26 types of online corporate video

There are many ways for an organisation
to use online video for communication, marketing and training

Here are 26 examples organized according to production costs and how complex they are to produce. There is a twist to the green ones, see the end of this post!

Click the image to enlarge it, or click here to download it as a PDF.

Most people associate corporate video with rather boring 20 minute company presentations where the proud CEO is presented along with all the products and the nice offices, accompanied by a rambling voice-over and some elevator music. Or perhaps “talking heads”, tie-clad managers boasting about the company.

But now video has been revolutionized at both ends:

  1. The production is much faster and cheaper due to all the new, smaller digital techology.
  2. The distribution is now enormously more flexible and cheaper. Instead of mailing out DVDs or arranging screenings all kinds of video can now be streamed on corporate web sites, in video blogs, emailed etc. All at very low costs.

Nobody has the time or patience anymore to watch those 20-minute corporate all-in-one presentations, and they become outdated quickly anyway. So instead, go for short, niche videos, for example:

1. Press release videos. Show how the new product is used by real customers, thus creating better stories for the journalists.

2. Product launches. Do like everybody else and make campaign sites with slick video commercials etc. But the smarter companies also produces more viral videos that are spread via YouTube and other video communities, blogs and media sites. Before the launch, make a video about your product development challenges where you build hype around the problem that your product solves. When you launch it, post a video that does not look like a commercial but shows the product in a documentary way when it is used by real people

3. FAQ-videos and support screen casts. Use the pedagogicial superiority of video to give answers to frequently asked questions and explain how your software work. Put them on your support web site and email them to customers that call in with problems.

4. Staff presentations. Notice how most consultancy firms proudly states that “our staff is our most valuable asset”? Yet they present them with just a name, title and department. Imagine instead 45-second personal video presentations where the staff describe their background and experience, how they work now and what makes them tick! Far better for boosting relations and the corporate brand.

5. Testimonials from happy customers and employees. A real customer describing how his life was improved by product X is a lot more credible than a slick ad with studio shots of beautiful models holding the product. Here is a good example.

6. Instruction videos. Why have not companies noticed the explosion of “How to” video sites with short video tutorials about everything under the sun? Such as Videojug.  Realise that this is a very good way of both decreasing your support costs and building brands. See also my blog post about this.

7. Video blogs and mobile videos. Let your executives speak in person to the whole world, here is why this is good. And encourage your employees to use their mobiles to document things that customers or other employees could benefit from seeing and post it on video blogs. Reports from business trips, development labs, attended conferences etc.

8. UGC campaigns. User Generated Content, where customers upload videos on how they use the products. Creates marketing ambassadors and an image of acompany that listens to its customers. IKEA does it, why not your company?

9. Recruitment videos. How do you entice people to apply for work at your company? Especially the younger generation don’t read endless texts or brochures. Create short, up to date videos where HR shows what it is like to work here, and interview some of the employees. Here’s how Google did it and a good blog post about it.

10. Internal communication. Replace some of the streams of internal email communications with video. For example, the sales manager’s weekly follow-up of the sales reps is more effective if they can hear and see the sales manager.

11. Company policies. Use video to explain all those rules and policies about security, vacation, sick leave, travel etc. Interview those that are responsible and show how they should be used and the benefits. This motivates the employees better than those Word-documents with bulleted rules on the company intranet!

12. Lectures and seminars. Increase the audience for your speeches, conferences etc by live-casting them on your web site and post edited versions afterwards to prolong the value. Also use short videos to promote the event in advance, interviewing the organizer and make people want to go there or follow it on internet.

13. Talk shows. Think value for your target group. Invite an interesting person for a relaxed chat about a current issue. Do this weekly or bi-weekly for almost no cost and build valuable relations and position yourselves as authorities in your business area.

14. Crisis communication. Prepare before it happens: a disgruntled customer posts a video showing a weakness in your product, such as this Assa Abloy video. But don’t respond like Assa Abloy did, instead fight fire with fire: make your own video response and post it in the same channels, as well as on your web site.

15. Knowledge bank & internal training. Interview your experts on how they solved various problems, post it into an internal knowledge data base on your intranet and make it easy to search. This creates valuable assets out of your organisations skills.

Video = expensive and lots of work?

Many companies have realised that video is an effective form of communication but they still think it is expensive and labour-intensive to produce good videos. Also, they have not realised that you build relations better by producing content regularly, so it is much better to make one short video per week than a long video every 6 months.

Program formats

The way to do this cost-effectively is to create program formats. In the TV business formats are big business. Think “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, “Survivor” etc. It is much easier, cheaper and safer for a local TV station to produce shows according to these formats than trying to come up with their own program ideas. So I help companies do the same thing.

