I’ve been involved with video at the commercial broadcast or enterprise level for over 30 years. I’ve seen it evolve from an expensive, elite marketing media to an accessible everyday tool with multiple applications. What is worth noting is that video should be not only part of a communication strategy, but also part of the content creation strategy.
I did an interview in early December with Paul Ritter of Business Video Today. The topic was how video is being used by enterprises as an internal and external content and marketing resource.
Internally, the typical uses most people consider remain. Training and internal communications are common, desktop video is becoming a tool for some, but not yet pervasive. New tools such as application sharing and interactive whiteboards have emerged but are limited by many other factors.
Externally, video has become a great method to capture thought leadership from subject matter experts, customer testimonials continue to have impact on potential buyers, and even product demos offer scalability for prospects deep in the buying cycle. Some companies are investing in short, creative video to stimulate awareness and feed the prospect funnel.
During the interview, Paul raised the issue of how video producers should think about producing video in an extensible and intelligent way, seeing is as bigger than just one video. This is a point he and I have talked about many times.
A shift needs to occur at the planning level. Business must think long-term big picture, versus a line item checklist. Video? Done, check. Next?
Most producers and companies think in terms of “I want to do a video so that it will bring traffic to my site,” or perhaps promote a product.
Isolated, it is a narrow, short-term view. It can and should be bigger. Video needs to be part of the overall content and communication strategy. This statement applies to both development and distribution.
At a minimum, it needs to be looked at from the perspective of ‘what am I trying to accomplish?’ How does it fit into the larger communication or marketing programs and that I’ve got? How can it either lead, supplement, or do both for those activities? How can I leverage that video to build and augment other programs that may be totally non-video related? My experience has taught me it can affect and influence all of those things in very positive ways, but you have to see that from the beginning. It must be part of the plan.
Video is a tool. It is both content source and finished media. Creativity needs to be applied not only to the creation of video, but to the planning process to recognize how it will serve and support the entire content process and journey.
Video has remarkable scale if used strategically. Combined with complimentary technologies that have emerged over the years, video is the killer app, and it’s right in front of us.