Last week I attended a presentation by Workshop Media titled ‘Are You Ready for Video’. The presentation was given by the amiable DJ Guest who is a likeable and energetic presenter. The content of the video, in brief, was a mixture of anecdotal discourse on the value of video with some analysis of the market strength to using video.
Below I am going to summarise some of the main points of the presentation that are interspersed with my own comments. In order to get the most benefit I would recommend you attend the presentation yourself or at least watch it online.
Inspired by the presentation I made sure to make a quick video to accompany this blog and use it on this page.
What do we mean by Video?
We start by trying to understand that there are two major parts to video, there is the Medium and the Message. The Medium is the physical and electronic technology that allows video to be created. The Message is what you are saying.
So what is it that could be said? The message can be split into three parts:
- Strategy - What is your message;
- Identity - your persona, this is often called the brand though that can be a limiting term;
- Content - your aim and call to action.
What does video mean for business
The press are constantly claiming this is ‘the year of video’ but the reality is that we are slowly becoming more immersed. It is not an overnight issue it is a change as technology enables it and people become used to video as part of their digital footprint.
Video makes complex messages simplified while at the same time simple messages become very powerful
There are a number of positives to using video to convey a message:
- Time Saving - people are busy and the attention span or engagement gateway is very short;
- Customer Engagement - video can be tailored to draw in customers to the story;
- Greater Customer Connection - video can be very personal;
- Messages become interactive - you can use queues and links in video as calls to action.
We are moving to a point of competitive difference where it will:
just become an expectation
For us to see the use of video almost everywhere.
David described the four founding parts of video and a methodology they understand and work with at Workshop Media.
Pillar 1: Strategy
The Strategy is quite literally your aim in the video.
- The difference your business makes;
- Has an endpoint;
- You should never have more than 4 endpoints, goals or aims at any one time.
Strategy is a what question, an intention, where video needs to be. Tactics is a how question - where the video essentially ends - the call to action or purpose you wish achieved.
The first thing that you need to do is create a strategy, and we create a ‘Strategy Lifecycle’ to see where we are in our progression and where we move to next. Typically one starts at branding and awareness and moves around. You can be at any point of the lifecycle and it doesn’t stop it just keeps revolving.
Then it is important to look at your competition:
- What are they doing;
- Say something different to what they say;
- What do your customers need - don’t be afraid to ask them, crowdsource;
- Opportunities - what needs to be filled;
- Threats - what obstacles exist.
Pillar 2: Identity
Your identity is how people perceive you - but it is an element that you can shape and therefore affect the way you are seen.
Brand isn’t just a logo or a letterhead - it isn’t just a design process, it is a reflective process Brand can push people away - this can be purposeful, you can push away the people you do not want.
So you must analyse yourself:
- What are you passionate about;
- How to stand apart - be different;
- What you stand for - core values;
- What can you guarantee;
- How do you want to speak;
- How do you want to look.
DJ argues that, “Video is an authentic medium”, however I would argue that it can be seen as such but in reality it is no more authentic than any other medium. In fact video can be strongly artificial. The editing process, the structure of video creation, even the effects and enforced structure means we can convey a very specific reading to the audience.
Therefore the authenticity is a shared perception, probably, in part, a cultural understanding as we believe the newsreel footage we see. But it goes deeper, if we showed special effects films to cultures where film doesn’t exist they treat it as real, an event that happened. I am reminded of the philosopher who claimed that we have no verification of whether the Gulf War actually existed as it was only conveyed to us via simulacra.
Another issue I have, and less important for business is the purpose to video if you do not share enough commonality with your audience, can video help with cultural, social or educational barriers.
However that is a digression, the impact of video seeming to be more authentic than prose or spoken word because you can see the person talking is well known.
Pillar 3: Messages
- The ‘how’ tactics;
- The call to action;
- Lifecycle is the starting point;
- Use data-capture to move people through the lifecycle.
The video contains your how message and how we capture information and deliver that message is important. By using the Strategy Lifecycle we can analyse where we are and move people along the circle.
I had a concern that I noted at this point that is all about bandwidth and delivery. What is the cost to many sites as we have greater transference of video especially in social media channels. There are finite limits that compression and clever delivery will come up against. At some point we may see the need for specific carving by some larger providers and that will impinge everyone else especially if video becomes so great an expectation. There are limits and the need to update infrastructure to accommodate is a longer process than the software or social changes.
Pillar 4: Channels
The channels are the various locales that you use to host or broadcast your message.
- How to get people to watch it;
- How they get to see it;
- promote everywhere;
- consider links at the bottom of your emails;
- Use social media;
- What have you got?;
- What do you need?.
7Ps of Marketing
It is wise at all times to remember the 7Ps of marketing.
- Product - What is is;
- Place - Location of the product;
- Price - High value perception;
- Promotion - What video is seen as;
- People - Show the connections and identity;
- Process - Where we may benefit most;
- Physical - Evidence of the how and why - the evaluation - the richer case study.
A lot of this section reminded me of another ‘P’ and that is of ‘Positioning’
Closing Pieces and Gears
In the final segment they spoke more about using your created video. DJ spoke about ‘Content atomisation’ which I would term as ‘content deconstruction’ - it is a form of re-using all your material in multiple forms or as elements of the compiled video into component parts like audio for further usage - this is re-purposing in many ways. This gives you greater value and plays into a known psychological phenomena of element reuse that is used by marketers and advertising social engineers.
If you are going to Vlog make sure you come across as confident and buy a selfie stick DJ then spent a few moments of our time discussing the approach that Workshop Media take in delivery to their customers. Considering this was a free presentation of 2hrs I thought it a small cost and not unfair to ask us to listen to their approach and consider their services.
Workshop Media like to use a Subscription Model that they call Gears. Gears allows you to set a marketing budget suited to one of their four packages that is then divided into monthly payments. They also divide the delivery of services (video creation and use, promotion and positioning) into the same monthly structure so you have a continuous delivery service and not a one-off production. It appears to be a high value yearly subscription model that will cater to a broader range of customers and their needs.
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 See The Gulf War Did Not Take Place
 See Positioning, the Battle for your Mind by Al Reis and Jack Trout