All the green types of video in the matrix are suitable for making program formats. I start with a base template and then analyse the company needs and write an adapted production plan. Then a pilot program is produced with a professional team while I make detailed notes. The result is a template that enables the company to produce multiple programs at a high and even quality level and at a low cost per program. The production can be done inhouse with some employee training,  or the format can be used as excellent documentation for outsourcing to local video producers.

Please send me tips on more types of corporate video and links to good examples!

Recession: threat or opportunity?

The world as we know it is in turmoil financially. Everybody is lying low and avoiding all expenses, which further increases the crisis. I have given up on trying to understand the underlying mechanism of this, realizing that it is not logical but based on group psychology. I just have to suffer it through, right?

I have been hit with this before:

In 1994 the Swedish Krona was under attack and the Swedish central bank tried in vain to protect it by raising the interest rate to 500%. Back then I had large loans on my flat, so it was quite though.

In 2000 I lived in Los Angeles, building an internet ineractive elearning portal on parenting, how to raise kids using modern psychology. This was at the apex of the internet hype curve so we of course tried to raise venture capital. Unfortunately, being Swedish,  we were a bit too serious and worked hard for a long time to produce excellent scripts, marketing plans, business models etc.
It was all ready to be presented in a state-of-the-art form the week after NASDAQ took a nose dive in April 2000…
Suddenly everything with .com at the end was poison to everybody. But I learned many very useful things and had lots of fun, so I chose to not regret anything and go forward.

I then moved back to Stockholm and was asked to start a research lab at the Interactive Institute, focussing on elearning methods and interfaces. The lab was financed by corporate sponsors like Ericsson. Well, 6 months after our bold start the financial crisis hit Sweden and all sponsors suddenly evaporated so I had to lay off the staff I had just hired and put the projects on idle. Being a very result-oriented person I quickly left to discover that it took 2 years before companies wanted to hire consultants at all. But in that time I developed a number of business ideas, increased my network and learned many new things.

So this time, instead of hiding under a rock like everybody else I prefer to see this crisis as an opportunity!

I am now focussing on all the new exciting possibilities with online video:
Never before has the gap been greater between the available technology and our much lower ability and creativity to make business use of it!

When I started my first interactive media company, Ahead Multimedia in 1988 I first had to educate the customers on what interactive media was, then persuade them to buy both our services and all the Mac computers and other hardware that they needed. Now everybody has powerful computers and wireless broadband, but mostly using it only to write reports in Word…

So it has never been easier and cheaper to develop and try out new digital business models, so lets use this crisis to exploit this!

There are others thinking along the same lines:
Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy
: well written by Paul Graham, an American investor/entrepreneur.

I am writing this post together with a bunch of blog friends during a “Blog Saturday”:

If you are into our old Viking language, don´t miss to check out their views on the recession: (from the left)

Jesper Åström from Online-PR
Christian Rudolf and Peter Sandberg from Disruptive
Judith Wolst from Internetionalisering
Erik Starck from Opportunity Cloud
Simon Winter from Infontology
Per Gustafsson from Webmoney

+ remote bloggers Carl-Johan Sveningsson from The emigrant Blog
and Martin Sandberg from Martin Spanar

Steve Jobs is wrong!

I don’t want to own my music!

Steve Jobs said last year that he did not see that the successful iTunes business model of selling individual music tracks would be threathened by subscription models where you pay a fixed fee to access all the music you want.

I am convinced that Steve Jobs now realizes that he was wrong (and probably work hard to catch up). The reason people like iTunes is that it is very easy to use and the pricing seems very moderate compared to what people were accustomed to: buying CDs with lots of unwanted tracks.

But that is just because people have not yet tested the upcoming alternatives such as Spotify and other new services. They offer unlimited listening to music without downloading files, and they are faster and just as easy to use as iTunes.

, an upcoming topnotch Swedish streaming music service. It will be free to use with ads, a premium version without ads will also be available.

Downloading media files will soon be a thing of the past!

I am quite certain that in a few years time we will laugh at this period of time when we downloaded all these media files and struggled with copy-protection and backups and not being able to play them on certain devices etc.

Why? Well, I love my iTunes but…:

  1. I don’t want to own files or CDs, I want to listen to my favorite music and find new music easily.
  2. I don’t want to fill up my hard drive with Gigabytes of media files that can vanish in a hard drive crash.
  3. I want to listen to my music library on multiple computers and on my iPhone mobile.
  4. I want to be able to share my music easily with friends and family.

There are two key factors that will drive this revolution:

  1. Ubiquitous wireless internet. We are almost there now in many places.
  2. The music industry realizing that this is also a way of solving the piracy problem. If you don’t need to download any files to listen to music, why bother with pirated files?

So the only reason for downloading music will be when you want to play it in locations without internet, such as when jogging in the forest etc. But that is also a temporary problem as new wireless fixed-rate broadband services will soon cover entire countries.