Sure, you could measure success by how many plays or comments you’ve gotten on your new brand video. You could ask people to visit your website, or spread your work of art around on social media, hoping it all goes “viral”.
Or, you could get a drilldown of data on that video, like heat maps that show where – exactly – your video hooked viewers, when audiences started to drop off, or turn your video into a lead collection tool through clickable calls to action and email collection.
The choice is yours. But Wistia seems to be making it clear.
Today, we’re giving you everything you need to know about how to harness the power of video, straight from Wistia‘s CEO, Chris Savage. How to measure engagement minute-by-minute, what the best call-to-action strategy should be, and Chris’ top tips on how, when, and where to create new video content on the regular.
Tune in, subscribe on iTunes, and be sure to share this episode. As always, you can let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!
Amanda: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of On Branding by Phase 3. I’m your host Amanda Serfozo.
Amanda: Sure, you could look at how many YouTube plays or Vimeo comments you’ve gotten on your new brand video. You could ask people to visit your website, or spread your work of art around on social media, hoping it all goes viral. Or you could get a drill down of data on that video, like heat maps that show where exactly your video hooked viewers, where audiences started to drop off, or turn your video into a lead collection tool through clickable calls to action and email collection. The choice is yours. But Wistia seems to be making it clear. Video storytelling is how brands get seen and everyday strategists are trying to crack the code in order to figure out how best to interact, engage, and entertain their customers. When brands shared Facebook videos, those videos were in turn shared 12 times more than text alone. And on mobile, 92 percent of viewers shared videos with their peers. But with great opportunity comes great expectations too. According to a University of Massachusetts study users will abandon a video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. And 50 percent of viewers tend to drop off from watching a video after the first minute. Today we’re giving you everything you need to know about how to harness the power of video straight from Wistia’s CEO Chris Savage. How to measure engagement minute-by-minute, what the best call-to-action strategy should be, and Chris’ top tips on how, when, and where to create new video content on the regular. So let’s go!
Chris: Hey Amanda.
Amanda: Hey Chris how are you?
Chris: I’m good how are you?
Amanda: Good! Thank you so much for joining me today. I know you’re a busy guy and I just want to be mindful of your time. But thank you so much for coming on.
Chris: Yeah happy to!
Amanda: Awesome! So how are things going today, good?
Chris: Things are pretty good!
Amanda: Tuesday is off to a good start. Are you up in Boston today or are you traveling?
Chris: I am up in Boston.
Amanda: You’re up in Boston – any snow today or is it finally done?
Chris: It’s mostly gone. It’s extremely cold, like 10 degrees out.
Amanda: Bitter cold. Anyway let’s jump in if you’re ready. I would love to hear a little bit more about the services that Wistia offers. I know full well what all you guys do but those who might not be as connected to Wistia might not know what you guys do. Take us a little bit through the services that the company offers.
Chris: Basically what Wistia does is we have a platform that is designed to make it easier to use video, easier to learn video, just basically easier to get more out of video when you’re trying to market with it. And so what that means is we have hosting analytics that give you total control of the embeds, let you customize the player, add calls-to-action at the end or add links, capture email addresses so that you can really build an audience with video which works really well. And then get a full picture of your audience. People use us because you can see how every viewer watches every video second-by-second. And then there’s interesting things in the data where it turns out that the way that online video is watched is that people skip things that are boring, they rewatch things that are really interesting or confusing, and when you add that all up you get a picture of how your audience is responding to your content. Once you understand that you can tailor future content to make it better and more on point and more engaging for whatever your audience cares about. And that tends to help people make better videos that are more successful.
Amanda: Exactly. So there’s a real learning factor with this and just learning by doing, and trial by error. You can keep iterating on your content which is great. That’s something that people might not understand is, “What’s the difference between a YouTube embed and a video embed and Wistia?” So Wistia really provides those opportunities for you to learn. Is that it in a nutshell?
Chris: Yeah we provide you the opportunities to learn in a different way.
Amanda: And I want to get into that a little bit about the technology behind that. There’s so many amazing ways to measure through Wistia’s video platform. But first let’s talk a little bit about the pricing scale because that’s one of the things that’s really striking to me is that it’s so flexible. You have a free account for three videos, I think that’s up to five gigabytes. And then a top tier unlimited account. And even enterprise. Have you designed this both for the appeal of large brands and small brands? Or maybe smaller businesses?
