Use of video for internal, B2B, and B2C communications

Its been interesting working with such a diverse group of companies, especially regarding the variety of internal uses and applications. The CEO of a very large company calls into a voice mail account once a week and records a 2 or 3 minute update, which is saved as an MP3 audio file, pushed to a production project and blasted out to tens of thousands of employees. They receive it on their desktops, iPods, iTunes, iPhones – anything that will play an MP3. Brilliant!

Training is taking on a whole new perspective now that we can achieve the same results that used to require a satellite feed – using the Internet instead of a bird. A speaker can be in Denver in front of 100 people, and can also be in Los Angeles on a wide screen for another 75 people in a hotel conference room, as well as in Boston in front of another 200 people, projected on a set of 6 wide screens in a large auditorium. Its no longer rocket science, and its no longer expensive. But boy does it have an impact on ROI when you can double or triple your audience with very little additional overhead.

An interesting story was related to me by a friend in the “biz” about a client of his that used video to walk new employees through a decision tree regarding their benefits. Based on age, saving preferences, lifestyle, single/married/children, etc, the system would lead the new employee down a path where decisions were easy to digest – easy to understand. Video helped make this happen. The company found a huge increase in the number of new employees who would take advantage of a wider variety of benefits. According to the stakeholders in this project, video made all the difference.

If you’re a sports fan, you’re seeing the impact of video from a B2C perspective. My favorite baseball and football teams have a ton of video online, giving me deeper digs into particular players, interviews with the coaches and players, and special interest clips that you won’t find on TV. If I want to “consume” this content, I am forced to load that dreaded banner ad in my browser for discounted season tickets… wait, discounted season tickets? I gotta check that out (click)…

Personally, I like getting my news via video. TV/cable, the Internet – lots of news out there to choose from. But what about news about my industry – the streaming video world? Well, here’s my favorite hangout. http://www.beet.tv That’s right, give me my video news using video – much easier to digest than a three page article. Let me hear the scoop from the CEO himself, not through the eyes and ears of an interpreter. Nice. I don’t mind seeing the ads – hey, is that Sean Knapp from Ooyala in that sponsored ad (click)?

One area where I’m seeing a ton of creativity is UGC. Basically “User Generated Content” is thought to be YouTube – let people upload their videos for whatever reason. A contest, job application, testimonial – all great ideas. But how about from a workflow perspective. Normally each form that has a “browse” (for your file) and “submit” button is also attached to a “profile”. Example: always encode any uploaded video to a maximum width of 270 pixels, while maintaining the aspect ratio of the source file, and at a maximum bitrate of 500k @ 30 frames per second, USING the On2 VP6 codec. This is now a workflow. So, if you have reporters in the field that want to upload video – use a UGC widget. Everyone’s videos come out the same. If you have contractors/partners that upload videos to you on a regular basis, use a UGC widget to homogenize the library of resulting files. If you have video editors that are working on multiple video projects, and you want to publish samples for your clients to review – use a UGC widget. All files are transcoded to spec automatically and are immediately ready to publish.

Well, that’s about all I got to say about that… for the moment. Back to the grindstone.

Posted by Chuck Ebbets   @   4 March 2010

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