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How Companies are Using Video in the Field to Maximize Resources

Posted by Valerie Nolan on November 16, 2016

Video is one of the most powerful tools on the Internet. One seventh of the planet visits YouTube, every single day. The proliferation of smartphones and laptops means everyone has a video camera in their pocket and share their opinions. You may not be sure how to unlock this power, but there are a few ideas out there that show the power you can harness when you’re creative with video.

Encouraging Video Reviews

If your business is review and feedback dependent, there’s no review more frustrating than the critic who leaves a good or bad rating and a handful of words that explain nothing. But not every customer is an eloquent writer, or particularly comfortable writing out their feelings, and it can be difficult to tease those words out of them.

Until you give them a video camera. That’s why Yelp is encouraging users to add videos to their reviews to demonstrate what customers mean when they say, for example, that a restaurant could use more atmosphere, or that it has exceptional service. They can film examples and tag them to their review for public consumption. It’s useful for customers, of course, but it’s also crucial for businesses that need more descriptive reviews.

Demonstrating Abstract Products

If you want a tough job, just sit somebody down and try to explain augmented reality to them in words. That was the challenge Microsoft had with its upcoming HoloLens technology: How do you show consumers what’s quite literally something you have to see for yourself?

Their answer? Create a video system to show it to you. Here’s their Minecraft demonstration:

Admittedly, we all don’t have the deep pockets of Microsoft, but at the same time, we can take a page from the company, which in turn learned from the popularity of streaming video games. When your product is something you have to “see for yourself,” using livestream and video to demonstrate it is often the best way to get the point across. If you’ve got an app, for example, streaming a device using it or creating a product demonstration with simple animation will often be more effective than reams of copy.

Collecting Data

Video strategy

There’s more to video than just passive clips.

One of the more useful aspects of video isn’t entertainment, but evidence. We’ve all been in a situation where we need to document something for legal purposes. Smartphones have been invaluable in this respect; instead of cars needing to be towed to a shop, for example, drivers have been photographing the scene of their accidents.

Esurance, however, has taken it a step further by making it interactive. The secret is that most of their claims are often incredibly simple; if someone is filing for a fender-bender, for example, there’s no need to make them fill out claim forms or have them leave their perfectly functioning car in the shop. So when there’s an accident, the company’s app allows its policyholders to immediately contact a claims adjuster through video chat. The adjuster can walk them through what they need to see, have them bring the camera closer for details, and often even file and release funds from the claim with a few clicks.

The convenience means more happy customers and less paperwork for Esurance’s team to sift through, and if an accident is more serious, it means the company has more documentation and video evidence to make a more informed decision. It also allows the company to limit how many of the cars it insures to go into the shop, which makes everyone happy.

Improving Employee Communication

If you ask your HR manager what task they hate most, “performance appraisals” are near the top of the list. It stresses out employees, managers often loathe attempting to reduce their employees down to numbers and rankings, and the whole process can become counterproductive unless you’ve got employees and managers willing to be 100% open with each other.

This is why, more and more, companies are asking managers to fire up their webcams and deliver a video performance appraisal. It allows managers to communicate better in their own words what they value from an employee and what could stand to change, in a way they’re more comfortable with. More to the point, it allows employees to catch cues text just doesn’t have; tone of voice, body language, cadence, and so on. It feels like a natural conversation, not being reduced to data points.

It’s equally useful for self-assessments, a notoriously fickle tool for HR managers. People are more likely to be honest when they’re asked to think about remarks rather than just fill in a form. And that honesty in turn helps companies improve where they need it most.

Answering Questions On The Fly

Video strategy

Anywhere your customers are, video can reach them.

Every business has customers, and every customer has questions. Unfortunately, making sure you answer customer questions quickly and effectively can be a tough business with a lot of hurdles. That’s why, more and more, businesses are using apps like Periscope to create spontaneous live Q&A sessions. Instead of sending an email, customers and prospective customers can ask questions of a company in real time, and get real answers right away.

More than just speeding up the reply process, it gives a necessary human touch to customer service. It’s been shown again and again customers dislike automated emails and ticket systems. While livestream Q&As won’t do away with all of those right away, it does let you offer a real connection, and lets a human answer questions with more nuance than a machine would be able to.

Flash Deals

Another off-beat video technique that works, especially with livestreams and social media like Vine, is the “video coupon” or flash deal. It’s pretty simple; create a sale code on your web store, drop a few hints that it’s coming … and then roll it out in a few seconds. Offering deals only those watching can get will build your brand, especially if you can be entertaining while doing it.

As you can see from these examples, there’s a lot of potential in video. So think beyond just a clip. A long-term video strategy, built to suit your needs and the needs of your customers, can do far more than just occupy three minutes of time.

Ready to make your mark with video? Contact us today and let’s get started.
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