Over the years, making business more human has been at the heart of everything we do here at Wistia. From the very start, we’ve tried to get this message across by making our own videos in our office, often on a shoestring budget.
Just look at this get-to-know-us video we made way back in 2011:
Compared to our latest video endeavor this feels somewhat amateur, but what that video showed in 2011, “One, Ten, One Hundred” shows in 2019 — we’re passionate about what we do and we believe using video is the best way to communicate that message.
If you’re even remotely familiar with Wistia, it should come as no surprise that we’re deeply invested in building our own brand with video. Being dedicated to creating a cohesive, authentic presence online has paid off for us in so many ways over the years. And that’s why we’re so passionate about encouraging other businesses to do the same.
Alright, let’s call a spade a spade — Wistia is in the video software business. So, naturally, our brand revolves around video. You got us there.
But a wise man once said, “Video is not a product; it’s a way of life.*” We don’t just make instructional, educational, or promotional videos. In fact, we make videos for many occasions. And that’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to carve out a niche for our brand.
*No one has really ever said this to our knowledge, but you get the picture.
Take blog post videos, for example. Sometimes our blog videos are jam-packed with helpful information, and other times, they’re simply there to delight. The video at the beginning of this post about looking good on camera doesn’t aim to provide any real value from an educational perspective. Instead, it sets the scene for the post to come and underscores the idea that being on camera can be scary and challenging — even for a video software company.
Now, you might be thinking, “Who has time to make a video like this just to add some extra flair to a blog post?” Great question! We’re suggesting that businesses start making time for this type of content. You’re not doing it for us, you’re doing it for your brand.
Strong branding must be part of your marketing strategy if you want your business to grow over time. Luckily, video can help with three key stages of brand development:
- Differentiation: There’s tons of competition for consumer attention on the internet, which means it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to break through the noise and connect. Thanks to the rise of social media, consumer behavior has changed — video isn’t just a medium for major brands anymore, small brands need to step up in order to compete.
- Retention: Over time, video can help you build stronger relationships with customers. This ultimately leads to more trust and more brand loyalty.
- Growth: When you’ve established a solid brand, you can take more creative risks with video that can turn into big returns at critical moments for your business.
Video has become the primary method for communicating brand messages online — just think about the last time you scrolled through Instagram and paused on an ad. Chances are, a video caught your attention. And since video is now the norm, businesses can no longer hang their hats on one slick video that aims to achieve each and every one of their marketing goals.
Now, let’s walk through these three key stages to brand development and learn a bit more about how your business can start building a stronger brand with video.
When you want to make an impression on new customers, video can really help you stand out in a memorable way. Our homepage video, for example, is one of the most-talked-about videos we’ve created to date.
The number of tweets, emails, and DMs we’ve received about this video is more than any of us could’ve ever imagined. Apparently, there’s just something about the combination of friendly smiles, killer dances moves, and a monochrome color palette that really gets people amped up.
In all seriousness, the tricky part about building a unique brand is….well, actually being unique. It’s a lot harder than it sounds! Often when companies are just starting out, they tend to adopt the norms of other businesses in their industry, whether that’s talking about their products in a certain way or miming a design aesthetic that’s not completely their own. And at the end of the day, it makes sense — marketers want to use messaging styles that are proven to work.
But, playing it safe is not what will get you noticed.
When you produce a video, there’s a vulnerability and authenticity that is palpable. Even if you outsource the production of a video, there’s really nowhere to hide. From the script itself and the location of the shoot to the overall execution and messaging, a polished marketing video can serve as an honest representation of your brand.
“When you produce a video, there’s a vulnerability and authenticity that is palpable. Even if you outsource the production of a video, there’s really nowhere to hide.”
