The first video @The Impatient Marketer talks about how creating and curating video content will become an inevitable part for marketing teams. Right from Amazon, to Nike to an Etsy store owner - everyone is jumping the ship to create better video content.
Video consumption has taken the internet by storm yet online retailers are still playing catch up. Why?
Sanket, CEO @InVideo breaks down using first principles - Why has video consumption exploded and more importantly how can retailers start using video content to build a shopping experience that resonates with what you see in the offline world. During the conversation, Sanket also speaks about how video production costs have reduced drastically and how retailers can - irrespective of their scale start creating video content to better assist their users.
05:55 - Why retailers are not adopting videos?
09:10 - How much of an investment is video marketing?
12:43 - Who should be looking at video as a marketing strategy?
14:50- Understanding the difference between Hero Content and Hub Content
17:05 - What does one mean by Hygiene Video content
19:20 - When would be the right time to take videos seriously?
21:35 - Different types of videos that can be created
27:40 - All about video ads
31:81 - The Facebook experiment with Ads
35:00 - Putting together a video marketing strategy
37:00 - Monitoring the results of video marketing strategy
Hi everyone and welcome to the first episode of The Impatient Marketer series. Today we have with us, Sanket Shah who is the founder and CEO at InVideo. Today we will be discussing why should you go all in with your video strategy in 2019. So Sanket, why don't we start with a quick introduction about yourself?
I’m Sanket and I run InVideo as one of the three founders. Back in 2012, I used to create a bunch of videos while I was still at the University of Michigan and those videos actually did very well on YouTube and that is when I said that, “Hey! The videos are doing well but the cost of production and the time it takes to produce is very large.” That is when I actually decided that I want to do something in videos at some point. However, things just didn't work out the way I thought it would and I ended up starting another company which got acquired in 2016. That's when I decided the next gig that we want to do as founders would be starting this company. It was in mid-2017 when we started “InVideo”. So today we are supported by several big brands like CNN, news 18, CNBC, Money control Television, India TV and several others.
That’s awesome! You have been long on video as a format, right? Why are you so bullish on video as a format?
I think that's the toughest question of the entire webinar! As humans when you're living in surroundings that are constantly moving, that is audio. So that's people talking, birds chirping or the honks honking. Actually, if you fundamentally start thinking about it then you are living in a video the only difference is that it is 3D, with everything moving over the internet. Your next best alternative is actually that same video and since our screens don't allow 3D, 2D is the best medium. And that's the only plausible logical explanation regarding why video will work, why it has just tremendous potential because it's actually an extension of the world that you already live in and I don't know but that's a belief and that is why we are doing what we are doing.
This is a very interesting perspective I’ve heard, how videos are so similar to the way we live and that is probably why it implies it attracts so much from everyone. So how does this belief come into shape?
I think that people are moving on to short-form content. I actually am a huge consumer of books at this point but a few years back I actually battled short attention span I just couldn't get through the content in the books as it's pretty slow to read and with the generation coming in you need to shoot the information very quickly. So actually a lot of research went into it. I would have interviewed at least 250-300 people comparing about giving them a page to read and then giving them a video to watch and finally taking feedback about why videos are going to be better and that is when we started thinking why it is so good and of course all of this is backed by research.
When you are visually conveying things you can convey emotional information. Think about it right, in a video, I can get out my emotions versus a picture I really can't tell you, and it takes a lot of time to actually convey that information. So visuals are definitely processed a few thousand times faster and it helps your memory, helps in decision-making and more importantly, it also helps to create great relationships. So the answer is, videos are almost an extension of what we are living in and it actually is a bunch of research, a Minimum Viable Product that several things that we did are definitely going to work.
Yeah, awesome! Thanks for that, very intricate stuff! So Sanket retail is typically at the forefront of technology adoption. Right? We understand that videos are powerful. It's not only the research that states that but also the hardcore facts that capture the same concept. Now my question to you is since we at iZooto also work very closely with retailers, you also have a fair model of sales with retailers, both large and mid-sized. Why are retailers not crazily adopting this channel right now? What is it actually stopping them from doing so?
