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Interview: Emily Forbes, Founder, seenit

Interview: Emily Forbes, Founder, seenit Dan Brain

What is Seenit?
Seenit is a video collaboration app and platform helping brands and organisations to easily co-create video with fans, employees and experts. We set brands up with their own private online studio where they can load tasks into the app and live direct their 'smartphone film crew'.

All uploaded content is owned by the brand and can be easily curated, edited and shared to social media from the studio.

Why have you launched the company and what is the opportunity for brands?
Brands are feeling pressure from social media and the speed at which content is being consumed. They're recognising the power of video as a form of communication both internally and externally but traditional means are expensive and time consuming.

Seenit provides the tools to help meet this demand by bringing those who are the most passionate about the brand into the heart of the content creation. With our platform they are able to turn branded co-created content round whilst events are even happening.
 
How do you see the emergence of brand journalism and always on marketing shaping the market for brand/fan video co-production/distribution?
Audiences now seek authenticity, people don't look for super smooth polished products; they want something real. The quality of user video is rapidly increasing as people are becoming more savvy, producing more relevant and more reactive content.

A collaborative crowd is unbelievably powerful, the content created will automatically relate to more people, be shared further and therefore engage a wider audience.
 
In a social media world where we are constantly bombarded with requests for brands, what’s it for consumers? How are your brand clients cutting through the clutter and engaging fans?
We have a starring system which can be used to run competitions and give vouchers. Material incentives are always good but crowds also engage with contributing to a cause that's close to their heart, gaining visibility, recognition, and empowerment.

We were the partner app at this years Pride in London where we empowered the crowd to contribute their #freedomto messages, the content was collated and pushed to the Exterion underground screens, a campaign created by Enigma. We've actually just won 3 industry awards for the campaign!


How would you describe the London start-up scene? What are the pros and cons of launching here?
There is huge support in london for young companies, lots of opportunities and very active brands. Because of this London draws great talent which gives the opportunity to build a world class team. However this also means starting and building a business can be very expensive. 
 
You recently won The Next Big Thing competition at ad:tech London. What do you want to achieve by working with Unilever?
Unilever is one of the most forward thinking big brands and is innovative in the way they do work with start ups. Being such a global brand Unilever has the potential to give international exposure and with it's incomparable knowledge of markets and marketing, start ups can learn a huge amount in a short time.
 
In your experience, how open are brands/agencies to working with start-ups?
It all depends on the product market fit. If your product is tailored to brands and agencies the barrier to entry is significantly lower than for start ups focusing on the consumer market.

Accelerators like Collider and BBCW labs help to really concentrate on making that connection effortless, making sure the right person from the right brand/agency is in the room at the right time. They have been both been invaluable to us.


Give us three predictions for 2015…
Video is becoming the new photo and I think we're going to see the amount captured rise exponentially in the next 12 months. Curation is the next wave in user generated content. Mobile will be the first screen.

Dan is currently Head of Content for for ad::tech London, the iMedia UK Digital Summit and iMediaConnection UK. He is responsible for the content focus of two of the UK's leading digital marketing events and has extensive event production,...

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