Video is not immediate, in a digital world.

This is paradoxical; we see a video, and we engage with it immediately.

From a production standpoint, however, it is not (and should not be) something that is limited to the present time.

I’ve taken some time to learn this lesson. Many of the videos I have made in the past have been focused around short-term, immediate offers.

This may be due to my generation’s perspective of the television commercial being the primary way that videos engage us with offers. The commercial airs, we see it, and we are immediately (in the context of the time of broadcast) given the opportunity to engage.

Videos used to go out of style with the season. Reruns didn’t have the same commercials as new shows, because commercials went stale.

On YouTube, however, videos stay up forever. They reach a new audience with each season, and the possibility of mass exposure does not relate to the size of your ad buy, but to the ability of your video to transcend air time and move through multiple sharing audiences.

Making a video on YouTube that holds a limited time offer is conterproductive and shortsighted.

(I can say this confidently, because I’ve made plenty of them.)

The power of a YouTube video grows as its exposure does. The viral nature of video means that as more people discover it, and share it among their networks (networks which have not yet engaged with the video message) it becomes exponentially more effective, over time.

Video is not immediate.

It takes time to grow, and as it grows in exposure, the growth compounds.

Tailoring a video to an offer that expires in under 18 months neuters the ability of this long-term growth to spread throughout the internet.

I understand that now, albeit a bit late. Some of my first videos, made years ago, could be continuing to pay off for me now, had I not limited their offerings to mere weeks away from publication.

Now, it’s time to put this knowledge to work.