My last post described the first half of my interview with Ecommerce Times. The second half of our interview focused on B2B video programming, or what the publication described as TV Media Relations. B2B multimedia is one of my favourite topics, so I plunged straight in...
Forget "Pop Idol" and "The Apprentice", B2B programming is the new hot programming. We're within sight of bespoke TV shows dedicated to your industry, your profession. Coming to a screen near you, a whole raft of new productions with names like Logistics Insights Live, The Coronary Care Beat, Patent Law Update, IT Compliance Bulletin.
But where is this "screen near you"? What is TV?
The concept of broadcast TV is on borrowed time. Video over IP and associated technologies enable time, place and device shifted viewing (video when and where you want it). When married to the dramatic reduction in video production costs of recent years, niche B2B video programming is becoming an economically viable option for the first time. This is narrowcast. This is targeted.
We have witnessed B2B publications morphing into B2B websites, and we will now see a transition to delivery of more and more content by video. The publishers' need for insightful and compelling content will continue, but they will need different collateral from PRs... multimedia content ready for easy insertion in the editorial process. Some of this material can be prepared in advance, and some will have to be created quickly and nimbly to convert opportunities; and importantly PRs will need to video media train more spokespeople to make sure an opportunity doesn't pass when the wrong guy is out of town.
Interestingly, established publishers will face new competition in this new video on demand world... from their audience. There's no reason why for example our fictional show above, IT Compliance Bulletin, couldn't be produced (or at least commissioned) by IBM as much as by CNET.
When will this happen? Well depending again on your definition of TV, you should check out www.insight24.com today. The resolution of some of these B2B video podcasts and presentations doesn't qualify them as TV in current parlance, but resolution is just a function of production technology and storage, and the bandwidth and latency of your Internet connection.
There are many facets to narrowcast B2B video programming impacting your marketing communications, and I'll finish with a couple more: measurement and engagement. Unlike the fuzzy and warped metrics of broadcast television, video content consumed on demand has the perfect back channel courtesy of the Internet connection employed to distribute the content in the first place. This provides a feedback mechanism to register who is watching what, and where and when, but just as critically it facilitates real time interaction between the viewers and the content producer.
Whilst writing this response, my Twitter community has been watching the UK's version of The Apprentice. Whilst admittedly they are watching it concurrently in a broadcast manner rather than narrowcast, the engagement and context this lends the programme is powerful. Imagine listening to and participating in that conversation the first time you feature in or publish your own B2B TV show.