MAD Perspectives Blog

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.



The Social DAM

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In this world of all things social, there is a lot of focus on making existing platforms social.  As an example, there have been many discussions about social CRM.  While salesforce.com is considered to be social, traditional systems (i.e., Oracle) are not.  A simple definition of social CRM is “having a discussion when, where and how the customer wants it.”  Coming from a world of digital media, should we be talking about Social Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems? Should users be able to access or provide digital assets when, where and how they want?   Is this an oxymoron or redundant?  Let’s review what functions a DAM system performs.

DAM systems evolved to address the challenges facing organizations who manage a variety of digital assets.  In an enterprise business, these assets would traditionally be managed by the marketing department.  They would include corporate logos & images.  If anyone outside of the marketing department needed these images, for any reason, they needed to go through the marketing department to gain access to these assets.  This could be a slow process with many bottlenecks.

Digital Asset Management systems evolved to provide a central repository for digital assets.  As these assets have evolved beyond static images into rich media assets incorporating audio and video, DAM systems became more elegant in how they addressed issues of tagging, metadata, taxonomy, ontology and overall semantics.  DAM systems, by necessity, must be easily integrated with other systems such as editing, transcoding, storage, digital rights and distribution.

Today, DAM systems are accessible by users across the enterprise, whenever they want.  Marketing may own the responsibility for establishing a corporate wide policy for tagging, metadata, etc., but groups such as sales, engineering, product management have access to the company’s digital media assets.  There is still separation between producers and consumers.  Does providing access make the system social?  Or does it become social when those same groups can become producers and contribute their own content and assets? 

Perhaps a DAM system with the ability to annotate, rank and comment on these assets makes it social within the enterprise.  Or, perhaps it’s the option for online, interactive communication that facilitates effective collaboration.  System features now enable users to rank assets or for managers to understand how many times an asset is viewed partly or in full. DAM systems providethe intelligence and elements of social platforms.  DAM systems continue to evolve and incorporate features that feel social.  Perhaps they are already social as these capabilities are core components of many social sites and platforms.

The ability for a DAM system to accept and manage user generated content (UGC) is increasingly important.  If companies recognize the social web as a relevant content distribution outlet, they may also need to consider it as a source of content input.  The DAM system can become more social by enabling content upload and the assignment of relevant tags, metadata by establishing and automating a standard taxonomy and ontology.  Thus the DAM enables users to access all digital media assets for the company, when, where and how they like.

Are you accessing your companies DAM system?  Does it feel social to you?  If so, why?  If not, what would make it more social?

What's your perspective?




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