Friday, January 29, 2016

8 Ways to Use Video for Customer Success, Education, and Advocacy

Video is the modern web browser’s medium of choice. And not just while they’re scrolling through Facebook or spending hours on YouTube; studies have shown that even at work, people prefer to watch video than read text. And that means you! And more importantly (no offence), your customers.

So give the people what they want! If you want to build a customer base that’s learning, growing, getting the most out of your product or service, and loving you while they do it, video is the way to go! If not … well, you might want to see someone for that.

Let’s take a look at eight ways to use video to support your customer relationships:

1. Onboarding Videos

Script it, record it, ship it. And then ship it over and over and over. The beautiful thing about onboarding videos is that you can record them once and use them multiple times. And sure, the same thing goes for text-based onboarding, but since video is so much more captivating and keeps viewers engaged for longer, why not start your customer’s journey off right?

15 Experts Spill Their Greatest B2B Video Production Advice

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The better you can make the first few weeks of your customer’s journey and the faster you can get them up and running, the more likely they will be to use your product or service effectively and see positive results. And that means there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll retain them long-term. In other words, the lifetime value of a well onboarded customer skyrockets far beyond the opposite.

The well-renowned Uber created an onboarding video for their drivers to learn how to use the app and how to become a well-reviewed driver. Check it out:

If you want to make the process a little more personal, you can always shoot an additional 10-30 second clip to add to the beginning of each onboarding video that addresses the unique customer.

2. Knowledge Base Videos

Your knowledge base is a hub of documentation around frequently asked questions, instructions for completing common tasks, or options for troubleshooting issues. It’s sole purpose is to help customers self-serve. Video should be a part of this.

But don’t get too trigger happy with video, because it really is best as a supplementary component to your knowledge base. Some people may not be able to listen to audio at the moment when they’re self-serving or they may be looking for one specific step of the process and scanning text is easier for this. An easy way to get around this is to include a video at the start of the article and add the transcript of the video below, like Unbounce does.

video in knowledge base

These types of videos are often comprised of on-screen text and screenshares. Consider adding a more human element every-so-often and show the face of that lovely voiceover! … like our Ji, our Manager of Customer Experience, did in this recent video!

Ji bought a teleprompter that works with his tablet (the R810.1 Universal Android Teleprompter) for this shoot. This allowed him to script his lines beforehand but avoid spending hours memorizing them the night before the shoot!

3. Meet-the-Team Videos

People like to work with people. That’s why people-skills are so important in Customer Success roles, duh. For many companies, the customer team has long term relationships with their customers — but it’s so often limited to a purely phone-based relationship. Open the doors and allow your customers to get to know a little bit more about who they’re working with. Check out the video that DoubleDutch, a mobile app for events and conferences, put together called “Meet the DoubleDutch Customer Success Team”:

As an alternative, you can showcase your team from different angle and do a higher production film that shows the ‘real’ side of your customer team or your whole company while having a little fun! At Vidyard, we put together a few videos like this every year. Most recently, customers met the Vidyard Family through our version of the Adams Family Theme Song!

4. Support Video Calls

It’s a lot easier to build a relationship when visual cues are involved. Imagine dating someone for a year, but for this year you only ever spoke to them on the phone. You never got to know what they looked like, or evaluate whether they were really into you by their body language. It’d be hard to grow that relationship! And just think, what would you picture when you were day-dreaming about them?

Not that your customers are going to be day-dreaming about you, but the ability to see you on calls can still help to build a strong bridge between your support team and your customers.

support video call

5. Live Stream Updates

Sometimes, another email update about what’s going on at your company is not what your customers are looking for. Whoops! Did I actually write that on the web? There are just so. Many. Emails!

So why not think outside the box and host an update for your customers on a live stream? That way they can get a real, unedited view into who your team is, where you work, and what’s new. Jeff Saunders, an Account Manager at Vidyard, recently hosted one of these. He invited his accounts to join him live for a coffee and quick discussion with Ji, Manager of Customer Experience, Jeff, Director of Product Marketing, and myself.

6. Customer Stories

Who said customer stories are only for prospects? No one, that’s who. Sharing the stories of customers having success with your product or service with other customers is beneficial for three reasons:

  1. Reinforcing the benefits of your offering
  2. Helping them understand how to best utilize your product or service
  3. Laying the path for upsell opportunities

So spread the love. Get started by checking out these 7 tips on creating believable video testimonials and keep in mind that if you’re creating stories for customers, you’ll want to dive deeper than the value prop of your product; your customers already know this!

7. Customer Webinars

Generally speaking, your customers will have a different level of knowledge in your area of expertise than higher funnel prospects. So invite them to their own webinar where you can dive deeper into a niche topic and even talk specifically about how to use certain product features. Getting on a webinar and sharing best-practices, demonstrating how to do a task, and opening the floor to questions in real time is the perfect way to help your customers get the most out of your product, feel supported, and build connections with your team.  

After you’re done your webinar, consider chopping it up into shorter segments and posting the webinar recordings in a customer hub or help center!

8. Personalized Campaign Videos

Your name is your identity. And the same goes for your customers and their names. So imagine you could send your customers specialized marketing messages that really connected with them by bringing them right into the story and adding their names within personalized videos.

personalized videoSince they’re already your customers, you have a detailed profile already built out in your marketing automation and CRM platform. Put these into play for video campaigns promoting your latest learning session, webinar, or knowledge article and take your story to a whole new level with personalization within your videos.

Are you using video for customer education, success, and advocacy? Tell us how in the comments!

B2B Video Production Tips

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

35 Million Reasons To Say Thanks

I’m currently airborne – somewhere above the mid-west. I’m the most reflective at 35,000 feet, sitting in seat 12C surrounded by strangers – a space I’ve become increasingly accustomed to over the past 4 years as co-founder and CEO of Vidyard.

I feel excited. Tomorrow (today) we’re announcing a milestone – our $35 million Series C financing led by Michael Brown, Sanjiv Kalevar and Roland Anderson at Battery Ventures.

