Producing Video Case Studies

Many organizations use video case studies to help market their products and services. I recently analyzed eleven video case studies, focusing on high level production techniques, how the video was encoded, and how the video was presented on the companies' web pages. This article presents my findings, and should be useful to marketing professionals, video producers, compressionists and web developers.

I'll present the findings in four sections:

-- Useful statistics
-- Good techniques to emulate
-- Mistakes to avoid
-- Best practices for case studies

As an overview, I identified the case studies by Googling "video case studies" and trolling through the results. To use the case study, I had to be able to download it, it must have been created after 1/1/2009 (to the best that I could determine) and had to be used to sell a product or service.

Ultimately, I found videos from companies like Xerox, Comcast, Panasonic, Fujitsu, Tandberg and Blackberry, just to name a few. To me, it looked like all the videos were professionally produced and edited; none appeared to be the work of an ambitious marketing director with a camcorder and no budget.

Again, when analyzing the videos for this article, I focused primarily on video encoding and web site presentation. In a future article, I'll examine the actual content and discuss issues like the how the marketing claims were presented and proved, the use of B-roll vs A-roll, how and where background music was used and the like.

Let's start with some useful stats about encoding and presentation.

Comments (4)

Said this on 4-5-2010 At 02:15 pm

I followed the link from Streamingmedia  to have a look at some of the examples worth looking at.

James Wood

HD Productions

Said this on 4-7-2010 At 05:17 am

This is a really interesting piece. I would have preferred to have it all on one page and scrolable rather than split over 5 pages.

Much of your advice runs counter to other articles which recommend the point and shoot approach to corporate video. One notable omission from the article is some discussion of how much these videos may have cost. Without such basic information it's impossible to determine whether companies can expect a return on their investment in video.

Thanks for a fascinating review.

Said this on 4-7-2010 At 06:40 am
Hey Daniel:

Thanks for your note - lots of good input. Would love to see the other articles on point and shoot - can you share some links?

I was surprised at the general high quality of these videos, though they were from big companies. I only tried to contact one who didn't favor me with a return email (sigh) but if I had to guess, I'd say most of these were easily in the $10,000 range or higher range, some very much higher.

I think you can produce them for much less cost, but these are the type of videos that marketing folks/budding videographers need to emulate in terms of style, brevity, composition and the like.

I'll try to minimize the pages going forward - it's a good organization tool for me and does improve those page counts and advertising views.


Thanks again for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note.

Said this on 4-8-2010 At 06:11 pm

This is a really nice analysis, thanks.

You'd be surprised about cost, Turnhere one of the larger online video producers quotes $600 for a "small business video". I think you're right about the big name companies producing their videos in the $10,000 range using a multicrew shoot, professional graphics and high-end post production, but there are online video producers out there doing their thing for much less. 

Another decision would be how to deliver videos, ie. which Content Delivery Network to use. I'd be interested if you ran into any performance issues (i.e. buffering)

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