“Where do I begin?” is a question we hear a lot here at Wistia (and not just from visitors who are overwhelmed by the number of snacks we have on hand).
We know the thought of creating videos can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to decide which types of videos you should make at your business. At Wistia, we’re constantly saying “There’s a video for that!” and it’s true — creating a video is often a better, more effective way of presenting information.
For instance, why send a long email when you can record a quick video voicemail? Why write a long how-to article when you can craft a simple explainer video? And why talk about your product when you can demonstrate its value in just a minute or two?
We’ve gathered a list of the essential types of videos your business can create in order to promote your product, convert leads, and grow your audience. Along the way, we’ve included estimated production times based on the experiences of our video producers, so you can factor them in based on your workload. Sound good to you? Great!
Do you sell a product or service that isn’t easy to explain succinctly? Or maybe you’ve done enough research to know that including video on your product page increases visitors’ time on that page, and thus the likelihood that they might convert.
Product videos show your product’s features and benefits and often include examples of how it works, all while engaging your audience. They’re particularly beneficial for consumers who are in the awareness or consideration stages of the buyer’s journey and need a clear, comprehensive explanation of what you offer.
Product update videos
Product update videos will keep your existing customer base in the know about the latest changes and upgrades to your product. Additionally, these videos can teach your customers about new features and help to increase product adoption. They’re perfect for putting a face to the name of some of your teammates, whom your audience has come to know and trust.
Because they often take prominent positions on businesses’ websites, product videos can have lengthy production times with multiple edits and revisions. Often, getting the concept and script perfectly aligned, as well as looping in key stakeholders, can be the longest parts of the process.
On the other hand, product update videos have lower stakes, since they’re more likely to be featured on blog posts and across your social channels, so producing them is less time-consuming. From the moment you start scripting to the final embed, you can usually expect your product update video to take between 3–4 hours.
Once you’re all set and ready to upload, your product video should generally run anywhere from 2–5 minutes for the best engagement results.
Metrics that matter
After you embed a product video, you’re primarily looking for a combination of the play rate and engagement rate. Obviously, you’re trying to communicate a lot of new information in only a few minutes, so you want to make sure your viewers stick around for the entire duration.
Rewatches will let you know if there were certain portions that people might not have understood the first time — or they could indicate that your viewers are especially excited about a certain feature that they want to see again.
Explainer videos are educational videos that teach your audience how to solve a problem. That problem could be related to using your product, or it could be a more tangential issue. But by the end of the video, your audience should be armed with the knowledge to take action based on the new skills they’ve learned while watching.
All of these factors make explainer videos perfect for ramping up content on your blog or even assisting a page in your support documentation. Why force people to write in with a common question about your product when you can explain it in a video that’s easily searchable? You’ll know your explainer video has really done its job when it results in fewer questions for your support team.
While a product video is likely to be replaced by an updated video down the road, explainer videos often have the capacity to provide value for years to come. Think of these guys as the ultimate classics of your video collection, lined up right next to your Lord of the Rings extended edition box set.
The team at Sticker Mule knows all about using explainer videos to give helpful tips to customers who might not be super familiar with their product line. They created this video to answer a frequently asked question in a visually engaging way, complete with step-by-step instructions.
Since explainer videos require lots of detail-oriented planning, you’ll need to put more time and effort into producing them — about 20–24 hours on average. But that amount of time is worth it when you remember that new customers, returning customers, and leads who might be looking into your product for the first time are all going to benefit from them.
Explainer videos generally have a running time between 2–5 minutes, so it’s imperative that the content is dynamic and engaging.
Metrics that matter
Once again, engagement is the key metric here. But you should also take into account which parts of your video viewers took time to watch more than once. Does this mean that section was particularly confusing for them? Maybe it signals that a certain segment warrants its own explainer video. You’re teaching your customers with these videos, but let the metrics teach you a thing or two, as well.
When a lead finally converts and becomes a customer, what’s the first impression they’ll have as a new member of your company’s family? How will you welcome them to make them feel right at home? And perhaps more than that, how will you make sure they understand everything there is to know about what you offer? Enter onboarding videos, in which customers are shown the ins and outs of all that your product has to offer them.
These videos help your customers start off on the right foot with your product. That’s why it’s crucial that you take extra time to polish the messaging to ensure they’re valuable and easy to understand.
HubSpot has perfected the art of the onboarding video, as seen in this example for welcoming participants to their kickoff HubSpot Academy session.
Put on your video thinking cap and buckle up, because production time on onboarding videos can take up to a few days. You got this!
Onboarding videos run a bit longer than most business videos, ranging from 5–10 minutes. Because of their extended length, it’s all the more important that you keep viewers engaged throughout. If you need to sprinkle some shots of puppies in there, we won’t blame you. Get creative with it!
Metrics that matter
Obviously, you’ll want your new customers to watch the entire video and take in all the information, so the question will ultimately be, just how engaged were they while watching?
Simply pull up your video’s heatmaps in Wistia and look at how individual viewers are interacting with the content.
Everyone could use a helping hand sometimes. Especially new members of your team who are overwhelmed with information. Here’s where video’s special powers come into play.
By using video to take new employees through in-depth processes about how your product and company run, you can save time and stress (for both yourself and your new teammates). And what’s more, internal training videos are useful for all your employees, not just new hires.
Curious what they might look like in context? The creative minds at Dollar Shave Club have you covered with this internal tutorial they use to teach their employees everything they need to know about a new product: the Dollar Shave Club Traveler.
Internal training videos usually take anywhere between 1.5–3 hours to complete.
Feel free to go as in-depth as you need to with your internal training videos. If they end up being on the longer side (say, 5–10 minutes), it’s not a problem. Since these types of videos are more for communicating basic information to an internal audience, there’s less pressure to make them super polished.
Metrics that matter
Because internal training videos are for onboarding purposes, you’re probably looking for your employees to watch from start to finish. So naturally, play rate and engagement rate are important to track. And you guessed it — this is another perfect opportunity to analyze the content of your videos. Are there certain parts that are being watched multiple times? This may set off red flags that a specific section is particularly information-heavy or even confusing for viewers, so you’ll know how to improve your videos in the future.
People influence people. From Yelp reviews to Facebook comments, honest reviews can change our opinion of a product or convince us to buy. That’s what makes testimonial videos so valuable.
These videos can clearly show your leads the positive impact that your product has on real people. Hearing from customers’ voices and seeing a product in action is far more engaging than reading a paragraph. In the end, testimonial videos can be indispensable for winning over new customers.
Need some testimonial inspiration? The video team at Toast has their testimonial game down to a science.
Testimonial videos can take anywhere from 1–2 days to put together, depending on whether or not you have to travel to the customer to shoot footage. If you have a video team, there are definitely pros to sending them to your customer.
Not only does it make things easier for the customer (after all, they’re doing you a favor), but it also means the video itself will be consistent with your production style. If it’s inconvenient to travel and the customer has their own video team, having them film their own testimonial is a solid backup plan.
When it comes to length, testimonial videos generally fall within the 5–10 minute window.
Metrics that matter
For testimonial videos, play rate and conversion metrics are key. Your play rate will clue you into how many people are interested in viewing the endorsement once they’re on the page with the video. If you’ve added Timeline Actions to your video, like our Turnstile email collector or a Call to Action, you can quickly see your conversion rates on your video’s Stats page.
Promotional videos are like personal video invitations. Whether you’re inviting guests to a conference, webinar, or office open house, promotional videos pitch your event while giving your audience a feel for your brand.
In these videos, you’ll want to give a brief but detailed overview of the event you’re promoting, along with a Call to Action that encourages viewers to sign up or save the date. Your end goal is to generate leads or attendees by prompting viewers to take an action.
Convincing people to travel to attend a conference is a big ask. So the team at Moz used a promotional video to briefly summarize what attendees could expect to learn and take away from the event if they booked a ticket.
Production can take anywhere from 1 hour to multiple days depending on how major the event is. A webinar invite video probably won’t need as much production time as a promo for a 3-day conference, for instance.
Event videos should be short and succinct, ranging between 1–3 minutes.
Metrics that matter
Play rate is the main metric to take into account here. But perhaps more importantly, if you’re implementing Turnstile or a Call to Action within your video, you can track just how successful your video has been at convincing viewers to enter their information or click your CTA.
When it comes down to it, company culture videos are the most fun (and dare we say easiest?) to create. After all, they can pretty much be about anything and everything. Did you throw a guacamole-making competition for your team during lunch one Tuesday? Show it off in a video! Your CEO rode a unicycle to work? You have no choice but to make a video of that.
These videos let customers see who you really are behind the scenes as both individual employees and a collective company. There’s no better way to connect with your fans than by giving them a behind-the-scenes peek into the goings on at your office. (Hint: spotlighting your office dog is always a good idea, right Lenny?)
You can also use these videos for recruiting purposes to show potential employees what your work environment is like. Don’t just describe your great company culture and list your cool benefits — show them how it works in action.
Because you can never have enough dog videos, here’s how London-based branding agency Rooster Punk used humor and a healthy dose of charm to show off their office dog, Amelie.
Your company culture videos will, in most cases, take 1–2 hours to craft, so they’re relatively quick and easy to produce. As long as your audience finds them delightful, you can never make too many of them. Plus, they’re a perfect way to ramp up engagement on your social platforms.
These can come in a range of lengths, from less than a minute to more than 5 minutes, depending on the scope of the content.
Metrics that matter
When looking at the analytics, the overall play count can be particularly insightful. You’re basically selling your brand based on the work atmosphere you’ve helped create, so the barometer of success will ultimately be whether or not people took notice and pressed play. If the number of plays is telling you that your company culture video is making a splash, you know what that means: more guacamole-making contests are in store for your team!
Video voicemails are low-cost, high-reward videos that customer-facing employees can use to connect with customers and leads. Think of them as jazzed up versions of phone voicemails. Using just your computer’s camera, you can introduce yourself to a prospect in a memorable way or quickly respond to a customer’s question. More and more sales and support teams are inserting friendly video thumbnails into their emails and delighting recipients.
Check out this creative video voicemail from Jonah, who’s on our Customer Success team. Jonah uses video voicemails to encourage prospective customers to book a time on his calendar to talk more about the Wistia product. And especially with that Matrix poster in the background, how could they say no?
Your overall production time generally will be less than 5 minutes. Don’t overthink them: Just be yourself and keep your script concise.
These videos can be super short (most tend to be just under a minute long).
Metrics that matter
You might only be sending this video to 1 or 2 people at a time, so don’t be as concerned with your play count. Instead, look at how engaged your audience is, no matter how small it may be. Take a peek at your video’s heatmap to see whether or not your voicemail recipient watched the entire video or only part of it. Did you add a CTA or an Annotation Link in there? Be sure to check if the viewer clicked on them.
Video can be a sales secret weapon, especially if you’re working with clients all around the world. There are many advantages to using a pre-recorded sales presentation, not least of which is timing. Emailing back and forth just to get something in the books can slow the momentum of the sales process.
Recording a sales presentation with a webcam and screen-recording tool like Soapbox can help speed things up. Prospects can watch your pitch on their own time, returning to points you made earlier in the pitch, and then share it with colleagues if they need to. Not only will they appreciate the effort and planning you put into it, but they can also get more of the information they’re looking for up front.
When creating a Soapbox video, you’re able to record both your friendly face via webcam and your laptop screen simultaneously, giving you the opportunity to add a personal touch to your videos, just like Nextep does in this example:
A Soapbox video requires very little overhead — all you need is your computer and some good lighting. Depending on where the lead is in the sales funnel, you may just be dropping a friendly line, with a few screenshots of your product or website, or you may be conducting a more extensive walk-through, answering questions, or recapping prior meetings. If you want to learn how to create a persuasive pitch with video storytelling, try using our Sales Presentation Template. This may take a day or two to put together from end to end, but once you’ve done one, the next one will go much faster!
Aim for up to 3 minutes so you can give yourself enough time to get into the right level of detail, answer all questions, and finish off with a call to action.
Metrics that matter
Sales presentations are meant for small audiences, and the most important metrics are engagement, watch time, and conversion (if you’re including a conversion action within the video).
When it comes to livestreams there are endless possibilities, but one type of video that your business can get started with right away is a live event stream. If you’re already hosting conferences, conducting seminars, or sharing big product announcements with your audience, you can easily turn those events into a livestream to reach a wider audience.
Wondering where to stream? Facebook is a safe bet, especially if your company already has a presence there. We recently opened up our monthly Show and Tell meeting to the public in a Facebook Livestream to bring our customers up to speed on what we’ve been working on lately:
Production for a live video is all in the setup since there’s really no post-production process. In most cases (unless you’re on the go), and especially if you’re broadcasting a speech or announcement, you’ll want to use a tripod to keep the shot steady. Make sure to direct speakers to stand in the frame so you’re capturing the whole shot, and depending on the location and time of day, you may want to add some extra lighting to brighten up your shot. Give yourself plenty of time to set the scene, and once the cameras are rolling, production will end when the event wraps up!
Depending on the event, livestreams can last from a few minutes to a few hours. And while it may go without saying, if you’re livestreaming a three-day conference, don’t let the camera roll for everything. Schedule livestreams to capture keynotes and seminars, and then promote these individual livestreams on your social channels. That way, people can attend virtually, just like they would in real life.
Metrics that matter
In-the-moment engagement is everything with livestreams. Facebook’s engagement metric for live video includes the number of people who took an action on your livestream, including liking (or reacting), sharing, and commenting. Facebook also shows the number of people who watched all the way through, and how many people watched for ten seconds or longer, so you can see how successful you were at holding audience interest.
Livestreams are a key component of community building for companies with global audiences, which are most software and e-commerce businesses. With a livestream, you’re attracting participants who are enthusiastic about your brand but can’t necessarily make it to your events. Interact with those people in the moment to forge meaningful connections and deepen relationships.
So, you’ve started a podcast for your brand — that’s awesome! One of the best ways to get the word out is to develop lots of related content surrounding your podcast. To get more mileage out of your new podcast, film each episode and shoot short supplementary clips, such as sneak previews and behind-the-scenes footage. Then, post the videos on your website and social channels. That way, more people can tune into your podcast, whether that’s watching, listening, or most likely, a combination of the two! Plus, you’ll have a better chance of drawing in a larger audience, all thanks to video.
