Video is a powerful medium for scaling the reach of your corporate messages and delivering more memorable and engaging communications. And, while some organizations have been producing internal and external communications videos for decades, many others are just discovering the ways that live streaming and recording on-demand videos can support their business objectives.
Increasingly, business leaders are recognizing that there is a big return on getting the right set of tools to support flexible and effective video communications that can improve engagement and memorability of their messages while scaling reach. It’s not hard to imagine how much more could be accomplished when your team no longer has to spend time managing everything that goes into the production and distribution of video communications.
And fortunately, newer video technologies offer communications teams more flexibility and greater control over their video communications efforts, without requiring them to moonlight as AV or IT experts.
“We’ve Used Video For Communications Since The 1980s. What’s Changed?”
Not long ago, using video for corporate communications was a significant investment. Creating videos required expensive recording and streaming hardware, as well as specialized crews who needed to set everything up, operate complicated equipment, edit the final videos, and then make those massive files shareable, either via actual physical media like a DVD or VHS, or as part of a file sharing service that had its own costs and challenges to contend with.
Today, producing professional-looking videos no longer requires all that fuss. And perhaps predictably, instead of producing no more than a handful of videos each year due to budget and resource constraints, communications teams are now finding they can produce significantly more.
A new type of software — the enterprise video platform — now provides organizations with an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution for creating, managing, and sharing videos with specific audiences.
A modern video platform (sometimes called a video content management system, or video CMS) can help you make the most out of your current video investments and reduce the total cost of creating videos, while also making everything from secure distribution and management to interactive playback and search far more efficient. Here’s how:
Less Equipment and Simpler Setup
These days, there’s no need to break the bank for camcorders and other recording equipment — almost everyone has powerful HD recording tools built into the laptops and smartphones they’re already carrying around. Virtually every kind of recording equipment has become much smaller, more affordable, and easier to use.
A modern video platform gives you the flexibility to choose what content you want to share and how that content will be presented. Video from multiple cameras and multiple screens can be presented so viewers online feel like they are right there in the room, watching the speaker, their slides, and even on-screen walk-throughs side by side.
Minimal Post-Production Time and Costs
Editing, processing, and making videos available for people to watch from anywhere on any device can easily require five different video solutions and hours of laborious work from people whose time would be better spent elsewhere.
Modern video platforms commonly include a video editor that enables you to perform common editing tasks like cutting out unnecessary footage, switching between video feeds in multi-camera recordings, and even splicing in extra video footage. That means that for most live events and recorded messages, cleaning up the final video will be both easy and quick.
Likewise, a modern video platform does all of the backend production work required to make videos available for easy sharing and on-demand playback. As soon as your live stream ends or you finish recording your video, the platform automatically transcodes the recording so it can be played on any device, and uploads it to your video library where anyone in your organization can view it.
The New, Secure, and Searchable Video Library
If the information you’re presenting is important enough to share with your audiences today, there’s a good chance it will also be important enough that you’ll also want people to be able to find it tomorrow. A modern video platform can make searching the contents of all your recorded videos simple by automatically indexing your videos as they are uploaded to your library. And what they index goes far beyond the basic metadata that used to be the limit of video search.
Panopto’s Smart Search video search engine, for example, uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) and optical character recognition (OCR) and a number of other AI technologies to recognize and index every word spoken and every word shown on-screen in every video you upload to your video library. Additionally, Panopto can integrate with CMSs like SharePoint, learning management systems (LMSs) like Cornerstone, Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) like Salesforce, and other business systems to make your videos searchable from within the portals employees already use. And for global businesses, Smart Search supports nine different languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Dutch, and Polish.
Your Video Conferencing Solution Makes Communication Easy. A Video Platform Makes Your Video Conferencing System Complete.
Today, when most professionals think about the technologies they’ll need to support their video communications strategies, video conferencing software is the first thing that comes to mind.
Solutions like Zoom, Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans make real-time virtual communication and collaboration possible between people in different locations. Most of them even make recording a snap. And overall, these systems are great for what they’re designed to do, so there’s no reason to run out and find a replacement.
But to support a broad range of use cases and to maximize the ROI your communications strategies, your video conferencing system could use a helping hand.
If you’re already using your video conferencing tools for communications, a video platform may be the perfect complement. Let’s look at ten things a video platform does that can extend the capabilities of your video conferencing system, while giving you new tools for reaching and engaging more people.
10 Video Platform Capabilities That Enhance Corporate Communications
1. Securable multi-camera HD live streaming at scale
Let’s say you want to broadcast your next all-hands meeting. You’ll have multiple presenters, a slide deck for each, and even a video to play during one of the presentations. And of course, you’re sharing sensitive, “for-internal-eyes-only” information that can’t be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
Today’s video conferencing tools were built primarily to facilitate live conversations, and most make technical tradeoffs in video quality and frame rate (especially for shared screens and slides) in order to keep up with that real-time exchange. Those tradeoffs can make it difficult for your team to really replicate the full in-room experience for online viewers.
