Here at Wistia, we recently began tracking and optimizing for brand interactions — and it’s changed the way we think about our entire marketing and promotional strategy.
The concept is simple — the more someone interacts with the Wistia brand, the more likely they’ll be interested in trying our software or becoming a brand advocate. And because we use a ton of video in our marketing efforts, over time it became clear that looking to the “Total Time Watched” metric to understand success in this department was key.
For those who aren’t familiar, Total Time Watched is defined as the total amount of time an individual viewer has spent watching your content.
This indicator helped us quantify an otherwise somewhat ambiguous measure, making it super easy for us to spend more time optimizing for that metric and less time guessing about what’s working and what’s not.
But, things weren’t always this simple.
We’ve always believed that building a strong brand experience would help Wistia grow, whether it’s on our website, social channels, or even in the emails we sent to our customers.
Conceptually, of course, this makes sense. But it isn’t just a hunch — we’ve seen this confirmed from a quantitative perspective time and time again. In fact, after doing extensive analysis to understand our highest quality traffic, we found that Wistia website visitors who visited more pages are more likely to become a Wistia customer, and the same was even true for social interactions and email engagement.
“We’ve always believed that building a strong brand experience would help Wistia grow, whether it’s on our website, social channels, or even in the emails we sent to our customers.”
At the end of the day, we uncovered that the tipping point for conversion was actually a total of nine page visits. If a website visitor views more than nine pages, they’re twice as likely to become a Wistia user than those who have visited less than nine. Pretty interesting, right?
So naturally, we started tracking what we called “high potential visitors” (aka people who visited more than nine pages). At one point, the Wistia Growth Team even ran a series of experiments with the goal of generating more of them. We tried different website designs and user flows to get website visitors to view more pages. We tried providing nine-pages-worth of value on one page. We tried page designs with nine “sliders.” But none of those ideas really worked — not super shocking.
The truth is, these tactics were gimmicky. We were trying to shortcut the process of providing value versus just investing in it. We went back to our roots and started re-investing in our brand, creating more amazing content, and building slick software. But as marketers, we couldn’t help but still be intrigued by the idea of tracking, measuring, and iterating on our work. And that’s where the idea of measuring brand interactions came into the picture. We found our new best friend in one simple metric: Total Time Watched.
It’s one thing to just talk about reinvesting in our brand, and it’s another thing to invest $111,000 in it. This past year, we released our first-ever original series, One, Ten, One Hundred. And as part of the promotional planning process, we had several meetings to chat about which metrics to track that would be the biggest indicators of success. After all, we invested a ton of time, effort, and resources into creating this content and didn’t want to waste a single day optimizing for the wrong metric.
“After all, we invested a ton of time, effort, and resources into creating this content and didn’t want to waste a single day optimizing for the wrong metric.”
After all the chatter, we decided to plan the entire marketing campaign around maximizing for the “Total Time Watched” metric. Now, this was a first for most of the marketers on our team. Sure, we were used to promoting digital content, but we typically followed a more traditional playbook that went something like this:
- User visits a landing page
- User fills out a form
- User gets redirected to a “Thank You” page with the content
When it came to promoting a video series, however, we needed a slightly different playbook. We wanted to reduce friction for the viewer, provide more content up front, and ultimately, promote our brand. That’s part of the reason why we decided to design a page that put the emphasis on showcasing the video content itself, rather than hiding it behind a form.
We researched design choices from companies who also optimize for play time, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and took notes on how to make the experience on our own website just as good.
With our design team focused on creating an incredible experience that would showcase our brand and optimize for that “Total Time Watched” metric, our marketing efforts shifted gears to executing on the promotional plan.
Up until now, we’ve talked a lot about the paid promotional plan for Soapbox on the blog, but we haven’t shared as much about the series promotion itself and how surprised our advertising partners were when we shared that we weren’t optimizing for lead generation. Let’s dig in.
After committing to optimizing for Total Time Watched, we started thinking about how to drive the most views to our content. We decided to meet viewers where they are by sharing the trailer for the series on our social channels in full rather than trying to drive users back to our website. We also researched other places where people tend to consume a lot of videos and eventually syndicated the full series on Amazon Prime.
This is something we would have never done before had we been focused on optimizing for a metric like product conversions. Behind the scenes, every single decision we made was focused on driving our audience to watch the content.
“We decided to meet viewers where they are by sharing the trailer for the series on our social channels in full rather than trying to drive users back to our website.”
When we took a look at the initial results of the campaign, our team was super excited — Total Time Watched was through the roof. The design team had created a page that clearly encouraged binge-watching the series — 98% of the page visitors watched our content! Plus, those who watched the content, watched a lot of it, and that helped us validate just how high-quality the content really was.
It was looking pretty clear to us that our decision to optimize for Total Time Watched was the right one. The average viewer watched around 50 minutes of our video content, which ultimately added up to thousands of hours of video watched on our website and social channels, with thousands more on Amazon Prime.
It was a huge risk to not put a lead generation goal on our campaign, but it seemed like our gamble paid off. We saw tons of positive feedback everywhere we looked from forums cropping up on Reddit and discussions on Quora, to social threads that were full of chatter and positive vibes — all signs pointed to success.
Focusing on Total Time Watched as our key success metric challenged the way our team thought about promoting content. It impacted our design decisions, changed some of our promotional tactics, and made us question what success really meant.
If you’re like me — a data-driven marketer who’s starting to realize that not everything is about direct revenue attribution or conversion data — you’re probably wondering how we actually know this is a good metric to optimize for. To help validate our original hypothesis, we tracked three things:
- The correlation of someone watching a video and then trying our software.
- The correlation of someone watching a video and then downloading other content.
- The number of mentions and shares of the project on social media, direct emails to our team, questions during our live Q&A, and our ratings on Amazon Prime.
The data shared an interesting story. Tons of people who watched the content were already in our database, which was great, but we were thrilled to see that 1.7% of visitors that weren’t had created a free Wistia account since the series launched. Plus, another 2.3% of visitors had gone on to download other content on our website.
We had a bit of difficulty gathering a concrete number for total mentions and shares across platforms, but we have seen hundreds of comments across social media, tons of emails to our team, dozens of questions during our Q&A, and (at the time of this post being published) we have a 4.7 star rating on Amazon Prime. All of these factors combined are pretty powerful, and that helps us validate Total Time Watched as a metric we’re interested in tracking more in the future.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just one campaign — the data is still maturing as I write this very post. But, we’re confident that this metric can help put a more meaningful number to the goal of increasing brand interactions. Not only that, but optimizing for Total Time Watched challenges us to think differently about our overall promotion strategy, which is always a win.
Here at Wistia, we’ve even invested in developing an entirely new feature in our product that will dramatically change the way marketers showcase their brand and optimize for that Total Time Watched goal. We’ll share more details on that in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, we’d love to hear how you’re tracking this metric and how it’s been working for you!
4 Ways to Make Your Wistia Channel Shine
If you’ve decided that Wistia Channels is the best place to showcase your videos on your site, then you’ll be pleased to know you’re already on the right track for building an engaging brand. When it comes to setting up your Channel for success, all it takes is a little attention to detail on your part to truly make your content shine in the eyes of your viewers.
In this post, we’ll cover exactly how you can make a beautiful, brag-worthy Wistia Channel for your business. From name-picking and color-matching to thumbnail creation and embedding, there are plenty of small tweaks you can make to your Channel to improve the overall presentation of your content. Keep reading to learn how you can leave your audience impressed and coming back for more!
Whether you’re in the pre-production stages of your business’s first branded series or you’re grouping together related content under one roof, choosing a name for your Channel is a major decision. The name you pick may ultimately influence the number of clicks, views, and video engagement you receive. When it comes to landing on the perfect name for your Channel, there are three key factors you should consider: branding, discoverability, and shareability.
“The name you pick may ultimately influence the number of clicks, views, and video engagement you receive.”
Here’s how we break these three factors down:
- Branding — the “identity” factor: The name you pick will be very public, so it needs to accurately reflect your videos and your brand.
- Discoverability — the “index” factor: The Channel name comes up in search, so you want people searching for a relevant topic to find your video content fast — and first.
- Shareability — the “click” factor: Your audience watches a lot of stuff online. A catchy name for your Channel will make it easy for people to remember. That means when it comes time to share your videos, they’ll be able to pull up your Channel and link to it instantly.
Considering these factors as you set up your Wistia Channel will help you grow your audience and brand over time. Head on over to this post to dig a little deeper into these terms and learn more tips for simplifying the process of picking a Channel name that positions your brand for success!
As we mentioned before, branding is a super important factor for naming, but it also plays a big role in how your business and your content are visually perceived. You want to leave a positive first impression, right? Luckily, with Wistia Channels you have the ability to choose a font and color scheme that aligns with your company’s existing brand, set thumbnails to match, and even upload an eye-catching header.