Correct! So I want to answer this question in two parts. You know it requires a lot of Education to almost be with the market we all know that that it takes people to understand, people to adopt, people to start using it and I think that we are on the bottom of the “hockey stick curve”, where people are still trying to figure out what is going to work, why is it going to work, what can you do? One of the most important things is also to do with the psyche of people. So for example, when you think about videos, what do you think about? You think about the movies that you watch. You think about the ads you see and immediately when you look at the video in that format you realize that it's going to be extremely expensive! You will require professional expertise and it will require a lot of time.
So when we do our market research, we keep talking to several people regarding what they think while they are not using it. One of my most favorite answers is that they think it's very cumbersome and expensive and whenever you're trying to change a few things it actually takes a lot of time. Although there are early adopters, for mass adopting this format is going to take a few years. That is when you will think it was really quick but it's actually not because you're working through your way to making sure that the adoption happens but before that, the education happens. But the most common answer that we have always seen is that the videos are difficult and cumbersome.
That's a logical explanation why you're not seeing it but if we just now scroll through your Instagram feed you'll realize that the number of Instagram ads in a video format is so large. Similar things are happening with Facebook and YouTube because on YouTube anyway you don't have any other options right? So and it's the second largest engine people are adopting, it's just that the people are not adopting it at the pace at which we imagine.
I completely agree with your point that video making itself always appears to be an art and for that matter, it appears to be an expensive art. This problem has only been solved in recent years that video making can be done through 100 devices which allows you to shoot, upload and distribute videos. Yet it's not very popular. Okay, awesome! I think this really answers the question from a relevance point of view but if you think about retailers specifically, how would the retailer space really need videos?
Most retailers today also have an online storefront. So I have a belief about why people build websites and why people have e-commerce companies. How we think internally or just think about a retailer or their extension which is an e-commerce website or only e-tailer's are today, what are they actually? They are actually a storefront where customers are coming in. Now if you imagine any e-commerce website or any e-tailer becomes storefront where customers are coming in and salesman inside the store are actually serving them, things become actually very simple, right? So what happens when that particular e-commerce storefront wants to expand quickly? It has to actually provide that similar experience on the website or via video or whatever that is. So whenever you go to a storefront, what do you tell a retailer? “Hey! Show me where the sneakers are!” and that retailer will then take you to the shelf several shoes.
However, the way the world is moving we have little time so people are shopping online and we are moving on to the extension of a word which is in 2D, which is on our mobile phones and our laptops because that is where we spend a lot of time. A retailer’s job is actually to give almost an in-store experience on your mobile phone and on your laptop. That is when he will do video and if you think very logically about this, what kind of videos they should do? What kind of information they should convey? It's almost an analogy to what a customer is asking you in the store and that is how I see this growing overall. So if I were going to a store and there was a woman in an electronics store who was showing me how to use the washing machine, I would learn from that person. That same extension is something that I deserve on my mobile phone as well as on my laptop. Similarly, I deserve the top-selling item or a list of sneakers I would buy from a store because that is what would have happened to me if I would have gone in the showroom.
Got it! Sanket, let's say, I buy the analogy that the retail experience needs to be as smooth as the real-life experience. But then the question becomes, is this only for large retailers who are trying to go online? Who all should be clearly looking to add videos as a marketing strategy? Are these the small guys or the midsize guys or the large guys?
Again, great question but a very cliched answer to that! There is nothing like “one size fits all” strategy for this. The question actually is what are we trying to do is big or small? What is the right kind of videos which the customers actually want? What are the resources you have and what the budget do you have? What is your distribution strategy? These are several answers which I can divide into several parts but I just hit on a quick point before that. The use cases are actually derived in person. Basically, if I had to sell it by meeting that person, what would I tell that person? Those are the videos you might want to create. Now big or small, different scale, different size but that's all you want to tell. When Flipkart runs a big billion day sales, it wants to tell to 20 -30 million people that “Hey! I am running a large sale!” If they had to tell 30 million people via Salesmen, they would require 3 million salesmen saying, “Hey! We have the largest sale!” That's actually what we are doing overall, me and you as well right! When we go on to create the right landing page, we are almost emulating what a salesman would tell that particular customer.
