Friday, October 30, 2015

The Pros and Cons (and Hows) of Using Stock Video

You’ve probably heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” more than a thousand times.

It’s true; imagery can explain in a heartbeat what it could take paragraphs or pages to explain or imply. It carries power, and elicits emotions and reactions from audiences. And we’re used to taking those emotional cues, having those reactions, and forming decisions and judgments about what we see pretty much immediately.

That includes photography and graphic imagery of course, but it also includes video. So what am I trying to say here?

When you’re creating a video, it needs to feel authentic.

Whether you’re shooting your whole video yourself or looking to include stock video to add that special something, you need to consider what the goal of your video is, the feel you’re going for, the time, effort, and money you have to spend, and more. Because at the end of the day, the point of your video is to connect with your audience and get them to take action.

Both footage you shoot yourself (or with the help of an agency) and stock footage can help you achieve a strong video if you know how to use it correctly. So with that in mind, here are a few pros and cons to think about when you’re trying to decide if stock footage is right for your project.

Take stock of the downside of stock footage.

Stock footage can get pretty pricey.

Check out some of the sites that offer stock video footage. We’ve seen 20-second video clips for $80USD and $180USD (and if you’re wondering if the cost goes up for better, less ‘cliched’ shots, yes, yes it does). That bill can add up if you’re looking to include more than one stock shot in your b-roll footage.

Speaking of cliches…

Stock video footage can be quite full of cliched, or overly staged shots. Stock video can often pander to the most requested footage, like street shots or office meetings. And because they’re so often searched for, that means everyone is using the same boring footage.

Take this image, for example. Would you want to watch a video filled with these kinds of scenes? They feel too staged, set up, and unrelatable, with everyone wearing similar expressions and outfits, in a perfect setting of a cool, clean, glass office building.

shutterstock_125338145What are they always so creepily happy about?!

In comparison, check out this video created by our friends at George Briggs Media. The office space in the video definitely isn’t staged – in fact, it’s Vidyard’s very own office! Whether you use a production house to shoot your video, or you film it yourself, you can end up with an atmosphere, and a ‘feeling’ of your video that feels much more authentic and inspiring.

Want a different image? You might not be able to find it.

With stock footage, you’re stuck with what you can find. If you want an office scene, you might just get similar results to that footage, or the same buildings in the same cities over and over, or the same demographic group sitting at a bar or coffee shop. If you want something really specific that fits perfectly with your target audience, you would probably have to shoot something yourself.

What if you want a downtown city center shot in your video? Well, here’s an example of a cityscape image. Pretty generic, eh? And maybe a little hard to tie in with the feel of the rest of your video (more on that below).


If you choose to shoot the video yourself or with the aid of a production house, you could use your own city, and take shots that feel so much more authentic and relatable, like this video from George Briggs media.

Stock footage may not jive with the rest of your video.

Our in-house video experts are adamant that using stock footage well isn’t an easy task. It’s difficult to match the visual picture style with the rest of your video. What if the lighting is different, or the colours don’t contrast well, or the focus or blurriness of the background scenes isn’t consistent, or even the quality of the equipment you’re using differs? Even if you find stock footage that you think looks “cool”, might indeed make the rest of your video look poorer in comparison.

The story you’re trying to tell might get lost in translation.

If part of your video feels too posed, too staged, or inconsistent with the rest of your video, your audience will have a harder time feeling like they’re a part of your story. The video won’t feel candid, and will lack a sense of authenticity. A highly polished stock video scene isn’t always the best way to tell your story and share your message because, as Mat King, our Video Production Manager put it, “High production value does not equal a real moment.”

Without a strong story, engagement will slide.

Need I say more here? You want people to watch your video and then take action because of what they saw, so they need to experience an authentic story. Stock footage has an upward battle to fight if it wants to feel as authentic as footage you shoot yourself (or through an agency). As Alex Marshall, Founder of George Briggs Media, puts it, “If a video can’t affect your audience, there was no real point doing it in the first place. Working with a video agency [or shooting footage yourself] is like performing an operation with a scalpel, whereas sometimes stock footage can be like trying to perform the same operation with a bat.”

Well, that was blunt.

There were supposed to be “Pros” in this list, right?

Okay, I didn’t mean to scare you. But now that you know how stock footage can go wrong, you’re better prepared to make it go right! Stock footage definitely has its place in the video marketing landscape, and here are a few solid reasons for using it in your video.

You can’t get the shot.

What if you need to include footage of your server room in your video, but it’s in a different location, or locked down for any reason? What if your video has a space theme but you aren’t an astronaut so you can’t take video from your rocket ship as you shoot into space? What if you want to promote an event but you don’t have the right footage with the necessary feel or branding? That’s when stock video comes into play. It is a good source for getting the shots that would otherwise be impossible (or very expensive!) for you to get.

Our video promoting our presence at this year’s Dreamforce event included stock footage of coffee being made. Why reinvent the wheel? Our coffee makers don’t look as great, and this footage gave us exactly the feel we were going for.


It might save you money.

I know I listed the cost as a con. Which is true. But sometimes stock footage can also save you money. How? Well if you only need a short shot of stock footage, that can be cheaper than having your whole video shot by a production house. Before you start your video project, you may want to consider how many shots (and what shots) you want in your video, and how best to achieve those goals.

It can save you time.

It takes time to source a great stock video footage, but it can take even more time to set up production, film, and edit every single shot. Sometimes stock video (when it’s blended into the rest of the shots well) works perfectly under tight timelines.

If you choose to use stock video for your project, how should you use it?

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to go the stock footage route:

Look for shots that are consistent with the look-and-feel of the rest of your video.

Look for similar colour tones, angles, background treatment, lighting, and more so the whole video feels like it belongs together rather than hacked together.

Look for stock footage that doesn’t feel as posed or set up.

Search for video that feels candid, like it was simply a moment in time that happened to be caught on film. After all, this is what people relate to these days – content that’s shared all over social media is shared because it feels real. And that’s because it is real. People don’t want to see a guy in a suit smiling like the Cheshire cat at his computer screen.

Make sure footage is complementary to the script.

What is your script talking about? Don’t have your actors or voiceover talking about what it’s like to work for an innovative company and then show shots of the outside of a building. Stock footage shouldn’t be used simply to give someone something to look at while your script drones on. Footage should always bring  your script to life, and if it isn’t doing that, rethink your footage (and potentially, your script!).

Establish a story or journey.

Use stock footage carefully to connect what happens in scene A to what happens in scene B to what happens in scene C. You can do this through using footage that includes the same characters, for example. That way you’ll follow one person (or group of people) through their journey (like in the George Briggs Media video above, which includes the same woman throughout the story) rather than feeling like a bunch of random scenes were glued together in post without any real sense of purpose.

There you have it! If you’re considering using stock footage, just keep in mind what your goals are, and make sure you’re using it (or not) to make your video as strong as it can be. Your audience will thank you!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

They’re Geeky and They’re Kooky: The Vidyard Family

Duh-nuh-nuh-nah. *Snap-snap*

At Vidyard, our team is really important to us. Some might even call us a family. We’re all a little kooky, but hey that’s what makes us great. Sometimes we can get a little grizzly, but it’s only because we’re so busy!


