Tyler Lessard of Vidyard talks about the 2019 State of Video in Business Report.
GUEST: Tyler Lessard of Vidyard. Check out the 2019 State of Video in Business Report and download the Vidyard GoVideo Chrome extension to create more engaging sales emails through video. Follow Tyler on Twitter.
CO-PRODUCER: Jason Perrier of Phizzy Studios
Dane Golden: It’s time for HEY.com. This is the podcast where we help marketers and business owners just like you grow your customer community through helpful how-to videos. My name is Dane Golden and today I’m joined by Tyler Lessard of Vidyard. Welcome, Tyler.
Tyler Lessard: Hey, thanks Dane, a pleasure to be here.
Dane Golden: Thank you for being here. I’ve asked you to come on today and talk with us about Vidyard’s 2019 State Of Video In Business Report, correct?
Tyler Lessard: Yes, sir. that’s the topic of the day.
Dane Golden: Fantastic. And I want to start by asking you, in case some of our listeners don’t know, what does Vidyard do in general and how is it different than others in your area?
Tyler Lessard: Absolutely. So Vidyard is a video platform for marketing and sales teams, and ultimately we help businesses generate more value from video content that they’re putting out there on their websites, in their marketing campaigns, and we also empower their sales teams to use video for more personalized one to one outreach to help them get attention in this crowded economy of emails and phone calls and to break through the noise and to really accelerate their deals that goes through the power of one to one video. So it’s a really exciting space right now. We’re seeing businesses start to use a lot more video content to tell their stories, to engage their audiences, and to use throughout the whole marketing and sales process, which is really exciting to see. And the big difference with Vidyard over other video hosting or management platforms is that first and foremost, we’re built for marketing and sales teams. We’re designed to make it easy to use, but also with the tools that those teams need to use their videos to convert viewers with calls to action, or easy ways to record and send videos by their sales teams right from their email or their sales tools. So it’s all about making it easy to take advantage of video, but then powerful to leverage the content and the data behind the scenes.
Dane Golden: Fantastic. And why did you guys create the 2019 State Of Video In Business Report?
Tyler Lessard: Well, there’s been a lot of interesting trends and evolutions, if you will, over the last 12 to 18 months in the world of video. And I’m not just talking about cameras and video gear and types of videos. I’m talking about how businesses are using it and some of the challenges that companies are just starting to overcome to get out of that mindset that video is this special thing we do once or twice a year and to really start to embrace it as a part of the way they do business. And we really wanted to just surface what the latest ideas, trends and best practices are for companies that really want to embrace that, that want to understand, “How do I get going with video? What are the latest trends for breaking down those barriers and doing more video content without blowing up my budget?” But also what are some of the ways-
Dane Golden: That’s easy to do.
Tyler Lessard: Well yeah, it’s very easy to do. And then, “Once I do start using video, where am I going to get the biggest bang for my buck? Like what are those latest trends? What kinds of videos work for businesses and how can I use them more than just on my website to get real value?”
Dane Golden: Now it’s a great a report and there’s a lot of findings in there. Is there anything that surprised you once you started drilling down in this?
Tyler Lessard: I think the biggest thing for me is I really spent time kind of digging into the state and you look at some stats and trends from analysts and others was how quickly the use of video is growing. I mean, it wasn’t a huge surprise, but when you looked at it across different industries, there was all these signals that were suggesting that video production is kind of becoming video creation. And the bar to creating and publishing videos has come way down. And within our own customer base, we found during this period of the last year that most of our own customers had doubled, or in some cases, tripled the number of videos they were publishing on a monthly basis in just a 12 month period. And a lot of that is just to do with the changing mindset of what video is and how it can be used above and beyond your homepage video.
Dane Golden: Explain when you say, “Video production has become video creation,” what does that mean?
