MarTech Interview with Lee Firestone, CEO at OpenReel

The use of video is impacting advertising, gross sales and even HR operations throughout companies in massive methods: Lee Firestone, CEO at OpenReel dives deeper into this development on this QnA:
Welcome to this martech chat Lee, we’d love to listen to extra about OpenReel right now – take us by means of some newest improvements and highlights!
Thanks for having me! This is an extremely thrilling time for OpenReel. It’s turn out to be clear that leveraging distant video streamlines the manufacturing course of for newly distributed groups who nonetheless must extra effectively collaborate on significant content material. 
This fueled a 12 months of unbelievable development for us as we essentially disrupted the best way enterprises, media and leisure conglomerates, startups, and nonprofits create video. As demand grew, we quickly scaled to be able to help our wonderful neighborhood of storytellers; OpenReel noticed a 12x YoY enhance in new enterprise income, expanded our accessibility to over 125 international locations, and grew our inner group from 8 to over 45 full time workers. As our enterprise has continued to create the distant video class, we’ve additionally up to date our core expertise to introduce Remote Capture 2.0, the substantial enhancement to our patented expertise, in addition to earned ISO 27001:2013 safety certification. 
This previous March, we had been additionally excited to announce our $19M Series A funding from Five Elms Capital, bringing our complete funding to $23.9M. This is a significant milestone for OpenReel that cements the position of distant video creation in the way forward for manufacturing. These funds will likely be used to proceed rising our inner group, significantly our engineers, in addition to speed up our product improvement pipeline and go to market technique. In truth, we’ve obtained some groundbreaking product bulletins that we are able to’t wait to share quickly!
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Can you touch upon probably the most shocking methods by which video in advertising and video seize is altering the best way entrepreneurs and gross sales groups are planning methods with video right now?
Since OpenReel was constructed to energy world collaboration for an more and more distributed workforce, I had a front-row seat to the adjustments that advertising and gross sales groups had been experiencing in the course of the latest shift to distant work world-wide. One of probably the most shocking learnings for me was how seamless the transition to distant video seize has been for groups throughout industries. While video groups might have been used to touring for work, they shortly noticed how simple it was to collaborate remotely, and the way that functionality eliminated many ache factors related with in-person shoots. OpenReel’s skill to provide high-quality outcomes whereas sustaining safety and decreasing prices had been different explanation why I believe the transition went so easily.
It was additionally encouraging to see that the demand for OpenReel wasn’t simply coming from one form of enterprise. Media and leisure firms, client manufacturers, larger ed, nonprofits, and extra all shortly embraced the brand new expertise. Marketing, HR, and inner communications groups had been in a position to movie all the things from academic sequence to world digital conferences to full-scale commercials to school lessons. I knew that OpenReel had ample use instances, however I’m actually impressed by the creativity and the variation I’ve seen that’s pushed the boundaries of what may be created by empowered cross-functional groups all from the smartphone, pill, and webcam gadgets they have already got available. 
Seeing the growth of social media and the best way video is used to showcase tales, model insights and extra: how do you are feeling the usage of video will evolve in future on this house?
Social media is having a huge effect on customers’ choice for video over different types of model communication. This evolution of video as a predominant a part of most social media platforms has organically shifted customers’ emotions in direction of video; as soon as an unfamiliar strategy to talk, video is now a most well-liked strategy to get info from each associates and types. 
Simultaneously, social media has influenced the sorts of movies customers wish to see and the form of content material that manufacturers ought to make. Rather than prolonged movies, right now’s video fashion — ushered in by social media — is bite-sized, dynamic, inventive, and filled with visible and audio storytelling. 
If manufacturers need their video messaging to face out, they must sustain with the patron developments and take inspiration from social media platforms. Shorter movies will maintain audiences extra engaged; stimulating content material will depart customers extra more likely to keep in mind the messaging; and a message that resonates with recipients will doubtless encourage them to move it alongside to their family and friends. 
What are a number of the prime suggestions you’ll share with advertising groups and customers experimenting with video seize and video advertising instruments for the primary time?