I’m not making any sense, am I? Just watch the video, you’ll see what I mean. *Snap-Snap*

Sing along with these lyrics!

They’re awesome and they’re geeky,
Creative but not cliquey,
They’re altogether cheeky
The Vidyard Family.

Their office has been busy,
That’s why they look so grizzly,
With hair a little frizzy,
The Vidyard Family.


Their business has been booming,
With products for consuming,
They really are a-zooming,
The Vidyard Family.

From all these ghouls and witches,
And yes, us Vidyard …,
Oops, sorry for those glitches,
Enjoy your Halloween!

Want to add some extra spooky to your day? Check out last year’s Halloween video here.

Happy Halloween from the entire Vidyard Family!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scaling Your Video Storytelling Without Selling Your Soul

For most of us, video exploded across our personal lives 5 or more years ago. But now it’s our company’s turn with videos being created for our customers, partners, resellers, analysts, investors, our sales teams, other employees and of course every one of our executives. So with this growth in volume how do we maintain quality? How do we continue to produce stories worth watching? It’s just too easy to fall into the trap of converting presentations into animated videos or to simply have someone read a document in front of a camera. These quick and dirty tricks will produce video but not content worth watching and then you’re simply distancing your audience instead of scaling quality video storytelling.

Our team experienced this video explosion a few years ago with videos being requested by many groups outside Marketing. Sales started producing a lot of videos followed by HR, IT and now every department produces videos for internal and external audiences. Through this evolution, we’ve learned a lot. Here are the three things we’ve learned to focus on as we continue to scale video creation at an alarming pace.


The first thing we worry about isn’t lights, mics, cameras or any other type of equipment or crew. Our very first concern with videos of any type and for any audience is the script. What’s the story? Who wrote it and are they intimately familiar with the audience they’re targeting? Who are the main characters? Is this video about us or about our audience? And will anyone watching care or remember? If we can’t see the point of the video from the script we shouldn’t go any further as it will take us longer to trace our steps back to a better story (script).

Most of our marketing colleagues have no real experience in screenwriting, though they have worked on copy and many have written content for white papers, e-books or blogs. But screenwriting is different. You’re writing for action as it plays out amongst characters your audience cares about. Characters, settings, actions and dialogue need to be balanced in a compelling plot that keeps your audience interested. But what do you do if you don’t know how to write for the screen?

The simple answer is to hire a screenwriter for which you should reach out to your video producer. If, on the other hand, you’re committed to learning this form of expression I recommend a quick review of Aristotle’s Poetics and a thorough reading of Robert McKee’s Story. Neither are light reads but you will most certainly emerge a better screenwriter (and director and editor) by simply consulting these two masterpieces. Personally, I prefer to dig in to data voraciously to understand why the audience will do what I want them to do. From there I back up to what that tells me about the audience and who they really are – with as much detail as possible. Then I build from that primary character or “hero” outwards to “find” the story through relentless iteration. Along the way I’ll pick up characters and the best turns and twists in the plot will seem natural (though unexpected) if my characters are built correctly for my audience.

Storytelling MarketingStorytelling

State of Play or “Flow”

The second thing I worry about with our videos (assuming we have a workable script) is helping the audience achieve a “State of Play”. This is the act of suspending reality long enough to truly immerse yourself in an activity you enjoy. You can see this intense state of focus in children as they lose themselves when playing and it’s the same state of mind athletes enter when delivering record-breaking performances. Most of us have achieved this state when watching our favorite movie in the movie theater and at home watching movies and television. In fact, I see people every day in this state watching a video from their social network on their smartphones.

But the ability to take your audience to a State of Play requires an intimate understanding of who they are and what matters to them, which should be reflected in your script. Beyond that it requires flawless execution, especially in editing. The “flow” of your video, and especially your sound, will account for most of what you need to take your audience where you want them to go. When your flow works the audience can easily lose track of time and connect your content with their own thoughts, ideas and feelings. But when you break this flow they’re instantly reminded of that email they need to reply to. Almost every book I’ve picked up about film or TV editing will lay out the foundations you’ll need for flow: constructing sequences, setting and managing pace and tone, and more deliberate choices like contrast, juxtaposition, etc. Take these editing fundamentals and work them back in to your script to bring your characters and plot to life.


But the most important thing I worry about with every video project we manage is the larger team working with us. Why do they want to make this video? Have they done this before? Who will lose their job if this is an utter failure? Over the years I’ve found there are certain personas that can kill the potential of our videos quickly and easily. What’s worse is most of these people aren’t aware of the damage they’re doing to the content and ultimately to our audience.

The Cheerleader – This person believes every idea is great and simply can’t say “No” to anyone. In fact, this persona cringes at conflict which directly inhibits decisiveness. Conflict is critical to the creative process and should be encouraged in a respectful, constructive manner to create great video. Fear the Cheerleader, for you will lose a lot of time and most of your “edge” when you have one working on your video.

The Yes Man – This persona is often unidentified until someone challenges the most senior person on your video project. Then the Yes Men come forth, often in groups to protect whoever the most senior person on the project is. Ironically, this person rarely needs protecting, which is why they got to where they are in their career. I’ve seen many strong executives lose their ability to connect with an audience because of the entourage around them that’s constantly trying to keep them and their image safe.

The Script Clinger – This is the subject-matter expert or executive who simply can’t say anything on-camera unless it’s written down in a script. The problem you’ll have with this person is twofold: (1) Visually, it looks like they’re reading or recalling a script from memory and (2) They lack passion in their voice when they read through their script. While you can cut away and use B-roll to your hearts delight for the first problem there isn’t a real solution for the second. Remember, flow is broken most easily by poor script and poor sound (and this is both) so you’re essentially giving your audience ample opportunity to tune out by enabling Script Clingers. Find the passion in the story for your Script Clinger and help them detach so they can make it their own.

We are constantly looking out for these personas in our video projects as we collaborate with a very large group of colleagues and external experts spread across the world. To counter these threats we’ve built a team of video “journalists” who obsess over better storytelling to build a constant connection with our audience. We do this for every topic and for any type or length of video.

Since most of what we produce is non-fiction and highly technical in nature we are constantly seeking ways to balance information with inspiration and entertainment. If you have any ideas, I welcome you to share them with us via this post or with me directly at

Watch more keynotes from Space Camp: The Video Marketing Summit here!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Coles Notes of MarketingProfs 2015: Making Marketing Magic

Last week 954 of the world’s brightest B2B marketers descended on Boston for the 2015 B2B marketing forum, a three day event focused on offering practical advice on making marketing magic. I’ve been to a lot of conferences this year, but this one is unique in that it really aimed to unite B2B marketers, give them a home base and build aspirational CMOs. How? Through oodles and oodles of great workshops, keynotes, breakouts and by bringing marketers together to network and have fun.

Eager beavers could come a day early and take part in one of eight intensive, four hour workshops. Topics range from optimizing content for search and mobile to writing for marketers. Living and breathing in the video content world, I opted for a session on developing a content strategy to grow your audience.

Content Rules!