Similarly, when they think like that, the use cases and what they should do, start becoming very easy. The salesman is going to show you a product, what do you look at in the product? You will look at the quality of the product which is through the star ratings as social proof, you will look at the price, look at a variety of things that are available and what kind of things you want in a product. That is when it becomes super easy about what you should do. Now further on to make it simple for a retailer or an e-commerce company, I bifurcated things into several parts. These parts are basically what are the different kinds of videos can be made.
The first part of that is- Hero Content. The word “hero” because it requires a lot of money and it requires Hrithik Roshan or Brad Pitt. So when you look at Hero content, you are talking about companies like Walmart and Amazon, who can afford to do and run large ads campaigns which are also supported by large benefits. So of course, this budget can go up crores of rupees. That is one kind of content that companies would definitely like to create. The second kind of content is what I call a “Hub Content”. It is when you're giving them instructional videos, where you're just building your brand in a very basic way and you are answering the FAQ that you'd need. Now let me ask the question actually before that. When you go and sell your product at any place, do you almost always know what are the questions that are going to come to in the minds?
Particularly yes. (....)
And what do you do? Do you create a FAQ page?
That's what you usually do when standard questions are asked. Yes.
And you will always want to guide the user on the software about how to use it, yes?
Yes. (...) absolutely.
And it has to be alive for any data. When you go to buy a washing machine, you are going to ask how many kgs can it take? What is going to be the price? What is going to be the warranty? When can I get it delivered? Will someone come to set it up? That is when a mid-market e-commerce company or a large firm would want to attract a customer. They'll want to actually help them decide. They want to support that customer. Now, of course, this can be done with some budget which is not heavy because you don't need Hrithik Roshan for that or you don't require Brad Pitt for that. So this can happen in a much smaller budget with a much smaller team but that is the content that a mid-size market e-commerce company can create and should create. The 3rd type of content that they can create is a Hygiene Content. I think “hygiene” is the most of the abused word as a marketer but let's talk about several cases right so let's talk about Snapdeal in the first go. Snapdeal is one of the largest e-commerce companies in India. They would want to show what are the top products that are on sale today for a guy between 25 to 40 years. He can quickly create an Instagram video or an Instagram story, a Facebook ad or a YouTube ad. Now what happens is we almost hate working in large cross-functional teams because your dependencies increase and we all like to blame each other for whatever happens and how things couldn't go right.
This is when they can use very smart tools of course like “InVideo”, to create this content take control in their hand and then move on. How difficult should it be to tell that “Hey! This customer is bragging about you on the App Store now let me transform this App store content into a great video and push it out on other platforms. This is where the hygiene content comes into place. Now, if I have to reiterate, the “hero content” is something a smaller e-commerce brand should not think about doing it at that certain stage. However, Amazon and Flipkart definitely do that but that has to be piggybacked with a hub content the hygiene content. So although you require large production teams and a massive budget for hero content. While hygiene content is something that you can just pick up with three hours of three hours a week and to twenty dollars a month and then run with it.
That’s the broader answer right. The question that you asked me and how an e-commerce company should relate to is “who can buy a car?” You know Bill Gates has a car but he might have a Bentley but I also want a car and I might have a Honda Civic or a Honda City. It might be second-hand but I still have it and it almost does a similar job for my audience.
Right! So Sanket help me understand this. When do you think is the right time for somebody to start looking at or start creating hygiene or hub content? So let's say I’m a retailer who has just started off with an e-commerce portal. When should I start looking at videos seriously?