The Spanish Football Podcast is an English-language show dedicated to soccer in Spain. Due to its creators’ media savvy (the hosts are reporters in addition to full-time podcasters), the five-year-old show has already monetized through Patreon, where the hosts post bonus episodes and exclusive content. As they experiment with audio-visual content on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, their dedicated following continues to grow:
Podcast videos won’t take you any more time than it takes to produce your podcast. Wherever you host your show, simply set up a tripod and start recording. You’ll also need an extra microphone since podcast mics aren’t great for video (this post has some tips about choosing a microphone. You may also want to consider what’s on your desk and around your shooting location. If your space is a mess, clean it up! If you want people to see your signature coffee mug, make sure to include it in every episode. In post-production, you should add a title card (keep it consistent!) as well as a Turnstile link to subscribe to the podcast. We’ll give this about 20 minutes, but it really varies depending on how much effort you want to put into jazzing it up.
We won’t tell you how long to make your podcast, but some of our favorites, including Science Vs, How I Built This, and Safe for Work, run between 30 and 60 minutes long. That’s just enough time to get nerdy about your subject matter, but not so long that it’ll outlast your listeners’ commutes.
Metrics that matter
Since the goal here is to grow your podcast audience with the help of video, we recommend focusing on viewer count (how many unique individuals view your videos) and then try to grow that number with each subsequent video. If you include a turnstile in your videos (and we recommend you do!) you can also count conversions, e.g., how many emails you collect from each video.
If you’re wondering where to place your podcast videos besides YouTube, might we suggest Wistia Channels? With Wistia Channels, you can create a site for your podcast within your site, get rid of pesky recommended content, and take advantage of Wistia’s marketing tools. Try it out!
You used to have to go to Hollywood to produce a TV show, but now, thanks to the democratization of video, any business can get started with a video series on their own. There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a creative project, and a video series is a perfect outlet for just that. This type of content can contribute to the long-term growth of your brand (and business) in ways that other types of videos can’t. Create engaging, episodic video content, and let your viewers binge-watch all your shows right on your site. We experimented with our first docu-series back in 2018 called One, Ten, One Hundred, and the reaction from our audience has been pretty amazing!
Making a series was one of the biggest marketing risks we’ve taken as a company, but it also taught us a ton about video production, sparked endless conversations on social media, and introduced us to a whole new audience. We even managed to pick up two Webbys for it!
We won’t sugarcoat it — producing a video series can take some time (granted it does depend on what type of show you create). From deciding on the right concept and figuring out how it fits into your brand marketing strategy to getting the green light from your CEO and other key stakeholders, there are some extra steps you may need to take here in order to get rolling. But just like investing in your brand is typically a long-term play, creating a series is also often a long-term, ongoing endeavor. We’d recommend spending a few months to get all your pre-production ducks in order, and then move forward with scheduling your shoots.
We really recommend experimenting with video length here since there’s not a ton of benchmark data available about web series and because every show is different. The first episode of our series, for instance, comes in at just 10 minutes, while the last one is 42 minutes. Figure out what it is that you want to say first, and then worry about optimizing the length of your content.
Metrics that matter
A series is a long-term investment that is built for long-term results. If you must measure short-term success, use brand awareness metrics such as views to prove your concept and engagement metrics such as comments and social shares to see if you’ve touched on conversation-worthy topics. We’re also big fans of the “Time Watched” metric. In other words, how many minutes did people spend with your brand? Looking at the Time Watched metric helps you focus on what types of content your audience has meaningfully, voluntarily engaged with.
Similar to video series, full-length features and documentaries are bets on your own creativity and deep investments in your brand. And just like video series, full-length films are smart investments, too. Streaming has made long-form video extremely popular — after all, your customers and potential customers are more open to watching videos now than ever before. So, why not reach out to them with a full-length film?
Patagonia has always been driven by an ecological mission. Their latest creative project is a full-length film about the fishing industry:
You don’t have to be as big or as well-known of a brand as Patagonia to produce a feature-length film. You just need the right resources, a lot of expertise, and one bright idea.
Production time for a feature-length film varies. If you have a team working on it full-time, you can probably complete it faster. We recommend planning to work on it for at least 6 months to a year, again, depending on how many resources you have at your disposal.
A feature-length film, by definition, runs at least 40 minutes. One film data scientist found that the median run time of the highest-grossing US films between 1994–2015 was 110 minutes, so make of that what you will!
Metrics that matter
It depends on if you charge for tickets to the show! Just kidding, although crowd-funding is one way to make your company’s creative dreams a reality. Making a documentary means you want to make an impact far outside your organization and your existing customer base. For such a big project, we’d recommend zooming out on long-term brand metrics.
Sure, videos are fun to watch and even more fun to make, but they’re also a pretty fundamental aspect of how you do business. By now, you should have a good idea of how to create videos that resonate with your audience, whether you’re talking to customers or superfans of your brand. We can’t wait to see what types of videos you make for your business. Got a great example of one of these 15 types of videos? Share it below in the comments!
How ProfitWell Built and Launched a Media Network with 7 Binge-Worthy Shows
When you think about binge-worthy shows in the business world, whether that’s a video series or a podcast, chances are a few companies come to mind. You might conjure up the names of enterprise businesses like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Mailchimp. These brands have been in the “show business” game so to speak for a while now, and have even built out content departments to help execute against their goals.