In this workshop we learned about how building great content starts with building trust. Trust is developed by providing value, and this means doing three things really well.

  • consistently creating quality content
  • proactively creating content before your reader needs it
  • regularly offering content that’s both fresh and relevant

If you’re like me, this probably got you thinking about your content strategy. Is it consistent? Is it proactive? If it regular and relevant? And all this was just in the first 30 minutes!

We also learned about the types of questions that B2B buyers and researchers are asking at each stage of the buying journey and best practices for different types of content from blogs and photos to podcasts and video (my favorite, but hey, I’m biased!).

With Day 0 in the books, the conference could officially begin.

It’s Not the Ink, It’s the Think

After a terrific welcome from MarketingProfs Chief Content Officer, Ann Handley (which included an accordion performance with back up band – what?!), we were in for a real treat with opening keynote speaker, Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google. This was my favorite session of the conference, hands down.

Avinash delivered a powerful and important message: it’s not the ink, it’s the think. That the difference between companies that survive and thrive and companies that die. The ink (the creative and the campaigns) is easy to change, but the think (the strategy) is far more difficult to iterate. Changing the think means challenging the traditional frameworks and disrupting what we know and accept today. And that’s exactly what Avinash’s talk went on to do.

He proposed that the traditional funnel framework is broken. That it’s selfish and focused on the brand, not the customer. He proposed that a better framework would start by looking outside in. That it would start by focusing on intent.

Intent is a powerful and beautiful thing. And it’s a signal we can only get through digital. Whereas demographics and psychographics say nothing about a person’s intention, digital marketing can tell us what he or she finds relevant based on all the things they do digitally – their behavior.

Avinash’s new framework for marketing strategy focuses on four clusters of intent.

  1. SEE: the largest and most addressable qualified audience
  2. THINK: the largest and most addressable qualified audience with weak commercial intent
  3. DO: the largest and most addressable qualified audience with strong commercial intent
  4. CARE: Current customers, with two or more commercial transactions

After defining the intent clusters, marketers can then go about the task of developing the content marketing and measurement that solve for the different types of intent. Different types of marketing excel at different types of intent. Finding the right match is key. Here were some of Avinash’s suggestions:

  • Paid Search – Good at ‘think’ and ‘do’ intent
  • YouTube – Good at ‘think’. Okay at ‘see’ intent.
  • Facebook – Good at ‘see’ intent. Not much else.

So how do you get started with embracing this new business framework? Start by pivoting on intent. Focus on developing great content and marketing for ‘do’ intent first. Get good at it and then move to ‘think’ intent. Then ‘see’. And last ‘care’.

Two Key Takeaways: Storytelling & Authenticity

While there was no way to catch all the sessions live, a great conference app made it easy to keep a pulse on some of the key themes. Here’s what I took away:


Storytelling might be a bit of a marketing buzzword these days, but the fact that marketers are competing with TONS of content today means that the need for authentic, well-told stories is more real than ever. A number of sessions touched on storytelling including one from Bobby Lehew called ‘From Storytelling to Story-selling’. Bobby talked about how to use the classic story arc found in pretty much every movie we’ve ever seen to tell a B2B story that people can connect with.


Creating content that converts means creating content for real people. That means being interesting, being authentic and giving your audience what they want. To use a quote from Ann Handley, “take your brand out of the story, make your customers the hero’. I saw a really interesting comment relating to one session called ‘How To Build Your Content Marketing’ that read “You can trick people into clicking on content, you can’t trick them into sharing it”. A great reminder that people will only truly engage and interact with content that they find entertaining, valuable, or some combination of the two.

Off the clock at MarketingProfs

There were also a bunch of really fun off-the-clock antics to meet other marketers and recharge after long days of learning. I took in a photo walk around Boston with digital marketing pioneer and video blog pioneer Steve Garfield.

Vidyard Photo Walk

There was also yoga for marketers and Friday fun to get attendees energized and ready for the final day.

That’s a quick recap on my time in Boston at the MarketingProfs B2B marketing forum. Were you there, too? If so, what were some of your favorite sessions?

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Marketing Humor Down to a Science …. or Something Like That

In grade 5, I did a speech on humor.

It was probably a sight to be seen. Little 4-foot-something me jumped on stage to share the history of jokes, why we love to laugh, and what makes a good one-liner. And yeah, I threw joke after joke in there and you can bet that this curly-haired young’un loved the feeling of a receptive audience roaring with laughter … well … at the very least, giggling.

And I’m not alone. Laughter and humor is a universal concept.

A lot of what I spoke about in that speech – back when I thought braces were a status symbol – can still be applied to my job today and using humor in marketing. Unfortunately – or more realistically, fortunately – I couldn’t seem to retrieve that speech out of my tote filled with crayons, oddly random scraps of yarn, artwork that proved I wasn’t cut out for the visual arts, and old schoolwork.

So instead I guess I’ll have to approach this like a real grownup. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to effectively add a dash of humor to your video marketing activities – and the science behind it all.

Why Do We Like to Laugh?

A child’s first laugh typically happens around 3.5-4 months of age. Long before children can even speak. Laughter is the (generally) physical manifestation of humor and humor, argues Scott Weems, author of Ha!: The Science of When and Why we Laugh and Why, is a state of mind.

But why do we like to laugh? Because it makes us feel good. Laughter emits dopamine in the brain, which makes us feel happy and less stressed. It’s the same release you get when you do something pleasurable – like eating chocolate. And according to Weems, “humor is really a natural high”.

The one thing that’s tricky about humor is that what one person finds funny, another doesn’t. People’s sense of humor differs. So while you may have clearly defined a target persona with a meticulous attention to detail, chances are that this one attribute isn’t the same across your whole target buying group.

What Do We Laugh At?

According to Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) and also an accomplished comedian, “Comedy is generally based on stereotypes and expectations. Some say that your unconscious mind is anticipating what’s going to happen and then the joke ends up being not what you expected”.

Weems agrees. As he explains, as we all probably know already, that there are no rules for humor. That’s part of what makes it so difficult. But according to Weems, there are some key ingredients that need to be present in order for something to be delivered as “funny” that can help us out. The three biggest components are:

  1. Expectation: humor arises when your brain expects something but the actual result is something different. Of course, this alone, doesn’t create humor. You also need a destination.
  2. Destination: this is what we would generally call the punchline. There has to be a firm destination where the expectation is confronted and quashed.  
  3. Conflict: Weems says that the anterior cingulate, a region of the brain that deals with conflict, is almost always activated when humans listen to jokes. It goes hand-in-hand with expectation.

Just take this famous Groucho Marx joke as an example:

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. …

… How he got into my pyjamas, I don’t know.”


The expectation here is that Groucho is the one in his pyjamas. But in reality, it’s the elephant. And the destination here: an elephant in pyjamas, is humorous in itself! Right?!

A final note about what makes us laugh is that we are remarkably more likely to laugh when in a group setting. Generally, we find things funnier when we experience them with other people and the closer we are to those people, the funnier we’ll find it. But even laughter, alone, is more likely to produce laughter in someone else, even if they aren’t aware of the source of your laughter. (Did I say laughter enough times in that sentence?) Consider the last time you said “I’m just laughing because you’re laughing!”. It happens. Even to these traveling gigglers that spread across the web a few months ago.