I’m thinking back to nearly 5 years ago – once again at 35,000 feet – on my voyage to participate in Y Combinator’s summer class of 2011. A time when I could only dream of the growth, learning and experience I’ve had since that absolutely instrumental journey in my professional career.

That said, rocket ships don’t have rear view mirrors. And while the fall of nearlyevery-single-year since YC has been marked with a milestone in the shape of a larger financing – I can’t help but think about how far we’ve yet to go.

At the end of the day, I’m grateful and excited. The way I see it, there are three groups to thank, inform and speak candidly to at this inflection point. I’ll do so now in no particular order:


Thank you for your support. Without your consistent utilization and feedback on software that we’ve designed and built for you – we would not be able to announce this milestone today.

With this infusion of capital and experience from Battery Ventures, we’ll be increasing our investment into our “Customer Experience” team by orders of magnitude. This is inline with our commitment to “Helping you drive revenue through the use of online video” and your success is, without a doubt, our success long term. To this point, our only corporate value is to “win with experience” and if we don’t succeed in this accord, let me know. The CE team is currently staffing up and is dedicated to helping you drive more value out of both your investment with Vidyard and video.

Furthermore, we believe that you’re our best product managers. While we can’t address every piece of feedback we receive day-to-day, it’s our responsibility to react to your wants and pair them with a long-term vision for business video in order to deliver what you absolutely need.

To this point, it’s clear to us that video is eating the world. Cable-cutting, Facebook, Snapchat, and Youtube are leading the charge with consumer video and this, without a doubt, means that current and especially future demographics expect to sell and be sold to with video. If the delivery of a video is “the next best thing to being there in person” and we deliver detailed analytics with respect to the viewer’s attention span (digital body language) I’m sure you can only imagine the impact we can have on your sales organization; from first day to first close and beyond.

We want to help you make every second count. We’re going to enable your entire organization with video.

Once again – thank you for your business and support. We Vidyardians get out of bed every day because of you!


To the brave and honorable Vidyardians and your families – I am grateful and proud of everything you’ve accomplished from the day you first walked into our home. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning of time, have just joined or are walking through the doors of our new space 6 months from now – welcome to the rocket ship (notice the lack of rear-view-mirrors?).

You’ve likely read our cultural document and understand that with fast-growth often comes high-stress. That said – I assure you (from experience) that being a part of this team should be one of the best and most fulfilling working experiences/opportunities you’ll have.

This job is what you make of it and our culture is your responsibility. Speak your mind, be reasonable and most importantly understand that we/you don’t know what we/you don’t know.

Together, we’re going to enable the entire world with video.


I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such an experienced group of operators, the best of the best in SaaS with a penchant for taking companies to IPO and beyond.

We’re at a very nascent stage with a long way to go. I’m honored to be a part of your journey and I know we’re going to have fun along the way.

Welcome to the BOD, Michael Brown (and crew)!

Together, we’re going to build an incredible company.

For those interested in further details on the financing and what it means for the market, here’s a short list of some of the related resources and coverage in the media:


Michael Litt

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Vidyard Raises $35 Million to Expand Power of Video Analytics and Digital Body Language

Series C financing led by Battery Ventures will help Vidyard further innovate in video analytics and customer insights across all facets of a business.

KITCHENER, Ontario – January 26, 2016 – Vidyard, the video platform that helps businesses turn viewers into customers, today announced it has closed a $35 million (USD) Series C financing led by Battery Ventures with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, OMERS Ventures, iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC. The company will use the funds to develop new products to help businesses expand their use of video for customer engagement and tap into the digital body language of online audiences.

Video is one of the hottest trends in digital marketing, now accounting for 64 percent of all Internet traffic. Cisco predicts that number to rise to 80 percent by 2019. In April, Facebook shared that more than 4 billion videos were played each day on its platform alone, and by September that number had doubled to 8 billion. In B2B markets, over 90 percent of businesses say video is becoming more important, 69 percent are increasing investments in video this year, and 80 percent are now dedicating in-house resources to video production. Vidyard – whose video platform helps marketing and sales teams boost engagement in their video content, track individual viewing activities, and report on video ROI – saw exponential growth in market demand and utilization of its platform in 2015.

“Video is revolutionizing marketing, and Vidyard is clearly innovating in this space,” said Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures. “We’re convinced that video will not only grow as a strategic platform for marketing and sales, but also as a critical solution for other business functions across every industry. Vidyard can help businesses realize the full potential of video, not just as a content medium, but as an incredible source of business analytics and customer insight.”

Brown will join Vidyard’s board of directors.

Customer Success Fuels Growth of Video Platform Market

In 2015, for the second year in a row, Vidyard’s revenue tripled and its number of employees doubled. Participation in its annual Space Camp video marketing summit tripled year-over-year, and its growing base of customers now includes:

  • 24 of the top 100 global software companies (source)
  • More than 500 businesses using video analytics within marketing automation and sales clouds
  • Global leaders including Honeywell, Lenovo, LinkedIn, Cision, TD Ameritrade, BMC Software, Citibank and MongoDB

“Video represents a massive opportunity for businesses to drive greater engagement with their message and to use second-by-second viewing data to understand the digital body language of potential buyers,” said Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard. “We’re excited to help our customers expand their use of video content and analytics across every facet of their businesses, and we’re thrilled by the results they’re seeing every day in the field.”

Vidyard customers have now used video content and viewer engagement data to:

  • Identify more than 35 million new business leads
  • Tap into the digital body language of more than 200 million buyers
  • Boost engagement in marketing and sales campaigns by more than 500 percent

“Real power in modern marketing comes from understanding digital buying signals and using them to connect with the right message at the right time,” said Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at MongoDB, a Vidyard customer. “With the ability to track, right down to the second, how long a buyer engages in a message, we can gain immediate insight into what they’re interested in and where they are in the buying journey. Using actual engagement data to detect buying signals is a very powerful concept, and one that sets the bar for where marketing is heading.”

