Using video to build brands and make emotional connections

Paul Bzeta of Kicker Video talks about how marketing in the digital age is evolving

Paul Bzeta is CEO of Kicker VideoPaul spoke with Calgary’s Business‘s Mario Toneguzzi

Paul Bzeta

Tell me what Kicker is and what it does?

Bzeta: Kicker produces video content for B2B clients in Canada and the U.S. Videos that help our clients explain their products and services in a simple way in order to drive new leads, close sales, recruit staff and, of course, for social media.

Everything from brand stories, product marketing videos, recruitment videos and customer testimonials to animated videos, interactive videos and launching this month, personalized videos.

That means targeting the end customer in a way we really haven’t seen before. Videos targeted directly to their interests, their preferences … that answer their specific and very unique needs.

What’s your background in video?

Bzeta: Most of Kicker’s team come from a broadcast background. I wrote and produced over 1,500 news stories, profiles and mini-documentaries at CTV, CBC and Global over a 12-year period. My partner Kate Mistol won four Emmy awards doing the same. As a result, we’re well connected and able to really tackle challenging video projects regardless of location.

As we speak, we’re producing videos for clients in 17 states and three provinces. Kicker is going on 15 years old now and honestly, we’ve produced nearly everything you can think of in B2B video. Long form, short form, funny, sad, inspiring. Suffice it to say, Kicker knows what works in video and what doesn’t.

Who do you target as clients?

Bzeta: Fifteen years ago when we started, corporate videos were quite expensive due to the upfront capital costs (our first edit suite was the price of my first home, no joke). Thus we used to only chase the big multinationals or companies over $100 million in sales.

Today, the costs of video production have dropped dramatically and so we develop targets in a variety of vertical markets. We launch outreach campaigns using old-fashioned research and referrals.

Our clients want the comfort of an experienced and confident production partner who helps move the needle. Yet the videos need to be affordable. Kicker is especially proud to have a ton of returning clients.

Why is video a good platform for businesses and companies to market themselves?

Bzeta: Potential customers of yours devote substantial time to scrolling a mobile device and therefore dealing with a barrage of different companies vying for their attention. The companies bursting through the clutter are the ones delivering short, compelling video content.

Think about what you look at everyday online. You don’t read white papers, or watch webinars … who does that? But you will watch a short video. And what video does that no other medium can, is make you feel something. And it’s that emotional connection (even subconsciously) that drives action better than anything else.

Video marketing is a mainstay on Facebook now and other social media platforms are following suit (LinkedIn and Instagram). What used to be a fun place to connect with friends is now a critical marketing channel for our clients.

Are there any trends you are seeing in the industry?

Bzeta: This will be a banner year for video-based marketing efforts. It used to be mobile first but it’s transitioning to video first: more website videos, more videos in the sales funnel, more videos to communicate key messages and more videos to engage an audience in a way text simply can’t.

But what we’re most excited about here at Kicker is personalization. Imagine producing one video, but personalizing it to 50 or 50,000 users and then sending it out to each unique user – automatically in about 10 minutes. Videos hyper-targeted to each user on your email list based on the variables you provide (name, company, last purchase, renewal date, current subscription, last visit, product interest or other data specific to that user).

Imagine personalized utility bill videos, personalized brand campaign videos, personalized video invitations based on data from previous events, donor thank you videos and personalized on-boarding videos based on position, location and role.

It’s being done and Kicker is thrilled to be rolling out personalized video this month.

kicker video marketing

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