Chris: Yeah that’s a really great question and astute. You noticed something that I’m very proud of which is we’ve been able to make Wistia something that can be used by big companies or companies with huge audiences, and our biggest customers are getting multiple millions of views a day. So they have huge audiences. Video is absolutely core to what they do. They understand the value of every play. And they’re excited to be doing that and I’m excited for them to be using Wistia to make that work. But on the free side and even the $25 a month side we’re trying to make Wistia really useful for someone who is just getting started. We have this concept called heat maps. Each heat map is an individual viewing session for one person and the thing that’s so cool about it is if you have 20 views on a video you can actually guess who the people are who are watching it because you emailed them and you can see their locations and stuff like that. You can actually see trends at that level, you just have to look at the individual data. And so it really is designed so that someone who is just getting started and just making their first videos can see like, “Ah ha, Amanda watched this halfway through and then she turned it off. And she turned it off when we started talking about some feature. I’m gonna call Amanda and see if I can figure out what’s going on.” That kind of learning is extremely useful on an individual level when you’re just getting started. And so we wanted pricing that let an individual just use this and start to think about video in a different way that would also work for big companies. Actually if you compare our higher level pricing to everybody in the industry it’s extremely cheap and we’ve done that because we really want the ramp to make sense. And we’ve had many customers who start for free and end up with huge audiences. So I’ve seen it work which is awesome.
Amanda: One of Wistia’s strengths is its Learning Center, a corner of the website dedicated to free highly valuable content. Chris says that when you deliver useful materials in a way that doesn’t scream “Buy me!” you have the opportunity to position the brand as a friend, resource, and business partner to customers. In turn that creates repeat visits and a perception of expertise without necessarily forcing the product on them.
Amanda: You mentioned some brands know the value of video, they know every play counts, they know that what your audience is seeing really matters, the story that you’re telling really matters. But for the smaller businesses or just budding brands, new brands, that don’t really know the value of video – what it can do for conversions and click throughs and leads and things like that – how does your team go about explaining the perks and the benefits of what Wistia does? You guys have a lot of free content and really engaging content in your learning section, and newsletters. Is that how you educate people on the real value of video and its impact?
Chris: That’s exactly right. Our goal is that someone could come to Wistia and they could look at what you’re referring to, our Learning Center, which has 25 videos and it teaches people how to make videos, think about scripting and concepting, marketing, all that kind of stuff. We want people to see that and think to themselves, “Wow, I’m engaging with this brand on their site. I’m learning in a really interesting way. I’m feeling a connection to the people who made this content. And somehow I got myself onto their email list and I’m happy about it.” We’re trying to lead by example. It’s been pretty effective in terms of showing people who have never started before, “Hey you can do this, it’s not that intimidating.” And if you go back and look at our old videos, which are available on the blog, and some of the Learning Center videos are older and you can tell because some of us including myself look pretty different than we used to because of getting into shape – you’ll see that when we started our videos were okay but they weren’t amazing. Over time we’ve gotten much better at doing this. And we’ve gotten much better at this using Wistia, the product, as a customer. And that’s what we look to when we launch content like, “What does the engagement look like? Where are people dropping off? What are the other actions that someone is taking?” And it really has been a situation where we try to dog food the product as much as possible. And so that really is our strategy, it’s pretty simple. The hope is we can continue to do that and grow a larger audience and we can prove to people that you can grow a large audience on your site and you can do it in a positive way.
Amanda: Like MailChimp’s famed Freddie or Hipmunk’s Chimpmunk, Lenny the golden labradoodle is Wistia’s unofficial mascot. Customers are taken through the Wistia interface with placeholder videos produced by the company featuring it’s own staff’s pup. But it’s also partially about principle. Lenny draws the viewer in based on emotional resonance, or in other words his cuteness, and then guides them through a story that reveals there’s a better way besides old VHS tapes and video embeds.
Amanda: I have to say I love the puppy on the videos, that’s one of the things that got us all. Who’s little dog is that?
Chris: That’s Lenny and he is Chris Lavigne’s dog. Chris Lavigne runs the video production here. And Lenny comes in the office almost every day. He’s a hypoallergenic labradoodle, so he’s half lab half poodle – half doodle. It’s very funny because he’s the most chilled out dog and he’ll just lay on the couch and put his head on your lap. But for some reason recently he started to be protective of the office. So people come to the office that he doesn’t know and he starts barking, and then he just comes over and wants to play catch with you. But he didn’t used to be like that. I feel like I’m seeing the evolution of a dog growing up in a workplace.
