Video Strategy Can Be More Than Just Marketing
There is no denying that Video has hit a tipping point, and what YouTube has known since its inception (the undeniable impact of video content) has caught on so universally, nearly every brand regardless of market is aware that developing a video strategy is in their best interest. Infusing video into the marketing and branding strategy is a logical place to start but its value is starting to emerge in other areas of business as well.
By nature, video is more immersive in how it is viewed and remembered simply because, being both auditory and visual, it requires a higher degree of cognitive processing. In fact, in a report from Hubspot research, video content was 43% more memorable for consumers than images at 36% and text at 18% so it only makes sense that video strategy with its higher engagement levels and impact on memory would be deployed in areas outside of just marketing.
Vidyard ‘Goes Yard’ with Video
While doing my research I had to concede to a trend I was noticing. Vidyard, a leading video platform for business was behind a lot of the content and statistics I was reading so, I did what any reporter would do: I took a chance and inquired to speak with one of the great minds behind all this content and thankfully they were more than happy to answer a few of my questions. Vidyards's VP of Marketing, Tyler Lessard first gave his thoughts on the value of video in realms outside of marketing that aren’t yet widely considered:
“Video has emerged as a mega trend in the world of business, and it’s not just about brand marketing anymore. This shift is happening because of rapid changes in our own expectations as consumers of content (who doesn’t love short, snackable, visual content?!?) as well as the increasing ease with which we can create and share online video. In short, video is in high demand and is easier than ever to supply. As a result, video in marketing has gone from a tool for Brand and Social Media to being an integral part of websites, content marketing, thought leadership, customer stories and more. It’s crossed over into the world of sales to provide a better way to connect with buyers and to re-establish that human touch when you can’t be there in person. It’s the most effective way to recruit, onboard and train new employees. And of course, what better way to share information within a modern business than with personalized video updates from executives and team leaders? The traditional barriers to the ‘democratization of video’ are quickly crumbling and as a result, businesses of all types of are now putting video to work across nearly every team in their company.”
Video for Internal Use
Establishing that human touch, as Tyler referred to, is what makes video for internal use so pivotal. In Upwork’s recent Future Workforce Report, more than 1,000 U.S hiring managers were surveyed determining that today, 63% of companies have remote workers, with that percentage expected to rise given the skills gap felt in many areas of the world and, the technology enabling remote workers to more easily feel like part of a cohesive team improving month after month. Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork cautioned organizations on their lack of enthusiasm for embracing the advantages of having remote staff: “To gain an advantage in this increasingly competitive talent climate, companies must think outside their offices or city limits and embrace a flexible, remote workforce, while major employers like IBM have called back their remote workers, the majority of companies are leveraging a variety of skilled workers, including freelancers in addition to employees, to gain access to the skills they need to get work done. Companies that refuse to support a remote workforce risk losing their best people and turning away tomorrow’s top talent. When companies make even small shifts towards more distributed workforces, looking outside urban centers, they can make a significant impact towards building a more secure, innovative and equitable future of work.”
This is just one factor calling for the need of video to be infused into employee engagement strategy and is applicable at every level of an organization, with 59% of senior executives even stating if they were presenting with both text and video, they will opt for video (as per Digital Information World). In her article last year, my colleague Venus showcased a very economical use case for video when discussing the use of video in the enterprise however I believe the premise could be useful to businesses of all sizes: “Due to the different time zones or tight schedules, companywide communications such as all-hands meetings do not always materialize when everybody is available. Therefore, on-demand video is the best possible solution to include people who can’t attend live or simply, who want to revisit the meeting content after. Live video, on the other hand, reduces the impact of distance and the costs of travel by bringing everyone onsite for a live in-person meeting. While the live video is not used nearly as broadly as on-demand video, the use case of team/department communication seems to be an exception.”
The marketing and/or product team for example could effectively educate members of the sales team all over the world on new initiatives or updates, quickly and easily infusing screenshots, animations or demos into the content in either live or recorded video. Think of all the time that would be saved versus a marketing or product executive fielding multiple emails of questions or a go-to market strategy not seeing success simply because information wasn’t shared in the most effective way?
Ensuring Video ROI
One of the daunting things about integrating video into business practices is the sometimes high budget video content can demand, which makes ensuring a good ROI key. I was interested to hear Tyler’s thoughts on this common pain point within organizations: “The good news for all of us is that audience expectations have changed dramatically in recent years leading to more demand for ‘authentic’ content than ‘high production’ content. Yes, some businesses still need to invest in higher-cost productions for brand-level marketing videos, but when it comes to using video to educate buyers, connect with customers, collaborate internally or deliver a key message to your employees, it’s all about the value and humanity of the content and not about producing a Super Bowl commercial. Some of the most impactful content can be captured on a smartphone or even with free webcam and screen capture recording tools like GoVideo. It can be easily shared via email, social media and internal websites without the hassle of having to ‘upload’ the videos manually or jump through unnatural hoops. Many people don’t yet realize how accessible and simple video has become over the last 3 years. The real ROI comes from being smart and creative in how you use video across different teams within your company while empowering your internal employees to experiment with creating and sharing new content.”
One of the ways in which we are seeing organizations glean effective ROI from many business practices is turning to data and analytics for actionable insight and Vidyard is right alongside every other vendor infusing this into their platform. They recently introduced a new analytics and reporting package within the Vidyard for Salesforce integration, which I was eager to hear more about from Tyler: “Once you start using video for marketing, sales, customer service or employee collaboration, it’s important to think about its impact to the organization so you can continuously optimize your approach. One of things we’ve focused on at Vidyard is providing a suite of video enablement tools that not only help businesses expand their use of video across teams and use-cases, but help them track which content is impacting lead generation, opportunity close rates, customer service efficiency and even employee engagement. Reporting dashboards within Salesforce are our latest extensions to this, giving marketing and sales team direct visibility into how different videos are influencing pipeline and revenue across their business. These insights are helping businesses understand what type of content is really working to move the needle on key business metrics.”
There is very little true overnight success in this world, and I am reminded of this every time I am reading an article on how to make video marketing successful and the example of Dollar Shave Club is used. It is used with good reason, the story, strategy, risk and humor of the video are nothing short of impressive and its founder was able to see a sizeable acquisition of his company following the success that relatively low-cost, viral video created.
However, it is no Cinderella story, and the position Dollar Shave Club was able to carve itself in a market highly ‘spoken for’ by incumbent brands had more to do with the entrepreneurship skills of its founder Michael Dubin than that one unique video but, I bring this up because all factors aside, its ingenuity and deep, risk taking strategy should be an inspiration to those wanting to create outstanding video content. In addition, be just as creative in how you use and choose to repurpose it, take what’s great about video and spread it right across your business practices.