MAD Perspectives Blog

Video Marketing - A Follow Up

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 21, 2012

A month ago, we asked if you were ready to embrace video marketing. As often happens, additional facts, figures and reports have appeared that reinforce our belief that video must be a strategic element of your overall marketing strategy.  Here are some tidbits that we found interesting:

  1. Social Media Examiner's "Social Media Marketing Industry Repot 2012":

       "For the second year in a row - a significant 76% of marketers plan on increasing their YouTube and/or   video marketing.  This is slightly down from 2011 (77%).  Business with 26-999 employees indicated this is a key growth area, with 80% responding affirmatively.  Younger marketers (77% of those aged 20-49) are also more likely to increase their video production than older marketers (68% of those aged 60+)."

     2.  ComScore indicates that consumption of online video will continue to rise.  In the U.S.: 

- In 2010, 175 million viewers watched an average of 15.1 hours of online video per viewer.

- In 2011, 181 million viewers watched an average of 21.1 hour of online video per viewer.

          - In 2012, 192 million viewers will watch an average of 29.4 hours of online video per viewer    

    3.  Adap.tv and Digiday, Q1 2012State of the Video Industry Report

        "Industry optimism is healthy.  96% of video buyers we surveyed estimate that their 2012       video ad budgets will increase by at least 23%."

    4.  Other tidbits:  

       - HD will become the standard

       - content will increasingly be consumed on wireless devices such as tablets and smartphones

       - people are becoming more savvy, creating demand for quality and originality

Video will continue to challenge and intrigue us as we seek the best methods to engage our customers. Planning will address issues such as good storytelling, tagging to ensure search engine optimization and click-thrus to your website and marketing strategy integration (including social media!). Your goal is simple - to get the highest possible return on your video marketing investment. So, we'll ask again - are you ready to embrace video marketing?

What's your perspective?

   



Are You Ready to Embrace Video Marketing!

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Last week I shared some thoughts about aligning your video marketing with your overall strategy. Now, assuming you've done your homework and have defined your goals for creating a video, you actually have to create and share the video. This is the fun part, but it is also the most challenging. There are a LOT of companies who will help you create video.  You may even consider doing it yourself. However, please consider using a professional. They will help you with:

    - Concept: This is the brainstorming phase. The concept stems from the purpose for creating the video but incorporates different perspectives.  Your story may best be told through casual interviews of executives, employees and customers in real life settings. Or, it may include abstract concepts involving video shots of places or things. Or, it may include animation and voice overs. A professional can walk you through the options and help you make your business come alive!

     - Content:The only way to create video content is to use a camera. There are many inexpensive cameras available today. The FlipCam (may it rest in peace), Digital Point & Shoot Cameras and Smartphones all have the capability to capture video quickly and easily. However, while the quality provided through these devices may be great for posting content to Facebook or YouTube, is that casual format aligned with your goal? A professional will use higher quality cameras. They will understand how to stage the shoot, taking into account lighting, sound levels, background views, background noise, etc. The results will be worth the effort.

     - Editing - This is perhaps the most important stage. This is where the story really comes together. A shoot may involve many versions of the same concept. During the editing stage, a professional will select the pieces of content that best tell your story, as per your guidelines. While there are many affordable editing tools available to the consumer, again, deciding the sequence of scenes, seamlessly editing the content can be challenging.

     - Sharing - Underlying this whole process is the use of technology that enables the video to be seen and shared across online or mobile networks. This includes decisions about codecs (the format in which the content is saved and viewed) and distribution platforms at the very least. You content should be accessible via pc, smartphone or tablet. You'll need to think about how you will share content on your website, using social media or email. Each of these devices or platforms has different requirements for allowing consumption by your customers. 

B2B use of video marketing is on the rise for a lot of very good reasons. For me, number one is the power of video in expressing your business value. For others it may be as pragmatic as the fact that video improves SEO. For further insights on the rise in B2B use of video, check out the Savvy B2B Marketing blog. Are you ready to take the plunge to take your story telling to the next level?  I hope so!