Product Innovation Drives Video ROI

The financing comes just one year after Vidyard raised an $18 million Series B financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners. To date, Vidyard has raised more than $60 million. In addition to record growth, 2015 saw Vidyard’s acquisition of Switch Merge and expanded product offerings including:

  • Enhanced integrations with Marketo, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Act-On, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce
  • Vidyard for Sales for prospecting, educating and selling with personalized videos and video analytics
  • Personalized Video for 1:1 personalization of marketing and sales videos
  • Vidyard Live for live streaming with integrated viewer tracking and lead generation tools
  • Vidyard for Salesforce Community Cloud for video-based collaboration and training

Vidyard joins other marketing-technology companies that Battery has funded, such as ExactTarget, Bluekai, FreeWheel, Marketo, Neolane and Omniture.*

To learn more about Vidyard, please visit

*For a full list of all Battery investments and exits, please click here.

About Vidyard

Vidyard (Twitter: @Vidyard) is the industry’s leading video platform for business that helps marketing and sales teams generate more pipeline and ROI with online video content. With Vidyard, businesses can leverage video as an integrated part of marketing and sales programs, and video analytics for customer insights and video ROI reporting. Vidyard powers video marketing and video selling programs for 24 of the top 100 software companies in the world.

About Battery Ventures

Battery strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, e-commerce, digital media and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and Israel. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at and find a full list of Battery’s portfolio companies here.

Media Contact:

Brad Hem
Phone: (281) 543-0669

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Understanding the 4 Pillars of Content Marketing

Content marketing is hard — and, arguably, the explosion of software solutions that are designed to make content marketing easier for B2B organizations isn’t exactly helping.

With so many solutions available, it’s difficult for marketers to navigate the marketing technology landscape and battle the paradox of choice. In order to discover the software gaps you need to fill (and how to fill them), it’s a good idea to take a step back and define the content marketing process in order to better understand your content marketing software needs.

One way to do this is to understand the the content marketing process as a framework consisting of four pillars (developed by Uberflip’s co-founder and CEO, Yoav Schwartz): Creation, Experience, Distribution, and Insights.

content marketing pillars

Let’s take a closer look at what each pillar entails.


At its core, content creation consists of the ideation, drafting, editing, and optimization of content assets. As such, it usually involves a large time investment, and is the part of your strategy that arguably requires the most productivity and creativity.

Maximizing productivity and creativity is key to any content strategy. The struggle with creating content at scale, however, is that creativity (and often productivity) can be limited resources, which is why tactics like content atomization have become so effective. It’s in the B2B marketer’s best interest to create a number of different content formats (blog posts, video, infographics, etc.) so their message can meet their target audience in the most desired format.

Establishing a process and using the right tools to create great, valuable content is critical because this content is the foundation upon which experience, distribution, and insights rely.


The content experience is the way in which content is consumed, the destination of what content is being distributed, and where lead generation takes place.

Building a well-optimized content experience involves:

  • Great content — This starts with the content creation pillar, but it also involves a deep knowledge of your audience, which is fueled by the insights pillar (the last in this framework).
  • Responsive design — Your content should be able to be accessed by anyone, anywhere, regardless of the device they’re using to consume it.
  • Easy discoverability — In addition to being SEO-friendly, your content should be easily discoverable within your blog or resource center. If your content isn’t strategically organized to facilitate discoverability, you risk having your visitors bounce and finding the answers they seek elsewhere.
  • Targeted and contextual CTAs — CTAs are only effective if they’re presenting a highly relevant next step to a visitor and are an integrated part of the content experience.

You could have the greatest content in the world, but it won’t achieve its optimal performance if it’s not living in a world-class experience.


Distribution is the process of getting your content in circulation by sharing it with your target audience. Much of the success of your distribution efforts will come from the value of your content, the optimization of the experience in which it lives, and the consistency of your distribution tactics.

Content distribution involves:

  • Defining and actively participating on relevant channels — Instagram might be popular right now, but if your target audience isn’t active on that channel, you’d be better off focusing your resources elsewhere. Double-down on the distribution channels that are most effective for your content and your audience.
  • Building a subscriber list Email marketing is still effective, especially for B2B content distribution. The key to effective email marketing, however, is having a relatively sizable and high-quality subscriber list.
  • Outreach and relationship building — Outreach is an inevitable part of content distribution. Believe me — everybody does it. Although cold outreach often works, you’ll have far more success if you take the time to build a relationship with the influencer or brand you want to leverage.
  • Measuring your success and generating insights — If it’s not measurable, it’s probably not worth doing. Ensure that you’re measuring your success on every distribution channel, and start setting goals to fuel your distribution strategy.

…which brings us to the final pillar: Insights!


The final pillar in the content marketing framework, Insights, is the destination of understanding what content marketing tactics are actually working, and why.

To generate accurate insights, your organization needs to:

  • Gather data from the right analytics platforms — Ensure your resource center content is hooked up to Google Analytics and your marketing automation platform, as well as any other analytics platforms to accurately measure key content marketing metrics.
  • Produce reports — Automated report generation is a tried-and-tested way of increasing the productivity (and accountability) of B2B marketers.
  • Score your performance — Whether you implement lead scoring or content scoring, implementing a scoring system for your marketing efforts can help provide an “at-a-glance” look at your marketing performance.
  • Determine your content marketing ROI — Measuring content marketing ROI is still a struggle for B2B marketers, but it’s never been more necessary. Measuring ROI will help to inform your content marketing efforts and improve the other three pillars in this framework.

Gathering insights can have a massive impact on content creation, experience, and distribution, which shows how interdependent the practice of content marketing really is. If even one pillar is neglected, then your whole strategy could crumble — and this is why we seek software solutions to help us develop, improve, and scale our content marketing efforts.

Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

These four pillars are probably nothing new to the seasoned content marketer. However, it’s crucial for marketers (regardless of experience) to have a firm understanding of the process of content marketing in order to build a more effective strategy and, just as importantly, choose the right software to facilitate your strategy.

