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Beyond Product Demos: Using Video to Build Trust and Authority with Audiences – CouchCon 2018



Video is great for platform demos and tech overviews, but it can also be a powerful channel to build relationships and trust with your audience through thought leadership. In this CouchCon webinar, Nick runs through how a lean marketing team launched their own successful video series while staying agile, inspired, and under-budget.

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Video Marketing

(Re)building Your Brand with Binge-Worthy Content—Chris Savage’s AMA Recap from INBOUND 2020



When the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the world, it accelerated the trend of content becoming the most effective marketing channel. With 80% of consumers watching and listening to more content since the outbreak started, marketers should focus on creating an episodic series to build — or rebuild — a brand consumers will love and remember.

During his INBOUND 2020 presentation, Chris Savage, Wistia co-founder and CEO, led an “Ask Me Anything” session focused on how marketers can rebuild their brand during these unprecedented times.

His number one strategy? Garnering a passionate and engaged fan base with engaging episodic content like videos and podcasts. Brand Affinity Marketing, as it’s called, allows brands to build a stronger relationship with niche audiences through content.

If you couldn’t squeeze Savage’s session into your packed agenda, don’t fret. Check out this quick recap of the AMA highlights.

A: Wow — that’s terrifying and exciting. Congrats on the rebrand!

When I think about building a brand, I think about it as — what values do I want people to connect with? How do I want to make people feel? Creative? Safe? Inspired? What values do I want my customers to feel when interacting with our business at any touchpoint — reading a blog, interacting with sales or support, and using the product. That’s first, define your values.

Then, I think about — what is a niche that I can own? You want to be very targeted. Discover an underserved audience, and by serving them, they can become super fans. This audience needs to be super specific, with virtually no competition. This sounds difficult, but the thing is, the internet connects all of us, so tiny niches can actually be really big!

An example of this is my friend and co-founder Brendan. He is really into this thing called tree camping. You hang a hammock super high up in a tree and read, chill, sleep, whatever. There’s not a ton of content for this small but super passionate fan base, and there’s an opportunity for someone to step up and really own this space.

A: This is a good one! At Wistia, we consider “binge-worthy” content anything people actively want to watch, listen to, or engage with. This is usually long-form content — think podcasts, documentaries, and video series.

Viewers are deciding to spend their time with something entertaining, inspiring, or something to help them advance in their careers. They are willing to put in the work to get something and build a stronger relationship with your brand in the process.

One of my favorite examples of this is Profitwell. They now have an entire network of shows that caters to their niche audiences. MailChimp is another brand that has gone all-in on binge-worthy content.

A: Great question. Honestly, It depends. It isn’t a straight “yes” or “no” answer. It really depends on your business and marketing goals.

If you have content that’s pretty deep in the funnel — let’s say you replaced your traditional webinars with a very in-the-weeds video series. If there’s enough value in what you’re providing and generating leads is important to meet your goals, this could be a good opportunity to gate your video content. Ask yourself, is viewing this content worth an email address for both parties? Does this content speak very specifically to our target audience for it to be a worthwhile lead? And is the content valuable enough for the viewer to want to view it?

Like an interview series designed for thought leadership, content higher in the funnel would benefit more from having a wide audience and working towards broader brand affinity goals. Folks at this stage likely won’t convert until they have that connection. Build the relationship first, then ask later.

A: The number one most important thing is to zero in on a repeatable format.

On our new podcast Talking Too Loud, we have gotten into a really good rhythm and found a format that works for our entire team.

We do pre-production for every guest to prep them for each episode. We have a producer who interviews guests in advance and identifies core things to talk about. Then, the actual interview takes about 90 minutes on average.

We then debrief after every episode. We look at episode performance and evaluate what worked and what could be better. Our entire goal is to iterate and make it better over time.

Not having professional equipment or training is a common misconception. You don’t need much equipment–even for video! It’s also harder to make stuff in this weird remote world, but it can be done. And, the new remote environment has totally leveled the playing field. Right now is the best time to make a video show or podcast. We all have webcams and crappy lighting. This gives you time to really focus on the content and not on a picture-perfect delivery.

“The new remote environment has totally leveled the playing field. Right now is the best time to make a video show or podcast.”

Another way to approach this and make it a bit more digestible is to bucket the content you’re making into seasons. Force yourself to end a season. Pausing allows you to take a break, make adjustments, review what you’ve learned, etc. That way, you can pivot and make significant changes for season two, if necessary.

