A (streaming) picture’s worth more than a 1000 words

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Author: Dane Gambrill is business unit executive for IBM Cloud Video and Watson Media, Asia Pacific

Dane GambrillVideo is now the most pervasive form of digital communication for business, and continues to be the dominant medium for media and news organisations abroad. No matter where you look, audiences are “consuming” more video than ever before – for the entertainment value as well as education. Plus, our brains process video faster and more easily than text, so in most cases we’d rather watch than read.

Businesses have realised this emerging trend, and are now using the accessibility of video streaming technologies to foster a greater sense of community and overcome the barriers of distance. Initially adoption for large scale audiences was limited but as network bandwidth has improved, so have the range of ideas for incorporating video into mass communications – from product launches to university lectures and real estate auctions. In fact, New Zealand-founded business 90 Seconds has built a global brand off the back off video production services and is increasingly delivering live and on demand video streaming services.

Businesses now have options to not only create content, but also manage and distribute it in a secure manner to an authorised and targeted audience base using an ‘enterprise video’ service, live or on demand (pre-recorded). This ‘enterprise video’ encompasses on-demand video assets as well as live video broadcasting, with both leveraging streaming protocol.

For those that require more capabilities to create, manage and publish video to viewers, cloud based enterprise streaming video solutions are a good option. Even a relatively small business can manage video streams privately, with greater control over the user experience and limiting distractions such as pop up ads.

In contrast to traditional video conferencing, cloud-based enterprise video is “one to many”, and requires no special equipment or software downloads for viewers to participate. Behind the scenes the stream is automatically distributed to content delivery networks around the world and adjusted for the device and location of the viewer. Businesses can introduce branding or an interactive Q&A to their video, and analyse viewing data to understand what aspects of the event most engaged the audience.

Best practice advice for video streaming:

1. Go “Live” – Live has the potential to increase engagement with your audience by a factor of x3. The authenticity, urgency and exclusive nature of live content maximizes reach and deepens engagement with your audience.  For example, IBM’s video production partner 90 Seconds is helping a client move from publishing a weekly whitepaper to 20,000 customers to produce a 5 minute weekly video alongside the whitepaper.

2. Be frequent – Consider moving to a regular interaction with your target audience. IBM Cloud Video Customer SolarCity, owned by Elon Musk, has a very distributed workforce. To improve employee engagement, they have transitioned from a quarterly internal employee broadcast to a weekly broadcast branded Solar City.TV. Now over 30% of their employees tune into the event live every week to receive enablement and education, but more importantly a sense of community and engagement.

3. To increase engagement, consider incorporating emerging technology such as Natural Language processing and Artificial Intelligence (such as IBM’s Watson) which can automate captioning for improved accessibility. Timecode aware search words spoken in the video will improve access to information inside the video to improve speed in which you employees or customers can find relevant information.

4. Enable user-generated video content for your workforce. Capture some of the intellectual property and expertise that lies within your organisation and share it with connected and geographically dispersed employees.

This article originally appeared in NZBusiness


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