• April 1, 2012
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Video Won't Kill the CRM Star

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If you haven't considered creating videos for your organization's Web site, you probably should, as there are very compelling reasons to invest in them.

I discovered some of these reasons at last year's CRM Evolution conference during the session "Video and the CRM Star," ably presented by Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group. After the session, I chatted with one of the members of the audience, Steve Gillmor, head of technical media strategy at Salesforce.com, who said that Salesforce.com's Web videos account for the work of more than 100 effective salespeople, an increase over the 46 listed in Pombriant's 2011 Short Tale Award contest. Stunned, I realized we had to investigate the topic further.

If video can be used for something so incredibly valuable, why aren't more organizations creating their own Web videos? After all, HD video cameras are so ubiquitous.

The reality is that while some people might fancy themselves the next Martin Scorsese of home videos, the thought of producing a video for their company's Web site might suddenly make them bashful. Or they might be concerned that they don't have the time, resources, and/or creative talent needed to produce professional-quality Web videos. And while it's simple to point and shoot a camera, there is a small learning curve to making videos look professional. You have to consider important elements, such as the equipment, lighting, sound, talent, content creation, video editing, and all the necessary company approvals needed before posting a video to a corporate Web site.

However, you don't need a production team and a studio. The equipment is not very expensive. And more college graduates—especially those with journalism degrees—are joining the workforce with some working knowledge of video editing applications, such as Apple's Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. These consumer applications are also easy enough to find and learn on your own.

When done well, Web videos can make a site more appealing and engaging. They can quickly inform and entertain a wide audience of prospects and customers. Plus, being able to attach a face to a company, brand, product, or service will engender customer trust. All of these things can make visitors' Web experiences more valuable and positive, improve a company's brand, and increase sales—as the Salesforce.com example proves.

Creating professional-looking videos is not very difficult. And you might even have some fun doing it. But before you begin, read Pombriant's column, "Video Production Made Easy," for some great tips on how to produce effective and professional-quality video clips for your organization. Also, for more on what we learned about creating effective enterprise videos, read our cover story, "Digital Media: How to Make Your Content Pop," by Associate Editor Judith Aquino.

To all of you budding film directors, don't get discouraged if your video budget isn't optimal. Make the best with what you have. Even Scorsese was quoted as saying, "There's only one or two films where I've had all the financial support I needed. All the rest, I wish I'd had the money to shoot another ten days."

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