Tim Danyo is an up and coming name in the world of who’s who in online video marketing, but he’s no stranger to video production or strategy. As video surges ahead as the ‘must have’ marketing initiative, Mr. Danyo spoke with ReelMarketer about how video can be used as an integral part of a businesses’ inbound marketing plan!
Great to be sitting down with you! For those who’ve not heard of your company yet, who are you, and what is Imagination Media!
TIM DANYO: I started doing video professionally in 2003, but before that I was always involved in art, film, photography, and music. Getting fired from a really bad cable TV company actually kick started my video career oddly enough.
I started using my trusty little Sony TRV-900 to get some quick live event gigs and then some commercial work. Things gradually progressed from there. I ran the gamut of video production and produced everything from fundraising videos, real estate video, TV commercials, weddings, documentaries, personal biographies, you name it! As the the social media fire really began to ignite in 2007 my focus began to shift away from traditional broadcast and DVD delivery to the immerging field of video marketing.
I was intrigued by the notion that anyone could become a broadcaster or a publisher and that with high speed internet and web 2.0 I could see a new online video revolution starting to happen.
It took me some time to transition out of doing live events and B2C work, but I am so glad I did! I rebranded my company as Imagination Media in 2009, specializing in video content production and marketing with a focus on business development through client education and engagement.
Your tagline is “Content That Connects”. Many people have an idea what ‘video production’ is, but what is ‘in-bound marketing’ specifically?
TIM DANYO: Inbound marketing is actually a term coined by the folks at Hubspot.
In-Bound Marketing is basically attracting customers through providing remarkable content. You could also call it “permission,” or “relationship” marketing.
The gist is that you don’t pummel your audience with advertising messages that are annoying and interruptive, or “outbound” in nature, but rather, provide incredible value in the form of helpful information that solves customer problems, answers questions, inspires them, provides unique perspectives on your industry or field of work, and stimulates conversations and engagement around the products and services you are selling.
The goal with Inbound Marketing is to win the customer’s confidence and trust in your company so that they will do business with you. It’s true, people are more apt to do business with those they know and like. It’s that simple.
And how is this concept related to video production/marketing?
TIM DANYO: Online video is such a powerful inbound marketing tool because it communicates and educates the most effectively online.
The internet is growing more visual everyday. Photos and video images carry more click throughs and interaction than text only. The explosion of sites like Pinterest and the recent timeline overhaul by Facebook, making images and video the focal point, say a lot about the direction of the web.
Also, Facebook just bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars! That tells you something! Eye candy attracts engagement, especially in an attention deficit environment like the web. With video you not only have the power to attract, but your video keeps visitors on your site longer, informs them, entertains them, gives them more value, and converts visits into sales.
That is the core of Inbound Marketing.
Why is an inbound marketing strategy important?
TIM DANYO: It is very important to develop a content strategy even before you press start on the camera.
The strategy begins with the client, but more specifically, your best clients. I can’t stress this enough! The whole reason to engage in content marketing is to attract the right people who are looking for the services you offer.
Why spend time and money creating amazing content for a clientele that is not ideal, or will not help grow your business?
Take time to understand who your ideal client is…
- Do they pay on time?
- Do you get along with them on a personal level?
- Do these clients refer you?
- Do they provide a steady stream of business for you?
Then get to know every aspect you can about who they are. What their needs are. What problems they are facing. The demographics, and what social media circles they are hanging out in. Get as detailed as possible. Take them out to lunch and get to know them better and ask them these questions, (letting them know why of course) but you will find most clients are happy to share what they know because you’ve already established that rap pour and trust.
This exercise should be a foundation for all of your marketing, but I think there is an impression out there that businesses need to be all things to all clients and they take his sort of shotgun approach to marketing.
I counter that by saying, the more you can niche your information to target your ideal clients needs and provide them with extreme value and an exceptional experience, they will be more loyal and refer you to others in their social circles. I’d rather have fewer clients that pay me on time, love what I do, I have fun with, have built lasting relationships with , and refer me to their friends, than a thousand time sucking, money losing clients any day!
