IAB Video State of the Industry

Join the IAB on 24 Oct in Melbourne for the IAB Video State of the Industry event, where they will reveal the results from the second Video State of the Industry Survey, in association with Adap.tv.

IAB has canvassed the experiences and opinions of leading media and marketing executives in the Australian market to help understand the current market and future trends of one of the fastest growing mediums – video. Results will cover topics such as growth projections, cross platform buying, changes to yield and adoption of mobile video.

We will also be comparing the Australian results to other key markets such as US and UK.

Exploiting Video in Your Content Strategy

It is widely accepted that video can work as a strategic marketing and sales tool by improving conversion rates, increasing user engagement and providing an opportunity for user-generated content.

At this event we will consider the role of video and how organisations are leveraging the opportunities that video provides.

Speakers will discuss how to best use relevant videos and what you can do to achieve a balance between production quality and cost. Speakers include:

  • James Johnson, Group Digital Manager, Michael Hill
  • Douglas Nicol, Partner, The Works
  • Mark Blair, Vice President Australia & New Zealand, Brightcove
  • Farhad Meher-Homji, Founder at Changer Studios
Problogger: The Web Video Strategy For Bloggers – David Jenyns

Problogger: The Web Video Strategy For Bloggers – David Jenyns

David Jenyns is the complete entrepreneur. He is the founder of Melbourne SEO Services and Melbourne Video Productions and enjoys speaking at various events and workshops.

Jenyns presented at Problogger 2014 on how to create a web video strategy for your blog. If you missed it we’ve got a round up of some of the key points covered below.

Jenyns has had a lot of success in his career and he puts that down to video. Most people don’t do video, so there’s an opportunity.

Web video is still in it’s infancy, so Jenyns urges the audience to get in now. He states that in 2018 they predict around three quarters of information online will be video.

How Video Can Be The Core Component of Your Strategy

Firstly, Jenyns notes that it’s important to build a subscriber database. The secret to this is YouTube. He freely admits that he is biased but he recommends considering video as your first approach and then you can use it to fuel your other channels.

What You Will Need To Be Able To Make Your Own Video

  • Camera (iPhone or Digital SLR)
  • Audio (RØDE smartLav for iPhone)
  • Tripod
  • Lights (behind the camera person)

So for under $2k you can have all that it takes to create high quality video content. Jenyns also recommended checking out the app Teleprompt. He also doesn’t recommend editing videos, other than to have an introduction with a logo in the lower third of the screen and then a call to action at the outro. You can get this done on Fiverr or even Splashio.

David Jenyns

Image courtesy of ProbloggerEvents.com

YouTube Made Easy

Jenyns encourages the audience to firstly determine what is the keyword. It obviously needs to match the content. If you need help, he suggests to check out the predictive search in Google and other related searches for ideas. Jenyns also encourages you to choose your user over ‘keyword stuffing’.

Jenyns then covered how you can optimise your video to get it ranked. He recommends to consider channels such as an email newsletter, social sharing, embedding and press releases to distribute the content.

Authority Content System

Jenyns explains that it doesn’t have to be a laborious task creating video. You can create a video in a day and then chop it up and publish small videos over weeks or even months.

He then goes on to discuss his three P’s:

  • Present – Start small. Decide on what content. Then get into your audience’s heads about what they want to know. Record everything.
  • Product – Build product and monetization in from the start. That way you can get you message out further.
  • Promote – Maximise your content across multiple channels with minimum time. For example, one event could equal 60 YouTube videos, 60 blog posts with videos and transcripts, 60 edited articles and 60 iTunes Podcasts. Drip feed it out over time, 1 event can be content for 6 months.

Jenyns urges the audience to maintain consistency in their approach and narrow down on the videos that do well. He then suggests making derivative works on your most popular videos.

Why Videos Go Viral

Whether you’re a budding music artist or someone looking for a little brand recognition, YouTube is a quick and cheap method of getting something out there. However, just because the barrier to entry is low doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a hit.

There are over 48 hours of video being added to YouTube every single hour. Only a tiny percentage of these ever get close to going viral. So how do you set yourself apart? Is there a way of getting anyone other than your mum and the next-door neighbour to check out your creation?