Learn more about the 4 pillars of content marketing and the technology and tools your organization needs to support them. Register for Uberflip’s webinar: The 2016 Framework for Evaluating Content Marketing Software.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Brand Guidelines for Video: Unicorn Ice Cream, Man-Cats, and a Powerful Experience

Imagine this:

Nike. Will You Do It?

Or how about “Nike. Just Do It Already!” or even “You Should Do It.” They just don’t work as well as the slogan Nike is actually named for, right? Why is that?

It’s because Nike’s “Just do it” reflects their brand. It says who they are, what they believe in, and provides that emotional, motivational connection to their customers. Just do it isn’t a question that leaves room for you to say no, or to waver in your dedication. It isn’t bossy, demanding you to get your butt up off the couch and do something already. It doesn’t feel like it’s pushing an agenda, by telling you you should do something.

“Just Do It” implies that lacing up, playing sports, feeling fit and healthy isn’t complicated. It’s simple. You just do it, and you love it. It has that seize-the-day, you-will-triumph sort of feel to it. And it’s fair to suggest that Nike wouldn’t be the empire it is now without it. That’s what branding does, it helps your audience connect with you on a deeper level than just shoes, just equipment, or whatever product it is that a company is trying to sell.

Marketers know all this. That’s why branding exists. It’s powerful. That is, if it’s done right. And it needs to be done right in your videos, because they should feel as much a part of your brand as any other content you’ll produce.

Brand isn’t just a tagline. It’s not something you can just add onto the last frame of your video and call it a branded experience. So how do you really nail your brand through video? Here are three things to keep in mind when you make a video. Scratch that. When you make EVERY video. Because branding has to be a consistent experience to work!

Voice and Tone

Your brand’s voice is the representation of your personality. Are you intelligent? Are you creative? Are you funny? Your tone is how you use that voice in different situations to different audiences. For example, Maybe your humour is clever and witty, or maybe it’s slapstick and goofy.

Ever heard of the Squatty Potty? If you haven’t, I apologize, because I’m pretty sure you will never. Ever. Forget. This. Commerical.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve given much thought into how you…well, #2. But it may not be a huge priority that you need to address. And Squatty Potty may have known that if they threw some facts at you and got a doctor in a lab coat talking at you, you may not have cared. Instead, they let their big personality shine through, and created an ad that boosted sales 600%. It was a bold move by the CEO, who was told the ad was too far out there. Look who has the last laugh. The CEO proved that you should define and stay true to who you are: your brand.  

The Squatty Potty commercial’s tone is indeed wacky, and it indeed aligns with the brand’s overall voice. Check out their website, for example. There aren’t unicorns dancing across the screen, but even the user comments at the top are pretty light and humorous. Even the wording, which is a major aspect of voice and tone, is perfectly tuned to give you a certain feel and experience. The page perfect combination of getting the information and scientific knowledge across, while still managing to keep you interested with casual, colloquial language. Case and point: if you’re really into getting others hooked on the company, you can become a “potty mouth”!

Of course, as you move your audience through the funnel, you may want to dial back on any fluff that’s purely for entertainment, but no need to get all serious, either. Squatty Potty helps show that you can be informative and interesting. (On a similar topic, Poo Pourri, created by the same agency, managed the same thing. And that product is quite poo-pular.)

Music and Audio

Your brand is the “look and feel”, the whole, complete experience of your company. This of course includes music. Remember the twinkling, light-hearted and touching music at the end of Forrest Gump, as the feather is floating away from Tom Hanks? Imagine if it were replaced by the simple, skin-crawling and dramatic duh-DUH music of Jaws. Or visa versa.

You may not be making a blockbuster, but you’re trying to build an experience. What best suits your brand? When the viewers see and hear the video, will they relate it to you and your company? Will they know that it’s you?

Take one of Apple’s older iPod commercials. They produced a series of these ads, and you didn’t have to guess who was behind it. It was energetic, creative, and showed how the product enhanced your life, which is exactly how Apple wants you to think of their products and company. They give you an experience.

The right music is a statement. So is not having music. Take Skittles, for example. We’re talking about candy, here, so they can’t take themselves too seriously, like they’re curing cancer or something. They would have trouble positioning Skittles as a life-changing experience, or something that will help you do your job faster or drive more safely. So a deep, heart-ripping cello solo? Or the soothing tones of an Ian McKellan-style voiceover? Not gonna fly. It’s a candy. Candy is fun. Skittles are fun and brightly colored and are meant to bring a little joy or entertainment to your day. Their commercials represent that brand personality through their audio. Imagine a company like Ferrari making a commercial like this for their car? Preposterous. But it’s perfect for Skittles.


Setting is a big part of representing your brand. Now, don’t think that you have to have all of your videos take place in your CEO’s office just because you’re a corporation and your office setting looks like a cube farm. If your brand personality is innovative, shooting all of your videos might feel exactly the opposite: stagnant, dull, and well, not worth watching. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you can never shoot in an office. Just keep in mind the experience of the setting. Is there clutter laying around? Does the office look hectic? Are the lights too dim? Are there pictures of family members in the shot? Consider everything around you.

Also, you can go too far on the other side of the scale of trying to look a certain way through your setting. If your business builds server cooling systems, for example, shooting a video with a couple sitting on a beach probably won’t make a whole lot of sense, and won’t help your audience connect the video to your brand. Even if the video is done well, if it doesn’t align with your brand, you might accidentally cause your viewers to falsely remember the video and attribute it to another company.

Think about this: what do you stand for? What does your company believe in? As I mentioned before, Apple is all about convincing you that their products enhance your life. They aren’t selling you a phone or a watch, they’re selling you an experience of your life—how it can be better, more exciting, more creative, if you had the right gadgets to help you do what you want to do. And the settings in their videos imply that. They aren’t stuck in offices, the videos show the beauty of the world. Perfectly in line with their brand.