My largest piece of recommendation is to not draw back from getting inventive with the content material. Following a components received’t essentially make for a robust video, particularly in an period the place viewers are searching for persona and levity of their content material. With right now’s tech, it doesn’t harm to movie one thing out of the field to see the way it pans out to type extra memorable connections with your viewers. Using distant video instruments removes the monetary burden of taking pictures a number of takes or altering gears on content material all through the method, permitting groups to make adjustments to the content material with ease. If an concept doesn’t work out, a group can simply minimize it and begin once more, and once they hit the appropriate chord, the video will really resonate with key audiences. What’s extra, by having as much as 9 key stakeholders on a digital set, you make sure that every perform will get the shot they want, whereas with the ability to craft the authorized messaging within the teleprompter script beforehand to make sure the supply is as simple for the topic as it’s on-brand for the advertising group. When the logistical, collaboration, and funds hurdles of conventional shoots are eliminated, entrepreneurs are liberated to let their creativity shine and enhance their content material velocity at scale. 
What are a number of the prime advertising parts that you simply really feel ought to be showcased by way of video right now (testimonials, and so on): a couple of finest practices to comply with right here?
A technique that has numerous worth in advertising, and that may simply be translated to a video format, is product demos. Demonstrating a product in individual is nice, however it may well simply as simply be communicated by way of video, with out requiring clients to make their strategy to a showroom or schedule a prolonged assembly. Whether the product is an up to date tech platform or a model new client software, video gives potential clients a deep look at how the product works in observe. The primary precept of present, don’t inform, applies right here — it’s more likely {that a} buyer will buy one thing they’ve seen work than in the event that they’ve merely heard or examine the way it features.
Just a few predictions that you’ve got for the way forward for martech?
The final 12 months quickly accelerated the evolution of the office, demonstrating the significance of a strong, versatile, distant tech stack that allows seamless communication and group. Even as society and workplaces re-open, we won’t absolutely revert to earlier practices. Rather, we’ll see an inflow of hybrid occasions, conferences, workplaces, and procedures that enable workers larger flexibility in the place they select to reside, how typically they journey for enterprise, and the way steadily they work in an workplace. The distant tech stack will likely be a everlasting and important fixture of the workforce, so it will likely be necessary for us to maintain iterating on the enterprise instruments we’ve come to depend on and prioritizing sources that add larger ease and affordability into our lives, with out sacrificing high quality experiences.
Some key takeaways for advertising leaders and CMOs/ CEOs in 2021: prime elements they need to take into account as they plan for the remainder of the 12 months, innovate and broaden their groups?
The previous 12 months has been like no different. While it might have taken us out of our consolation zones, it additionally challenged us to rethink and evolve office routines that we might have taken without any consideration prior to now.
During the final 12 months, OpenReel underwent a speedy inner growth. Two key challenges had been onboarding workers when in-person interactions had been off the desk, and coaching workers for cross-functional roles to satisfy demand. We ended up reimagining our onboarding course of, guaranteeing new hires had a deep understanding of what different groups had been executing on. This hiring initiative has fostered transparency, accountability, and empathy for not solely our teammates but in addition the shoppers we’re supporting, in addition to prevented people from working in silos. Additionally, by investing in top-of-the-line enterprise expertise, every new rent has been in a position to study and develop into the instruments, growing efficiency and productiveness by eradicating burdensome guide processes. Not solely has this allowed OpenReel to scale extra effectively, nevertheless it’s additionally improved firm tradition and retention.
Even once we return to the workplace, we’ll proceed approaching onboarding on this means, and we are going to problem ourselves to constantly evaluation and enhance present processes frequently.
Something else to contemplate: whereas workplaces are re-opening, the workforce received’t stay the identical as we left it in March 2020. Instead, we are able to anticipate a hybrid future, with an ever-growing section of workers who stay completely distant as prime firms enhance flexibility for his or her workers to be able to stay aggressive from an output and expertise perspective. Leadership groups ought to proceed trying in direction of enterprise options that talk to this development, supporting initiatives like distant video recording, digital conferences, and extra. Why wouldn’t world organizations movie professional-quality video quicker and extra affordably from anyplace, with out sacrificing management, creativity or collaboration?
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