Who’s going to stock the pond?


Share on LinkedIn

I love to look for paradox in life. Take content, for example. Content creation is undergoing a major shift from a few, centrally managed professionals, to many people, through out the organization, with varying skills, process understanding and techniques, who aren’t often managed in this process at all.

And yet, we wonder why this content “sucks.” (I’ve come to appreciate this is a technical content term when used in this context, not vulgar slang use of the term.)

It’s one thing to ask domain experts or writers to write short form blogs, and maybe try to find a relevant supporting image for a post. And a poor blog that takes someone a couple of hours to write, and few people read, has a relatively minimal impact on the business.

But video content is becoming part of this shift. There is a lot at stake for organizations — especially larger organizations –

in terms of productivity impact on individual’s day jobs, customer experience and brand.

Consider webinars, enthusiastically rated high by marketers as content and lead generation tools. I believe webinars are the first foray of business people into business video. A video is really a sound track with visuals. There is no difference technically between a webinar archive and a video.

I have recently encountered several webinars, but especially organizations, where webinars were a terrible experience: poor production quality, poor audience experience, and a terrible process for presenters and producers alike. So much so, they are trying to fix the archive so it can become the long life asset it should be. I know this is more common than the exception.

Organizations see this trend coming and are beginning to consider strategies to manage, enable and support this shift to video created by business people. The plethora of PowerPoint narration, assembly and delivery tools has made it easy for early adopters to create and deliver their own shows.

Some are considering tool standardization as the strategy. “We standardized on Webex (or GTM) for webinars and web meetings.”

A better diagnosis of the problem is required for the best strategy and results.

Consider what activities and skills are required to produce a video — or a webinar for that matter:

  • Domain knowledge
  • Deep understanding of customers
  • Clear effective messaging
  • Skill for planning and structuring video content & telling stories
  • Ability to interview to acquire new insights from third parties as source for video
  • Script writing for video form
  • Storyboarding
  • Video and audio acquisition and recording
  • Narration
  • Production skills: creating & editing images, graphics, audio, video, and assembly of final production

Clearly, this is not an individual sport. Clearly this is about more than defining a tool set.

Organizations must base this strategy on answers to some basic questions:

  • How much production work do we want front line business people to do (marketing, services, training, sales, HR, executives — the channel)?
  • What is the real, but hidden cost, of lost productivity to day jobs if these people do production?
  • How do we insure basic messaging and legal quality standards? (Do you really own those images, have releases for the video that you use …?)
  • Given the PowerPoint experience of duplication of slide and presentation creation due to an inability to find existing content, how can we anticipate this impacting video as use becomes more regular?

Like the webinar example above, the underlying cause of problems is often the process and techniques that are in use. We try to apply new webinar tools to the way we have always presented. Organizations that shift their process to adapt to both tools and the new nature of online meetings and presentations, realize better results.

And so it will be with video. Digital video and associated tools and infrastructure offer huge new opportunities and video use cases. But it will require a shift in both thinking and process to fully realize these opportunities. Many mistakes will be made along the way. The question is, how will organizations capture and share those learnings so ten years later they will not have poor video experiences the way many organizations do with webinars today.

In New England, if you want a good fishing experience, you look for lakes and streams that are stocked.

What if organizations could stock the video content pond with source assets: images, graphics, video segments and subject expert or professionally narrated audio segments?

What if assets created by internal and external content production professionals for projects for marketing, training, etc. could recycle and share both the source assets and modules of finished programs? I’m not talking about digital asset management systems used by production professionals. Business people need a simpler asset management system.

What if 50%, 75%, 95% of video “production” by business “new producers” became an assembly process, rather than an original creation effort?

In a simple representation, the idea look like this.

Central database of shared content assets: images, graphics, audio & video

This 2 minute video explains this idea, how we address this requirement.

This link to the web page for Avitage Collections PowerPoint, audio and video database explains the Avitage hosted solution more fully.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Burns
Jim Burns is founder and CEO of Avitage, which provides content marketing services in support of lead management and sales enablement programs.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here