Why Integrators Absolutely Need to be Doing Content Creation

Particularly for integrators in the digital signage space, demand for content creation is not only a signature opportunity but a call to arms for firms looking to combat commoditization and extol their value-added services.

While integration firms have always played a central role in solving their customers’ video challenges, those customers’ video challenges have evolved a lot over the past few years. Most integration firms haven’t evolved at the same pace.

The biggest changes are that customers across all vertical markets are using more video content and that they’re interested in creating it. They’re looking to lean on a contractor that can help them create, manage and distribute video content. Integration firms are certainly logical partners to help them manage and distribute content, but very few are offering content creation services.

Hear CI editor-in-chief Tom LeBlanc’s food for thought on the opportunity for integrators to solve clients’ challenges when it comes to creating, managing and distributing their video content.

Why is that?

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They come to the realization that they need to create original video for human resources training, executive messaging, digital signage, promotions or countless other purposes. The first company they may turn to is their trusted integration partner. If your firm has to turn down the content creation portion of the job, that calls into question your ability to solve their evolving challenges. A few years down the line when it’s time to update or expand their systems, they may think twice about calling their once trusted integration partner.

Demand for content creation is not only a signature opportunity but a call to arms for firms looking to combat commoditization and extol their value-added services. At CI, we see content creation as such a key differentiator that we factored it into our search for the 2015 Integrator of the Year. What we found, unfortunately, is that while some integration firms with broadcast market ties offer content creation almost all other firms leave it on the table.

Demand for content creation is not only a signature opportunity but a call to arms for integration firms looking to combat commoditization of their industry and extol their value-added services.

Yorktel, CI‘s 2015 Integrator of the Year, is among the few we found that offer some degree of content creation. Another firm that addresses content creation is Pittsburgh-based Synergy Media Group.

Synergy touts content creation as one of its AV services alongside collaboration, digital signage, surveillance and all the other staples. “We see content creation as a major scope gap in the standard AV consultation and design-build model,” says president Bill McIntosh.

Most of the systems integrators design are extremely focused on the display of information, he points out. “However, all too often, the content is an afterthought so the content that is pushed to the displays is subpar and unprofessional, which leads to unsatisfied clients.”

RELATED: Content Creation Cruises to Victory in 2016 New Revenue Madness Finals

Distributor Almo Pro A/V recognizes the need for integrators to have an answer for their customers’ content questions, having launched a content creation group that its dealers can leverage, and partnering up with a content provider is a viable approach. Meanwhile, integration firms should also consider investing in their own infrastructure and bringing content creation in house. Industry consultant Jonathan Brawn suggests content creation is a big missed opportunity particularly for integrators in the digital signage space.

The bottom line is that video — any aspect of video — is not something that AV integrators ought to leave to another contractor. It’s the “V” in “AV” for crying out loud!