What's your perspective?

Thanks again to Glenn Zimmerman and Mad Bear Productions for helping me think through these thoughts on companies using video to share their stories.  




Let's Talk Video

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 02, 2012

It's April and that means its time to talk video.  For the next few weeks, my blogs will focus on video.  We are bombarded by moving images every day.  We share these images, we create content and we tell stories. Broadcasters incorporate YouTube videos into their newscasts.  We create videos for our personal and professional lives.  Businesses use video to explain, educate and inform their customers.  But, secretly, every content creator wants to create the viral video that rages like wildfire across the internet.

I was talking to Glenn Zimmerman of Mad Bear Productions (yes, we "mad" companies must stick together!) about every advertisers dream of creating the Old Spice Guy type commercial.  I asked him for tips on how to make a viral video.  His initial response was what is "viral"?  Is it about getting millions of hits or is it about five hundred views by the right people who are ready to take action?  His second comment referenced three attributes which may cause a video to go viral.  They are:  fuzzy animals, a baby or doing something completely insane on camera.  If your video includes any of these three, it has a slightly greater chance of becoming viral.

However, do any of these three elements support your overall strategy for creating the video in the first place? Video is not and should not be pursued in isolation from your marketing strategy.  It should reinforce and align with your goals.  If you have concerns about your brand and what it means, don't jump into creating a video. The video should reinforce your brand, represent your voice and tell a story that your audience wants to hear.  

When creating the video, pay attention to what outcome you are seeking.  What action do you want your customers to take? Do you want them to simply talk about your brand? Or, do you want them buy something, attend a conference or webinar or schedule a meeting? Be clear in your communication and make it easy of your customers to take action. At the same time, have fun in relaying your content.  Video is about a creative process.  

In the coming weeks, I'll share further tips from Mad Bear Productions, provide thoughts on what "social video" means, and reflect on what the professionals are talking about at this year's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) conference.  Video is now an intrinsic part of our lives thanks firstly to TV, but also the internet and increasingly smartphones and tablets. Video is memorable storytelling.  How will you tell your story?

What's your perspective?



Energize your Enterprise Video Strategy

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Are you using video to share your company story?  I hope so!  Video is more memorable than thousands of  tweets or daily blogs or superbly written collateral.  Video is your opportunity to put a face on your organization and share compelling content.  What makes content compelling?  It's all in how the message is delivered.  Is the speaker confident and authentic?  Does he or she have a passion for the topic?  Are they sharing information that is meaningful to you - the viewer?

I am huge fan of video communications, whether it takes the form of a webcast, video conference or viral video.  In any form, a well thought out video tells a story in way that online words cannot match.  Coming from the high tech industry, I've been lucky to be exposed to all forms of video communication.  I have experience the high-end telepresence style video conferencing as well as the ad hoc services such as Skype.  I have seen live executive town hall meetings and taped product launch announcements.  Across the board, video is becoming a required form of communicaiton.

Two weeks ago, Konitiki and BT Conferencing hosted a webinar "Future Proof your Video Communication Strategy".  They discussed key technology elements for a successful strategy, including :

     - video production
     - signal origination
     - signal acquistion
     - encoding formats
     - operating systems
     - viewing devices
     - content delivery networks
     - managed event services

These elements are important and can make or break a successful video event.  However, even more important is the development of the content itself.  I was speaking to the team at Mad Bear Productions, who focus on a different aspect of video communication - that of creating and telling your story.  Their value is in helping you understand what story you are trying to tell - then humanizing that story.  What does this mean?  It means developing a storyboard that draws your audience to your brand by allowing passionate, yet professional, employees to represent the brand.  Think about:
 
    - who you want watching your video
    - what message do they need to hear (not the same as what you want to say!)
    - how and where will they consume your content (in the office, on a mobile device, live or on-demand, alone or with others)

Then consider how you're going to inform them about the video.  will you use email?  Internal announcements?  Or, how about integrating soci al media and attracting a wider audience through the use of Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?  If the video is available on-demand, consider distributing it via YouTube or Vimeo.  There are more outlets than ever for reaching your audience. 

