Tony Compton, Managing Director
When I advocated the use and inclusion of streaming media in corporate marketing’s quiver in the late 90s, there were no job descriptions or detailed roadmaps for what
I wanted to do and sought to accomplish. Not that those streaming media communication concepts originated with me, but those were the days well before YouTube, Periscope, and the other video platforms of today. I didn’t know how coworkers would and could react to the introduction of video and streaming media content to the marketing mix. But I do now.
For those of us who can’t get enough of how video has recently reemerged on the global social, sales, and marketing scene, the excitement is hard to contain. The opportunities are endless. But with this new wave of communication comes the inevitable radical and revolutionary impact on marketing’s strategic and tactical approaches to the market. Some of your colleagues are feeling overwhelmed by this, but plenty are enthusiastic. Most are not prepared.
When you welcome video into the marketing mix, your colleagues will present you with a wide range of positive and negative reactions to the initiative. In fact, some will:
1. Relish the Spotlight
The attention brought on by the lights, cameras, and corporate action of the open lens will be a magnet for colleagues who were just waiting in the shadows for their opportunity to shine. They see the branding power and social strength video now holds for corporate, and personal, exposure and want in on the excitement. These are your colleagues who will shape up to be on-camera, sharpen their vocal skills for an increased personal presence, add their personality and character to the company fabric, and have a healthy appetite for more of this exceptional employment experience. They’ll relish the video spotlight, remember it fondly, and brag about it to all those who will listen.
2. Display Hidden Talent and Creativity
Who knew that the IT guy was a stage actor in high school? That the Regional VP was involved in theatre in college? Or that a sales leader is a creative writer? If marketing at your company has become home to a worn-out, data-driven security blanket of computerized, automated content, far too many internal creative forces will remain silent. Embrace video, offer its platform as an outlet for employee involvement, and you’ll uncover talent that you didn’t know you had.
3. (Finally) Consider the Audience
When an email is sent, I’d argue there’s little human interaction. Same for uploading text on a webpage, creating generic PowerPoint slides, or typing long-form pdfs. Even when some give a webinar or deliver a presentation, the experience can be a one and done, get through it and move on to the next task approach. But with video, you may have only seconds to capture and hold the audience. And with live video, you’re raw and unfiltered. The audience should always be at the center of any marketing project, but video provides focus and attention like no other communication activity.
4. Become Corporate Fanatics
When marketing embraces video, colleagues display a sense of pride. That’s because the video will look good. And sound good. In most cases, it’ll be better than what competitors are doing, if anything. Plus it’s a great way to bring virtual teams together in remote office locations. Issuing a press release, joining a conference call, or sending a mass email can’t compare to watching a live corporate video or creative streaming media feed produced by coworkers halfway around the world.
5. Think That They’re Experts
Your colleagues are video experts, just ask them. All of a sudden they’ve become TV critics and broadcast experts. Reality is, the vast majority are amateurs. From the Investors, to the CEO, to the VPs, and the marketing coordinators. They didn’t express an opinion when the last 12-page white paper was published. Nor did they say anything when the latest 70-slide corporate overview deck was thrown on the internal pile of content on the shared corporate hard drive. But when you produce a video – any video – colleagues will watch and will definitely have something to say about it.
Since when did marketing videos become copies of TV news magazines? Like many Americans, I enjoy watching 60 Minutes on CBS but that doesn’t mean I want to apply that format to every long-form case study and corporate overview that’s produced. I’ve already written that you can web and channel surf numerous corporate videos, across companies and industries, and come away with the impression that they all use the same director’s chair, camera angles, staging, and logo placement. Stop copying tired video presentation formats, and inject passion and creativity into your content!
Don’t be surprised when some colleagues say they “don’t get it.” Despite the video’s advances in 2015, and the domination this form of marketing now has, some will be unable to comprehend what it truly means to the business. Though you’ve tried to articulate the value of video, when the subject enters the conference room 2-D colleagues are likely to tune out and disconnect.
8. Passively Resist
On the other hand, some colleagues know exactly what video means to marketing, and to the business, and may resist and even circumvent efforts. Video is seen as a threat. Their professional capabilities may run the length of a keyboard, smartphone, or tablet. Storytelling, talent development, creative script writing, voice work, and presentation skills all threaten the safe spaces of outdated email blasts, text-heavy web pages, disconnected marketing automation, and long-form pdfs. These colleagues can become obvious roadblocks to success.
“What? Why can’t you produce a year’s worth of broadcast quality, 10-minute marketing videos for under $50?”
Several colleagues will inject the words “cheap” and “free” into video production conversations and drive internal producers and external providers crazy. Yes, video apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, and Blab are free. But all must consider every aspect of content production, whether the video is offered via free streaming media apps or not. Video production often includes script writing, talent selection and coaching, equipment, graphic design, wardrobe, voiceovers, music, licensing, and a host of additional considerations. You shouldn’t pay high sticker prices for every single video, but don’t expect something for nothing, either.
10. Plan and Budget
On the upside, there are those colleagues who recognize and value all that goes into producing quality video content. They can still be tough negotiators while recognizing that investing in this aspect of marketing and content development requires more than $50 on a single line in the department’s annual budget.
+1. Embrace Marketing, Sales Enablement, and Superior Content Development
Content marketing now spans multiple interaction channels, with video leading the way. And video requires the inclusion of skilled human performances. Experienced colleagues will recognize the mandatory upgrades required in marketing, sales enablement and content development. Which means that when you now include video, it means you’re now including the robust combination of corporate content with professional-level talent contributions.
+2. Break Mobile Devices (Among Other Things)
I recently tuned into a live Periscope feed, presented by a man simply walking down the street. In a misty cold rain. At night. He had a substantial audience watching. Midstream, he accidentally dropped and broke his phone. He was able to tell the audience what happened, and that the camera(s) on his phone were no longer properly functioning. He had to shut down his video feed, and it was game over for the night.
In the mad rush to be the next social media video star, quite a few people are pulling out their mobile devices and live streaming while they’re walking crowded city streets, exhibit halls and trade show floors, or even driving. They’re doing so in all kinds of weather, and in all sorts of environments with variable conditions.
Phones will inevitably slip out of hands and break. Devices will distract and cause accidents. The usage of personal devices for corporate videos presents a dilemma. When something goes wrong during a corporate video, who will pay to replace personal smartphones, tablets, or computers…or for vehicular mishaps?
Do you have an extra $500 in the budget if your marketing manager breaks his smartphone as he streams video from the show in Vegas this week?