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Video Asset Management:

Your Guide to Improving Access and Distribution of Videos

Video is no longer becoming a way for brands to differentiate their content. It’s becoming an expectation. A HubSpot Content Trends survey found that 54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) or social image-based content (41%) . So it’s no surprise that if you’re the “video person” at your company that you’re getting more requests and hopefully more budget.

Video isn’t cheap. It takes more time and tools to produce than written or visual content. The shear size of videos makes storage and publishing a big challenge.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can get more value by improving the storage, access, and distribution of your videos with video asset management. We’ll also explain:

Why is video such an effective medium?

Before we get too far, let’s establish why video is worth it for businesses. There are four main reasons: explaining, emotion, truth, and time.

We’ve all heard this phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Since video is actually 30 frames, or pictures, per second, a minute’s worth of video is worth 1,800,000 words. Since you can’t read 1.8 million words per minute, video has the ability to explain complex subjects in less time than words. It also helps with the retention of the information and engages multiple senses, which has been shown to increase brand and message recall.

Video has the ability to evoke emotion in viewers. Conversion is the goal of a marketing videos. Videos involve more human senses, including both sight and sound, which allows the content to engage its viewers at a deeper level than just text or images. Tapping into a human on an emotional level is very advantageous to businesses, especially on a brand level. It’s difficult to even begin to put a value on it.

Something becomes the truth, which we all seek, when you see it for yourself. For a product or service, videos are the closest way for a consumer to experience your product without actually having it in hand. The video becomes a source of truth for whatever it is you’re selling.

If we wrap explaining, emotion, and truth up into one powerful package, there is no other way to deliver it all in less time. A two-minute video can explain a complex subject, cause an emotional change, and give a person a feeling of confidence in less time than any other medium.

Distributing videos for review and approval

Once you’ve created a video, it’s time for it to leave your workstation for review. An internal approval and cross-checking process is critical to guarding against embarrassing and brand-damaging content blunders. There are numerous design, stylistic, and brand elements that can distract your viewer from your message. A simple brand management checklist can help you catch these mistakes early, but another person’s review is invaluable.One of the barriers to effectively routing videos for review and approval is their size, paired with the communication required to provide feedback. When asked, “How do you most often distribute videos for review?,” the top responses in the 2017 In-House Creative Industry Report were Box/Dropbox, shared drive/server, YouTube, and Vimeo. While these tools work for sharing files, they lack functionality of a true video content management system (video CMS) to support collaborative communication about videos.

To effectively review and approve videos, multiple teams need to be able to easily access them, watch them, and communicate at different stages. This is a cornerstone of video CMS functionality, and it can help your organization accomplish all of the following ...

Centralize comments and annotations. Conflicting feedback from different reviewers can cause hesitation and a headache for the video editor, leading to time wasted creating and recreating different versions. By centralizing comments, your teams can solidify the changes requested before the video editor makes the changes.

Track asset and review history. Give transparency to why decisions were made. When a design or stylistic choice was made, the video editor can point back to the review process to show how that went into the decision.

Give a name and face to feedback. By giving your teams the ability to see everyone elses comments, it gives them ideas, stops them from doubling up, and allows them to emphasize someone else's comments. It also helps keep your teams accountable and supportive by using a tool and process that gives a name and face to feedback. Then the video editor knows who to go to when they need clarification on feedback.

Identify what’s helpful at each stage of the review process. Keep the process moving forward by identifying what needs to be in a sequence. This can help prevent confusion, redoing work, and unnecessary noise.

Moving to a web-based video asset management software solution that includes approval functionality will help your team get higher-quality content out to market faster.

Video management basics

Now that the video is approved, it’s time to extract its value and put it to use.

What format should you store?

Of course, the answer to this question is everyone’s most hated answer: It depends. Videos can take up enormous amounts of storage space and bandwidth. A high-res photograph can be 40 MB. A high-res, 30-second commercial video can be 1600 MB (1.6 GB). That's 40 times the size. A four-minute marketing video can be 13 GB. It starts to add up quickly. (Dive into codec and bitrates here.)

Storing final videos in the cloud makes access, sharing, and publishing possible. One way to combat the large file size in the cloud is to store what are called mezzanine files. They are compressed videos that take up less space than the full-res files, but are hi-res "enough" that they make great quality, highly compressed videos typically used on the web.

