Video marketing is one of the most efficient ways to drive targeted traffic, but what not many people comprehend is just how far back in time it stretches, or how much it has evolved. We often laugh at those early black-and-white films of grainy characters moving around in stilted, bumbling fashion, and in fact, many of those early films were based around humour. They also happen to represent the earliest precursors of what today we know as video marketing.

Over the last two decades or so as the web entered and became main stream in households, video marketing has gone through an amazing metamorphose. What began as purely personal marketing, revolving around nothing more than an individual’s hobbies, interests and creative expression, evolved to include viral video marketing where the aim was to spark a movement or generate wide-scale conversation around a topical issue of the day.

Now, we have reached the era of social video marketing where all of that and more occurs ever-quicker, generated by the growing number of video sharing social media outlets.

It is impossible to talk about video marketing in a meaningful way without mentioning YouTube. It has been the lifeblood and the major force behind the evolution of video online, transforming how we use video forever.

While the history of video, as previously described, far predates YouTube, and you could rightly argue that short films attached to advertising messages were at the forefront of how video would later be used, it was not until 2005 when YouTube was born that we saw a hint of what was to come.

In its infancy, not many businesses latched on to YouTube as a marketing mechanism. This was in part due to the fact that traffic and conversions were nowhere near as good as regular television ads, and so that is where advertising budgets and man power were directed for those who could afford it. However, over time, as more traffic flooded into YouTube channels and topics became varied and began expanding into commercial waters, more companies began to realise the potency in creating videos where views could be purchased or monetised.

The early fun-centric element of YouTube remains to the present day, but new ways to monetise videos, along with the ability to drive traffic to places beyond YouTube via other social media sites, meant that a steady stream of entrepreneurial users began to surface as well.

Whereas video sharing on social media was once limited to sharing amusing clips, it quite quickly progressed into a huge source of traffic with commercial viability.

Today, millionaires are being made through the use of their own channels dedicated to a particular market, and indebted to the ease of sharing across platforms, some videos have gone on to obtain millions of views. Businesses, local and international, large and small are finding new ways to reach existing audiences and expand their base.

The advancement of cameras and technology is helping to create new opportunities for almost everyone in video marketing. It is now easier than ever to create special effects from your own home computer and with the use of green screen technology and cheaper home studio equipment.

Local businesses once priced out of the video market by the cost of equipment, production and buying television airtime are now seeing the potential to create what is really the equivalent of their own television ads online.

The use of video online has come a long way in the last two plus decades and growth in all areas of video marketing is only forecast to continue.
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