Amanda: Wow that’s crazy! He has a huge family if he’s friends with everyone in the office. He’s got a lot of people to protect.
Chris: That’s exactly right! And it’s funny because Chris Lavigne used to live in Rhode Island and he would commute up here, and that’s a pretty bad commute. It was like an hour and a half or so. And so then Chris and his wife moved up to Cambridge so he’s like 10 minutes from the office which of course made his life much easier. But Lenny lost his home almost. So he spends more time in our office than he does at their apartment. So he really treats it like his house! It’s kind of funny.
Amanda: Oh my gosh, well he is an awesome little mascot for Wistia because that emotional connection happened right away. We were like, “Oh my god he’s so cute!” He tells the story so well, I just love it. Kind of like MailChimp has Freddie, it’s kind of the same thing with the little mascot. Love him!
Chris: Have you seen the video of him with the VHS tape?
Amanda: Where he is grabbing it out of someone’s hand?
Chris: Yeah! That video is pretty amazing because it was going to be a loner video. We found that people will sign up for Wistia sometimes when they have no videos. They just want to poke around the product and understand what it is, and it actually can affect the types of videos they make, which is amazing obviously. And we wanted to give people examples so that you could share a video out and just see the analytics and get a sense for how that works. So we made that video of Lenny and he grabs a VHS tape out of someone’s hand and he walks around outside with that VHS tape. And then he kind of chews the VHS tape and destroys it and it just says, “There’s a better way to deliver video.” And I love it! It was meant to be something that a very small number of people would see. We all loved it so much we were like, “We should just put this on the front page of our site and see what happens.”
Amanda: The video is also case in point that Wistia not only advises brands but they act like one themselves. The video has its own stats and data that the company can track and thus improve on.
Chris: We put it on the front page of the site and conversion rate went up a little bit. It’s made its way into all of these different things. It was like a one day thing that we thought would be fun and just try out and it really worked.
Amanda: That’s awesome! So I was gonna ask have you been tracking the analytics on that video? Can you tell minute-by-minute what people are loving about it and where that hook is?
Chris: Absolutely. We should give the link to people so they can see it, I’ll send it to you afterwards. It’s just classic storytelling of, “What is this dog gonna do?” And there’s suspense that’s created just because it’s a dog and not a human. If a human was walking around with a VHS tape there would actually be some interest level there like, “What are they doing? Where are they going?” And it’s really easy to forget that kind of storytelling, especially with businesses. And we’re guilty of this too like, “We need to be really clear and upfront about what we’re doing.” The reality is we’re all used to watching content where we’re inferring what’s happening all the time. And so you watch Lenny and the engagement is incredibly high. It something like 85 percent of people watch that video all the way through. And it’s just a labradoodle walking around chewing up a VHS tape.
Amanda: Calls to action can be complicated, especially when it comes to video. You can ask people to visit your site, sign up to an email list, or visit you on social media. But what really works? Chris says content that seems unrelated to your brand mission might actually be the most useful in establishing trust and therefore interest, again without making a hard sell.
Amanda: Talking about storytelling that’s a huge theme, it’s the word on everyone’s mouth right now. Brands are like, “How do we tell great stories?” Can you tell us a little bit about how brands should guide audiences through a story and then leave off on a next step of becoming involved or becoming engaged somehow, signing up for a mailing list. What are some really effective ways that brands can make videos like that and get people to the next step?