You should be looking at videos seriously now because people are engaging with it, people are sharing it more and it's easy to convey the information you want to convey very quickly. For example, you have a banner with a video and you might have only six seconds, so you can convey that important information easier like that. So since today, it’s possible that you don’t require large budgets to do this you should think about starting today and it's going to take around three months to streamline the process to understand what's working, why is it working, what's getting more views and then move on. It's possible to do it because you don't require a video editor. All you require is content that you might already have and start transforming that content into a video and I will show you multiple examples of how that can happen later in the presentation.
Awesome! What are the different kinds of videos that can be made? I understand there is a classification of Hero, Hub, and Hygiene but I’m just starting off setting up my marketing team and content team so what’s the first form of media content I should make?
Absolutely! So there are several things that you can do and all the video that, by the way, I'll show you on today's presentation are actually created by me within five minutes to one hour depending on the complexity of the video. Let me take you through things and show you what happens. Here’s the first video and this is a live video of Snapdeal. It has a beautiful template, that works with the right colors, with right texts coming in as I said there is a sale, here’s a sale price, here are the boots and here’s the percentage of what the sale is and that’s pretty much it!
So that's one! It's a product video. It's almost what a Salesman would do. I want to buy shoes later on sale and I see it. “Hey! Here’s the shelf, see it!” The shelf is just not the physical shelf. Sheft is this product video. It is this product ad. The advantages of doing this are civil. You can create product videos very quickly, you can create up to two hundred videos a month for close to thirty dollars a month and you can integrate it all sorts of API you can transfer data and you can do it. Being honest, there are several companies which would help you make videos, Invideo is one of them and it will definitely help with conversions, it will definitely help with distribution when you do it because you are actually exposing it to different mediums. Now let's talk about an instructional video, especially for countries like Indonesia, Brazil, India, etc. where the GDP is growing, people are getting disposable income today and are looking to buy products but might not know what to buy because of the high illiteracy rates in these countries because of people still not living in metro cities without a good exposure. So they want to know what they need to do. A company helping them with an instruction video is one of the best things.
So there are these points that are extremely important for the consumer to know. What kind of vessels you should use in a microwave? Why you can't use certain things? It is because these guys still don't have that exposure and the other idea is, now in this video, I had a product review slide but I did not have a video yet it actually took me nothing more than one and a half minute to create this. So think about an app where I'm buying my stuff and then I'm writing a review that it's the best app ever. This basic motion in an Instagram story or a Facebook story or a WhatsApp story can do the trick. Primarily because all the content that's going out in this world is interactive today and it helps you stand out. It took me probably 20 cents and 2 minutes to get done with this and this is the content that a marketer can jump on today and if they are watching the webinar, they can jump on it tomorrow and they can have three Instagram stories tomorrow. In fact, if the processes are right, if your content and copies are in place and you’re transforming that content into a great video, then even an intern can do it. An intern who doesn't even cost too much. I'm going to reiterate that if the process is right and if the content is right, it can help.
I think this is very insightful. Especially the fact that how such high-quality media content can be created so easily at such a low cost. Imagine loads of marketers' including me, who thought that video making is an exquisite sort of talent and an exclusive proposition that requires us to call in a production team, a crew. Someone who will handle, direct and shoot. All of which is pretty much gone with tools like InVideo. So Sanket, I am going to stop here and take a step back. We were talking about video ads which are a very special proposition. So talk to me more about videos ads, what are the video ads and why have they sought again?
I’ll be very honest here right, there are no direct troops that the video ads work better than normal ads because there are so many factors that go into it. Primarily because you know, your content and your copy. If I write lines on a video that doesn't resonate with my customer, it's never going to give you the return. We will later look at our Facebook study about you know what happened and how they experimented. It is because these experiments are always biased you need to use the right photo you need to use almost the same photo you need to have a larger sample set and at a similar time to actually compare. But I actually am looking at ads overall in life.
The ad is actually kiosk when you are entering a store, considering since we are going by that analogy throughout the webinar. An ad is a kiosk when you are entering a store. However, this kiosk is tailor-made for you primarily because it can because it's digital, it doesn't require space and it requires more relevance. So now we are saying that if an ad is kiosk and actually only pairing that particular ad with the most powerful medium of communication which is a video and that's pretty much it! Of course, we can get into numbers and you know we can get into research that I already had in fewer other slides but that's pretty much it.
