Looking for best practices on your corporate video strategy? 77% of executives believe their organization should be doing more to capitalize on video technology for internal use. If you feel the same way, these best practices can help.
Here are 5 best practices to ensure that users are getting the most out of their corporate video solution:
- Offer user friendly security options
- Enhance asset indexing
- Survey your audience setup
- Be mobile friendly
- Track usage
1. Offer user friendly security options
Internal communication needs to be secured for intended parties only. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, from email verification to unique login setups. The former can be burdensome on users to use in a secure fashion, as it should frequently require verification. The latter, though, can cause different issues, especially if users have a plethora of different logins to remember already as part of their work. This type of scenario can often lead to users forgetting their password for a particular login and needing a password reset, which has costs associated with it. In fact, it’s projected that, that cost per password reset call can be anywhere from $15-25 for the average organization.
So a best practice is to deploy with a secure, user friendly method. Achieving this can be done through integrating with SSO (Single Sign On), ideally through an SSO that is already being used across numerous services at that company. Using this approach, users would then be able to access video content utilizing login details that they are ideally already familiar with.
2. Enhance asset indexing
Getting a headache trying to find needed information from a video? You’re not alone. In fact, 79% of executives with video content archives agree that a “frustration of using on-demand video is not being able to quickly find the piece of information I am looking for when I need it.”
So a best practice to address this is two fold. The first is making sure the archive in general is searchable, a way for users to turn up relevant videos related to a topic they are interested in. This is achieved through providing adequate metadata for these assets that can be searched against. This includes appropriate titles, descriptions, keywords and other relevant data as well.
The second best practice is to empower people to search inside a video. This can greatly speed up the time between someone finding a relevant video and then also the relevant moment inside that piece of content. For example, giving a viewer the ability to jump 18 minutes into an hour long video to see where a specific person or concept was mentioned can be very valuable. This can be achieved through making either a transcript or caption file associated with that asset searchable. At IBM, this is done through the latter, as users can search inside the player using the accompanied captions and can jump to a search result with a simple touch. Read more on the Automatic Closed Captioning: How to Edit & Search features.
3. Survey your audience setup
The ideal delivery method for internal communication will differ based on your internal structure.
An audience that is diverse in location, with smaller satellite offices or with teams that often work remote, are ideal for a CDN (Content Delivery Network) setup. If CDN is an unfamiliar term, it’s essentially a huge network of servers that store copies of data pulled from an origin server. These servers are often geographically diverse in location, to expand global reach. A user, aka viewer, will then pull the needed content from the server closest to them, referred to as an edge server. So for example if there is an edge server in Chicago and San Francisco and the viewer is in Los Angeles, the San Francisco edge server would be used. This mitigates strain on the individual servers, while at the same time speeding up delivery.
If, however, your viewership will be more concentrated this can cause a different issue. For example, if your audience of 100 or 200 is located all in the same office this can cause strain on your ISP (Internet Service Provider). To give a representation of this, let’s say the download speed through the ISP is around 50mbps. Now let’s say that each viewer watching the stream consumes around 1.2mbps. So at 100 or 200 viewers usage would be around 120mbps to 240mbps, which far outstrips the available download speed from the ISP. The solution to this is ECDN technology, short for Enterprise Content Delivery Network. This technology is a virtual appliance that’s installed on premise. It reduces strain on the ISP through caching content. So to use the earlier example, rather than have the max possible consumption be 240mbps for a 1.2mbps stream it would instead just be 1.2mbps (although realistically it will cache the available quality options so they are accessible, so total strain would probably be around 2mbps).
As part of your corporate video strategy, it is best to get an understanding of your audience before choosing a solution. If viewers will be spread out, a traditional CDN is good. If viewers will be concentrated and the consumption will exceed the available download speed, ECDN technology can resolve this. For reference, IBM’s video streaming and enterprise video streaming offers use an approach called SD-CDN, short for Software Defined Content Delivery Network. This uses multiple CDNs with the potential of having ECDNs as part of the distribution. Read more on this from our Live Video Delivery System Built for Scalability white paper.
4. Be mobile friendly
As noted in our Video Trends in 2018: Strategies & Recommendations webinar, mobile usage for video content from enterprises is on the rise. In fact, there was a 177% year over year increase of consumption in 2017 for enterprise content over mobile devices. Furthermore, overall engagement from mobile viewers also rose, climbing 26.5% over the previous year. As a result, internal content should be able to reach mobile devices. The idea behind this is flexibility. For example, someone at a trade show or an important business meeting could still access training material or attend an all-hands meeting with little disruption to their normal activities.
In reaching mobiles, the first aspect is simply being compatible. So utilizing a Flash based player for example won’t suffice since common mobile platforms, like Android and iOS, do not support it. The second aspect is offering adaptive bitrate streaming. Chances are that if you’re using a service that makes the stream mobile compatible, such as converting it to HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), it’s enabled for adaptive delivery. However, the service might not offer live transcoding, which is important for live streaming. The reason is that without live transcoding, the broadcaster has to literally send multiple streams to deliver with adaptive bitrates. This requires a more robust upload connection as a result. A rule of thumb for live streaming is that you’ll want to secure about double the upload speed that you plan to stream at. So a 2.5mbps feed would require a 5mbps upload speed. Other aspects come into consideration, like wired being preferred and having a dedicated line, which can make it tricky at times to make sure the speed is adequate if not under ideal situations. When sending multiple streams, though, that becomes even harder to achieve. The reason is that, besides the additional strain it puts on the encoder hardware or machine running the software, is the additional upload requirement. For example, sending a 1080p, 720p, 480p and 240p version might require a total upload speed of a little under 10 mbps ([3 + 1 .25+ .75 + .25]*2=8.5mbps), as you have to add up all the different versions that need to be sent. This can be particularly tricky if the broadcast is “on the move”, meaning you might stream from a hotel or another venue on occasion, adding extra hurdles in securing an adequate connection for this.
Consequently, a corporate video best practice is to utilize a service that has both adaptive bitrate capabilities and live transcoding. With this technology, broadcasters can send a single, high quality stream and have the service automatically transcode for other bitrates. This greatly reduces the connection speed required for a broadcast.
5. Track usage
So you’ve gone through the trouble of creating rich video content. From excellent training courses to important town halls, employees now have access to valuable video content. However, are they using it? Which assets are most popular? What type of content are they finding most useful?
An important element of internal communication can also be to track usage. This can help validate the ROI (return on investment) for the money being spent, but also for compliance as well. If you have mandatory training on ethics, for example, you’ll likely want to make sure employees watched it rather than just assume they took the necessary steps after being sent a link.
To achieve this, an ideal tool is a way to track asset use. Being able to do this on a per asset basis can be helpful to both prove it’s being used or validate that an employee watched mandatory content. At IBM Watson Media, account owners can track both individual assets and also on a per user basis for content watched, including completion rates. Read more on Viewer Tracking.
Video is a powerful and engaging medium. It can be a great platform to get a message across while also scaling internal functions, and reducing costs associated with travel. These best practices will enable your corporate video strategy to be more effective and enhance how viewers utilize these internal assets as well.
Looking for advice on how to setup a broadcast for these internal streams? Also be sure to check out How to Setup a Live Streaming Workflow webinar for tips on this.