A: The biggest thing we’ve seen as a company is massive acceleration. We’ve been in the video and content creation space for a long time. More and more companies were starting to get comfortable and were taking risks with their brand.

Surprisingly, more people are comfortable trying crazy stuff right now to move the needle. More companies are building content to delight or entertain someone in their target customer base without knowing if and when they will convert.

As for what’s coming — there’s already a lot of interview-style and non-fiction shows. It’s a pretty crowded space. I think we are going to see more content that’s fiction oriented. We are so overwhelmed with what’s going on in the world; we all want escapes. The content you are making for your audience — these are people who want to escape with Netflix — there’s an opportunity for those looking for more. The best marriage of interest, goals, format, and inspiration takes risks today that you couldn’t have even six months ago. That’s what’s really going to differentiate brands in the next few years.

“There’s already a lot of interview-style and non-fiction shows. It’s a pretty crowded space. I think we are going to see more content that’s fiction oriented.”

A: We get smart people together that are really creative, and we give them the freedom to ideate and do greenlight thinking.

Our in-house production team, Wistia Studios, has a mandate for each show. I recommend doing some research on this — all the big networks like Netflix and NBC have them. This manual essentially gives the studio direction on a very specific level about what they are looking for in a show, how it aligns with the brand values, who the target audience is, the expected production quality, etc. It allows the team to have a clear vision and pitch ideas that fit within this mandate.

We have a template for the ideas, and we can input other factors on a set scale, like how heavy of a lift it would be to execute the concept and what impact the show would have on the business. This scoring system allows us to prioritize ideas easily and, ultimately, greenlight concepts that are the best fit for our company.

Here’s the thing — Coke is sugar water. Red Bull is sugar water. A lot of the best brands in the world are built around products that are inherently quite boring. The key is figuring out what conversations as a brand do you have a right to enter. How do you tell good stories once you’ve found the conversations where you can be.

If you can do that, figure out your values, and have an opinion, you can take something boring and make it really interesting.

For a B2B tech company, think about your purchasers and end-users. Investing in new software can be a huge purchase decision. What do those people need? How can you bring a little joy to their work life? Safety? Relief? If you can figure that out, you can make genuinely exciting and engaging content. Create an experience that serves those values. They’re not going to think that’s boring — they’re going to think it helped them meet their goals.

There are no boring industries! You can always tell a great story.

Want to hear more from Chris? Check out Talking Too Loud, a new podcast that takes you inside the minds of entrepreneurs as they share the hilarious, informative, and most challenging aspects of building more human brands.

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Video Marketing

Building a Podcast Promo Kit: See How Wistia Promotes New Shows



Trying to build an audience for your brand new podcast? If so — we’ve got you covered. We present to you the perfect podcast promotion kit! This “promo kit” consists of items you can give to guests on your podcast or share internally with team members that’ll help them spread the good word about your show across their own networks.

We thought it’d be helpful to give you a full breakdown of the essential items we include in our promo kit here at Wistia. This kit is created and shared with guests and Wistians whenever we release a new episode for our latest podcast, Talking Too Loud. Keep reading for an inside look at our favorite promotional assets and best practices for sharing!

For an interview-style show like Talking Too Loud, sending a thank you email along with a promo kit to your podcast’s guest is an excellent opportunity to get your show in front of their audience.

Here’s a peek at some marketing assets we created for the fourth episode of Talking Too Loud with Nick Francis, the CEO and co-founder of Help Scout, a customer service software company.

Pull quotes and episode graphics

Grabbing notable pull quotes from your podcast episode is a great way to give people an idea of what your show is all about and entice them to want to hear more. Here are a few graphics with pull quotes from Nick’s episode, which focused on Help Scout’s remote-friendly environment and building purpose-driven companies:

When creating these assets, it’s best to provide multiple image sizes compatible with each major social platform. For us, we promote our show on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Audiograms for social

Creating audiograms is another unique way to engage folks on social media. These attention-grabbing assets are audio clips with captions that are played over an image as an MP4. Again, you should provide multiple sizes so your guests can easily post these to various social platforms.

Here’s an example of an audiogram:

Check out Audiogram or Headliner for these quick and affordable promo assets.

Promo copy

Along with all of these great assets, we provide copy examples for Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn written as if they were posted from the guest’s personal account and their company’s official account. We include relevant callouts for Wistia’s social handles, the podcast hashtag, and the episode URL. As a best practice, we try to write social posts that match their voice and tone to put together a promo kit that truly feels personalized for each guest.