Tyler Lessard: Yeah. It’s something that I think is really important for us to digest as businesses and marketers is when we talk about producing a video, that comes with a lot of baggage. We always think about, “Okay, we’re going through this big production and we’ve got to get an agency on board and go through all these things.” And sometimes that’s absolutely the right thing to do for some of these higher value videos. But in a lot of cases now, companies are thinking about, “I need to just create a video to support this. I’ve got a blog post going out and I want to create a quick video to talk about this topic or I want to create a quick video for social to share this latest information. Or I want to create a quick customer story video.” And it’s less about thinking about it as a big production and it’s more like how we write content or something else. It’s do a little bit of planning, hit the record button, get the content and do some basic editing and put it out there. And it’s more of a creation process and trying to get people out of that mindset of every video needs to be a big production that we treat as an agency project.
Dane Golden: And is there anything, as you’ve done this report, that there are any pitfalls that people should watch out for? Is that just one of them, just as you described, the idea of thinking everything is too large of a production or are there other things to beware about when you invest more in video, both time and money?
Tyler Lessard: Yeah, I think one of the things that often a pitfall of folks I’m talking to is they think about video as like this very specific use case for like big brand campaigns or social promotions as opposed to stepping back and thinking about, “What projects, programs, campaigns, channels am I using and how could video support those?” So it’s, “We do email marketing.” How could video become a part of your email marketing to help you increase response rates and engagement? We do, yes, organic social. How can video support that? We have a blog, we do inbound. How could video support those different programs in a way that changes up the conversation and tells a better story? And I think once people start to get into that mindset, it again, starts to get them into that rhythm of thinking about, “Yeah, video doesn’t have to be a big production every time. There can be short, more conversational content that’s not meant to last forever and live on my website. It’s meant to support a campaign here or a topic there.” And it’s a different way of getting your message out there, but it’s, in many ways, a better way to tell a story and most importantly, to connect on a more personal and human and transparent level with your audiences. And that’s something that’s really important right now in today’s market.
Dane Golden: Well, I wanted to ask two things about that that you just said. One of them is, when you say conversational, when people think of video, except if they’re on Skype or Facetime, they often think of, “Well, I’m talking to the entire world here.” But how do you … Conversation implies a one to one or one to several relationship. How do you do a conversation with video?
Tyler Lessard: The way I think about it is a lot of it is about the tone and the approach to the content. And it’s about … If you think about even your life on a social network. So if those listening, if you’re on Linkedin or on Facebook, and you’re scrolling through your feed and there may be videos posted from people that you know, or people in your industry, and those videos that are that person getting out there, turning on the camera and talking about a topic that they’re passionate about in a very direct and transparent way. It’s not scripted, it’s authentic. And it’s, again, more in that conversational tone. I think that’s the kind of content that I’m thinking about and it’s not expected to be, “Okay, I’m getting an immediate response from somebody in a true two way conversation.” But I think it’s about that perception of how is this content being created and what is it for? Because I think a lot of audiences today appreciate that sort of simple, authentic content that is it a little bit off the cuff and it’s very genuine as a result, but it feels more natural. It feels more human to human, and I don’t feel like I’m watching a scripted marketing video that’s trying to sell me something. And I think that’s the mentality that I’m going for.
Dane Golden: Now, there was another thing you said about email and video. Now, when you say email and video, as far as a technical standpoint, a video is not … There’s no videos that are embedded into actual emails, right?
Tyler Lessard: Sure.
Dane Golden: What do you mean by that?
Tyler Lessard: No, that’s right. Yeah, so the email, and I bring up email because everybody uses email, right?
Dane Golden: Of course.
Tyler Lessard: And whether you’re in marketing or sales, or it’s a very common distribution channel to deliver messages and content to your audiences. And that’s the way I think we need to think about email these days. We often associate email with text. That’s the way we’ve grown up. And we’ve thought, “Okay, email equals text.” But the reality is email is a delivery channel to your audience that could have really any form of content as either part of it or as the call to action. And so when I talk about video in email, it’s about when you’re sending out that email campaign, whether it’s one to one or one to many, is there a nice big animated GIF thumbnail image of a video as your main call to action in that email? And so instead of having an email that’s a lot of text and then a button that says, “Download the report here,” or whatever it happens to be, why not try an email that’s a quick sentence introducing something and then it says, “Watch this video to learn more.” And it’s got that really big enticing play button that people may want to engage with. So it’s really that mentality of saying, “How could video be …” And in some cases you want to use video you’ve already got. But in some cases you may want to create some new videos. If you’re sending out an email campaign to try to tackle a very specific topic, maybe you want to create a quick, simple video that explains that topic and have that as the call to action rather than linking to an ebook or a blog post or some other resource out there because a lot of people are going to choose to watch a video over some of those other mediums that are out there.
