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5 tips for adding Video into your Digital Strategy

I have often discussed the growing demand for watching videos over the internet, so it was with interest that I read the recently published statistics from comScore.

The following chart shows the population reach, and some key viewing statistics by country which was releasd to support the launch of their Video Metrics service

comScore Video Metrics by country April 2010

comScore Video Metrics by country April 2010

The volume of videos watched is huge, and it must be rememberd that this is largely because the length of videos watched online are often only 5-10 mins.  However, the hours per viewer number indicates just how powerful this medium is going to be in terms of audience attention.

What amazes me is the high percentage of brands who don’t have video included in their digital strategy.  Usually this comes from an ignorance of the size of this medium.  Most decision makers in marketing teams, or their agency don’t spend a lot of time online and are often unaware of the changing habits of the online consumer.  Secondly, they often assume that producing video content has to follow the same expensive process used to produce television commercials.  This means that someone has to swim against the tide, and often actually start publishing video content to initiate a change in focus.

I’ve listed 5 initiatives that I have found to be successful for

So I’ve listed 5 initiatives to get  ways to help you get this done.

1.  Research what content exists for your category.

Video should be something that is monitored along with your Social Media Monitoring process.  Understanding what video content is available helps to narrow down and discover more about the market that is vying for share of attention.  It’s a good idea to group the content into sub-categories so that you can more easily digest this.  Identify the opinions being expressed, and list any topical gaps or areas where your stories will rise above the clutter. Here’s a selection of video search tools that will help.

Yahoo Video
Google Video

Outcome: Research report on video content for your category.

2.  Audit your current content

Hidden away in corporate shelving, or archived sales conference video tapes are some great content that provides an easy source of material.   Most agencies are quick to upload your tv ads, which should not equate to ticking the box on internet video.   Consider enhancing the content of your ad, by uploading the back story to the ad itself, or extending the content of a 30 sec spot into a 10 min spot.  This is why it’s important that television ads incorporate a digital execution strategy.

Outcome: List of existing video content

3.  Get basic Video Hardware

Even if you intend using professional resources to record video content of major events, conferences etc, I still recommend purchasing some basic video equipment which is available for ad hoc opportunities like interviews, testimonials from passionate fans, or technical explanations from your R&D people. I still remember buying one of the early digital camera’s for a consumer packaged goods company that I worked with, and it stored the pictures on a 3 inch floppy drive.  Once people started seeing how easy it was to record & share images, the camera soon was constantly in demand. The point is that sometimes change requires demonstation & experience.

Thanks to advances in technology, and global competition, it doesn’t cost very much to get the basic video equipment these days.  Portable video recorders like the Flip video, Sony’s Bloggie, or Kodak’s Zi8 start at around $150.  HD Camcorders can be purchased for less than $1000 making it relatively easy to purchase as a business expense.  Video equipment is also easier to use and many of the new devices include an integrated upload to youtube facility.

Having the equipment on hand lets you experiment and start to learn the basics of video production.

Outcome: Equipment & basic knowledge of use

4.  Experience : Record what you already do

There are so many existing areas that brands invest in, and unless there is a legal or copyright reason not to, we suggest that they make a great starting point for getting experience around this medium.  Whether it’s an internal speech made to employees, or a trade show exhibition that you have invested in, you can help extend the life of these events using video recording. If also helps to showcase some of the content you record which helps to encourage others to utilise video as a part of business communications.

Outcome: List of easy opportunities for video content, quick win case studys that can be used for a business proposal.

5.  Business proposal

Once you have completed the first 4 steps, you should be in a position to write up a business proposal to extend the use of video within your business, so that resources can be allocated to this function.
I suggest you start with something small, which can be used as a quick win.

Augmented Reality Kung Foo gaming

It’s amazing how technology is changing the world, and whilst gaming has had the reputation of taking people away from activity, camera technology is inspiring active games.

Kung-Fu Live is one example in which your image is placed directly into the game, and real movements are translated into in-game actions. As the video below shows, you’ll be able to kick and punch wildly into the air to take down virtual baddies.

This is one of the few games designed exclusively for the PlayStation Eye camera.

Make sure you put away things like lampshades before playing !

Virtual Make up Mirror

Want to know what your face would look like wearing a certain type of make up .. without touching your face?  Well you could always summon up a magin mirror with the words “Mirror Mirror on the Wall, show me my face with make up all”.

And if that doesn’t work, you can head off to the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo and use their Digital Cosmetic Mirror.

The Digital Cosmetic Mirror lets store patrons test makeup and recommendations without actually applying anything to their skin.

Customers begin by allowing the mirror’s camera to scan their face, generating a set of customised recommendations. Using the device’s touch-screen interface, they can then ask to see specific types of makeup on their face, and the mirror paints those products on virtually and in real time. Different colours and formats can be applied and removed with the touch of a button, and consumers can print out ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of the looks they like best.

Cleverly, the printout includes purchase information which no doubt helps drive sales of the brands on offer.

This video gives you a closer look.

Google Wave explained

One of the hottest news for social communication this month was the beta launch of Google Wave.
Like a lot of people, I’m still waiting for my Beta invite – Google released 100K invites on Sept 30, 2009, and hopefully a 2nd wave of invites will come soon.  {Update : Thanks to Gus for sending me a twitter invite soon after this post was published)

Whilst there is no shortage of commentaries on the product, such as this one from PC world, this 2 min video from Epipheo Studios does a great job of explaining the background need for a new way to collaborate, and the major features that Google Wave seeks to address.

Here’s a screenshot of Google Wave, highlighting how Wave extends the inbox to incorporate discussion, attachments, and lists the contributors.


video via FRANkVize

Collaboration efficiency is at the heart of Knowledge Management, and it’s exciting that Google Wave will be run as an “open source” project becoming a valuable building block for a new range of collaboration tools.

Having experienced Google Wave, I can say that it definately delivers on providing efficiences in collaboration, but does remind me of the hope I felt when Lotus Notes came out.
Editing the content nuggets from the things where the content value has a very short shelf-life is one of the key challenges for community administrators.

Google have published one of their presentations on Google Wave from May 2009 (1 hour, 20 mins in length), which covers the product in more detail. Incidentally, Google Wave was developed out of the Google offices in Sydney Australia!

You can sign up for the 2nd wave of Google Wave invites here

Update:  For a comprehensive guide to Google wave Gina Trapani and Adam Pash have created this Complete Google Wave Guide