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, Chris sat down with Lauren Fleshman, Co-founder and CMO of Picky Bars, to learn why she believes strategic rigor is essential to building an effective brand. Today, we’re excited to share our extended interview with this week’s guest, Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer and Head of UM Studios at the full-service media agency UM Worldwide.
Check out the episode to hear Brendan talk about the agency’s award-winning documentary film, 5B, and discuss how brands are shifting their strategies to create original content as traditional advertising platforms disappear.
Or listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher
Watch the actual Brandwagon episode here!
UM Worldwide works with some of the world’s largest business-to-consumer brands like Coca-cola, Spotify, BMW, Sony Pictures, and Johnson & Johnson. When Johnson & Johnson wanted to find a way to elevate the image of nurses around the world from doctor sidekicks to the heroes of healthcare, Brendan pitched the idea for a documentary film called 5B.
Flashing forward — 5B won the Grand Prix for Entertainment at the 2019 Cannes Lions Festival for Creativity, which was the first time a media agency has ever won the award. For Gaul, this win validated that brand-funded content can be accepted by audiences and industries.
On this episode, we hear more about how other brands are creating content in ways that offer value for their audiences, and Brendan shares exercises smaller companies can do to help define their brands, too.
On this episode of The Brandwagon Interviews, Brendan Gaul explains the decision-making behind UM’s unique piece of branded content and advises how brands, both big and small, can approach creating content humbly.
Here are some of the lessons learned throughout the episode:
- Think of innovative ways to reach customers who’ve moved away from ad-free platforms
- Create content that offers value for your audience
- Don’t try to reach the “average customer”; reach your high-value audience
Short on time? Check out some of our favorite moments during this interview between Chris and Brendan.
2:51 – A non-traditional career path
After chatting about Brendan’s favorite dessert and the current state of New York diners, Savage and Gaul talk about Gaul’s winding career path to working with some of the world’s biggest brands. Brendan talks about getting his start in film school at Pratt in Brooklyn, but quickly found himself immersed in the world of fashion retail when he took a job (to pay for off-campus housing) at the first Armani Exchange in NYC. Brendan learned about brand experiences through his work with luxury brands like LVMH, Sephora, and Donna Karan. With these brands, he saw first-hand how brands created immersive brand experiences that tapped into all five senses. He also got a sense of how different brands relate to one another in commercial environments.
12:21 – Moving into advertising
After the attacks on New York on September 11, Donna Karan underwent a restructuring that left Brendan without a job, giving him time to reflect on what his next steps would be. During this time, he was introduced to the world of advertising. He leveraged his experience from film school and consumer-experience design to art direct several commercials for Lowes. The work got him a job at then McCann Erickson. Brendan shares how his career has advanced from there and what he does today at UM Worldwide.
17:38 – Changing to survive
At UM, Brendan works with some of the biggest B2C brands in the world, including Amex, Coca Cola, Levis, BMW, Johnson &Johnson, and more. He points out how changing media landscapes are forcing these iconic brands to evolve and change the ways they do things. Savage asks if this is the challenge for big brands today. Brendan talks about how consumers are moving to ad-free platforms, so brands need to think of innovative and interesting ways to reach those customers. The two discuss Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp and their declaration that “the future is private” as examples of diminishing advertising space, and Gaul shares the benefits of working with big brands in big media.
22:57 – 5B
UM worked with Johnson & Johnson to create the documentary film 5B, which was shown at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The idea for the documentary came from Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to elevate the image of nurses around the world from doctor sidekicks to the heroes of healthcare that they are. The documentary had an impressive showing at Cannes, winning the Entertainment Grand Prix at the show among other awards. Savage and Gaul talk about how the film came to be, and the decision-making behind this unique piece of branded content.
41:09 – “If you’re putting content out there that’s solely based on trying to sell more stuff, the consumer smells it.”
How do brands know whether they can do something like what Johnson and Johnson did with 5B? Gaul talks about how brands need to know that they have — or need to earn — permission to be a part of cultural conversations. Savage and Gaul discuss how brands can approach content humbly and note examples of brands trying to act in spaces where they aren’t welcome. They go on to discuss other examples of brands who are creating content in ways that offer value for their audiences.
