Ask a Marketer: Video Marketing

In the last two segments of the “Ask a Marketer” series we covered Paid Search and Email Marketing. This week’s topic is Video Marketing, and we talk to Derek Merdinyan of Video Igniter.

Q1: Give me the 3 second pitch – Why should I spend money to add video into my marketing mix?
Video enables you to package up and present your message in a way that is educational, entertaining, engaging and easily sharable.

Q2: What are some examples of things I can explain better using video than if I just tried to write it in a blog or white paper?
Software, technology, systems, stories, anything that is complex and better explained through analogy. In almost every case, it is possible to explain things better with animated video instead of ‘filmed’ video because animations can be used to focus on the specific visual details that make it easier to understand new material.

Q3: What are some ways I can take the money I spend on video, and use it in other areas?
If you are speaking about animation specifically, be sure to ask your animator for a full project archive – odds are you can repurpose the visual images they created (i.e. characters, icons, charts, etc) and turn those images into image posts for social media.

Q4: How much should I expect to pay for a video? What’s the range and what determines that range?
If you go to a freelancer marketplace website, you can expect to pay $300 – $5,000 – the range varies by a few factors, notably the production quality, the number of revisions you can request, and the overall responsiveness, creativity and professionalism of the person you are working with. Hiring a full on animation studio can run you $5,000 – $50,000 or more. 2D projects tend to cost between $3,000 – $15,000/minute for visual quality you will be proud of. Quality 3D animations are easily going to be north of $15,000/minute.

Q5: A standard line is that on a project, there’s Cheap, Fast and Good, and you can only have 2 of the 3. Is that true for video as well?

Q6: Anything else we need to know about Video Marketing?
Most people think you just make a video, put it online, and promote it. Few people analyze and optimize their video – which for many companies is their largest marketing asset. When you first put your video online, you should host it with a service that provides you analytics to see what % of people click the thumbnail to play the video & how long people watch the video before they stop. Are only 10% of your landing page visitors clicking the play button? Maybe you need a better thumbnail for the video.  Do most people watch the whole video or are a large number of people dropping off around 14 seconds? If your video is animated, it’s much easier to revise and recreate part of your video to make it flow better for viewers; live action videos are harder and more expensive to optimize because it means bringing back the same film crew, actors and booking a location just to re-shoot an alternate segment. It would be wise, for both live action and animated marketing videos to create multiple alternate endings for your video to see which variation leads to more conversions (i.e. sign up here, call this #, download the app, join our newsletter, etc).

Ask a Marketer: Paid Search

Last week we started the “Ask a Marketer” Series with Email Marketing tips from Elizabeth Case. This week we shift to paid search, with Local SEM Expert Rick Read.

Q1: Companies seem to be moving almost all of their Paid Ad budget to Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. What are you seeing from clients?

Rick: Yes. Paid media dollars are being moved to Search (Google//Bing), Facebook, and LinkedIn. Search always seems to be a steady driver of clicks and usually if examining the whole funnel search usually plays a role in influencing end clicks elsewhere in the funnel. FB and LI, have great results because of their ability to deliver more engaging content/creative and have powerful targeting capabilities. For all channels I would recommend leveraging custom audiences and re-marketing where you can.

Q2: What kind of landing page work should you do before starting a Paid Search campaign?

Rick: We see best results with a Clear top of page/above the fold CTA. If you at driving to leads to gated content, I recommend testing that to see if it works with your audience and campaigns. Search works best with as few steps to an end action as possible.

Q3: What is the minimum budget you need to make a Paid Search program worthwhile? How much for media, how much to hire help?

Rick: This is a difficult question as it has a lot of dependencies. Vertical, Keywords, brand awareness, and competition. depending on your KPI. You can allocate your funds in equal proportion and as your campaign runs you begin to shift budgets to media that perform better. But avoid the “last click” measurement model, try to measure and take into consideration the value search has on a FB click, even if search doesn’t get the last click.