Tastemakers: Worthy of an Introduction?

Your video could be a hands-down home run: engaging, funny, with a message, something worth watching from beginning to end. But all of that counts for nothing if no one even knows it’s there in the first place.

That’s where the so-called tastemakers come in. These are the trendsetters online – when these people say something, others listen. In 2010, Jimmy Kimmel tweeted the following:

”My friend Todd has declared this the funniest video in the world- he might well be right -http://ow.ly/dpxTY”

With over 1.6 million followers on Twitter, the previously unknown video about the beauty of a double rainbow became a literal overnight hit. It currently has almost 40 million views – and it’s still getting plenty of hits today.

Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ is another example of a viral clip that was a bit of a slow starter. It was when influencers online, such as Michael Nelson from ‘Mystery Science Theater’, picked up on it that it finally got the attention and fame the world over.

Every viral video needs one or more tastemakers to give it a nudge in the right direction. It gives audiences the opportunity to see it and if it’s worth spreading, the hits will come faster than you can count them.

Participation: Can Others Chime In?

The difference between top entertainment in the 20th century and what’s hot today is the level of participation. Back in the day, the only option we had was to sit back and enjoy the show. These days, it’s all about giving people the chance to get involved. One-way entertainment is well and truly gone.

Let’s take a look at ‘Nyan Cat’ of 2011 – a video so simple, repetitive and downright annoying that you just have to watch it. It has a mesmerising quality that makes it hard to hit the pause button. In its own right, it has over 100 million views (and counting).

But the true ‘secret’ behind the video’s success is in how the audience appropriated it and breathed new life into it with every new version that was released on YouTube. We’ve been treated to cats watching the video, cats watching cats watching the video, remixes, ‘old time’ versions, as well as a wide range of international Nyan Cats.

Another great example of this is the aforementioned ‘Friday’ by Rebecca Black. There are over ten thousand parody videos on YouTube with more still being added today. It’s captured the imagination of creatives the world over, with each new version doing something different.

Unexpected: Just Didn’t See It Coming!

Even Hollywood blockbusters can end up feeling a little stale – the same formulaic plots just don’t have the same effect, despite the fantastic visuals and production values. YouTube shows you that you don’t need an overblown budget to make a splash – just a little inventiveness and an unexpected twist can take you a long way.

Take Casey Neistat’s protest against bike fines, for instance. The premise sounds dry and boring, doesn’t it? And the start isn’t exactly promising – the protagonist is riding a bike around town telling us about his fine.

Before you are driven to hit the close button, however, Casey tells us that “obstructions stop you from riding the bike line” before promptly crashing into one of them. The video suddenly becomes an innovative way of protest, something that goes beyond the average.

When you create your videos, think about these 3 factors and consider whether yours can tick all the boxes. Who knows, you could end up being the ‘next Rebecca Black’!



Tweeting in 2014

Tweeting in 2014

Methods you should adopt this year to get the most out of Twitter

From the metaphorical war of Twitter and Facebook, a victorious blue bird has certainly flown to the top. Twitter is tipped to be the pinnacle of social media platforms this year, and as such, businesses will turn to those 140 characters more than ever. From retail to B2B financial services, all businesses can benefit from the social network. But what’s new this year and how can you get the most out of it for your company?

Tweeting 2014_1

Be visual

According to Seth Fiegerman, Twitter will have “more prominence for pictures, articles, TV clips… you name it”.

Video marketing was an astounding online element last year, and this can and will integrate further into Twitter in 2014. According to Twitter’s own reports, “42% are likely to retweet, reply, or mention brand Tweets that contain a fun or interesting video”.

Tweeting 2014_2Thinking of visual communication is particularly welcomed in the fast-paced news feed of Twitter. With only a short window to be noticed in, it’s especially important on Twitter to catch the user’s attention. Plenty of research has looked in to this further – and the evidence shows that imagery does better.

The introduction of Vine was a notable one, bringing about a few short seconds of footage. 2013 saw some attempts at branded Vines across a number of industries, but arguably Vine is in a primitive stage and has endless potential.

