Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Marketing in the Age of Video

Q&A with
Steven Leeds 
Senior Vice President of Marketing

By Patricia Jacoby
Publications Editor
Frost & Sullivan

We are excited to announce that Steven Leeds will lead an interactive ThinkTank, Video Marketing & Monetization at the 18th Annual Digital Marketing: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange. As an established marketer and trailblazer who has written viral videos viewed over 100 million times for Funny or Die and other clients, Leeds is uniquely qualified to discuss how to leverage this channel for maximum marketing return. Highlights of his work can be found here: https://sleeds.myportfolio.com/

At the event, Leeds will share best practices on how to determine your target demographic and identify the best social platform to reach them, discuss methods of video distribution and pinpoint how to measure success and tie ROI back to a campaign, among other important video marketing takeaways.

Leeds recently fielded a few key questions from Frost & Sullivan, providing a preview of his expertise:

What would you describe as key factors in creating and producing a successful video? Is it digital marketing metrics, brand awareness, or some combination of the two?

When creating videos, or any content for that matter, it is important to think about your target audience and work backwards from there. First, we think about who the customer is and where they are going to see the media. Then we determine how to shape the messaging based on those two things. For us, a direct marketer, success is always defined by sales. Views are great, but if it doesn’t lead to an uptick in sales or a trackable ROI, it doesn’t mean anything.  

Influencers with big followings are able to monetize their audience by creating branded content for retailers and ecommerce companies. This can drive brand awareness and website/store traffic. 

As digital marketing evolves, videos marketing is evolving and growing too. What are some best practices you have learned as an early successful proponent of video marketing? 

In terms of best practices, make sure your messaging and production value are on point.  Proper sound and lighting let the audience know that this is a brand that cares about the content they put out. (In other words, if it’s an amateur-ish looking video, don’t do it.)  

Key ways video marketing is different than traditional marketing? 

With digital video, the sky is the limit.  The day you stop paying for radio, newspaper or a television ad, that’s the day it stops running.  When a brand is integrated into a video or creates their own YouTube content, those videos live forever.   Every day and every click, drive the overall CPM costs further and further down.

How to best use video to tell the brand story or communicate your organization’s value proposition?

Create videos that will align with your brands value proposition and story for a long time to come.  Other forms of media are better suited to capitalize on fades or trends.  If you are going to put the time in to creating videos, you should make sure that they have the longest possible shelf life.  

There are a lot of statistics out there citing video marketing as having very high engagement levels and ROI. Do you believe this is accurate?

Our experience with video marketing has been very effective.  At the time, our TigerDirect subsidiary had two videos go viral with over 40 million hits and over 3 million dollars in trackable sales.

It is probably only a matter of time before a large venerable organizationmakes its foray into video marketing and steps over the line, making a mistake that really harms the brand. Any guidelines you care to share with all the fearless marketers out there? 

Review your videos with different departments before you release anything that may even have the hint of being risky.  Customer service and your sales teams deal with customers on a daily basis; they are a valuable resource when trying to understand your customers.   

Is social media still the best place to implement video marketing? 

Social media should be viewed as a distribution platform that should be used in conjunction with your website and email list.  Utilizing these free forms of distribution is a great way to insure your video has the best chance to be seen.  

Steven Leeds is Senior Vice President of Marketing for Systemax. He currently oversees the growth of Raw Materials and Building Supplies at their Global Industrial division.  Steven joined Systemax in 2012, as Brand Manager and then Director of Marketing for their retail electronics subsidiaries; TigerDirect, CompUSA, and Circuit City. Prior to joining Systemax, Steven created and produced viral branding campaigns for private clients. With over 100 million views, his work has been featured on The O’Reilly Factor, Anderson Cooper, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Funny or Die.