Using videos to interact with clients has always been powerful. A video report at an annual shareholder or sales meeting will hold attention better than most, if not all speakers. And back in our younger years, how much more interesting was a watching an educational film than listening to the teacher?
Over the last number of months we’ve seen that video can enable conversations that just wouldn’t happen otherwise. I’m talking about online video.
Example 1 – Jemima Kiss is an online journalist for the UK publication, The Guardian. Excited about the upcoming Indiana Jones movie, she recently posted questions via Seesmic.com to Steven Spielberg and Karen Allen (Marian in the 1st & 4th films) … and got responses! Click here to read her article and view the videos. From her home in London she was able to speak directly to these Hollywood celebrities, and she was rewarded with a couple of direct answers. Pretty empowering. As she puts it, “The best thing about it is that it bypasses the Hollywooid/Cannes schmaltz and gets straight into a conversation.”
Example 2 – Baron Davis, NBA allstar, sent out a “dare” directly to some of his fans via iBeatYou.com a site that elicits video responses to fun and outrageous challenges. He directly challenged a teenaged fan to an online staring contest. That teen then responded and further challenged Jessica Alba (star of the Fantastic Four movies) and she responded. Now these videos are not really that interesting, and the whole thing is just a lot of fun and nonsense. But the bigger picture is that here is a teenage fan that gets to play a game with two of his favorite celebrities. That’s pretty neat!
We’re still very much in the early adoption stage of online video, but what other opportunities does this provide us and the companies we work for? A more personalized message for one. A lot more meaning and understanding can come from a video conversation than can over the phone, or worse, email. Enabling video chat raises one’s “cool” factor.
Just as teleconferencing with our coworkers in other offices reduces confusion and builds comrodery – put a face to the voice – online video enables that powerful connection with anyone out there, including our customers.