Experts predict a tighter and more efficient access to Vine production and sharing on Twitter this year. Being owned by Twitter, Vine is an app that will see regular updates and improvements. Predictions include;

  • A direct link on Twitter to open the app
  • A paid option for Pro-Vine with new features
  • Improved focus and exposure features

Watch this space for interactive video too, as Mark Schaefer describes: “I think this is the year we’ll see a real breakthrough in interactive video. When you think about it, our relationship with video has not changed significantly since 1950. Basically, we ‘observe.’”

Be personal

Twitter is not another billboard or flyer for you to sell, sell, sell. Twitter is a platform allowing you to be on a level with your customers and to become personal, which any marketing expert will argue is even better.

Engage and familiarise with your users. If there is an opportunity to converse with a customer or if your brand ties in to a popular tweet – let them know.

Just as you would in any other conversation, be interested in your followers, ask questions, talk back, have your own opinion. Boohoo Australia is a good example of personalisation. The brand keeps a friendly conversation going with its readers on a daily basis by asking general questions and encouraging natural conversation.

Tweeting 2014_3

Tweeting 2014_4

Evermore popular in the coming year will be the use of promoted tweets. The option to promote Tweets, hashtags and your account will make it much easier to reach your brand’s intended audience. This will help you to kick-start an interaction with the right users. This method is costly so, if it is something you would like to adopt, spend time really looking into which promotions have worked well and which have not performed so well for other businesses.

Be memorable

Twitter battles, comedians and models aren’t followed without reason. They entertain and keep the follower interested. A user will not use Twitter to find out about latest sales as they want news, views and humour. Tweets are therefore the voice of your brand, not an advertorial.

Assessing the last year’s most popular trends on Twitter, ‘#YouKnowYoureAustralianWhen’, ‘#AusPol’ and ‘#royalbaby’ gives an idea of the topics people want to discuss and read about. By staying involved in news and trending topics, you will give your account an instant platform. Thinking creatively about how you can comment on these topics will also give your voice a memorable asset.Tweeting 2014_5

News is just one angle, for many brands, you can make a memorable impact by engaging with other users. In the UK, Sainsbury’s engaged in a game of puns with a customer who had initially been disappointed about their supermarket’s stock. By the end, Sainsbury’s came out more popular than ever, turning a complaint into a positive PR stunt.

Upcoming Features

Industry updates are constantly on the go, so your best bet is to keep reading and evaluating what’s possible for your Twitter. Some predictions of what will be popular in the coming year include:

  • Scheduled tweeting – Being able to allocate a time and date that you would like a Tweet to go live, available up to a year in advance
  • Direct messaging – Private messages to be optimised, with the ability to attach images within messages
  • In-Tweet content – Rather than clicking ‘expand’ to see an image embedded in a Tweet, experts predict content will be readily on-screen. This sees Twitter merge more toward the ‘sharing’ style of Facebook’s news feed.



Fear of Abandonment – Minimising Shopping Cart Drop Off Rates

Within 90 seconds a consumer has weighed up the hundreds of elements and nuances on a single page of an ecommerce site to reach their verdict. To commit or to abandon, that is the decision.

Coordinating the myriad factors and various tidbits that go into influencing this decision to be a favourable one is a mammoth orchestration that conjures up visions of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia.

While ecommerce marketers certainly have their work cut out for them, an in depth analysis of the motivations underlying and influencing factors contributing to consumer behaviour in the checkout process highlights areas to focus on in order to minimise the rate of shopping cart abandonment.

At its simplest, impacting upon both motivations and behaviour are the bones (server speed, structural design and processes) and the skin, hair and makeup (design, imagery) of the site. All components work together to play into the subtleties of consumer psychology in order to increase the likelihood of conversions.

Here follows three considerations in optimising your ecommerce checkout and minimising those pesky abandoned carts.

1. Feel the Tangibility

The ultimate challenge of digital marketers is to transcend the confines of the screen and convince the potential customer that the object of their desire is more than a collection of pixels on their monitor; to convince them that you are good for your word.

Making the object as tangible as possible by satisfying the main sensory judgement mechanisms available to the consumer (sight and hearing) will go some way to assuage reservations and increase the likelihood of conversion.

