Using video as part of research projects is being heralded as the new, more reliable way to collect data on consumers. The reasons for this make sense; video unveils a new level of understanding, getting you closer to your consumer than ever before and allowing you to see real behaviour so you no longer have to rely on reported or recalled behaviour.
This is all well and good but for many of us, incorporating video into a project can feel like a daunting task at best. Here, we’ve written some tips that we’ve found make the whole process run a lot smoother. Trust us - it’s less scary than you think...
Right from the get-go, it’s important to frame the study with the kind of responses you want from your participants. For some studies, you may include a short survey before the video aspect comes in (e.g. to gain some basic participant info), but for others, you will be asking questions for the respondent to reply to via video, so it’s important that they’re worded in a way that ellicit conversational responses.
There are several ways of doing this, and which method you ultimately go for depends on the project type. At Big Sofa, there are a couple of main methods we use, all with upsides and downsides.
Traditional market research recruiters are great because they have lots of contacts, and if you’re recruiting outside of a familiar market, they have good knowledge on privacy laws, restrictions and cultural sensitivities globally. For more innovative or exploratory studies, we have used a mixture of in-house methods. Which ever method you go for, it can be good to include an example of the kind of video you’re expecting from respondents, and/or a screener to make sure your recruits are appropriate, and willing to take part in a video study.
Again, there are now many varying ways to collect video - don’t assume this has to be just a person sitting in front of a webcam! Asking respondent’s to record themselves ‘selfie style’ on their mobile phones is a great way of getting chatty, conversational answers, as most of us are now familiar with filming ourselves in some capacity (and also cuts down on the costs associated with sending out expensive equipment). In the past, we’ve also installed cameras in respondents’ homes that are motion triggered, so record everything that goes on in a room in their house, attached micro cameras to products (such as cleaning sprays) to monitor how they’re used, and asked respondents to wear wearable cameras so we can ‘see what they see’.
Processing video data
So, you’ve designed your questions, recruited your participants and are now being sent hours (sometimes hundreds of hours) of video data. For many, this is the scary part - how can you be expected to sift through all of this video to see the real value? This is where Big Sofa come in. Our platform is designed specifically for this. Upload your video in any format onto our platform, where it is then transcribed (making content searchable by word), translated (if necessary) and categorised. We also screen out any ‘dead’ video, or content that would not be useable for your study. Simple!
One of the reasons why it’s so important to effectively store and manage your video, is so that it can be analysed in a way that is time-efficient and brings real value to your project. With our platform, we have various tools that make this easy - more information on those here - or, you can leave it up to us and our amazing insight team to do the legwork for you, analysing each individual film around an agreed framework and presenting you with the final results. Whatever method you go for, it’s important to start with a robust code frame, so everyone involved in the analysis of the video is looking at the data in the same way, thereby not missing anything important so a full picture can be formed.
Creating useful outputs
One of the great things about video research (besides from the fact that it brings you closer to consumers than has been possible before), is the range of outputs that can be created. Of course, data exports and reports are an option, but you can also create playlists of emergent themes, highlight reels for specific topics, and short videos explaining the project and it’s findings that can be shown in presentations. This allows the respondent the opportunity to 'be' in a meeting with key stakeholders and decision makers, putting them in front of c-suite execs so they can and have their voices heard so that real changes can be made.
If you are looking for a simple way to incorporate video into your projects, but perhaps are worried about them being too time consuming for your team, chat to us about Video Stories. Our Video Stories projects enable you to bring surveys to life, get deeper feedback and turn video into robust data - and we'll do the hard work for you. You can read more about it here.