Great to be sitting down with you! Tell us about yourself, what your background in the business is, and where you are now professionally?
JURGEN BIEFANG / CLIPPS.TV: Thanks for having us a part of your hospitality video marketing series!
In my former life I was a film and TV producer. Audio visual production is all about managing a complex creative process while preserving it's uniqueness. We have basically translated that workflow for the web. This enables us to offer our services on a global basis at competitive rates.
CLIPPS.TV, works for customers all over the world. Our offices are based in Munich/Germany. Our customers are first class hotels, tourism organizations, real estate agencies, the luxury industries – everybody who has a product in need of showcasing to a multi-cultural audience. And who doesn't
How does your company offer solutions to the hospitality industry?
Jurgen Biefang: In a nutshell we are a turnkey video marketing agency. We develop, produce and distribute audiovisual content, mainly for the web.
CLIPPS.TV is all about audiovisual marketing communication. We turn things and products to emotion and ultimately desire. We make complex messages understandable, and we can prove successes in terms of click-through rates and conversions.
The key to achieve that is a deep knowledge on how audiovisual communication uniquely works.
Online video users are educated and demanding, the time of shaky blurry pans is definitely over.
We also make sure our videos can be found in an audiovisual structured digital world – on youtube, Facebook, mobile devices, websites, displays, screens. We run our own distribution network with video players, language localization, partner sites and SEO optimization (the videos on the links above actually run from our servers).
What sets CLIPPS.TV apart is our online-based workflow that allows us to connect an almost unlimited number of creative resources all around the world to work on the task. Imagine you can talk to hundreds of creatives, camera crews, directors, copy writers, composers, graphic artists and use their output to create a clip, and then upload that clip back again to hundreds of websites and portals to be found by millions of viewers.
That's what we do.
What are some other brands/properties that your company has worked with?
Jurgen Biefang: In our market segment we don’t advertise customer names. Readers are invited to see samples of our work on the gallery section of our website www.clipps.tv.
Many customers require confidentiality. We recently completed a real estate sales clip for a 20M dollar property. The clip is for selected buyers only. You can’t show these clips publicly.
Consumers are demanding more and expecting more from their hospitality providers. What are the top features that consumers expect to see from a hotel or restaurant they’re researching?
Jurgen Biefang: Consumers want to be moved, full stop.
We marketing earthlings are busily optimizing the technical infrastructure, but consumers want the experience. Whatever it is, mobile-ready, HD video, social media, completeness and timeliness of factual data – it’s yesterday’s achievements and today’s basic prerequisites.
And that’s what makes the impact of the internet today.
In the early days a bunch of web nerds would do weird things to intercept pixel graphics via phone modems. Fun… but without commercial impact. Today we can actually move masses by turning products to emotion.
And that’s by making them forget about technology.
Marketing is important for hospitality brands; often something that professionals rather than sales directors should handle. How does a strategic investment in online marketing through a proven third-party lead to a return on investment for a property?
Jurgen Biefang: We report on ROI, per click, per view, per conversion.
No marketing mumbo-jumbo, just excel reports. The people we deal with in big organizations are extremely well trained. That makes it easier for us to sell our service because they understand what we do.
We have more issues with individual hoteliers who come from an old school sales world. We're good at what we do.
Hospitality video marketing is steadily becoming a more important part of a solid online-marketing formula; why is video becoming more important?
Jurgen Biefang: Video marketing is not new, it has been the most efficient and expensive form of marketing since the early fifties, in the form of TV and cinema commercials.
But it was restricted to mass consumer products with a nationwide footprint and huge media budgets. The internet has since been developing new channels that enable mid-size businesses to reach their customer segment.
This is an ongoing process, and it will multiply the possibilities of video marketing. Just an example: We started to make image videos of hotels, and that was new.
Today we make separate videos for the spa section, the conference facilities and the restaurant – just because dedicated marketing channels for just these product segments have since come up.
The skies the limit. And we keep on going.
Why is better to a have a professional video done than a self-made hand held iphone-made video?
Jurgen Biefang: If you’re selling 20 dollar dorms to a party crowd you may actually need a handheld iPhone video.
But only then.
Video is a strong communicator – and so is poorly executed video.
Video communicates many things below the threshold of consciousness. That’s good, but it’s a challenge, too. The video maker’s toolkit contains camera angle, movement, rhythm, color, focus, music and many other things that all have their own grammar.
If you don’t know how to handle them you may hurt yourself.
In your eyes, what are the most important must-haves for an effective promotional video for a luxury hotel?
Jurgen Biefang: Here are 4 points I can easily make:
- Analysis: You need to know in which media a video is playing to whom and why. Possibly make several versions with respect to different cultures.
- Conciseness: Making a comprehensive 2 minute video takes more time, research and effort then a 5 minute video.
- Preparation: There’s no alternative to recce and story board.
- Coherence: Style is upmost important.
Why do video productions cost a lot of money despite being just an HD web video in the end?
Jurgen Biefang: Well, do they actually, really cost a lot of money?
When you come from regular film and TV production, the rates for online video seem very low. We’ve been seeing these budgets grow ever since Google bought youtube, and they will keep going up. Compare the cost of a 2 minute video to the cost of a brochure, a print ad, or a professional photographer and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
Someone will make you an online video for 20 dollars by driving by your hotel in a cab and holding the iPhone out of the window. And hey, what a shame that you overpaid because someone else does it for 15. And so on.
Cost driven competition is a slippery slope.
Let’s talk about value instead.
Most of our customers are in the upper price segment of their respective markets. They know that they have to provide value to justify their rates. For emotion-driven products, such as in luxury markets, value is the result of a customer’s perception. That’s what we create, this “perceived value”. And it’s what we are being paid for.
There is a proportionality between the perceived value of a product created by a video and the production budget of that video. And if you don’t have it in the budget – the issue is not the video cost, but instead your budget priorities.
How important will mobile-readiness be for the future of hospitality marketing?
Jurgen Biefang: Mobile-readiness? We won’t talk about it any longer in two years, just as we don’t talk about safety belts in cars today. It’s a basic standard.
What changes will we see in the hospitality market in the next decade – how will properties have to adapt?
Jurgen Biefang: I am fascinated by the fact that youtube today is the fastest growing search engine. People who look for information look for video. The way we think of knowledge changes – away from a lexical organization towards a visual, sensuous access. I am not saying this is good or bad, but it is fundamental.
It is what has happened.
What that means for communication is obvious. Despite the many words in this article – we face a shift from text communication to intuitive, sensuous communication. It's like developing a new interface to your customers, like changing from DOS to Windows – just without Apple to give it to you.
You need to develop that new interface yourself.
Or let us do it.
Unless of course your sales argument is price. Then you don’t need us.
Thank you for taking the time to inform our audiences to what your company stands for, and what you do! How can someone learn more about you and/or your company?
Jurgen Biefang: Hire my team!
As a temporary alternative, you may check our website at clipps.tv.
And we do have a white paper on video best practices that you can request in the contact section of our website, it's been a pleasure!