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7 Reasons to Use Video in 2014

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Video, also known as "motion pictures," has been around since 1895. No, it's not an archaic medium. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The old cliché known to many was "lights-camera-action." Producing video used to be thought of as expensive, requiring creative production professionals, costly equipment for lighting, audio, a video camera, gels and reflectors, motion graphics, edit suites and maybe even a studio for those high-end productions. Then after you finished your creative, production and editing process, you had to pay for distribution that only broadcast networks and content platforms could deliver. That world does exist, and is still quite effective if you are looking to add high-end creative and production quality. As a former producer, I understand the value of video quality. It does have a place in marketing and how brands use video to enhance their message.

Another option for brands not able to invest in the crème de la crème of video production and distribution is now upon us. Below are seven compelling reasons to kick-start your video marketing. Welcome to the new world. Fast forward to 2014.

Today video is widely produced by kids, moms and dads, college students, individuals, marketing departments, creative production professionals and the media. It's no secret that video is considered one of the most powerful tools for marketing. Why? Here are a few reasons to wet your content marketing and storytelling appetite and convince you to put your producer hat on. It's easier and a lot more effective than you may think.

#1 Truth be told, it's an impeccable storytelling medium that allows the viewer to look and listen to the content, using multiple senses that have the ability to transport your mind from the environment you are in and place you inside the environment of the video. Telling the brand story is probably done most effectively with video and the web combined.

#2 Video has become so easy to use that a person can simply use a smartphone, tablet or computer to record a video. The "selfie" photo may have been the most popular term in 2013, but the "selfie" video is also incredibly popular and useful in business. How often have you seen a person talking to what looks like their smartphone or tablet camera? It's on the rise, so get used to it and embrace it.

#3 Video Consumption: You may have seen and heard that video is being watched online more and more every year. Here's an example of just one viewing segment that is consuming video at alarming levels. According to Tubefilter.com: In 2015, 90 percent of web video consumption will come from the 18-34 demographic. Here's another fact from Tubefilter.com that also supports that video is being used at record levels. 2 billion video views per week are monetized on YouTube.

#4 Editing and Slo-Mo Capability: The iPhone 5S has made video even more effective with easy recording, slo-mo and editing capabilities built-in to the iPhone interface. If you have not used it yet, my suggestion is to check it out. Previously, these features where only available on third party editing applications like iMovie and Final Cut. C|Net has written a very helpful review that will provide some helpful tips on using video on your iPhone 5S.

#5 Customer Conversion: Video has proven to be incredibly useful for brands to motivate, educate, entertain and inform viewers. If you're a brand, that means conversion is important. Here are some statistics that may convince you that video needs to be part of your content marketing arsenal.

#6 Social Tools: Here are three tools I like to use on social media that use video. They are easy to use and can be integrated into your content marketing strategy quite easily. Instagram is probably the most popular and operated very much like Facebook. Vine is for short, six-second video clips only. VSnap is an online interface that records your video and emails it instantly to a designated person or group.

#7 Sharing and Distribution: If you are on the fence about whether to use video or not, forget about all the other six reasons above and just read the statistics DigiDay has provided here. The one I like the best is: 92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others.

If that doesn't convince you, I am not sure what will. Video on the web and social media is shared at alarmingly high levels. Guess what? That's your distribution network, and it's free. Who would have thought that distribution, which was once considered to be cost-prohibitive by many brands, is now completely affordable by all who want to press record on their device.

Now, more than ever, video has become a powerful tool for marketing. Start using video and get it in front of your customers. Once you do, your customers will become more engaged and begin to share your brand with the world and even create their own video as well. Hmm... now that's powerful!