There you have it. Brand is a powerful thing, and it can give your videos so much more power than if you ignore it or don’t know how to apply it well. Just ask yourself, what is the experience you want to create? And then write it down as the basis of your brand guidelines for video, and do it again and again and again, because brand is nothing if it isn’t consistent. With that in mind, you’ll surely create something memorable.

Now who wants some ice cream?!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

What a Lost iPhone, an Airport, and a Puppy can Teach you About Video that Sticks

As I was scrolling through my newsfeed recently, I came across a video posted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 2014 titled “KLM Lost & Found service”. I’d seen it before, probably a few times, actually. Despite this, it reeled me in again.

I mean, this thing has sticking power. Take a look.

Before you ask, no, that cute little, fuzzy-faced beagle is not a real KLM employee. But he is a phenomenal metaphor for going above and beyond to give KLM passengers the optimal experience. Not to mention a great brand tool. This video now sits at over 21 million views and continues to be shared and talked about across the web one and a half years later.

So I wondered, other than the happiest, floppiest, four-legged creature you’ve ever seen, why is this video so successful and how can marketers learn from it? Given the distribution of company sizes and budgets across the world, it’s probable that you don’t have the same kind of marketing budget as a large, international airline. But there are definitely still parallels to be drawn and applied to your own video content.

Aim High for Metaphorical Stories

If this video were a literal representation of the message KLM was trying to convey, it would not have been as effective. For one, there wouldn’t have been a cute puppy involved. But actually, imagine we followed the journey of the airline retrieving lost items after a flight. Cool, we could see a grumpy passenger, the cluttered bagging area, and then a happy customer. But whoop-dee-doo. We like to believe in magic. Give us a little something more and consider sharing your stories in a metaphorical, rather than literal manner.

Straddle the Line of Believable and Unbelievable

A lot of people wondered if lost item dog rescue was an actual service that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines provided. I mean, it’s possible. And that dog really does really look like he loves his job.

By stretching just enough outside of the true nature of the lost item processes at KLM, they made people wonder and sparked significant conversation around their video. Viewers just need to know: will they meet this pooch on their next flight?! Even though this video was posted a year and a half ago, people are still commenting on their YouTube video to this day asking if it’s real!

KLM airlines training dog videoBe careful with this tactic, though. As KLM did receive some flack for ‘misleading’ viewers. Sometimes it’s a good idea to show a little bit of absurdity, just so your viewers can start to catch on and realize you’re just joking with them. I, personally caught on when the good ol’ beagle was being trained around traveling mannequins – but apparently this didn’t trigger the falsity for everyone.  

Then you also get people like this latching on to your story and taking advantage of those gullible viewers.

YouTube comment KLM video

We thank DuffusTheTroll for the heads up.

Remember that Subtle Branding is Better than a Slap in the Face

The airline has done an exemplary job of infusing their video with subtle branding throughout by adding it into the background scenes. The dog is wearing branded panniers, he trains in front of numerous branded planes, and the flight attendants and the “Lost and Found Team” are decked out in company attire. Consider using your own branding in a natural way, like KLM, instead of slapping the logo all over the place in post-production. It ensures your viewers know who the video is about, but still seems natural.

Use Music to Sell Your Story

Let’s just go back for a moment to 0:23 when we were introduced to all the paws and floppiness of the Lost and Found beagle.

That entry music made this scene. Without it, that little four-legged cutie would just have been a beagle running through an airport. But the epic music (and slow motion!) show you that this is someone big, with a big mission. Just from his intro, you can tell that this pup is an important character, a hero, even. Pay attention to not only which music you’re selecting for your own videos, but the key elements of the music and how they can work together with the story to build up important points, draw out emotions, or even increase suspense.

Film Reality-Style Video

People are tired of being sold to. I mean so tired that you’re even tired of hearing that people are tired.

Imagine that this video was a pitch from KLM’s CEO or even from a front-line representative in front of a green screen or in the airport. I’d bet you probably wouldn’t have cared – nor would the 21 million other people who watched this video. The reality style of this shoot, which was captured with some rougher footage, natural actors, and even audio guys ‘making their way’ into the shot.reality video with audio man It makes you feel like certain shots were captured in real time as the Lost and Found dog was saving the day, makes the messaging more trustworthy, which is ironic given that this was a ‘fake’ story. Shoot your own reality video – either contrived reality or real reality. Wow, we’ve actually come to a point where we have to specify when reality is real! This is happening.

Pick One Message and Fly it All the Way Home

Undoubtedly, this video was meant to convey how hard KLM works for their passengers and how much they value their belongings. They could have spoken to 15 core principles that make up this value (I don’t actually know if it’s 15, per se), but that would seriously dilute their message and likely leave their viewers confused and unsure of the core takeaway. Instead, the airline focused solely on “we return your lost baggage” and really delivered the whole story to hit this message.

They even hammered it home by laying out the moral of the story right on screen for you near the end of the video.

text on screen KLM video

Close On the Story, Not Yourself

Picture this for a second: KLM ends the video on the text above and then their logo. Bam. End.

You’re left with a corporate message to move on to the rest of your day. That’s like getting a crappy package of peanuts as the final snack on an otherwise awesome flight. What is it that you remember about that flight? Due to the recency effect, those crappy peanuts will phenomenally taint your impression of the flight. Funny, isn’t it? The same goes for video. Think long and hard about what you want to leave your viewers with.

It might not be your logo.

That’s not to say that we’re all so anti-logo that we’d flip the table and toss our laptops. But KLM’s approach reminds us of the cute beagle we fell in love with at the 26 second mark and closes out the story with us watching him causally roll by on the people-mover, thinking much more warm and fuzzy thoughts. Which, happen to be subconsciously linked to their brand.

Who knew there were so many lessons to be learned from a lost iPhone, an airport, and a puppy? I sure didn’t. But I’m happy that great content continues to soar across my newsfeed, because I’ll never get tired of great content – even when it’s over a year old.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 Fixes for Common Account-Based Marketing Faux-Pas

B2B marketers in almost every industry are getting their feet wet with account-based marketing. If you recently rolled out a campaign at your company, you’re probably eager to see results (and so are your superiors).

