Philippe engaged our EVP portfolio teams and Extreme employees with a Flixel-integrated Keynote presentation, some business-focused exercises, a Flixel App Tutorial, and a Q&A period.
This was a closed event, but the information was way too valuable to not share with our subscribers. Here is the low-down on what you can take from Phil’s presentation. For those of you who attended the event, we’ve provided some links to video and articles that Phil referred to during his talk. It’s worth checking out!
What is Flixel? In case you’ve never heard of Flixel before, check out their story here before reading this post.
What is your goal? Phil says that the team focused on ensuring the video would deliver on the following business objectives.
- Would people want to invest in us?
- Would people want to partner with us?
- Would people want to work here?
- Would people want to buy this product?
- Would the press want to talk about us?
The power of video. Phil highlights that while there are several ways to communicate a message, what tends to work best for Flixel is storytelling through video. Video is how they harnessed key partners such as America’s Next Top Model and Facebook, and received media attention from Entrepreneur magazine. This made sense since they are a video based product. The importance, he highlights, is that you deliver the message clearly and concisely, while picking a medium that works best for your targeted audience.
Talk about the big guys. Phil shares the secret of talking about bigger companies around you, while discretely mentioning your own brand. By writing about and speaking to large companies and their clients you can attract press and company attention. Phil gave us an example through telling the story of one of EVP’s portfolio members, Locationary. The brand posted a blog on TechCrunch to deliver their message. Their message? We can solve Apple’s problems (click here to read the original post). Interestingly enough, Apple read this post, saw that Locationary had a vision that would make their own brand better. The company has since been acquired by Apple.
Strive to be memorable: The three keys to success.
- Do not harm.
Netscape: counter-productive memorability. Phil stresses the importance of what your message is saying, and how it may affect long term. He highlighted the example of Netscape, an American computer services company, that released a message that essentially upset the CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates (get the scoop on the 90’s tech war here). Following the company’s offensive message to Microsoft, the brand was dominated by the wake of Internet Explorer. What could have been a beautiful partnership was then shattered by a few simple sentences. Bottom line: Be careful what you say.
Another example he linked to “negative publicity” is Donald Trump. He says that while he is memorable, he goes too far, further than just “controversial”.
2. Get the audience to care.
Here, Phil refers to his own brand’s example of evoking emotion in their audience.
Share the good and the bad. In Flixel’s 8-minute company story video, Phil shares the highs and lows of the company, from the beginning to where they are today. He states, “Your audience has to see the bad parts to understand your story, why things happened the way they did, your business decisions, etc. Otherwise, you lose the art of storytelling. You need to evoke some sort of emotion to hook in your viewer.
3. Change way audience sees the world.
Phil admits that this is the hardest part to achieve, but with a strong solution, the possibilities are endless. He says, “most tech companies do not spend enough time on storytelling and marketing”. An example of excellent marketing was when Flixel wrote a blog post and embedded a 90-second video on how to use cinemagraphs to make Facebook Profile Videos. They used their product to illustrated their target solution, and sure enough, Facebook noticed. Flixel is now a Facebook SDK partner for the profile expression kit (profile videos). Only 6 apps made the cut and they were the only startup in the list and was also featured in Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference Keynote.
What is your product story? This is different from a company story. Here you should be able to answer two questions: Why do you exist? What problem you are essentially solving for your intended customer and can you do it in seven words or less? Phil gave the room two minutes to come up with their company mission in less than seven words. Some examples were:
- Crowdcare: eliminate the call centre by providing better digital services
- Gopher Leads: empower drivers and technicians to produce more revenue
As all entrepreneurs know, you must “be prepared to know that not all of your marketing initiatives will work”. Phil says to invest more time in the promising initiatives, and go all in when you anticipate real return. For them, it was going all in on their partnership with America’s Next Top Model.
Tell to win by Peter Guber. Phil took a moment to recommend a book that he says changed the way he delivers his messages as a storyteller. If you’ve read the book, let us know what you think!
Flixel Tutorial. Of course, like any good business person should, he finished off his presentation with a tutorial of Flixel’s Apple Design Award winning product: Cinemagraph Pro. He shared with us the three simple instructions to making a cinemagraph using Flixel’s software (we plan to do this ourselves and let you know what we think). Here are the three simple instructions:
- Shoot with a tripod
- Have at least two things in motion otherwise it will look like a video. Remember one of the moving elements will be still and the other in motion. The contrast is what creates the magic and will mesmerize your audience.
- Upload to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for effective ads and social posts
Flixels are not GIFs. According to Phil:
- Gifs are low quality
- Gif file sizes are huge compared to Flixel’s embed player
- Facebook gives more prominence to videos than gifs
- Only use the GIF format for email, the rest is best served with video
Q: What’s a story that failed for you but ended up coming back?
A: Phil shares that shortly following the release of a successful Flixel commercial, they produced a music video using their product. They did not see the ROI they expected, and viewed the initiative as a failure. But it gets better. Turns out, 6 months later, Tyra Banks from America’s Next Top Model came across this video, and this is how the partnership between the brands began. Check out Tyra’s POV of Flixel here.
Q: What are good ways to market your product?
- A: Experiment often and “go all in” when you see a big opportunity. Facebook is a good way to experiment cheaply, while being able to track your results. While your message can stay the same, the aim is to change up the creative to see what works best for your brand. He also encourages business to take advantage of the untapped talent at local universities. Flixel hired students from a local university to produce their video, which without a doubt, looked amazing, but was much cheaper than hiring a professional company.
Q: What’s been effective in promoting a video?
- A: The most effective way is getting the press to notice you. Once you are picked up, the chain starts. He also says that YouTube has been a great way to promote their videos in an inexpensive way. Finally, paying for targeted ads on different platforms has been useful. Once you have gotten on ad noticed, you can then direct viewers to crawl through your channel, introducing them to other ads and videos in a sort of chain reaction.
— EVP (@evpvc) June 16, 2016
To learn more about Flixel and using it for advertisement, visit their website and sign up for a free demo.