By Niall OGorman Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder @ChannelSight – Helping Brands Sell More Online

Tal Rubenczyk is the founder and CEO of Treepodia a leading Israeli automated video production platform for online retailers, enabling them to cover their entire product catalog with effective and engaging video content in just 24 hours. They have a “risk-free” model where retailers only pay for views that generate new revenue.

Tal is already a successful entrepreneur, who previously co-founded Celebros, where he headed the marketing division for more than seven years. Under his leadership it grew to become one of the leading international vendors of search and navigation solutions.

When was Treepodia founded and how did you get the idea?
Treepodia was founded in 2007, I had a former venture providing search solutions for online shops. This is how I got familiar with e-commerce, realising video was going to be strategic to the future success of brands and their retail partners.

Where is Treepodia located and how many people work there?
We have operations in US, UK, Germany, France and South East Asia but we started out and have our main operations and R&D in Israel where there are twenty people.

How was Treepodia originally funded, how are you funded now?
We had private investors, in the beginning. Since then have not had the need to take on any additional investment as revenues grew.

What does Treepodia do? who is your typical customer?
Treepodia is supporting hundreds of brands worldwide by specializing in personalized video marketing solutions at scale, creating tailored videos for each and every customer to educate, drive conversion and build loyalty.

Sounds complicated, for a given retailer how does your solution work, what value does it bring to them and how?
Our personalized and targeted product videos provide consumers with a feeling of exclusivity, of having an online virtual sales assistant who supports them along their purchasing journey. By catering to the emotional needs of consumers, you can develop a unique personal connection by creating targeted videos that are tailored to their individual needs.

In this personalized videos example above intended to be used in the email loyalty campaigns of the world famous jeweler Cartier, the videos create brand engagement, highlight recent purchases and showcase relevant offers. 

Why are product videos so important, why should brands care?
It’s simple, with growing internet penetration and capacity globally, online video consumption is growing fast year over year.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled

Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index

More specifically online video consumed through mobile is exploding and the brands who take note now can gain a significant advantage over that of their competitors.

Source: Ericsson Mobility Report June 2014 

So what are the secrets to producing effective product videos?
There’s no one sure-fire way to guarantee success, but there are some techniques that you should consider when putting your videos together:

  • 20% of your products are likely driving 80% of your sales, focus on building videos for those products first.
  • Less is more, online attention spans are very short, keep your videos on average between 15 to 30 seconds long.
  • User reviews drive trust and help drive conversion. If you have them, then include them in your product videos.
  • Test, test, then test some more. I can’t stress how important it is to A/B test your videos. A small insights can unlock increased conversion.
  • Create a video sitemap and this will help improve your search rankings, while also driving more visitors to your site.
  • Make social sharing simple. In one click your visitors should be able to share videos from your site to any social platform of their choosing. 

Source: Treepodia – A/B comparison of  automated video vs Production Video

What’s the biggest challenge Treepodia faces today?
We would like to penetrate Far East markets and that requires major funding. We’re already supporting a number of brands there and now investing for growth.

Were you ever close to failure? How close?
Not direct failure, however certainly plenty of challenges experienced along the way as we started out and scaled the company as we grew. We developed advanced next generation technology about 2.5 years ago, enhancing our capabilities to scale while also giving us the ability to increase the number of markets we can serve.

If you had to start all over again with Treepodia, what if anything would you do differently?
Good question, I would eliminate the low value or poor directions we took and course correct sooner.

What’s the startup situation like in Israel, is it a good time to be creating a company and why?
In Israel, the startup ecosystem is booming. There are allot of innovative companies out there especially in Ad Tech, so it’s exciting to be part of that fast-paced innovative and competitive environment.

What is your background? How did you get your start and what brought you to a life in startups?
I left Tel Aviv University with an MBA in 1996 and in 2000 ended up founding another company Celebros which gave me my passion for e-commerce.

What gets you up in the morning? and what keeps you up at night?
To be number one! that’s what motivates me, we’re constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition through R&D. The video marketing sector is growing at such a rate that you can never stand still, you’re constantly looking for the next innovation or challenge to overcome.

Are you striking a work / life balance? If so, what’s your secret?
Truthfully my family typically enjoys the fruits of my labour as I work a lot. I’m passionate about the work we do at Treepodia for the brands and retailers which we support, so always motivated to go the extra mile.

When things are going crazy, how do you unwind?
Spending time with my family, running, cooking and hanging out with friends.

Tal’s takes in the view, while taking some time out on the beach.

If you were not running a startup what would you be doing?
I’d quickly be getting crazy while making my wife crazy, so it’s safer for me to concentrate on startups 🙂

#FounderStories simply a series of conversations with founders that I meet on my travels, have worked with in the past or simply find what they do interesting. These posts do not represent the views of any employer or any business that I am affiliated with.

I hope you enjoy them! Want to be featured?

See more interviews in the series by Niall here:

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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