Great to be sitting down with you, Nigel! You've got a very refined background in video production and media – don't hold back – let's hear who you are and about what you do!
NIGEL ABBOTT: The last decade I have had various marketing roles, I actually posted my first online video back in 1998 using the Sony Mavica for an extreme sports label – that was big deal back then.
What really opened my eyes to the power of video was utilizing it on a daily basis for a ski resort that I was the marketing director for in Niseko Japan. An Australian company purchased it and I was involved, we saw this outstanding opportunity due to the massive, and I mean massive, amount of snow the resort was blessed with. I felt the best way to let the world know about this special place was through video, so I called in my brother who had been producing online video segments and we did some mockups that we could take to sponsors to get funding for the following season.
Low and behold the sponsors bought it and we had $100,000 to get our digital department going! Those were exciting years as we were the first resort in the world to offer daily video snow reports and a bunch of other video content.
We kept pushing the boundaries and offered video on the mobile network in Japan, we delivered snow reports in English, Japanese and Mandarin. We went crazy- we were producing loads of video content; restaurant reviews, Onsen reviews, events, promotions, local attractions and services. Notably, over a five season period we produced 600 segments!
It was towards the end of my tenure there that I felt I had to set up a business that offered these services.
I believe, in terms of online-specific video and interviews, you've set a new record! So, what is the special sauce that makes video marketing so powerful? How does online video marketing relate to business?
NIGEL ABBOTT: It's actually quite straight forward – video is the crown jewel of content marketing simply because it is the closest communication medium to real life! People can both see and hear you deliver your message using ‘real' creative story telling and can be moved to action in ways rarely possible with other forms of marketing.
With the rise, and rise… of social media and its acceptance into the marketing mix, why wouldn’t you adorn your channels of promotion with the richest form of content…. video.
With online videos, you can create intelligent content with high production values at extremely cost effective prices.
Well said – thinking back not too long ago, there was a time when businesses were debating if they should get online and hire a web designer… Now it's obviously a no brainer – yes, create a website, and professionally! Can you give us an analogous example of what ignoring professional video marketing would be like for a business now?
NIGEL ABBOTT: Consumers are savvy and are expecting more from brands. Part of their expectation now are intelligent and rich content that has purpose, distinction and is authentic. With brands having to manage many online channels, great content is now expected, and if you are not delivering then you will struggle with building legitimate advocacy.
Video is, if it's not already, becoming mainstream, and it takes time to build experience. You need to have an action plan today to best leverage it going forward and be ahead of your competitors.
Which begs the question – DIY vs. hire a professional – what are the beat scenarios for each?
NIGEL ABBOTT: A simple way to look at it is – would you let yourself design your visual communication assets for your own business?
Assuming you're not a video production house, an you did do your own work, it would surely look homemade, and unprofessional. Is your businesses' aim to look unprofessional? Of course not.
So why would you DIY video for your business?
Video content is a professional brand asset – an extension of your brand – therefore, why would you dilute it with second-rate production?
Of course there are times where you could, especially if you are producing regular content, but you need training, guidelines and structure.
I would say, 90% of the time professional is the way to go, which is the majority of scenarios – the majority of your readers will benefit far more greatly from investing in a professional.
And now… video and social media! How does video play a role in social media today? What are some important points you feel everyone should be made aware of?
NIGEL ABBOTT: As I explained, social media is now part of our every day life and as a key for brands interacting with their consumers, video is the medium and social is the distribution.
Social media provides a whole new spectrum for delivering content that can have a multitude of purpose, the key lies in the content – trying asking yourself the following:
- What is the purpose of my content, and how will it help deliver on my marketing or business objectives?
- What response do I want from the audience?
- What sort of reach do I want and through which channels?
I believe it is important to design your content to work with the social channels you utilize.
Agreed! We state repeatedly through articles on Reel Marketer that a video strategy is needed first – not just a video. Where do we see cutting-edge social interaction with video today?
NIGEL ABBOTT: As far as content goes, Old Spice, high production developed specifically for online sharing and the results speak for themselves. [Editor: We've interviewed Debi Blizard formerly of Ad Agency W+K in an earlier interview and she touched on Old Spice as well!] I’m sure prior to that campaign there weren’t many Gen Y that new about that product, but do now.
With regard to online platforms, I believe that Facebook is a treasure chest of opportunity and we will hopefully see more innovative ways of delivering video from them.
With devices, smart phones are providing mobile access to our social channels and video uptake is about to explode.
Exciting, isn't it! When looking to hire a production company, what should a business person look for, and ask about to ensure a good fit?
NIGEL ABBOTT: Businesses or organizations looking to invest in professional video should be looking for an online video specialist specifically, or a production company that has made a successful transition to creating viable online video. I have seen too much content that is just irrelevant and lacks purpose – video for the sake of video.
Story telling is everything and you need a company that knows how to translate your objectives and messages into engaging content.
The second and extremely important skill is a business that knows how to optimize your content:
- Descriptions and tagging
- Syndicating your content – there is a world of opportunity when it comes to where you can post your content
- Creating back links to generate awareness and drive viewership
I have seen too many good videos with very few views, such a waste.
Lastly, they need to provide good metric reporting on the results of your video content.
I see our business as a marketing business that provides video content strategy, production and optimization/ syndication.
I think the last points you made about optimizing is often called Video Search Engine Optimization (SEO) too! Very important indeed. You're constantly keeping up to date with technological and societal developments – what are your predictions for the future of video?
NIGEL ABBOTT: I predict every business will be leveraging video in some way in the not-to-distant future. But, the key will be, how to make it really work for you across the multitude of channels and devices.
I have been thinking hard about this aspect of late and I can see the future will bring better metric reporting and insight, improved syndication and optimization, greater interaction with the content and platforms that will reward consumers for their video loyalty and advocacy.
Of course, mobile and tablet technology has given us a great opportunity to deliver content across our social channels on another device, this is where will we see the massive uptake of video and development going forward.
I also see a great opportunity with video mobile messaging, not enough businesses are taking advantage of this, especially in Australia, where we are based.
Thank you Nigel! Anything else you would like to share?
Make a start if you haven’t already, but plan your video strategy so you have a benchmark to measure it against.
What's the best way for readers and viewers see more of your informative videos and get in touch with you?