Of course, you can tell your guest they can tweak the messages however they see fit.

Here’s an example of a social post for Nick’s Twitter:

Here’s an example of a social post for Help Scout’s Instagram:

When you have all of your assets ready to go, we like to package it all nicely into a PDF to send in an email to our guest. The PDF includes links to Wistia’s social handles, the podcast hashtag, the episode URL, links to Google Drive folders with all of the creative assets, and copy for posts by the guest and the company. Having all of these materials in one place makes it effortless for your guests to help spread the word about their interview.

For sharing assets internally with your team, you can send an email announcement linking to all of the same assets mentioned above. Having all of your images and videos in one place also makes it easy for everyone to access at any time.

At Wistia, we like to use Dropbox for our file sharing. When we announced Talking Too Loud, our marketing team provided everyone with a Quip document with links, copy for social variations, and images and videos in Dropbox to use when sharing.

“Podcast promo kits have been an essential part of our show promotion strategy. Guests love them and have been really willing to help spread the word, and employees appreciate that we’ve done all the work for them. It’s been amazing to see our assets being shared across social media and to watch our audience grow over time.”

Vanessa Luis

Audience Development Marketer

As you can see, providing a promotion kit filled with awesome assets makes it effortless for your guests to talk about your podcast on their own social channels. Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite assets to include in a promo kit for Talking Too Loud, we hope you have some ideas when it’s time to start building your own. If you have any promo materials you’ve created for podcasts you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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Video Marketing

The First 3 Videos Your Small Business Should Make



How can a small business with a small budget get started with video marketing? The answer is actually pretty simple: start with the videos that will have the biggest impact on your business. With that framework in mind, let’s take a look at the first three videos your business should start making today!

If you’re a small business, you might not be able to tout the big brand names that make people say to themselves, “Wow, impressive company X uses them? They must be good!” But lucky for us, the rise of online video in recent years has made establishing trust much easier for businesses of all sizes. And of course, the demand for video isn’t going anywhere. According to research from the folks at HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future. So if you haven’t started investing in video, now’s the time!

How can a small business with a small budget get started with video marketing? The answer is actually pretty simple: start with the videos that will have the biggest impact on your business. With that framework in mind, let’s take a look at the first three videos your business should start making today!

If you don’t make any other video this year (though we’re confident you’ve got what it takes), start with a product explainer video. Think about the last time you surfed around a company’s website and thought to yourself, “Is this business even legit? What the heck do they do?” This is the last impression you want to leave on a site visitor or potential customer, which is why a product explainer video is the first video you should make.

Remember that the content of your video is far more important than how shiny or professional it looks. You don’t need to break the bank to make an effective product explainer video — in fact, before you invest in a big production, try making a video that’s a little more on the DIY side and see how it works for your business. You can always upgrade your video later or even test other versions against it to see which one resonates most with your audience.

“Remember that the content of your video is far more important than how shiny or professional it looks”

Take a look at this product explainer video from Basecamp, a project management and team communication software. Small budget? No problem.

This video doesn’t simply showcase all the best features Basecamp has to offer. Instead, it paints a picture (or in this case, draws one) that clearly points to a problem the software can solve (if you’re a busy project manager, use this tool to make your job easier).

It’s easy to focus on your product’s features, but what you really want to do is hone in on the problem your business solves. Appeal to viewers’ emotions and explain how your solution can help make their lives easier, better, more fulfilling — whatever the case may be — and you’re on your way to seeing success with video.

Types of explainer videos you can make

Now that you’ve hopefully seen the value of product explainer videos, let’s dive into a few different types of videos your small business can start investing in. Depending on what resources are currently available to you, not to mention how much time you want to put in to the final product, there are a number of avenues you can take.

Animated video
Arguably one of the most popular types of explainer videos a business can make, animated videos are easy to outsource thanks to services like Yum Yum Videos, Powtoon, or even freelancers on Fiverr who can turn your script into an imaginative video.

Live-action video
If you plan on shooting the video yourself (whether you have an in-house video producer or not), consider the following tips for making your video as effective as it can be:

  • Start with a great script. As odd as it might seem, the written word is the foundation for any great explainer video.
  • Keep it short and sweet — 60 seconds or less is perfect.
  • Use simple, conversational language. No business jargon allowed!
  • Incorporate some shots of what you’re actually selling in your video — show and tell.