It doesn’t help that the big-box brands are all reporting massive ROI. Last year, SAP generated $27 million in revenue with ABM. Surely, you can manage to convert a few new accounts and impress your CFO.

But what if that isn’t happening? What if your ABM campaign is just spinning around in the digital void like a satellite with no thrusters, failing to prove its value? A skeptic might suggest complete decommission. Cancel your contracts with ABM vendors, and go back to the basics of old-fashioned lead generation. Let your sales team handle account outreach however they see fit.

Don’t do that.

As with many other aspects of outreach and engagement, sales needs your help with ABM. But don’t push harder and spend more if your campaigns, thus far, have been ineffective. Try to figure out where your strategy is weak or incomplete, and make the necessary adjustments.

To get you started, here are five opportunities to improve your ABM campaign, based on common mistakes and omissions:

1. Use the Right Tools

For starters, if you want to run long-term, scalable campaigns (instead of stunted, one-off plays), you need to have the right technology in place. Depending on its capabilities, you may be able to reconfigure your CRM/marketing automation suite to perform some ABM tasks, like tracking account-level metrics and creating new opportunities. But there are a number of other ABM tools that can help you optimize different stages of the process.

For example, did you know that 80 percent of ABM users say predictive analytics is a critical component of the stack? Here are some other functional areas to consider:

  • Lead identification tools (contact data)
  • Predictive intelligence
  • Account-level retargeting (display ads)
  • Website personalization
  • Account-tracking/reporting

2. Map Out Your Accounts

The phrase “account-based marketing” is a little deceptive. You are going after a list of specific accounts, but you shouldn’t be addressing the account as a single, homogenous entity. Marketing messages have the strongest impact when they target specific decision-makers and decision-influencers.

You can’t effectively market to an account you know nothing about. One of the reasons your current campaign might be sputtering is a lack of visibility. The solution here is account mapping: using intelligence tools and probably some manual reconnaissance, define each account’s organizational structure by naming specific stakeholders. Account mapping may also include analysis of financial health and business initiatives.

Who’s in charge? Who makes decisions about procurement? The more you know, the better you can market.

3. Graduate from Single-Channel ABM

A lot of marketers mistakenly think ABM means targeted advertising. Targeted ads are definitely part of the mix, but you’ll probably never generate a new opportunity from an ad. ABM is much bigger than that; it’s a comprehensive strategy that stretches across multiple channels and every stage of the buying journey, from awareness to advocacy. If you want your campaign to succeed, you need to build it accordingly.

How can you engage with target accounts on your website? On LinkedIn? Through email? In person? What kind of content and tools will you need to successfully manage these interactions?

4. Watch Your Metrics Closely

One of the biggest challenges of ABM (or any marketing initiative, for that matter) is proving bottom-line business impact. If you invest in a new campaign, you’ll have an inherent responsibility to demonstrate how it improves revenue, reduces overhead, or shortens the sales cycle. And of course, you can’t prove any of those things unless you’re tracking the right metrics.

Again, your CRM/marketing automation suite should help a lot here, provided you can assign multiple lead profiles to the same opportunity. If you use a more basic suite with limited reporting tools, you may want to look for an ABM platform that can track and analyze account engagement (something like DemandBase or Engagio should do the trick). Some companies create their own dashboards and ABM scorecards in-house, which is feasible if you’re starting out with a small number of accounts.

5. Think Outside the Box

Digital distribution and centralized reporting play an important role in making ABM scalable, but don’t limit yourself to digital. As ABM tools become more prevalent and more accessible, it won’t take long to crowd the hot-tub. To distinguish yourself from competitors, think outside the box.

Direct mail is one example. You could try a postcard series to warm up cold accounts and refer prospects to your website, or a high-end package with goodies to reach a C-level executive. If you make direct mail personal enough, it will stand out among the hundreds of generic, digital messages that bombard decision-makers every week. As Joe Pulizzi commented in 2012, “Print is ‘non-traditional’ marketing. That’s where we are today.”

Micro-events (e.g. exclusive sporting events, executive dinners, seminars) can also be an effective — if unorthodox — way to connect with target accounts and start meaningful conversations. Even if those who register don’t attend, you still gained a valuable list of decision-makers.  

If your young ABM campaign isn’t delivering the results you’d hoped, you might have to endure a few uncomfortable status meeting with executives. But don’t panic, and don’t give up. Pinpoint your weaknesses and decide what tools or techniques offer the best solution. Work with sales to build a strategy that not only targets accounts, but engages them, provides value, and starts meaningful conversations.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

B2B Video Production: 15 Experts Pass Their Best Advice to You

Did you ever dream of being the next Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky?

At the time, your dreams were filled with fresh ice, slick pucks, and crisp shots. There just wasn’t any other option. It was sports star or nothin’!

Maybe it was another sport, or maybe you weren’t into sports at all, but stick with me! Once you got the bug, you practiced for hours upon hours in your basement. For hockey, it was the wrist shot. You surfaced only when your mother finally lost her cool when the puck hit the basement window for the 53rd time. Or maybe when you just, simply couldn’t feel your hands anymore.

Yeah, that’s the mark of true passion and hard work (and sure, maybe just a pinch of childhood naivety).

But then your parents decided after so much practice, and you just not shutting up about hockey, that maybe you could dedicate yourself to the sport after all. But if you wanted to get anywhere with it, you needed a coach who knew how the heck to get your shot within 6 feet of the net.

15 Experts Spill Their Greatest B2B Video Production Advice

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There comes a time when we learn that the speed at which we can learn from an expert is phenomenally faster than we could ever learn on our own. The experts have already experimented and tried everything you’re going to – so why not take the short cut? It’ll save you endless hours practicing in your dark, dingy basement … struggling and alone.

Okay that got weird.

The moral of the story is this: when you want to get better at something, it pays to visit the experts.