Be honest now. Did you laugh? Crack a smile, at least? I swear I do every time!

How Can We Deliver Humor in Marketing?

So now that you understand a little bit of the science behind humor, how can you apply it to marketing and why would you want to?

The two greatest reasons for using humor in your marketing activities is (a) a positive feeling while interacting with your brand (thank you dopamine) and (b) building trust. In a 2013 Nielsen Survey of Trust in Advertising from 58 countries, 47% said humor resonated better than any other content approach.

When trying to brainstorm ways to add a laugh to your video marketing, consider these 6 common types of humor.


This style is defined more by funny actions than by what’s actually said. Like the nerf dart to the face in our recent campaign video at 0:47-0:50 or Jon kicking the ball out from Stark in our Video Marketing Handbook video at 1:10-1:15.

Humor in Marketing

Humor in Marketing

Potty Humor

This type of humor focuses on being really gross. That’s literally the extent of it. There’s a time and a place for it, but Goodwipes does a pretty good job of this – if you’re into this kind of humor!

Topical Humor

Topical humor is just that – topical. This is when you make fun of current events. This is pretty much evening talk shows in a nutshell. This is Jimmy Fallon’s jam.


The art of parody is mocking something through imitation. You know, like Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball in our Marketing Maven Melissa video at 0:10-0:25.

Video Marketing Humor

Surreal Comedy

Surreal comedy involves defying logic and showcasing absurd and non-sensical situations.  A good example of this is Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

What’s the Secret to Humor in Video Marketing?

At Vidyard, as you’ve probably noticed, we believe strongly in using humor in our videos. I spoke to three of our creative team members: Katie, Blake, and Mat who play key roles in producing our videos to see what they recommend for adding humor in video. Here were their 5 top tips.

  1. Hire for emotional intelligence. If you’re outsourcing your video production, make sure you hire a videographer who has a strong sense of emotional intelligence and a good sense of humor themselves.
  2. Avoid inside jokes. Test your video concepts and final videos with a few people outside your organization to ensure that you’re not cracking yourselves up on inside jokes that no one else is going to find funny.
  3. Start with the content first. The basis of your videos should still surround a message you want to convey to your audience. Layering humor in over top of the base messaging means that even if your jokes fall flat, the main message will still come across.
  4. When in doubt, go with off-the-cuff. Sometimes the best way to deliver funny content is just to keep the camera rolling and allow your on-screen talent to take some liberties with the script. Some of our best moments on camera were unscripted moments in between scenes.
  5. Just go for it. Sometimes you don’t know if your work is going to be funny or not until it’s a finished product. So just go with it!

Who Else has Nailed Humor in Video Marketing?

Check out these other examples for some funny inspiration.

Haynes Beans

New Kinexions

Adobe Marketing Cloud

Toyota Camry


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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The State of Video Marketing 2015

You’re hungry for more.

That’s why you’re reading this blog post. Working in a field where things are always changing –  technology, best practices, indicators of performance, you name it – there is always a constant challenge to improve and chase down that next big win. Some might call you crazy. But us as marketers, we know this challenge is what keeps us charged up, excited, and doing what we do.

This hunger is what steers you to constantly read words of wisdom throughout the web and gather more ideas for your ever-growing spreadsheet. But nothing compares to looking at what your peers are up to and seeing how others in your field are finding success. In video marketing, you might look at what types of videos your peers are producing; how frequently they’re publishing videos; what kind of metrics they’re tracking; or if they’ve been able to crack the video ROI code. And that’s why, for the second year in a row, we’ve partnered with Demand Metric to offer a new, in-depth research report on how B2B marketers are using video and the state of video marketing overall.

Want a quick taste? Snack on this video appetizer first!

Chew on these Key Findings

Demand Metric’s research was thorough and there’s a lot of important information to digest. Before you dive in, here are some high-level findings just to wet your whistle!

  • 74% of B2B marketers say video content converts better than any other medium (Click to tweet!)
  • 1 in 4 B2B marketers don’t know the ROI of their video content (Click to tweet!)
  • The most common types of videos used by B2B marketers are explainer and product feature videos (Click to tweet!)
  • Only 15% of marketers have actively integrated video data into the rest of their tech stack (Click to tweet!)

Get the Full Story

Find out where today’s video marketers are spending their time and receiving value as well as Demand Metric’s predictions for the greatest opportunities in video marketing in the coming year. Download the 2015 Video Content Marketing Benchmark Report.

Video Content Marketing Benchmarks

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Copywriting vs Design: What Comes First, and How to Manage Creative Personalit– Um, Processes

Me, a copywriter…well, I’m a cashew…

…Roasted, a bit sweet, high in fat. Raj, one of our graphic designers, is a walnut. Hard shell, a little bitter, loaded with fiber. We’re different, but the point is…we’re both nuts.

The relationship between copywriters and designers is often considered…let’s just say “challenging”. Writers think the words are the important part of any marketing asset, while designers think “Who’s gonna read that? It’s the design that matters!”

The truth is, copywriters and designers are two sides of the same coin. We’re inseparable, and that’s how it should be. The creative team at Vidyard includes two content marketers (myself included), two graphic designers (Raj included), a web designer, and two video experts. How do we all work together? With a large portion of magical fairy dust, muscle relaxants, and chocolate.


I kid, I kid. But if you’re a marketer who wears one of these hats, or who has to work directly with the creative team, this post might help you define how your team could work together to achieve its full potential and wow your customers. (Note: for the purposes of this article, I’m loosely referring to our two content marketers as writers, and those who take those words and turn them into visual awesomeness – through graphics, web, or video – as designers.)

It might feel like it’s your baby, but it’s not.

If you’re a creative marketer, you know that creating something awesome, powerful, and inspiring takes equal amounts hard work, imagination, and passion. So we creatives can get a little, shall we say, possessive of our work. Whether a project takes you a week or a few months, you’re probably proud of what you’ve created, and you’ve grown attached to it. It’s your baby.

Here’s the thing: It’s your customer’s baby.

That may be a weird way of putting it, but let me explain. Your work may be your pride and joy, but you didn’t actually create it for your own enjoyment and consumption, did you? You created it for your leads and customers. Whether you’re a copywriter or a designer, that means your creative process has to be ruled by one thing: The user experience.

A strong creative team will think about what the audience will care about, and that will be the focus. An audience doesn’t “see” how well a page is designed. In fact, a very talented designer-friend often tells me that you don’t see good design (you only see it if it isn’t working!). It’s simply a natural, pleasurable experience that you don’t consciously take notice of.

Same goes for writing. No one reads anymore, right? People don’t have time to be bombarded with words; they just want the bottom line so they can make their decision and move on. So the trick for a writer is to tell a story while keeping a balance between writing a novel or just a bunch of bulleted lists that lack power or inspiration.

Combine writing and design that have been created with the end user in mind, and you’ll get a landing page or video or brochure that isn’t just a landing page or video or brochure, it’s an experience. Because that’s the point, isn’t it?

But what comes first, design work or copy?

