Having a corporate or promotional video for your company is often viewed as something of an expensive luxury - useful, but rarely considered to be an essential marketing tool. Whilst many businesses can understand the benefits of having a corporate video, all too often they are put off by the perceived cost and subsequently find it hard to justify commercially. Furthermore, the process of making a video can at times, appear complex and intimidating, with an array of technical terms and processes.
Streaming video provides a number of useful opportunities for maximising the potential of an existing corporate video. And compared to other distribution media such as DVD or CD-ROMs it also offers a cost-effective solution for broadcasting a new corporate presentation to a wider audience.
Although streaming video is certainly not a new concept and has been around for some time, it's now easier than ever to add streaming video content to your website. The technology required to enable video streaming is widely available, it's relatively inexpensive and with the dramatic growth in high speed, broadband internet connections, a growing number of internet users can now view high quality, streaming video on their computers.
In this article, leading corporate video & business television producer, John Howarth, explains some of the ways in which streaming video content can be made to work effectively for your business and produce tangible results.
Provide Compelling Content
Try to provide content that creates a real interest for the viewer. Instead of simply informing them of your key corporate values - the typical narrative being 'how successful we are, the great products & services we offer, our featured clients' - why not turn the message into something that is actually useful and engaging to watch.
Take for example a company that manufactures kitchen products. Whilst you could produce a video to establish company values by highlighting such areas as quality of craftsmanship and original design of the product, this information is almost certainly available more easily on the web pages. It could be far more interesting for the viewer to provide them with a series of recipes, which feature the products being used in context.
Another technique is to provide content that is not centrally focused to your company's core products & services. For example, your company sponsors a sports event or art exhibition. How about showing some clips from the event, with company branding around it? By using more recognisable and popular content, you are creating a wider 'reach' for the video, with the added possibility of gaining increased website traffic.
Lets say you already have a corporate video, it's around ten minutes long and you currently distribute it on a video tape format or DVD. The most obvious solution would be to have it transferred to a streaming format in it's entirety and loaded up onto your website. Whilst a ten minute corporate video sequence may be useful as a backdrop display in a trade exhibition or screened to a captive audience in a conference, it's often far too long to use as a streaming video clip on your website. Who really has the time to sit and watch a corporate video clip for this length of time? It's often far more useful to break the sequence down into a series of individual clips or re-edit into a shorter, condensed version that has greater impact.
Following on from this, you might also want to distribute streaming video clips around different areas on your website. This way, the clips featured can be targeted to match - and complement - the page content. For example, on a page detailing company clients and case studies, the video clip could feature customer testimonials; situated on a contact details page, the video sequence could feature some generic shots of company locations and building exterior shots.
Brand The Video
Whatever streaming video clips you use, try to ensure they are branded with your corporate identity. This could be a small logo in the top corner of the screen or a 'picture frame' wrapped around the moving images. Taking it a step further, you may want to add an introduction sequence with animated corporate logos at the beginning and end of every sequence. Another option is to create an HTML or Flash 'player' customised with your corporate identity. The video clip would then play within this frame and could be complemented by some animated product or service information around it.
When reviewing website statistics, it is frequently pages featuring streaming video content that are the most 'sticky' and have the longest viewing times by site visitors. Use this factor to your advantage - it's an ideal opportunity to get your core brand values, products and services across to the site visitor.
John Howarth is creative director of Blue Tuna Limited, a leading UK-based corporate communications & multi-media production agency. Past projects include live streaming for leading online bookmaker, Blue Square and the launch of the UK's of the first club soccer channel, Boro TV for NTL.