It's one of the better mediums to communicate because it gives you more talent and it can communicate in a far better place. The several points are that you can convey more information, it's perfect for our smaller attention span. Now think about it right, you have a lead if it's an image the lead can scroll. If the person has played that video, a lead is actually allowing you to commute with whatever you want to for six seconds. I can't interrupt you I can tell whatever I want to in those six seconds or in those 12 seconds and I can move on versus an image is where I can scroll. So it definitely helps you increase brand awareness but what works best is actually a bunch of techniques together and not just a video. So we are not going to say that everyone should create a video ad but I'm definitely going to say that hey, 25% -20% of what you are doing can move on to video and then it can scale depending on what works for a market.
Very interesting! Again, your perspective is truly refreshing. I've never looked at video ads from “a kiosk to a live kiosk” point of view which is interrupting my attention but still given the fact that I'm giving it permission for the interruption, it has my undivided attention unlike an image or a banner that I will scroll through.
Correct! There is a percentage change and I think we all look for that percentage change whenever we are optimizing things and video ads are actually definitely optimizing the normal ads.
Awesome! Yeah, so this is very insightful for sure. So Sanket talk to me more about the Facebook experiment which we were speaking about by what works, what doesn't work, what does data say about this?
Great! So this is actually a study by Facebook and it has nothing to do with Invideo so think it has to be unbiased. Facebook did this bunch of experiments that you can see on the left-hand side. So they actually tried a static ad for four days and then a video ad for four days and it drew more visitors to the marketer’s site. Now again they started creating a static ad for four days and then a static ad again for four days and it got 1.7 x the visitors that marketers got normally. Now again I am going to reiterate “ visitors”, they got 1.7 x visitors when they ran video ads first and when they ran static ad after that, it gave them 1.3 x conversions so why did this happen? And these are larger studies which the Facebook's data teams would have done and this is what happened when they tried unbiased testing of things. Now why does this happen and what are the advantages?
So, of course, YouTube is a medium where there is no better option than showing an ad, a preload ad to the video instead of the banners they perform far better than anyone else and several e-tailers who we work with have confirmed that without giving numbers, it definitely performs far better with respect to CAT and these video ads can also be used much smartly on publisher sites or on other sites where you can cut out the (...) deals. So definitely it helps. Here's the Facebook study with what it says and again I am repeating there's no point of only sticking to videos. You have to do a combination of both. However, there is one very important thing when it comes to Facebook ad site and I want to show you that you can use the custom audience to retarget people who have watched 3 seconds or 10 seconds or some percentage your video. Who the meaning right because it’s actually giving you that insight that you know this guy actually watched your ad for 6 seconds and this guy actually watched your ad for 3 seconds which actually allows you to refine your positioning, refine your messaging, understand your drop rates and then retarget the customers depending on how much time they were watching. So I think one of the major wins and the largest advantage is actually being able to track who dropped when, why, what should I show him next and that is what a video makes it possible.
Okay, this is extremely tactical and extremely relevant for a lot of e-tailers (....) but this piece of advice is extremely important does it views the use of video consumption behavior to drive further communication and thanks a lot for that. So Sanket we should move towards the end of the webinar, so, if you were to wrap this, give me and I'll give the listeners an economist video marketing strategy that (......) What would you advise?
Correct! So it's actually simple like when you look at other things in life, you have to actually decide what your objective is about, what your budget is, where do you fit in? You have to align your resources and time. However, the most important part of this is consistency is everything. In fact, one of the largest retailer, Walmart says that “if you're consistent we will walk miles with you. But if you are not, doesn't matter how smart you are, your place is not at Walmart.” So it's extremely relevant to that right! Consistency is everything and you might want to do less but you would want to do consistently. It’ll take time to show results and impatience actually only hurts. You want to continually do it, you want to keep tweaking it, put a process through it and that is when it works! So that's one of the most important things that I would look at. Do minimum things but be consistent.
