The case for video marketing no longer needs to be made. However, creating compelling video is still a lot more involved than simply writing good copy. While video marketing helps brands stand out from ordinary text-based marketing efforts that struggle for attention, many consider video marketing a daunting task and dread the process. Thankfully we have almost a century of lessons learned from a television industry that’s been through a roller coaster ride of change. Here are a few worth remembering:
1. Technology is your friend, but choose wisely: the latest isn’t always the greatest
Most industries dominated by technology are subject to a seemingly endless stream of new gear that just must be purchased right now. For all the glitz and razzamatazz around the supposed next big thing, TV producers and broadcasters will tell you that they take all this hype with a large pinch of salt. Instead, the savvy broadcast buyer relies on a careful mix of peer-to-peer endorsements and very detailed buying procedures that minimize the chance of getting stuck down a technological dead end. As we know, for every leap forward, there are always technology #fails. Remember Google Wave or the VHS vs. Betamax war? What about Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD? Better doesn’t always win either!
It’s important to keep an eye on the future. In the last decade or so, television has gone through some monumental shifts that were largely invisible to the average viewer. Around five years ago, TV producers and broadcasters were encouraged to abandon their tried and true tape-based processes for recording and storing video in favor of a file-based system for managing, moving and storing video content. At that moment, cameras were transformed, tape was dead, and computers suddenly became best friends with video. The good news for video marketers is that file-based workflows are here to stay and we no longer have to splice videotapes or devote a warehouse to store our content!
So while there’s always a new shiny thing, keep your ear to the ground for the next big thing. Which brings me to my next point: you don’t need a massive investment. If new technology takes your fancy, don’t buy it, RENT it!
2. Rent, Don’t Buy
The 21st Century has seen a massive transformation in purchasing habits both in consumer and business spend. No longer do we feel the need to own the music we listen to, the television shows we watch or even the software we use. We subscribe to these services so that we’re not tied down, we don’t have to use up the budget on big-ticket items and consume them immediately.
The same has become true in TV. High-end camera rental has been around for years and TV companies are now starting to lease on-premise equipment and subscribe to the software services they need. This covers them for maintenance and upgrades, as well as offering the flexibility to switch to a better product if it becomes available. It also massively helps when trying to justify the ROI of a video project. The lesson here is not to get stuck with antiquated equipment or software. Choose something that is as agile as you want your business to be.
3. Empower remote teams and make the most of your talent, wherever they might be
As technology marches on, offices and teams are spreading out. Thanks to tech like Skype and Joinme, it’s almost unusual to have everyone in the same place at the same time for meetings. For broadcasters needing to collaborate with big video files, the cost of shipping hard drives via FedEx as well as the cost of employees waiting before they can start work negatively effects the business. Add different time zones to the mix and we have another evil for remote teams. Broadcasters are increasingly using “the cloud” as a way to centralize files that everyone can access regardless of where they may be.
Collaboration, review and approval, all need to happen regardless of physical location and the device in your hand. Make sure your video marketing plans don’t force you to compromise your process for working together and getting sign-off regardless of where people in your organization may be.
4. Stick to your good habits: Have a plan for collaboration and don’t abandon your review process
Video files are BIG with a promise of getting bigger all the time, which means we’ll not be sending them over email for the foreseeable future. While FTP and other file sharing services can work, the free ones are really slow, painful to use, and not very secure. The expensive systems tend to treat all files agnostically, so not very good for handling video and collaborating with a team.
Marketing groups have processes in place for marking up Word docs and PDFs and getting that content edited, reviewed and approved. The last thing we want is to abandon those just because we’re working with video.
Maybe you’re even working with Google docs and enjoy simultaneous collaboration on the same document? I can still remember the thrill of doing that for the first time. Is that possible with video? Can you attach a comment directly to a precise moment just like you can to a line of text? Can other people see you type that comment? Yes, you can! Having the ability to add comments that can instantly be seen by an editor is where geographic barriers get smashed and no one is left waiting to do their part. Of course some people will miss their water cooler chats.
Cloud-based services, built for the particular demands of video exist today and it’s one of the topics discussed in the TV industry today.
5. SEO for Video (The Power of Metadata)
Metadata (data about data) is the glue that keeps the often-crazy world of video together for broadcasters.
Put simply, video metadata helps people search, find, archive, and restore video content. Metadata can be automatically added at source, like camera type, date of filming, location (GPS co-ordinates), timecode (time of day or from zero), and file format. Metadata can also be added manually with information like the producer’s name, the name of the campaign, and even a transcript. Timecode is particularly useful to locate specific moments and add comments or summaries about the content.
Metadata in video marketing is the descriptive text that can also play an important part in SEO and other metrics. Make metadata work for you by attaching important words and links to your video, so that when it gets posted, all the accompanying info is there to help it rise in the rankings and get seen!