For search you can use Google’s keyword planner and get an idea of search query volume and average CPC and then project that over the QTR then year. initially you want use this figure and add an additional 10-20% to it and run for 3-6 months and measure the results. You may find you cannot spend the money, or it may not be enough and will require additional investment. As far as staff resources, depending on account size, you may need a minimum of two people. one for PPC and one for Social. One can do it but they are two different practices that are involved enough to be a challenge for a single individual. But there are plenty of Agencies that handle any size business, so that is an option.

Q4: What are some ballpark Paid Search CPC and CPM rates these days for different industries?

Rick: Again this is a difficult question to answer. You can find a lot of info here . CPC is effected by brand/non-brand keyword mix, Brand power, competition and quality score. etc. We have $40 keywords and keywords as low as $1 on branded terms. so again these are hard numbers to pin down.

Have more questions for Rick? Shoot me an email or find him on LinkedIn..

Missed the .COM rush? Grab a .FAMILY Domain for your clan

If you’re not keeping up with all the online tech publications these days, you probably don’t know much about what are called, “Top Level Domains (or TLD’s).” The traditional TLD’s are the ones attached to url’s you know and love – .com, .net, .edu, .org, etc…

But some really smart people realized that with all the url’s already owned by people, the only way to make any money was in the secondary market. And since those smart people who made money the 1st time around weren’t in the secondary market, they needed a way to create a new primary market.

Hence, we have the expansion of hundreds of new TLD’s. Things like .Lawyer, .Ninja, .Me, etc…

The newest one to come out is .Family. For those of you who fancy the idea of having a personalized web site that your family can post info to, or have email addresses with your family surname, the opportunity to get it is now.

Just go to and grab your family surname. Note: for most people the surname without an “s” at the end (ie is like $500. Add the “s” (ie is $20.

Note: Yes, those links are referral links above so if you use them, I would get $5 credit to my account (not cash.) But that’s not why I’m writing this. If you don’t want me to get the referral bonus, just type or click There’s no referral code attached to that one.

Join me at the Seattle Interactive Conference November 3

Over the last few years, I’ve had a few amazing chances to get in front of a large audience and either speak on, or moderate panels full of smart people. In about two weeks, I’ll get the opportunity to moderate a panel at one of my favorite events – the Seattle Interactive Conference.

The panel is focused on the changing role of online advertising. Here’s the description:

Game of Screens: The Rise of Multi-Screen Marketing
The rapid evolution of consumer behavior as it relates to their media consumption has rendered many of advertising’s traditional targeting and measurement metrics difficult or obsolete. So how do you accurately measure results when Device proliferation is making even basic reach and frequency management nearly impossible? How can you balance the new expectations amongst consumers that messaging to them should always be relevant and timely? And what are some recent technology advancements in targeting and measurement to help address some of these challenges? In this panel, executives from Choicestream, GoDaddy, Logitech and Sharethrough will share their experience and expertise in delivering successful behavior-driven marketing to consumers who live on multiple screens.

The panel will be on Nov 3 at 11:00am. If you’re attending the event, please come on by and check out our session. And if you have questions you want answered, shoot me an email and I’ll add them into the queue.

If You’re Going to Spam Me, Just Get Close

I’ma marketing guy, so I’m ok with targeted spam. I get it. It’s hard for sale people to get good leads, so blasting the heck out of potential customers, with a relevant message, in hopes of stumbling across someone looking for your services, well that doesn’t offend me all that much.

And I’m even ok with auto-email programs that insert my company’s name into a generic email to make it look like they were specifically looking for me.

But the key word up there is, “relevant.”

Best described as, “opposite of relevant,” this email doesn’t make any sense at all.


“Subscription companies like University of Washington have a common issue, churn due to failed credit card transactions. Most of the time these failures happen at no fault of your customer.”

Well I had no idea. Thank goodness someone finally figured out the issue plaguing universities across the country – the students are churning out due to bad credit cards. I thought it was a decrease in state spending, an excessive amount of tenured professors or a drop in donations. Turns out it’s the credit cards. Who knew?!

It’s too bad I don’t know the person at the UW who is in charge of keeping all the parents’ credit cards on file. Seems like we could solve some real problems.


For example, here’s some spam that actually could be relevant.