Chris: Great question. I think the first thing is when you’re thinking about what kind of content to make it can be hard to categorize things that are like, “Oh this makes sense within our brand, it makes sense within our mission. And this other thing that’s really similar does not.” So how does the Lenny thing fit into our mission or brand? Our mission is we believe everyone can make great video and we want to empower everyone we can to make video. That’s it. It’s a pretty simple mission. But if you look at all the content that we’ve ever made, the content that does well is the content that fits within that mission. So I’m gonna give you an example. We launched a video called Getting Creative with Lenses a couple months ago. And it’s a six minute video that walks you through which lenses to use and shows you what each lens looks like and what the effect is and different examples of where these things should work. It never says, “Buy a Wistia account!” It never says, “Sign up for Wistia!” It never even says, “Wistia.” The last frame just has our logo go up. But the thing about it that’s very cool is our product has nothing to do with helping people buy lenses or build lenses or light things. Our product doesn’t have anything to do with that. Our product is a video hosting and analytics product. But our mission of empowering everyone to make great video, helping them pick the right lens is something that fits beautifully within the mission. That’s how we figure out what content should we make or not and, “How brand focused can we be?” Because our goal for that video is just to build trust and just to help someone solve a problem that they wouldn’t have otherwise and delight them a little bit along the way. When you’re thinking about your own company and the content you should be making I think you should lay out, “What is our mission? What are all the things that our product doesn’t do that we believe in? How can we make content that helps people feel those things and engage in another way that’s outside of what our product does?” And what that allows you to do is it gives you a lot more freedom and it allows you to make content that isn’t as focused on getting someone to purchase your product. And I think that’s key because if you can make content that isn’t focused on purchasing your product then you can still have a call-to-action to signup for something but that call to action is something that your audience is going to agree with. That call-to-action can be something like, “If you love content like this signup so you don’t miss the next thing.” And yeah you made content that’s designed to help your audience love that content and if they engaged with it they will actually signup, and then you can send them more content in the future. And they’ll tell more and more people and it builds this incredible buzz and this incredible flow of people into your audience which is just really hard to do in other ways.
Amanda: That is so true and I think that there’s a lot of discussion going on right now about authenticity. “Be authentic! Use your authentic voice!” That really plugs into like don’t just try to hack something together. Just don’t get on a camera and say “Buy buy buy!” Thought leadership is another word and I don’t really like that word as much. If you’re really just a trusted resource and just thought of as a friend rather than a brand or a company that just is selling something, I think that does instill trust and people will go to you time and time again. Because you’re approachable. Because you’re not trying to smash something in someone’s face. You’re not trying to get them to buy buy buy. It’s all about, “Let’s learn together. Let’s help you learn. Let’s provide you with the best resources that we can.” I think that’s super effective right now.
Amanda: Wistia’s analytics are hardcore. Heat maps, minute-by-minute tracking, and drop off rates are a few of the tools that the company gives it’s customers. How does the team build such micro level data?
Amanda: We talked a little about this, we touched on it a few minutes ago, but tell me a little bit about the measurement tools that you guys give to your customers. It’s amazing, you talked about heat maps. There’s minute-by-minute engagement. You can look at trends. There’s even an email collector, a tool that comes up at the end of a video that people can use. Call-to-action lists. So there’s so many tools that Wistia offers. Can you tell us a little bit about how you even build things like that and how you’re able to offer such rich tools to your customers?
Chris: Yeah, I love this question. How do we build things like that? Mostly we’ve tried to really give ourselves tools that will make us better at being video marketers. We’re fortunately in the position where we own the platform and so we get to build those things. And even now there’s lots of things that we test out that are not ready for primetime that let us see if something works. The email collector is an example of this where we had a landing page with five videos on it and we said, “If you want to watch these videos sign up with an email address.” Very similar to, “Sign up to go to this webinar.” We wanted to see what would happen. And we wanted the email collector to be over the video frame itself because we thought if you can kind of see the video behind, that’s pretty tempting. Let’s just see what happens. So we did that and we had a huge percentage of the people that went to that page to signup, like 20 to 30 percent. So we thought, “This is kind of interesting. No one has really done this. Maybe we could build this into the product.” So we did and then it just took off. People continue to ask us all the time for us to support other email marketing platforms so that you pass those leads into those other platforms, which of course we are always working to do. It’s amazing. I didn’t realize when we made it at the beginning that it actually lets you see how successful a video is doing in a marketing metric perspective that is incredibly easy to measure. We all get leads from other places and now you can see how many leads you got from that video. I think that’s important because it’s not just about the views of a video. And people have always asked me like, “How many views does this video get? What’s a good amount of views for a video to get?” And the thing is that that’s irrelevant if the video isn’t doing something useful for you. And it’s pretty easy to get views by just putting a video onto a page with a lot of traffic. But if you put a video on a page with a lot of traffic and it has a lot of views but no one is engaging and signing up for content, maybe the video is not that effective. But the opposite is also true and that’s what I tend to see more often. Someone will have a video with 300 views but they will have gotten 150 leads out of it and I’m like, “Wow this is actually really useful.”
