Video marketing is more important than ever as consumers increasingly research products before making purchases. In fact, a 2011 survey found that buyers of technology products ranked video third—behind only brochures and whitepapers—as the type of content they consume when evaluating a purchase.
Though you might already have your video marketing strategy figured out, as with most new technologies, video standards and platforms are always changing.
The following tips will help ensure that your video platform—and the videos you create—remain future-proof.
1. Choose a cloud-based platform
You do not want to run the risk of viewers' not being able to load your video. Using a cloud-based platform will reduce your costs and decrease potential network issues to deliver a high-quality video experience to your target audience.
Most cloud-based solutions will deploy your video content to multiple servers or rely on a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure that they can handle a large number of viewers at any one time.
Your company can therefore focus on the video content rather than the day-to-day IT support required to deliver the content to your viewers. Furthermore, cloud-based vendors can easily develop and update platforms to make sure you have the most advanced, up-to-date features to meet your needs in a quickly changing environment.
2. Choose a platform with social collaboration features
Since technology is changing with social media trends, videos need to include social collaboration elements. Why? Social videos actively engage users by soliciting comments, questions, and feedback.
Social collaboration features allow content creators and viewers to interact and learn from each other. Content creators can use social collaboration to learn more about who their audience is composed of and what those people want. At the same time, viewers have an opportunity to get more from the video content by enabling discussions with content owners and the community of other viewers.
These are some social collaboration features that your platform might include:
- Threaded discussions that allow users to comment on a video and create a structured conversation around video content
- Live-chat features that allow users to discuss video content in real-time
- Quizzes and polls that encourage feedback and focused discussion around the content
Without such social collaboration features, videos won't provide the user with the same social experience they receive from other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. And businesses will have missed an opportunity to engage with their target audience.
3. Make sure your platform has the mobile user in mind
There are 120 million smartphone users and 60 million tablet owners in the US, and nearly half of smartphone users watch videos on their phones; therefore, choosing a mobile-friendly video platform is key to maximizing your audience.
Companies should choose to deliver video with platforms that enable mobile capabilities. However, choosing a mobile-friendly video platform isn't enough. Be sure to create your content with the mobile viewer in mind. For example, mobile devices vary widely in size, so your platform should be able to adjust automatically to these differences. Content creators should avoid text-heavy slides and anything else that makes content difficult to view on a mobile device.
Mobile viewing is important today and will be more popular in the future. If you haven't already, make sure your organization chooses a platform that will cater to these needs.
4. Choose a platform that is both Flash- and HTML5-compatible
In the past, business relied solely on Flash to deliver video to users. But by 2014, HTML5 will become standard in most updated browsers. If organizations don't ensure their videos are compatible with the majority of browsers and devices, users won't be able to view them.
Organizations should be aware of what browsers and devices their target audiences are using to access their content. If your audience is viewing primarily on PCs, you will want to produce the content in Flash. Today, most mobile viewers will be able to view HTML5 video content.
If you need to distribute video to both types of users, choose a platform that can deliver both Flash and HTML5 video content.
5. Choose a video platform that is continually innovating
Video is constantly evolving—and giving businesses new and innovative ways to communicate and deliver information. So keep up with the changes and select a video platform that is in line with leading video trends and practices.
Organizations should compare their chosen platform to others and ask themselves some important questions:
- How often does the provider push new software updates?
- What is this video platform doing to stay innovative, current, or ahead of the competition?
- Does the provider ask customers about new features and capabilities before development (and during the development process)?
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Not making your videos future-proof will reduce the impact of your message and the size of your viewing audience. We can't predict the future, but we can certainly anticipate and prepare for it.
What other tips would you consider to make your video platform future-proof?