“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!
The Case for Creativity in Marketing, Backed by Neuroscience
These days, almost every business believes that optimization is its main competitive advantage. But the obsession over doing what everyone else is doing actually produces a stale result: all of our content looks the same.
More often than not, creativity is placed on the back burner because producing content that games an algorithm or follows a best practice can help marketing teams achieve their short-term goals, such as a certain number of views or leads per month.
However, almost every algorithm update and best practice are public knowledge. And brands that are laser-focused on optimizing their content for them blend in with their competition and barely innovate their work. In the long run, this plummets engagement and severs their emotional tie with their audience.
So how do you captivate your audience’s attention and keep them emotionally invested for the long haul? Science says you should provide creative, novel marketing experiences.
Contrary to popular belief, creativity isn’t just a self-indulgent pursuit of happiness. Evidence from neuroscience proves that it’s a brand’s most powerful differentiator — and optimization isn’t. Below, we’ll explore some insightful findings from neuroscience that prove creativity isn’t actually a risk for your brand — it’s your safest bet.
Noticing novelty kept our ancestors alive
With all the watered-down content flooding the internet today, you may think your new video series or podcast will struggle to find an audience. However, saturation is actually a good thing for creative marketers. The human brain is wired to pay attention to novelty, so crafting creative, novel content (even on saturated platforms) can draw an audience’s attention, especially if all of your competitors churn out the same type of content.
Paying instant attention to novelty is an evolutionary trait. In prehistoric times, the odds of becoming lunch for a saber-toothed tiger were sky-high, so anything new or different in our ancestors’ environment, like the rustle of a bush or a snap of a twig, would instantly grab their attention.
Nowadays, our tendency to lock onto novelty isn’t as crucial for survival. But it can help truly creative brands survive and even thrive because they can grab their audience’s attention more effectively than their competitors can.
“Our tendency to lock onto novelty isn’t as crucial for survival, but it can help truly creative brands survive and thrive.”
Novelty triggers the release of dopamine
Novelty isn’t only useful for grabbing your audience’s attention — it’s also highly effective at retaining their attention and dialing up their passion and loyalty for your brand.
According to researchers at Emory University and Baylor College of Medicine, experiencing unexpected pleasure triggers the release of more dopamine, a chemical that plays a huge role in motivation, reinforcement, and reward, than when you experience an expected pleasure. In other words, people enjoy pleasant surprises more than the things they already like.
Additionally, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, when these pleasant surprises trigger the release of dopamine, the neurochemical helps us form long-lasting memories of the experience and its surroundings, so we can remember exactly how to experience those feel-good chemicals again.
This phenomenon dates back to when our prehistoric ancestors would search for sustenance and stumble upon a new, fresh stream of water or patch of berries. Finding as much food and water as possible was necessary for survival, so when our ancestors experienced the pleasant surprise of uncovering a new source of sustenance, their brains would reward their actions with a flood of dopamine, which seared the path they just traveled into their memories. This boosted the odds that they would seek out more sources of food and water and vividly remember exactly how to find them.
For many of us, we have clean water piped into our homes and berries available year-round just miles from our front doors. However, we still crave novel experiences and will always come crawling back for more. For brands, that means prioritizing creativity will help you build a truly engaged, passionate, and loyal audience and, in turn, contribute to your business’ growth. After all, your audience is likely to spend more time with your brand when they have positive experiences with it. And the more time they spend, the more likely they’ll become a customer and brand advocate.
Audiences are habituated to generic content
Optimizing your content by following a popular best practice or churning out the same type of work over and over again are proven audience repellents — our brains stop paying attention to a stimulus after repeated or prolonged exposure to it.
“Optimizing your content by following a popular best practice or churning out the same type of work over and over again are proven audience repellents.”
This evolutionary phenomenon is called habituation, and it scrubs constant stimulation from your awareness, such as the soft touch of your shirt on your skin, to focus your attention on new stimuli that could potentially extend your life, like fresh water, or end your life, like a saber-toothed tiger.
The majority of your target audience is habituated to the listicles and ultimate guides drowning our space. Producing more of them won’t attract any new audience members because they won’t even notice it in the first place. If you truly want to attract and retain their attention, you must provide enough novelty to trigger the release of dopamine — the chemical that rewards humans and incentivizes them to repeat an action.
Without doing so, you’ll fail to connect with new audiences, your bond with your current audience will crumble, and you won’t be able to convince either of them to stick around.
Creativity makes a lasting impression on your audience
According to Antonio Damasio, chair of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, when consumers are making a purchasing decision, they attach the emotions they felt from previous, related experiences to the products or services they’re evaluating. Soon after, these emotions produce preferences, which drive their decision.
In a nutshell, memories about emotional experiences not only help us reminisce about the past but they also inform our future decisions. As a result, we pursue the things that have rewarded us in the past and avoid the things that haven’t.
