Case Study Techniques to Emulate

Again, I didn't study the content of the video that much in this analysis, it was more about encoding and web site presentation. That said, there were a few high points that jumped out at me.

Get to the Point

Most impressive was the first 20 seconds of this video from Zebra Technologies. In some videos, the first 20 seconds present the logo and perhaps some inspiring music. As you can see in the embedded video, Zebra tells you what you'll be watching and why you want to watch it, which is a great way to retain viewers that should be interested in what you're selling. 

Beautiful Camera Work is Always Appreciated

This video from Watchguard Technologies also starts with text summarizing the content, but what really struck me was the quality of the camera work, particuarly the first video shot at about 25 seconds in. The lighting is excellent, rule of third classicly done and the soft background focuses attention on the subject and makes the video easy to compress. Just beautiful video.

I also like that the video goes right after Watchguard's main competitor, Cisco, using the customer to detail why they ultimately chose Watchguard. No sense being shy about it, if you know the viewer will be considering a competitor's product, tell them in your case study why they should buy yours. Nicely done at about 1:43 into the video.

My only issue with Watchguard was how they presented this video on their own web page, specifically within a tiny window with no clear call to action. You can check that out at here.  Essentially, you get a much better experience watching the video on YouTube than you do on the company's web site, which makes little sense.

Get Social (Media, that is)

It's unlikely that any particular case study video will go viral, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try. You should also make the video easy to send to the viewer's co-workers or colleagues. Tandberg does a nice job with that here. Click the figure to visit the Tandberg webpage. As mentioned previously, Tandberg was the only web site with social media links; only one other included an email link.

cases3.jpg

Have a Clear Call to Action

The point of any marketing communication -- brochure, web page or case study video -- is to move the customer through the sales cycle. In non-sales speak, tell the customer what to do to take the next step. Panasonic did the best job with this; with links to "How to Buy," "Pre-Sales Chat" and lots of other content. The only pity is that the video itself is a postage stamp sized 220x164, with no enlargement option. Click the figure to go to the Panasonic site.

cases4.jpg

There were the highlights, now let's move to the mistakes to avoid.

 


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

http://www.hd-productions.biz

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.

Jan
Steve
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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