Success With Video Blogging

By Edward Cone  |  Posted 02-15-2007

Andy Plesser is the founder of New York City-based Plesser Holland Associates, which advises companies and nonprofits on creating and using Web media, especially video. The firm also created the popular video-blogging site Beet.tv, which posts interviews with Web personalities and thought leaders. Plesser spoke with Senior Writer Edward Cone about the "mediafication" of all sorts of organizations.

CIO Insight: Why would a busy executive want to spend time making videos for relatively small audiences?
Plesser: If you are a company with something interesting going on, it's important to understand that video clips can help you grow virally. At some level, it's the economics of reputation: You want to be seen as authoritative in your field. Businesspeople may inspire or lead best by performing on a physical stage, where words are spoken aloud and gestures matter—not via the written word, which is often bland. When you can just whip out your iMac and get a message out to prospective clients, it starts to make sense in terms of time and effort.

What should companies be saying in these videos?
Video blogging is like an informational TV channel, a travel channel or a trade publication. It has to be tailored for the strategy of the company, whether that means communicating closely with consumers or customers, creating brand loyalty, or providing service information. Companies can use video blogs to provide really valuable information, not just about how great their car or computer is, but about what's happening in the automotive world, or what's exciting in the larger market. It's about creating media that's interesting, not just a sales job.

How do you find the right audience for this stuff?
Having a robust e-mail list and strong Web presence are good starts. Proper search terms and the use of RSS feeds can even the playing field for small companies. This is supposed to be easy: Coded flash video can be used effectively in platforms that already exist, and in a seamless way—expensive streaming and servers are not essential. But you want to do it right, with integrity and editorial excellence. My approach is to create video on a blog platform, with text as metadata, and cross links to other sites and other people. That builds audience, authority, searchability and Google juice. It's got to be searchable, or else it may get lost.