Modern video platforms, on the other hand, are built for securely streaming high-definition multimedia presentations in 1080p at up to 60 frames per second (fps). With a video platform you simply connect all your video cameras to your laptop, select your recording devices, open any supporting slides, select any screens you want to share, and you’re ready to broadcast to an online audience of any size.
By adding a few seconds of delay in the feed (similar to the broadcast delay on live television), video platforms can deliver HD “one-to-many” live streaming, directly over the internet without the need for viewers to download any specialized apps. That means you can share crystal clear live video to tens of thousands of people at once, on any device, and over any web connection. And your viewers have complete control over their viewing experience, with the ability to toggle between video feeds to suit their preferences.
A video platform also gives you fine-grained control over the security of your live streams. With Panopto’s video platform, for example, your live stream will be automatically set to private by default. With just a few clicks, you can change the sharing permissions so a stream is available to certain people in your organization, everyone in your organization, or to the general public.
2. Let viewers pause, rewind, or restart live videos
“You just had to be there” is a terrible policy for corporate communications. The fact is, people are busy and still have a job to do. While they may have competing commitments or they might have to jump on something urgent during your live stream, they still want the opportunity to see what leaders have to say.
Give your people the flexibility to watch your broadcast and manage other priorities as they come up. Because a video platform records as it’s streaming, viewers can join late and start the live stream from the beginning, pause and resume the live stream if they have to take an unexpected call, or rewind it to catch something they might have missed. A video platform’s live DVR controls give your viewers the ability to maximize productivity while still engaging with your messages in full.
3. Fool-proof control over “accidental interactivity”
You want messages to be received with clarity — and with minimal interruptions that can distract your audience from connecting with important information. Audible beeps and door-slams when people join and leave a conference, accidental hold music playing over the line in the middle of an executive speaking, or a dog barking in the background because someone working from their home office forgot to mute the line — these are all things that can negatively impact the experience during a live broadcast using a video conferencing solution. While there are controls that help minimize the unwanted distractions from participants on a conference line, accidental interruptions still can happen.
A video platform enables interactivity while eliminating the unintentional things that often disrupt a live stream presented through a video conference. Because it broadcasts in one direction — from your speaker out to your wider audience — there’s no means for viewers to intentionally or unintentionally interrupt the presentation the way they can (and often do) when you’re using conferencing technologies.
But that’s not to say viewers can’t interact — with a video platform, viewers can still ask questions through a discussion panel inside the video player by submitting questions in the player, which a moderator can then present to the presenter for a live response. It’s a smart way to balance viewer engagement with professional production values.
4. Make recordings available for on-demand viewing immediately after a live event
Recording has become a fairly standard feature of most video conferencing solutions. What’s not yet been standardized, however, is how you can manage that video once the recording has wrapped up. Some conferencing solutions provide short-term storage, others may export to consumer services like DropBox or YouTube, and still others simply download an MP4 to your laptop. As of this writing, none include a secure, searchable repository for your videos that would enable easy sharing and discovery.
With a video platform, once you hit “stop” and bring your live stream or recording to a close, the platform will, virtually instantly, upload your video to a secure library, convert and optimize it for playback on any device, and index the recording for search so that it can be easily found and shared in accordance with your privacy settings. That means your people will be able to find and stream your communications videos almost immediately after you’re done recording them, without needing to wait around for someone to manually process, transcode, compress, tag, and upload the files first.
5. Edit your video before publishing a recording
Some messages may benefit from the authenticity of appearing “off-the-cuff,” but for most events and announcements, you’ll want to be able to polish up or add to your recording before making the final version available to watch.
Most video conferencing solutions don’t include editing tools that might let you cut out the downtime before your conference actually got started, remove an off-topic discussion, splice in other supporting media, or switch between multiple video feeds from the event. As a result, businesses often have to purchase expensive video editing tools that require the help of experienced AV specialists, further delaying the release of on-demand recordings of important communications and diminishing ROI.
A modern video platform typically includes simple video editing tools for cutting, splicing and switching between video feeds, so you don’t need extra software or an AV expert to polish up a video.
A video platform may even save you from yourself — video editing, for example, is typically “non-destructive,” so even when you cut a segment of your video out from playback, you’ll still always have the original file you can revert to, just in case.
6. Store all of your videos securely for as long as you want
Imagine, for a moment, that you’ve worked a small miracle — you managed to create and share a message that every single member of your organization consumed. Even that kind of smashing success, however, is time-bound. The average organization turns over 10-20 percent of its workforce annually, so even if you managed to get a piece of information out to literally everyone today, tomorrow and every day in the future will bring in new fresh faces you couldn’t possibly have reached.