51:06 – The big-brand playbook
While it’s relatively easy for the biggest brands to create powerful content, Savage wants to know what smaller companies can learn from this type of content strategy. Brendan admits that it can be easy for smaller companies to be overwhelmed by the need to create content, but offers some practical advice and exercises smaller companies can do to help define their brands.
55:23 – “You had me until you said ‘average consumer.’”
How can B2B companies reach average consumers like B2C brands do? Brendan points out that the goal isn’t to reach an “average consumer,” but to reach your high-value audience and goes on to describe how smaller, B2B companies and local businesses can think about their products. He offers some ideas on how to position themselves for their best audiences.
What is Design and how it influences your company
Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets
Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets. Aces. A good card. Let’s talk about one in particular. The design! Design as a holistic approach, capable of solving problems not only stylistic, but of all types. You can make your product unique, create a culture associated with your company and influence your investors and customers.
How Design Influences Your Company’s Brand and Culture
A company’s culture is based on beliefs and values. These are communicated through various points of contact. They change perceptions, behaviors and understandings. Contact points must be genuine, they must be exclusive to your company. The thinking and research behind design can help you create the story of your business. A competent designer plays a decisive role in planning your strategic decisions and in building that same culture. The sooner the results are defined, the faster it will grow in the right direction.
When you know what your company stands for, it’s simpler to build your brand. This goes beyond the logo, the look of the website or the products: the brand is the value that your customers and investors get with you.
How Design Influences the Product Experience
In the past, it was possible to achieve success almost by chance. But luck has been losing ground in the business scenario. The democratization of the internet has opened the door to creativity. We have people capable of getting a product up and running faster than ever. Competition is fierce. The standards for what is considered a successful product have also changed over time. Currently, customers expect a great user experience on the first click, on the first contact. As smartphones and tablets spread – with people searching for everything on these devices – potential customers’ expectations soar. Tolerance levels have also changed.
If your website is not visually appealing, if your application has a complex and buggy interface, you can be sure that you will lose customers in a matter of seconds. People want simple technological experiences. And design plays an extremely important role in ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. At pixelinmotion the designer understands market standards and is already familiar with what the customer wants. With this knowledge, you will be able to create a solution from scratch, which will make your product more valuable compared to the competition.
At pixelinmotion, we believe in this philosophy of proximity. Our approach to design is attentive to trends and will be able to boost your company to stardom. Get to work!
How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign
Retargeting is a common marketing technique that serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. This tactic is a great way to remain top of mind with people who have already expressed interest in your brand. Many people treat every visitor to their site the same way, serving the same ads to everyone. Retargeting is a more nuanced approach that serves more relevant ad content based on behavior — thus providing a better experience.
With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy for you to hone in on your niche audiences by using Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube to create different user segments based on actions that people take on your video.
Many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of the ability to segment visitors based on video behavior. Videos help potential customers build emotional connections with your brand, and people who have that connection are more likely to purchase in the future. In other words, when someone is willing to watch your 2–3-minute product video, there is a better chance that they’ll sign up for an account when prompted.
We’ve found that, on average, viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.
“Viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.”
Implementing segments like this within your retargeting campaigns allows you to reduce spend on less effective segments (like our homepage segment) while focusing on visitors who are farther along in your sales funnel and more connected to your brand.
Wistia allows you to keep track of key events like video engagement, video form conversions, channel subscriptions, and more. Once you connect these events with your retargeting provider, you’ll be efficiently serving up ads in no time!
The first thing you need to do is set up your integrations and then start creating segments in your retargeting provider. We’ll review how to do this across our four integration partners — Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and since then, the two have become one, making it super easy to advertise across both platforms.
First, we’ll quickly walk through how to set up the integration with FacebookAds. You can do this in your Wistia account under the account drop-down — you’ll see “integrations” as one of the options from this screen. Under the “promotion integrations” section, you’ll find “Facebook Ads.” Select the “connect” button to begin the process.
It’s important to note — you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account that has access to your Facebook Ads account and accept the user permissions. That’s it! Voila — easy peasy.