How is this achieved? Through various vehicles including multiple image angles, video demonstrations and customer testimonials; with real people testifying to the product’s attributes and practical limitations and applications.

Customer testimonials are especially important in a local setting, with 85% of consumers reading local business reviews before making a purchase, considering them nearly as valid an opinion as if a friend had recommended the business themselves. Just as word of mouth is important in physical communities and a bricks and mortar setting, so too has this personal evaluation system been translated into the ecommerce realm.

Making the object as tangible as possible can also reduce the amount of returns, with 25% of all items returned because the item wasn’t what was expected. Providing as much information as possible about a product not only influences the initial buying decision (providing multiple image angles increases likelihood of sale by 58%), it also reduces lost revenue through refunds.

As a final note, tangibility increases trust, and if a customer trusts you, they are more likely to commit to a conversion. With this in mind, you’d do well to ensure you predominantly display secure payment gateway logos, as more than 80% of consumers report it makes them feel more secure in their transaction.

2. The Complex Art of Simplicity

You’re entitled to roll your eyes at the following acronym, as it is no doubt the millionth time you’ve come across it as a Marketer. The oft-touted KISS method (Keep It Seriously Simple) is not only important in an aesthetic ‘hair and makeup’ sense, but also in a speed of delivery ‘bone structure’ site design sense.

With over half of consumers readily abandoning a site after waiting only 3 seconds, it pays to have a site design that is simple and will render quickly and correctly across multiple platforms. Especially when you consider the notion that 80% of these people are unlikely to return again.

Simplicity in the checkout process can really be seen as being synonymous with streamlining. The available information should be easily digestible, almost osmotic in nature and require little active energy from the customer. We eat with our eyes and we shop with them too – 92.6% of people rate visuals as the top influencing factor in deciding whether to commit to a purchase.

You need to gently, lightly, take the customer’s hand and lead them through the process. Speaking of which, the process of completing the transaction should be kept to a maximum of 5 steps, which is the maximum patience threshold of most consumers.

3. Clearly, Transparency is Important

While design factors certainly contribute to the average shopping cart abandonment rate of 67.4%, so too do logistical elements, including hidden charges, lengthy checkout processes and compulsory registration.

People shop online for convenience. Making the process upfront and transparent not only increases the all-important trust that I talked about earlier; it also keeps the consumers’ short fuse dampened nicely.

How? Make sure the customer knows where they are up to in the checkout process and how many steps until completion. Guide the customer with obvious and simple calls to action, and allow them to go back and double check or amend their details. On that note, avoid asking for the same information twice, which is a mistake 50% of sites make. Use auto fill options to avoid this.

Show all charges the customer can expect, including delivery. 41% of cart abandonments are a result of unexpected charges later on in the checkout process. Hidden charges ambushed upon the customer late in the game can lose you the trust you’ve been working to build all along.

One final parting thought: if you’re looking for a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card to forgive you a few blunders on your way to the ultimate streamlined checkout experience, I have one word for you: Discounts.

Incentivising with discounts as menial as a small percentage can get the customer over the line, by gently coercing them to have a little extra patience in your processes. In fact, 57% of people surveyed said that if they didn’t receive a discount they wouldn’t have committed to the purchase.

Creating and refining the ideal optimised ecommerce checkout is an ongoing process. Consistently reviewing and seeking feedback from consumers themselves is a guaranteed way to achieve the insights you need to lower your shopping cart abandonment rates and ultimately increase conversions.

See the infographic below for more information.

Consumer Psychology and ECommerce Checkouts Infographic (1)



How to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2014

How to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2014

So, we’ve reviewed our predictions for 2013, and now it’s time to look ahead to what the future might hold. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can still posit an educated guess about what year ahead holds for the world of marketing and your marketing budget in 2014.

Our number one prediction: if you take note of our predictions below, and integrate even some of them into your marketing plan for the year ahead, you will be on the right path to marketing success. Happy integrating!

