“Every company is a media company.”
That concept isn’t new. It’s why B2C companies absolutely require a media strategy to be successful, and it’s increasingly true for B2B companies, too.
The social media revolution created a new generation of young people who expect constant visual experiences at the tips of their fingers. And when done properly, video is the most visual, entertaining and incredibly engaging medium a company can use to get its message across. For instance:
- 54% of consumers would like to see more video content from marketeers (HubSpot, 2017).
- Marketers using video saw revenue grow 49% faster than those who didn’t (Aberdeen Group, 2015).
- 52% of global marketing professionals rate video as the content with the best ROI (Adobe, 2015).
Video marketing is the secret of success for thousands of new companies. It’s how crowdfunding platforms found their sweet spot, creating worldwide stars like Oculus Rift and Exploding Kittens. Video production costs is cheaper than ever, and anyone with a smartphone, audio-visual skills and good creativity can come up with great marketing videos.
How to know your video marketing strategy is about to fail
Just because every company is a media company doesn’t mean that everyone knows what to do or how to do it. This may mean you: If you’ve started to use video in your marketing strategy, you might be currently doing something terribly wrong. It happened with SEO keywording, it happened with corporate blogging, it is happening with ad-banners and it will certainly happen with video marketing.
Whenever a successful marketing or growth strategy is adopted by the masses, problems arise. The problem we’re currently seeing in the media and entertainment industry is this: Overproduction.
Companies like Netflix and Amazon are spending billions of dollars to (over)produce original video content. They’re getting into a battle of who has the most money to spend on production and who will get the most viewers out of it.
Once this trend starts to catch on in marketing departments, we’ll see every company out there creating more and more “original” marketing video content. Unless you have very deep pockets to support your own video marketing operation, your “let’s keep up with the Jones’s content” strategy might be about to fail.
The first signs of this trend can be seen in certain company websites and social media accounts: the ones that put a video player online and ask the marketing department and SDRs to start filming themselves, then publish those videos everywhere they can.
It’s supposed to be cheap and effective, but while it may be the former, it’s rarely the latter. That’s partly because everyone is starting to do the same thing. When that happens, the killer idea won’t work for long.
So what’s the answer? To build an effective video strategy, you’ll have to go beyond producing just for the sake of producing. Even using analytics to drive your video production won't be enough, because those marketing channels get saturated fast. To execute a successful video marketing strategy, you need to be organized and ready to navigate a saturated channel and get a positive ROI.
Yes, it seems obvious: “Of course it’s not just about publishing videos. We need a structured content strategy so everyone knows what we’re talking about.” Writing a plan with the main messaging, the number of videos to shoot and their scripts is a crucial step. But what’s the plan once you actually start shooting the videos and producing at scale? That’s when you start facing challenges that only media and entertainment companies know well.
So your marketing team will need to start thinking like a production studio, even if they outsource production in the end. The first step towards that goal is to adopt a media supply chain.
What is a media supply chain?
In the 1980s, the term supply-chain management (SCM) was developed to express the need to integrate the key business processes, from original suppliers through to the end user. The big goal of SCM remains to fulfill customer demands through the most efficient use of resources, including distribution capacity, inventory, and labor. To put it another way: a supply chain matches demand with supply and does so with the minimal inventory.
Nowadays, every industry has adopted some sort of supply chain management to optimize their production. The media and entertainment industry is no exception. Just as a refrigerator or automobile must go through a supply chain process to mature into a consumable product, media files must be processed through various stages to reach the point where the consumer can enjoy it on a browser or a connected TV.
The main steps you’re likely to see in a video marketing supply chain are:
Pre-production and planning: As with any marketing campaign, the first step is to plan what must be done before execution, from getting the location ready to setting up the equipment.
Capture (or production): Shooting the video. This often includes getting several angles of the show or event so you can edit and assemble them for the best final result. The higher the quality used to capture the video, the better for future distribution purposes.
Metadata entry: Metadata is the information that identifies and describes the contents of the video. Is it a basketball game? A pirate movie? Who appears in it? And so on. Metadata can include media-specific information such as the title, production company, season or episode descriptions, and release dates. Metadata can also include business-related information like pricing and availability.
Ingest: This is the stage in which the video file and metadata are put into a media asset management (MAM) system. They don’t have to be ingested at the same time, although that’s often easiest. The important point is that both are eventually ingested so that the metadata can reference the media file.
Compression: Captured digital files are often extremely large. That means a large amount of digital storage space, and it can be hard to deliver to the consumer via broadband methods. So it must be compressed in a process called encoding or transcoding. This helps deliver the most appropriate video quality depending on where the video is being consumed.
Post-production: Once the file and metadata are in the management system, the final video is created through editing and adjusting the different video angles from the production stage.
Quality control / review and approve: Quality control is a must to ensure that a file that has been properly encoded and is free of corruption. Manual QC is also needed to make sure the video has been properly edited. Most companies do quality control along all stages of production, from original capture to post-compression, post-ingest, post-editing and post-publish. This ensures that the media hasn’t become corrupted or degraded undesirably along the way, leading to an unpleasant surprise during post-production.
Delivery to front-end website/app/social media/video player: The content is ready to be displayed on the digital storefront where the consumer can enjoy it.
These generic steps may vary depending on your own needs and strategy. For example, you might have a "scheduling and syndication" step in which you prepare videos to be published on your own website with different shorter “teaser” versions for your social media accounts.
You may also want to create a step at the top of your funnel for “monetization and lead nurturing,” helping to convert viewers into buyers.
How to turn around your failing video marketing efforts
It’s clear where the challenges lie, and we hope you’re starting to see ways to overcome them. If you’re currently planning your video marketing strategy for 2019, make sure to include a section on how to address the video production, management and distribution at scale.
Sound like a daunting task? Are the skills and knowledge needed outside of your core experience? Whether your own “media company” is big or small, Ooyala will be delighted to help you get ahead of the curve. We know how world-class media and entertainment companies have addressed these problems, and we’re ready to help you do the same.
Get in touch with us to find out more.