By Ellen Boonstra, Asia correspondent >>

OVER THE LAST decade, video has taken the internet by storm. Now Thailand-based video content creation platform, Crave Asia, is brewing its own storm.

In a modern world in which YouTube has become Google’s dynamic all-the-bells-and-whistles younger search-engine brother -- and in our multi-screen lives -- the relevance of video has evolved tremendously. Online video content is no longer purely for entertainment.

Creating a successful marketing strategy in today’s online environment must include video. Businesses big and small are using it for promotion and education, and customers are watching on smartphones, tablets and computers.

They are viewing on all of the social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, pre-roll YouTube ads, Snapchat content, Netflix ads and website landing pages

According to US-based online video platform Brightcove, social video is what people want. Businesses would all be well-advised to create engaging video experiences.

Brightcove claims that three-quarters of consumers who watch social video make a purchasing decision based on that video and are more likely to recommend that company. Consequently; it is important to get it right.

However, ror smaller businesses video marketing can seem intimidating.

Australian Raine Grady, who has more 25 years experience in TV and video production at the helm of Thailand’s Capital Television, saw a need for cost effective and easy to use video solutions. She established a new ‘disruptive’ video content creation agency called Crave Asia, which, in partnership with the video creation tool Binumi, is both affordable and manageable.  

“We live in the age of video and every business has a story to tell,” Ms Grady said. “Video is one of the most exciting mediums to do so because it tells a story in a way that text and photos can’t compete with.

“It is predicted to reach 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2020. It is exciting to be able to enable everyone to bring their business narrative to life, and to do so while offering an attractive RoI.”

BINUMI INNOVATION

The Binumi video tool used by Crave Asia was created by media tech entrepreneur and former National Geographic filmmaker Anthony Copping. It allows its partners to scale their video marketing quickly and inexpensively for fast turn around social media and event promotion.

The unique aspect of the tool is a massive royalty-free footage and music library from around 50 countries. Clients also get access to templates, edit effects and utilise cloud storage.

There is no limit on how many videos can be made each year.

Thailand-based marketing and commercial sponsorship business founder Paul Poole counts himself as a devotee of Crave Asia’s capabilities.

“We subscribe to Crave Asia’s rights-free content library and creation tool,” Mr Poole said. “This allows us to edit existing promotional videos and materials into a short mpeg and/or windows media files.

“This is an excellent way of bringing offers to life, massively aiding sales drive and giving an audio visual flavor to the offers.”

The cloud-based platform allows videos to be added onto landing pages that can be shared out direct to customers via e-mail, SMS, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

“When I saw what Anthony was creating with Binumi I realised this was the future of marketing,” Mr Poole said.

“She (Crave’s Raine Grady) added my own content library into his platform and is now working in partnership with Binumi to bring this solution to a wide diversity of businesses.”

Another big advantage he noted was that existing staff members could become an in-house digital marketing resource, able to represent the business, brand, and voice as employees “with just a little training”. 

Videos are everywhere and their dynamic ‘feed me information quickly appeal’ is in-synch with today’s audiences that have increasingly shorter attention spans.

Unique, engaging content is the key to effective video that holds viewers’ attention and motivation to take action.

Fashion and jewellery designer, Matthew Campbell Laurenza said, “Photos are great, but videos bring my jewellery to life like nothing else can. I love it.”

Crave’s Ms Grady said most users also rapidly discovered what a time saver the platform can become.

“Of course the one commodity no one has is unlimited time,” she said. “To this end we can also create storyboards, film, and edit stories that can be quickly re-purposed as needed.”

www.craveasia.tv

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ALIBABA Group has announced from its Hangzhou headquarters that it will acquire all outstanding shares that it does not already own in Ele.me, a major online delivery and local services platform in China.

The move will set the enterprise value of Ele.me at US$9.5 billion. Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co. Ltd currently own close to 43 percent of the outstanding voting shares of Ele.me. 

Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said this acquisition would deepen Ele.me’s integration into Alibaba’s ecosystem and advance Alibaba’s ‘new retail’ strategy to provide a seamless online and offline consumer experience in the local services sector.

“We are excited for Ele.me to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” Mr Zhang said. “Under the leadership of its founder and management team, Ele.me has achieved leading market share in China’s online food delivery and local services sector.

“Our shared belief that New Retail will create more value for customers and merchants has brought us together. Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative.”

Ele.me’s fast local delivery service is expected to build on its core expertise in food delivery to provide consumers with a wider range of products and services on-demand. This expansion of offerings will allow Ele.me to efficiently utilize its large delivery force that currently fulfils orders in cities across China.

Mr Zhang said Ele.me also complemented Koubei, Alibaba’s affiliated local services platform and provided extended synergies. By combining Ele.me’s online home delivery services with Koubei’s consumer acquisition and engagement capability for a range of restaurants and service establishments, Alibaba will be able to offer an integrated experience to consumers both online and offline.

Zhang Xuhao, founder of Ele.me, said, “This acquisition shows that we have built Ele.me into one of China’s most valuable internet businesses. Our customers, merchants and partners will benefit from our further integration into the Alibaba family. We share the same strategic vision that New Retail has a bright future and being part of Alibaba’s ecosystem will take Ele.me’s growth to a new level.”

Ele.me will continue to operate in its own brand and work closely with its existing partners and merchants. Alibaba will lend its full support to Ele.me including access to its New Retail infrastructure, product offerings and technology expertise, according to Alibaba’s Mr Zhang.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Zhang Xuhao will become chairman of Ele.me and special advisor to Alibaba’s CEO on New Retail strategy.

Wang Lei, vice president of Alibaba Group, will become chief executive of Ele.me. Mr Wang joined Alibaba in 2003 and has held a number of senior positions in Alibaba’s consumer e-commerce, B2B, O2O service and healthcare businesses.

www.ele.me

www.alibaba.com

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KIOSON, the first online-to-offline (O2O) Indonesian e-commerce company, has listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) under the ticker code KIOS.

Kioson, officially PT Kioson Komersial Indonesia Tbk, is the first start-up to list on the IDX. Kioson stock was set at Rp 300 per share and managed to secure up to Rp 45 billion in funds. During the public offering period, Kioson recorded an oversubscription more than 10 times the total number of shares offered. 

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THAILAND launched its Strategic Talent Centre on July 3 in Bangkok, as a hub for Thai science and technology experts to assist local and international industry.

The Strategic Talent Center (STC) has been established “to enable the private sector to have easier access to the available pool of manpower in the field of science and technology and to facilitate the entry and sojourn of foreign science and technology experts in demand” according to Thailand Board of Investment Secretary General Mrs Hirunya Suchinai.

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THE Victorian Government's new China strategy has received the 'thumbs up' from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Mark Stone said he welcomed the recent release of the Victorian Government’s Partnerships for Prosperity China engagement strategy.

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A CITY of Sydney-led trade and business delegation to China will showcase the city’s claim as Australia’s number one destination for business and tourism events, in a move to attract even more visitors.

The 100-strong delegation to Guangzhou, from May 30 to June 2, will mark the 30th anniversary of the Sydney-Guangzhou sister-city relationship, and promote Sydney as 'Australia’s premier business conference city'.  

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THE Australian Government’s first Landing Pad is now operational at Rocketspace, a technology campus in San Francisco.

Trade and Investment Minister, Steven Ciobo said the Landing Pad was designed to help Australian entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market and build high-growth and high-return enterprises. 

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