Content is (Still) King

According to the experts, 2014 will be all about customised content (even more so than 2013). Content marketing shot onto the marketing stage this year. A recent study estimated that 27 million pieces of content are shared each and every day. Almost 50% of companies already have a content marketing strategy in place. Clearly, this is something on which you want to capitalise. The solution is not as simple as doubling your status updates on Facebook though. You need to be producing high-quality, engaging content that educates, informs or entertains your audience. You need content that is able to whistle a happy song above the ‘white noise’ of all the other marketing guff in the marketplace.

B2B Content

There is no one definition of high-quality content. But, for B2B companies, the most effective type of content tends to be case studies that demonstrate successful outcomes. Businesses want practically implementable insights to improve their own operations.

B2C Content

For B2C companies, you need to show your audience what’s in it for them. Prove that there is value in your content. Demonstrate, from the very first line that you are going to educate, instruct or entertain.

Get that content out there

Once you have your high-quality, compelling content, you need to think about content distribution. There is no point in manufacturing ground-breaking content if no one reads it. So, next year will be all about integrated content marketing, about repurposing content to suit your blog as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Consider how your content will look on a variety of platforms. Here’s a hot tip for 2014: think about using email to disseminate content. According to recent statistics, emails with social sharing buttons increase click through rates by over 150%.

Strategise your content

In 2014 you can’t be seen to just be ‘doing content marketing’. You are going to have to drive and measure its results. Take a breath and step back. Assess exactly who your audience is, how you are going to reach them, and what key messages you want to convey. You can’t keep producing content for content’s sake. You need to set measurable, objective goals and measure ROI. Just like you would for any other marketing campaign.

Location-Based Marketing

All the marketing industry big-wigs (Nancy Bhagat – VP of Marketing Strategy at Intel, Michael Brenner – VP of Global Marketing at SAP) have pinpointed location-based marketing as the must-do for 2014. With our ever increasing dependency (note that we said dependency, not just use) on mobile devices, there comes an expectation of personalised, location-based campaigns.

Image and Video Centric Platforms

Images and image-centric platforms (like Pinterest and Instagram) will keep outperforming words in terms of engagement in the year ahead. Twitter’s hashtag will become an even more popular search tool. Mobile marketing will be more popular than any other form of online advertising. Social media will be an essential, expected part of any business’ marketing program. And we expect that image messaging (like Snapchat) will continue on its meteoric rise.

Meaningful Connections

We’re not talking about the e-harmony type of meaningful connection here. 2014 will be all about creating meaningful brands with which your audience can connect. Apparently, when it comes to social media and content marketing, a good rule of thumb is: 20% about your brand, 80% interesting, engaging or informative content. We all need to stop pushing the promotional speak, and start providing useful information for our clients. Put your story first.


Industry thought leaders are predicting the rise of brands becoming publishers; brands setting up their own specialised newsrooms and production studios. Examples from 2013 include Red Bull’s Media House.

Bite-sized meaningful content

Most importantly, you’ll have to connect with your audience through clever, engaging, bite-sized content. You will have to master the art of telling a compelling story within a six second Vine video. You will have to bewitch with nothing more than a 140 character Tweet. You will have to enchant with a single frame on Instagram. This year will be all about speed, personality and fun.





More Traffic Doesn’t Always Mean More Conversions: One Proven Way To Improve Conversion On Your Website

Disappointing Website Conversions

After implementing a costly social media strategy, including Facebook ads and investing a lot of time and money into gaining traction with all their new Likes and followers, the management of the company still aren’t happy.

Although the marketing guys have shown increased website traffic and a few more membership registrations and newsletter subscriptions the social media campaign has not brought sky rocketing sales. And the new traffic they are getting to their site has even a lower conversion rate than that of the existing traffic!

Management want to know, how can they improve the conversion rate on the website?

They are considering getting a video produced for their homepage and have spent some time conducting research..

Wouldn’t you rather watch a video?

Taking into account that video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video (Source: KISS Metrics Blog). – this is one marketing force you can’t afford to ignore

People vastly prefer watching online video than consuming the same content in a readable format. It spans nearly every industry and demographic. Think about it, when was the last time you chose reading an article over viewing the video the article was talking about?

Statistics show that 17% of people spend less than 4 seconds on a website, but they are willing to spend 2.7 minutes watching a web video online (Source: Statistic Brain Blog).