Storytelling is an art.  Video is a technology.  Enterprise video communication needs to bring these two perspectives together to share a message that is meaningful and make it accessible to the desired audience.  When you're developing your video communication strategy, don't forget that all perspectives must be addressed!

What's your perspective?



Facebook Video Chat - Will You Use It?

Peggy Dau - Thursday, July 07, 2011

Yesterday, Facebook announced the integration of Skype (currently being acquired by Microsoft) for video chat.  What does this mean?  It means that in addition to clicking the chat button to have an instant messaging system with one your friends who is online, you can now elect to have a video chat with that same friend.  Imagine Skype within the framework of Facebook - you have a pop-up window with the talking head of your friend.

This announcement was surrounded with a lot of hype.  Sure Skype gains access to Facebook’s 750 million users.  And Facebook gains access to arguably, the most recognized VoIP platform.  But do Facebook users really want to video chat with their friends?  I performed a quick verbal survey with my friends and they were all a bit quizzical about the need for video chat within Facebook.  Perhaps this is a generational issue.  I’m older than Mark Zuckerberg.

My friends and I use Facebook to stay in touch.  We do not post comments every minute.  We do not expect instantaneous response to any comment.  We share pictures, we comment on items in the news; we ask random (and often ridiculous) questions.  We promote our favorite causes.  We rarely use the existing chat function.  We actually enjoy the random updates and casual means of staying in contact with geographically dispersed friends.  It’s a light touch, not as intentional as an email or a phone call.  We feel “safe” in not actually verbalizing our thoughts, but sharing them in a few short sentences.

I’m a big fan of social networks.  I help companies identify their strategies for using social networks.  As businesses continue to adopt Facebook as another channel for communicating with their customers, I do see how B2C companies can use video chat to enhance their consumer relationships.  Any company focused on customer service, now has another mechanism for connecting to, interacting with and responding to consumer concerns.  Companies can expose their personality even further through the use of a live person, interacting with friends and fans.  I can imagine emerging technology companies who use Facebook as a recruiting platform, testing applicants’ interactive capabilities using video chat. 

Video is memorable.  Video is personal.  Video exposes both the individual and the company.  This additional exposure does not come without risk.  Representatives of the company, who are currently managing their social presence, will have to consider the impact on their policies and guidelines.  Further training may be required verbal communication requires a different set of skills than written communication.  For those firms already concerned about regulatory and compliance issues, video chat is something that will never be turned on.  If companies turn on video chat they will be required ‘walk the talk’ even more consistently then ever before.

What do you think about Facebook’s new video chat capabilities?  How will you use it?  Will you use it at all? 

What’s your perspective?



Likes and Dislikes about B2B Use of Video Solutions

Peggy Dau - Monday, November 29, 2010

November's blogs have focused on the use of video solutions in the B2B market.  Some of you may be asking, well, heck why doesn't MAD Perspectives use video?  Bottom line, we're a small business who loves video and leverages it in many ways (webinars, online video tutorials, desktop video conferencing, etc.) but hasn't prioritized it's use - yet! 

What do I like or not like about how i see B2B companies using video?

I like:

- Executive Presentations -  Or, perhaps I like dynamic executives who can overcome the well scripted content to inject personality.  I'm happy when they focus on 3 key points and support these points with market perspective, customer testimonials or facts and figures.  I'm even happier when they inject personal anecdotes (even if they are scripted).  I want to see executives interact with their audience.  I want to see them get excited about their products and solutions.

- Product Demos - It's a great way to see and hear how to use a new product.  The best videos are those that have a passionate spokesperson who REALLY understands the product and its target market.  The demonstrater who can talk clearly, succinctly and knowledgably about their solution can win new customer while retaining existing ones.

