Interior Designers, Learn From The Buggles, Broadcast Yourself

I want My MTV was a rallying cry and an entire generation grew up watching short-form video

When MTV Networks launched nearly three decades ago, it ushered in an era of short-form videos as entertainment. At that time, Stephen Levy of Rolling Stone magazine wrote that "MTV's greatest achievement has been to coax Rock & Roll into the video arena where you can't distinguish between entertainment and the sales pitch." And, at that time, I agreed.

In 2005, the launch of YouTube and its social media platform gave people the power to broadcast short-form videos to large audiences all over the world. Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine on earth, generating over 4 billion videos watched per day.

Here are some statistics from published by DMR in August of 2015

Videos shot on the fly, edited and uploaded quickly using YouTube will attract prospects to your business.

Videos shot on the fly, edited and uploaded quickly using YouTube will attract prospects to your business.

  • Over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • Over 6 Billion Hours of YouTube are watched every day
  • YouTubes growth in web traffic referrals from 2012 to 2013 52%
  • What percentage of the population use YouTube? Millennials 72%, Gen X 58% , Baby Boomers 43%
  • Percentage of US businesses using YouTube? 9%

With 1 billion users and only 9% of companies using YouTube to market their services, YouTube provides every built-environment company an opportunity to get in front of an new audience and attract them back to a website. If you need yet another reason interior designers and design-build construction firms should be creating videos and posting them to YouTube, here it is: Your firm is made up of professionals that work in a highly visual medium, and using YouTube to demonstrate your value will provide a return on your marketing investment. The video is a marketing opportunity that gives you the chance to show how you would approach a landscape design, architectural remodel or your interior design aesthetic.

The challenge is that, unless your firm can afford to “send out for some pillars and Cecil B. DeMille”, you may have to overcome the obstacle of perfection. This means getting into a guerilla marketing mindset and using tools like iMovie and learning from Wistia to craft a low-cost, highly entertaining production. Start by spending some time on YouTube, searching for ideas that interest you. Even still images cut with interviews can be creative if done with a bit of planning and a thoughtful approach. Remember The Civil War by Ken Burns? That was a pretty low budget affair with production values that can easily be replicated.

What We Can Learn From TED Talks

The HBO Documentary Me @ The Zoo gives the impression of YouTube as a landscape devoid of value. But it’s a myth that YouTube is only for people interested in silly pets, precocious children, music and confessions. The greatest number of searches are for knowledge on a specific subject and “how to” videos. Let’s take TED as an example: The TED acronym refers to a conference on Technology/Entertainment/Design that takes place each year in Long Beach, California. In the past, the conference has featured speakers such as Designer Milton Glaser, Architect Thomas Heatherwick and Capitalist Nick Hanauer. In an exceptional article by Nathan Heller, which ran in The New Yorker on July 9th of this year, it’s estimated that the TED Talks YouTube channel has had 800 million views. Heller states that “As many media companies trading in ‘ideas’ are struggling to stay afloat, TED has created a product that’s sophisticated, popular, lucrative, socially conscious, and wildly pervasive; the Holy Grail of digital-age production.

The conference serves a king-making function, turning obscure academics and little-known entrepreneurs into global stars.” TED has done this by tightly controlling their brand and overcoming the bad videography and rambling nature of most lecture and “how to” videos that are found online. They turned their conferences into entertainment, and people watch them. With the pervasiveness of advertising and my interest in seeing art and exceptional design become commonplace, I’ve come full circle on MTV. The truth is that we are going to watch a sales pitch. Period. Why not make it enjoyable? Why not make it enlightening? Why not combine entertainment and education within your marketing content? It gets results. Let's make the world a little better with our communications.