By next year, video will compose 82% of all internet traffic. Cisco made that assessment in its Visual Networking Index (VNI) released in 2018. 

What they didn’t forecast — along with everybody else — was a global pandemic that sent employees and consumers into their homes for months on lockdown, relying on all things digital: video conferencing tools to communicate with colleagues and digital channels like videos for content consumption.

Learning Opportunities

All of this points to the need for organizations to have a good grasp on the video technologies they use for customer and employee experiences. The first big lesson? There are many categories of technologies that support video production and management. Some support certain organizational functions. Others support different use cases. Getting a good grasp on your use case and video strategy is crucial in selecting and managing video technologies — and avoiding overlap, report author Nick Barber of Forrester told CMSwire.

Forrester in its October 2020 Tech Tide: Video Technologies for Customer and Employee Experience, Q4, 2020 reported on 19 such categories of video technologies and cautioned companies they exist across a wide range of audiences and use cases. Until the categories converge, companies need to carefully consider where they distribute video tech resources.

In this article, we will focus on video content management systems, or an online video platform. It can support marketing use cases but certainly is not limited to that use case.

What Is a Video Content Management System?

These platforms focus on distributing video content online and in mobile scenarios and “support the creative process around video production, provide centralized storage and organization of that video content, and manage delivery to customers and prospects,” according to Forrester.

Marketers often go with free video-production resources like YouTube or use social media platforms to distribute, manage and publish video. And no one’s saying to stop that. However, Forrester reports that video content management systems, or a video CMS, are more secure, have better functionality, more analytics features and important functions like integrations into marketing automation. For marketers, those are easy wins over the free video tools.

“They’re going to want a video CMS that is right-sized for their needs, but also able to grow as they get more advanced,” said Barber.

According to HubSpot, a video content management system is a software application that helps organizations store, organize, manage and present online video content. Marketers can build an intricate, scalable video ecosystem without any programming knowledge, according to HubSpot, and video CMS are used for public-facing videos, like ads and tutorials, and/or private videos, like training and internal messaging.

Sample vendors include: Adobe, Brightcove, Kaltura, Knowledgevision, Vidyard, Panopto, Zype and Wistia.

Related Article: Top 15 Enterprise Video Content Management Systems

Key Features, Capabilities to Consider

One marketer shared with us her key features she expects from a video CMS. Janet Patterson, VP of marketing communications for Highway Title Loans, lists the following features:

  • Customizable video player
  • Live video streaming
  • Digital content management
  • Security and compliance
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • In-video interactivity
  • Video editing
  • Media analytics
  • Integration with IT applications and infrastructure

When discussing enterprise video capabilities — and this goes beyond just the marketing use case —  Aragon Research in its Aragon Research Globe for Enterprise Video, 2019 found companies should look for the ability to:

  • Capture, tag and edit a video recording
  • Publish
  • Store video content and display it in different modes for users
  • Deliver video content to multiple devices (includes transcoding)
  • Provide delivery of video content to global locations (via content delivery network capabilities)
  • Search for content
  • Deliver a live broadcast to a large number of users
  • Record the live broadcast for later use
  • Connect with existing video conferencing systems for capture or for broadcast federation
  • Analyze what is happening in a video, either live or after the fact
  • Recognize people and images in a video or image
  • Recognize sentiment of people talking in a video

“The delivery capabilities for most enterprise video providers have improved substantially,” Aragon Research CEO Jim Lundy wrote. “Some providers focus heavily on infrastructure and provide a content delivery network (CDN) to deal with scalability and WAN optimization. Many providers have cloud-based offerings delivered in a SaaS model. Pricing models also differ greatly among providers, which adds to buyers’ confusion when they try to procure [Video Content Management] products."

Related Article: How AI Is Tackling Marketers' Top Video Management Challenges

Know What Types of Video You Want to Deliver

What should marketers in particular look for in an video content management system? Make sure it supports the types of videos that the organization wants to deliver, Forrester’s Barber said. Will the sales teams be using it to record videos that they send to prospects? Will the marketing teams be using it for live-streaming or just on-demand video content? What about personalized video that can scale to hundreds of thousands?

“Think a video bill explainer or onboarding for your newly purchased insurance policy," Barber said. "It’s important to define the ‘flavors’ of videos you want to deliver and then select a platform that supports them."

Conduct an Internal Content Audit

This initial step — an internal content audit — can tell you, Barber said, what content you have living where, and it will help you answer key questions in the buying process: How much storage will you need? How many users need access to the platform? How many videos do you create on a daily or weekly basis? Will you use the platform to house b-roll clips or only finalized videos?

Check Out Integration Capabilities

Integrations are a top request when Barber talks to those in the hunt or trying to improve their video technology stack. “It’s important that the video CMS,” he said, “fits into an organization’s ecosystem rather than create another silo. You might want to integrate the video CMS into your marketing automation platform so that you can capture leads from your video content, for example. Will you need an integration into a workflow tool that allows you to review and approve content from your creatives before it goes live?”

Collision Course With DAM?

Lundy in Aragon's research noted potential overlap between video content management and Digital Asset Management (DAM) tools, which manage digital assets. “In some cases,” Lundy reported in his Aragon research, “the scalability of managing large volumes of video can be matched by DAM providers, so it is more about the use case and the specific functionality.”

Barber told CMSWire he’s seeing stronger support for video capabilities in both the DAM and Web CMS spaces. “Especially as DAM has moved further upstream in the creative process,” Barber said, “the workflow capabilities are particularly attractive from a video standpoint.”