Marketer HyperOffice shifts from text cases to video

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HyperOffice faces the same problem as many technology marketers: trying to disseminate information about its communications and collaboration products without being too wordy or dry. Until recently, it relied on written case studies and live webinars to get the word out about its software-as-a-service offerings, but they weren’t doing the trick, said Shahab Kaviani, VP-sales and marketing at HyperOffice.

“While we were putting good content out there it wasn’t very viral,” he said. “Webinars would have a small number of attendees, and the case studies posted on our site weren’t always read all the way through.” An average Web site visitor might spend 1 minute, 20 seconds on the site reading content that would take about five minutes to read completely, he explained, and they certainly weren’t sharing what they were reading.

This past quarter first quarter 2010?, the company decided to shift its marketing focus, moving away from straight text-based product case studies and webinars. The first order of business? Shortening marketing executions while still providing the same level of information. Webinars, for example, might last 45 minutes. How could HyperOffice condense them into shorter vignettes?

Kaviani decided to replace the hourlong webinars and create video case studies—testimonials from current customers—as well as product-specific videos. In the case of the testimonial case studies, a video team would spend about an hour with the customer, editing that interview down to about five minutes of video. The product videos, culled from existing webinars, covered a more limited and highly focused topic presented in a two-to-three-minute clip. In addition, previous webinars were archived and made available for download using the company’s own HyperMeeting product.

All of the video content was then be posted on YouTube and linked to from the HyperOffice Web site. Kaviani started multivariate testing on two of the site’s main categories—Products and Product Features—with the intent of sprinkling videos across the HyperOffice site once testing results were finalized.

“We tested [video] placement on the page, still images, colors, amount of copy, Web site flow testing,” he said. “We found that less clutter works best, and white space works. We have also found that instead of just having a main video at the top of the page, we’ve got to have a little copy—a description with the video posted next to it.” Testers, it seemed, like being able to glance at bullet points about the video so they can make a decision about whether or not it is applicable to their business problems and needs.

The testing was a success, said Kaviani, since videos have significantly increased the amount of time spent on the site. “On the test pages we’ve done we’ve seen our average time on site double,” he said. “It’s gone from one minute, 20 seconds to close to three minutes.” In fact, the company plans on rolling out all of the new videos across its site over the next few weeks.

“We’ve always been a thought leader, but now that we’ve posted shorter video it’s being passed around from colleague to colleague,” he said. “The content has a much longer shelf life, too.”

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