Amanda: To Chris video isn’t just a marketing tool. It’s a shared language, a human instinct that we’re hardwired for. That’s why it works and that’s why brands are focused now, more than ever, on figuring out how to make their ethos stick. His advice? Personality makes any message at least two times more effective.
Amanda: Tell us a little bit about why you think video storytelling makes people connect to brands so much. It might be obvious but I just read a statistic like Facebook videos are shared 12 times more than text. We have Instagram video. We had Vine for a while. Vine is still there hanging on! Instagram and Vine are going head to head. Video is just blowing up right now. What do you think it is about video storytelling specifically that makes people just fall in love with brands?
Chris: I think it’s the most naturally emotional medium that there is. Obviously text can be extremely emotional and there is a reason people love reading and have for a long time. I’m not going to say that reading is not good. I love reading. But I think that naturally it’s hard to convey a lot of emotion as a writer. Most of us don’t write enough to be that great at that. But I think the thing about video is that we all are just walking around like emotion machines, we’re all emoting left and right, and so the hardest part – did I go to far with that?
Amanda: Emotion machines, I love that! We have to use that somewhere!
Chris: There you go. I’m not sure that one is going to take off. And I might get in trouble for it. So I do think that we’re all walking around and we’re having conversation and so much of conversation is not talking. It’s just interpreting the look on someone’s face and their body language and how they’re reacting. Those are all things that video naturally captures. If anything, I see people struggle to get comfortable being on camera but once they do you can convey a much larger message than you can in any other medium, in my opinion.
Amanda: So true.
Chris: And I think that’s why it takes off because if we think about the most popular viral videos of like Charlie Bit His Tooth or whatever, that video is raw emotion that pulls the heart strings of every one of us who watches that and every one who has ever known a kid and the dynamics between the kid and the father. And how long was the video, like two minutes? But how well can you remember it? And how many times has it come up and how many times have you watched it? Because it’s just a ball of emotion. That’s all it is. And so that’s why video does so well. That’s what we’re used to. That’s what we’re hardwired for. The last piece of that is paying attention to that. Especially in my position, I see so many business videos, right? And a lot of them are boring because people think that they’re supposed to be boring because they’re supposed to be professional.
Chris: And the easiest way to make video more effective is to figure out how to add personality into it. That’s it. Like if you can tell the same exact message you want to get across and say it with personality, people will stick with you, they will tell more people, they will give you more of a break if you screw things up. It is all about individual personality and I think that’s what video captures so well.
Amanda: So true, it’s just about being human. Just get in front of a camera and be yourself. To that point I also think, as a copywriter, you mentioned it’s so hard to convey emotion through writing and that’s what I do everyday and it’s really hard. So to be living and working in an era where video and copywriting and writing scripts are simultaneously growing together and mashing up together – I work with videographers every day, and to be able to translate that wording and emotion and things on paper to video is just amazing. I think we’re living in a real golden era for video right now and emotion. I’m glad we live in an emotive world! And we’re all emotion machines.
Chris: Lots of emotion machines just walking around!
Amanda: Just walking around! It reminds me of Wall-E, a lot of little robots just blipping around with little heartbeats.
Chris: It makes me think of the movie Her, have you seen that?
Amanda: Yeah I just saw that on Sunday! Yup just saw it. A little uncomfortable, I think we might be moving in that direction a little bit sooner than later but it’s an interesting one for sure. I actually like the design elements to that movie more than I liked the storyline.
Chris: Oh really?
Amanda: Yeah there were so many great things, just really subtle stuff. Like there was a computer and the trackpad was attached to the actual computer monitor. I thought that was great. And the transit, just how it was designed. There was a monorail going through LA. It was really cool. I was kind of geeking out about it a little bit.
Chris: My favorite part of the movie was just that his relationship with her, we experienced it to the same degree that he did.
Amanda: Yeah so true.
Chris: And that was pretty interesting. Kind of terrifying and exciting all at once. I thought that was cool.
Amanda: Yeah I think Spike Jonze does an amazing job of letting you into the character’s emotion like that because he lets you into the most vulnerable moments of that guy’s life. It was amazing.
Amanda: When it comes to producing video, how long should your video content be? How frequently should you share video? And what are some ways you can integrate video through all forms of content, not just visual?
Amanda: Let’s talk a little bit about production. You mentions before people ask you, “How many views should I be getting?” Aside from that, because there’s no right answer to that, how often do you think you should be producing new video? Posting new video? How long should a video be? I know there’s a percentage out there of drop off rates, after a minute 50 percent of people will tend to drop off. Tell us a little bit about best practices to actually producing video.