You get the benefits of great-looking videos while reducing your storage costs.

How will you find your videos? How will others?

The most basic way for you to make videos findable is by giving them useful filenames and placing them into an organized folder tree. When you know the filename, you can search for that video. If you have a general idea of the folder structure in your video CMS, the folders should guide you through subfolders until you find your video.

The more your video operation ramps up in quantity of videos and people accessing them, the less effective a folder structure becomes. You’ll need to consider adding metadata to your videos. Metadata applied to your files gives a search function and your viewer more information about the files.

Here are some metadata fields to consider for your videos.

Video type: Help your teams find videos by identifying the videos purpose. Is it B-roll, customer interviews, marketing, or training?

Keywords: What is the topic of the video? Provide some keywords someone would use to find the video.

Description: Describe the asset’s content in a sentence or two.

Licensing: What rights do you have to use the video?

Timecode notes: You can add script text or timecode notes to help the viewer find key moments in the video.

Version notes: If there are multiple versions of the video file, what’s new in the latest version?

Who should be able to access videos?

If you’re acting as the gatekeeper to your videos, you get to control who can access what. But that control comes at a cost. You become a bottleneck to marketing and sales teams who are working in a world of real-time communication to sell your products and services. For each asset request, you lose time you could spend creating and updating videos.

Using video CMS, which is part of a robust digital asset management (DAM) system, you can set up a governance structure that provides self-service access while maintaining control over who can access what and how.

For example, you can set up a role for editors and give them access to raw footage, B-roll, and editor-level  conversion formats. You then set up another role for sales and marketing channels and give them access only to the finished videos asset group and normal conversion format options.

Publishing and sharing videos

Publish & Share with Enterprise DAM & Video CMSThe benefit of managing your videos in a cloud-based tool like a DAM system is that you can easily distribute them to those who need them. Using links and embed codes simplifies the management of video assets. When a video is updated, you only need to upload the updated version to your DAM. The updated video will then be reflected anywhere your video is linked or embedded.

Publishing videos online with embed codes

Publish your videos using embed codes from your storage system to get analytic data for those videos no matter what website or blog they’re published on. When web visitors play the video, it is being served to them from a content delivery network that can easily scale bandwidth up to handle spikes in demand.

Sharing videos with links

There are times where you’ll want to share a video with just a link. A link directly to a video will help your teams quickly share them without worrying about being limited by file sizes in email. With a DAM system, you can also create a portal for a curated selection of videos that are intended to be viewed together.

Learning from video analytics

Like any other content, you want insight into how videos are being used and how they’re performing. As mentioned in the video asset management section, using a central hub, like a DAM system, for your videos gives you better data about them.

Embed views - How many views did your videos get out on the web and where did those views take place? If you’re worried your videos aren’t in a prominent spot to be viewed, compare your embed loads to embed views. This will give a comparison of how many times a video was loaded on a page to how many times it was played on a page.

Audience retention - What part of your videos are resonating with viewers? When are viewers dropping off? Make sure your videos deliver on your audience's expectations.

DAM site engagement - How are users of your DAM system interacting with videos inside the system? If your teams aren’t finding your videos, try interviewing people who need the videos to learn how they search for them and use those terms in videos’ metadata.

Archiving videos

Videos eventually lose their usefulness. They may still offer some value for repurposing in the future but at this time they’re just taking up space. To keep your storage costs low, you can archive these video assets.

Unlike other video archive solutions like LTO tape, DVDs, or hard drives sitting on a shelf, a cloud-based DAM archive storage keeps your videos searchable and accessible from wherever you are. A proper cloud storage solution should also give you redundancy to keep you covered if disaster strikes.

Cloud-based DAM has speed, redundancy, and geolocation in mind when setting up their active storage, making sure that files are delivered to users within milliseconds. Archive-level storage de-emphasizes the speed and geolocation elements, which allows a DAM system to offer archive storage at a significantly lower price. Files in archive storage in DAM can be searched for and previewed but can take up to several hours to be restored to active storage to download or share. This level of storage is great for old, historical videos or zipped files of video projects from non-linear editing programs like Final Cut Pro, Avid, and Adobe Premiere.

Get more value out of your videos

As your business invests more time and effort into producing quality videos, make the most of that investment by improving the access, storage, and distribution of your videos.

Get more value from your video content with Widen's Video Asset Management software solution.