company could potentially rise to glory? Here’s our story.
Michelle Alvarado, the owner of Wahoo Films, saw YouTube as an opportunity for companies of all sizes: a chance to reach a much larger, national audience. She opened Wahoo Films in the small town of Bend, Oregon only months after YouTube launched in 2005. It was a huge risk: most businesses were producing television commercials at the time.
Alvarado saw YouTube as a more affordable complement to traditional television commercials. “It took a lot of convincing at first for companies to consider online videos, but as the popularity grew, so did our company”.
Now, fifteen years later, online video has become the dominant marketing tool that helps large and small businesses grow.
Fifteen years ago, a corporation might spend anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars to produce a professional video advertisement, but today it’s much more cost effective: it typically costs somewhere in the thousands to have it done professionally, with the option of doing it on your phone for free.
Fifteen years ago, no one had video online. Now video is integrated into everything we do online; every social platform, search engine results and even news print because it works so effectively as an outreach tool. Online video is engaging, motivating and measurable: it can easily show the interest of the viewer by how long they watch.
Over the next five years, most sites predict that online video will become even more integrated into our society. This Forbes article mentioned “The golden age of video is upon us, and it looks as though video advertising is poised to become a marketing juggernaut. In today’s increasingly digital world, video advertising will likely continue to be an important part of marketing plans well into the future.”
But standing out will require a strategy to cut through all the noise. So, where does Wahoo Films fit in all this?
We’re at the head of the curve while studying, strategizing and executing on all of the marketing platforms to ensure our clients’ videos get results. We’d love to help you with your next video marketing campaign!