Chris: First on the, “How long should the video be?” I always say, “How connected is your audience to you?” If they’ve never interacted with your brand before you probably should have some shorter content because they’re going to be a little bit more on edge and unsure of whether or not they can trust you. If they are a paying customer or they have been buying from you for years, if they are extremely engaged, you’re going to be able to get away with having longer content. So that’s just a general rule of thumb, the more connected someone already is to you the longer you can make your videos if the videos deserve to be longer. So that’s the first thing. I really think that in terms of making video successfully, I like to look at an analogy to email. Email marketing is still growing but over the last 10 years it’s become possible for people to easily build lists and design templates and send emails out and send newsletters. MailChimp has done that. Campaign Monitor has done that. A huge number of companies have been able to help do that. But if you look at the companies that are actually successful with email, the ones that are successful are not the ones that send like one email a year. They’re the ones that figure out how to send useful emails once a month or once a week. I think that video is actually the same. Within whatever your limits of production are again a general rule of thumb is the more you can figure how to make video frequently, the more likely it is that it’s going to be a successful part of your marketing. I’d also say that I don’t think video should be the only part of your marketing. I think that’s possible but what is much more likely is you make some videos which are extremely, hopefully, engaging and emotional and tap into peoples’ emotional machines. But then you also leverage that and make blog posts and infographics and lots of other things that can engage somebody. And you have all these different interactions and my guess is the most engaging will be video but figuring out how to do that is a challenge unless you make video frequently. And then the production becomes much easier, the scripting becomes easier, it’s easier to get comfortable on camera, and suddenly it’s not intimidating. Now it seems intimidating if you haven’t started and I would say, “Make a video a week.” So I would say if you’re trying to make a video once every three months, just work on up from there and see where you can get.
Amanda: It’s so true. It’s like a diet or exercise, you have to make it a regimen and make it frequent enough for people to be engaged. And you guys actually have a great video on the Learning Center section of the site where you say, “Make a little bit of a studio within your office. Make a place where it’s easy to flip on that camera and make something without it being a huge production.” Which I think is a great piece of advice for that.
Amanda: The first 10 seconds, the hook, can be make or break. If there’s one thing to steer clear of though it’s this…
Amanda: What can a brand do in the first 10 seconds to reel a viewer in? What can you do in that first instance to get someone hooked?
Chris: I would say jumping right in is a good idea. I see this tendency, especially with people who are just getting started, where their goal for the video is they’re going to surprise people with something at the end. And I think the reason people do that is because that’s how all of television and movies are. Every single TV show ever tries to surprise you with something at the end. It’s extremely rare that a show just ends. Same thing with a movie. But with online video, especially marketing focused stuff or learning stuff, if you surprise people at the end you’re only going to be surprising 50 percent of your audience. So I actually tell people to reverse that. If you have something that’s like the most important point that you want someone to know I would start with that in the first 10 seconds. That way if people do leave they at least have heard the most important point, and if they stick around then you basically peel back the layers of the onion and you go into the deeper parts of whatever you’re talking about. And that also tends to be a good way to keep people engaged. As you practice, as you do different things, yes of course you can build more suspense in different ways. But when you’re first starting, starting off by just leading with the most important content is the best way to make it happen.
Amanda: Yes thank you for saying that because I watch so many videos and like you said at the end it tried to be like a House of Cards, or they try to slip something by you. Just don’t be that guy! Just get it in and get people hooked. I love it and I think that’s a huge part of being a great storyteller is being able to make that hook from the beginning and then like you said peeling back the layers of the onion. So true, I love it. And I think a lot of people need to hear that, so I’m glad we got that!
Amanda: From the standpoint of a video analytics and storytelling expert like Chris, who’s doing video right these days?
Amanda: Can you tell me what brands you think right now are doing just an amazing mind blowing job of making great videos?
