They say video is the Next Frontier for small business marketing. Are you recording?

Videos will be searched, categorized, crawled, archived, accessed and — eventually will replace the typed blog or other commentary for people more interested in having content as eye-and-ear candy than as an exercise in reading.

For that reason, I have a Pure Digital Flip Video HD. It takes sharp, snappy images in crisp HD clarity. I also have a library of home office videos (showcased at the top of this website). Each was taken with a Flip Video.

flip-videoSmall. Simple. Sharp. Easy to share. These attributes describe the evolution of today’s video camera — and what consumers are demanding in them.

These aren’t just for marketing. Contractors can shoot images from job sites. Teleworkers can video their home offices — as proof for their employers that they have a bona fide workspace. Of course, kids can use them for projects and parents can goof off with them (not while working, of course…)

Once upon a time, when you wanted to shoot video of a client testimonial, a product demonstration, or just a videologue, you had to transfer analog tape to digital, or you needed a digital camera. No quick or inexpensive proposition there.

Today’s options are many – and cost effective (and limited only by the size of the onboard memory or memory card):

-    My Sony Sureshot digital camera shoots perfectly suitable digital images and video. I’ve used it for testimonials, product reviews and all sorts of family events.

-    The Flip. I took the new Flip HD on Home Office Highway and a parasailing excursion. It was a sturdy little beast that held up to everything we tossed its way.

In a CNet product review and interview with Pure Digital CEO Jonathan Kaplan recently, they noted that as of early 2009, the Flip line was a top seller of similar devices in the sub-$200 category. Others include the Sony, Aiptek A-HD camera, Toshiba’s Camileo (with 1080p HD recording), DXG Technology, RCA, and Sakar. Flip remains the acknowledged pioneer of the $200 flash memory-based digital camcorder category.

Another product is the Creative Labs Vado HD Pocket Video Camcorder ($116). Similar in size to the iPhone, this HD camcorder travels easily, takes great high-resolution images, and gives any business video capabilities easily – and quickly. Hit the on switch, and you can be recording in 1.5 seconds. Onboard flash memory and record time are similar to the Flip. So is the transfer action: Pop out the USB dongle, plug it into Mac or PC, and drag the H.264 video files across (preloaded software runs from the camcorder itself).

Among the tweaks for the new Ultra II and HD versions: High-def recording with the UltraHD, video shot in 30 frames per second (fps) and encoded at 720p (for resolution the same as HD sports broadcasts). It includes 8 gigs of internal flash memory for up to two hours of record time. Also, the LCD screen size is increased to two inches. A soft, rubberized coating improves the grip. The pop-out USB arm can juice up the removable rechargeable batteries.

Are you ready for the digital age of marketing? With products like the Flip Video or Vado, anyone can be.