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Tell a vivid story with video

Marine dealers — at least those who are good at digital marketing — use the web frequently these days. However, the web was built on words and today's Internet is built on video.

So says one of my favorite bloggers, Seth Godin who has authored 18 bestselling books including “Linchpin,” “The Dip” and “Purple Cow,” which has been translated into more than 35 languages. You never know what topic he will hit in his daily blog — it could be anything from the way ideas spread to changing everything. But it’s always fascinating.

Godin is right when he says words built the web. After all, words were available to anyone who can type. “They're cheap, easy to edit and incredibly powerful when used well,” he said. But he also contends we’re past just words now and effective use of the Internet calls for video.

Think about your own experience with the web these days. If you’re not watching some video report or promo piece at some point, you’re likely not on the Internet. And, while it’s much more difficult to create good video than just words — and words are still important — video is far more impactful.

That impact is apparently why a March study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and reported in eMarketer Daily found nearly two-thirds of agency and marketing professionals plan to increase spending on digital video advertising. Of the 360 in-house and agency marketers polled, 63 percent of respondents said they expect to allocate more dollars to desktop video and 62 percent said they expect to increase their mobile video ad spending within the year.

It’s not surprising that marketers are investing more in their digital video efforts. In fact, eMarketer says the digital video advertising market is on pace to nearly double by 2019. Moreover, mobile is spearheading that growth. Mobile video ad spending rose 80.6 percent in 2015 and is expected to see double-digit growth through 2019. Those growth rates exceed search and other subsets of the display category, such as banners, rich media and sponsorships.

Fortunately, many boatbuilders have reached out with great video that their dealers can link to or embed on their websites. In addition, it’s most notable that the industry’s national Discover Boating campaign recognized the growing impact of Internet video several years ago and accelerated its use ever since.

Indeed, Discover Boating has award-winning video boating stories that are powerful testimonies from boaters about what boating means to them. And all of these videos are available, along with a variety of other quality promotional materials, free to all dealers at www.growboating.com. In fact, I had the chance to observe a recent Discover Boating photo shoot and the stuff they captured, including great footage using a drone, will become available later this year.

It’s safe to assume that because video costs more, is more difficult to edit and takes a different sort of talent to create, dealers mostly avoid it. But beyond the available Discover Boating videos and those from manufacturers, there is power in video produced at the dealership or marina that can speak to a dealership’s distinct identity and message. It’s entirely possible there could be someone in a dealership that has some talent to shoot, edit and post a video. We’re not talking about major productions here — a 60 to 90-second video on a subject can bring a good message home. Even 30 seconds of raw footage during a boat test, shot with a smartphone, can make a viewer feel as if he is on board.

In addition, there are firms familiar with boating that can economically assemble a video, depending on the subject, that could be used for years by a dealership. I invite any such video firms to throw in their name and website in the comments below.

As Godin sums it up: “Great video doesn't change the rules. A great video on your site isn't enough. You still need to create something that matters. What video represents is the chance — if you invest in it — to tell your story in a way that sticks.”

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