Leverage Video to Empower a Field Work Force

Video is valuable, but only if employees can find it. Whether you provide mobile access to business videos through a purpose-built app or through a general mobile interface to the corporate intranet portal, it is critical to make sure your mobile employees can access them. One solution is to "push" videos to mobile users using email. As a one-time event, this helps deliver a video, but it doesn't necessarily help the user easily find it later. Also, if you're sending the entire video as an attachment to an email (yes, some organizations still do this), you're risking that an internal video will be shared externally. This is fine for content that's not particularly sensitive, but not acceptable for proprietary information.

YouTube has set the bar for how people expect to access video content. Unfortunately, the realities of the business world are not always addressed by YouTube. Among those realities is the need to deliver sensitive business video content in a way that respects corporate security policies, access roles, and rights. One solution is to provide mobile access to a video-enabled intranet. Leveraging the business investments in enterprise content management and collaboration tools to deliver mobile video content has the advantage of ensuring those video assets are secured through the same mechanisms that other content is secured. A bonus is that all the other capabilities of an intranet can be applied to the video as well—e.g., analytics, workflow, content management, and collaboration.

Make video content "snackable" and interactive

Forrester Research's Dr. James McQuivey said it best: "A minute of video is worth 1.8 million words."

An engaging video is one that the user is more inclined to 1) watch and 2) watch to completion. Content that is informative and entertaining will be naturally engaging, but when it comes to mobile video, there are other factors to consider as well.

Consumer video on the Web has taught us that mobile users prefer shorter video. Smaller-screen real estate is not conducive to long viewing, making it much less likely users will watch a 30-minute to 60-minute training video on their smartphones. Instead, consider delivering your video content in three-minute to five-minute "snackable" segments.

Another way to ensure engagement is to incorporate interactivity. For example, provide a way for your mobile viewers to easily access related content or corporate services that will reinforce or otherwise augment the message of the video. Tablets, iPads, and large-form smartphones with advanced touch screen interfaces are particularly well-suited to interactive video player experiences.

Video with a purpose

Corporate video doesn't exist in a vacuum. Just as documents are typically created with a purpose—to provide information about processes, policies, plans, programs, and procedures—videos serve these purposes as well.

Marketers term this a "call to action," but the idea of attaching a goal to a piece of content has relevance in any business context. For example, to make sure that the goals of a sales training video are realized, you may want to confirm that it was watched to completion. Or you may want to make sure the sales rep is aware of and has access to related collateral.

Attaching these actions to a video player experience can be as simple as providing a dynamic video playlist that directs the viewer to other related content. More sophisticated examples include integrating questionnaires and polls into the video timeline or offering social sharing features for collaborative problem-solving.

Mobile video should not be exempt from these goals. In fact, the natural touch-friendly interfaces of modern mobile devices, coupled with such unique features as location awareness, expand the possibilities for actionable video experiences.

Businesses around the world are reaping the benefits of an increasingly connected, mobile workforce. High-speed wireless networks coupled with advanced smartphones and connected tablets are bringing the power of corporate IT to the field. Add to this the intersection of video and mobility and we are seeing a new wave of enhanced connectivity and communication for mobile employees. By embracing the general principles of valuable video outlined here, you'll help your organization to ride this wave to an empowered and productive mobile workforce.

Tom Wilde is CEO of RAMP, which offers clients the ability to fully leverage the value of their video content by driving increased discovery across search and social sites, enhancing user engagement through dynamic search and publishing solutions, and maximizing revenue through sophisticated advertising capabilities.

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