Best Practices for Video Case Studies

Let's summarize these findings into some specific recommendations.

Content

-- Three to four minutes is a good target duration.
-- Get to the point quickly, and a text summary at the start of the video is a great way to do it.
-- Don't be afraid to identify the competition and have the subject of your case study detail why you're better.
-- There's a lot of great production work out there, so poor quality video -- in any respect - will stick out.

Video encoding

-- ESPN produces at 576x324 @ 712 kbps (video only). If your video is much smaller than this, you really need a good reason why, because clearly most of your target customers can play it smoothly, and bandwidth cost isn't a concern for most corporate web sites. Go big, or don't go at all.
-- Know the bits per pixel per frame of your video. If it's much larger than .15, your data rate is probably too high.
-- Unless you hired the London Symphony Orchestra to play background music for your case study (and recorded in pristine stereo), there's probably no reason to distribute your case study in stereo. In most instances, 64 kbps should be sufficient for MP3, and 32 kbps for AAC.
-- If you're streaming to the Flash Player, and you probably should be, use the H.264 codec rather than VP6. There's no reason use H.263 at this point.

Player

-- Always display your video at its encoded resolution; if you have to scale, make sure you're not introducing any artifacts into the video.
-- Have a clear call to action on the page hosting the video.
-- If you launch the video in a separate window, make sure it's a new window and doesn't replace the launch page. Always have a link back to the launch page.
-- Make your video embeddable, linkable and email-able, and promote links to social media sites.
-- Unless you have a very strong reason otherwise, post all case studies to YouTube and other UGC sites. You probably won't get lots of views, but those that watch are likely interested in your product or service.

That's it for now; I hope you found this information helpful. I gotta go post this article to some social media sites.


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)

New comments are currently disabled.