Indium Corporation just participated in back-to-back trade shows these past two weeks (APEX in Las Vegas and NEPCON in Shanghai). One (of many) thing they had in common was video interviews. Customers want more than the month-late magazine write-up or the online, two-sentence once-over when it comes to interesting people, products, and processes.
Here is how I see the situation:
- Video offers a TREMENDOUS opportunity to tell your story and to display your human side. This is great – and should be embraced.
- Be careful! It is easy to do a poor job, and come off looking bad.
So, what do we do? Here are my thoughts on how to deal with video interviews:
1) Expect them – to the point of actually soliciting them. Determine which media are planning/capable of executing video interviews and ask them to cover you and your story.
2) BEGIN AT THE END! Make a deal, up front, as to how you can use the final video. You may want to simply link to the media's video pages. But, you may want to embed the video into your website. You might even want to use the video in your Sale's team's PowerPoint presentations. You could even go as far as making banner ads from excerpts. By making the appropriate deal up front, the video can be made with your downstream needs in mind, and you can get permission before you start.
3) Have a message! Don't ever just sit down and let the interviewer take charge. That said, request and respect the media's point as well as your own. Make your point clear with the media before the interview and see how both sides can be accommodated.
4) Arrange to have the most qualified and interesting person in the interview. You may be the Marcom expert (and the slickest talker), but the audience prefers to hear and see the true expert. In fact, the imperfect human qualities of these experts is actually desired and appreciated.
5) Prepare your online talent well before the interview. Many times these people are technologists, and NOT Marcom experts. They may not have any familiarity with how things look and feel in video. They may have never studied video interviews long into the night like we have. Assume they have absolutely NO savvy (respectfully). Video interview them (in their office, for training purposes only) and show them how they come off with NO training or practice (avoid turning them completely off). Then, Show them some good and bad video interviews. Review the key points of how to do a good job in a video interview. Then, re-interview them on video and discuss their improvements (don't go creating any prima donnas!!!).
6) During the interview, stay on topic – and avoid the temptation to drift or to "wing" things.
7) Interview to the original goal (see #2 above).
8) Interview yourself (or your own team). Don't wait for the media to make the first move. Then, offer pertinent video to the media (awesome!).
9) Develop a support team that can work with the media company and that can upload and download and otherwise easily manipulate video files so that the final project(s) gets done quickly and easily.
10) Consider creating a YouTube channel to house your video stash.
Video interviews at major and minor B2B events, and in-house, are NOT the future, they're here now. Some are leading the way, others are watching their competition get all the attention and traction. Do some homework, make some plans, and dive in.