Virtually every big data company in the tech industry has some kind of enterprise video solution at its disposal, and if they don’t, then they’re lagging behind the rest. Chances are if you’re a marketing firm, there’s a video marketing platform behind the scenes as well, either in the works or already being implemented. So how does this affect corporate communications? For starters, video is the new mainstream for teleconferencing, whether it’s a virtual meeting, webcast, or an interactive video presentation.

Corporations don’t just want their employees to watch anymore—they want them to engage with their higher-ups, to interact with the new content being presented, and to become more familiar and interpersonal with their corporate communication structure as a whole. Without some form of interaction incorporated into a company’s enterprise video solution, it’s nothing more than a blended mesh of sounds and images deflecting off an employee’s face. Sure, some buzzwords and key terms will hit their mark here & there, but overall, if people aren’t truly engaged, then what’s the point of video?

Video conferencing with interactivity

Companies are starting to realize that they missed the point a few years back when interactivity in video conferencing was rebuffed, or rather ignored completely. Now it’s back with a vengeance, and online meeting & webinar provider ReadyTalk is reaping the benefits, recently announcing upgrades to its platform allowing users the ability to share interactive content with thousands of participants—or a dozen coworkers in a meeting room. In fact, now that cloud capabilities have become synonymous with online video, interactive conferencing has not only become cheaper and more efficient, but also easier to use and more flexible. With cost no longer a significant factor, cloud video conferencing is something any company hosting a live [event] wants to invest in.

But just what makes it interactive? There’s already been technology offering “back & forth” between presenters and participants. The difference is that now, these platforms have incorporated interactive questioning, quizzes & surveys, social media, embedding content & more into the video stream itself, enabling users to interact together as a group rather than just as individuals sharing a response.

Interactive webcasting solutions

Video—both leisure and professional—is continuing to become a part of our everyday lives, and it’s clear that it’s not going away anytime soon. Streaming content is also on the rise for both internal and external forms of corporate communication, as well as live and recorded content. Video webcasting is often the chosen solution for streaming a number of different media communications at large enterprises, from town hall meetings to more intimate sales use cases. When people hear the term, “webcast,” they either think of a pre-recorded segment being broadcast online (i.e., a podcast) or something smaller-scale and more personal, like a video chat.

For instance, given a one-on-one chat scenario with an employee and his/her supervisor, you immediately picture a face-to-face video chat. If the platform being used is enabled with interactive elements, such as Tivi, then you could also be opening a live URL and browsing the web together; sharing a document in one window while maintaining live interaction in a second window, thereby taking on a built-in “second screen” approach to video communication.

Build a better communication strategy

As I mentioned in a previous post, video doesn’t just benefit one person—it benefits everyone as a team. Live streaming using a standard web browser is a great way to extend the audience of multi-party meetings in the digital space. On top of that, make sure your chosen platform has a working cloud strategy. With cloud video conferencing, users now have the option of how they receive the information being sent to them. Lastly, avoid additional costs by eliminating the need for hardware or software downloads and subscribing to a platform that provides everything you need on its cloud server. This way, you won’t spend hours of company time troubleshooting with IT over why a specific download or program isn’t working—it’s all resolved “up in the cloud.”

Cloud video capabilities are definitely a must-have, but without adding interactive components to the mix, you’re basically back to square one with your video strategy. Enable your employees to use their own devices and adapt a BYOD culture if you haven’t already, and you’ll continue to see your communication costs decline. Corporate communications are undergoing a paradigm shift-like movement, changing from the ‘suit & tie’ persona of yesteryear and instead, embracing a millennial-driven landscape of social collaboration.

(Originally published via LinkedIn Pulse on September 16, 2015)

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Max Greenwood is the manager & director of social media for Tivi: Truly Interactive Video, a radical new online video platform incorporating interactivity into live and on-demand video content.

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