But what if I told you one SaaS company with less than 100 employees actually built out an entire network of shows on their own? That’s right, let it soak in. If you’re having trouble imagining that, then read on to find out how Patrick Campbell, CEO of ProfitWell, a software company that helps businesses achieve faster recurring revenue growth, started the Recur Network and launched seven shows on their own.
With the inbound marketing space more saturated than ever before, ProfitWell launched the Recur Network to cut through the noise and separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
“We started looking at what was happening in the world of content and noticed that content was just getting better and better, which is great for the community and world,” says Campbell. “But how do you compete when everyone has really good, 2,000-word blog posts today?”
To find the answer to this tricky question, ProfitWell decided to study the companies that are best at attracting and holding people’s attention — the media industry. “We studied lot of media sites like Bloomberg, Hulu, and Netflix and ended up discovering that the best folks in the world at creating content were, essentially, these media companies,” says Campbell. “Launching the Recur Network really came down to us deciding to be more like a media network and less like a traditional SaaS blog.”
In order to emulate these media networks, ProfitWell split their content department into three teams — production, writing and scripting, and audience development.
As the head of the production team, Campbell serves as Executive Producer. Below him sits ProfitWell’s Creative Lead, Dan Callahan, who runs all creative and production. Underneath Callahan sits a show producer, who focuses on the execution of specific shows from end-to-end, and a creative producer, who focuses on each show’s brand and graphic design elements.
“In order to emulate these media networks, ProfitWell split their content department into three teams — production, writing and scripting, and audience development.”
ProfitWell’s Editorial Lead, Danette Acosta, runs the writing and scripting team that develops each show’s concept, storyline, and script. She manages two writers who are also show-hosts. They split their focus on two different verticals — B2B SaaS and D2C, or direct-to-consumer.
Last but certainly not least, is ProfitWell’s Audience Growth Manager, Danielle Messler. She’s in charge of each show’s distribution and launch strategy, which includes email and social media campaigns.
At first glance, ProfitWell’s content team might seem like one of the biggest in the B2B space. But keep in mind that ProfitWell isn’t simply focused on creating one video series or podcast — they’re trying to build out an entire media network.
“Our team is big for a B2B content team, but it’s not that big for a network. If you think about BuzzFeed, they launched their morning show, AM to DM, with a 30-person team,” says Campbell. “To me, it’s super fascinating to see how we can produce content at a certain scale without having dozens and dozens of members on our team. I don’t know if we’ve figured it out completely, but we’re certainly working towards it.”
When ProfitWell first started brainstorming show concepts for the Recur Network, Campbell knew he could bring a ton of SaaS, subscription, and pricing knowledge to the table. But he needed his content team to craft and hone-in on the messaging and helm the creative side of things. So, he tasked them with a job that any marketer (No? Just us?!) would work a weekend for — creating the SaaS versions of their favorite TV shows.
“All of our content folks — who hadn’t worked in SaaS before — would consume content on E!, TMZ, ESPN, Bloomberg, Netflix, etc., and pick out the most interesting concepts that they wanted to emulate,” says Campbell. “We didn’t know how we would apply it to the world of SaaS, but we knew there was probably some way to do it. Once we started to collaborate, we knew what to focus on. For instance, our show The ProfitWell Report is a very news-inspired show.”
ProfitWell adopted a “learn as you go” mentality when coming up with the Recur Network’s first batch of show concepts. And after they produced and promoted them, their approach helped them realize that the network had even more room to grow.
“Now that we had these shows, we decided to ask ourselves, ‘what are we doing wrong?’ For us, we found out that we weren’t targeting certain industries and personas enough,” says Campbell. “We’ve worked on that, at least in a couple of experiments in the past couple of months, and they’ve paid off as we continue to grow the network and build it over time.”
The thought of producing one show, let alone seven, can be a little hard to wrap your brain around at first — and we totally get it. Managing the production calendar for seven different shows sounds like a huge undertaking (because it is!). But, Profiwell has been able to run their network so seamlessly and successfully by not tackling everything all at once, and by working in batches.
“We basically work in different seasons. If we focus on making X-show now, we can also distribute Y-show now and don’t have to worry about producing two shows at the same time,” says Campbell. “Overall, it’s been a very iterative process, and there’s no silver bullet, except for having people who are super comfortable with figuring out things as we go, and not being afraid to get a little crazy once in a while.”
“Profiwell has been able to run their network so seamlessly and successfully by not tackling everything all at once, and by working in batches.”
Interested in taking a peek at some of these shows from ProfitWell? Get a taste of the types of shows you can expect from the Recur Network:
When it comes to investing in the creation of binge-worthy content, it’s not enough to just make the content — you have to get people to consume it. And ProfitWell understands that in order to build a loyal audience, you have to market your content like a media company, too. That’s why they’re relying on building their subscriber base and utilizing email to keep people engaged.
“We’re working to figure out how to distribute multiple shows at once through email. We don’t want to send people too many emails, but, then again, some people want more emails, so we’re learning how to strike that balance,” says Campbell.