So the number one strategy for inbound marketing is to start with your ideal clients and produce content specifically for them.
Is there anyway to measure the return on investment (ROI) of investing in video?
TIM DANYO: Yes there is.
First you need to start out by defining your video marketing goals.
What actions do you want your audience to take? Is it a subscription sign up? A social media share? A click on a product link, or a combination of several actions? After you’ve established your client’s action goals, develop a model to calculate what those sorts of engagements are actually worth to your company and assign a specific dollar amount. For instance, a social share is worth 1 dollar.
A product click is worth 5 dollars of advertising. etc. You can then measure the ROI against the cost per views.
So, if your video cost you $1000 to produce, you would need to receive a certain amount of likes, subscribes, and clicks to break even. Assigning value to engagement is crucial to understanding the video marketing ROI.
This is very similar to how traditional advertising ROI is measured, even pay per click.
For a business interested in investing into video, what are the main arenas that you’d recommend to consider exploring and why?
TIM DANYO: Sure, let me cover the top three:
- Homepage: Video is attractive and convenient for first time clickers especially. The homepage is still considered a starting point for viewers to get a first impression. Make video the center piece to your home page and be willing to spend more on crafting a focused and marketing driven message about your company with a problems/solutions/benefits/call to action message. Hire a professional video company to produce it, because you only get a couple seconds to make a good first impression. Make it count. It needs to look and sound amazing as well as cause the viewer to take the next action step. This will take some time, energy and collaboration to execute well, but the ROI impact is very great here, because you have the opportunity captivate, educate, and motivate your audience from the start. Some good examples of video companies that specialize in home page videos are Epipheo Studios and Common Craft. They are amazing at what they do!
- About Us page: The About page is one of the most neglected and under developed types of pages on the internet! Studies have shown that it gets clicked the most. Why wouldn’t you have a video on there? This is a great place to let loose and be yourself as a company. Tell your story. Share how things came into being. Who works there. Maybe provide separate employee spotlight videos? Have fun and make it entertaining. A company may want to self produce a video like this. I say go for it if you think you can pull it off! But I would still lean towards hiring a production company. Again, it’s a well crafted message that needs to have higher production value. Meet or exceed your audiences expectations. Don’t disappoint by distracting, poor quality video and audio. Don’t bore your audience with a talking head at a desk, or a rambling message that doesn’t engage the viewer. Make is social. Make it real. This will take some planning and effort to get right.
- Educational web series or VLOG (Video Blog): This should be your companies content marketing center piece. I would suggest making this content DIY (Do It Yourself). You may need to hire a video consultant to help with the set up and a creating a solid video content strategy, but for ease and cost, do it yourself. It comes down to viewer expectations. Most of the time, for a vlog, the viewer is not expecting a broadcast quality show. They want to get in, get the info, and get out. If it’s valuable enough, they’ll share it or comment on it. Over time, those shares will turn into subscriptions and follows and then into paying customers. The blog should be looked upon as a long term strategy for building up your position as the most helpful and knowledgable business in your niche.
As a leader in the production arena, any predictions for the future of video and in-bound marketing?
TIM DANYO: Video Inbound Marketing is only going to grow more popular as companies increasingly see the value in online video.
I see SocialTV or ConnectedTV growing up fast within the next year. Second screens, being smartphones and tablets, are increasingly becoming apart of the TV viewing experience. Traditional broadcasters and advertisers are also making the leap into social media and SocialTV is a natural progression of that
Apple is soon to announce a new TV product and I have a hunch it’s going to be a SocialTV of some sort. I also see more and more local shops adopting a content marketing strategy- producing their own educational shows and web series.
Exciting times my friends!
What are the best ways to find Imagination Media?
TIM DANYO: Thanks for having me! I can be easily contacted through the following: