Today's marketing teams are being tasked with a growing roster of activities all designed to sell their company's products and services.
Blogging, print, live events, email, SEM, display, mobile, PR, this list goes on and on.
In 2014, add a new entry to this crazy Chinese menu: video.
Next to mobile, it's the next big thing for B2B and B2C marketers alike.
Here's the thing about video: It's tough to do well. No one starts a video unit in their company and creates an instant viral hit on YouTube.
At the inaugural WistiaFest gathering this week in Boston, I learned that most successful companies using video have NEVER had one go viral.
(And most don't use YouTube as their primary hosting or sharing solution. Why? There's no easy way to link YT videos to your marketing automation/analytics tools to track prospects or do enhanced video SEO. Wistia is the go-to solution for corporate video hosting and marketing analytics.)
In fact, those who had a video go viral say it's the worst thing that could have ever happened.
Why? This single video gets your CEO addicted to quick hits of massive attention, which come and go. One viral video doesn't build an audience over time who believe in your mission, come to trust you, and eventually do business with you.
The successful companies using video, 200 of whom attended WistiaFest this week all say it's a slow grind. And it's worth the investment.
Wistia, the host of the event, offers a perfect example of how to do video marketing successfully. Sitting in a workshop with Chris Savage, Wistia's CEO @csavage made the entire trip worthwhile.
How to Market Boring Companies
The most powerful quote from his session? "Our customers don't buy our (video hosting) product immediately. They buy our mission: We help you do more with video. We solve their problems first, then they find our product and subscribe later."
Some other excellent takeaways:
"We have one goal for our content: build an audience. That's our email list. When someone signs up for a free trial of our software, they're added to the list. Every week the team strives to create 4 new pieces of content, including video, blog post, social content, etc."
"The Wistia video hosting product only solves 3% of the video "problem" for our clients. The content we create helps address the rest of the pain points around video marketing."
"Your mission must be bigger than your company and its solutions. The mission is the seed for all of the content you create."
"The goal for your content should be to sell your mission to build an audience. As you flesh out your content and publish consistently, it will attract an audience, who will then discover your products and services down the road."
"Resist the urge to sell. Teach and help people. Don't talk about features. Create an emotional connection to your company. Every piece of content should make the reader think: 'This helps me.'"
This is the kind of intelligence all modern marketers should take to heart before they ever pick up a camera.
There's lots more to share from the event. If you're like me, you prefer meaty, pithy quotes to long paragraphs of prose. With that in mind, here's a buffet of filet mignon for you to feast on:
From Video Content to Video Strategy
Next up was Phil Nottingham, Senior Consultant at Distilled, presenting "From Video Content to Video Strategy." How to go from investing in video initially and having a few pieces to developing and implementing a fully-fledged strategy.
Start with the end in mind. All content must be goal driven. Is it to get more people on your email list? Get a white paper?
Context is king. Understanding your audience and making content to match their needs is key. Hyper-targeted content > one size fits all.
Go beyond buyer personas. See which users influence your prospects with FollowerWonk then influence the influencers.
Create a content matrix with this trio of levels:
Early: "See" (Brand awareness)
Mid: "Think" (Consideration advocacy)
Bottom/End: "Do" (Conversion)
The average YouTube click through rate (CTR) is 0.72%. You won't get clicks to your website from a video. Think brand awareness, engagement over clicks.
Use real people in your company in your video who have real expertise giving real advice. Don't hire actors, want genuine stuff. Think uncommon expertise and insight. Don't overly brand your video if you want links and shares. Embedding will be diminished.
Don't duplicate same video across multiple pages. Don't reinvent the wheel every time. Recut and reedit to get there and be efficient.
Don't be afraid to paste video transcripts into the HTML of the page where you embed your video. This is the key to better video SEO and addressing Panda issues. Keep in mind that some people can't watch videos at work, so they need quick access to your script.
SERPTurkey can help you test organic search results to see if your video SEO work will help or hinder your click through rate.
Consideration and advocacy videos need paid traffic boosts - check out Taboola, Outbrain, StumbleUpon, Reddit - to seed views. They cost money, but ramp eyes-on quickly.
