Awhile back, we asked our colleagues, friends and followers to take a survey and answer a burning question:

“Do you trust a professionally shot video over an iPhone version?”

The answer always seemed clear when consulting our clients on this very topic. In some cases (and budgets), it’s a no-brainer to opt for professional footage. This is especially true for brand videos with a conceptual edge, like the “Truth Booth” series we created for Entrepreneur’s Organization. Or, when a complex or technical subject matter requires props and multiple takes in a comfortable setting.

However, when considering our own video series, we weren’t convinced. We invested the majority of our annual marketing budget in a brand refresh and new website. With limited funds available, we needed to ensure that every cent spent was worth it.

The results

Our curiosity drove us to create a simple survey. Interestingly, the results brought back mixed reviews with no definitive guidance.

  • Do professional videos have more stopping power? A slight majority – 38.4% of respondents – said, “DOESN'T MATTER TO ME” when it comes to production style, while 37% percent said “YES” and 24% said “NO."

  • Professional videos gain slight edge for credibility. 52% of respondents said professional videos are more credible, but this one was close.

  • Speaker quality matters most. About 54% of respondents said speaker quality was more important than production quality, reinforcing the idea that an engaging personality matters the most.

  • iPhone wins for Muse. The most overwhelming “YES” – 75.3% of respondents – came when we asked if we should continue to use an iPhone. Kudos to our content manager, Alex, and VP of Communications, Julie, for tolerating my stage fright and making our DIY shoot seem seamless enough to warrant a repeat performance.

Put audience first

Although the answers aren’t entirely illuminating, we’re not in the dark. We’ve landed on a balanced approach of in-office iPhone video (at the mercy of our natural light) with a video editor’s touch to segment topics, punctuate points and brand it our own. We’ll try this out for a year and see if it sticks.

Let’s keep in mind that this represents a small survey size of marketers and some video professionals, so the results may be skewed. Your audience needs to be at the center of your decision, both in topic choice and format. We trust our established, intellectual audiences will tune in to a topic that aligns with their interests.

The power of video

This field is shifting at light speed with influencers driving preferences among younger audiences. Consider this New York Times article on the colossal popularity of Emma Chamberlain, a YouTuber whose quick-clip editing style sets off my motion sickness with its dizzying pace. Even so, it’s inspired a whole trend for fast, disruptive movement served up for folks with attention spans of 8 seconds or less.

Regardless, there’s no doubt that video will continue to be a prerequisite to content marketing success now and in the future. In fact, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from any brand they support. We hope you’ll share your thoughts on our series…and inspire us with your own videos in 2020.

Are you considering your own brand video series but need help getting started? Drop us a line.