I interviewed Blogworld's CEO and Co-Founder Rick Calvert at their Los Angeles conference earlier this month. Rick and I discussed some of the big trends with online video in the publishing and marketing space, which I've labeled as the "Big C's:" Context, Collaboration, Consistency, and Community.”
We included a video of our interview with Rick Calvert, along with closed captions – which should help greatly with following this because of our audio troubles. We wanted to go for the natural conversation style without using a handheld mic, but had to deal with a lot of room noise. Also, we were without lavalier mics, and without the of a wide angle lens for Canon Vixia HF S200 (which would have allowed us to get in closer), and without the benefit of a boom pole for my Rode Video Mic Pro shotgun microphone. So I recommend turning on the closed-captioning while you watch this video, and you can read an excerpt of our interview below.
Relationship Video Marketing: The Blogworld Interview with Rick Calvert
Rick, what do you consider to be a big new trend this year with marketing?
A big one is context. There is this expectation from the consumer, from the audience, that they expect us to know what they want, now.
For example, consumers don't want to get ads to buy a car when they're not in the market to buy a car. But when they are in the market to buy a car, they do expect you to know that, and for you to be delivering those messages to them, right then.
Here's another example: If a car company sends you and ad for something for a new car, and you already bought a new car, you're just annoyed. It doesn't make you feel good about them. Now if they do send you an ad about a car – even if you don't end up buying it, but you are in the market, you think "wow, that's really smart of them" with the timing and everything. Your general perception of that company is now different. It's like they're actually paying attention to you, and they really give a damn for what you want.
So being in the market right now, being in any kind of business that has to communicate to your customers – it's actually getting harder and harder. Customers' level of expectations is very, very high.
What are you finding people are talking about at this year's Blogworld / New Media Expo with regards to online video?
We noticed that there are a lot more video-related companies here than there were last year.
We've seen [online] video become more and more a part of new media, in general. More people are creating good video content; and more consumers expecting to get that good video content. There are more and more people who are doing video because the tools are getting easier. Video editing on the Web is making big leap forward.
My own example: I don't do video editing because I'm not good at it, but it's also because I refuse to use a Mac. But now, supposedly, with new collaborative video editing tools like what WeVideo is offering, the software looks as good as anything you could get on a Mac. They say that it's a collaborative platform – so you can upload the video, and if you want to do any editing, you can ask the community for help.
I think with online video we're moving more and more in that direction – collaboration. So as content creators, we can help each other create better content. It's as important for us as content professionals to be doing that as it is for the consumer.
In our interview here last year, you mentioned your fear of the "traditional" market coming trying to take all of this over from us new media professionals, once they think they have it all figured out. So what can we learn from the traditional market?
Well, they make money better than we do, obviously; and they're professional in a way that a lot of us aren't. When you turn on the radio, you expect to hear the program at 3 o'clock, every day. That's when it's scheduled. When you subscribe to a magazine, you expect to get it once a month. You expect the newspaper to be on your porch every day. I think a lot of us are guilty of not having that consistency, not having that consistent level of professionalism.
So we as new media professionals need to really focus our aspiration of what we're trying to build with our content towards creating a bona fide media entity, versus saying, "I'm just building a blog, or, I'm just building a web video series, or I'm building a podcast." You need to think bigger about your content and what you want it to accomplish. I think we can learn a lot from the traditional media guys; and if they actually do figure out a way to block us out and regain that monopoly, they'll do it in a heartbeat. It's business.
I think Google would want to eliminate all of the SEO people, too.
So what has Blogworld been doing this year with it's own online video activities, around this conference and others?
We thought we'd walk the walk and encourage all of our speakers – about 75 of them who did it this year, to upload videos of themselves on camera, giving a preview of their sessions. We call it a mini-interview – to give a sense of what it's going to be about, why you should come, this is what I want you to learn.
I understand you're doing more videos with your "Virtual Ticket" library, too.
Yes, we sometimes have 20 sessions going on at the same time every day, and you obviously can't bee in all the rooms at once! So people on-site can upgrade to that virtual ticket; and those that aren't at the conference can also purchase the virtual ticket as well. And yes, along with videos of all the sessions, there's a lot of additional content, including video content, in there. We're trying to make that feel more than just recordings of the session. We're trying to give them a real feel of what's happening here. There are shots of the shows, there's interviews with the speakers, attendees, exhibitors, and more. Our attendees love it, our speakers it, and we know it's going to be even more prevalent next year.