Unruly media will seed your video socially, pay per share is the new PPC. Viral booster: http://www.unrulymedia.com/
How often should you publish videos? Consistent quality > consistency of publishing schedule. Less done right is more.
Time / Money / Talent = Need at least 2 to make good videos.
20 Ways Moz Makes Video Work For Our Marketing
Rand Fishkin, Founder & CEO at Moz, presented "20 Ways Moz Makes Video Work For Our Marketing." Tactical tips on how to make a video reach a bigger audience, plus the broad strategy of how Moz has used video to reach millions of eyeballs.
We've never had a viral video at Moz. Never once has a Whiteboard Friday had more than 30K views in first week. Don't invest in viral video, invest in a video production flywheel that keeps building value over time with consistently produced, high-quality content.
You can easily outpace and crush your competition by investing in the turtle, slow gains over time, rabbits hate you! Everyone wants the rabbit/trackable wins and data and viral FAST, but ignores the slow growth impact over time.
If you were to judge our efforts in first 2 years, we'd be shut down. It's expensive, takes time, money.
Because we stuck with it to get better, Whiteboard Friday is the top content we produce in the entire company from branding and engagement standpoint.
It takes 7.5 measurable visits to Moz before they take a free trial. If they convert earlier, they'll be a poor client. Would rather them come 10-20 times before they convert.
Like Wistia with their Learning Center the Moz Academy is available in the product with in-depth video content to help users.
Videos help keep people engaged. It's the grain we grow to feed our social media efforts. We earn a broader following over time, so we have more people to promote to, more visits, grows over time.
Videos help with product demos, but grows audience for these views.
You can't track value branding effect of video work, but we know it's there. Higher recall and engagement of all content produced
Can't do video in a silo. Connection between SEO, social, video, events is key.
Flexibility of video to adapt and help across the company came because we invested in dedicated resources. Full time, focused on video. Dedicated to the craft to leverage across the organization.
We can and do measure return on investment (ROI) on video via Google/Wistia analytics, but the value is serendipitous and largely unmeasureable.
An Integrated Approach to Video
Mack Fogelson, Founder & CEO at Mack Web Solutions, took the stage next with "An Integrated Approach to Video." How to convince your boss, develop useful KPIs, and succeed in your larger marketing goals.
Have a plan to get a YES from your boss. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for integrated efforts. Bosses like plans. Bosses like numbers.
Not just one video on one channel. Takes many channels and effort, accomplish goals for you business. Be forward thinking with a human-centric approach to integrated marketing.
Tactics aren't strategy. What we're doing to do/the tools are tactics. Strategy is a result of goals.
Grab Mack's full presentation to see a fully fleshed out campaign for a whitepaper download that's driven nearly 4,600 conversions in the year after launch.
The Future of the Wistia Product
For anyone using Wistia today - or thinking of using it tomorrow - Brendan Schwartz, CTO and Co-founder of Wistia, offered a sneak peek at "The Future of the Wistia Product."
We want to move beyond Wistia being a simple video hosting solution. We want customers to use it to curate their videos. So many of us put our videos on our blogs. After a few more posts, the video slips to page 2, and it's gone.
That's why we're adding "Sites" to product. Essentially, we're productizing the Wistia Learning Center in our platform. You'll be able to create custom embed of views like Learning Center on your website.
In addition, Brendan is no fan of video embed codes. His team is working on a browser extension that will enable Wistia users to drag and drop a video into any kind of medium - email template, blog, webpage, etc. No more copying and pasting of HTML code, instead drag and drop and let the technology create the correct embed code for the destination.
After three days on the ground with the Wistia team and 200 hardcore video marketers, I'm more convinced than ever that we're in the early days of the corporate video explosion. Wistia is doing a tremendous job offering educational content for the masses, and I know next year's WistiaFest will see a bigger crowd who will come away with the hands-on tips they need to leverage video to build and engage with audiences in lots of industries.
That and give everyone a chance to mingle with the young, hip team behind the Wistia product itself. Getting inside the startup bubble with this young team who's absolutely rocking a product that solves real business problems, while being unafraid to share their culture and quirky personalities in person and online, was a massive breath of fresh air for this veteran marketing guy.
Wistia, keep rocking your mission: We help you do more with video. Talk about useful. Insanely useful is more like it.