That’s the age-old question. How can a writer know what to write, or how much room there will be for copy until a designer designs something? How can a designer begin to design anything when they don’t have any content? It’s the chicken or the egg. It’s the catch-22. It’s the awkward back-and-forth shuffle when you try to move aside for someone but they move too, so you’re both blocked again, and going nowhere.

The answer to who begins work on a project is simply: It depends on the project. (Don’t kill me for saying that!)

For example, with content marketing assets like downloadable ebooks or printed sell sheets, content would likely come first since these assets are heavily content-based. With a landing page, however, design greatly impacts the audience’s experience. In this case, the final product can be stronger if the designer creates wireframes (like a rough sketch) or mock-ups (with the already-agreed-upon key messages in mind) before final copy is created.

FullSizeRenderCan you guess which Vidyard landing page this was an initial wireframe for?

At Vidyard, Raj and I have worked together on a number of landing pages, and I have carried his wireframes with me everywhere as I’m writing copy to figure out how much room I’ll have for certain messages, and how the different pieces or sections will fit together as a whole. For example, knowing in advance whether a section will be displayed as one long blurb, or broken into clickable tabs will help me determine how to start sentences to avoid redundancies or to heighten clarity. Of course, wireframes aren’t carved in stone, so writers and designers have a perfect opportunity to discuss and rework things before any more time and effort is spent in creating a final product.

mollyMy cat, Molly, making clear her stance on one of Raj’s proposed wireframe layouts

Video scripts, on the other hand, often involve writing a script before designing images, and finding music and voice-over talent. For example, to announce Space Camp 2015, the video marketing summit, we wanted to create a teaser video. Our Creative Director, Blake, knew he wanted to keep the video’s design and animations simple, involving basic dots and dashes (and keeping the focus on the words on screen) so it would feel in keeping with Space Camp’s overall simple and imaginative brand. The rest was up to me as the script writer. Once I created the message and story, Blake used his creative powers to bring it to life with visuals and music.

Watch it, you know you want to!

So have you noticed what really comes first? The concept!

Really, before either writer or designer can start anything, a concept for the project should be agreed upon. It’s important to remember that writers should never just write down empty words and cliches, and designers don’t just make things pretty. Think about the goal of what you’re trying to create. What’s the story? What’s the message? What would the audience care about and how can you bring that to life? Maybe a creative brief needs to be completed, or meetings held, or key messages documented. However it’s done, a concept is how you’ll create a strong final asset.

A concept is what essentially creates an experience. For example, this year when the name of our annual video marketing summit was changed from Ignite to Space Camp, we knew we needed a concept to tell a story and make it a powerful experience. In this case, it was actually more like creating a whole brand, because it was a quite distinct experience from Vidyard’s own brand.

There were a number of directions we could have gone, but Raj and I both wanted to achieve a very inspirational, awe-inspiring, and imagination-provoking experience (while avoiding cheesy or too juvenile camp references). Raj’s visual experience, with a dark, mysterious, edge-of-the-universe (with moving constellations!) look-and-feel, topped off with the “impossible object” (yet imagination-provoking) Penrose triangle logo, and coupled with my text-based brand and story of Space Camp, created what we think was a pretty powerful impression on our audience.

But copy and design, sitting in a Word document or in design software, don’t jump onto the web all by themselves. That’s where the pecan of the team, Karel, our web designer, came in, bringing designed constellations to moving life, and animating buttons and other visual elements to truly power a breath-taking user experience.

space campSpace Camp website above the fold, with video

Space Camp 'About' SectionSpace Camp ‘About’ copy section

A concept is perfect for creating clarity during a project. It keeps writers from throwing up random cliches (“Hit it out of the park!”, “The gloves are off!”, “It’s time to double down!”) If your concept isn’t about baseball or boxing or gambling, why add language that won’t have any impact? Copywriting without a concept creates confusion in design as well: if a designer doesn’t know how best to tell an arbitrary story, he could end up presenting a visual of someone eating a pie followed by a bird flying over the moon.

But for any of this to come together, we have to talk to each other. All the damn time.

This is the part of the blog post where I talk about how important communication is to the creative process between copywriter and designer. You might think it goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway because it’s. Really. Seriously. Important.

Too much advice out there suggests that copywriters and designers can be on different teams or work independently of each other before passing off the project to the other one. Um…NO. It may sound like a drag to always check in with each other, or to have to deal with each other’s input. Copywriters don’t want to hear that their copy is too long, and designers don’t want to deal with “What would that button look like if it was purple instead of green?”

RaggedThirstyAfricanclawedfrogDo I need to explain this face? I think not.

Yes, maybe sometimes you want to smack each other upside the head, but it’s important to remember that creatives are all creating the experience together, so we all need to communicate often to not only save time and effort, but to share ideas. Designers have great ideas about copy, and once in a while, a copywriter might even have something useful to add about web design! A team that is built on honesty and trust can feel comfortable sharing even dumb ideas because it’s those ideas that might just take you down a path to awesomeness that you might not have discovered on your own.

At Vidyard, the whole creative team sits together and, often when we have collaborated during all the stages of different projects we have worked on, Raj, Karel, and I have even shared a monitor (whaaa??!). That way, we can see how the copy and design and user experience are all coming together. It’s a pretty awesome experience for us, as we bounce ideas off each other and improve assets in “real time”, like changing text sizes, cutting down copy so it fits on more or less lines or columns (since you can’t tell from a wireframe), changing the layout of a table or tabs to better communicate a message, and so much more! No matter which creative team members are coming together on any given project, our combined strengths only mean great things.

When all creative roles work together, that’s when the real magic happens. Do you have any tips to bring your copywriting and design together for a powerful experience? Let us know!

The post Copywriting vs Design: What Comes First, and How to Manage Creative Personalit– Um, Processes appeared first on Vidyard.

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Vidyard Announces Winners of 2015 Video Marketing Awards

Hootsuite, Salesforce, Gainsight and others recognized for innovative use of video

Kitchener, ON – October 20, 2015 – Vidyard, the video marketing and analytics leader, today announced the winners of the 2015 Video Marketing Awards (VMAs), recognizing modern marketing and sales teams that are using video content strategically to generate more revenue.

“Innovative marketers are increasingly using video to entertain and engage their audiences,” said Vidyard CEO and co-founder Michael Litt. “But what’s really exciting is that they aren’t stopping there. In addition to creating killer content, they are paying attention to engagement data, integrating with other marketing and sales tools, and driving real results for their businesses.”

Here are the winners and finalists in each VMA category:

Video Marketing Impact Award

Winner: Hootsuite

Finalists: Payscale, Pardee Homes / LJG Partners / Hapyak

Hootsuite was recognized for two creative and clever video campaigns that generated significant business impact. The first, “Game of Social Thrones,” increased brand awareness through social shares and media coverage of the video. It also increased traffic to Hootsuite’s YouTube channel, blog and Sign Up pages. In the second video, “Mean Tweets,” Hootsuite employees read mean tweets about its product user interface as a way to announce new updates.

