Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: The Xiaomi Way: Customer engagement strategies that built one of the largest smartphone companies in the world

What motivates me in work are a lot of things, but currently especially the following aspects are very motivating for me:

  • Using user feedback into digital media (websites/devices), to really get this interaction with users. To find out what is working but also what to improve, and to understand why users do not buy! (and to change that of course).
  • Optimizing the user experience (user engagement, touchpoints, data collection)
  • Constantly innovating to improve the user experience
  • Crossborder e-commerce
  • Startup mentality, doing things together in a great team with the same focus.

I really think that ecommerce (and marketing) has evolved from a functional model (direct selling) to a brand model and is now moving to an experience model. Things might overlap a little bit between these models, but this is the greater picture. 
It is not only me who thinks so of course, more and more is written about this subject recently and it fits perfectly in line with another book I have read.

I bought the book “The Xiaomi Way – Customer engagement strategies that built one of the largest smartphone companies in the world”. So I could learn more about their techniques in terms of user experience and how to deal with user feedback, and of course to learn more from the Chinese (ecommerce) market, which also interests me a lot. 

I will highlight a few things from this book, a book that really made me enthusiastic again, just same so, when I read this book. So many possibilities still, if you just think from the customer's perspective and if you aim for the long term, instead of the short term! 
Besides that it is always nice if you read about people and companies that have the same vision as I have.
.
Most of the bullets below, can also be used in a situation where you do not develop products yourself, but  also if you just sell products you can use these idea’s and best practices to offer your customers a better experience. Use this bulletlist to think creatively in how to connect with your customers and how to provide them a better experience.

A few highlights from the book: The Xiaomi Way

(click the "continue reading button)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An international videomarketing strategy: tips, tricks, takeaways

Ah holiday again, finally time again for reading a lot about ecommerce, digital experience marketing and videomarketing!
This time a blog post from Bangkok Don Muang airport where I am awaiting my for my AirAsia flight to Kunming, China.

Waiting for my flight
Yes, video's! I already liked making video's when I was age 6 or something, I can even remember making and editing video's with our Sony Handicam Video, one of the first videocamera's made for home usage.

Nowadays video is very important in your (content) marketing strategy.
Video is growing rapidly and there are many reasons why videos can be useful for your brand.






A few reasons why video is so important:
  • Video can boost your conversion and sales, directly but also indirectly.
  • Video builds trust, and trust is only getting more important. Advertising alone will not give you the succes you need. In fact advertising is changing rapidly to less and higher quality.
  • Video will help you rank better in SEO.
  • With the rise of smart tv's with online video channels easily accesible video's will only increase more in popularity!
  • Video and mobile usage go hand in hand. Mobile usage is still growing rapidly so take advantage of this.

So what type of video's are there?

I usually make a difference between these type of video's:

  • Branding video's 
  • Promotional video's 
  • Product demo video's
  • Viral videos
  • User generated video's
  • Interactive video's
  • Expert interview video's
  • Live video's
  • Review / Unbox video's

Every videotype has it's own triggers and it's own goals (KPI's) and prefered channels.
I do not go into depth in this now, but I think differentation between video types can be a way to setup your video marketing strategy.

Videomarketing: important takeaways and tips to use in an international videmarketing strategy:

Below a summary of what I think are important takeaways and tips to use in your videomarketing strategy. As there are so many video types and especially videoplatforms, I wrote down some general tips of which some are useful for an international videostrategy.
  • Youtube = Google, and think of Youtube in a SEO way. If you have very low performing video's in your youtube channel, try deleting those, it can improve your overall rating of your videochannel, make sure you fill as many meta data as possible after you uploaded the video and make sure people don't stop watching your video after 10%. Take this into account when writing the script, keep your viewers attention!
  • If you are operating internationally think about youtube recently added translation tool that will boost international video marketing, so use it! Now it is even possible to localise the (important) title of your video.
  • Youtube allows you, to have your "community", to make closed captions for you! Some kind of crowdsource subtitles! Read more here!
  • Use the close caption function within youtube to provide your content in different languages.
  • Often ignored, but very important. Every channel needs it's own content, youtube, snapchat, facebook etc. They require their own video. There are many differences between these platforms and when creating a video you should take this into account. Often only small adjustments are necessary. Take for example facebook, video's are played without sound at first, the user has actively to switch on sound. This means your video should have subtitles, or at least a very attractive start! And youtube video viewers generally accept longer video's than at Facebook. 
  • If you are a marketer, you know that retargeting exists. This is also possible in videomarketing, everybody who watched (a part) of your video, who commented or liked, can be retargeted with ads or other video's. 
  • Depending at what you sell, and depending at your customer group, you can seek cooperation with those active youtubers, who often have millions of fans and views.
  • If you write your script and you are not sure what variant works best, don't be scared to test this. Upload your video for example to youtube, switch it to non listed and set some paid advertisement to target those video's.
  • For SEO purposes, it is important to first upload the video to your own site, or your owned media, only after that, upload it to youtube. So you can benefit from two worlds.
  • When creating a (landing) page at your website, which includes the video, either if it is embedded or if you host it yourself, don't just embed the video there with some short lines, but really take effort to make an attractive page. It has all to do with providing your visitors a perfect user experience and a low bounce rate at this page. Lower bouncerates, are positive for your SEO ranking and increases your video ranking as well. When creating this page you can think about for example to add those easy to use share buttons, to make the page fully responsive, maybe add a transcript of the video, make it possible to download the video etc. Write content around the video about the video, this help search engines and visitors a like!
  • Before you create a video, think who you are creating it for. A promotional video has different KPI's then a branding video for example! Set specific KPI's beforehand including those specific video KPI's. 

  • Especially if you use youtube, use this engagement in and around your video. I have this screenshot below from a book from Joris Merks called "Online Brand Identity", a must read for everybody busy with online branding. It tells about the important of engagement with youtube marketing. Hardwell really engages with his audience and makes his subscribers feel the channel is really specially made for them!
  • Don't forget that altough youtube is very popular, it is not the most popular site in every country. China for example blocks youtube!
  • Youtube cards, make it possible to link to your own website from within the video. This means you can sent people directly to a page at your own website. Read more information here. Use this feature in your video's.
  • Just be very, very creative, create two teams who brainstorm about a script for a video with the same subject for example. When writing a script, think about connecting to an existing internet subculture. Write your script with the online user in mind and you will be allright! 
  • Don't forget to generate videositemaps for your website!
A topic about video marketing can't just end without a few good video's. So let's get started with a few great videomarketing examples.

I think this one is really good as a promotional video. It is maybe a little bit too long, but the idea and call to action are really good.



And then there is the dollar shave club of course, a brand entirely build online...you keep on watching untill the video is finished, it is fun to watch!



This one is also a great "keep on watching and buy"video! Just try it, I am sure you will also watch it to the end, just like I did. It includes (very strong) social reputation as a call to action.



Just because it is fun, a video from myself (Dutch only) where I was interviewed when I was still a small Alex :)


That's it for today!

Greetings,

Alex -videoman- Baar :)


var perPage=6; No. of posts to show perPage var numPages=6; No. of pages to show in Navigation var prevText ='