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How Red Hat Created a Shorty-Nominated Podcast About Open Source Technology

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As an open-source solutions provider, Red Hat’s main area of expertise — open source software solutions — might seem a little dry or ambiguous to the average person. To tech-savvy engineers and developers, however, they’re the gold standard for all things open source and technology.

Red Hat wanted to find an entertaining and innovative way to engage and grow their audience while also shaping the narrative around complex tech topics — a seemingly tall order. Their content team wanted to figure out how they could strike a balance between “entertaining” and “complex,” and after doing some research and brainstorming, they settled on the perfect middle-ground with their highly produced, narrative-style podcast, Command Line Heroes.

Not only did they manage to make the topic of open source technology entertaining, they were also able to build a loyal following for their show. To date, Command Line Heroes has run for four seasons, has attracted 75,000 subscribers, and was even nominated for two Shorty Awards in 2019.

Read on to learn how Laura Hamlyn, Red Hat’s Senior Director of Global Content, and her team worked together to tell captivating stories on this award-winning podcast.

In 2017, Red Hat had their largest product launch of the year coming up for their new operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but they didn’t want to just follow the standard product marketing playbook. Instead, they wanted to do something cool and different, something big — they wanted to launch a show. But before they could start coming up with a concept and writing their first script, they needed to figure out which medium was the best fit.

“We did a lot of research into which mediums would make sense for a technology company. You don’t want to assume that a certain medium is going to work because you want to create within it,” says Hamlyn. “We worked with a third-party company to find the watering holes for our prospects — where are they getting their information and where do they go to find it? The research ended up telling us that there was a gap in podcasting for technology companies.”

“You don’t want to assume that a certain medium is going to work just because you want to create within it.”

Red Hat was ecstatic about producing a podcast. But it wasn’t just because they had always wanted to create one. A huge reason why they wanted to launch a podcast was that they knew telling highly produced audio stories could differentiate them from most podcasts in the tech industry. This was an opportunity to really stand out from the crowd.

“We were podcast fans, so we had always wanted to make one, but we had never created one at Red Hat. It was new to us, and when we were looking at the shows that we really liked, we noticed that they all told really good stories,” says Hamlyn. “So the ability to tell cool stories through the medium and the fact that most tech podcasts are just two guys talking about something made us realize that we needed to make one.”

After deciding to create a podcast, Red Hat started building their podcast dream team.

Brent Simoneaux, Senior Manager of Content Marketing and Story Development, took the lead as Program Manager. He runs the day-to-day show management and collaborates closely with Pacific Content, the agency of record chosen to manage podcast production.

On the editorial side of things is Casey Stegman, Associate Creative Director of Copywriting, owns the show concept and story. He’s the podcast’s editorial director, comes up with the central theme for each season, and does all the research to plan each episode.

The production team also leans heavily on other internal groups — user experience, graphic design, account management, and more — to source ideas and inspiration for episodes.

Unlike bloggers, who can use keyword research or analytics to inform their content, podcasters don’t have as many data-driven tools to rely on. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; one of the most common ways to source ideas for a show is arguably the most effective — interviewing your audience.

“I think a lot of what we do can be really dry, especially if you’re thinking about the B2C world, podcasts in general, and all the interesting stuff that they cover. But I think the way that we approached Command Line Heroes was influenced by the fact that our program manager, Brent Simoneaux, is also a researcher,” says Hamlyn. “He actually received his PhD in rhetoric, so he went into this role with a researching mindset. For the creative process, his influence was ’let’s listen first’, which we did a lot of at customer events.”

At one of these customer events, Red Hat set up a booth called Comics and Coffee, where they offered beverages and snacks along with the services of caricature artists. At the booth, Red Hat representatives would ask people what they were interested in and what they thought was cool. By the end of the event, they had countless hours of transcripts from which they could extract interesting ideas and comments.

But out of all the questions they asked, Hamlyn considers “Does an operating system matter?” the most transformative one.

“Asking ‘does an operating system matter?’ is a very provocative way to get creative because that’s the product we make. It also raises some tension and drama. The best, most compelling stories have drama. Everybody knows that,” says Hamlyn. “But as a marketer, it’s really hard to infuse drama in your content because you’re conditioned to always say, ’our product is great, there will be nothing ever wrong with it, it’s perfect.’ The reality is that you need to add a little drama to your story so you can identify a hero.”

“The best, most compelling stories have drama — you need to add a little drama to your story so you can identify a hero.”

The next step of Red Hat’s creative process is fleshing out the big ideas they’ve heard during the year and turning audience data into insights that can inform the show. To complete this step of the process, Red Hat spends an entire workweek with Pacific Content and the show’s host, Saron Yitbarek — and that’s usually when most of the show’s obstacles crop up.

One of the most pressing problems that Red Hat faces during their creative process is staying rooted in audience feedback. Fortunately, a second pair of eyes from Pacific Content always seems to steer them in the right direction and remind them that their ideas need to be data-driven.

