At this year’s SXSW, I attended a session on the future of online video, with Mark Cuban, who is part owner of HDNet, and Avner Ronen, CEO of Boxee. Ronen was bullish, declaring that the web would be the future of video. Cuban countered that video online would never have the heft and marketplace presence of traditional network and cable television (or, at least, not in the next 5-10 years).
The flaw in the debate is that both of them spoke about video as entertainment content only. That’s not surprising, given that both HDNet and Boxee are entertainment companies. But, this belies an important truth: historically, entertainment has been supported by advertising. But when products can create their own engaging content, then there is no need for retailers to support expensive entertainment creation.
This is the real future for online video. Companies become content creators, which supports their value proposition and sales pipeline. The practical uses of video content are much bigger than just entertainment. That’s where Liveclicker has built a unique offering.
Liveclicker has built a video delivery engine that is dedicated to dynamically and seamlessly transcoding and delivering videos. Their principal focus is seamless implementation and delivery. That allows creatives – whether in-house, or an agency – to focus on making quality content.
Liveclicker takes the technical challenges, project management, and headaches out of using video online. They are one of the first video vendors to support full HTML5 for native video playback. That means you don’t have to worry about incompatibility, plugins, codecs, browser compatibility, or bandwidth restraints. And they downgrade delivery mechanisms to ensure high delivery and compatibility for the end user.
This goes way beyond worrying about Flash on the iPad…suddenly, you can start thinking about what kind of videos would work well in email marketing. And, Liveclicker’s analytics system allows the marketer the ability to do full A/B testing, conversion optimization, and even SEO all from the platform, without needing to touch product detail pages, or the IT department’s CMS.
Perhaps their most underrated feature is video syndication and distribution. Liveclicker has built up a robust set of integrations with popular and niche video sites, which allows you to push your content out to hundreds of external social video sites (starting with YouTube, but going very deep, very quickly) directly from the interface.
This is a crucial component to any Distributed Content Marketing strategy – you must broadcast content out to a wide variety of channels to improve social sharing. Those external sites drive highly qualified traffic back to your site, making them much more likely to convert. Pair that with on-page video, and they are seeing double- and triple-digit boost to conversions on a regular basis.
Having just completed a broad landscape review of social media management platforms, I can confirm that no SMMP is covering the video space adequately, yet this is the area of highest growth and greatest potential for marketers to speak directly to their target audience.
Liveclicker’s email integration is also impressive. This has long been a challenge for marketers, as email clients vary widely in rendering, and mobile devices are being used more for email. Liveclicker puts all the compatibility issues to rest, and dynamically serves correctly transcoded video on the fly. That means marketers have the ability to use the most powerful messaging platform, in the most intimate way – by making video highly personal.
Liveclicker is even demonstrating significant cost savings by replacing traditional 360 degree product rotation images with dynamic video, which is much cheaper to create and render in post-production. These are real, hard costs that online retailers incur on every single product page. Even a modest savings can radically improve your ability to do more heavy lifting with fewer marketing dollars.
After talking with Liveclicker’s sales manager, Ben Kopetti, I was impressed with their platform, and their strong technical and business teams. The team has created successful companies before, which bodes well for their ability to deliver a robust platform that will continue to grow.
If you are an online retailer, or other marketer with a strong product focus, I would recommend reviewing Liveclicker for your own needs.