That’s why these video marketing leaders are here … for you! We know that more and more marketers are bringing production in-house. So 15 video experts dished their best advice on B2B video production so you could nail that in-house shoot. From maximizing creative idea generation to best practices in lighting, audio, and set location – this short guide, “15 Experts Spill Their Greatest B2B Production Advice”, will definitely give you the home-ice advantage.

B2B Video Production Tips

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Video Marketing How-To: Personalizing Your Video

Welcome to another episode of Video Marketing How-To! This week we want to talk about how you can personalize your video content in a variety of ways.

The Guide to More Pipeline with Personalized Video

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Personalizing your content at any level is a great way of engaging better with customers, and creating more memorable experiences for the people you market to. That said, many folks don’t know that this isn’t limited to just adding someone’s name to the email subject line. Here’s how to do it with video!

The first level of personalization is tied to your buyer personas. Creating content for each individual buyer that you cater to allows you to specialize your content so buyers can get exactly the answers they’re looking for. For example, Taulia has created videos for each of their personas, and if you’re in one of these roles, you know exactly how Taulia can help you get better at your job.

The next step in personalization is visual personalization – this one requires a bit more work and some design experience, so it may be something to work your way up to. In addition to adding a prospect’s name to the subject line of your emails, use a tool like Photoshop to add visual queues to the splash screen of your video when you link it from the email. This provides an incredibly compelling visual asset that only makes the play button more clickable.

Finally? Personalizing the video itself. Using a tool like Vidyard you can insert personalized details directly into the video, in addition to personalizing the splash screen. This level of personalization offers huge returns on engagement – up to 15 times higher than regular videos. You’ll need a specialized tool to do this – we can help – and the results are astounding.

I hope you find this information valuable! As always, if you have any questions please ask them in the comments, and we’ll do our best to cover them in a future episode of Video Marketing How-To! Thanks again for watching!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

4 Reasons Why We Are Building an In-house Video Production Room

At EverString, we are all about using data to understand our customers. It’s a natural part of being a predictive marketing platform—using data to determine what our best customer looks like, so that we can go out and market to customers that look like them. But we still have to market to these potential customers, and we think video is an excellent way to do that.

In fact, we are in the process of building a video room in our offices in order to spend the resources and time needed to build out our video library. Video is the medium that really makes our most valuable leads tick. Here are four reasons why we’ve chosen to invest in a video.

1. Creating the Ideal Content Journey

As marketers, we create valuable and engaging content to generate more leads, increase conversions, and build relationships. We’re always looking to create content that appeals to our best-fit accounts. At EverString we emphasize Account-Based Marketing, and scoring accounts before scoring leads, because who wants to sell into the perfect lead at the wrong company?

How to Set Up a Video Studio in Your Office

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2. Using Video Signals in Nurture

If our CRM, marketing automation tool, and video marketing platform are all in sync tracking what prospects are watching, we have so much data on how to follow up—which is why our sales team has also been pushing for this.

I’ll paint the picture for you: let’s say a lead watched our video on predictive demand generation. Now one of our sales reps can follow up with a video message about other content related to predictive demand generation. In an age where there is so much noise on every channel, looking at video data provides a unique way to be especially relevant with our prospects.

3. Creating Videos on the Fly for Social

With a video room, we can create videos quickly and upload them to our social channels. It could just be one of our coworkers getting excited about a tradeshow coming up, maybe it will be pro-tips and tricks, or even a more thought-out series of videos. Soon, without much planning, it will be possible to get moments like that on video and distribute it quickly.

4. Getting the Full Picture with Video Scoring

We love our marketing automation lead scoring and our predictive scoring. Our marketing automation platform measures engagement across our website. It tells us who downloaded what when, and how much of our content they’re looking at. Our predictive platform provides predictive scoring that gives us a bigger picture of how to understand our leads outside of our brand. For example, predictive scoring measures intent data (showing you if/when someone is browsing a competitor site or searching terms relevant to your product) and fit data which shows you firmographic data (company size, industry, geography), tech stack data, and personal level data about title, skills, etc. This kind of scoring can help us target the right folks so our sales reps can strike while the iron’s hot. Now, with video scoring, we’ll have another layer of understanding about what our accounts are into and when to reach out.

Essentially: lead scoring + predictive scoring + video scoring = magic (more MQLs, revenue, efficiency).

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Friday, January 8, 2016

High-Performing B2B Marketers Will Make These 4 Shifts in 2016, Predicts Forrester

B2B buying has changed. And Forrester is taking notice, predicting massive shifts in marketing in the coming year. “Buyers prefer to do research themselves rather than rely on vendors’ sales reps. The result: a dramatic shift in the role and focus of B2B marketing organizations. … Most B2B companies have been slow to recognize, understand, and prepare to deal with this new reality.” The best marketers, they say, will act differently in 2016.

Forrester Predictions for 2016: B2B Marketing’s New Mission

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Forrester’s predictions see massive changes in 2016 in four major realms:

  • go-to-customer strategy,
  • the accelerating shift from art to science,
  • tech investments,
  • and  B2B messaging.

Forrester Analysts Laura Ramos, Lori Wizdo, Tim Harmon, Mary Shea, Steven Wright, and Shanta Samlal-Fadelle believe that B2B marketers will take over the whole organization.

Okay … not quite.

But they do think they’ll start to move closer and closer to the customer and even begin to merge with the customer team. They also foresee marketing moving further and further down the sales funnel:

“At least one-third of marketers will initiate programs with sales leadership that redefine key processes and secure sales force alignment, to reduce friction between teams as they engage deeper into the funnel.”

And they even predict that marketers will adopt some of the most common KPIs normally assigned to sales. But it makes sense: every one of us and our cats know that B2B buyers are completing so much of the purchase process on their own (with – wouldya look at that – marketing content).

To support this shift, Forrester predicts that all that content your marketing team’s producing that neither your buyers nor your sales team are paying attention to will start to become phenomenally more conversational (to get that attention!). Meaning more crowdsourced content, more storytelling, and an increased adoption of crowdsourcing technology platforms.

