What if I told you there was a way for artificial intelligence (AI) to help you create a professional video in minutes?
I wouldn’t have believed it but content marketing mastermind and APAC content marketing evangelist at LinkedIn, Daniel Hochuli, introduced me to one of my new favorite tools: Lumen5.
In this piece, I speak with the cofounder of Lumen5, Michael Cheng to find out how his company his changing the video marketing game.
What’s one thing very few people know about you?
I’m a big fan of Nintendo. When I’m not building products, I’m inviting friends over to play Nintendo classics like Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers.
As the business has grown, my console and controllers have definitely become dustier. However, I’m quite excited for the new Nintendo theme park launching in 2020 and plan to take some time off to visit Japan when that happens.
Tell us a little bit about Lumen5. What inspired you to create it?
Over the past few years, I noticed that my social news feeds were rapidly being taken over by video content. Despite consumer preference moving towards videos, I noticed that only large companies with big budgets were able to produce social video content consistently. From my own personal experience, I knew that video content can be very difficult to produce.
The key insight that inspired me to create Lumen5 was that lots of people wanted to create videos, but nothing was available to make it easy enough so that anyone can make videos without hiring a team or breaking the bank.
The solution we came up with was to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to produce a system that can offer a semi-automated workflow.
Video editing is a complicated process that involves many different moving parts. By building a system that can automate most, if not all, of these steps involved in video creation, we were able to reduce video creation time from days to minutes.
What makes Lumen5 unique?
What makes Lumen5 unique is the AI system that serves as the backbone of our entire platform. During every step of the video creation process, our AI is constantly performing advanced calculations and making automated decisions to help our users produce videos within minutes.
The first bit of AI you’ll encounter is when you enter a link to a blog post or news article where our natural language processing algorithms will strive to help you summarize the article.
Normally a full article contains too much text for a short and engaging video, hence summarization is necessary.
Lumen5 will detect and divide up various sections within the article and offer them as suggestions to you. There’s also a Smart Summarization feature which will help you summarize long run-on sentences.
In the future, we hope to improve this algorithm further so that little to no human decisions are required and all you get is a perfectly summarized storyboard for your video.
The next bit of AI you’ll encounter is our computer vision algorithms that automatically matches each of your scenes with corresponding background media such as photos, graphics, and videos.
For example, if you entered an article about basketball, then the system will automatically seek out basketball-related media files and add them to your video. This area of intelligence will improve over time, allowing us to provide more and more accurate media matches and suggestions.
Many video details are also controlled by AI as well, such as the duration of each scene being dynamically determined based on the number of words in that scene.
Lumen5 will automatically detect the language you’re creating your video in, and then calibrate the timing based on average reading speed in that language. Computer vision is used to detect the focus of an image, such as human faces, and the system automatically positions your text to avoid covering the main subject of the background media. The system will also detect important phrases and keywords, then automatically apply a coloured highlight to bring attention to those words.
Last but not least, perhaps one of the most valuable component of Lumen5 is the built-in media library consisting of millions copyright-free photos and videos along with thousands of audio tracks.
The toughest part to creating video content is securing all the assets you need to produce a great video. Lumen5 does it all for you and you can search through the database with keywords, then drag-and-drop them into your video along with an automatically generated credit scene at the end to ensure all attributions are properly in place.
Why should businesses invest in video marketing in 2018?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video could be worth millions.
- 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to only 10% when reading it in text.
- Internet video traffic made up 69% of all global consumer internet traffic last year. By next year, it’s expected that internet traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
I encourage all businesses to do a simple google search for “video marketing statistics” to learn more about the explosive growth of video content and how the video format has transformed the internet.
This trend is expected to continue as more and more social networks and online platforms embrace videos. In recent years we’ve seen Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat fully embrace videos, but I expect even more to emerge soon.
What makes video marketing more effective than other forms of marketing? Do you have any real-life examples?
Marketing is all about storytelling and videos allow us to tell stories in ways that we simply can’t with static text and photos. The synergy of an audiovisual narrative allows businesses to tell stories in impactful and memorable ways.
Another reason why video marketing is so effective is because consumer behavior has changed a lot in the past years. With the growth of mobile phones and access to mobile data, more and more people are consuming entertainment and information on-the-go.
Content is often consumed on a bus or on a train. Attention spans are in short supply in an ocean of digital noise. People simply don’t have time to read long-form articles like they used to, and static images are not engaging enough to capture and sustain audience attention anymore.
We feature a handful of viral videos produced by our community at https://lumen5.com/success/ where you’ll see some Facebook Pages with only 1,000 followers that have generated over 1,000,000 views on their video, thus going viral overnight.
The video format opens up new options and allows us to tell new and powerful stories in ways we were never able to before.
How should organizations include video in their marketing mix?
The easiest way to include video in your marketing mix is through social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all great platforms for engaging your target audience with engaging video content.
Beyond social, you can also make your videos available on dedicated video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
What are your video marketing tips for professional services companies like law firms? How about for B2B companies?
The core of all marketing is storytelling and this holds true for both B2C and B2B. Every business solves a problem for someone and there are always plenty of storytelling opportunities around any pain point.
What may differ is where you distribute your videos. For example, for B2C you may produce content catered to Snapchat and target their users.
However, for companies like a law firm, you may be producing content catered to LinkedIn and targeting people there.
Effective videos often evoke emotions, inform and education or provide quality entertainment. These characteristics of a successful video transcends industries and markets, so keep that in mind when creating your videos!
What’s one recommendation you’d share for improving my own video marketing?
Congratulations on posting your first LinkedIn video! LinkedIn is the newest player in adopting video, and for a long time the platform did not support direct video uploads. The length of your video is perfect, between 1-2 minutes, and the content is very suitable for a LinkedIn audience.
My recommendation for improving your video marketing is to ensure that your video presence extends beyond LinkedIn. Success on social is a combination of quality, consistency, and reach. Producing quality content consistently is key, but distribution is also important, and the easiest way to extend reach is to ensure that you have a presence on all major social networks.
It does not seem like you’ve started posting videos to Twitter yet, and I couldn’t locate a public profile on Facebook. Rather than uploading your videos to YouTube and sharing a link to all your social profiles, be sure to upload them natively to each platform. An analysis of Twitter internal data found that native video on Twitter drives more overall engagement than third-party videos shared on Twitter: 2.5X replies, 2.8X retweets and 1.9X favorites.
Given that you’re a public figure, I definitely recommend setting up a Facebook Page and distributing your videos there as well. Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views and there’s no reason not to be building your brand on the world’s largest social network.