As the popularity of video multiplies, so do its uses. Yesterday, it was confined to the marketing department and considered expensive. Today, video is cheap, nimble, and available to anyone who wants it. Salespeople use it to retire their quotas. Support managers use it to help customers quickly. Product teams use it to announce, HR teams to inspire, and PR folks to pitch. And we are only just getting started. As 2018 kicks off, research firm Ovum has a warning for businesses: Update your creaking video infrastructure before it’s too late.

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Get with the times

Think of your business as a brain and every employee a synapse. Video is a vitamin boost that makes them all fire faster. A video is more efficient than emails or phone calls and is shown to increase comprehension, interest, and information retention. Multiplied across your business, video is a serious upgrade to overall productivity. Video use can’t spread within most organizations because their infrastructure is fragmented and inefficient. Most companies lack a standard format for sharing, storing, and securing video files. Every employee uses something different. Marketing teams might use YouTube while sales teams use Dropbox, product teams SharePoint, and all others nothing because they couldn’t get around their email clients’ file size limits. Fragmented video tools keep organizations from capitalizing on video’s communication-boosting effects. When they can’t quickly create, share, secure, and analyze it, they can’t benefit. But that’s also why video platforms exist. Per Ovum, all organizations need a video platform that includes:

  • End-to-end video management, from creation to distribution
  • Workflow, team collaboration, and security tools
  • Substantial analytics

And in 2018, there are three commandments to follow to amplify your success and turn video into organizational brain food:

  1. Move beyond YouTube

In the early days of video, marketers dropped videos on YouTube for easy hosting and broader distribution. Alas, most didn’t consider the fact that they were competing with the likes of Psy’s Gangnam Style with tens of billions of views. And whenever others within their organization uploaded one-off customer tutorials or sales videos, they became the unhappy stewards of hundreds of videos of varying quality across many accounts all representing their business. In 2018, reign it back in with a video platform designed for business, including hierarchical tools for creation, sharing, security, and analysis. Let everyone get creative while you gain control.

  1. Capitalize on video data

In 2018, it will no longer be acceptable to use “views” as a proxy for viewer engagement because there are so many better options. For example, video is one of the greatest goldmines for intent data. Unlike downloadable assets or page views, video platforms allow marketers, salespeople, and customer service organizations to intuit precisely what viewers intend to do next. Brands can track interest in specific products or value propositions based on where viewers stopped and rewound, and import this data into their CRM and marketing systems to act upon it. Plus, more data equals more experimentation and more success. Video platforms allow marketers to A/B test pieces of videos such as intros, images, and calls-to-action (CTAs), and then hyper-personalize videos at scale based on what they learn.

  1. Give everyone keys to the video platform

What’s the next killer application for video within a business? We aren’t sure, but we’ll bet your employees will be the ones to find it. Harness the creative power of your entire organization with a video platform that makes creation and distribution more straightforward than writing an email. That’s what we did here at Vidyard, and it’s the only way we ever could have discovered that video is ideal for winning RFPs, giving feedback on creative briefs, or helping analysts understand what your business does. There’s no limit to what video can do for your business—only to what you let it do. Next year, unleash it with an end-to-end video platform.

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Chris Gillespie