To customize the look of your Channel to align with your brand:
- Select “Edit” and “Banner” to add a video header (which will loop silently at the top of your Channel) or upload a static banner image
- Click “Text” to add a project title and description, and change the font to match your site. While you’re there, switch up the size to whatever you fancy as well!
- Click “Color” and use the picker to change the overall color scheme.
You can also choose between Light or Dark Mode for your Wistia Channel depending on the look and feel of your brand (and the content you have displayed). When you’re viewing a project, simply go to Edit > Color > Background to modify this setting. It’s as easy as flipping a switch!
For your banner, instead of a static image, you have the option to throw in a looping video background as we mentioned before. Want to see this feature in action? Check out how Nextiny, an inbound marketing and sales agency, uses a snazzy looping video to showcase their content and intrigue visitors on their site.
If you’re looking for a little more inspiration, you can find a few more examples of Channels we love in this post. These aesthetic changes may seem small, but they’ll ultimately lend to a more sleek-looking collection of videos for your site.
Once you’ve got some action on your Wistia Channel, don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the contact information of the folks interested in consuming your videos. While you’re customizing your Channel, you also have the option to add an Email Collector — not just any old Email Collector, but one that comes in a few flavors. Aside from requiring viewers to enter their email in order to view your content, we have two Email Collector options you can start experimenting with today. The first option is called “Overlay on hover.” Here’s an example from Zaius to showcase what this looks like in reality:
In this scenario, an email collection form will overlay when someone hovers over your video with their mouse. Your video will keep playing while displaying several fields, including a place for folks to enter their names as well as text fields you can customize, depending on the Call to Action that makes the most sense in the given context — something like, “Enter your email address to view this video.” The second option is “Conditional,” which means each video will maintain the email collecting pre-sets you’ve already set up in your Wistia account when the content is embedded on your Channel.
Using Email Collectors is a sure-fire way to get the most out of your Wistia Channel. You can bet the people who enter their information are interested in the value you offer and will be more likely to check out future content you create. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to communicate with them more often and let them know when you’ve got a new video for them to watch!
A Wistia Channel is only as great as the sum of its parts — names, colors, fonts, banners, email collectors and more all add up to create a beautiful video collection you’re proud to share. Start engaging your audience with the videos you’ve worked so hard to create and build stronger brand affinity in the long-run. We’d love to see your next Channel out in the wild, so be sure to throw a link to it in the comments below!
7 Examples That Show the Best of Long-Form Video
Whether it’s the hottest new web series or an in-depth TED Talk, people love to watch long-form video — and businesses are catching on to the trend.
Unlike shorter, product-centeric videos, long-form content offers companies the opportunity to show their commitment to their mission and connect with viewers on a deeper, more emotional level. Longer content also enables intensive educational experiences for the viewer, whether the video covers exciting industry trends or specific approaches to tackling problems.
What does “long-form” video really mean? To put it simply, long-form videos are a type of video content that are usually longer than 5 minutes in duration.
We put together a list of long-form video series and one-off productions to showcase how companies live and breathe their values through video. Small to medium-sized businesses can use this list of branded content to get inspired when it comes to creating content for their own brands. Let’s get into it!
InVision is swinging for the fences with long-form video. On their blog, Inside Design, InVision shares videos about design trends and tips, many explaining how to use Sketch and get the most out of it. InVision’s site is filled with robust product tutorials, but these pieces focusing on larger, fundamental design principles — between two and seven minutes long — will help anyone strengthen their overall design foundation. The company has even created a full-length documentary about design thinking at IBM called “The Loop.”
InVision’s stated mission is to help users create digital content that people love, so it’s fitting that the company offers viewers new strategies and approaches for designing that go beyond merely using their own tools. The longer format allows viewers to learn the details involved in the execution of new techniques.
- Design Systems Manager Master Class: In this two-hour, 6-episode series, InVision explores how to create a design system for an entire organization, from start to finish. It taps three design experts to walk through the challenges of product design at scale.
- Design Disrupters: In this series, InVision showcases top designers at the world’s smartest companies and dives into how design has become the new language of business in the 21st century.
With the shift to long-form video, InVision shows they are true leaders in the field of design — not just a tool for designers.
On their Price Intelligently blog, ProfitWell conducts video “teardown” case studies, in which they focus on one to three company pricing pages and talk about what works and what needs improvement. Videos usually feature a lighthearted (though occasionally heated!) conversation between executives Patrick Campbell and Peter Zotto and typically are just under 10 minutes long.