But hey, I don’t want to give it all away. You need to see it for yourself. This is good stuff – something you’ll want to keep in your metaphorical back pocket for the year! Check out the rest of Forrester’s predictions in their report, here.

forrester b2b marketing predictions 2016

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The 3 Massive Marketing Hang-ups Account-Based Marketing Can Solve

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ve heard about account-based marketing (ABM). Analysts are talking about it, executives are taking note of its advantages, and many companies have already launched their own initiatives. A recent SiriusDecisions report found that 52 percent of B2B companies already have a pilot program for ABM.

But an adoption trend and a bunch of analyst hype doesn’t constitute necessity. The real question is whether or not your business would benefit from ABM, and how it fits in with your current programs. What problems or challenges do you face? Could ABM be a solution?

A New Sheriff in Town

Historically, lead generation has been the engine that drives B2B profits. Some companies are really good at it, others not so much. But in either case, traditional lead generation has also been plagued by a small handful of recurring problems — most revolving around lead quantity, lead quality, or return on investment (ROI). That’s because lead gen is all about the funnel: pour a high volume of leads in, and try to keep as few as possible from slipping out before the opportunity stage.

You probably know by now that ABM takes the opposite approach. Instead of starting with a lot and ending up with a few, ABM focuses on building and expanding relationships with high-value, named accounts — starting with a few, and ending up with higher profits and (hopefully) customer advocacy.

This approach is in no way meant to replace your current programs, but it does compensate for some of traditional lead generation’s biggest problems …  such as the three below.

The Problem of Poor MQLs

You can generate thousands of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) every week, but it won’t matter if they don’t convert or if your sales team rejects them. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Marketing and sales aren’t on the same page about what defines a qualified lead.
  • MQLs don’t fit your customer profile or don’t have enough purchase intent.
  • Your lead scoring system is miscalibrated.
  • Your nurturing process isn’t strong enough.

When bad MQLs become a systemic problem, they lead to pipeline leakage and a lot of wasted resources, even if you do convert a few. But where traditional lead gen casts a wide net, the account-based approach is a harpoon aimed straight at the accounts you want to pursue. Since sales will inevitably need to help you vet those accounts, none of your efforts will be wasted.

Instead of saying, “Here are a bunch of leads we think are qualified,” you can tell sales, “Show us the accounts you actually want, and we’ll market to them.”

The Challenge of Group Consensus

Traditional B2B marketing has been very focused on individual leads. If we can just get a hold of CSOs at mid-size companies in our target industry, we can sell to them. The right decision-maker can certainly pull a lot of strings, but limiting your efforts to this narrow approach is a misstep.

B2B purchase decisions aren’t usually made by one person, but rather by a group of people with divergent interests and priorities. Most B2B purchases now require approval from more than five stakeholders, according to CEB. And as you can imagine, the larger the group, the harder it is for the group to achieve consensus.


As you can see from this CEB chart, purchase intent is inversely proportional to the number of decision-makers on a buying team.

When marketing to an account in aggregate — instead of to individual leads — you can more clearly identify points of hesitation and focus on accelerating consensus. CEB global says the most challenging stage for a buying group is identifying a solution. In their words: “agreeing on the best course regardless of supplier.”

That means the ABM process starts even before you tout your product as superior. It starts with educating accounts on how to identify needs and create executive buy-in for an appropriate solution.

The Problem of Low ROI

Finally, many marketers struggle to prove ROI for their lead generation campaigns. In part, that’s because ROI is difficult to measure, but it also stems from a larger problem with the way leads are handled. A traditional lead funnel can, at some point, distinguish between leads of lower and higher value, but that distinction takes time, and the lead itself remains the active agent (you only know what they reveal).

In many cases, you won’t know the scope of a potential deal until the lead has actually spoken to a sales development rep. Say they turn out to be a big opportunity. Great. But by then, you’ve spent a lot of marketing dollars on countless other leads that turned into small opportunities or no opportunities at all.

Think of ABM as a shortcut for maximizing profits. You can target an account for any number of reasons:

  • High-yield
  • Good fit with your product
  • Strategic importance
  • Competitor’s customer

But all these reasons are designed to connect your marketing efforts directly with sales goals and sales targets. That’s a pretty good place to be as a marketer. It’s no wonder that 97 percent of ABM users say it brings higher ROI than other initiatives.

ABM helps fill in gaps and increase effectiveness where other campaigns may fail. It shouldn’t (and couldn’t) replace traditional lead generation, but it should be implemented as a parallel initiative. With the right tools and approach, ABM can strengthen your relationships with target accounts and drive profits through customer advocacy.   

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

5 Reasons Video MUST Be Part of Your 2016 Marketing Budget [Infographic]

Ahh, a new year. There’s nothing quite like it.  

After several major holidays spent watching football and parades, and eating way too much of the unhealthiest foods known to man…

It feels like a fresh start. Like everything you did last year – you can do it better this time around.

It’s the same in marketing, isn’t it?  A new fiscal year means a whole slew of new objectives, goals, campaigns, initiatives… and the budget to make them happen. But this year, you have an opportunity to do something really different. You have an opportunity to tap into the power of video.

This isn’t an “Oh, that’s a nice thought” kind of opportunity. It’s a chance to take your marketing strategy into overdrive. A chance for you to reach your marketing goals – and wave as you pass them by.

Don’t believe me? Here are a few reasons why you should.

5 Reasons Video Must Be Part of Your 2016 Marketing Budget Teaser

Download the full infographic here!

Share some key findings!

  • Audiences are 10x more likely to engage with video than other blog or social content. (Click to tweet!)
  • 71% of marketers say conversion rates from video outperform their other marketing content. (Click to tweet!)
  • Stories are 22x more memorable than facts alone. (Click to tweet!)
  • Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. (Click to tweet!)
  • 52% of marketers say video delivers better ROI than any other type of content. (Click to tweet!)
  • According to Cisco, online video traffic will reach 80% by 2019. (Click to tweet!)
  • 92% of B2B companies plan to use video in marketing in 2016. (Click to tweet!)

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