Creating video content for online marketing

Online video is a very powerful medium of communication. I’ve always believed that, even more so now with the availability of better internet speeds and wifi for video streaming. Although we are taught to not believe everything we see, video comes across as more authentic, real and credible than text. Its simply a more convincing type of content and great for marketing.

There are also more channels of distribution for video content with YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram, Viddy and more. YouTube has become the biggest player in this space for discovering and watching video content. Its now a search engine for whenever I want to find a tutorial, music videos, basketball analysis and startup interviews.

Native Tongue Apps Video Series

Hence I decided to create my YouTube video series on mobile apps. I’ve been thinking about it for the past few months as a way to build credibility & authority in this space for my mobile app consulting business.

I have now launched more than 10 apps in various app store (based on 4 product lines), and I’m currently working on 3 apps for various clients. So I decided to share my knowledge about mobile apps and give away some free content, with the hope that it leads to more consulting work!

My first video is on “top 5 tips to market your app”. I decided to pack in 5 essential tips.

With the video, a customer can see, hear and feel you on a different level than with images or text. Its a more powerful connection that you can make with them as they can see your face and visualise who is behind the brand.

I decided that I was going to ship my first video on 1 August along with my first email newsletter. I placed a call to Jamie Andrei and later that week we got it done, and we went through a brief editing process and turned around the video in 1 week. You have to set yourself some hard deadlines otherwise you won’t ship. I’ve got some more videos planned so stay tuned!

Putting together a video like this is not just a matter of recording the video. Jamie helped me put together a script, worked on my presentation, lighting, sound, even my wardrobe – I’m wearing his jacket & pocket hankerchief!

The fact that he has worked in digital and has domain experience also helped me to refine my video and what I wanted to convey. It took about 1.5 hours to get this video done, since its my first one. I also recorded a second video as well during that time. I highly recommend Jamie for video work and he’s worked with Amazon Web Services and CEBIT as Head of Video Production.


With respect to the above mobile apps mentioned – Vine, Instagram, Viddy, these are mobile apps that enable short form video content from 6 seconds – 15 seconds to be recorded and shared. I’m calling it microvideo as it sounds better than “short form video content”! Its quick and easy to consume.

I also came across this article today about brands using Instagram video which I thought was really interesting. Its fascinating how brands are starting to use these mobile distribution channels to get microvideo content out there. 15 seconds is also the standard online video ad unit, so there is a method to the madness 🙂

This is my favourite one which is a Lululemon video. Lululemon is a store that sells Yoga & running gear. We have some of these stores in Australia.

Let me know what you think about my mobile marketing video and what I can do to improve it in the comments.

I’m out like instagram videos,

Matt Ho

You Gotta Stream

Some of you may remember the popular Rheem ads from the 90’s with the tagline “install a rheem“. Well in today’s online age, “You Gotta Stream!”.

I have been meaning to write about this topic for a long time. The linchpin has been discovering this presentation via Mark Cuban’s blog, who knows a thing or two about online video himself given he is the chairman of HDNet and sold for a bajillion dollars.

This slide deck is from Netflix. Its very honest and insightful into where this company is going, the opportunities, the threats and the future of entertainment. Check it.

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Empire state of mind spoofs – New Dorks & Sydney State of Mind

Lovin’ these Empire state of mind spoof videos……I can relate to both of them. I love how people can mash up content, remix it, spit it out again and create their own unique versions. More power to the user! It makes the songs more well known, the artists get more plays and fans are introduced to the original song. Its the remix culture!

This is the local version, Sydney State of Mind which my friend Cheryl sent to me recently. I actually heard them mixing / playing it in the Nova station. Check it!

Yeah, Im out a Blacktown, now Im in Maroubra,
Right next to the Seals, Im Sydney forever,
Used to live in Newtown, couldnt dig the people there,
With the crazy coloured hair and you can always see their underwear,

So I hit up Carringbah, did my time at bizzos,
Saw some good bands and did some talking with my fists though
Started work at Panthers, uniforms an insult,
Still remembered as the Tiger Woods of Aqua Golf

I’m out like Empire State of Mind remixes,

Matt Ho.

U2 Concert On Youtube – the possibilities!

