How does the quality of your video reflect on your brand?
Imagine this scenario. You are an executive at one of the most successful public relations or advertising agencies in the country.
You have an employee that you thought would show great promise. At first. But now that employee shows up to work in sloppy, wrinkled clothes and dirty hair. Bad breath. The employee uses inappropriate language and behavior in the office and at client meetings. The employee doesn’t seem to understand what your agency represents and what you are trying to do, and makes irrelevant comments that embarrass you in front of prospective clients. The employee is so unsteady, you sometimes wonder if he/she is drunk, anyway he/she wavers a lot, and it’s hard to understand what the employee is saying. You are starting to suspect that you may be losing the interest of prospective clients because of him/her, after all, she is at nearly every client meeting.
It’s just awful, but you don’t want to fire this employee because you are still hoping he or she will start working hard and show some results for your company.
That would be insane, wouldn’t it?
Yet, 64% of the leading public relations and advertising agencies on YouTube I examined this month have uploaded video that is of such poor quality, I feel it detracts from their reputation and image. But YouTube video, even bad video, gets prominently featured in search results. So, that “sloppy” video is what your potential clients see, just like that “sloppy” employee in the make-believe scenario.
Incredibly, these agencies do not take down these videos. It’s as if they think the video will somehow start working for them, or delivering benefits to their clients, when all the evidence is to the contrary.
To make this judgment call as I reviewed these YouTube Channels and videos, I took into account the agency’s revenues and resources (these were all top-billing, high-reputation firms with major clients).
I considered these questions
- Would the agency probably upload video of a similar quality for a client? Does it seem apparent that they did the best they could do, given their resources and claims of digital expertise?
- Was the content of the video on message, interesting, informative, useful, and relevant? Did it enhance the agency brand, or detract from it?
- Did the video have at least minimally acceptable levels of production value: informed and articulate participants, audio you could hear, titles you could read, lighting on the subject, steady camera work, evidence of basic-level video editing.
- Were the agency’s uploaded videos in compliance with YouTube’s terms of service, importantly copyright guidelines?
I was generous in my subjective assessment, and yet, only 36% of agencies were uploading what I would describe as acceptable quality video, and that is not to say, excellent quality video.
In this group of acceptable quality video producers, there were a few excellent videos here and there, but they were the exception rather than the rule.
My point is that public relations and advertising agencies do have the resources to better represent themselves and their expertise on YouTube, but choose not to. I would be curious to know the reason why.