“We try to be very careful not to assume what our audience wants to hear from us,” says Hamlyn. “I remember the last time we went into planning, Dan Misener, Pacific Content’s Head of Strategy and Audience Development, stopped us at one point and asked if any of the ideas we were talking about were based on the data we gathered. We knew we liked the ideas, so he told us to consider that before we moved forward.”

Crafting a relevant and relatable show is also a hurdle that Red Hat has to constantly jump over, especially in the open source technology space. But as creative, story-driven marketers, they always manage to find a way to sharpen a dull topic. More specifically, by weaving in compelling, well-known themes like the Apple-Windows OS wars into their show.

“When you listen to the first season of Command Line Heroes, we started with the OS wars. Then we talked about the operating systems everyone uses,” says Hamlyn. “We try to talk about Apple and Windows and things that are really relevant to people. And even if they don’t understand what a command line is, they at least understand what an operating system is.”

Soon after, though, Red Hat came to discover that relevant and relatable wasn’t enough to build a loyal, passionate audience. To do that, they needed to stick to their core identity and rally their true believers, which also produced a pleasant byproduct for them — mountains of audience feedback.

“With the OS wars, we went really broad. But then we decided to narrow down to programming languages to focus more on hardware. We got back to our nerdy roots because, honestly, you don’t want a broad audience that just comes and goes,” says Hamlyn. “You want that core audience that is really going to love your work, inform it, and basically tell you, ’here, this is what I want to hear.’”

“We got back to our nerdy roots because, honestly, you don’t want a broad audience that just comes and goes. You want that core audience that is really going to love your work.”

The first of its kind, The Shorty Awards honor the best in social media and digital, attracting millions of streamers to its annual event. Past winners include Taylor Swift, J.K. Rowling, and Malala Yousafzai. And, in 2019, Command Line Heroes was nominated for Best Branded Podcast, was a finalist for Best in Technology, and won the audience honor for Best in Technology.

“The Shorty Awards were great because it proved that our audience liked the show and it’s popular. A lot of people have to like it for you to win the award,” says Hamlyn. “So, to me, it was partly surprising because we knew we made a good show. But we didn’t know how many fans we had. We knew how many listeners we had, but we didn’t really know how much they loved the show. I think the Shorty Award just validated that we were able to make the topic interesting.”

Command Line Heroes has not only developed a passionate following, but it has also produced the results that every CMO would love to see. To date, the podcast has:

  • 2,000,000 total downloads
  • 644,000 unique listeners
  • Downloads in over 200 countries
  • A 90% average episode completion rate
  • An average time spent listening of 23 minutes

In addition to these performance indicators, Red Hat also keeps tabs on the marketing metrics that measure the things that are more important than just content performance. Namely, brand identification and brand affinity.

“A big benefit for Red Hat, beyond the fact that there’s a lot of people listening to the show for a long period of time, is that 96% of listeners identify Red Hat as the creator of Command Line Heroes,” says Hamlyn. “This is what Pacific Content always emphasizes. The show is very lightly branded, so our jaws dropped when we found that out, because we don’t talk about Red Hat much at all, which was a big risk for us. That was a huge metric to show management — it proves that our brand is actually breaking through.”

“A big benefit for us, beyond the fact that there’s a lot of people listening to the show for a long period of time, is that 96% of listeners identify Red Hat as the creator of Command Line Heroes.”

Red Hat also saw a 21% lift in people’s opinion of Red Hat before and after listening to the show. Additionally, they discovered that 80% to 90% of listeners either liked or loved the podcast. Talk about brand affinity!

Command Line Heroes has garnered so much interest outside of the company that many of their offices around the globe want to localize the podcast. Hamlyn and her team have just started to experiment with the initiative.

“Our Latin American team is actually considering hiring actors and voice actors to perform the podcast. We’re looking at all kinds of localization efforts,” says Hamlyn. “And after going to Podcast Movement this past year in L.A., I will say localizing an English podcast is very uncharted territory, but we’re still trying to figure out how to do it.”

Red Hat’s video team has also ventured into a different type of binge-worthy content — a video series. In May 2020, they released two video series, What Happens When You Hit Enter and Technically Speaking, which dive into technical topics with Red Hat experts and are considered extensions of some of the interviews conducted on Command Line Heroes.

Back on the podcasting front, though, Red Hat has decided to stay focused on Command Line Heroes. And after learning about the show’s story, one can only assume it’s for a good reason.

“We’re definitely doubling down on Command Line Heroes. We have season five in the works right now, and then we also have a complementary video series,” says Hamlyn. “We’ve had some thoughts about other podcasts, but, right now, we’re solely focused on Command Line Heroes.”

Too often, marketers use the “my industry is boring” excuse for not crafting compelling content. But after learning about Red Hat’s story, we feel more inspired than ever to think outside of the box and create content that truly connects with an audience — no matter the industry.

If a show about arguably one of the most technical topics in tech — open source code — can earn two Shorty nominations, your show can too.



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Video Marketing

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

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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!

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Video Marketing

How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign

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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
  • Subscribed

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:

  • Plays
  • % Watched
  • Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
  • Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
  • Subscribed
  • 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!

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Video Marketing

Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020

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Video marketing

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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