With content marketing being a staple of digital marketing strategy, businesses are looking for easier ways to create content. But creating content can consume budget and time in tailoring media to a specific audience. To solve budget and time constraints for marketing and sales teams, a Redmond, Wa.-based start-up proposes a new way to craft narratives.
Founded in 2015, Seerflix is a video solution that lets professionals create cinematic-quality narratives with images and customizable text. I asked Seerflix CEO and founder Pradeep U.N. to share his observations on the creation video content and how the Seerflix team approached the challenges in video content in the B2B context. Pradeep, a former Microsoft manager and a Tepper MBA grad, leads a small developer team in the solution’s development department.
What is the immediate need that Seerflix sees for content marketing?
Right now it’s about attention. According to a new study by Microsoft, humans now have an attention span that is less than that of a goldfish. Consider that, as business professionals use websites, pdfs and powerpoints to engage their prospective customers and partners. Moreover, creating a single video can typically be expensive, take a long time to produce, and requires complex collaboration with external teams.
We are leveraging engaging videos to increase message retention with narrative arcs, music and visual transitions. We are bringing cinematic storytelling for business professionals, so that they can create their own video in almost real-time at a lower cost.
How did Seerflix approach its solution to establishing high-speed video content creation?
Cinematic storytelling is an art form. So we studied a lot of great movies, speeches, TED talks and interviewed a lot of entrepreneurs and sales professionals. They all seemed to follow specific rhythms, beats with which they approached their audiences with emotions, insights, data and engagement. We then invented ways to incorporate them into algorithms to make specific business stories come alive.
Business ideas are lost if you can’t iterate quickly. Imagine if you had to spend thousands and wait for weeks before you could see the edit you are attempting on your PowerPoint slide, the context is completely lost. So we pushed ourselves to create a technology that lets us tell stories in a video format in minutes not hours. Arthur C. Clarke once said, “A technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic”. Our current version enables you to complete a few sentences and create a video in about 90 seconds. That is our “magic.”
I noticed you’re using 3D scenes. Why?
The real world is 3D. Technological constraints have made us get used to 2D visual paradigms. Any business will show slides about their product no matter the audience. A 3D environment better represents the customer’s environment. Our visual recognition of space enables easier assimilation of the use cases typically showcased in a business presentation. We just want to open a conversation beyond the 2D confines of PowerPoint.
Are there some industries where video is especially an influence on customer experience? What use cases informed your strategy?
While there are numerous business stories in the workplace, we focused on use cases for customer pitches, follow up to pitches, and B2B customer stories. Ultimately business communication is about persuading a person, team, company about your ideas and enticing them towards action.
Seerflix allows for the quick insertion of images and editsWhat is the particular problem Seerflix is addressing with this flexibility in video creation?
There is a multi-billion dollar divide between marketing and sales that we are trying to bridge. Marketing teams complain that sales teams “are transactional”, “will do anything for a quick buck”, and are typically “off-brand.” But sales in turn complain that marketing materials are too generic and that they need to customize their presentations. That takes time, effort and usually makes them go off-brand without the proper tools.
With Seerflix marketing professional can enable sales teams to personalize their messages to the customer in real-time by inserting images and editing text on the fly. Not only does this ensure that proper brand guidelines are met without any additional effort on the sales teams part, but it also ensures a higher production quality at significant cost saving.
Increasingly there are databases which extend their influence beyond the backend, such as graph databases that can display relationships among collected data. Will backend databases (like CRM) be part of the video narrative in the future?
Absolutely. Business stories have always been about smarts and data, while human stories have always been about soul and narratives. Both are absolutely important and powerful in tandem. We already integrate with backend systems for customers based on their needs. Data can be accessed while they are creating cinematic stories to make the stories more soulful and smart. CRM systems have data about customer needs, problems, interactions, support issues and if integrated into marketing messages into high production quality videos in a pitch or a customer video, the impact would be exponential. This is the future that we are creating.