“That’s been our mental model — how would we approach marketing if we had a network of sites? The main way we do this is by taking stock from the Bloombergs of the world. What are they doing to push things forward? A lot of times, what it comes down to is creating email digests and sending subscribers everything as soon as it’s published.”
ProfitWell may have spun up seven successful shows as part of their own media network, but their journey was not void of any obstacles, particularly when it came to content creation.
“As soon as you decide to create a video series or podcast, you start to multiply your surface area, which can become super problematic. For us, we first just had to figure out how to create a video. Then we had to figure out how to create a series. And after we created a series, we had to figure how often to shoot it and what the content was going to look like,” says Campbell.
“A lot of that came down to how we could produce content at an affordable cost, how we could prove the value of these processes, and what we learned to completely reformulate our approach.” When it came to troubleshooting, Campbell noted that it was all about taking a big problem and distilling it down into smaller ones that were easier to solve.
“A lot of that came down to how we could produce content at an affordable cost, how we could prove the value of these processes, and what we learned to completely reformulate our approach.”
“Itreally just came down to breaking down the problem. How do we best break down the issues into digestible bits?” says Campbell. “Oftentimes, when you want to launch a network, you suddenly have to ask yourself what that means and how long it’s going to take. So, I think it’s more about breaking the process down into small pieces. Taking on the bigger pieces can get overwhelming.”
There’s certainly a competitive advantage to becoming an early adopter in the show creation space, and thanks to the Recur Network, ProfitWell has been able to break through the noise in their space.
“Producing informative content that’s also just as entertaining is really good for our brand,” says Campbell. “Each of our shows attracts a lot of subscribers and engagement, so they’re really helping us differentiate ourselves.”
The Recur Network has generated a substantial increase in traffic, leads, and sales for ProfitWell, too. But Campbell warns against falling into too many rabbit holes when measuring the performance of your own binge-worthy content. They’ve found that you can lose sight of the forest for the trees when you get too bogged down by metrics — and that’s saying something coming from a company that’s all about boosting revenue.
“The one thing I will say is that it’s hard to measure this stuff. That’s why we don’t worry too much about granular ROI. It’s just really hard to measure that,” says Campbell. “Over time, we will worry more about it, and we’ll get better at measuring it, but, right now, we want to focus on the overall investment of the network.”
ProfitWell’s primary marketing focus will be building out the Recur Network for now and in the future. “I don’t know if the dollar amount will increase in terms of actual investment, but the time is certainly going to stay consistent, if not up in certain capacities,” says Campbell. “We’re rolling certain things into the Recur Network, like some of our other content and some new launches, and turning it into our central content hub.”
Regardless of the approach ProfitWell decides to take with their binge-worthy content strategy moving forward, we can’t wait to see what they’ll create. Stay tuned!
How Video Producers and Other Creatives are Forging Ahead with Remote Work
This time last year, we were scheduling pre-interviews, working with expert animal handlers, and heading down to Pennsylvania to pick up our beloved Brandwagon — all in the name of producing a binge-worthy show. If we were tasked with making season two of Brandwagon today, however, things would certainly look a lot different.
Many industries that rely on in-person interactions to do their work have had to adapt their practices to stay afloat and maintain connections with their audiences — and video producers and other creatives are no exception. In this post, we’re highlighting the ways we’re seeing these folks forge ahead despite the circumstances given the world-wide pandemic. Keep reading and get inspired by how people are adapting to working remotely (and continuing to stay creative).
Sometimes the show must go on. Here at Wistia, our production team hasn’t given up on bigger projects we had slated for this year. Our Producer, Adam Day, shared how he’s still continuing to produce a video project despite being remote:
“Before the pandemic, we were right in the middle of production for a new Wistia series. Our shooting schedule was interrupted, and everything from key guest interviews to b-roll production was put on hold! So now we’re doing anything and everything we can to push the project forward in post-production. Wistians are using cell phones and laptop cameras to record stand-in scenes. We’re shooting b-roll in our apartments. And we’re leaning into animation and finding creative ways to use stock footage to get rough edits of our episodes together. This way we can still get a sense of the look, feel, and flow of a video. It helps us with creative decision making and planning so we can quickly finish production whenever we get to work together in person again.”
On the other hand, oftentimes the pre-production process can take up a ton of time, and not every type of show’s pre-production work is the same — some shows require much more creative thinking and strategic planning than others. Doing a bunch of prep work right now such as choosing the execution of your show wisely and writing all your scripts could set you up for the future when we’re back in action!
If you’re a video producer out there, you might think your value is dependent on being in-person to help people shoot videos. But, you should know you can adapt your offerings and still be valuable to folks who are trying to create content from home. Our Head of Video Production, Chris Lavigne, explained how you can step in on a more consultative basis in remote environments and still charge for your services. Video producers are uniquely good at making shots look great, and in a remote world, there are plenty of instances where a little remote directing can go a long way.