- Webinars/Webcast - They are a great educational resource whether it is to gain high level knowledge, engage in Q&A, gather some market statistics.  Webinars are often the first step in the product/company awareness process for a prospective buyer.  The ability to inform, educate and differentiate using this format can arm the potential buyer with great insights before a face to face sales meeting.

- Video Conferencing - there is nothing better than being able to see the person to whom you are speaking!  Even if there is a slight time lapse (i.e., Skype, Windows Live Messenger) there is still the ability to see and read facial expression which add more context to a conversation.  These solutions continue to evolve and I can imagine a future where video conferencing is an every day occurence.

I don't like:

- Executive Presentations - that are sooooo scripted they no longer feel authentic. 

- Product Demos - that use a spokesperson who obviously does not understand the product nor do they understand the target market.  The script is bland and reflects the company's focus on marketing blah blah and ignoring the real needs of the customer.

- Customer Testimonials - that don't explain what the customer problem is or how the company's product helped them solve that problem and what improvement they've seen - in laymans terms!

There are a lot of moving parts when coordinating a video strategy and many of them are quite technical.  If you are looking for insights into streaming media solutions, check out www.streamingmedia.com or www.onlinevideo.net for some insights, best practices and vendor lists.   Understand what you are trying to accomplish before you get buried in the technology.  Who is your target audience?  What do they need to understand?  What information are they seeking?  What action do you want them to take after viewing the video?

We are going through this process here and wee hope to jump into the video world in 2011.  Hopefully, we'll be able to share that experience with you!

What's your perspective?





Video and Enterprise Communication

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video is a pervasive part of our lives.  As consumers we watch TV to enjoy comedy, sports, entertainment and news.  We also go online for this same content and more.  We go to YouTube to check out user generated videos as well as professional videos.  We use Skype to for ad hoc video communication.  Enterprise business recognizes the value and power of video, but is still predominantly using video for internal purposes.  Consider the power of video and then consider video as a critical part of the enterprise communication strategy.

Large enterprises have been leveraging video for employee education, customer training, customer support, product promotion and market awareness for many years.  These large (think Fortune 500) companies are also targets for Unified Communication solutions offered by companies such as Cisco, MicrosoftHP and others.  However, there are also many vendors offering solutions for video streaming, video conferencing, webcasting, web conferencing and more.  According to Forrester Research’s Enterprise and SMB Networks and Telecommunications Survey from Q1 2010, within the next 12 months:

-          31% of companies  are interested in Desktop IP Video Conferencing solutions

-           29% of companies are interested in enterprise IP/Digital Video for internal purposes

-          32% of companies are interested in immersive video conferencing (i.e., telepresence)

However, few companies have actual plans to implement and deploy these solutions.    Adoption of these solutions will take into account business requirements, geography, feature/functionality, price, impact on corporate network and ongoing management.  Why should companies be developing actionable plans for video solutions?  Here are some pros and cons:

 

PROS

CONS

-          Video is expressive and compelling

-          Video solutions are complex

-          Video enables participants to see body language, facial expressions and reactions

-          Video infrastructure is expensive    

-          Video is more memorable than the written word

-          Video is time consuming to create, edit, process, upload and consume

-          Video enhances clarity, authenticity and credibility of messaging

-          Video needs to be distributed with multiple media player options (i.e., Microsoft, Real, Apple)

-          Video can be re-purposed across a variety of distribution channels

 

-          Video solution vendors offer increasingly cost-effective business models

 

-          Video can reduce travel expenses

 

 

As companies develop their plans for incorporating video into their enterprise communication strategy, they should consider:
1. How the company will use video

  •      - For internal communication and collaboration
  •      - For external communications and education
  •      - One to one, one to many or many to many communication
  • 2. Developing Content
  •      - Length of meeting or presentation
  •      - Goals for the meeting
  •      - Personality mapping (consider your audience and the type of presenter who can create best impact)
  •      - Metadata description of content
  •      - Search Engine Optimization (based on title and metadata)
  • 3. Post event activity
  •      - Availability of on-demand video “replay”
  •      - Posting/Distribution of content on website or 3rd party sites (i.e., YouTube, BrightTalk)