Results: “Game of Social Thrones” was viewed nearly 1.5 million times and shared more than 53,000 times on social media. It was featured in articles in Time Magazine, Fast Company, Salon, AdAge and Adweek. “Mean Tweets” received more than 90,000 views.

Best Integrated Video Marketing Campaign

Winner: Gainsight

Finalists: Workfront, Tintri

Every year, Gainsight invests millions of dollars into Pulse, its conference for the customer success industry. The company built video into its event strategy to drive registrations, memorialize the experience of the event (on and off-stage) and host a post-event workshop to dive deeper into the most popular sessions.

Results: The videos increased awareness of Gainsight’s industry conference, drove registrations for the event, provided content for event follow-up communications and built momentum for next year’s conference. They also created net new leads for the sales funnel, helped take deals off the table as a result of the conference and drove a high NPS score for the event.

Sales and Marketing Alignment Award

Winner: Zuora

Finalists: Esna, Matthews Asia

Zuora produced customer testimonial videos on its most significant deals to share with potential customers as well as to inspire and motivate the sales team.

Results: The videos were so effective at inspiring sales that the sales team started producing its own videos to share with customers. They have embraced the idea that a video creates a personal connection, regardless of its quality.

Video Marketing Tech Stack Award

Winner: Lattice Engines

Finalists: Cetera Financial, LeadMD

Lattice Engines uses video extensively throughout the buying journey and has invested in a technology stack that enables them to maximize engagement in content, track viewers to improve lead scoring and nurturing, empower sales with customer insights and understand the ROI of video investments. Lattice Engines creates its videos and uploads them into Vidyard, which integrates with Marketo to enable them to score leads and create interesting moments that are synched with Salesforce. Lattice Engines also uses campaigns in Salesforce so they can use Full Circle Insights to see which videos influence the pipeline and at which stage. They use that information to tag videos to share with the sales team to pass on to customers and prospects through KnowledgeTree, its sales enablement tool. Lattice Engines then amplifies the videos’ reach on social with GaggleAMP and Hootsuite through email via Marketo.

Results: Lattice Engines measures results in terms of awareness/engagement and demand generation. Its holiday video averaged 80 percent viewership. Its predictive lead scoring explainer video was 75-percent viewed by 65 percent of viewers. Emails with videos have a 38-percent higher open rate. They see 107 percent more clicks when video is in an email, and a 98 percent increase in click-to-open when video is included.

Best Explainer, Infographic or Whiteboard Video

Winner: Ceridian

Finalists: LinkedIn, Trans Union / Diaz & Cooper

When Ceridian launched its new application for time, attendance and payroll management, the company’s marketing team needed to showcase how effective it was in a way that resonated on a human level. Over five weeks, Ceridian developed and revised scripts, created storyboards and animations, and engaged a video production company collaborate with Ceridian’s product marketers. The result was “The Jenny Video.”

Results: Sales reps immediately began using the video throughout the sales cycle, often as the first contact point with a customer. It was featured at Ceridian’s customer conference and on the company’s website. To date, the video has received thousands of views on YouTube and social media networks. Direct marketing campaigns have generated another 12,000 views, helping improve Ceridian’s brand recognition and reputation for innovation. Ceridian credits “The Jenny Video” with helping generate more than 4,000 leads.

Big Bang, Small Budget Award

Winner: Salesforce

Finalists: Invoca, Xenex Disinfection Services LLC

Salesforce has empowered different teams within the company to produce video content in-house based in the needs of the business unit. Many are done on minimal or no budget but still have significant impact on lead flow, pipeline, revenue and customer success. The Salesforce entry featured two videos:

  • Dan Stone in solutions engineering created a product demo video to help increase sales and improve product awareness among small business customers. In less than eight minutes, the video explains the key product benefits, something that would normally take an account executive half an hour. Stone produced the video from beginning to end using Keynote, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, a USB microphone and a 15-inch Macbook Pro Retina display.

Results: Salesforce used Vidyard to track video views and then contact customers at strategic times. In the first two quarters of this year, the video received 4,422 unique views and influenced $992,000 in sales.

  • Clayton Talmon in market readiness created a video to help Salesforce customers and prospects understand the Salesforce University DNA and to drive interest in the new offering.

Results: Talmon’s video was launched at Dreamforce and helped drive significant interest and leads for the Salesforce University program.

Breakout Video Marketer of the Year

Winner: BenefitMall

Finalists: iZettle, Redi-Rock International

BenefitMall recognized the importance of using video throughout the buying journey to generate new leads, nurture prospects and close more deals. Over the past 12 months the Company developed a structured and strategic approach to its video marketing efforts. They create a well-defined list of video assets needed for each stage of the buying journey and produced targeted videos for marketing and sales, including product feature videos, whiteboard videos, a high-quality product commercial and a short product demo.

Results: The videos significantly helped drive new leads and close existing ones. The company’s new product was expanded to a national market and today has more than 2,200 active group and broker users, which BenefitMall credits in part to the video campaign.

Video Marketing Trailblazer Award

Winner: Act-On

Finalists: Anthem Inc, Bisk Education

Act-On has embraced a wide-ranging video marketing strategy and use of video to drive lead flow and demand generation results. They made video an integral part of the website in 2015. They built a video resource library to encourage visitors to engage and convert. They use video calls-to-action to generate leads.


  • Act-On has generated over 20,000 video leads in the last 12 months, accounting for over $25 million in opportunities
  • On-demand demo video is the most-clicked and best converting CTA on the company’s home page, accounting for more than 100 leads per week
  • Act-On’s video hub has produced more than 1,000 leads since launching in February. It’s a new lead source for the company
  • Act-On has increased visitor-to-lead conversion rates for key product pages by over 100 percent on average by incorporating video CTAs

To watch the 2015 Video Marketing Awards ceremony, visit

To learn more about the winners and view the videos from the winners, visit

About Vidyard

Vidyard (Twitter: @Vidyard) is the industry’s leading video marketing platform that helps marketers drive results and ROI with online video content. With Vidyard, customers can add video to their websites in minutes, get real-time analytics, syndicate video to social networks and YouTube, create calls to action, optimize search engine hits, capture leads, and brand their player skins all from one place. Vidyard integrates with key marketing automation and CRM tools to deliver user-level video engagement data, turning views into sales.

Media Contact:

Tyler Lessard

Phone: (226) 220-5351

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Video Marketing How-To: Scoring Leads With Video

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Video Marketing How-To! This week I want to talk a bit about how you can score your leads with video marketing data.

First things first, you’ll need a system to handle the lead scoring – you can use a marketing automation platform like Marketo, Eloqua or Pardot, or you can set up lead scoring rules in Salesforce as well.

The most basic lead scoring mechanism is tracking a video view – if you’re using YouTube you can generally set rules around when a viewer has clicked play, but you may not get data more granular than this. One of the benefits of using a video marketing platform like Vidyard is being able to measure how much of a particular video a prospect has watched. Knowing whether someone made it to the end is powerful, especially for higher value content.

Next up is scoring leads based on the kind of content they watched – a lead watching a demo video for a new feature is likely more interested in your product than a lead that watched your holiday video, or your office rendition of the Harlem Shake. Higher value content should have a bigger impact on lead score, so someone who watched your demo video or a recorded webinar has a larger score.

