By Mike Verrell - April 15th, 2015

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We’re all videographers these days, and while some have resisted the video function on their smartphones, in our business lives many of us are creating, publishing, managing or curating more video

We’re all videographers these days, and while some have resisted the video function on their smartphones, in our business lives many of us are creating, publishing, managing or curating more video content than ever as part of our social  ‘always on’ world.

According to YouTube, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. And that doesn’t include all the video embedded in social channels (and of course, other marketing communications too). Take a  moment to allow that quite staggering statistic to sink in.    This is good news: it’s never been more cost-effective or easy to create and share video, but this does bring its own challenges.

How on earth do you keep track of the sheer volume and complexity of video material that is suddenly out there on social channels?  And just as importantly, how do you deal with who is creating what (does what you are posting meet brand guidelines?) and who is accessing and using that content within the organisation?  That’s even before we’ve got onto the tricky subject of protecting intellectual property (IP), whether the company’s own or someone else’s, plus regulatory requirements and rights management.  

Does running the risk of having a tangled spaghetti of unmonitored video matter? Yes it does, because not only could you undermine your brand values, you could find yourself at the receiving end of lawsuits, or have to take action yourself.  

On a more mundane but just as pertinent level, video may be cheaper to produce, but it still costs.  While the cost of individual video production may have gone down, the volume has gone up.  This means that there is a very real risk of duplicated effort: in other words, new video being created, when perfectly good material exists—maybe in the hard disk drive of a colleague in another country.

Since there is no sign of that video explosion slowing down (YouTube reports a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in video consumption) the issue of managing video is not going to disappear any time soon.  So what can companies do to ensure more accessible, flexible and controllable video content for their social campaigns?

Five Steps to Better Video Management

Separate it Out – while it’s tempting to record the video and audio track into one stream (typical when using many handheld amateur devices), it does present a piece of content that is hard to edit for other purposes: for instance, having a voice-over in a different language or adding a piece of music.  So, it pays to plan ahead and keep video and audio tracks separate (and store them separately, but linked so that their relation is visible – more on that shortly).

Visible Video Lifecycle – what’s needed is effective control over content, starting from the creative production process, through to metadata management and archiving, plus of course distribution and delivery to internal and external users along the way.  It’s critical to ensure that the whole process is transparent, so everyone can see who is creating what, and the associated rights, scope, or limits on usage.  Which brings us nicely on to:

Rights Management and IP – while in today’s world it seems that snagging an image or video off a website is a piece of cake, it is wrong to assume that just because it’s out there it’s free and up for grabs.  Wrong.  Video usually has some rights usage around it, especially if artists are involved (eg. actors, voiceover, even members of staff appearing in footage may have to sign relevant disclaimers).  

Make sure that everyone not only understands the importance of rights and IP protection, but that the relevant information ‘travels’ with the video asset, so that no-one can risk exposing the brand (or infringing someone else’s rights).  

Rinse and Repeat – effective cataloguing of video content makes it easier for other potential users within the organization will help to encourage reuse of existing footage, rather than unnecessary duplication.  

Key to accessibility is efficient metadata management and archiving techniques (for example, use a system that lends itself to video: some have problems recognising unstructured data).  Keep it flexible – it’s also important to make sure that video content lends itself to localisation; for instance, editable to fit into a particular campaign, or to have a local language soundtrack added.

People and Processes - Achieving all of the above can be greatly helped by using a digital asset management system (DAM).  Already used by numerous brands, broadcasters and publishers the world over, DAMs are designed to support automation and delivery of omni-channel media assets.

 A good DAM provides a single platform throughout the lifecycle of an asset, encompassing workflows, approvals, collaboration, contextual search, version control, content rendition based on the delivery mechanism (such as the specific needs of a social media campaign) and integration with other systems, such as campaign management or ecommerce.

However, technology is just part of the solution: employees need to be better educated around video content creation and distribution and in particular, why it matters to prioritise issues such as preventing unnecessary duplication of work, rights management and local regulatory issues (for instance, what may be fine to use in one country may breach local rules in another: hard to control in a social world, but essential to know).

The bottom line is that while video adds a rich and compelling layer to social media campaigns, it has to be managed efficiently, in the same way as any other marketing asset.  

While it may take a little effort to make that happen, it is definitely not an insurmountable task and the benefits – such as confidence that IP is being protected and the knowledge that cost savings are being achieved, as well as the ability to monitor brand consistency – surely make a worthwhile goal.

Mike Verrell

Pre Sales Manager

North Plains

Mike has been working in the field of Rich Media and Digital Asset Management for over 15 years. He has experience with the challenges faced by a wide variety of industries, including alcoholic beverages, retail, manufacturing, publishing, media, creative agencies, banks and pharmaceutical, to name a few. Mike has worked with a number of large brands with both the business and IT groups in order to ensure the right solution is implemented.

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