Dane Golden: Right. And from a technical perspective, when you have a image of a video with a play button in it, then it actually clicks to the website where that video plays.
Tyler Lessard: That’s right. Yeah. And you’ll have an image or an animated GIF image, and that’s going to be hyperlinked to a page where that video is going to play back. And so, at that point, the nice thing as well is you’ve often got them, if you have the video on your own website, you’ve got them on a page where they can consume the content and you can get them in your brand experience and have calls to action and things like that. So I think it’s something that we just, we need to think about these things of these different ways that we market today and the [inaudible] are now expecting. I think we just got to ask ourselves that question. Is there a role for a video to support these different programs that we’re executing on today?
Dane Golden: Now there was a couple of interesting case studies I wanted to ask you about that were highlighted in the report, and one of them was Act-On. What is Act-On doing with how they use video? That was really interesting for this report.
Tyler Lessard: Yeah, Act-On’s been a really inspiring story for me. For those who don’t know Act-On, they’re a marketing automation and marketing engagement solution, and they serve the small and mid-market. And what they noticed a couple of years ago was that their video content, which was primarily a webinars and on-demand webinars that they had published, were performing very well for them in terms of engagement and conversion. And they started to look at how else they could use video content based on some of those analytics throughout their marketing programs and some of the things we just talked about. And they embraced it internally. They had a small group internally that started creating more types of video content. Some of it was thought leadership, so things where they do Q&A interviews with experts or, again, topical discussions on things happening in the market. They do customer stories as videos. They do on-demand webinars. They do product demonstrations and product explainers. So they have this whole variety of different kinds of videos that they then leverage across many of their different programs. Their website, of course, if you go to their website, there’s lots of different video content that people can engage with. Their email marketing, they often include videos as calls to action as we just alluded to. Their social presence, even their advertising, they’ll do personalized videos in some cases where people who have come to their site, they can re-target them with videos that even bring the person’s name right into it as a surprise and delight moment. So they really thought through how they could productize a lot of this content. And what they found after doing this for about 12 to 18 months was they were tracking the data behind the scenes to see who was watching which videos, how long were they engaging, and being able to report back. And they found that over time, about 40% of their new leads generated had been either influenced or triggered directly from video content. And it was a really important discovery obviously for them. And it’s something that’s just sort of really solidified the role that video plays in their program. But what was really inspiring was they don’t go out and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with agencies on these productions. Most of them are done in house, with one of their content marketers who happens to be good with the camera and video editing software, and they started to take these things on. And so just really became a part of their culture to use video throughout their process.
Dane Golden: And there was another case study of the company, I believe it’s called 1Huddle.
Tyler Lessard: Right,
Dane Golden: What do they do? And I believe they’re using one of your products.
Tyler Lessard: Yeah. So that was moving over onto the sales side. So I think Act-On was a great example of their marketing team embracing video throughout the buyer’s journey. 1Huddle is a great example of a sales team using video throughout the selling process to impact frankly nearly every metric that they track throughout their outbound sales. So they have a fairly small team. I think the company itself is less than 50 employees, and their sales team is about 5 to 10 folks. And they’re there in a big market, they’re kind of a small fish. And so they were looking for ways to really stand out and get the attention of big accounts they were going after. And so they started using, it is one of the tools that we offer, called Vidyard Go Video, and it’s a really simple app that they use to record and send a personal video messages to their prospects via email. So similar idea where they can go into their Gmail or into their Outlook and click a little Vidyard record button, quickly record a video on camera. They can use their Webcam, they can use a screen capture, and then immediately send that video to that prospect. But they got really creative with the kinds of videos they were making. They were holding up whiteboards with the person’s name written on it so that person knew this was a video recorded just for them. Or they would use other kinds of visual cues to get the attention of their prospects. And once that person clicked play, they would watch the video and the rep would of course introduce themselves, talk about why they think they have a great solution. And they not only were educating them in 60 seconds, but they’re also building a more personal relationship. So they’ve been seeing incredible success with this. And their reps, it’s a small team, but a lot of their reps are sending 50 to 100 videos per day now as part of their outbound sales cadence and are seeing their response rates skyrocketed compared to just their typical email and phone outreach.
