I was driving to work with a lawyer friend recently and we got onto the topic of putting video on their website. We both agreed it was a great idea but when I asked her if she could do it she looked at me blankly.
“Why would I do it?” was written all over her face. I looked at her and said “because if you can write a blog, you should be able to post video too. At the end of the day, it’s just data.”
Here’s the reality: it simply isn’t as easy to manage video as it is to manage a word document.
For those of us who aren’t overly technical, we’ve always left it to the millennial intern or someone in IT to help out because it’s a pain to manage. Different formats, file sizes, embed codes — simply too difficult to figure out.
That’s all changed now.
If your business is working with video but not very efficiently or if you are not working with video yet, then it’s time to sort it out once and for all. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand what is happening with video and how you can get the best out of your video management platform.
First, imagine the world of business that works with video is split into two main groups:
- Where video IS the business, and
- Where video ENABLES the business.
Video Is The Business
When video is your business we are talking about a relatively small number of businesses that are highly technical. These are traditional creators and distributors of TV content. They include broadcasters, production companies, post-production companies and telecom operators. They also include a raft of technicians like camera operators, editors, engineers, producers and all the other resources you would find in a normal broadcaster.
Mostly they have their systems on-premise and create content for TV. In the past decade they have created or bought ‘players’ to put on their websites. And more recently, they have developed a hodge-podge of systems to publish their TV content on YouTube, Facebook and a number of other online platforms.
Video Enables The Business
This is the New Generation of Broadcasters. The New Generation of Broadcasters is made up of businesses large and small, luxury brands, PR and marketing organisations, advertisers, agencies, universities, and much, much more.
They publish to their websites, social media and if they have the budget they might even create a TV ad (but that is not their first port of call). They are made up of all sorts of professionals — like marketers, salespeople, client services, etc. — like any business. What they tend not to have on staff is a whole lot of ‘broadcast engineers’ like those I listed above. They are agile and know the power of the moving image, always wanting to publish more with the same resources, but equally they are frustrated by the time it takes to get a video to market because they are trying to make do with a limited number of technical staff. And they rarely have the right online tools make things easy.
But that too is changing.
— No longer do you need to be a trained editor to manage video.
— No longer do you need a broadcast engineer to figure out how to optimise a video for the different social platforms that all require slightly different formats.
— And no longer do you have to worry about having enough storage on your computer, or on the shared server in the IT department, or on the temporary free storage that you got from Dropbox or a memory stick found under your desk.
More than 87% of marketers now work with video
This is where the growth is. Marketing and communications departments everywhere are making video. Those videos are linked to key products their organisations are selling. And they are also linked to key messages they want to share with other co-workers — especially if they work in large organisations where it is difficult to communicate with everyone at the same time.
These are the New Generation of Broadcasters who are finding new ways of communicating both outside and inside their organisations, publishing video on their websites and multiple social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and LinkedIn. They are at the forefront of innovation, need the agility to react quickly to changes in technology and are pushing the boundaries of video creation and distribution. It is precisely these users for whom a robust and automated content management platform is becoming more and more acute.
So what does that content management platform look like?
It’s all well and good to say that this New Generation of Broadcasters need a content management platform that deals with video; it’s another to say what it looks like and the key features that are needed to make it valuable. Here is a list of nine features we at Overcasthq.com think are essential for a content management platform.
1. Built for businesses
Much time is lost by business teams using unsuitable consumer tools that have business add-ons. The solution needs to be a true ‘Enterprise YouTube’ — and by that I mean it is simple to use; has a minimum set of features; and performs key functions like storage, sharing and reviews really, really well.
2. Built for people
Your business will buy the tools needed to manage the content, but at the end of the day it is people who will use it. Start by assuming no one knows how to do anything with video and build it from there. Assume there is no technical know-how. Assume it really is intuitive and easy to use.
3. Built on a Cloud
Cloud allows for a whole myriad of benefits: too many to discuss here. All you really need to know is that storing video on a secure cloud is the only way to manage large files efficiently and effectively — and videos are all large files.
4. Multi-Format Transcoding is Automated
You may not know what multi-format transcoding is. You may not know what a codec is. You may not know how to change a video from Apple ProRes into an MP4 format. The reality: you shouldn’t need to have any specialist knowledge of video formats. All you need to know is that if you have a video that you want to view or share with others that there is something in the background that will allow that to happen without asking you a host of technical questions. All you need to know is that the platform you are using has automated multi-format transcoding.
5. Review, approvals and collaboration
Creating any piece of content for distribution requires review, approvals and collaboration — no matter how big or small your organisation is. When it comes to video — this is by far the most time-consuming part of the creation process. To speed it up — you need a simple-to-use interface that allows you to make comments, time-code them, create an audit trail and ultimately allow all this to happen on computer or a mobile device.
6. Custom metadata
Okay, if this sounds technical and boring to you then all you have to know is that metadata is created dynamically when a video file is added to the platform and that there is an option to add custom fields and content. Every organisation has different needs for metadata — from rights management to search. At the end of the day, most never do anything with their metadata. But the bigger the organisation, the more sophisticated the metadata, the more efficient the systems. It needs to be robust if for no other reason than it makes things easy to search.
If security is not an issue then use a free solution. If you care about security, that costs money. And if you invest significant sums in your video content, why would you not invest a little bit in security. Encryption and user management are the very least you should be looking for here.
8. AI and Machine Learning
Video is made up of three basic component parts: images, sound and metadata. More than any other sort of data document, it lends itself to AI and machine learning. For example, it is pretty standard now to put captions on a Facebook video. Up until recently, this would take a specialist skillset to do. If it can be automated then all the better and this is where AI steps in.
9. And finally…
There’s been a lot written about having an end-to-end solution for video production and distribution. The reality is that is probably not desirable when creating a video. It’s also not desirable to have a different platform for everything you do. The ultimate is having a solution that can future-proof your content (so you will always be able to see it on any device) and that is flexible enough to be used by anyone.
Creating a video can be hard. Mixing sound, moving images and words to tell a story is a skill in itself that requires really good communication skills. Just think about the last bad movie you saw: you know it was bad, but would you know how to fix it to make it better? When it comes to video content management, the tools should be as easy to use as possible so you can spend more time on the things that matter.