Is Your Video Program Sustainable?

Video series

One of the more popular means for consuming information for Internet users is video, yet video remains one of the more difficult channels to sustain for organizations. Why?

It all comes down to time, money, daily disruptions and constantly changing priorities.

You can commit to a social media schedule or even a blog schedule, because staff members can create the content on a somewhat more flexible schedule. It doesn’t require one person or a handful to be at a particular place at a specific time each week or month to record.

A Cumbersome Approach

Chances are, the organization had to make a decision. Retain an outside video production company to come in and record the organization’s people for the video series, or host them in the production company’s studios. Or, create your own in-house “studio” which could be an empty office or conference room, decked out with everything you need to create quality videos on a regular basis. Tied to that, you may have a couple of people on your staff trained to use the equipment and produce the videos.

In both cases, you also had to select the people who will be featured in the video program. It may be your CEO or some other subject matter expert (SME). It could be a paid actor to deliver scripted hosting. Or, it could be a handful of rotating SMEs to help assure you can sustain the program over time.

What makes this cumbersome are two things: budget and the press of business.

At some point, most organizations find that unless they have a dedicated in-house video production team with a constant demand for its services, it’s eventually going to be difficult to justify the expense of producing videos for Vimeo or YouTube that only garner 75-100 views at a shot. Even if you buy the equipment and have internal staff doing the production, you still will be faced with the question of whether allocating those resources on a regular basis is worth it when it doesn’t appear many people are watching.

The press of business, though, is perhaps the bigger issue. If you decide your organization’s CEO or Executive Director is to be featured in a video blog or VLOG, at some point her or his scheduling demands will create conflicts. You’ll miss a week or a month, and then two, and then the CEO will ask how many people are actually watching these videos. If the number isn’t good enough, the CEO will make recording them even less of a priority, and the idea will fade away.

A Better Approach

Given the rapid arrival of video conference calling and related technologies, and their ease of use, it may make sense to re-think how you incorporate video into your internal and external communications programs.

Let’s go back to that VLOG idea and your CEO. If the CEO already hosts a video call with managers, employees, or with external stakeholders on a regular basis, that may be the raw content you’d want to form the core of a regular video program, at least for starters.

This approach works because of how seamlessly it’s integrated into already scheduled and highly prioritized activities. The CEO isn’t making time away from other things for video. Instead, video is capturing the CEO as part of an established program.

The CEO may not even have to leave his or her office to do it. It’s that simple. So, all the communications function needs to do is create the opening and closing billboards and animation, and then dedicate a certain amount of time on a regular basis to edit and post the videos for stakeholder consumption. This is more streamlined.

If this is something you’d consider, I’d recommend investing in a somewhat permanent setup in the CEO’s or the SME’s office so that there’s no time spent on set-up and take-down after the meeting. A good web camera, an inobtrusive ring light, a good microphone, so that all they to do is participate in video calls as they usually do. So long as someone is able to hit the “record” button and capture the raw video, you’re not asking the anyone else to go out of their way.

If you create professional opening and closing billboards, and have someone who knows their way around video editing software, you can easily integrate the production process into your communications functions’ workflows.

This makes it easier to start to incorporate video into regular communication. As you create a sort of dependency on video as a means for receiving information among your stakeholders, you’re also creating a comfort-level with your CEO or other SMEs. It becomes routine.

And then you find that your CEO or SMEs start originating their own new ideas for using the tools at hand to use video for other purposes. Have a question about video? Get in touch.

Posted in General.