Once you’ve decided that video delivery is to become part of your marketing strategy or business, choosing the right online video platform (OVP) to do the job is a challenging task. Most OVPs provide more or less similar features while using different technologies to enable them. And since you want a platform that best supports your business model, these differences can be a big deal.
To avoid pitfalls when making a decision, you need to see a bigger picture: where are you going with all that video? This post focuses on the major questions you should ask yourself before you sit down with vendor representatives to discuss the technicalities.
What Business Goals Do You Want to Achieve with Video?
As you will have to prove the project’s value to decision-makers, you need to make a strong case for video’s ability to help achieve your organization’s goals. You can only brainstorm your way out of it. And what’s good, by doing so you might come up with a bunch of fresh ideas on how to get extra value from your videos. Some of the possible goals for your video marketing strategy may be:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Improving SEO
- Boosting conversions and sales
- Building trust
- Reaching out to mobile users
- Boosting online engagement
- Powering e-mail campaigns
- Monetizing (if video is your business)
Each of the goals will ultimately shape your approach to creating and delivering video to your audiences. From here, a lot of questions will pop up in your mind. And the more, the better. Remember, what we are doing here is getting you into the brainstorming mindset. Here are the questions you might ask yourself:
To support our video marketing goals…
- Are we going to create live or on-demand content, or both?
- Do we want to let our audiences create content? If yes, what devices are they going to use?
- Might we have several distributed content teams on board? How do we ensure the consistency of content they will be creating?
- Who is going to review and edit the content in alignment with our brand vision?
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully you’ve grasped the idea of where your curious mind should be heading.
Who Are Your Audiences and What Do They Need?
Don’t take it for a good old cliché wisdom, because we’re talking about knowing your audiences from the standpoint of their video and information needs. Here are some of the questions that will help you know more about your viewers:
- What are the demographics of our audiences? Where do our viewers come from? What’s their age/gender/income/education?
- What are the psychographics of our audiences? What are their values, interests, lifestyles, etc.?
- What devices are they using?
- How are these devices going to evolve over time?
- How can we help them learn more about our products/services?
When digging your viewer personas, you may, for example, find out that some of your audiences want to watch 8K video, and not all platforms support 8K video delivery. Or you may discover that the majority of your user-generated content is likely to come from mobile, and not all platforms support mobile upload. You may also have specific requirements for web accessibility, which also varies from platform to platform. See how these little details are already shaping your choice?
Does the OVP Fit Your Infrastructure?
To maximize the ROI on video, the OVP should be aligned with the marketing, sales, training and other workflows in your organization. You should also think carefully of the existing software that you might want to integrate your OVP with. Here are several hint questions for you:
- Does the OVP support our CMS/LMS/MAP/CRM?
- Can our CMS/website ensure stable and consistent viewing experiences?
- Are we likely to use any third-party audience measurement solutions? Does the OVP support integrations with them?
- How do we take advantage of all that viewership data we will be collecting? Do we want to combine it with the insights from our CRM?
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve answered all these questions, as well as the ones you came up while brainstorming with your colleagues, you are ready to talk to vendor representatives about more complicated, technical matters.
We have also created a white paper that can help you get even more prepared for numerous e-mails, calls and meetings with vendors’ sales reps. It breaks down and compares the service offerings of the market’s leading OVP providers — Kaltura, Brightcove, and Ooyala — in relation to the entire video delivery pipeline from ingestion to analytics.
With the help of this white paper and the self-survey we laid down in this post, you can evaluate the candidate offerings against your specific needs and filter out the ones that are irrelevant to your goals right away.