Arm Your Social Teams with Video
Marketing experts frequently remind us that “video is the premier communication tool” and that “the power of video will set you apart.” While developing a steady stream of video to reinforce your message is significant, it also requires a reliable pipeline to deliver that content—from editors in the production department to social media producers in the marketing domain. Ideally, your workflow enforces a separation between video production and marketing communication responsibilities, enabling the video team to focus on the production process and the social team to engage target audiences.
Professional video production involves the convergence of creative talent to assemble elements that tell a story and technical expertise to assure the results look and sound as intended on a variety of screens, players and platforms. Over the past 25 years, the creative and technical aspects of video production have been refined into workstreams that enable the variety of content we consume today.
The next wave of innovation for video is being driven by the challenges imposed by consumption via social media—including three significant differences that are driving workflow changes.
1) Social media response times are measured in minutes, not days. Video is used by marketing professionals to communicate with, not only to, their audiences. Thoughtful dialog may be provoked as part of a planned campaign; however, it is increasingly likely that the discussion is initiated by the consumer. A timely reply that clearly indicates the company is listening and responsive can make all the difference in how a situation is perceived by large numbers of people.
2) New systems are producing and monitoring social activity, which is central to corporate communication strategies. These systems, almost exclusively hosted in the cloud, are optimized for marketing professionals—providing tools for planning, monitoring and responding to activity. With respect to video, clips and streams are delivered through management platforms to various social channels. Optimization of technical video is not the primary objective, though delivery to various platforms is a new step for video production teams. This creates workflow bottlenecks that must be resolved in order to address response-time requirements.
3) Marketers determine what videos are delivered and how they are messaged to various audiences. Digital marketers are experts in their domain—knowing the technical requirements and how to enable them with social media management systems. Tools and systems optimized for television must be modified for social. This requires direct pipelines between the production suite and social workspace as well as video-manipulation tools that provide social experts with the efficiency and responsiveness they need.
When video production and marketing teams collaborate on the video pipeline, resulting workflow supplies marketing systems with a flow of fresh content that is properly formatted for various processes and platforms. Video workflows generally consist of two elements:
A video-processing workflow to automate the practice of extracting video from editing and production, and checking it into the social media platform. Development of such workflow falls within the lap of the video team. They routinely develop similar workflows to deliver video to various in-house systems and distribution partners. The end goal of this process is a system that monitors video production for completed assets so the social media team can work with them directly.
A packaging application for video sub-clipping, branding and metadata entry allows social media and video teams to work independently. The goal is to allow social media producers to select relevant segments of the video for delivery to the platform, adding pre-approved brand elements, customized titles, metadata and closed captions. Integrated packaging applications enable marketers to make content and branding choices that maximize the impact of targeted content as part of the managed workflow. The application then implements those choices to assemble the final product.
Enabling social media management systems for video is entirely achievable with only a few weeks of development. The upfront task of creating a design that works for the organization requires collaboration between the video and marketing teams. Efforts by Google, Facebook, Twitter and others to add video to their platforms has created the need for workflow integration.
Developing successful workflows requires combining well-established processes with deep knowledge of what video and marketing teams need. Typically, this means identifying decision points, required information (metadata) and video branding options as part of the process.
Marketing management systems provide social teams with templates for scheduling, tagging and publishing content. These systems also measure the impact of each communication, providing analytics so marketers can adjust their plans based on results. This requires that the video arrive with descriptive metadata so it is accessible and properly organized within the platform.
Video teams have spent years optimizing their systems to deliver content to various distribution partners and these people have the know-how to do the same for social media management systems. Teams develop workflows to format the video, gather the required metadata and check them into the social media platforms. When automated, this process serves as a video engine for the social team.
If your marketing objective is “to set yourself apart by leveraging the power of video” but incorporating video seems like a struggle, integrating a video delivery system as part of your social media management platform can enable your goal.
Jim Duval is Director of Product Management at Telestream, specializing in products that make it possible to get video content to any audience regardless of how it is created, distributed or viewed.
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