Finally, scoring leads based on interactions with individual videos is the real sweet spot. Giving someone a lead score based on whether they watched 25%, 50% or 100% of your campaign or tour videos allows you to really categorize their interest in your product or service, and gives you a real edge in moving leads to your sales team faster.

Lead scoring is a powerful technology built into most marketing automation platforms, but many companies miss out by excluding video data. Try out some of the tips I’ve mentioned here, and see how much faster your leads move through the funnel! Thanks again for watching today, and tune in a few weeks from now for another episode of Video Marketing How-To!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Designing Fly Landing Pages – Part 4: Continuity

Your landing pages probably aren’t perfect.

That might be tough to hear, but it’s okay. It’s near impossible for them to be perfect – at least the first time around – even if you’ve been following along since the beginning of the “Designing Fly Landing Pages” blog post series.

This final post in the series is the end of your journey to learning the four key elements you need to design landing pages that delight and convert. So far, we’ve taken a look at Focus, Messaging, and Trust, which have culminated to provide you with a framework and the right tools to work towards designing landing pages that convert. The final piece is Continuity.

In this context, continuity refers to the continuous care and maintenance of a landing page after a campaign has run its course. It also refers to evolution of a good landing page into an excellent landing page. To do this, you’ll need to learn from your experiences and find new ways to improve. Whether this is achieved by looking through the metrics and analytics collected from past campaigns or running tests to determine what performs best, there are many tracks towards designing these elusive, fly landing pages.

Data-Driven Updates

Use data to inform your decisions.

The landing page should be optimized for conversion over time. This can’t be done right out of the gate, so you’ll need to build your landing pages with the foundation in place to be able to provide you with this data. If you don’t, this will lead to a huge blind spot that can cause you to miss out on important information. How can you learn from something if you have no idea it ever happened?

Keep up to date on the latest data and research. Research can help to inform you of best practices and provide you with insight into why certain methods, layouts, or language performs better than others. After running a quick search on Google for “landing page best practices”, you’ll find copious amounts of research done by leading marketing and UX experts in the industry like Unbounce, KISSmetrics, and the Nielsen Norman Group.

These experts have conducted studies and concluded best practices on:

  • What you should put above the fold
  • How long your forms should be
  • The effect of using customer testimonials on your landing page
  • And much, much more

One best practice that stands out to us at Vidyard is the use of video on a landing page. Of course we like this one – we’re all about video, and with good reason! Video has been shown to increase conversion rates by 86%. Not only is it more engaging, but including videos on your landing page makes it 53% more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search result.

At Vidyard, we use Google Analytics and KISSmetrics to track web, mobile, and social traffic. These two platforms play key roles within our decision-making process. We’re able to determine the most popular device and browser people view our landing page on, what actions they’re taking on the page, how long they’re spending on it, and more. By knowing this information, we can extrapolate actionable insights that informs us about what works, what doesn’t, and what we should focus on improving.

A/B Testing

Experimentation and testing will lead to a better landing page.

Our lives are filled with experiences that are never quite as good as they could be. A/B testing addresses this by allowing you to compare multiple versions of something to determine which version yields better results – helping you edge ever so closer to that perfect experience. To drive home the importance of A/B testing, Optimizely, an experience optimization platform, secured $58M in Series C funding on Tuesday to optimize the world.

Within the context of landing pages, A/B testing works by measuring the effectiveness each design combination has on the ultimate goal of maximizing conversions. Although implementing best practices are a good starting point, your visitors may react differently to them. By exploring different layouts or messaging on your landing pages, you can discover what works best with your audience.

For a more detailed look into A/B Testing, take a look at this very informative article by Vidyard’s Content Marketing Manager, Kimbe, on How to A/B Test Your Marketing Video.

At Vidyard, we try to incorporate videos into our landing pages whenever we can because we know that they play an integral role in engaging our audience. But, before a visitor can even begin watching a video, they’ve got to first click on it. Fortunately, the Vidyard platform has the ability to split test video thumbnails to find the one that performs best.

Take our homepage for instance. It’s not just any landing page, it’s THE landing page. Home pages typically receive more than 50% of all visitor traffic, so we knew we had to give it some extra care to make it perfect. After running A/B tests on the video thumbnails for our platform video, these were the results:


Of course, the thumbnails with the dog performed the best. Not surprising at all!

I’m sad to say it, but this marks an end to the “Designing Fly Landing Pages” blog post series. I’m getting a little emotional here. Now you know the four key elements that go into designing landing pages, we’d love to hear how they work out for you!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

User Generated Content: How to Use It, Share It, and Love It

You’ve probably heard the old marketers’ adage, “It’s cheaper to retain customers than to try to win new ones.”

What if that wasn’t necessarily true? Are you new to the world of User-Generated Content (UGC)? Or are you familiar with it but you’re not sure how to include it into your marketing strategies? Well, here’s a blog post for you!

User-Generated Content is genuine, organic content created by, well, your users. Your customers, your audience, regular people who interact with you, and create content that can be used to champion your brand. It’s a fairly new trend in marketing, and it’s picking up steam because marketers are seeing that it definitely works. Oh, you want some proof? Well, UGC-based content has shown to be 20% more influential on purchasing decisions than other types of media. That’s probably a good indicator of why 25% of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are links to UGC.

Why does it work?

For a variety of reasons. People don’t feel sold to. UGC is a conversation, rather than a brand broadcasting a sales message. It creates a personal connection between a brand and its customers because these customers feel that their opinions are heard and valued. That makes people want to participate in UGC, which in turn, creates “social proof”: it makes audiences feel that if other people like a product, they probably will, too. And, it helps brands make sure they’re talking about what their audience is really interested in, because it’s the audience doing the talking!

So…UGC is a win for marketers.

You get more content marketing without expending a lot of resources or budget, and you increase your ROI, as well as the engagement and loyalty of your customers. Does it get better than that? Sure sounds like that old adage might need a bit of a rewrite.  

So what messages can you use UGC for, and how can you add it into your marketing mix?

Market your products in a real way

You knew I was going to say that. But it’s true, collecting UGC is a perfect way to market your products. Fashion house Burberry, for example, used UGC of people wearing Burberry products, launching a website dedicated to men and women wearing all colors and sizes of their trench coats. It was a great way of showing the versatility of their product, and how it can be worn in real life by real people (instead of showing a nude high-fashion model wearing it in a way that only she can – cough-Rosie Huntington-Whiteley-cough). Burberry’s ecommerce sales jumped 50% year-over-year following the launch of the site.

Use UGC to change your product…really

How can you use UGC to change your product? Figure out what your audience really wants and use it to determine the future of a product, like Heineken did. Through the Reinvent the Draught Beer Experience challenge, customers could share videos and ideas to help improve the product (while, of course, increasing brand engagement!).

