In this article, we take a look at the step-by-step practice of building a video ecosystem on the Struu platform. If the concept of a video ecosystem is yet unfamiliar, I recommend you take a look at our article addressing the concept in more detail.
Ecosystem in brief
Calling on professor J. Bradford DeLong’s definition of a business ecosystem, a video ecosystem is a productive set of processes for capturing, sharing and retaining key knowledge in video formats, and a means to securely invite, manage and retain a community of various cross-industry players.
In other words, a video community refers to a co-beneficial (video) communications environment in which various players – e.g. a company and its customers, suppliers and other stakeholders – share and discover knowledge and insights essential to given players or industry. Within the ecosystem, the cycle of information is multidirectional and benefits all parties involved.
There are two alternative routes – which can also be co-existing – to unleashing video in your communications: the internal approach and the ecosystem approach. Struu supports both approaches seamlessly but we recommend the latter.
The internal approach: building video capability on top of your existing (internal) communications platform.
The internal “unified communications model” is beneficial to a company in terms of the possibility to retain all key content – video and other – under one hood within the company intranet. In this model, the video content is integrated to company intra by embedding the Struu player comprising video, slides and chat window.
However, the unified communications model can be problematic if the company is looking to benefit from a modern ecosystem in which organisational boundaries are crossed to support the exchange of knowledge, talent and expertise. For what happens in the intranet, stays internal.
The ecosystem approach: establishing a video ecosystem on multiple interlinked platforms.
An ecosystem model is hugely beneficial for companies actively striving to stay ahead of disruptive markets, innovate around new services and establish roles as front-runners within their respective fields.
The ecosystem approach is also great for companies with employees who have no access to the company intranet. Think, for example, of construction companies or the hospitality industry with a lot of “field work” staff.
With Struu, a company can still maintain a single point of authentication for employees by enabling a single-credentials registration to the ecosystem. That is, a company can allow access to their Struu Community through their O365 or G Suite account, whilst maintaining the ability to include users without O365/G Suite credentials.
Slack is a great example of how an external communications platform can permeate the given existing communications model. Slack, as if by accident, organically spread from small teams to covering a good chunk of communications activities involving partners, subsidiaries, clients and other players external to the company.
Essentially, Slack brought on a whiff of the ecosystem approach to companies communicating traditionally, without forcing them to entirely change their communications strategy.
Struu provides similar capabilities as Slack to compliment an ecosystem model of communications. Whereas Slack is great for direct and quick exchange of information, Struu provides a superb means to deploy video in the exchange of more refined information, whilst upholding an ecosystem approach to communications.
Setting up a video ecosystem on Struu
Once the cultural change and communications strategy supporting an ecosystem model is happening, the company can move from theory to practice following these steps:
Set up a Struu Organisation
Struu Organisation is the controlling account under which the ecosystem of Communities (channels) is built.
Start by choosing the monthly plan best suited for your company’s size and need. Once the plan is selected, you are able to set up the Organisation in a few simple steps. Start off at the Struu button and select “Create new Organisation”. Then, choose a name, give a description of the company and add a logo, and you’re done.
Plan your Community structure and choose the players
Struu Community is a single channel that can be public, private or hidden. A Community can include both company internal and external users.
Based on your ecosystem strategy and operating model, plan the Communities you need for your video communications.
Setting up a Struu Community is an incredibly simple task which takes about two minutes. Key is to identify the players who need to be involved in the ecosystem and establishing the right type of Communities for each group and audience.
For example, a company can begin with one hidden internal Community for the whole house, one training Community for new employee induction videos, smaller hidden Communities for each team, a partly external private knowledge-sharing Community for internal and external people working together around a specific project, and one public Community sporting marketing content for clients and consumers.
Build your Communities
Start by clicking on the Struu button, choose “Create new Community” from the quick actions and follow the steps. Each of the details can be changed through Community settings at a later stage, too.
Invite key people
Go to either the Struu button and select “Invite to Community”, choose the Community you want to invite people to and invite via email; or go to your Community page, enter settings -> invitations and invite one-by-one via email or find people on Struu.
If you’re looking to invite a large group of people at once, you can also create an invitation link. Choose the time of validity, create a link and post it to a group email, company messaging board or other platform.
Assign user roles within Communities
Once you have your Community or Communities set up and the right people invited, it’s time to assign roles and delegate responsibilities.
Within a Struu Community, any user can obtain one of three roles: Admin, Contributor or Member. Admins have all the control over the Community in terms of managing Community settings, inviting new users, creating and moderating the Community’s content. Contributors have the right to create new content for the Community and consume videos. Members can consume videos and take part in discussions on the contents.
Assign user roles by going to Community page -> settings -> Users. User’s current role is noted next to their name. Their role can be changed by clicking on the little downwards arrow by the user role indicator.
Communicate the change
No initiative can take off without the right kind of support, communication and incentives. The responsible parties must actively involve and encourage people to express and capture their insights, share content and take part in discussions around given topics. That is, empower your people as internal influencers.
The best way to communicate the change in the culture of communication, is to lead the change in practice. So, how about launching a video series for your company? For inspiration, take a look at our article discussing what the best business influencers are doing right.
Establish measuring patterns that support your communications development
As part of your video ecosystem strategy, it’s crucial to establish goals and measuring patterns for content creation and delivery. Struu provides you with a detailed Analytics dashboard, delivering metrics on video viewing, engagement and even single user activity.
Benchmark new releases to best performing contents’ metrics, articulate goals for engagement and viewing, and measure content success in terms of pre-set targets. Pretty soon you will have a clear picture of what type of content works and what doesn’t.
Create, view, share and learn
After taking the above steps to launch a video ecosystem on Struu, it’s important to keep the snowball rolling and growing.
Keep creating content and encourage other to create, seek for new content and engage new users within your ecosystem, be open, courageous and expressive. Most of all, keep sharing your knowledge – it’s the only way to grow.
By Eero Alasuutari
The author works as the Chief Creative Officer for Struu
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