Role of video in today’s business environmentInterview
Lasse RouhiainenAuthor, Speaker, Trainer
In our conversation series with global marketing experts, Regalix Research caught up with Lasse Rouhiainen, Author, Speaker and Trainer.
Lasse is an in-demand speaker and trainer for business schools, universities and corporates. He has helped companies and entrepreneurs in over 30 countries to promote their businesses online through video marketing and social media. He has authored the bestsellers “101 Video Marketing Tips and Strategies for Small Businesses” and “Smart Social Media – Your Guide To Becoming A Highly Paid Social”.
As an expert in Video Marketing, we got talking to him on ‘The Role of Video in Today’s Business Environment’, where he discusses why Video is the rising star for content marketing ROI and how to leverage video and rich media to amplify brand marketing initiatives and cut through the noise and clutter in today’s market.
REGALIX: With more and more customers preferring visual content over text, what used to be “try and buy” is now “view and buy” environment among customers. How has the landscape evolved over the years?
LR: The Internet today has evolved. A few years back, Internet was very slow and people’s access to Internet was limited. But with the proliferation of technology through the last decade, we now have high speed Internet that makes fast viewing of HD videos a possibility. Plus, video is now mostly viewed on a mobile environment. Earlier, companies only made a couple of promotional videos. Today, video is adopted for all kinds of marketing, from product creation to sharing customer stories. In an increasingly competitive market, video helps in building trust and credibility.
REGALIX: With video marketing quickly becoming a speedy, effective and SEO-friendly way for marketers to reach consumers, how important is it for marketers to have a Video marketing strategy?
LR: Google owns YouTube, and it has become the second search engine today. Seven years back people used to talk about traditional SEO (Google), now people talk about other social media platforms as well like YouTube. Companies can post videos on YouTube and share them on their website. The recent Panda update from Google shows that companies with more videos on their website are ranked better than those without. Google likes companies who post videos on YouTube and share them on their website. The future of Search Engine Marketing is not only SEO but YouTube SEO.
REGALIX: Why is Video the rising star for content marketing ROI?
LR: Content marketing is really important and companies that are already into it are seeing the benefits. Video marketing is a very important part of content marketing and also a very difficult one. It is easy to write an article of thousand words but it’s really time consuming and difficult to create an engaging and interesting video. This is both good news and bad news for companies. Bad news as they need to spend more time on planning, analyzing the competition and the consumer. But the good news is that after spending all the time on research and preparation; they can create interesting video content which proves to be an asset in the long run, generating leads even in the future as target audience can see these videos years after they have been created and posted on YouTube. Companies need to understand what kind of videos consumers want right now and in the future.
REGALIX: Which global companies have got their Video marketing formula right? (Name any 3)
LR: Though it’s difficult to pick out names, one company that really stands out is Samsung Mobile. They have done extremely good work in understanding the power of video marketing and then making specific interesting videos. The videos they are making for the Northern European market are totally different from the videos they have for the Middle East market. If you see any charts of the biggest companies on the amount of use and the number of subscribers they are getting on YouTube, Samsung Mobile is one of the leaders in the list. Maybe because they have such a big battle against Apple as it is the market leader, so many times companies in second in the market need to find new avenues and platforms to promote better.
The second company would be GoPro. They produce cameras for sportsmen and outdoor activities. GoPro’s video marketing strategy is very interesting. They give away free video cameras to consumers and ask them to make their own videos using these cameras and post them on the company YouTube channel. It’s a great marketing idea and the company can leverage the power of such huge search generated and customer generated content. They also understand the growing power of Instagram Video marketing.
The third company would be Kuka Robotics in Germany. They are getting the highest traffic on YouTube by sharing a lot of viral videos every now and then. e.g. One of their viral videos shows how a robot plays table-tennis against an expert player. This video was uploaded recently and has more than hundred thousand views. Google videos also need a special mention as their videos are very well planned and executed. e.g. The video on Google glasses was an instant hit.
REGALIX: What Video types do you recommend and why?
LR: I recommend three different categories, they are:
1. Education – as we need to constantly educate about the benefits we offer. This is vital for retail as well as B2B companies.
2. Customer stories and Customer Case studies are very important for video content. This is not easy to do but is highly beneficial as it is a social proof of credibility. e.g. A consumer goes to YouTube channel or the company website and has a lot of doubts, the video content will conquer by providing social proof and value.
3. Strategic promotional videos, it could be animations, combination videos where we teach something or show some stories and give a very clear CTA.
I would like to add one more type – video conferencing, especially with Google hangout. Companies should also do webinars whether B2B or B2C. Webinars and online conferencing are fast gaining importance.
REGALIX: In your experience, what are some of the key challenges that marketers face with Video marketing?
