Video is everywhere, and audiences and businesses love it.
When Chris Savage started Wistia in 2006, he used to say, “we try to help businesses use video.” Most people dismissively responded, “that’s insane, why would a business ever use video?” Now, it’s insane not to.
But not everyone knows how to use this growing medium properly. So, we got on the phone with Chris to pick his brain about everything related to video and walked away with six actionable insights.
Listen to the full interview HERE, or read the highlights below.
1. Iterate based on the analytics
Two years ago, Wistia promoted its product with screencast demo videos. Based on analytics, Chris says, the company has changed its approach.
“We’ve learned that for our audience a lot of the things that resonate better are just really helping to create an emotional connection between the product and the company and our audience.”
To bridge the gap between product and customer, Wistia created a video on its homepage featuring its office pup, Lenny, running around with a VHS tape in his mouth.
The objective: To deliver the tape to a customer.
The result: You guessed it! A ruined VHS tape that looks like it’s been to hell and back, with the tagline: There’s a better way to deliver video.
It’s a fun video that converts, engages, and creates a strong emotional connection. It also allows potential customers to easily why they should be interested in what Wistia does. With video, this gets communicated in 40 seconds. Brilliant.
2. Think about goals first, then the metrics
According to Chris, the metrics you use should be contingent on the goals you prioritize. “If your goal is to get more people back to your website and to get more people to sign up for something like a product, or a newsletter, or a trial, then I always try to encourage people to look at those metrics too and to try to understand: Who is watching my video and then converting?”
Important metrics video marketers should track include:
a.) Conversion rates: What percentage of viewers took a desirable action?
b.) Engagement across the videos: Where are people turning it off? Where are people re-watching? Where are people sticking with the video?
c.) Play rate: What percentage of visitors are clicking play?
You want to know how effective your videos are in achieving your goals, what gets your audience excited, and if your video’s thumbnail is enticing and positioned well on your site.
3. Teach around what you do
Chris adheres to this simple maxim: “I always try to encourage people to teach around what they do.”
Businesses should create videos related to their product or service. In doing so, “you can kind of not be self-promotional but still have people understand what it is at the core that your company does.” This way, your videos can convert, educate and engage customers without turning them off with an overbearing sales pitch.
If you teach around what you do, you develop authority and thought leadership in your respective industry. When you’ve proven yourself as capable and knowledgeable, viewers just assume you have a quality product.
4. Stop fussing over production quality and optimize the video’s content
While everyone would like to have a perfect-looking video, Chris warns that this might be misguided. “The biggest mistake,” he says, “is optimizing too much for the quality of the video productioninstead of the quality of the content of the video.”
High definition videos can only do so much. While audiences prefer a video that’s not blurry, dark and pixelated, they engage with videos that have real substance.
“If the content of the video is not good and it doesn’t connect with your audience, then it’s kind of useless.” Ultimately, it’s about “the creativity and the storytelling.”
5. Don’t stop at one video
“It’s not about making one video, just like email marketing isn’t about sending one email,” Chris told us.
Successful video marketing isn’t a one-off strategy. The most successful video campaigns are ones that develop into a channel or series.
As a loyal viewer, “every week you go back and you watch the same revolving cast of characters that teach you something. The connections being built with all of those individuals is huge and the connection that’s being built with the brand is huge.”
Businesses should consistently produce great video content. It builds community, serves as an added touchpoint, and develops deeper relationships with the audience.
6. Think about distribution and strategy
Distribution can be a blind spot in a video strategy, Chris believes. “A lot of people go into it thinking, ‘I’m going to make a video,’ and they don’t really think about what the distribution of that video should be, and how they want to strategically use it.”
If you make it, they will come. Or not. Probably the latter.
Don’t gamble with your investment and make sure you know, ahead of time, how you’re going to market and use your videos.
“I always encourage people to get video onto their own website and control their core audience and then use it throughout other social networks to drive traffic back, but always own the core audience and understand the core audience if you want it to be something that’s a long term strategic thing.”
Your campaign will always have a better chance of success if you’ve planned ways to get your video in front of customers and ways to leverage the video for branding, sales and growth.
Go ahead. Try out a few of these action items and let us know how they improve your business videos.