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Panel of Digital Video Experts Explain Its Use and Applications

by Laura Bynum, APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager and NCC Membership Chair
October 17, 2013

Considering that digital video is reaching unprecedented levels of viewing globally, the Professional Development session with a panel of video experts on October 16th at the Navy Memorial could not have been better timed. The three video expert speakers proved to be adept at explaining the ins-and-outs of the use of video, and how it has been increasingly used to sell products, tell stories, and educate audiences.  

(See PowerPoint presentation from the program here.)

Approximately 70 participants were on hand to listen to the speakers that included Tod Plotkin, founder of the Green Buzz Agency; Nayna Sasidharan, multimedia producer for the Aspen Institute; and Eric Lofberg, senior audio engineer of NASA Television; who all related their methods of production and strategic use of video for their respective companies, and how they have seen video progress with the advent of time and the explosion of You Tube and Google.

Statistics of video viewing are staggering, including the facts that 52% of consumers say that video makes them more confident of purchasing online, 30-second videos that have an 88% completion rate by viewers, and over 100 hours of video are uploaded to You Tube every minute. Add to that the estimate that by 2016, over 2/3 of mobile traffic will be video-based, and you can see that digital video is on the forefront of media outlets - to say the least.

Plotkin stated that having video elements on your website adds elements of your products, or “what to get excited about,” in any type of promotion or marketing that is sent via email marketing, on Twitter or Facebook, or on other social or traditional media outlets. In his experience, videos are “whatever the client wants” - usually around seven minutes, and include the glamour shots and descriptive images of what’s going on in with new products, the company or events. And, video marketing can be on a budget that focuses on content, or, can have high-end motion graphics through purchased software to change effects and lighting at a higher cost level.

For those who are lengthy video conversation-oriented, Nayna Sasidharan said that there are different ways to use video including sharing different viewpoints  in a style of more in-depth, “think tank” type of conversation or research.  She stressed that in her experience, 90% of video is event related, and can be filmed at a weeklong event or site and edited to five hours (or less) of concise video communication for the website. “Videos record moments of gathering that share the passion of those involved, about what they do,” she said. Videos can go viral if they catch fire for added exposure, but she stressed that at the Aspen Institute, minimal uses of logos and a small amount of animation or graphics in video are primarily used to record participants’ ideas in clips that can be used as teasers, click-through to the website and posted on the company’s You Tube account.

The black-and-white of video use, according to Eric Lofberg, is that there are tools and gadgets in video production that can improve delivery. In NASA TV, the video coverage is mission related to use by media or their own team  to educate or for scheduled programming, or on their own public access channel. “What’s appealing about NASA TV is that it’s live coverage of NASA events that are intensive uses of launch, historical events, space walks, or conducted experiments,” he said.  In his experience, the video is intended for the public via non-linear editors, who are working in a more time-efficient manner with cloud-based video for content purposes. “It’s beneficial to have scaled down editing suite based on files of video rather than the older tape that his time-consuming and costly to edit in today’s news environment that is 24/7.”

All of the panelists agreed that cloud-based analytics are great for uses where you are wanting the analytic data to show where it’s coming from, and  also shows the trends for where people “stop watching.”  Overall video cameras and photo cameras are cheaper and better, and can be used in increased camera angles than ever before due to the advent of tripods and other ways to shoot video.