 

Video has become more than a solution for pushing information to a target audience.  It has become part of the real-time communication process.  With desktop video conferencing and immersive video conferencing (think telepresence) ranging from high-end to low-end, companies have greater opportunities to leverage video on a daily basis.  Whether you are a large enterprise or a small/medium sized business, video can help you communicate with your audience.  Aligning the use of video with your overall business strategy is critical.  Aligning internal business groups (i.e., Execs, marketing, sales, IT, etc.) is also important.  How is your company going to incorporate video into your communication strategy?

What’s your perspective?



Tips for Incorporating Online Video into Your Communications Strategy

Peggy Dau - Monday, July 19, 2010

I recently read an IDC Whitepaper about the 360º Approach to Video.  I've written about companies using a 360º approach to define marketing strategies  and was definitely interested in IDC's opinion on video.  I consider video one of many tools that any company can use to connect and communicate with customers, partner or employees.  Video is memorable and is used for executive communications, customer education, employee training, product demos, customer testimonials and more.  Video is personal and can be consumed live or on-demand in the form of streaming media, webinar or teleconference.

The IDC whitepaper, which is sponsored by Online Video Platfrom vendor Kyte, primarily highlight features of privately funded Kyte.  However, it also touches on some relevants shifts in the market place:

1. Websites have become more interactive.  The days of one-way communication are gone and customers or consumers have an expecation for enticing, visually appealing, interactive sites.

2.  Video is everywhere.  This means video is on your website, on YouTube or Vimeo channels, on Facebook,on mobile devices and many other locations or devices.

3.  Content comes from many sources.  While companies produce a lot of their own content (i.e., executive communications, product training, ads, customer testimonials, etc.), they also invite customers to submit their own user-generated content

If you are thinking about how to incorporate video into your communications strategy.  Consider the following tips:

1.  PurposeWhat are you communicating with the video?  Are you educating, informing, inviting, or sharing?  These are all different types of stories and each story may be best told using different styles.  For example, if your video is to share your quarterly financial status, this is likely a professionally produced event with a well structured script.  However, if your are sharing information about an upcoming event or new product, you might decide that authenticity and personality are more important.  While you still have a script the style of the video may be more casual.  Alternatively, you may invite customers to share their experiences at an event or training.  They thoughts could be capture live and in person or via video uploads to a defined site.  If you define your goals for using video, it will make it easier to make decisions about what kind of content to create. Tip:  Align purpose and video style.

2.  CustomerWhere and how will your customers consume your video?  Are they in an office, at home or on the go?  Will they access content using their PC or a mobile device?  What operating system, browser, video player or video codecs will these devices use?  Is there an expection for live or social network interaction?  Understanding the answers to these questions, will help define the requirements for any online video solutions that you consider.  Tip:  Undertanding your target audience and their communication needs will drive business and technical requirements.

2. InfrastructureHow will you handle video content?  Will you produce and manage your video assets on an in-house system or will you leverage an online service?  In either case, consider its features and functionalities (i.e., codecs supported, bitrates, end user interface, ease of use, server requirements, metadata model, social/community features, digital rights management, analytics and reporting, etc.) related to your goals.  In addition, consider how it will integrate with other enterprise applications, impact on corporate network, level of expertise required and support models.  Tip:  Align infrastructure requirements to your goals to identify the relevant solution.

Content is valuable.  Video is memorable.  Create a valuable and memorable online video strategy thinking about who your customers are, where they are and how will you need to be able to share video content with them.  For a list of leading online video platform vendors check out:  www.streamingmedia.com, www.onlinevideo.net ir www.vidcompare.com

How are you using video to communicate your story? 

What's your perspective?



