Video is quickly growing in importance. It engages people, conveys ideas and works well on mobile devices. But how can you best use video in your business? I’ll share a couple of innovative ideas, such as creating a weekly television show and using new models of content from our friends at Avitage.
Weekly TV Show: Lessons of Marketing Made Simple TV
Engaging industry thought leaders via an online TV show is a great way to promote your company and offerings. People love to be on camera, so it is a powerful way to engage. Thought leaders who love a show promote it extensively, and syndicated shows can get hundreds of thousands of views.
Check out the offerings at marketingmadesimple.tv, a syndicated marketing-focused business to see what I’ve put together. New shows premiere at 12 p.m. Eastern Time every Thursday.
But maybe you are not ready to tackle Internet TV. You just want to create some videos. Do you have to hire a photographer and write a script? Think about cameras, lighting, production people and other details? This task can feel daunting.
But digital video tools and infrastructure have changed the game. We are no longer constrained by bandwidth and delivery systems. The biggest constraint is an outdated mindset. People haven’t adopted new approaches based on these new capabilities. They’re stuck thinking of video as high production-value techniques and costs. Today, it’s about practical business video techniques.
Change Your Process and Techniques
Avitage has developed innovative approaches to professional, low-cost business video for b-to-b sales and marketing organizations.
Jim Burns, CEO-Avitage, explains: "We begin with the story we want to tell. Sometimes it's as simple as a technical or process explanation. For marketers, we focus on answers to customer questions or the result of a customer interview. A key technique is to use voiceover animated graphics, images or video b-roll. We often purchase video from the same clip libraries that sell still images."
Here's the simple process Avitage recommends:
Plan: Shift time and effort from traditional video logistics into planning for multiple use cases and versions. Plan subject expert interviews carefully.
Acquire: Interview and audio record subject experts. Ask not just for their knowledge, but also for their narrative— how they explain important, complex or nuanced ideas. This makes script writing more of an editing process. Recordings can be done over the phone or into a digital recording device, then downloaded to a computer for editing. Other acquisition sources include third-party articles, white papers and blog posts.
Create: Write scripts and storyboards from the material you acquire. Create visual elements by shooting still images or buying images and generic video, which can be used as b-roll. Narrate scripts using digital audio-recording software, a microphone and a computer. Edit audio to produce a clean file for each slide.
Assemble: Use PowerPoint as the basic assembly system. Import images and video into individual slides and create text overlays. Import audio files, slide by slide. Use PowerPoint animation techniques to apply motion to images and timing to text overlays. To test your video, simply run the slide show.
Convert to Video: In PowerPoint version 2010, select File, Save & Send, Create a Video. PowerPoint will output a WMV video file.
Deploy and Deliver: Upload the WMV video file to Wistia, Brightcove, Vimeo or other video hosting sites that provide links and embed code for delivery and posting to web pages. These resources will resolve processing requirements to optimize your video for varying delivery devices and also provide tracking metrics.
Burns observed: "This method not only makes video a fast, simple process, it makes it possible to configure video for different use-case requirements such as short, medium or long versions. Video can also be customized for different audience roles, interests, or stage of the buying process. Video becomes just another delivery media, not the big deal project it once was."
Jeff Ogden is president of Find New Customers and host of Marketing Made Simple TV. The online television program delivers engaging 20-minute interview segments that shine a spotlight on marketing experts and their approaches to the craft. Contact Ogden at firstname.lastname@example.org, or watch him work at marketingmadesimple.tv.