“Video producers are uniquely good at making shots look great, and in a remote world, there are plenty of instances where a little remote directing can go a long way.”
On the second episode of our (Out of) Office Hours livestream, Chris covered remote directing techniques from his experience shooting a video of our co-founders remotely. Some direction you can provide remotely includes production design tweaks, helping adjust camera angles, and coaching your talent by being a bug in their ear (or an airpod, if you know what we mean). These things aren’t all that different than what you’d do if you were producing a video in-person, and they’re just as valuable in this remote world!
Other video producers and creatives are seeing this moment as an opportunity to experiment and lean into new formats to adapt their offerings. For example, if you’re a creative producer who primarily focused on video, but has audio experience, too, you could pivot your offerings toward podcast production. Not only podcast production, but creating a podcast and video interview series remotely isn’t out of the realm of possibility, either.
We’re also seeing people’s creativity come to life in new and engaging ways. We’re big believers in creativity being born from constraints, and two examples of delightfully entertaining content that’s been put out into the world in recent days come from Saturday Night Live and Bon Appetit.
Recently, we saw SNL put on their first-ever remote episode, and we had a few guesses as to how the staff would go about producing the show. Even though the cast wasn’t working with a complete arsenal of video production gear for shooting their segments, they focused on making their content genuinely entertaining, which definitely paid off.
Our main takeaway here was that quality content will always be more important than high-quality production value. The team also took the time to understand their audience to inform the content they created. By leaning into our shared experiences surrounding staying home, self-isolating, and navigating our “new normal,” they created entertaining content that had a little something for everyone.
Similarly, over at Bon Appetit, their chefs can’t all be together to film their series Test Kitchen Talks. So instead, they’re having their Pro Chefs take you on virtual tours of their kitchens to share their favorite tools and recipes. From making 13 kinds of pantry pasta to brewing their favorite coffee at home, they’re working with what they’ve got to spin up entertaining content for all of us to consume.
As creators, seeing the quality of content SNL and Bon Appetit is putting out is super inspiring to us. Despite the circumstances, they’re letting their creativity drive their ideation of concepts to continue to engage their audiences. If you’re a creator out there during this time, thinking creatively about how you can still produce content right now is a power you can employ (and charge for) as a creative person.
“If you’re a creator out there during this time, thinking creatively about how you can still produce content right now is a power you can employ (and charge for) as a creative person.”
While you’re thinking of ways to produce videos remotely, consider creating a crowdsourced video. Crowdsourcing could be an aesthetic choice at any time, but it’s super practical today. Like with any video, you have to produce the content, shape it, and direct it. And just because you aren’t there to shoot the video, doesn’t mean you can’t have a hand in making it the best it can be. As we mentioned, remote directing is a valuable skill you can still put into action! It’s also nice to keep in mind that high-production value is not what’s expected right now — people are comfortable with seeing low-production value content.
Pointing to Saturday Night Live once more, they crowdsourced footage from their talent to recreate their iconic intro. The editors there leaned into post-production with their familiar outlines, text treatments, and music to put out something that felt very in line with the SNL we know and love. It was a prime example of edits being saved in post-production and just goes to show how leveraging old tools can help you keep forging ahead.
We hope these examples of how people are adapting to working in remote environments and forging ahead will get your creative wheels turning. In these uncertain times, creating might feel like a constant uphill battle. Many of us are doing things we’ve never done before and trying to figure out our own value as creatives. But we’re all in this together, and if there’s any way we can help each other during this time, it’s sharing the new things we’re seeing and learning along the way.
Creative Ways to Use Video for Remote Team Building
Life during a pandemic isn’t something our roadmaps or project plans could’ve ever prepared us for. And while practicing social distancing has led to adjustments in all aspects of work and life, one that is especially obvious to us is the switch to being a fully remote company. As teams around the world make this transition as well, there’s a real need for creativity and resourcefulness when it comes to keeping your company culture thriving (and your employees engaged).
So, how do you maintain meaningful connections with your teammates when your workplace norms have changed so much? Whether it’s keeping in touch with your team on weekly Zoom calls or just saying “Hey, how are you!” with a Soapbox video, communicating via video has become the new norm.
Let’s take a look at some creative examples of how businesses are using video for remote team building. Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ll walk away with some fresh ideas for what you can do to keep the company culture you’ve worked so hard to build thriving.
Getting to know your teammates
Take a look at our friends at Help Scout, for example. It’s clear from their “office” culture success, that we can learn a lot from them when it comes to working remotely. Their team consists of about 60 people — 75% of whom work remotely. Help Scout didn’t actually start out remote, but hiring for talent and culture fit has helped steer them in that direction. Finding the right folks for the job was always a priority over proximity, so they decided to bake remote culture into how their company was structured from the beginning.
“Finding the right folks for the job was always a priority over proximity, so Help Scout decided to bake remote culture into how their company was structured from the beginning.”
Today, they use video in all aspects of their business. From making weekly all-hands into a “Monday video party” to Friday Fika coffee chats, team members have ways to easily connect over video during the workweek. But, of course, there’s more to life than just the workweek.