That’s why placing pleasant memories in your audience’s mind is so crucial. If you can insert a positive memory of reading a blog post in their brains, you’ll boost the odds that they’ll read another one.
“If you can insert a positive memory of reading a blog post in their brains, you’ll boost the odds that they’ll read another one.”
But how do you get your audience to remember these interactions with your brand? From what neuroscience has taught us, you must grab and retain their attention with creative, novel experiences. And if you can develop a reputation for crafting creative content, your audience will rely on your brand for the jolt of novelty that they crave in their lives, rocketing your brand to the top of their minds and getting them hooked on your content.
Conventional wisdom and industry gurus will tell you that optimization is the key to marketing success. Because if everyone else does it, it must work, right? Wrong.
If you truly want to slash through the clutter clouding your space and make an impact on your audience, trust the neuroscience — creativity is the only path forward.
Episode 2: “The Brandwagon Interviews” with Nancy Dussault Smith of Hydrow
From tactics to taglines, Wistia’s CEO, Chris Savage, chats marketing with the brains behind successful brands on our new video series, Brandwagon. Last week, we kicked things off with our first guest, Mark DiCristina, the Head of Brand at Mailchimp. As we mentioned before, we had so much great content on our fingertips that we decided to release the uncut interviews in a new podcast called, “The Brandwagon Interviews” — and we’re super excited to share the latest episode with you today!
On this episode, Chris sits down with Nancy Dussault Smith, CMO at Hydrow, to learn more about taking a stand on your brand, why it’s so important to budget for experimentation, and how to lean into your niche. Listen to the full episode to hear all about how she’s navigating a new industry in this ever-changing marketing landscape.
Or listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | StitcherWatch the actual Brandwagon episode here!
Nancy started her career at iRobot as Assistant to the Lawyer, but made her way to running Global Marketing in no time. For about 13 years, she ran marketing communications and global marketing at the company. One of her biggest wins with the team was deciding the name of their robot vacuum, Roomba, which was originally going to be Cybersuck (oof!).
Nowadays, Nancy serves as the CMO at Hydrow, where she’s marketing a connected fitness product and a live outdoor reality experience — think along the lines of Peloton, but an in-home rowing machine. Fun fact: Rowing works 86% of your muscles, and a 20-minute workout on a Hydrow is equivalent to 40 minutes cycling or 30 minutes running.
“If your goal is to just sell volume and be the cheapest thing, you do not have to worry about emotion. You’re selling solely on price. But, if you want to build a brand that people care about, you have to have that emotional component.” On this episode of The Brandwagon Interviews, Nancy highlights the importance of brand-building, knowing your audience, and how to make space to experiment with different types of brand marketing tactics at your business.
Here are some of the lessons learned throughout the episode:
- Always allocate part of your marketing budget for experimentation
- Be sure to have a deep understanding of your niche and your market
- Redefine your brand if you end up “jumping the shark”
- Show don’t tell — we’re in a world that’s highly visual, people need to see your product
- Don’t be afraid to take a stand with your brand
Short on time? Check out some of our favorite moments during this interview between Chris and Nancy.
Chris: What advice would you give to somebody who’s just starting out marketing their business? And, in today’s world — what kind of things should they expect as they’re marketing that will stay the same, and things that will change?
Nancy: The thing that’s going to stay the same is the study of human behavior: people and their ultimate needs and wants. Because people’s needs and wants are consistent. Attention, affection, food, sex — those are the things that drive people to want and need your product. The emotional and rational balance, and where your product fits in that is the same. Understanding your benefit, understanding your core, who’s gonna buy it, why, that’s the basics of marketing. But HOW you communicate all that is completely different.
Chris: When you have a product that people have never seen before, how do you actually convince them that it’s worth checking out? How do you position a product that has never existed? You obviously did that with Roomba, and you’re doing it again. How do you think about that?
Nancy: It’s really fun because traditional research doesn’t work … You have to tell people what they want and why, and get to the essence of why they should love your product …
Chris: How do you get comfortable taking big risks with a brand like Roomba?
Nancy: You have to take risks. Without great risks come no rewards. A lot of times in the early days, it’s gut. We talk a lot about failing fast and that’s no secret. Everybody knows. But if you fail fast, you learn something. You should learn something from everything that you do — what works and what doesn’t. For brand, you have to build core family values over time that are consistent throughout and feel authentic to you. The second you veer off, the public will know and that’s when you jump a shark. That’s when you start to become less authentic to who you are and people won’t understand you anymore.
Chris: When you’re taking risks, how do you convince the people around you to feel comfortable with those risks?
Nancy: It’s a great question because it’s a battle every day — anywhere you go. Understanding how different minds work and understanding consumers work, I think you have to use that in your day to day in your office as well. So I look at everybody across the C-Suite sitting at the executive table with me as my consumer and ask myself, “How am I going to convince them that what we’re doing is the right thing?” I used to always say at places where I had bigger budgets, that a certain percentage of the budget was mine to do as I choose … and nobody could question it. I’ll take this 5 or 10% of the budget, and this is what I play with. This is where I test things that in my gut feel right, but I can’t prove this to you until I try it … and that’s where a lot of wins come in.
