When Amazon’s Echo Show officially launched on June 28, publishers rapidly announced video-optimized skills for the device, while Amazon only partnered with a handful of brands to do the same. Reviewers swiftly critiqued the device for not having enough visual skills.
But it seems the fever is building for the $230 audio and video device. More brands are now optimizing their Amazon skills for the new Echo Show.
In the weeks following the launch, Campbell’s and Starbucks have developed visual assets to go along with their Echo skills. Other brands, such as Kayak, are in the process of developing their own experiences. Part touch-screen, part home voice assistant, the Echo Show is a 7-inch device that allows consumers to control what they see by voice or touch.
Campbell’s was one of the first brands to launch a skill on Amazon’s Echo in 2015 with Campbell’s Kitchen and has now become one of the first to do so for the Echo Show. With the enhanced skill, consumers say, “Alexa, open Campbell’s Kitchen,” and an image pops up of a pepper being sliced on a cutting board with text asking, “What kind of recipe are you looking to make today?” The skill gives the consumer a few suggestions on what they can say, such as “dinner recipes.” It will then bring up several recipes with videos, images and instructions users can cycle through. More than 3,000 recipes are available through the skill. Users can also search by main ingredients, prep method and effort level. If they want to come back to a certain recipe later, they can email it to themselves.
Starbucks’ new advanced skill for Echo Show allows consumers to see a list of their past orders, so they can quickly shout out a number to Alexa to re-order. Users can also check their Starbucks card balance. Kayak released its hotel-booking Echo skill on July 11 and is already planning an upgrade. Matthias Keller, chief scientist at Kayak, said Kayak had one to 10 people working on the project at the same time. “While [Kayak doesn’t] have a team that is solely focused on Amazon,” he said, “our [artificial intelligence] innovation team is very passionate about voice search and our Alexa skill, and that has definitely been a focus in recent months.”
Greg Hedges, director of strategy at Rain, the creative agency that partnered with Campbell’s on the upgraded skill, calls the Echo Show the “darling” of the Amazon family. “It takes the voice experience and makes it multidimensional,” he said.
Since launch, Amazon has worked on getting more developers on board. One way the platform is doing so is by using free swag to lure developers. On its blog for developers, Amazon promises that the first 5,000 developers to build a skill in July will get a free Echo Dot and “limited-edition Alexa developer socks” so they can “experiment and daydream.” Amazon has added new capabilities to its Alexa Skills Kit to help developers get started.
At least for now, brands don’t have to pay Amazon a cent to integrate visual touch points and experiences into the new Echo Show device, according to Hedges. Instead, the price will come down to the production of the visual elements and how robust marketers want their experiences to be, similar to any other interactive project. To develop experiences for the Echo Show, Amazon provides nine templates that incorporate lists, text, images and video that developers can compile to form their experiences.
By eliminating a price tag, said Hedges, Amazon is also eliminating the friction of getting brands to create experiences for the platform, the very thing that “brings people to Alexa and to Amazon,” he said. After all, a lot of Alexa’s 15,000 skills make the most sense with a display. The Campbell’s Kitchen skill is a good example.
“Recipes are a very visual thing,” said Hedges. “As you try to hear the difference between chicken broccoli or chicken cacciatore, seeing it changes the game for how you might want to make that recipe and choose that one.”
Vendors are also coming out with specific software to help brands with this process. Brightcove, for instance, announced its new “Jump Start for Echo Show” on July 11 and has already started consulting and working with brands.
Jason Hartley, vp of search marketing at 360i, believes the device will be most beneficial to consumer packaged goods clients, especially those in the food space. Not every brand, he said, should jump at the chance to enable their skills for the Echo Show. “In the industry, we have a tendency to jump at things,” said Hartley. “Everyone needs to have an app. Everyone needs to have a skill. But looking at it as if it’s what’s right for you is something we believe really strongly in whenever emerging technology comes out.”
Amazon might be cozying up to brands to get them on its new device, but brands shouldn’t look to get much feedback once they’re there. Amazon is notorious for being tightfisted when it comes to passing along consumer data.
By Dr. Joseph Schaefer Motiliti.com
A company in 2017 that doesn’t create video content is severely behind the times. That’s a fact that’s starting to solidify as the world of marketing moves forward, and those who don’t participate in publishing videos fall behind. According to a recent survey by Wyzowl, more than 60% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 42% of those who don’t use it now are planning to in the future. Video is becoming more and more popular and is now many customers’ preferred method of learning about a product or service. So if your company hasn’t made the transition to creating videos just yet, it’s time to start- before the marketing world is even more dominated by visual content and your company is left behind.
