Working in startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
usually mean the employee has to wear many hats.

Marketers for instance, may have to take up multiple roles,
doing everything from SEO and copywriting, to designing.

Singapore startup OFFEO wants to resolve the pain points for
these resource-tight and time-strapped marketers, helping them
create content easily and quickly with their platform.

This free social video creator is built by the team behind
OFFSET, a local motion graphic and
animation studio that has served clients like Google, Facebook,
Instagram, DBS, and Singapore Airlines, among others.

offeo online video makerFounders Clement Chia (L)
and David Lee (R) / Image Credit: OFFEO

Founders of OFFSET and OFFEO, Clement Chia and David Lee, are
longtime friends who bonded over their passion for motion graphics
— but they first met as dancers when they attended dance
competitions.

Grooving To The Same Beat

“We picked up hip hop dance about 14 to 15 years ago, and that
experience has been instrumental for our careers today,”
32-year-old Clement said.

They went to different schools but would see each other around
at dance competitions and events.

Both of them connected through a mutual friend at a “drinking
session” and they clicked right away.

“We talked about motion graphics the whole evening — about
our idols, design techniques, styles, and we even shared the same
dream of becoming one of the best motion design artists in the
world,” Clement recalled.

They were so engrossed in their conversation, they barely spoke
to their own friends that night.

offeo online video makerClement giving a talk at
General Assembly / Image Credit: David Lee

Clement worked at advertising agencies like Iris Worldwide and
Upfront media after he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in
Computer Science.

He also holds a Diploma in Design and Visual Communication at
Gnomon School of Visual Effects that’s based in Los Angeles,
California, USA.

As for David, he pursued a career in broadcast media, working at
HBO and Starhub after graduating Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) with a
Diploma in Digital Media Design.

The 31-year-old said, “Both of us knew that we could
contribute and achieve more venturing on our own.”

“For me, working in a corporate environment was getting too
comfortable; I was ready to take more risks and heavier
responsibilities to grow as a creative.”

Before Clement quit the agency world, he was the head of a
creative team, David told Vulcan Post.

“But ultimately, he wanted to focus more on storytelling
through motion design and video content.”

“In an agency, [Clement] sometimes felt restricted in the way
stories were told as some prefer to approach a conventional
method,” David shared.

“So, he decided to bet on his own craft and knowledge.”

Before starting OFFSET in 2013, they freelanced from home after
they left their jobs.

The founders working on
their first project together / Image Credit: David Lee

When they had the chance to work together on the same project,
they realised that working together was a lot more fun.

It was also easier to be creative as they could bounce ideas off
of each other.

“Having a common goal and hunger for success [made] it easy to
decide to start the company together,” David said.

In hindsight, David believes their ‘dance days’ greatly
influenced them in their decision to venture into the creation of
motion graphic videos.

“In both dance and motion design, it requires a good rhythm
influenced by good music,” he said.

“In the same way, we visualise a dance choreography and we
apply it when we craft a motion design piece for our
clients.”

Offsetting The Trouble For SMEs Founders working at
OFFSET’s very first office / Image Credit: David Lee

In its fourth year, OFFSET became one of the top motion design
agencies in Singapore, having created commercials and content for
international brands like Nike and Unilever, as well.

They are also the preferred creative partner for Facebook in
Asia Pacific (APAC).

In 2017, Clement and David came up with the idea of OFFEO, and
they launched the first version of the platform in early 2018.

“At OFFSET, we often receive enquiries from small businesses,
and our quotations always scare them off,” Clement shared.

The OFFSET team at their
second office / Image Credit: David Lee

“We believe that small businesses should have equal
opportunities to create good video content like the major brands so
that they can truly compete for the attention they need.”

He added that there should be a way for everyone to create
content easily without spending too much or having to learn complex
software.

“The first version was badly received due to many
limitations,” Clement said.

“We made a call to take down the platform totally and rebuild
the whole architecture of the site. OFFEO was relaunched in October
2018.”

The founders shared in a blog
post
that it was a challenge to build something that wasn’t
“available in the market” yet, and it took them four UI/UX
iterations before users started enjoying the platform.

In June this year, OFFEO celebrated 200,000 video exports.

Launching OFFEO separately from OFFSET allows the different
teams to focus on their respective missions and directions,
targeting different markets.

Growth for each company will be easier to manage as well.

Clement explained that OFFSET specialises in high-end video
production for major brands to solve specific campaign problems,
while OFFEO works to empower marketing teams in SMEs to create
effective videos by themselves.

Their content creation approach takes the form of motion design
because they think that even if there’s only just one product
image, it is possible to create “attention-grabbing” videos for
social media.

motion design singaporeOFFSET’s third office /
Image Credit: David Lee

On top of that, OFFEO is free, letting casual users make up to
three projects of 30-second social videos and access to watermarked
music.

Its affordably-priced monthly subscription plan of just
$19 per month lets content creators create
unlimited projects, access to commercially licensed music, and own
the license to their 30-second videos.

