I was skimming through my RSS feeds recently—yes, I still use RSS as my primary news tool, but that’s another story—and this headline leapt out at me: “The Rise of Video Continues as Business Marketing Tool”. Of course I clicked—you would have too. And since it was coming from iMediaConnection, I was hoping for a great new stat or report I could tell you about. Nope, nothing like that. The crux of the post was that businesses could produce videos to promote themselves with consumer cameras like Flip video cameras, iPhones, and similar gear. That might have been true five years ago, but today? Today we’ve moved beyond amateur hour into real, professional video production as the standard of quality for businesses putting videos online.

Here is the full quote from the iMediaConnection post, for reference:

Video has come a long, long way in the past few years. No longer is video use by businesses strictly limited to high dollar investments with video production companies. Now, businesses and entrepreneurs have access to create and produce quality videos in-house at low cost. As well, consumers have adapted to and are comfortable viewing low cost, self-produced videos due to the strength and infusion of YouTube videos as well as newer tools like Tout and Vine.

Low cost videos self-produced videos can be very valuable in marketing efforts, and they can ultimately drive increased sales.

Via: iMediaConnection Blog

I agree that consumer video gear is much better than it used to be. I’ve shot a lot of video with my iPhone (5 and 4 models), my iPad (3 and 4 models), Flip cameras, and point-n-shoot cameras. All shot in full HD and often using a “better than built-in” external mic and I got good results. Good. Okay. Acceptable. Not great. Not professional. Not good enough for business.

Sure, YouTube is full of videos that people shoot themselves on their smartphones and such. Sure they can be fun to watch, but every single one lacks the clarity, punch, and crispness that makes a video just “pop”. Just like when I want to take a quick snapshot I don’t mind using my iPhone, but for a professional looking picture—I use my DSLR. You can see the difference immediately looking at the pictures.

This is what people really expect from business video. People don’t want “just good enough”, they want to watch video that’s great. I think people tolerate “just good enough” video, not enjoy it or share it. And, really, enjoying and sharing are the two things you most want people to do after people watch your video, right?

Really, if you allow a small bit of self promotion, it’s this very issue that SoMedia has built its business on addressing. We saw that people were resorting to shooting video themselves because it was “good enough” for the cost, because affordable options just didn’t exist. So we’ve created a platforms and services so any business can afford a professionally shot video.

We’ve reached a point where having video on your website is almost a requirement. And unless you’re an edgy, hipster brand, the only kind of video that puts your best foot forward is a professionally shot video using professional gear.

Anything else is just amateur hour.

Photo from Flickr by Esther Vargas.