Of all the amazing new technologies that are opening up possibilities to communicate and connect in the digital space, video is the one that holds the most promise. Who doesn't remember the holographic memory images in Minority Report?
Will there be a time when we'll be interacting more with video? The Institute for the Future (IFTF) says we will. In addition to a new report on the future of real-time video commissioned by Skype, the think tank put together a future of video map and forecast.
Video is transitioning and branching out from the form of entertainment and story telling we're used to in theaters to the inspirational lectures at TED. In both cases, and the many other forms of on screen experience you can find on sites like Hulu and Media Storm, one thing is certain -- video is giving people more access to art and ideas thanks to it simplicity. A story on screen is more accessible than a block of writing.
In looking at the IFTF map (click on the image above to enlarge), it looks like right now we're mostly concerned with creating and displaying videos. During our recent #kaizenblog Twitter chat with Michelle Chmielewski, we talked about some of the tools available today.
There are plenty of devices that can shoot video. For example:
- your regular digital camera has a video setting
- the Flip, one of the most popular, and easy to use. You wouldn't know, since I rarely post videos, I have an Ultra
- the Kodak Zi8 has a side microphone
- high end video cameras abound
- iMovie on your Mac
Look at the forecasts in the future of video map PDF and you will see that in 2015 and 2020 it will be easier than ever to shoot and share video in real time.
For editing software, Michelle Chmielewski uses Adobe After Effects. You can compare and contrast many other products in this guide. Or you can find out how to edit your video online for free or cheap.
Just like for blog posts, articles, and any other media, the usefulness of its content is what makes it interesting and prompts sharing. The question is never how do I make a viral video? Think first about ways to make your content fresh, accessible, and interesting to the people you'd like to attract.
David Meerman Scott shows us how to crowdsource videos for your company. You can see in the short HP video how creative your own people can be. Would an agency not so close to the product have come up with a concept so engaging?
As companies start shooting more and more video, it's important also to know how you're going to utilize all that content on your site and in social media outposts. It's not about having lots of content, as it is about having the right kind of content.
It's not what you think. Content can be engaging and fun -- and sell.
The Hire: a case study
A few years back, Fallon came up with the BMW digital video series, the Hire. They were 8 short films shot by famous directors John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Guy Ritchie, Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Woo, Joe Carnahan, and Tony Scot.
The strategy was to interest individuals between the ages of 25 and 44 who were new to the luxury car market, without alienating their current customer base. The customer base of BMW was identified as 46-year-old male, married with no children, and had a median income of about $150,000. More importantly, the Internet was used by 85% of customers before buying a BMW.
In 2001, BMW sales increased by 12.5% compared to 2000, surpassing the 200,000 mark for the first time in history. More than 10 million views and nearly 2 million people registered on the site, with 60% of those registrants opting to receive more information via e-mail. The short films were recommended by 94% of registrants to other people, which ultimately seeded the viral campaign. [source: iMedia Connection]
I was in attendance at Fast Company RealTime Miami in 2003, when Fallon himself shared the results of that campaign and gave each attendee a coveted copy of the DVD, which I still have to this day. One of the reason why the series was groundbreaking, was that the car brand was one of the characters, not the main character. You were the main character (see strategy).
Although I've worked on many scripts and was involved in professional shoots, I'm no video expert. In the future, I'm planning to learn more about how I can use video for this blog and for my site.
For sharing video, YouTube and Vimeo are the two main online networks. You can put your footage up, but how do you get seen? Steve Garfield, who has been shooting video since 2004, packed quite a few tips in his book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business.
Steve included case studies, plans and tools, and step by step directions in a format that is very accessible and useful. Yes, he even shares tips on how to increase views by making it go viral.
According to the Institute for the Future forecast, in 2020 we'll have video that flows freely across the Internet, which will be monetized according to embedded business rules defined by content owners. Until then, we need to figure out how to make the best foray into telling stories on video so they can help us interact with customers better, and sell more.
[image from the future of video map]
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.