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3 Must Answer Questions About Website Video Strategy

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#CMS, #Video Marketing Strategy
Published on March 26, 2013

We will explore the first three fundamental questions that must be answered when developing a video strategy

One of the most common client requests I get during the requirements gathering phase of any web design or web development project is the requirement to allow for video on any web page within their web site. When presented with this requirement, I usually respond with a question "What is your video strategy?" This question usually produces blank stares from the project stakeholders within the room, because, for the most part, many clients love the idea of video but aren't aware of the strategies required to execute video successfully on the web. To be fair, that is really a loaded question, because a video strategy needs to be combined with a mobile strategy and a content strategy for it to be executed correctly. Today, we will explore the first three fundamental questions that must be answered when developing a video strategy. This is the first in a series of articles on how we approach video strategy with our clients.

Can we produce the video?

Often, I find that clients get very excited about the concept of videos on their website but haven't really thought through where that video is going to originate from. With today's technologies, the production of videos is happening everywhere: cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. However, is that video production web ready? Production of video in certain specific formats is not conducive for use on the web. Understanding the appropriate formats for producing videos will go a long way when considering how these videos will translate to the different devices being used to access your web site.

Do we want our video to work on mobile devices and tablets?

While this seems like a very simple question, with the simple answer of "Yes, of course we do," it is often overlooked from a production and implementation perspective. When working through your video strategy, it is important to understand that certain devices, such as iPads or iPhones, are unable to use certain technologies for video presentation (i.e. Flash, Windows Media Player, etc.). When producing these videos, using the appropriate video formats and encoding (.mp4, .h264, .ogg, etc.) is critical in ensuring that your videos will be accessible across the various digital channels.

Where are we going to host our videos?

This question usually sparks very interesting discussions with the client’s IT team and budgetary stakeholders. There are several options to choose from when deciding where to host your videos. The three most common scenarios that use with our clients are listed below. In my next article, I will get into the pros and cons of each of these three options:

  1. We are going to host the videos within the website CMS or on an internal web server.
  2. We are going to host with a free video hosting service, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  3. We are going to host at a paid video hosting service, such as Brightcove.

Keeping in mind that your video strategy can change over time, so choosing one of the above three video hosting options and then migrating to another is usually not a big deal. However, it is important to understand that if you choose incorrectly, and the end user video experience is poor, your overall strategy may never get off the ground.

Back to Basics

Creating a video strategy from scratch can seem confusing and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to. If you start your strategy by answering these three basic questions, you will start to form a much clearer vision of what your website video strategy can become.