And don’t be fooled — putting yourself out there doesn’t just apply to video companies like us. Many businesses are taking more creative risks, just look at ProfitWell and Drift. They stand out amongst SaaS companies because they’re using in videos in ways that most of their peers aren’t. Take a look at this recent video from Patrick Cambell, the CEO & co-founder of ProfitWell:
Not only does Patrick’s expertise come across better in the video than it would in text, but the video is also able to showcase real-world applications for concepts that, at times, can seem abstract.
Now, it might sound hard to believe, but the truth is — your business is unique. The stories you have to share are yours alone. And when you use video to tell those stories, your brand story becomes more unique in turn.
As we mentioned before, we make a lot of videos here at Wistia, from user onboarding to customer support. Many businesses, however, tend to associate “video” solely with marketing — and we’d like to challenge that assumption.
Building a brand, after all, is about a lot more than one marketing video. Putting yourself on camera makes it possible to engage personally at scale, and beyond that, injecting key touch points throughout the customer’s journey is critical to leaving a lasting impression (and ultimately creating brand advocates).
Just think about your favorite local barista who always knows your order and remembers your name — how many cups of coffee did it take for you to get on that level? The fact of the matter is, it takes time to build personal relationships with customers, whether you’re a coffee shop or a tech company.
“It takes time to build personal relationships with customers, whether you’re a coffee shop or a tech company.”
Since we are in tech, we have to be a little more creative when it comes to building a relationship with our customers. We’ve found that using video across our entire business has helped yield more impressive results for retention than email and blog posts alone. For example, here’s a video that lives in our Help Center that teaches users how to upload a video to Wistia:
For this video (which is part of a series of onboarding videos), we decided to create a brand within our brand. Creating this mini-brand gave us the creative freedom to educate our customers about our software in a way that felt fresh and unique, without sacrificing Wistia’s overall aesthetic.
This onboarding series checked off several boxes for the business and brand we’re building — the videos themselves are educational, helping our customers understand how to get the most out of our product, and the sub-brand we created paints a picture of how a mom and pop shop like Jeff’s Lemonade can use video to help their business grow.
Investing time and resources into creating content that actually helps educate your customers — not just market to them — proves you’re invested in their success.
One of the most compelling reasons to make video part of your marketing strategy is, simply put, video contributes to growth. Using video to build your brand means you can grow your own way — making your company an industry leader in the process.
Respected brands typically have more trust from their customers, giving them the ability to take the risks often associated with what it takes to truly grow. Here at Wistia, we recently took a huge leap of faith when we made our very own four-part documentary series, “One, Ten, One Hundred.”
For us, creating the series was a realization of a long-term goal of ours: to produce our own, long-form original content. And doing so allowed to think beyond video software — our series shows that just because we’re “video people” so to speak, we’re not special. We’re learning how to make better videos every day, just like you.
Producing a video series is just one way to stretch your creative limits and expand your brand. Just look at Squarespace’s landing page for Version 7 of their product. Instead of the classic tagline and illustration approach to a product page that’s so typical amongst software tools, the company took a unique approach by filling the entire screen with a short film.
Squarespace has used video to grow their brand right from the start, making this bold choice less of a risk for them. The use of video (and minimal text) to announce a product update is a choice many lesser-known brands would never take. It reveals Squarespace’s ambitions for its brand — to not just be a website builder, but an engine for self-expression. Plus, it opens up the potential for Squarespace to go in many different directions with their brand in the future.
Taking a big swing on a creative bet is what sets businesses apart. Tiny tweaks and optimizations tend to get you nowhere, fast. With video, businesses are able to iterate, experiment, and explore with style choice and execution, giving you plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Building a brand with video lets you elevate your business to levels you may have never even dreamed of before.
“With video, businesses are able to iterate, experiment, and explore with style choice and execution, giving you plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.”
Using video to promote your products, educate your customers, or even close a deal isn’t all that novel of a concept. What you choose to do with video, however, is another story. Create disparate videos that live on all ends of the internet, and hope to tell a story that way, or, think about how video can actually be used to build your brand from the ground up.
But hey, you don’t have to listen to us. We’re just a video company.
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.
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