Chris: How do you think about marketing in a world where so many conversations are happening behind closed doors?
Nancy: It feels like the world has come full circle because those conversations used to happen face to face, and marketers had no idea they were happening and had no control over them. Then on social, you had trolls and people yelling things. People felt free to do it. Now, there’s a little more clamping down, and people are going back to having those conversations as if they’re face to face, but electronically. The best and only thing you can do is maintain your brand voice in a consistent way that you feel proud of. There are always going to be nay-sayers. There are always going to be people who are saying bad things. There are always going to be people who are against your brand, but for the most part, I don’t care if they’re a customer I don’t want. I don’t want every customer. Someone saying they hate a product actually identifies for other people this is not for them, or this is for them because Bob hates it.
5 Businesses Using Wistia Channels to Showcase Their Videos
Since we launched Wistia Channels back in February, we’ve been blown away by the reaction from our customers and the ways in which they’ve been using this feature to showcase their business’ videos. From binge-worthy episodic series and product announcements to customer testimonials and onboarding videos, the opportunities for Channels are endless.
Here at Wistia, we’ve been using Channels to showcase all sorts of videos on our website, including our new original series, Brandwagon and our first-ever docuseries, One, Ten, One Hundred. But it’s been especially thrilling (and inspiring!) to see the ways our customers are using Channels to showcase their brand, build their audience, and create a can’t-stop-watching experience right on their site. Today, we’re highlighting a few customer Channels that we think are pretty sweet — check them out and get inspired!
ForgeRock, an identity and access management company based in San Francisco, California, serves many different industries, including retail. They use a Wistia Channel on their website to showcase a series of videos called “Day in the Life of a Customer.” As they describe in the introduction of their first video, “ … in this series, we take a look into the not-too-distant future at how retail companies will be interacting with their customers, with the help of digital identity.”
This series of videos follows a day in the life of two consumers engaging in various digital retail experiences (ie. shopping for a gift online, upgrading a flight, etc.), and demonstrates how a unified digital identity platform can streamline the buying process.
We love how ForgeRock uses video as a storytelling medium and personalizes it so that viewers can see how it applies to real-life situations. Each episode of the series is short — less than a minute long — so you can watch the whole series in under 5 minutes. Plus, their Channel is embedded within their sleek, modern website, making the whole experience look super cohesive with their brand.
Who doesn’t love learning from subject matter experts? 6Sense, an Account Based Orchestration Platform located in San Francisco, Calfornia, utilized this engaging storytelling format in their video series called, “Talking Sense.” In this series, which they describe as “a collection of candid conversations with B2B industry trendsetters,” 6Sense’s Chief Marketing Officer shares in-depth interviews on topics like ABM, modern sales, marketing, and more.
While “Talking Sense” is intrinsically related to 6Sense’s mission, they’ve decided to give the show it’s own brand by creating a separate domain for it and embedding their Wistia Channel there. We love their creative use of thumbnails and the overall color scheme they chose — just look at that beautiful aqua-blue play button!
FormLabs, a 3D printing technology manufacturer and developer based in Somerville, Massachusetts, uses a Channel to feature the onboarding videos for their Form 3 3D printer product. These step-by-step videos are clear, engaging, visually appealing, and easily help take their customers through every step of the process, from unboxing to printing.
We love how they’ve used a Wistia Channel to display these videos in sequential order, so a viewer can effortlessly follow along as they’re unpacking their own product. They’ve also added captions to each video, which not only improves accessibility, but also makes it easy for viewers to watch from around the world — a must-have for a global company.
Segway, a leading provider of personal electronic transportation based in Bedford, New Hampshire, uses a Channel on their website to showcase a number of their videos, including product explainers, company partnerships, and videos on the future of the market and technology.
We love how they’ve titled their Channel to instantly demonstrate the value of their product: “Powered by Segway — Transforming the Last Mile Commute” and the way in which they’ve used Sections within their Channel to separate the different rows by subject.
Alternative Apparel, a fashion lifestyle brand with a commitment to sustainability based in Atlanta, Georgia, uses a Channel to dynamically tell the story of their brand and their products. The first video “We Are Alternative” wonderfully captures the essence of the company, and each subsequent video in the Channel delves deeper into what makes the company special, with videos like “Alternative Cares: An Eco Story” and “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Softness.”
With a strong brand vision and a Channel embedded within their website that beautifully matches the look and feel of their brand, Alternative Apparel has created a Channel that’s engaging, informative, and very watchable.
We created Wistia Channels to make displaying a collection of videos on your website super easy — no developers required — while remaining completely on-brand. And we’re so delighted to see how our customers from a number of different industries are all using this feature to show off their awesome video content. Are you using Wistia Channels to showcase your content? We’d love to see them, so be sure to leave a comment and share with us below!
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