Media & Marketing: Video Victory
As its name suggests, Galway start-up Video Sherpa helps to carry the load for companies when it comes to creating videos, which have become an increasingly attractive, versatile and effective marketing tool, writes Bernadette Sampson.
Married couple Anna and Andrew Downes have spotted a gap in the in the market for something invaluable for companies to use to make their lives easier when it comes to video production. Founded in June 2018, their company Video Sherpa took part in the Web Summit in Lisbon in November, where CEO Anna Downes spoke to InBUSINESS.
Video Sherpa has developed innovative software that companies can use to create original video content through their own storytelling. The end-to-end guided filmmaking platform allows users to film, edit and publish their own video content via their smart phones. Based in Galway, Video Sherpa’s aim is to take the difficult work away from people from a technical perspective so they can concentrate on their own narrative.
Andrew is a professional videographer and Anna’s background is in marketing. She worked in the cultural and educational field for many years, at the British Council and with the Burren College of Arts doing marketing and communications.
Having worked with companies in the past to create video content for them if they had an event or product launch, they realised that companies needed a lot more frequent video content in today’s market compared to years ago. Anna had experience of helping companies with the storytelling aspect and Andrew with the technical and visual side.
They saw first-hand the power of video as regards customer engagement, sales or getting people to events. And they knew that to produce a video in-house was costly as it involved hiring a videographer every time they needed to create some videos.
“We realised if we could take our expertise in video production and marketing and translate that into software that companies could use themselves – instead of producing a video in-house – we knew we were onto something special,” says Downes. “We needed to make it as simple as possible for the customer and for the video content to be as high quality as their existing content and marketing materials.” Because Andrew is in charge of product development and Anna is over marketing and sales their skills complement each other in achieving these objectives.
We realised if we could take our expertise in video production and marketing and translate that into software that companies could use themselves – instead of producing a video in-house – we knew we were onto something special.
It was a challenge at first but now the business is growing rapidly. In development with Video Sherpa for around 16 months now, the couple have been able to showcase their work to an international audience with the aid of trade shows. Prior to the Lisbon summit, they were at the Technology for Marketing showcase in London where Downes says she was “blown away by the response, there is so much demand from people for the product”.
Apart from Ireland, Downes sees the UK as one of its leading markets going forward. “We are delighted with the interest we have from the UK. From the Technology for Marketing showcase alone we came away with about 55 companies as potential clients. From the Lisbon summit we have 200 companies in the pipeline. And they are from a broad spectrum of industries and sectors, for example, people wanting video for training purposes, such as human resources training, and also for product demonstrations.”
She went on to say that “not only does Video Sherpa reduce the cost of your technical support it has huge potential in so many different areas and there are so many ways to use this service within a company.”
Video as a medium increases sales, it increases engagement, it gets people to your venue, and it gets people to buy things. So many people have purchased items as a result of watching a video online about the item; it provides companies with that extra edge that makes them stand out. It improves things for companies in a very broad way.
Video and Marketing
The use of video by companies as part of their marketing activities has evolved expeditiously in the past few years. “We get so much video marketing through our social media fields; it’s a powerful way to communicate with people. You can really get an idea across succinctly through video which would take a lot more to explain through text. Video conveys ideas quickly and that’s why it’s effective,” Downes points out.
“As consumers, we’re happy to sit down and watch a 60-second video but we wouldn’t be as happy to wade through a long document. Research has shown that 76% of us prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.”
And the proof is there that video for marketing purposes works. UK design agency Digital Diode recently found that online video is a 600% more effective marketing tool than print and direct mail combined.
“Video as a medium increases sales, it increases engagement, it gets people to your venue, and it gets people to buy things. So many people have purchased items as a result of watching a video online about the item; it provides companies with that extra edge that makes them stand out. It improves things for companies in a very broad way,” says Downes.
Achieving High Potential Start-up status from Enterprise Ireland last March has been invaluable to Video Sherpa, according to Downes. “Enterprise Ireland has been brilliant, not just from a monetary point of view but in terms of support with research funding and market research. It has also provided us with office space when we have travelled to Europe and the US to help us to break into new markets.”
Downes is aware that there is competition out there but believes that where Video Sherpa differs is that it helps companies in a unique and agile way in terms of producing their own video content. “Video Sherpa is changing the landscape so companies can do it themselves and this cuts down on those additional costs,” she says.
CEO of Video Sherpa Anna Downes provides the following advice to anyone creating a video to promote themselves or their product or service.
- Keep it short, keep it focused, and keep it engaging. You’re often the best storyteller yourself for your own work. It’s important not just to have someone speaking to camera but also to incorporate visuals. If it’s covering an event from your previous showcase, show it, if it’s a product, show the product – don’t just discuss the product in a theoretical way, show how you designed it and the progress you’ve made.
- Video Sherpa gives clear, focused guidance, not just on what to shoot but how many clips you’ll need and the variety of shots so that the quality is very high. By doing that, it’s very simple to get the footage you need. It saves people time because they’re not going to shoot tonnes of video that they’re not going to use.