Youtube concert

Youtube concert

At approximately 2.30pm on Monday AEST, U2 staged the first live streaming Youtube concert online. And I witnessed it!!

U2 is easily one of the world’s best known bands. It’s probably not the first band to stream a concernt online, but the first of the major bands to do so and to such a large audience. I’m by no means a huge fan of U2, but I wanted to be part of this historic and momentous event. Plus I got to watch a concert for free!

I tuned in for about 2 hours and watched it in between doing work. I had it streaming in the background and witnessed an awesome concert unfold. They played a lot of songs that I was familiar with but didn’t know the names of and got me reacquainted with a lot of their music.

There was a bit of lag at times (about 3 or 4), but overall the streaming was smooth and there were heaps of different camera angles. Considering that there were in excess of 1.3 Million channel views, that was a pretty impressive job by Youtube. Their cloud servers must have been running at max capacity!

Monetisation Streams

As I was watching it, I was talking to my friend @dacheah about the monetisation possibilities. I feel that this was a public demonstration of Youtube’s streaming capabilities. This was a free concert, but imagine how much advertising, publicity, and album sales were made in the lead up, during the concert and post concert.

On the right side of the streaming video, you could purchase a download of the album off iTunes. Or donate to Bono’s Red charity or find out new information about their new album. These are just the direct actions you can take. By using iTunes it allows people to make an immediate purchase and receive the album on demand, an even cheaper distribution method.

But what happened indirectly?

They were able to bring in people like myself who aren’t big U2 fans into their music. Created new fans and advocates of the brand.

Given all that is happening in the music industry with the profileration of free downloads and pirating, there needs to be alternative money stream. Stream the concerts for free and entice people to purchase singles, albums and merchandise.

However, I think the biggest play would be to charge people access to live streaming concerts. This could be Youtube’s monetization model, have people pay $5  -10 to watch a world class concert. You could potentially have a subscription service as well, whereby people pay a yearly fee and get access to number of online streaming concerts. I’d also pay for this.

The ability to use streaming online video is now quite easy. We used it for our basketball game via Livestream (formerly Mogulus).

Back of the Envelope numbers

Using some general online stats that only 10% of people would pay for an online service, lets assume that 130,000 of the 1.3m viewers would have tuned in @ $5 a pop (lower end of the scale).

$5 per viewer x 130,000 number of viewers = $650,000  Revenue


Video Costs

1. Streaming costs

Youtube offers branded channel but their not cheap. If you advertise more than $80k with adwords, you can get it for free. They also have free accounts as well at the public level. But I feel that its going to be bundled together with streaming, storage space  similar to how Livestream and Ustream do it. Let’s do a yearly calc based on Livestream current costs:

1 Channel with 25GB streaming, HD up to 1.7 MPS: $350 a month

20 premium channels with 200GBs streaming, HD up to 1.7 MPS : $1,250 a month

I assume that there will be an option in the future for premium users for 1 Channel with 200 GBs available for larger concerts. It could possible use Google App Engine or Amazon EC2 which will bring the cost down. However, lets go with $1,250 since this is a publicly available cost. Give that 130,000 viewers watching video could potentially smash the server, lets multiply the cost of streaming by 5 fold to be ensure there is enough capacity to handle the extra traffic.

I’ve chosen a yearly fee because the band will want to maintain it and possibly do a number of concerts.

$1,250 per month x 5  x 12 months = $75,000

Note that this is a variable cost because it can be cancelled or use more/less bandwidth. But you will probably want to retain it and the more concerts you do, the more the cost will be spread.

2.  Camera crew for 2 hour concert

Camera crew will be needed for full day to prepare, stream and record,  dismantle stuff. This staff is in addition to existing sound crew. I don’t want the regular sound crew worrying about online streaming in addition to the concert as well.

This could be you

This could be you streamed online....

Lets say 5 are needed – one in the booth to check video, three camera people to give different shots (upclose, in the crowd, pan wide), maybe an extra sound guy. That’s 5. I use 8hrs for a full day required for a 2hr concert.

$80 p/h  x 8hrs x 5 staff =  $3,200

3. A couple of IT and social media guys

On standby to monitor streaming, computer/servers crashing, social media feedback, commenting, drive traffic – 3 staff. I’ve chosen the figure $120 an hour to get more quality staff with experience.