The second thing is you know you want to create some brand guidelines that “hey! I want to put a couple of reviews because I want to wish people Independence Day in this particular way, this particular format.” So you will plan well about what you want to do, what are your brand guidelines, how you want to communicate. But that is just not a video strategy that's a broader communication strategy that you want to involve you and then you want to make sure that you expose those guidelines. So it's not as difficult and when you keep doing it. It will build your brand reputation and it will bring that worthiness. The first time they see an ad and then they will see your video or see a banner, they will be able to connect with your brand. And that is one of the most important parts to look at and these videos can actually be used everywhere, website, social, email! So that kind of planning is important. If I had to do video, I would not think about doing “hey let's do video!” I would actually take a step back and I'll decide where I wanted to do video? Why do I want to do a video? What are my resources? and How can I do it easily? So I would actually plan that first and make sure that I do it for a long enough time and after that, of course, you have to monitor the results of video marketing like any other marketing strategy.
But I might have a broader point to make here, so of course you and we, all have to evaluate the number about banner ads or do that about our CRM systems. However, the good things to look at is how many shoppers are actually watching those videos and how much are they watching. The moment you think that they are not watching it, you might also want to introspect not only your video strategy but also your communication strategy.
What are you communicating? There might be gaps there. How long are users engaged in those videos? What would be the reason where they will drop off? But all of this requires some amount of data to go back early to look at things. The last thing that actually is in your hands and this part is actually something where we don't know what the right thing is. There are conflicting opinions about how Google actually ranks your pages with videos and without it and there are several conflicting opinions in today's day and age. You start to read Neil Patel and he will have to say something and Matt Cutts would have something else but that is one thing that you might want to track which is super track ready.
How are your pages ranking now? Are people embedding in your videos? Are your affiliate systems actually embedding videos on their website and are they working better or not because that is the control that you totally have and that particular metric is actually on the video and not on you except everything else because the communication is actually on you, the products you show the right audience is on you. These are the factors that you will have to evaluate on your side. You have to see you know a shopper staying longer on video or not and how can I tweak a few things before they show properly? Because if the video is working for 50 brands there is no way it will not work for you unless the demographics are completely different. You want to keep finding those processes.
So being consistent and being iterative are the two most important things where I would want to close that and when you identify all these things when you identify what you want to do, how you are going to do it, what is my exact objective is? It is when it becomes crystal clear and it becomes clearer when you think about what do I want to tell my customer? What would I tell my customer in person if I would have met that person and how can I communicate it best via a medium that's close to how I would have communicated?
So again this is awesome! Thanks for the amazing wrap, I think it has pumped up the conversation very very aptly right. So once again, this has been super helpful, super tactical, superbly insightful. I completely agree with you on the fact that there is no reason irrespective of you being a small Shopify store owner or you've even a demand force platform.
All retailers of all sizes should look at videos as part of their marketing strategy. Okay, thank you, Sanket, hope you do more of this soon.
Sanket is the CEO of InVideo. 7 years back, Sanket started creating videos on non-fiction books and uploaded a bunch of them on YouTube. These videos got huge traction on YouTube. However, Sanket realized that the process of video creation was cumbersome. Cut to 2016, they just sold MassBlurb for $2.5M, and we’re wondering about the next big gig. And, that’s when it hit him to start InVideo.
InVideo helps transform content into great videos. InVideo was born with one simple goal – Everyone should be able to create great-quality videos quickly and effectively. They help serve media companies, small businesses, and brands to expand audience engagement through the power of video content. The platform is ideal for marketers, publishers, individuals, and agencies to take their brand content strategy to the next level.
InVideo creates tailor-made content that is true to your brand and helps generate more revenue with clickable videos. Read more about InVideo's features and their work samples here.
Some of InVideo's customers include- Sony Music, Snapdeal, Scoopwhoop, Republic TV, CNN, CNBC, Money Control and The Indian Express. Snapdeal saw a 25% increase in CTR after partnering with InVideo, you can read the entire case study here.
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