Many small businesses are hesitant to make the investment in video. There is an illusion of high production costs or technical requirements, and smaller companies may not want to spend the time or money on a new venture. But in fact, shorter and simpler videos can be extremely effective. Users are looking for quick and effective videos that can communicate their message. Keep your videos entertaining, creative, and efficient, and users will watch them regardless of production cost. Potential customers will remember you easily if your video content is simple and unique. An example of a simple video that works is for Gun Deals on a blog page. This YouTube embed gives great traction for the site.
To start creating this kind of visual content, many businesses begin with explainer videos. These short and informative videos are often animated, and they explain something a customer may want to know about. For instance- have an appealing and useful explainer video on your homepage, describing what your company does, can be very effective in introducing yourself to the viewer. Or maybe if you sell a specific product, you could create a video talking about that. These videos should be colorful, use bold and memorable text, and deliver useful information. But be careful with explainer videos- if they’re bad quality, or seem unnecessary, they could turn a user off from your website. 61% of users surveyed said that they were driven away from a product after seeing a bad explainer video. Don’t rely solely on these videos, and when you do make them, be sure that they are good quality and helpful to the viewer.
Keep your audience in mind when creating video content. Know what type of users you want to appeal to, and where they can be found. Sharing your videos in these places- online forums, your company’s profiles on social media platforms, email blasts, and etc- can encourage sharing and viewing among users. Spreading your videos around will increase your visibility and lead more people to take interest in your company. And to keep that audience, you have to keep up with a steady stream of content. One video that gets a lot of views is good, but it could be forgotten in a short amount of time. To stay relevant in the marketing world and among your followers, you should continue to publish videos that are entertaining and creative. 76% of users said they would share a video with friends if it was entertaining enough, so keep that in mind when you’re trying to appeal to your audience and gain more visibility. You don’t have to sacrifice your main message or your information, but just be sure to present it in a creative and original way.
After you work hard on your video content and you’ve gained an audience, you’ll start to see all the positive effects and advantages that come from this type of marketing. Of consumers surveyed, 77% said that they had been convinced to buy a product after watching a video about it. You could have that same effect on viewers and turn them into significant conversions- you just have to put out quality visual content that will leave a good impression. Videos hold viewers’ attention for much longer than text or even a graphic. They also keep viewers on your website or profile for longer. Users want to see video, and they want information delivered to them in an effective way. When they have a question about something or need help, 68% of users would prefer to watch a video about it then call a support team or something similar. Create videos to help your users with what they need, and give them a good impression of your company. Once your website and content is completely accessible and user-friendly, you’ll gain many followers and loyal customers.
Video, to some, may seem like a strange and unfamiliar beast. Especially to smaller companies, it may be difficult to make that transition into new territory. But as video content becomes more and more necessary in the marketing world, you’ll want to get ahead as soon as possible. Create visual aids for the audience you want to appeal to, and give them content that delivers information in a unique way. Putting your company out there and increasing your visibility will work wonders for you, and you won’t regret having ventured into the world of web video.
25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos
In recent years, videos have been making inroads in digital marketing, emerging as a powerful promotional tool for businesses to promote their wares in an exciting and engaging way. Though when it comes to video marketing, there are some pretty definitive ‘rules’ businesses should stick to in order to get their videos right. Get them wrong and marketing videos can be more hindering to a company than profiting.
Fortunately, if you’re a business looking to embark on an effective video marketing strategy, you’re in the right place, as Small Business Trends explores 25 tips for creating marketing videos.
Tips for Creating Marketing Videos
Tell a Story
Instead of being overtly salesy, an effective video tells a story. As the Digital Marketing Institute notes, businesses should utilize the emotive power of video by appealing to their customer’s needs and desires.
Make Sure the Introduction Stands Out
A little like how we are unlikely to click on an email if we’re not inspired by the subject line, an incredible one-fifth of viewers click off a video within 10 seconds if they’re not interested in what they see. With this in mind, the introduction of the video is vitally important and should be made inspiring, entertaining and informative, to hook the viewer and encourage them to view the whole of the video.
Create a Stimulating Title
By the same token, your video’s title should be stimulating and eye-catching in order to grab a viewer’s attention. Furthermore, by using relevant keywords in a title, the video is likely to show up on the search engines when viewers search for the topic.
Focus on the Mission and Less on the Product
Instead of being overtly focused on the product and all its benefits, channel the message of the video into the mission of the product. Dove, for example, are hailed are being experts in creating emotional viral videos that focus less on their product and more on their mission.
Don’t Be Boring
Who wants to watch a boring video? It goes without saying, if you want your business’s video marketing campaign to be successful, create exciting and inspiring videos that can never be considered boring.
Get a Little Bit Risqué!
While too much naughty content is unlikely to do the credibility of your business many favors, as Inc. writes, just the right amount can be good for page views — as long as not overdone.