Inspired by MTV Cribs and a realization that most of her remote team would never see where everyone else in the company lives and works, Leah Knobler of the People Ops team started an “At Home With Help Scout” series.
With this series in place, team members were able to show off a bit of their home life while learning some fun facts about other members of their team. Whether someone built their own custom desk, or they happen to co-work with chickens, it’s the little details that really help people feel connected.
Keepings folks engaged and excited
Here at Wistia, our company-wide meetings like Show & Tell (now attended on Zoom) are hosted by a different team member who leads an engaging game throughout the meeting. This small lift keeps folks entertained through what might have been an easy opportunity to lose focus. The first time we experimented with this, we played a game called “Where in the World is Lenny?” Throughout the game, we were led on an extravagant scavenger hunt à la “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego,” and based on the reviews, it’s safe to say it was a hit!
In the end, we wound up with this gem, which is sure to keep us laughing for a while.
Now, you might not have an office dog that also doubles as a world traveler, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still engage your team in a similar way. Other ideas here include house tours, or videos of pets and kids at home, to name a few. Not only did we get to learn about the different projects and initiatives our teammates were working on, but we also had a lot of fun all together. Which, these days, is something that we’re not taking for granted.
Introducing new hires to the team
Team members at Animalz, a content marketing agency, are also encouraged to make a short intro video when they join the team to help people get to know them better. Share a fun fact, show off your favorite pet, or give a tour of your local neighborhood — these videos showcase the unique personalities of every team member.
As their remote team grew, one thing never changed — the emphasis on their core values. Your values don’t have to be compromised just because your team isn’t structured “traditionally.” Video helps you find creative ways to build your team without location constraints.
“Video helps you find creative ways to build your team without location constraints.”
Similarly, when we bring on a new hire here at Wistia, making an introductory Soapbox video is baked into their onboarding. We do this even though we’re an in-person-first team because we understand it can feel overwhelming or inauthentic to have the same first conversation with 100 people. So, the Soapbox intro gives us an opportunity to relate to folks and inspire unique conversations from the get-go.
Here’s an example from Brock, a designer who started at Wistia a few days before the office shut down:
Nowadays though, our Soapbox intros have proven to be even more helpful when introducing new teammates. Since we can’t be in the office together, it’s a really fun way to get to know new folks.
Of course, we can’t talk about using video to maintain a thriving remote culture without mentioning how we use it to have some fun just for the sake of having fun. After all, studies show that workplace fun leads to improved communication and increased job productivity. Not only that, but some of the best parts of office-life are the quick conversations we have in passing or the impromptu discussions in the kitchen about the latest show we’re all binge-watching.
And now more than ever, it’s so important that we keep those casual, yet vital, interactions up. Thankfully, video makes it easy to do so. Every week we hold various “social Zooms,” hosted by volunteers from the team. These social Zooms have included a dance party led by our VP of Product’s daughter, solving the New York Times’ crossword puzzle, group Peloton rides (any indoor bike works though), and a full-on debrief of Tiger King, complete with a PowerPoint presentation and discussion questions.
Whatever your team activities end up being, make sure to stay mindful of where folks are at. Host activities that are inclusive and give people a variety of ways to participate. Maybe parents could use a social zoom to keep their kids entertained for a little bit during the work-day, or maybe they just really miss the social aspect of working out.
Whatever it is, the idea here is to bring back a little bit of the normalcy everyday life used to have. It might seem inconsequential, but clearing some mind space with stress-free activities is key to maintaining a happy and unified team, especially in these times.
“It might seem inconsequential, but clearing some mind space with stress-free activities is key to maintaining a happy and unified team, especially in these times.”
When it comes to using video, it doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, has been around for a while, or is just getting started. Video is a great way to help you communicate and build culture for remote workers. Here are some helpful suggestions to get started!
- Encourage your teammates to share their skills. This could be anything from coding, to cooking lessons, or even how to make some impressive origami. Create a community that values sharing knowledge by showing your teammates your unique skills. And maybe even inspire others to learn something new!
- Ask new hires to make an introduction video. This helps people get to know new members of the team and shows that you care about your team members beyond the work they contribute.
- Have your team members share their favorite quarantine life-hacks in a video. Who’s mastered the art of sourdough baking? Or have they figured out the best way to make a standing desk with pots and pans? These tips could end up being genuinely helpful and allow your team to feel more connected!
- Talk “in-person” whenever possible. Hop on a Zoom for conversations that might have just been in Slack if you were in the office. It might add a little time to the conversation, but the digital face-to-face conversation will be worth it.
- How ProfitWell Built and Launched a Media Network with 7 Binge-Worthy Shows
- How Video Producers and Other Creatives are Forging Ahead with Remote Work
- Creative Ways to Use Video for Remote Team Building
- Tips for Showcasing Your Virtual Conference on a Wistia Channel
- Why “Saturday Night Live’s” First-Ever Remote Episode Was Such a Success