Advertise with reviews

Did you know that 87% of consumers use reviews to help them decide on a purchase? I know I sure do – when considering the purchase of exercise equipment, I watched the product video and checked out the company’s site…and then I spent most of my time reading all the reviews to see what the “truth” really was. I’m not alone. That’s why sites like Amazon work so well, and why Airbnb is so successful: people rely on the opinions of others. Kia discovered the power of reviews, and used them to create this convincing video ad:

Market your events

User-Generated Content doesn’t always have to focus on products. Events are a social thing, so it’s likely a lot of UGC can be created at any of your events. Collect the content to use it as promotional footage for the next year. Use it to figure out what worked and what didn’t, and what your audience really wants to see so you can create even stronger campaigns for future events. Use it as reviews for your event landing pages.

Market your brand and team culture

This video from Target shows a Target employee giving a rousing speech to other employees on a Black Friday, encouraging them to serve their customers well and have some fun. The user in this case was another company employee, and the video promoted Target’s brand through the dedication and passion of its awesome team players. Target released the video, using the UGC content to highlight their team culture.

Use UGC to create top-of-funnel campaigns

You don’t have to rely on product reviews for your UGC. Take a look at how Coca-Cola used User-Generated Content. The content doesn’t have anything to do with their product, but they used the fun and entertaining quality of the content to create their own top-of-funnel campaign.

Promote philanthropic efforts

What’s better than getting the warm fuzzies from a story about the impact of a company’s philanthropic efforts? Instead of issuing a press release or putting some official pictures on your blog, you can use UGC to create an experience between you and your audience. The results will feel more genuine, and the impact can be greater.

Estee Lauder created a breast cancer awareness campaign in 2013, encouraging women to support each other and create healthy habits, and share their stories. Images, stories, and videos were shared, helping to create a positive, relatable and human experience.

What forums are perfect for UGC?

User-Generated Content is perfect for more than social media. Here are a few ways you can use it.

Create video campaigns

No matter what your message is or what content you want to promote, consider creating a video campaign. After all, it’s the next best thing to being there in person, so it helps your audience connect with you in ways other media can’t.

Take Pampers, for example. They collected a bunch of videos uploaded by parents (after asking permission, of course!), and combined them into one enjoyable, emotional, and relatable campaign that received a lot of positive feedback from their audience.

Yes, you should add UGC to social media

When you think of interacting with your audience, you probably think of social media. User-Generated Content is typically created through social media, and it’s natural place to share it, too. After all, social media users spend more than five hours a day consuming UGC. For example, Facebook users watch more than four billion videos a day. While that’s not all UGC, it proves that social media is a great place to share your UGC in the form of video or other media.

User-Generated Content is a stronger option than posting brand-created advertisements, since social users ignore or block those ads. UGC, on the other hand, performs better, offering a 300% higher click-through rate, and 50% lower cost per acquisition. It feels natural, and instead of standing out and being pushy, it feels like it’s an inviting part of the social experience.

Add it to your website

Whether video or other format, UGC is perfect for your website or landing pages. Stella and Dot, the jewelry company, includes UGC right on their home page, showing women wearing their jewelry in all kinds of unique and individualized ways (which always makes me want to buy more of it!).

It’s perfect for creating a connection with your visitor, and helping them experience your product in a different way from sales messaging.

Add it to blog posts

Whether created by you or by the customer him- or herself, a blog post is a perfect place to add some UGC, whether video, images, or plain text. It tells a story in a more genuine way, and helps the content feel less sales pitch-y, and more informative, entertaining, and authentic.

So there you have it. Try out some of those ideas for yourself, and let us know how User Generated Content works for you! Just remember: make it easy for your audience to generate that content (no red tape, please!), and keep it real (leave buying phony reviews to the companies who need it!). You’ll end up with a strong and impactful experience!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Vidyard Acquires Switch Merge, Launches 1-to-1 Video Personalization

Personalized video brings the viewer into the story to boost engagement and conversion

San Francisco, Calif. – SPACE CAMP – October 7, 2015 – Vidyard, the video marketing and analytics leader, today announced the acquisition of Switch Merge and the launch of its Personalized Video offering to help sales and marketing teams cut through the noise and engage audiences one-to-one with the power of video.

For today’s marketing and sales teams, it’s harder than ever to get people’s attention. They have to compete with countless other organizations fighting for the same limited attention span. Video has already proven to be a powerful tool for boosting audience engagement. Adding one-to-one personalization to the experience empowers marketers and sales reps to stand out by speaking to customers as individuals and truly personalizing their message.

“Personalization is critical to modern marketing,” said Stewart Rogers, an analyst at VB Insight. “In my studies I’ve seen uplifts in conversions of up to 219 percent, and simply including a name in an email increases open rates by up to 41 percent. Video on its own is a powerful medium to engage potential customers, and adding personalization to video can drive even better results.”

Personalized videos are tailored to each individual by seamlessly weaving unique information about them, or their company, right into the video itself. That could mean something as simple as featuring their name at different points throughout a video or including their company logo or even a photo from LinkedIn or a picture of their website.

By integrating technology from Switch Merge into its industry-leading video marketing platform, Vidyard’s Personalized Video will make it easy for marketing and sales teams to create, share and track engagement in personalized video content in an automated fashion. Marketers and sales reps can use it not only to stand out in the crowd but also to improve engagement and conversions. Early deployments have shown emails with personalized videos generate a 1000-percent to 1500-percent increase in click-through-rates (CTRs) compared to those without, with high-performing campaigns seeing CTRs exceeding 30 percent.

“Like many modern marketers, we’re always looking for new ways to capture the attention of online audiences and boost engagement in our email marketing and content programs,” said Michael Ballard, senior manager of digital marketing at Lenovo. “Video has already proven itself to be the best way to capture someone’s attention, and we see incredible potential for personalized videos to help us cut through the clutter and deliver real results for our digital marketing programs.”

As with other Vidyard video offerings, Personalized Video integrates with leading marketing automation and CRM solutions including Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Act-On. Marketing and sales teams can easily track second-by-second video engagement data for each prospect and customer to improve lead scoring, segmentation and customer insights. Sales teams can also auto-generate personalized videos for targeted prospects and customers with the click of a button from right within Salesforce.

“We all know that attention spans last just a few seconds so marketing and sales teams really have to do something special to make their message stand out,” said Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard. “Vidyard is dedicated to giving businesses the tools they need to engage with their audiences more effectively. We’re continuing to blaze the trail for video by integrating video personalization into our video marketing platform.”

Already the first video platform to offer comprehensive integrations with Salesforce and leading marketing automation platforms, Vidyard is again proving its leadership by becoming the first to offer complete personalized video in an automated and fully integrated fashion. Companies including Lenovo, Honeywell, LinkedIn, Cision and Citibank have turned to Vidyard for their video marketing and analytics needs.

To learn more about Personalized Video from Vidyard and to receive your very own one-to-one personalized video, visit

About Vidyard

Vidyard (Twitter: @Vidyard) is the industry’s leading video marketing platform that helps marketers drive results and ROI with online video content. With Vidyard, customers can add video to their websites in minutes, get real-time analytics, syndicate video to social networks and YouTube, create calls to action, optimize search engine hits, capture leads, and brand their player skins all from one place. Vidyard integrates with key marketing automation and CRM tools to deliver user-level video engagement data, turning views into sales.

Media Contact:

Tyler Lessard

Phone: (226) 220-5351

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