Is your small business in the SaaS space? A simple screencast video works particularly well in this context; plus, it also happens to be super budget-friendly. Check out this example from the team at Slack, a business communication platform.

See how easy it is to understand how their product works? That’s exactly what you’re looking for.

If you want to simplify the screencast process as much as possible, we just happen to offer a nifty screen recording tool that lets you make high-quality product explainer videos in a snap. Try Soapbox for free today!

Install Soapbox Today!

Some businesses tend to shy away from collecting testimonials, and who can blame them? The task can feel scary and intimidating, and ROI is difficult to predict at the outset. But what’s so great about testimonial videos is that you only need one or two solid ones in your catalogue to see the difference they can make.

Start by interviewing some of your long-term customers that have seen tangible results thanks to your product, and share those videos on a prominent page on your site. Again, building trust can be a tricky part of marketing a small business. But with an effective testimonial video, you can go above and beyond that goal.

“Start by interviewing some of your long-term customers that have seen tangible results thanks to your product, and share those videos on a prominent page on your site.”

When it comes time to brainstorm who you might reach out to for these interviews, think about who your ideal customer is. Make sure the customers you feature in your testimonials are aligned with your target audience. Ideally, your prospects will be able to see themselves and their businesses in the testimonial videos you create.

Ultimately, video testimonials help visitors feel more confident in your business and the services you provide. And why wouldn’t they? Your most authentic subjects are your actual customers.

One company who does this really well is Mailchimp, a marketing automation platform and email marketing service company. Here’s an example of one of their customer success stories:

After watching this video, the viewer has a better understanding of how a boutique called Azalea San Francisco uses Mailchimp’s landing pages to drive their sales, promote events, and stay relevant.

Tips for making video testimonials

Ready to produce your very own video testimonials? Here are some of our favorite tips for making a compelling testimonial that builds trust and looks great:

  • Before the interview, give your customer an idea of what topics you’ll cover, but don’t share all of your questions just yet! You want their responses to sound as natural and unrehearsed as possible.
  • Shoot the video at the customer’s own workplace if possible, as it helps drive home the authenticity factor.
  • Capture additional B-roll footage throughout the shoot, whether you think you’ll need the shots or not. These small moments can round out your video and make it more cohesive.
  • Let the camera run, and edit the takes later. Ask your interviewee to repeat what they’ve said if they fumble over their words, but for the most part, try to keep your footage natural.
  • Keep it conversational so your subject feels comfortable. This can often lead to more emotional, authentic responses.

If your small business has a particularly interesting background, company story videos are the way to go. How did your business get started? What was your motivation for starting the company? By featuring the friendly faces of your teammates, you can make your prospects feel right at home. After all, people are buying more products and services based on emotion rather than logic, which is one reason why appealing to a visitor’s psyche is so important.

A company story video lets you show off what makes your business so special and unique on a human level like no other medium can. When people are able to associate familiar faces and names with a business, they’re more likely to feel a strong connection to it — and ultimately have a positive experience with your brand.

“A company story video lets you show off what makes your business so special and unique on a human level like no other medium can.”

In this video, find out the history behind Redbarn Pet Products, a healthy, wholesome dog food company.

I don’t even have a dog and I’d give Redbarn my money! But in all seriousness, this two-minute video gives you a solid understanding of what matters most to Redbarn as a business. You learn how this family-owned dog food company got its start, what it believes in, and how it views running a business. An all-around success!

Types of company stories

What if your story isn’t as cute and wholesome as Redbarn’s? Not to worry, because there are some other types of videos you can make to achieve a similar goal. Your company’s culture and how team members feel about working there today are just as important as the story behind how you got your start. Here are a few ways to underline that:

  • Crowdsource a simple video featuring current employees. Empower your peers to tell their own stories by submitting video clips that can be compiled into one video.
  • Interview some of your own employees. Think “customer testimonials” but from your employees. Ask them some questions about their day-to-day life at your company and record their responses.
  • Use B-roll footage from a company event or party and record a voiceover after the fact. This is a super low-budget way to make a video that emphasizes what your company culture is all about, with virtually no pre-production effort involved.

Marketers know that testing new channels and tactics before going all-in on one is the best way to make informed decisions. And when you work at a small business where resources can run thin, you want to make sure you’re spending your time wisely. That’s why, as a video software company built by marketers, we recommend getting started with these three types of videos.

Easily build trust, establish credibility, and show the people who work at your company, and you’ll be on your way to building an even more reputable and buzzworthy business.

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