Three happenings over the past few months got me thinking about the future of marketing. First has been all the hype about LTE and 4G mobile speeds delivering the promise of “faster than broadband” connectivity to our mobile devices (especially in the context of the iPhone 5). Second was Apple’s decision to make new Macbook Pro retina displays with four times the resolution of their current screens (you can bet others will follow Apple’s lead). Third and perhaps most exciting locally is Google’s decision to make Kansas City its first market for Google Fiber, delivering the Internet to homes 100 times faster than current broadband speeds. These three events have huge implications for marketers over the next few years.
With a hundred-times-bigger appetite, how much more content will people consume? A lot. What kind of content will it be? Video.
If you’re thinking that your current broadband is fast enough, remember dial-up? If so, how much more content do you consume now than back then? Truth is that before broadband, we thought dialup was pretty cool and we couldn’t even conceive the kind of content consumption we now consider normal. Watching a streaming video on dialup wasn’t our paradigm; fast forward a few years and watching entire movies on our laptops, tablets and smartphones is the new normal. We often have a hard time understanding what the future will be like because we have no existing experiences to give us relevant context. I’ll be the first to say that we don’t know all the ways that 100-times-faster Internet and much higher resolution screens will impact us. But trust me on this: it will be significant. And the one thing I’m sure of is it will make online video content even more important, and marketers need to be getting ready now.
How do you get ready? It’s time to put in a video production department. HD cameras and editing systems are cheap – a tiny fraction of what they once cost. What is not cheap is talent. Writers, producers, videographers, editors and After Effect specialists will be in high demand. Anyone can point and shoot with an HD video camera (many of us have them in our phones). But only trained, talented professionals will be able to create the kind of engaging content that people will want to consume at the speeds and resolutions of the future. Web and smartphone users will not have much patience for the fuzzy YouTube videos of today.
This is a great opportunity for marketers. Content marketing is the buzzword of the day, but we often focus on keyword-rich, Google-friendly text when we talk about content. While online and mobile video bring their own unique SEO challenges, many great brands have recognized the importance of video content and have been doing a great job. But now it’s past time for those who haven’t to shift focus and invest in the future of content. Video content is the future of your marketing – are you ready?