Five Minutes With: Brad Jefferson, CEO of Animoto

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges in marketing tech for the next 12-24 months?

On a 2015 Q3 earnings call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced that 1.5 million small businesses shared videos on Facebook in September 2015. While this is an impressive number, it’s only a small percentage of the 40 million small businesses using the platform. Small businesses are only just beginning to embrace video on Facebook and now is the time for brands that want to get ahead of the curve and differentiate themselves to get started.

And video isn’t just effective on Facebook. Over the past few years, it’s proven itself to be an incredibly effective tool for marketing in general. According to Animoto’s 2015 Online and Social Video Marketing Study, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it and one in four consumers actually lose interest in companies if they don’t incorporate video into their marketing strategies. And video also plays into consumers’ purchase decisions. We found that 59% of consumers find watching a video helpful before making a purchase, and Liveclicker’s 2014 Video Commerce Report found that companies that featured video on most product pages saw a 68% larger average order value than companies that didn’t.

It’s clear that video is a powerful tool, but in the past it’s been reserved mainly for large brands with large budgets, as smaller businesses lacked the skills, time, and expertise to plan and execute video campaigns. However, today there’s a huge opportunity for smaller businesses to jump on the bandwagon, thanks to DIY tools that make it easy and affordable for anyone to create professional looking videos. Marketers should take advantage of these tools in order to add video marketing to their arsenal of skills, to differentiate themselves from competition, to stand out, and reap the benefits of video marketing.

What keeps your clients up at night?

Customers who use Animoto for video marketing are primarily small business owners and entrepreneurs who are involved in almost every aspect of their business, including the creation of videos to promote their products and services. Finding budget-friendly and effective ways to reach their next customer, connect with existing customers, and ultimately – drive more orders and sales are some of their main priorities.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

The DIY nature of Animoto means that many of our users and prospective users have little to no experience with video creation or video marketing. Early on, it can be difficult to convince the inexperienced of just how easy it can be to create professional looking video, without investing a lot of money or time. What a lot of people don’t realize is that they don’t have to start from square one. Many of our customers have created videos using footage and images that they already have on hand, or have shot on a mobile device, paired with text using taglines and information they’ve already written for their website.

Once customers understand that they can create great video content on their own, there’s the entire world of video marketing to tell them about. What types of videos should they be creating for their businesses? Which channels should they be using to promote their videos? How can they optimize their video strategy for success?

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape?

In November 2015, Facebook announced that it received eight billion total video views per day, a 2X growth in total video views on the social network in just six months. With this growth in demand for video content, the cost and time associated with traditional video outsourcing and production will be prohibitive for brands and businesses to keep pace. As a result, there’s a need for quick and affordable ways to keep up with this demand, with a low barrier to entry, such as DIY video creation tools.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

I anticipate Facebook will see massive growth over the next year, particularly when it comes to video. At its current growth rate, Facebook is set to announce over 20 billion daily video views by the end of 2016. Along with the growth in consumer viewership, as more small businesses realize the potential of marketing with video, and begin embracing DIY tools, I expect we’ll see a lot more of them starting to use video in the coming year.

–Brad Jefferson is founder and CEO of Animoto

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