by Matthew Gonnering
YouTube is an awesome destination for videos – but it is not a management tool. It is important to understand the distinction. Because marketers — B2B, B2C, small, big, tall, short — are all beginning to realize that video is an integral part of their marketing mix and should be used as one of the components to communicate with the marketplace.
If you have videos and plan to produce more, you need a library system in place to help manage and distribute these incredibly large files. This is Digital Asset Management (DAM).
YouTube is simply a way to distribute your video assets. It does this better than any other site, by far. For example, let’s take the “Will it Blend” series of videos from Blendtec, a manufacturer of blenders, which have millions of YouTube views and counting. If you haven’t seen them, you can check them out at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Blendtec.
The campaign resulted in 65 million views on YouTube and 120 million views on WillIitBlend.com. More than 200,000 new subscribers signed on to Blendtec’s website and sales increased by 700 percent. National coverage included features on The Today Show, iVillage Live, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, Big Idea, Food Network and The Tonight Show. It appeared on blog sites such as Engadget, Forbes, AdAge, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and even a mention in Congress–someone said something about taking a bill and putting it in a Blendtec blender. While YouTube plays a huge part in facilitating the growth and viral nature of the video, it only does it by drawing viewers. It does not “manage” the video “asset” in any way. The “asset” is the highest-resolution version; probably straight off the camera. That is an asset that goes into a DAM system. From there, that asset can be uploaded (and compressed) to a number of different distribution sites, like YouTube. Distribution sites compress the video (which degrades quality) so it is easier and faster for viewers to download/stream. The quality is good enough for viewing but not good enough for repurposing, which is a primary goal of DAM.
As this example shows, the management tool is the starting point and is independent of the destination. It provides neutrality for the digital assets so as destinations change, the digital assets can be easily repurposed in these new channels. Some organizational requirements demand a hierarchy of access where some people have permission to see and do things other people cannot. DAM handles that too.
We need to remember there is also a service element to managing videos. The service component helps merchants get organized and ramp up internal users with the technology. The technologies are great but the users still need coaching and mentoring through active service and support. YouTube is not built for that; but a software-as-a-service DAM provider with a service infrastructure already in place is equipped to handle that demand.
We have seen a rise in video use from both B2B and B2C organizations. Digital assets cost money to create and DAM can help get the most value from these investments. DAM helps to create, manage, distribute and repurpose assets many times, lowering the total cost per use. DAM can facilitate not just video either – the entire collection of digital assets which includes images, audio, presentations, marketing collateral.
By all means, use YouTube, it’s a great destination. Just use the DAM thing to manage those files.
About the Author: Matthew Gonnering is CEO of Widen Enterprises (www.widen.com), a Madison, WI-based SaaS provider of digital asset management technologies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.