Make it Mobile Friendly
With more and more people using mobile devices to get online, it’s imperative corporate videos are mobile friendly. In fact, according to YouTube, mobile video consumption increases 100% every year! Marketing videos, therefore, need to be able to be downloaded and enjoyed on mobile devices.
Think About SEO
Quite simply, Google loves video content and an effective video marketing campaign should have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. To ensure maximum SEO value from your videos, accompany the video with a well-written description that is tagged with relevant keywords to help boost the video’s SEO.
Include Your URL in the Video
Displaying your website address in a marketing video is a good way for companies to get exposure and generate traffic to their website through a video.
Educate Your Audience
As the Digital Marketing Institute informs, one of the most powerful ways to implement effective video marketing is to educate viewers. Often videos that offer advice, information, tips and other informative content can be more effective than a solely promotional video.
Make the Video More Atmospheric with Music
Music is a powerful tool on video content, evoking a myriad of emotions. Don’t be afraid to use music in your video that fits the mood of the message and crafts a more exciting and emotive video.
Use Video Content Generated by Customers
Putting your customers behind the camera to talk about how they have used and benefited from your product, can be a powerful way to engage viewers and appeal to prospective customers.
Include a Call to Action
Similar to how all blog posts and content should have a call to action at the end, which invites the reader to take further action, such as signing up to a newsletter, or visiting a website, so too should a marketing video. Ask yourself, what do you want viewers to do when they’ve watched the video and then encourage them to do so without being overtly salesy.
Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
Consumers love to get up close to a brand and video marketing offers the perfect opportunity to take customers behind the scenes and into your business’s ‘natural surroundings.’
Include Tutorial Videos
Posting tutorials that are relevant to your niche is a great way to connect and engage with customers. Tutorials shouldn’t give away all your industry secrets, but should be enough to entice the viewer with informative and useful content, leaving them wanting to learn more.
Keep Them Short
Online viewers often don’t have much time to spare before they’re off looking on a new site and at a new video. In this sense, shorter marketing videos can tend to work better than long ones. As Helen Klein Ross told Kiss Metrics:
“The less you say, the more likely people are to remember.”
Use a Professional Voice
Words spoken with clarity and professionalism will always come out better in a corporate video than an amateur speaker, whose lack of experience speaking on the camera is obvious. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to have an employee that is experienced on speaking in front of the camera record for the video, or even think about calling in a professional.
Use Micro-Video Apps
Along with all this talk of keeping videos short for the viewer, it’s also true shorter content is a better format for most social platforms. As Forbes notes, short, concise content triumphs over longer forms of content, particularly on social media channels. Video marketers should consider using micro-video apps, which shorten videos to less than 10 seconds, so they’re ideal for sharing on the likes of Instagram and Twitter.
Strive to create engagement and conversation with your video by asking viewers questions. Ask viewers to leave answers to the questions in a comment section below the video.
Don’t Be Preoccupied with Perfection
Videos for marketing purposes aren’t Hollywood movies and nobody expects perfection. Whilst you want the video to look professional, don’t become too obsessed with perfection that on the 50th take you still haven’t got in right.
But Don’t Forget Production Quality
That said, it’s important a marketing video is produced professionally. From the camera work to lighting, edited to voice overs, it might be a good idea to call upon the expertise of a professional video production company to ensure the video is produced in a high quality.
Use Videos to Help You Create Your Own Effective Video Marketing Strategy
Head to the likes of YouTube to see how businesses are already building videos that have managed to go viral. Featuring the likes of Coca-Cola, these ‘10 Epic Viral Marketing Videos’ on YouTube will give you some pointers on how some of the biggest and well-known brands are producing a video designed to go viral.
Build Hype Around the Launch of the Video
Instead of just going ahead and launching your video, build hype around the video by promoting its launch date on your website, blog and social media channels.
Provide Some Humor
Not all corporate videos need to be serious. On the contrary, some humour can work well in generating more interest in your video. Vidyard gives an example of a humorous marketing video that proved hugely successful — a parody by cloud invoicing provider Taulia of the award-winning commercial series ‘Get Rid of Cable’ by Direct TV. As Vidyard writes:
“The video not only delivers a laugh, but this kind of humorous take on B2B solution can really get your customers feeling connected with your brand and help you stand out in what can be a stuffy market.”
Embed a Video in Landing Pages
Think strategically about where you are going to place your marketing video. Statistics show that embedding videos in landing pages can raise conversion rates by as much as 80 percent.
With video forecast to claim more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019 and 90 percent of customers reporting that product videos help them make purchasing decisions, it is imperative companies create videos that resonate with their audience and ultimately help sell their services and products.
Making Video Photo via Shutterstock