ProfitWell’s long-form videos are conversational, appealing to viewers who gravitate toward podcasts or other content that affords hosts the chance to riff on their knowledge and the topic at hand. Rather than focusing on their own software, ProfitWell’s teardowns appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs and startup leaders looking to discover best practices from successful companies and competitors.
“ProfitWell’s long-form videos are conversational, appealing to viewers who gravitate toward podcasts or other content that affords hosts the chance to riff on their knowledge and the topic at hand.”
The longer format of these videos enables hosts to slowly walk viewers through the pricing pages in question, ensuring that the pace of the content can fit a wide number of learning styles. There’s a healthy mix of commentary and visual aids made with original data, which shows that the company is committed to making the most of the long-form branded video format.
Mailchimp’s core focus is email marketing, but their target audience is far more broad than just those interested in sending tons of emails. Experienced business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs alike may find inspiration in the “Mailchimp Presents” video series.
Using high-quality production techniques and clever editing, the videos attach Mailchimp to buzzworthy brands and their founders who, incidentally, use email to communicate with customers. The style of the videos is closer to an independent documentary than to a typical SaaS product video, giving viewers a chance to sit back and enjoy a theatrical glimpse into creative spaces and minds.
- Hamburger Eyes: In this documentary, we get a behind-the-scenes look at a one-man photography project that evolved into a thriving community of artists based in San Francisco. Mailchimp knows its audience and stays true to its brand by focusing on a creative-centric topic that anyone with a pulse and an appreciation for photography could get behind.
- Taking Stock: A fictional video series about a young female photographer navigating the complexities of agency life, Taking Stock delves into the realities of working in the world of tech and design, giving viewers a chance to see inside the life of a creative. We learn much about the subject’s life here — what drives her, what a typical day looks like — helping the viewer associate Mailchimp with the driven professionals who make the world of entrepreneurship thrive.
Mailchimp has been a visionary brand when it comes to creative storytelling. Ever since they sponsored the first season of Serial, the company has attached itself to big ideas, and, through their own example, they’ve proved that every business can affect a wide audience if they tell a powerful story.
Intercom features videos regularly on its blog, with experts speaking on topics like support, growth, product, and design. Many of the videos are talks that the team and others have done at different conferences, which is a great way for people to see talks that they weren’t geographically capable of attending.
Intercom’s videos educate viewers on new ways to approach Intercom’s core competency — customer support and communication — in a format that encourages in-depth exploration and tutorials. Instead of merely chopping up key takeaways from the talks, long-form video enables the brand to include the overall conference context, linking together key concepts and materials.
- 5 lessons learned from growing a support team: In this conference video, Intercom’s customer support lead, Sharon Moorhouse, shares five lessons that the company has learned as it has scaled its support operations. It’s meant to engage growing companies, regardless of the industry, and appeal to audiences that may lie outside of the scope of Intercom’s typical customer profile. Sharon’s talk is engaging and packed with visual examples, making the most of the video format and capturing the energy and excitement that she brought to the conference.
Conferences are affirming experiences, where people in the same field can form new connections, get new ideas, and become excited about trends and developments. Intercom’s focus on opening up their otherwise siloed conference material gives audiences a chance to connect with the brand even if they’re far away from the talks or sessions. It shows the company living out its mission of “keeping business personal” by opening up access to the conference experience.
Patagonia makes documentary-style videos about real people doing the things they love and excel at in the outdoors. The videos are extremely high-quality, featuring breathtaking visuals and rare glimpses of some of nature’s best vistas.
Instead of merely focusing on their well-loved products, Patagonia’s longer-form content serves as an inspiring reminder of the brand’s central ethos — saving our planet. It’s hard not to fall deeper in love with the earth after watching these pieces, and viewers certainly can see that the brand is about far more than just making outerwear and camping gear.
“Instead of merely focusing on their well-loved products, Patagonia’s longer-form content serves as an inspiring reminder of the brand’s central ethos — saving our planet.”
- Wolfpack: This video follows the training efforts of a group of trail runners living in isolation. Drone shots and ultra-slow-motion close-ups abound, giving the pieces a cinematic quality that is certain to move viewers on an emotional level. The family’s extreme choice to live in the wild is likely outside the desires of most of Patagonia’s customers, but their way of life can inspire viewers to think about how to better connect with planet Earth.