Chris: My favorites are like GoPro because I think it’s just so clever what they’ve done where basically everybody is using their product to shoot content. They don’t even have to say anything about GoPro, you just know it’s GoPro video. The content is fun to watch and you have a really positive brand connection while you’re watching it. That’s one that I think is pretty amazing and impressive but is pretty hard to replicate. On the easier to replicate side I always like to talk about Moz. I don’t know if you know Moz but they are like inbound marketing analytics. They have a series called Whiteboard Friday. Every Friday someone gets on camera in front of a whiteboard, a really simple setup, and they teach something for like four to seven minutes. And it’s been a huge driver for them. It’s been a huge driver for their growth. It’s been a huge driver of connections between their audience and the people on their team, which is really helpful for them if they’re trying to get people to come see a speaker or sit with them if things are not working. It’s also just really simple. So I think they’re a really great example to check out. I actually just came across something the other day that I thought was really interesting which is this company called Romotive. And they make this little robot that you can plug your iPhone onto. You plug our iPhone onto it and it’s like a toy for kids basically where the robot starts moving around and the face of your iPhone is the face of the little alien. You can control it with like an iPad. It’s ridiculous. But they have these four videos on the front of their site and when you hover over them they start playing. It’s a very cool experience because you feel like it’s just nothing but the emotion of kids playing with a toy. And it’s these little snippets of it. So you hover over and it’s like, “Oh this feels good.” And you hover over the other one and it’s like, “Oh this feels good.” You kind of do that around and it’s a very different experience than what I’ve seen before, it’s really new, but I think it’s really cool. I would check that out and I’m sure I can come up with others if you want.
Amanda: No that’s awesome. I love Moz and I haven’t checked out those Friday whiteboard videos but I am going to go and check those out. I love the trend that’s happening now with whiteboard. I don’t know if it’s getting over saturated a little bit but I think it’s just a great way to capture an idea and share it. I’m gonna check it out and put it in our show notes so people can go and look at it too.
Amanda: As video production quality, talent, and engagement increases, innovation will be a key factor in how brands continually serve their audiences fresh content. We asked Chris, “What’s next?”
Amanda: In terms of innovation, another big buzz word that’s floating around out there, how do you see video becoming even more interactive? As technology speeds up, as video keeps growing, how do you see video becoming even more interactive and a part of our lives?
Chris: As it’s easier for people to make more content – which it is becoming easier and easier and easier – I think there’s going to be more and more content that – they won’t call it ‘choose your own adventure’ but it will end up feeling like that where you learn about one thing and there’s extremely interesting video options to teach you about the next stage of something and work through those things. That’s something that I’ve seen people start to play around with. If you look at YouTube with the related videos, the related videos are pretty successful in driving views if you can work that angle the right way. That’s a whole other story. But you don’t have much control over it. And I’m seeing more people start to see talk about that and think about that. And I’m just seeing more interactivity in general between video and other elements on a page. The switch to HTML5 – we’ve done that, we’ve made HTML5 the primary video viewer for all of our content – has just made it easier for people to interact with the video element. And APIs into the players have made it easier to manipulate them in interesting ways. So actually even the Romotive thing that I was just talking about is a pretty innovating little thing that they’ve done there and they did that all – they used Wistia – but they did that completely without us.
Amanda: Wow, really? That’s amazing. What a cool story. Totally agree. And cross platform is another big thing happening, second screen and all that, for video. Leave off one part of the video and go to another device. And then there’s another thing that I just saw yesterday which is crazy. It’s a print magazine but you open it up and it’s carved out, kind of like a spy would have a carved out thing and he has a camera in it. But it’s got a little screen and it actually plays a video once you open up the print issue of a magazine. So you turn the page and there’s another little video. It’s the thinnest little screen but it’s embedded in the actual print page so it’s this crazy combination of print and digital just living together. Which is really interesting because they said, “Print is going to be dead. Print is not going to live on.” And now it’s actually like they’re paying homage to each other. I just love that.
Chris: Yeah I don’t think that print is going to be dead, personally. I think that how we consume it is going to change a lot. It’s going to start to seem insane to have huge bookshelves of things for books that you wouldn’t want to write in. For books you want to write in, I don’t think that will be weird. But I think it’s going to be more integrated and become more attractive and it’s going to be less noticeable in some ways because it’s going to become the expectation that, “Why isn’t there a video for this? Why would I not have someone teach me this and walk me through it?”
Amanda: Exactly. Well that’s a great point to leave off on. I will let you go Chris, this has been really fun. Thank you so much for sitting down with us. I think there are so many great takeaways from this that people are going to be able to just take action on immediately and I think that’s the most valuable part about this. Thank you!
Chris: Awesome, thank you so much Amanda!
Amanda: To visit Wistia online, visit wistia.com or Wistia on Twitter and Facebook.
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