Ideally, you want to record your messages so they can continue to be referenced in the future (both by new hires, as well as by existing team members who just want to revisit the information). But most video conferencing systems only offer limited support for hosting your recordings for on-demand viewing later, and it’s common to purge recordings after a short time (commonly 30-60 days, depending on your plan), or require you to purchase more storage as your reach your limits or manually remove videos from your recording library.
A video platform gives you a secure, centralized place in which you can store and stream an unlimited number of videos, putting you in complete control of your sensitive video content while making it easy to manage and share videos both inside and outside of your company. It’s an alternative to YouTube that keeps private videos private and gives you controls for managing access to videos throughout your organization at scale with integrations for single sign-on (SSO) ID management solutions. You can set permissions for your entire library, specific folders, and even individual live or ondemand videos with only a few clicks.
7. Manage old and new video content
Think about how much time you spend managing your available communications information — making sure that what is available is up to date, removing things that contain old and irrelevant information that could be confusing, and managing approvals for upcoming communications. Now imagine having to do all of that for your video communications as well. Without a system that’s designed for managing video content, none of those steps can be automated to save your team time.
With a video platform, however, managing your video communications becomes even more efficient thanks to tools you can use to notify stakeholders of approvals for new videos. You can designate folders to automatically notify managers when there is new video content ready for approval, streamlining the workflow required to get new communications videos out on time.
Likewise, with the ability to set availability windows for published videos, you can also schedule when your messages will become available and when they’ll disappear. Set your annual benefits communications video to expire before next year’s open enrollment period, or even pre-record upcoming communications about a policy change and schedule it to be daylighted for employees or other audiences at a specific time later on. It’s a small feature that will greatly simplify timing and workflows for many communications teams.
8. Let people search any word spoken or shown in a video
Quite possibly the single biggest reason people continue to prefer text for communication is that, for all its faults, text is searchable. Just hit ctrl+f, and you can instantly find a relevant detail buried inside a 400 page document.
In the past, making videos searchable required hours and hours of manually tagging important topics and ideas. Not only was this time consuming, but it was up to the person tagging the video to determine what parts of the video were important. And as we’ve already learned, if your videos aren’t searchable, your people will look elsewhere for information they can find more easily.
Today’s it’s possible for your video recordings to be just as easy to search as text — if you have the right tools. A modern video platform can index much of the actual content of your recordings — the actual words spoken and shown on-screen — making it possible for your audience to instantly find and fast-forward to the relevant information they need, no matter how long your video is.
9. Automatic video captioning and accessibility features
Captioning your video communications isn’t just important for accessibility (although if your organization works in the public sector, that may be reason enough). The fact is, captioning is useful for everyone from time to time.
Industry data suggests 99% of people have turned on closed captions for one reason or another at least once — and when they have, their reasons for doing so are generally either about making the information shared in that recording easier to understand, or making it possible to watch a video even when it isn’t possible to play the audio. If you’ve ever toggled on captions to better follow a speaker with a strong accent, or because there’s something you need to see now but you left your headphones at home, you know that having captions available can be a life-saver.
With a video platform, you can automatically get machine-generated captions for every video you upload. Many video platforms also include options for requesting human-generated captions that meet federal accessibility requirements, along with other accessibility features like variable speed playback, screen reader support, and keyboard navigation.
10. Help you measure the success of your video communications
How do you quantify the results of your communications efforts? What data is available to you to help inform and improve future messages? If you’re primarily using your video conferencing system or other company portals to distribute corporate communications, you’re very probably not getting as much as you could.
Better video analytics could help you understand how well you are engaging with specific internal audiences, see what messages are working, which might be falling short, and offer you ideas for enhancing future communications.
With a video platform, you get comprehensive data about viewer engagement across your entire video library, all the way down to user-level viewer statistics. That means you’ll have better information about how often and when are your corporate communications videos are being watched, which videos are watched the most, where were people most engaged and when did they stop watching, and what types of communications are more effective.
How Panopto’s Video Platform Simplifies Corporate Communications
Panopto enables organizations to securely live stream, record, edit, share, and search videos in a single platform. Whether you’re broadcasting to one or one million viewers, Panopto delivers high-definition live and on-demand video with minimal buffering to any device in an HTML5 video player that supports interactive discussions, live Q&A, and DVR-style controls.
With Panopto, anyone in your company can record and share executive communications, PR announcements, and high-profile events with audiences both inside and outside of your organization. Just select your recording devices, press record, and Panopto takes care of the rest.
Want to try Panopto’s video platform for yourself? Get started at panopto.com/try.