With the integration live, Wistia will begin to send viewer event data for any video you have embedded on your website to Facebook. Now you can get started targeting your ads with Reach & Retarget!
Facebook and Instagram give you several options for video-related “events,” including:
- Percent watched
- Seconds watched
- Played Video
Once audiences are enabled, they will appear in the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads account. You can also log back in and create new audiences any time after the integration is live. You’ll do this by creating a “custom audience” and using “website traffic” as the data source.
On the Wistia side, we’ll also provide a few recommended audience segments in the “promote” section of your channel. If a segment feels relevant, simply select “enable” to set up the list.
Keep in mind that these pre-populated audiences are just suggestions — you’ll be able to set up many more variations of these in the Facebook Ads platform. This flexibility is really where the integration is most useful; it allows marketers to easily define and create custom audiences based on viewer behavior.
Google and YouTube
Similarly, Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so you’ll be able to easily manage ads across both platforms within Google Ads.
To set up this integration, you’ll need to connect Wistia to your Google Analytics account. Navigate to the account tab and select “integrations” (just like you did for the Facebook connection). Remember, you’ll need to be an account owner or manager to connect the accounts. From there, select “Google Analytics” and follow the prompts to connect the two platforms.
To feed this data into other Google properties, you’ll need to do a little work in your Google Analytics account — but we’ve got you covered!
In your Google Analytics account, head over to the admin panel. From there, you’ll see the main screen with several options; select “Google Ads Linking.” This workflow will allow you to send analytics data over to the Google Ads platform. And, since YouTube ads are managed through the Google Ads platform, you’ll be able to leverage this data across both platforms without any additional work.
If you’re curious about how a specific segment is performing, you can set up custom audiences in Google Analytics, which can also be sent over to Google Ads for retargeting. Alternatively, you can set up unique custom audiences directly within Google Ads.
Once the integration is live, we can start to send event data to the Google Analytics account that you’ve connected. The following events will be tracked:
- % Watched
- Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
- Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
- Time Watched
You’ll see a few suggested audiences in Wistia and can turn those on or off at any time. But remember — these are just a few ideas to help you get started. Get creative with your audiences and segments to really unlock the power of retargeting!
Ok, great, you have your integrations set up, and the data is rolling in. Now what?
Connecting your accounts is the easy part. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and start creating your custom audiences. Here are a few specific examples of how you can use video retargeting throughout the conversion funnel.
Build brand affinity with video series
Are you promoting a new show or video series? If so, nurturing folks to finish an episode and the series is a great way to keep viewers engaged and build brand affinity.
You can take two approaches to this. First, retarget folks who started but did not finish an episode. To do this, set up a list on each episode for viewers that did not complete a defined percentage of a video (<75%, as an example). Then, serve this segment ads reminding them to finish. The best part? With Wistia’s resumable video feature, viewers will be able to pick the video back up right where they left off. Pretty cool, huh?
The second approach is to retarget folks who did finish an episode to encourage them to continue their journey with the next episode. To do this, set up a segment based on video completions, and serve these viewers ads for your next episode.
Nudge prospects with helpful resources
Video can do so much more than simply drive awareness for your brand; it can be a powerful tool to help nurture folks through your sales funnel. An example of this would be to use retargeting to provide helpful and timely resources related to the problem that your product or service solves.
This segment could be folks who convert on a video (fill out a Turnstile form). For example, you might gate a webinar or robust video asset on your website and then retarget those viewers to take the next step in your conversion funnel, perhaps downloading a related asset or viewing a product demo.
Drive leads for super engaged viewers
Are you looking to drive qualified leads from your videos? If so, Wistia has you covered. The exact equation for how you qualify leads will vary — but the same logic still applies. To do this, decide on what specific actions you view as “qualified.”
Let’s take folks who watched a high percentage of a high-intent video. For example, if viewers complete more than 75% of a product demo video, you could retarget them to set up a call with a solutions consultant for a personalized walk-through.
These are just a few examples of how you can get creative and set up custom audiences for retargeting. The options are only limited to your imagination. Meet with your team to decide on a few key segments that make sense for your business, and start building your lists today!
Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020
The way content was created earlier has now changed completely, and innovation is now becoming the key in today’s content creation.
About 78% of people are watching online videos on a weekly basis and 55% daily, it is a big opportunity for brands and corporations to focus their marketing strategies more towards creating videos.
Video engages your audience more effectively than text content, and they can understand the message you want to deliver in a much easier way.
With videos, your audience can learn about what your business is doing in their daily life rather than reading blogs.
Your audience prefers to watch the video over text content as it takes less time than reading text content, and the flow of engaging with content remains constant. Thus, focusing on video is crucial for marketers in 2020.
Are you planning to jump to create video content for your brand? Learn these best video marketing ideas to do wonders in 2020.
Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020
1. Get Sales With Shoppable Videos
Sales are the most important aspect for any business especially when it is the festive season. This season brings an opportunity for the brands to leverage the consumer intent to make more purchases and gifts.
Shoppable videos are the videos where users can buy the products in real-time directly from the video.
As a brand, you can create shoppable videos using a visual marketing tactic called visual commerce platforms that allows you to curate video content, tag products, and publish the shoppable video gallery on website or online store.
2. Engage Audience With Storytelling
In 2020, marketing strategies are more focused on storytelling as it connects business with real-life emotions.
Storytelling delivers the purpose of business and what value they are giving to their customers. Whether it is text content or video, storytelling is an effective way to gain the loyalty of your customers and build their trust in a brand.
However, reading text is a tedious task; video with storytelling has a greater impact on your audience. Not only your customers will engage with your content, but they also comprehend the message easily.
3. Create Short Videos With Message
Nobody wants to waste their time, especially when they are engaging with a brand’s marketing content. Keeping your video for a short duration for all platforms, whether social media, website or any place where your customers interact with you has a great impact on your business.
Shorter videos also increase the possibility that the audience will watch an entire video rather than leaving in-between.
When people see a video is too long, they even don’t like to click on it or if it is an ad they skip and do not watch it.
In order to connect with your audience in 2020, you have to focus on creating shorter videos about 5 seconds to 2 minutes.
Also, remember that lengthiness of video depends on the platform where you are sharing the content.
Thus, it is found that shorter videos help in boosting brand awareness and engagement among online audiences by 30%.
4. Make Mobile-Friendly Videos With Vertical Watch Option
As people are watching more videos and using mobile phones instead of computer screens, demand for vertical videos that can be watched directly from mobile phones has increased.
75% of mobile users say they like to watch vertical videos instead of horizontally on the mobile experience. It is because, in vertical videos, the audience gets a full picture on their screen, and there is no extra content.
Thus, make sure to create videos for your brand promotion and marketing that is responsive to any screen and can be played vertically.
5. Make An Engaging Video With UGC
User-generated content is the essential component of the marketing strategy in 2020. It is helpful in building trust by letting know your new customers about what your existing customers are saying about your brand.
User-generated content is effective because it is created by your customers themselves, and you do not pay them a single penny to create it.
You can curate user-generated content using social media aggregators and make a video that tells your new customers about your happy customers.
People talk about your brand over social media in various forms of content, whether images, text, or videos, you can collect these UGC videos and compile them to make a single compelling video to promote your business.
6. Create Video That Convert Audience
As a marketer, you have to make sure that the video content you create brings conversions. Not that it just delivers the message, but it should be compelling enough to drive traffic to buy your product.
Create value in the content so that your audience feels connected and like to take the next step to make purchase decisions.
Video is the essential component of the marketing funnel and makes your customer journey effective to make a purchase decision.
Make sure the video should not be promotional but contrary a value that your audience needs to buy your product and solve their problems.
7. Don’t Forget To Create Stories On Social Media.
As you publish your brand’s marketing video on various platforms, social media is the crucial network that you should focus on. These days social media platforms have added features in which you can add stories which are small videos that your followers can watch.
These stories are effective in telling your audience about the daily activities and create entertaining content to engage with them.
Instagram has 500 million active users who interact with social media content regularly. Now other platforms also have story features that make possible that you connect with your audience wherever they are. Thus it is a great opportunity to post stories on social media to interact with your followers regularly and tell them about your presence.
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