The Dropbox case study

Adding a well produced video to your homepage, on average, will improve conversion across your website. Take the example of Dropbox, the Internet based cloud storage service. CommonCraft made Dropbox a video that appeared on their homepage. The results were so dramatic the company wrote to CommonCraft the below;

“Overall I’m positive the existence of the video increases conversions by a hefty margin, and probably gets us several thousand signups a day that we wouldn’t have otherwise”.

“The video is definitely considered a core part if not the core part of our strategy for introducing people to Dropbox … I’ve personally heard from plenty of friends who said that the video helped less tech-savvy people like their parents understand the basic concept of Dropbox much, much better.”

Some tips from the wise

This success story example is one of many. Still, increasing conversions is about more than just putting up a video up on your website. Your video has to be strategic, engaging and have a strong call to action.

Some suggestions to help marketers get there are:

  • Hire a professional company to work with you on an idea, and shoot your product videos. Trying to do it yourself or do it cheap could potentially end up costing you customers instead of generating them!
  • Demonstrate your product or service from several angles. Consider doing this with animation and adding a touch of humour
  • Look for ways to involve your brand evangelists in the making of the video. There’s nothing like a strong video testimonial to put confidence in to your customer

And if you’re now curious to see the Dropbox video they raved about so much, we’ve put it below.

Marketing.com.au would like to thank Damian for sharing his insights on improving website conversions.



Why The Digital Content Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Marketing.com.au would like to thank Davin Broadbent from Creativa Web Videos for taking the time to share this insightful article on the digital content revolution.

There is an air of familiarity around the current state of affairs with television and the growing trend of online digital content consumption, it kind of reminds me of what happened in the 90’s with the music industry. Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but if you’re a marketer or advertiser and you ignore this, well, when the revolution comes, we know who will be first against the wall…
Digital Content Revolution

Lessons To Be Learned From The Music Industry Versus Internet

The Internet is, as we can all probably agree, a fairly invasive and pervasive medium. Back in the 90’s when the Internet made the sharing and consumption of MP3 files popular and easy, far from recognising and adapting to this new trend in consumer behaviour, the record labels cried “Piracy” and then closed their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, stamped their feet hoping the Internet would just go away.

Well let’s just say that recent figures released by International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), show that sales rose by 0.3% in 2012 and while this seems less than impressive, you have to understand that the industry hasn’t seen ANY growth since 1999. Any guesses as to what lead the upswing? Of course it was YouTube and stars like Psy, Justin Beiber, Carly Rae Jepsen and even Gotye. Of course the music industry didn’t spend the last 14 years throwing a tantrum, they did spend quite a bit of time innovating, transforming themselves and learning how to meet the needs of their consumers and hopefully this is now starting to pay off.

Surely the television industry has learned something from the undignified behaviour of its older sibling? From consumer preferences to the way that video content is packaged and sold, we the people are finally being offered a real choice and I am certain that executives in the television networks are taking notice.

The thing is, television is and has been the holy grail for marketing and advertising for a long time and in most countries the limited channels (let’s not get into cable) are controlled by a select few. The cost of production is (rightly) high and advertising costs put this medium out of reach to most small companies. So with viewers of the Super Bowl hitting around 150,000,000 in the US alone it sounds fair to charge almost $4 million for 30 seconds of TV air time right? Well, maybe not…

Above the line, TV networks control the content, online however there are hundreds of sites, channels and videos with Super Bowl like numbers, all of which provide an affordable and targeted advertising opportunity and let’s not forget the content part of the revolution.

Production companies are already shifting their focus online and the unique opportunity exists online for organisations to create their own content to feed the mill. Branded content online is opening up a whole new category for marketers and with the recent approval of 5 new online video ad formats by the IAB the future is looking bright for advertisers too.

So eventually viewers will choose between a medium that forces you to watch programs at inconvenient times and broadcasts an ever increasing amount of non targeted, non-measurable advertising. Or a medium that offers variety and convenience plus ads that you are actually interested in.

As marketers and advertisers we need to advise our clients where they will get the best return on investment and quickly work out the best way to capitalise on the growing audience demand for video online.