$120 an hour x 8 hrs x 3 staff = $2,400

Total costs

$75,000 streaming + $3,200 camera crew + $2,400 IT staff = $80,600

$650,000 Total Revenue – $80,600 Total Cost = $569,400

That’s approximately $570,000 profit.

I haven’t included advertising costs, but this could be done in conjunction with their concert promos i.e. a URL at the bottom of the concert poster, twitter updates / facebook updates, email, radio. The cost of this should not significantly increase current advertising spend.

Of course not all bands are going to have this kind of fan base like U2. Smaller bands can cut costs by hiring less staff, opt for a smaller online account, but I dont see how they couldn’t take advantage of this.

Plus you also need to add in the profit from ticket gate receipts, album sales, tshirt sales, iTunes downloads, etc….

Final Thoughts

Online streaming simply provides an additional revenue stream for music bands via concert. I’m sure some bands and event planners are concerned that people might not turn up to a concert if shown online for $5 instead of a concert ticket price of $130. But nothing beats seeing something live.

However, there is going to be a significant number of fans that can’t afford the ticket price, cannot make it due to work / commitments or are simply living overseas. Surely this can be monetized! Your providing them with the chance to also participate in the concert, be a part of the crowd, and sing along.

Side note: Youtube has also introduced paid search for video,  and the videos shows up as a sponsored link. There is also Google Music Search, which produces results for all the different music services.

I’m out like Mogulus,

Matthew Ho.

Anyclip demo

I first heard of anyclip when they received runnerups in the techcrunch50 awards. So I signed up to the private beta immediately to test it out. I’m still waiting on my invite though.

Now, I’ve just seen the demo video and I really dig it!

A service that lets you find “Any moment from any film ever made”. That’s a very powerful tagline. Kinda like the Bill Gates vision “A computer on every desk”.

Watch the entire video for the demo and the questioning.

FYI the guys on the judging panel are:

– Scobelizer (Robert Scoble) is a huge tech blogger, former Microsoft guy

– Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook and co-founded Napster, Plaxo and Causes. And now joined Yammer!

– Reid Hoffman, once an aspiring Academic and Rhodes scholar (i think), founder of Linkedin and mentor to many of the top web 2.0 CEO’s

– Dick Costas, founder of Feedburner, Head of Google Social Products, and now COO of Twitter

– Mike ?, he used to be chief engineer at Mozilla Firefox, now Chief Engineer @ Facebook.

As you can see, its the who’s who of Silicon Valley.

Essentially they:
1) Aggregate short form video (less than 4 mins)
2) Allow people to metatag and categorise
3) have monetization models so you can buy the video or download or rent it

There are valid questions around legals, getting buy-in from the studios re content and also discovery.

Discovery is a good point, because that’s how I find a lot of interesting content on youtube from browsing other videos. I also think its going to be an incredible challenge getting the studios on board. But they did it with Hulu via a JV.

Ultimately, the guys behind it are right suggesting that it reinvigorates our love of movies. By me watching that scene from the Big Lebowski, I wanted to go to the video shop and rent it immediately. It might encourage others to go find the torrent, but they were never going to buy it anyway.

My other question is that can’t Youtube do all of the above? Youtube’s biggest problem at the moment, is that the most watched videos and biggest traffic driver is amateur videos. Not professional. If the anyclip guys have figured out a way to automatically tag, categorise and scale it, that could be a winner.

I’m out like long form video,

Matt aka Inspiredworlds

Beware the Witch of Man

On Monday night, about 300 people gathered for the inaugural launch of the social media club in Sydney. The event was held at the Polo & Supper Club in Oxford St and the event was well attended by the masses. By the masses I’m referring to marketing people, the digerati, the twitterati, PR people, etc…or whatever you want to call them. The key note speakers were the fake Stephen Conroy aka Leslie Nassar (love your work!) and Adam Ferrier of Naked Communications. The MC for the night was Tim Burrowes, editor of Mumbrella.  The topic for the night was “authenticity & transparency in social media” – one of those airy fairy marketing topics. 

At 6.30pm when I arrived, the place was pumping. They had two levels booked out, and the bottom level where the main arena was, was absolutely packed. Standing room only! (Well bars are made for standing room).