- Takayna: Takayana (Tarkine) is one of the last remaining old-growth rainforests in the world, yet it’s increasingly threatened by mining and other destructive activities. This video highlights the beauty and fragility of the landscape by intercutting meditative shots of flora and fauna with images of devastating excavation and logging. Patagonia is clearly living its mission here — seeking to save the planet by raising awareness about protecting one of our most precious earthly resources.
Patagonia’s mission is one of the most ambitious of any brand out there, and that’s what makes them so successful. By taking a stance on major issues and creating beautiful visual content, they’re proving to an audience why it’s cool to care about more than just clothes and gear. To change the world, Patagonia is leading by example.
Many beauty brands rely on mere testimonials to push their products. But Glossier opts to show how their products weave neatly into the lives of their customers. They have a series called “Get Ready with Me” (based on the popular)YouTube trend that follows the morning routine of influencers and creatives. The hashtag for the campaign — #GRWM — encourages customers to create their own content and further engage with the brand.
The pieces also have a casual instructional approach, giving them an educational component that goes beyond a shorter “how-to” piece. They’re showing you how to create a look rather than telling you how to do it.
- Get Ready With Me: feat. Annahstasia + Glossier: Here, an influencer’s morning routine is shown in real time. In several meditative shots, the camera lingers over Annahstasia going about her morning. It’s easy to imagine someone watching this piece they start their own day to find inspiration and calm from the emotional music and beautiful cinematography.
Glossier, known for its colorful Instagram account and vibrant pop-up stores, creates a calm atmosphere throughout their videos. They create intimacy with the way their videos are shot, and that intimacy will contribute to a long-lasting and better customer relationship than a typical advertisement or commercial.
Over the years, Airbnb has evolved beyond being just a website for booking rooms and homes, becoming a platform for finding community through unique experiences. Recently, Airbnb launched an Adventure series featuring hosts and people from all over the world. By focusing on the curated experiences offered through Airbnb’s “Adventures” programs, the brand helps establish itself as far more than a travel app.
- Six Strangers: In this 12-minute video, six strangers take an unexpected trip together. Like the other pieces in this series, the length of this video enables a more TV-like viewing experience that mirrors popular reality shows like Naked and Afraid and Survivor.
Through their long-form videos, Airbnb is expressing one of their most significant brand values: “Belong anywhere.” The Adventure series is all about breaking down barriers to find out what people have in common with each other. When people think of Airbnb in this way, the company starts to symbolize connections between people, not just cool destinations.
“When people think of Airbnb in this way, the company starts to symbolize connections between people, not just cool destinations.”
More and more brands are reaping the benefits of thinking (and acting!) like media companies. With the wealth of high-quality content vying for their attention, viewers are demanding highly engaging work from companies they encounter. Investing in rich long-form content enables brands to tap into the growing binge-watching habits of their followers while expressing the values that matter most to them and finding deeper ways to connect with customers.
Introducing “Brandwagon”—It’s like a Talk Show, but for Marketers
These days, it’s harder than ever to be successful with your marketing campaigns. From keeping up with ever-changing SEO tactics to shouldering the burden of growing advertising spend to shouting into the void that is social media, it can feel like even your most successful initiative is, well, kind of a flop.
That’s why I’m super excited to introduce you to Brandwagon, Wistia’s newest series from the team that brought you One, Ten, One Hundred. As the host of this talk show for marketers, I’m going to be chatting with business leaders who are doing things differently when it comes to marketing their businesses and building their brands. Find out how they’re seeing such success and learn what tactics they’re using to stand out in a sea of “meh” marketing.
Hop on the Brandwagon and come along for the ride each week as we uncover what’s working in the world of modern marketing. The first episode hits the road this summer, so be sure to enter your email below to stay in the loop and get notified when new episodes come out.
SEO5 days ago
Google made 3,200 changes to search in the past year
SEO3 weeks ago
Google’s John Mueller on Good Links and How to Get Them
SEO7 days ago
Are your DSAs really outperforming standard ads? Find out with this ad copy length performance analysis script
SEO3 weeks ago
Google to stop supporting noindex directive in robots.txt
SEO2 weeks ago
Only 30% of SMBs would recommend their current SEO provider, survey finds
SEO3 weeks ago
Clients Who Pay More for SEO Services Report Higher Satisfaction Rates
SEO2 weeks ago
Microsoft Advertising says it’s keeping average position reporting
Video Marketing1 week ago
7 Examples That Show the Best of Long-Form Video