Digital Asset Management as a Tool for Social Media Brand Consistency

Peggy Dau - Monday, July 12, 2010

One of the biggest challenges facing brands as social media platforms continue to evolve is that of brand consistency.  In the “old” world, marketers defined messaging and images they felt were most representative of their brand.   On the social internet, the community defines the message and may begin to define the images.  How do Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems fit into this?  They are the central repository for a company’s digital media assets.

As companies intentionally reach out to their communities for input, this input will come in many formats. Brands may invite consumers to create new tag lines.   It may come as pictures of users with the product.  It may come in the form of home video extolling product benefits.  Consumer brands are actively seeking user generated content, partly to attract attention to the brand, partly to gain low/no cost re-usable content and partly to test the waters. 

Platforms such as YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo are growing outlets for company created content but also for brand requested user generated content.  This user generated content may not comply with corporate defined brand image.  How do brands address this?  Or, by ‘crowd sourcing” content, do brands give up control of brand identity?  The goal for many marketing teams is to create content that can be repurposed across multiple distribution channels and create tighter bonds with their customers.  Regardless of their intent, how do companies manage and repurpose user generated assets? 

DAM systems can help companies manage these assets.   Any Digital Asset Management solution provides the ability to define the ontology and taxonomy of digital assets.  It is possible to create additional categories which identify the assets as user generated, associated with a specific campaign or of certain image quality.  DAM systems may also begin to incorporate social concepts such as the tag cloud, which shows the tags associated with specific assets.  They could also incorporate features such as reviews & comments, helping marketing departments identify the most popular or useful content.

A digital asset management system cannot control a company’s brand, but it can help that company manage the digital media assets related to the brand.  The system provides the company with a tool to review, assess, edit and manage assets with the intent to determine the asset’s alignment with brand image.  It then enables companies to extend their brand across multiple channels (i.e., mobile, internet, print, TV, etc.) through re-use and re-purpose of the selected asset(s).  Bottom line, digital asset management systems will have to integrate and manage professionally produced assets as well as those imported from social platforms.

What's your perspective?

For additional posts on Digital Asset Management check out We Speak Digital Media, where I am a guest blogger.



Let Your Customers Help You Tell Your Story

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 17, 2010

Once upon a time...  These are the infamous words that start many a fairy tale.  But, it is also mean we about to hear a story.  George Lucas used similar words to launch a trilogy and then a prequel of stories about a galaxy far far away.  His Star Wars movies are considered some of the best stories of my generation.

We read stories to our kids before bedtime.  We go to the movies to become enthralled with drama, comedy, horror or adventure stories.  We go online to watch webisodes of programs created specifically for Internet consumption. How do you tell your story? The most common methods have been to write product briefs, whitepapers, case studies and press releases.  However, the past few years have shown that customers want to be part of the story.  The ability for customers to comment on products, blogs, facebook or twitter, has give customers a greater share of your public face.

This is good news! Your customers have a unique perspective of your company and it's products or services.  I've learned a lot about how to tell my story, both personal and professional, by listening to my partners and customers.  My customers want me to tell my story in a way that integrates with their PR strategy.  That's ok for me, my services are complimentary to the services offered by most PR firms and, in fact, should help drive incremental revenue for these firms. 

My customers want me to share my background in high tech and in communicating in B2B environments.  By including my background as a core part of my story, they realize that I can relate to the challenges they face.  They want to understand how I made the decision to leave corporate america and pursue independent consulting as this helps them understand my motivations.  They find comfort in understanding that I too, had to figure out how to tell my story, just as I'm helping them figure out what solutions will help them tell their story.

It's also about how to tell your story.  Do you tell you story on your company website?  Via your personal blog or industry analysts or in press releases or webinars or online video?  Depending on how your customer consumes information, your story can be told in many ways...and many times.

Listen to your customers.  They will provide you with great insights on what parts of your story are interesting to them, or not! They will help you prioritize your efforts and perhaps help you reduce some aspects of your marketing budget.  They will let you know who they listen to and perhaps influencers you should also listen to and influence.

Are your customers helping you tell your story?  Share your experiences with me!

What's your perspective?