Man with the $349 jacket

Adam Ferrier went first and spoke about their infamous “girl in the jacket campaign”. This campaign was created for Witchery to launch their mens range and they had a budget of zero (emphasis) and wanted to generate a lot of buzz. So they created a fictious story where girl sees boy in cafe she fancies, boy leaves jacket, girl wants to find boy. Girl then goes to the enormous length of posting a video on youtube. The story then got amplified as the main stream press picked it up and they showed that Sunrise breakfast program, newspapers, etc… Their intention was to get the brand noticed and get people talking about Witchery Man. Check it:


As of now, 212,100 views in youtube. Pretty impressive for a budget of zero. I’ve watched the video for the first time, and although I have the benefit of hindsight, I would have been highly skeptical of it at the time. The way that she goes to great lengths to describe the jacket and how the “perfect guy” would be wearing it. In fact its not a bad jacket. Subliminal advertising must work on the weak.

Then the press started asking who is this girl, is this a marketing campaign, who is behind this? They eventually got outed. Naked & Witchery came clean and posted a video response saying yes it was us. I’ve only seen the videos now (after the talk) so here it in all its glory:

Man, I cringed when I saw this. It could have been executed a lot better and definently with more class – the way that Heidi turns it into a ad for the jacket. In fact, the only time I cringed even more in the last 24 hrs was when I heard Adam Ferrier’s response as to whether Naked was arrogant.

Its all about generating conversations

It seemed that for most of the night Adam was defending Naked’s actions. He even had stats to back himself up. But at the end of the day, I think he was convincing and I agree with Tim Burrowes comments on Mumbrella that he did help to sway the crowd onto his side.

Honestly, I don’t have a problem with this tactic of creating a false story or building a mysterious story to get customers engaged and talking about a brand. Brands do it all the time. It’s what we do as marketers. Can Jordan really fly? (Wait, there is doubt?), are pure blondes really made from pristine rivers? Brands make up stories and fantasies all the time to get customers talking and excited. All they want to do is generate buzz. If that’s the objective, then Naked slam dunked it.

Was the public misled about Girl in the Jacket. I have no doubt they were. Was their a line that was crossed? Yes – only when they made that cringeworthy followup video. If Naked did not do the followup video like that, I think it would have been a great campaign. Consumers are smarter than what we give them credit for.

Was it groundbreaking? Of course not. In fact some guy in the audience asked “Did the Witchery Man campaign helped increase the popularty of social media?” – dude are you kidding me? They posted a youtube video about a fake story and it got picked up by the press. It’s not as if they created Twitter. When the story was being told, I immediately thought of the real life campaign of NY girl of my dreams, the cybersearch by one NYC man for an aussie girl he met on the subway. I came across this when I was travelling in the States, and I had actually thought about it when I started reading about this campaign and the connection became even more clearer last night. 

I agree with Adam’s insight that social media is a communication channel. It could be more than that, but at the end of the day that’s primarily what it is. Yes it is democratizing media (see Ashton Kutcher). However, it does make it a lot harder for brands and marketers to do something similar now because people think they got screwed over.

It nots really Stephen Conroy?

I love Leslie’s work as the fake stephen conroy. Dude is funny but a walking PR disaster. He didn’t have a lot to say on the night and Tim was trying to involve him as much as possible by asking him questions as well. But he definently had a couple of good insights – that not everything created by companies on social media is great. Everyone does go nuts when they see a brand do something on social media. 

If you want to see more of the Witchery Man campaign check the video from the night.

I’m out like the man in the jacket, 


blellow – twitter for freelancers

Just signed up to blellow today. I saw it on techcrunch a few months ago, but I’ve been procrastinating hard all day and decided to do this instead of what I was meant to do!

blellow looks interesting – like twitter meets yammer. users are organised into groups like for joomla, ruby on rails, accounting & finance, entrepreneurs, etc…

So people with common interests or need help with a certain topic can speak to each other. I’ve joined a couple of groups, so will let you know how that progresses. In the meantime, check out the video below:

btw i couldn’t find anyone from Australia on it. if you are us, holla!

I’m out like blellow,

Matt Ho