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Video marketing is becoming an increasingly key element in the marketing manager’s stack. Companies are using videos to build brand awareness, establish trust, keep customers informed, and to set themselves apart. According to one survey, 88% of video marketers are happy with the returns they are seeing on video marketing efforts.

On the flip side – people not only prefer learning about a product or service via video, but they retain the information at much higher rates.

Not all video is created equally. Anyone can be a creator. It might involve the on-phone 4k camera or a low cost DSLR. Lighting can be cheap, or free if you shoot outdoors. On the flipside, many companies are developing in-house crews or hiring agencies with Hollywood-level production value. Regardless, if you produce video for your company there is one universal truth: gathering feedback on time and getting approval on the final cut can be the most painful part of the entire process.

What slows down the online video proofing and approval process?

First, a definition:

Online Proofing is the process of reviewing a draft, collecting feedback and gathering approvals on content, (while connected to a network) for remote and often real-time collaboration. 

As a marketing manager, you face competing demands, generally concerning speed, quality, and budget. While this applies to all your projects, shooting video is a particular beast. Having worked on many a video project, both for client accounts and internally, you’ve surely noticed the same pattern come up repeatedly.

After a really solid shoot, the editors worked a fast turnaround, and got back a cut that (appeared to have) perfectly met the brief – good job! It felt like the project was tracking well. You’d upload the file to Dropbox, Wetransfer or even (the dreaded) FTP server…only to get back a long email with necessary changes from the account or project manager. 

Simultaneously, another email would come in from the creative director, seconds before the marketing director drops by to give feedback. The VP and CEO are still a few rounds away. Inevitably, the feedback is generally contradictory along with inaccurate timestamps and lacks clarity. Now, to meet the deadlines, you need to repackage, translate and coordinate with the editors. You also need to sync with everyone who provided feedback to ensure you’ve interpreted “cut here” as “until or starting here” correctly. 

Video proofing shouldn’t be the reason for delays in your production schedule

There are plenty of reasons a video production schedule falls behind. They are too numerous to list (see Development Hell). When it comes to feedback and approvals, a marketing manager has specific workflow needs –  and unlike the writing of a script (unless you let AI do it), a tool for online video proofing can easily address these workflow issues. 

Here are a few feedback and collaboration challenges to consider to get a project from first to final cut:

  • Broken Email (or the game formerly known as Broken Telephone): Anyone who’s worked on video has received those emails. They are a mess of a feedback lists, always requiring several clarifications, and even then, many will still be misinterpreted because they don’t visually describe specific details in a frame or clip. Email feedback creates a total headache for the video editors since they have to collect all comments and reply to each one in a disparate manner. Unless you, as the marketing manager, have that fun task. Email is not collaborative.
  • Encoding and Sharing: If you lack a common platform to view video and other files, it will result in miscommunications and delays as a result of technical inconsistencies. Sharing large (or uncompressed) video files will lead to a poor reviewing experience. What happens when your approver or feedback-giver is using sub-ideal wifi? What about when the CEO lacks the extension to view your format?
  • Transparency and open collaboration: Where there’s more than one source of feedback, there’s a strong possibility for contradictory communication. I’d say it’s guaranteed, but it’s technically possible that a video feedback email thread didn’t have conflicting feedback. 
  • Versioning: Seeing progress across versions, the before and after, is not intuitive for your collaborators. To identify changes, you and certainly less tech-able teams, will need to open two windows, get them to sync and then hit the pause button on both at the same time. 

Clear feedback and approval gives your schedules a fighting chance

Video proofing helps today’s marketing manager, and anyone else working with content, package feedback and share it. From timecodes and formatting to other technical information, a collaborative online proofing tool helps save time, reduces feedback cycles and eliminate confusion.

How To Start With Online Video Proofing

One of the easiest ways to speed up the video approval process is to start with the right tools. Here are the four key factors to consider when choosing an online video proofing solution:

  1. Clear and Consolidated Feedback: On-frame markups and annotations provide a clearer and more precise way to provide feedback on visual elements. Consolidated discussion threads mean you don’t have to go hunting for client comments and versions – it’s all in one place. Put an end to the pain and miscommunications of email threads!  
  2. Live Meetings & Remote Collaboration: Given all the moving parts involved in video production, it’s critical that teams be able to work effectively from remote locations. Actually, not only remote locations – but even in the same office on different screens, without having to “pull up a chair”. Live review meetings to present your work will allow you to gather real-time feedback – and get clarity fast. In the past, video review often happened in person. You shouldn’t need to meet over every version with your designer, client or director. 
  3. One Tool to Rule Them All: Having task management and approvals, along with consolidated feedback and versioning, is a game-changer for many projects. The ability to assign tasks and set deadlines for reviews will not only allow you and your team to understand what has to be done (and by whom) but it will also give you instant visibility on the project status and on any potential bottlenecks. 
  4. Better Client Service: Whether internal or external collaborators, having a review and approval tool saves everyone time, reduces headaches, and delivers clarity. Your clients (and any collaborators for that matter) will greatly appreciate the convenience of having an online markup tool, and being able to see the full history of the project development in a unified space. 

The Video Proofing Solution For Deadline Driven Marketers

Video is a significant investment. Time, resources, energy – there’s a reason it can be a painstaking, yet highly rewarding and profitable effort. On the other hand, online proofing and collaborating on approvals for your video content should not be a problem.

How many hours do you unnecessarily spend on video feedback and getting approvals? With the right video proofing platform that emphasizes workflow reduction and efficient communication, you will be able to deliver great projects on time and budget.

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