When we talk about doing more with video in our content studios, it's unlikely that many people raise objections. We haven't met the scoffers who'd say, "Video?! Hah! Passing trend. Forget it." No, the questions about video aren't about its importance but about where to start and what to emphasize. How do we allocate resources to use video in the most effective ways?
To solve the mystery, host Daniel Jester brought Shanna Ferris, a video operations specialist, to the show. Shanna has used video for digital marketing, social media, and broadcast projects in e-commerce environments, so she knows the possibilities and overall potential of video to yield returns to studios.
Make sure you hear Shanna's full chat with Daniel. You can stream it on our website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music. But for a few pointers that expand your studio's vision for video, read on.
Take an Incremental Approach to Video Implementation
If you're unsure where to start with video, the short answer is somewhere but not everywhere. Slow your approach so that everything you're introducing is coming from a mindset of strategy and preplanning. Shanna calls this a "crawl, walk, run" type of approach.
Make Value Your Starting Place
In your pre-planning on where to emphasize video, ask how your implementation will scale. Daniel brings up the way ASOS briefly used video for seemingly every SKU on its product display page but now doesn't do that nearly as much, presumably because the return on investment isn't there. "You want to treat it at scale, like anything else," he says. "You want to have a specific goal in mind and then find a way to work towards that goal."
Shanna recommends leveraging video when the duration of that medium will help showcase a feature or component of a product. If an item has an auditory component, for example, it can be suited for video, she says. Daniel adds that video is also good for showing the ways that different materials behave on figures.
Open Dialogue Between Photo and Video
It's never good when a product's color is depicted differently across different digital assets-it's a trust-breaker with the customer-so make sure your video and photo teams are conversant with each other and with key stakeholders.
"I would get them in a room together," Shanna says of video and photo teams. "I would have consolidated review and approval with those same assets. I would have the creative looking across deliverable types. So maybe even though your photo and video timelines may be different, having a moment-if it's a product launch, or you're releasing a new page or whatever it is for your suited-to be able to compare assets that are going to be deployed on the same page together, so that there can be a holistic creative decision, with probably looping in your merchandiser. So, like, 'Hey, is this accurate in how we want to portray this on web?'"
Plan a workflow
Photo and video teams work on different timelines and with different software, so it takes intention to create a master workflow that contains both teams' processes. When both teams are working with the same product, consider how each team's workflow will affect the product.
"It may be that photo leads with what they need to do, because it may have the least physical impact on the product, and you're trying to share products across both sets, for example," Shanna says. "But, it could be the opposite, depending on what type of content you're trying to make and the physical location of studios, whether or not they're in the same studio space, who has specialties where, and when you introduce remote working, right?"
With some forethought, you can make sure there's a purpose behind the staggered timeline of each team's work with an item.
Pilot, Test, and Iterate
As mentioned, Shanna is a video veteran, so her hindsight comes with a lot of wisdom. So how would she handle a fresh start with video now? "If I could go back and start any sort of studio from the ground up, I would start capturing data from day one, straight up," she says. "I think that data and reporting against your strategy and against your goals is going to set you up for success, to be able to increase velocity and evaluate efficiencies down the line."
She recommends fewer boundaries between teams so that people managing video can talk with those who operate a company's content management system and learn how different assets are performing.
Well, now sudden experts of video, we believe those tips will give you a great start and take some of the intimidation away from introducing video in your studio. If you want the full episode, including hot takes on not-so-hot lighting and Daniel's mini-rant about what bothers him most in video production, you'll want to stream the pod on our website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music.