LR: For marketers, return on investment is most important as the management always wants to know about it. This needs clarity on the metrics to calculate ROI. One of them is to measure viewership, how many visits the website gets and how many want to join the newsletter or do some actions that we can calculate and analyze. Before you start with Video marketing get clarity on the numbers and after few months you can easily analyze the results.
The second thing is content planning; many companies just do one viral video and stop. Doing just one viral video is not enough as sometimes it might not reach the target audience and over a period of time get forgotten. I would recommend companies to be very clear about their target market and then start creating content. Video editing is also becoming extremely important and requires understanding the idea of your client.
REGALIX: What tip can you provide marketers looking for success in video marketing?
LR: The ideal process is to identify the customer, find the popular keywords they post on Youtube and then plan to create and give the best free content to them.
For B2C marketing there is another element – entertaining viewers. Keep the video really entertaining, add background music, keep it crisp and viewable on a mobile phone or tablet. Keep a simple belief that you’re the number one company in your marketplace and are sharing the best knowledge for free. Then give people the option to join your Newsletter or buy your services if they want to go to the next level or if they want to know more about your services. You can also make a number of short videos and funnel them to a video conference.
REGALIX: Do you think that companies should also look at having videos at the different touch points of the buyer’s lifecycle? Do you think the video can penetrate in areas like pre-sales, post-sales, customer service etc.?
LR: Yes, I totally think so, but it will take some time. In the future 70% of the internet traffic will be on video. If you don’t do video on the other functions or customer journey, you might lose traffic. Companies need to always ask how they can share a particular activity in a quick, simple and professional way. The statistics shows that companies who use more video have more loyal clients; the more people see and hear about a company, the stronger is their belief.
REGALIX: If you were to predict 3 trends that will change the video marketing landscape, what would those be and why?
LR: I would like to start with Micro Videos – really short videos that we already see lot of brands using, mostly on Instagram. After Facebook bought Instagram, they have six times more users than they had earlier. With a time limit of only 15 seconds, it helps us think crisp. It’s a very easy tool for small businesses and are extremely popular on Facebook.
Number two, I would say is wearable computing. The biggest example is Google glasses. It is a really interesting opportunity but at the same time really challenging. Imagine, people can go to a bank and if they have bad service, instantly record that in a video! Though at this point it sounds futuristic but five years down the line, wearable computing will be part of life. Soon we will have camera in our glasses, watch etc. Companies need to think how to leverage this and prepare.
Finally, I like the idea of Drones which are basically small helicopters or quad-copters giving us new possibilities to record videos from unreachable places. This is also called as the aerial marketing. Industries like tourism, real estate will hugely benefit from this.
REGALIX: Marketers are struggling to determine the success of their VM investments, what would be your advice to marketers when it comes to measuring the impact of their VM initiatives?
LR: I recommend most companies to start Video marketing with a specific purpose in mind. For instance, there are some awesome product videos on www.kickstarters.com. With a specific purpose in mind, companies making product videos can calculate how much it is helping to launch the product and its response.
Video advertising has metrics that can be analyzed such as retention of the audience, e.g. if I see that 80% of people are closing my video in 10 secs, that means there is something happening in the 10 secs mark. Companies like Wistia provide interesting statistics about videos; clients can send messages to people leaving the video within 10 seconds using Wistia as a platform.
The other thing is to see what the cost per view is. This helps understand how many views we have and how many people visit the website after seeing the video, how many people do some kind of action on the website, e.g. sign up for newsletter etc.
Video marketing is like marketing in general, where we create something of value then do a small test and accordingly improve the next time. With the ROI as well, measure the retention rate, cost per view and resulting people taking action after viewing the video. This will give clarity to improve the video marketing to get more sales or get more people to an event etc.
Another thing is developing interactive videos. Many companies are doing this using a new technology called content personalization. A good example is Amazon. If you view something on Amazon, they will later send you information related to what you viewed.
REGALIX: What would be your advice to global companies that plan to start / yet to start Video marketing?
LR: The summary of all things we mentioned earlier. First thing is to be really clear about the customer. Next is to ask yourself how you can serve the marketplace better. Then begin planning on the three kinds of videos (educational or tutorial, customer stories and strategic promotional videos).
People today are more distracted than before; very short video clips can attract the customer’s attention and generate interest. Once a follower and potential base is made, companies need to provide more valuable content to build credibility and trust with webinars, Google Hangouts and online seminars. Wearable computing also provides amazing possibilities. For e.g. Before Christmas sale, one of the biggest cash generating months, Amazon released a video that in future drones will take their packages to the clients. The video got around fourteen million views.
Be very clear about how much time, money and resources you are spending on video marketing so you can later analyze the results and you can see how everything is going. Also, listen to your target audience. Many times ideas don’t come from the marketing department, do a survey to get an idea of what your customer likes to view.