Clement explained, “Our priority is to let as many people as
possible try and fall in love with our product instantly.”

“We settled on a freemium model so that users can try every
single function we have to offer and we wanted to keep it simple
and affordable for most SMEs around the world.”

After conducting their market research on different SaaS
(software-as-a-service) companies and consumer interviews, they
found that $19 a month is a “sweet spot”.

“Now, no matter how small the company, there’s no excuse not
to create a good video content to communicate with their
audience,” said Clement.

Simply Make Great Videos
offeo online video makerOFFEO team / Image Credit:
David Lee

Since relaunching OFFEO in October 2018, the platform caught the
attention of startup accelerators, major brands, and other SaaS
companies who want to share it with their own users.

They are in the midst of becoming a Facebook Marketing Partner,
where the platform will be used in workshops for SMEs.

“One of the challenges for us is finding the balance between
[adding] more functions and the ease of use,” Clement shared.

“As the platform is built for marketing teams in SMEs, it is
important that they can achieve good results in less time and
effort.”

“Whenever we add new functions, it will potentially add
complexity for the users, [so that’s] why we are constantly
thinking about how to tweak the UI for a better experience.”

Now, they are using a new framework to improve the user
experience to be smoother and faster.

They are also working to significantly reduce the export speed
of the videos, which will make room for them to develop new
functions.

offeo online video makerDavid sharing at The
FinLab / Image Credit: David Lee

For all of their careers, Clement and David used sophisticated
software like Adobe After Effects and Photoshop to create their
work.

“While these are great for professionals, it is extremely
complex for marketers,” Clement told us.

“Learning [to use] OFFEO is as easy as learning how to use
Powerpoint: easy yet retaining the creative control every brand
needs.”

He explained that the conceptualising process and the creation
and preparation of graphic assets take up the most time when it
comes to making a motion graphic video.

So OFFEO simplifies those processes for users with thousands of
templates they can use to get started.

There are also thousands of graphics and effects to
drag-and-drop into the video easily.

Clement claimed, “If a users starts from one of our template,
it should take about 10 to 15 minutes.”

“To utilise [OFFEO’s] full potential and start the creation
process from scratch, on average, it [would take] about one
hour.”

People who use OFFEO come from small businesses, marketing
agencies, and are individual freelancers, according to Clement.

He also noted that many of them are in the ecommerce, travel,
real estate, and F&B industries.

OFFEO users also use it to make festive greetings and birthday
videos.

They have partnered with different startups and SME communities
and teamed up with industry experts to create tutorials, content,
and workshop to raise awareness about OFFEO.

The team also built free online tools to boost their SEO (search
engine optimsation).

“We have a free logo animation page where visitors can create
free logo animations easily,” Clement said.

“Our Marvel-themed logo animation performs really well. Try
searching ‘Marvel logo’ and we rank among the top pages
now.”

Since launching in 2017, OFFEO has welcomed 100,000 users with
250,000 projects created to date.

The platform has also seen a 1% conversion rate to premium users
and has over 700 active monthly paying subscribers.

Half of their users are based in Asia and the rest are from the
US, UK, Australia, and Brazil.

The OFFEO team comprises of seven people and they will be
focusing on hiring new developers.

Plans to extend the video length time beyond 30 seconds are in
the pipeline, Clement revealed.

motion design singaporeCompany cohesion / Image
Credit: David Lee

On how he intends to scale OFFEO, Clement said that they will be
building on their foundations, fostering a strong community who
will advocate for the platform.

“OFFEO will be focusing on building partnerships with SaaS
businesses and business communities who have audiences we can
mutually add value in.”

“We will also be rolling out an affiliate programme to
encourage influencers and experts to share and create video
tutorials and content.”

In the coming months, OFFEO users can expect “a lot of new
content, tutorials, and inspiration” that will help them get
started easily.

They will also be introducing student plans for schools,
targeting at polytechnics first as they think that it’s important
to start learning early, as students can bring those skills to
their workplaces.

In an effort to localise their platform for users in the region,
the team will be travelling to improve the visibility of OFFEO.

“We have started with Thailand and Malaysia, and there will be
more to come.”

Clement added, “We will also be partnering with Facebook to
run one-day sprint workshops to help SMEs create compelling
creative video suites.”

OFFEO is exploring to ways to make smart video creation at
scale, where the platform will generate a variety of video
types.

“Users can create personalised videos for their clients so
they can use it not only in social media, but also in email,
Messenger, or other communication platforms,” Clement
explained.

The team will also introduce a marketplace where designers can
contribute templates and graphic assets, and musicians and
voiceover artists can provide their service or works.

With an enhanced ecosystem, users will have access to a vast
library of material to fulfill their creative needs.

Clement also said they have plans to launch a mobile app so
users can have an all-rounded experience.

Sign up for a free OFFEO account here. Check
out their Facebook here and Instagram
here.

Featured Image Credit: OFFEO


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