Dane Golden: That can be very-
Tyler Lessard: So again, a really … Yeah, a really great example of a small team globbing onto like a new idea, putting themselves out there on camera, but really crushing it and showing the power of one-to-one video and just really personalizing their message.
Dane Golden: And also, Tyler, I saw you speak at video marketing world, and I made some notes, and you said something about I think it was called four E’s, engaging, emotional, educational, empathetic. Could you go into that a little bit? It’s not really focused on this, but I thought it’d be interesting for people.
Tyler Lessard: Yeah. No, well done. You got them, the four E’s. So the idea there is when I think about the role of video in marketing and sales and one of the reasons why it’s becoming, I think, such an important part of how we think as marketers and sellers is because these days people are inundated with digital messages and a lot of the trends in marketing and sales are around how do we, A, kind of break through the noise and get attention because it’s really hard now? How do we actually engage audiences because they’re very fickle these days and they’re looking for really authentic quality content? And then also how do we build a relationship through our content? And video, I think, is the best way to do those things if it’s done right. And the four E’s is about the innate characteristics of video that make it so effective for getting attention, engaging and converting. And again, those four E’s are video is an engaging medium and it’s because a video is a great way to tell stories. And we as humans, our brains are actually hardwired to engage in storytelling as a narrative for a number of reasons based on our biology. Number two is educational, so we process visual information faster. We store it in long term memory. Video is a great way to educate buyers throughout the journey. It’s emotional. It gives us the opportunity to pull on emotions, whether that be humor or simply building trust or inspiration. And then again, empathetic as the fourth E, and that’s about video’s ability to connect on a more human level to show that we have empathy and we understand our buyer and to connect with them more as peers, by again, putting ourselves on camera and connecting with the human face. So those are the four E’s that I think make video a different kind of medium than others. And when you do create video, you want to think about those things. “Am I leveraging it’s ability to be engaging, emotional, educational and empathetic?”
Dane Golden: Thank you, Tyler Lessard. How can people find out more about Vidyard?
Tyler Lessard: Well, you can definitely pop by Vidyard.com, and we’ve got a great blog there where we publish a ton of great content to educate the market on the state of video and trends. So check us out there. And you can follow me on Linkedin is probably the best place. Tyler Lessard, Vidyard. You can find me there. And I think those are the best places to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world of video.
Dane Golden: And the study we’ll have linked in the show notes, but is there a link from the homepage somewhere?
Tyler Lessard: If you go to Vidyard … You know what? Search for, “Vidyard, state of video,” and you’ll find it.
Dane Golden: Great.
Tyler Lessard: And check the notes. And it is linked directly from our blog so you’ll find it there as well.
Dane Golden: Great. Excellent. Thank you, Tyler Lessard of Vidyard. And people will be able to find this episode by just doing a search for Hey and Tyler Lessard. That’s T-Y-L-E-R L-E-S-S-A-R-D. Did I get it right?
Tyler Lessard: You sure did. Thanks very much.
Dane Golden: Fantastic. And my name is Dane Golden and I want to thank you, the listener, for joining us today. I do this HEY.com podcast and the videos because I love helping marketers and business owners just like you grow your customer community through helpful how-to videos. Because when you share your expertise in a way that helps your customers live their lives better or do their jobs better, you’ll earn their loyalty and their trust and their business. Thanks to our special guest, Tyler Lessard of Vidyard. Until next week, here’s to helping you help your customers through video.
Dane Golden is CEO of VidiUp, a video content marketing agency. His mission is to help brands get viewers to come back to their videos again and again through use of helpful how-to content, driving loyalty, conversion and ROI.