Friday, February 26, 2016

5 Rules for Using Video on Landing Pages – and Examples of How to Bend Them

Bending and stretching is great. Not just for your body (who doesn’t want a Jennifer Aniston-like yoga-toned body?!), but for your creative and effective marketing efforts. Here’s what I mean: You know that video is an incredibly engaging and converting medium. You use it on your website, campaign emails, and you probably know it’s great for landing pages too; after all, video on landing pages can increase conversion by over 80%! And of course there are guidelines and best practices, like putting the video above the fold, keeping your video short, choosing an engaging thumbnail, and of course, including a CTA in the video to drive conversion (for details and more best practices, check out this post). But sometimes, rules are meant to be, well, bent. That’s how you can get a fresh perspective, and give your audience a fresh experience.

Want to see what I mean? Let’s check out a few different examples to help inspire you.

Example 1: Use a good thumbnail…but what’s a good thumbnail?

As I’ve said before, videos have to be tempting enough to be clicked on, so a thumbnail is your first big step to engaging and converting your audience. What do you think of when you think of a thumbnail? A static image from your video with a big play button overlaid (if you go this route, don’t forget to A/B test your thumbnails to see which image works best with your audience)? A thumbnail doesn’t have to be what you would expect.

Check out this creative landing page—the ‘thumbnail’ is a looping video that immediately helps engage your audience and draws them into the story.

Example 2: Put a video above the fold…but no one said there couldn’t be more videos below the fold!

You know your most engaging content should be placed above the fold of your landing page. Typically that means your video should be front and center, tempting people to click, be engaged, and convert. It’s also true that landing pages are generally meant for simple messaging and simple design so you don’t overwhelm your audience or confuse them. But that doesn’t mean that you can have only one video on a landing page! Yes, you should have one “hero” video consisting of your most important message, but you can further the experience and deepen the understanding of your message by providing even more videos throughout the rest of the page.

Want to see what I mean? Check out this page for Saleforce’s Dreamforce conference. The hero ‘highlights’ video gives the viewer a taste of everything the conference has to offer, and once the viewer is enticed by the content and interested in the conference, they can further explore more video below that offers a deeper look into past conference sessions.

Example 3: Keep your video meaty enough to be valuable for your whole audience…but specific enough to be valuable for one viewer

Is your face like “Whaaa??” right now? Let me explain. No one likes wasting even a few minutes of their day on filler content that doesn’t teach them anything or make their day better or easier. So it’s important to make sure your video’s content is meaty enough to back up, explain, or give more detail about your landing page’s key message. You want to make sure it’s useful enough content for everyone who lands on the page.

But you know what else it could be? The video on your landing page could be directed to one viewer only. Take a look at this event landing page video to see what I mean. Is there a more engaging experience than that? Personalized Video is a stunning way to build trust, enhance your credibility, and more easily convert your viewer because they feel like you’re talking directly to them and no one else.

Example 4: Video is a powerful experience—but it doesn’t need to be a standalone experience

Okay so by now you might be totally sold that video is the way to go for every message, every audience, every content type, etc, etc. Good for you for embracing video…but that doesn’t mean it has to be the only experience your audience gets. Some might want to read a bit, some might want to watch video, and some might like to do both. Keep that in mind when you’re creating your landing pages. This way you can offer an experience that appeals to all sorts of audiences. For example, if your video consists of vital information, put that information in text format nearby on the page as well. Or, if your video is simply meant to be a creative and fun way to introduce your content, you should still make sure the concept or theme of the video is carried consistently throughout the text on the page.

Want to see what I mean? Well with this landing page, if the text didn’t include a tie-in to the creative concept, then the background video would feel very random and out of place—page visitors might wonder why someone is crying in the looping video.

Now, in this example, the text is tied right into the video, so you can listen to it, enjoy the motion, feel swept away in the story, and also read along!

Example 5: Size your video so it gets noticed…but that doesn’t mean it has to scream and demand attention

If you’re going to use video on a landing page, you probably want it it stand out and get noticed. But that doesn’t mean every video on the page should fill up the whole screen, and drown out all other content. Size each video appropriately for the value it offers the audience.

Want to know what I mean? Look at this landing page for Space Camp, the video marketing summit. The page offers visitors a taste of what the summit is all about. The first video on the page is the hero video, pumping up last year’s attendees and future attendees with highlights (including ‘meaty’ comments and reviews) of last year’s incredible event. And for those who want to know more about the event (perhaps they didn’t make it to last year’s summit), they can scroll down the page, check out the “About” section, and then, if they want to experience even more, they can view the smaller, subtler video in the About section.

Feeling bendy now? Hopefully those examples will inspire you to use video on your own landing pages in creative and new twists on tried-and-true standards. Your audiences already love video, and they’ll love the fresh experience you can offer! (Still wanting to bend something? There’s probably a yoga class about to start nearby…)

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Podcast: Getting Personal with Video in an Impersonal World

The B2B Nation Podcast is made up of expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in B2B sales and marketing today. Recently, Jeff Gadway, the Director of Product Marketing at Vidyard, was a guest on our podcast.

In this episode, we discuss where the need for personalized video content arises, why it is important for marketers, whether marketers are underutilizing video for lead generation, MarketingSherpa Summit, and more!

Below are my key takeaways from the conversation.

Personalized video allows you to engage your audience on a one-to-one level, but at mass scale.

If you think about it, the sound of a person’s name is the sweetest word in the human language. It was Dale Carnegie who said that a long time ago. We all want to be treated as individuals. We want to be identified, respected, acknowledged as individuals, and personalized video allows you to talk to somebody on a one-to-one level, but at a scale of 10s or 1000s in one mass email campaign. It allows you to go very broad but also get really targeted and treat people as people. As Jeff explained, “We recognize people as individuals, and we’re seeing some amazing results that indicate that this is in fact working, and that it’s making a huge impact on the effectiveness of email campaigns.”

There are a number of different places that personalized video can be used.

Outbound email campaigns are definitely a great place to start. Including a video thumbnail in an email campaign increases click-through rates by 2x. When you add a personalized element, including the recipient’s name or company name or job title in that personalized thumbnail image in the email itself, the click-through rates skyrocket through the roof. That’s one of the simplest ways to implement a personalized video. You can also use it for inbound campaigns as well.

7 Ways to Create Hyper-Personalized Marketing Experiences with Video

Get the Guide

You can put a personalized video on a campaign landing page, so when a person arrives on that landing page, they might fill in some information and then be sent a personalized video as a follow-up. Jeff shared, “We’ve seen customers that are using personalized video to do product demos for recruiting purposes. We’ve even got a couple of customers that are in the education space that are using it to recruit high-potential students that they’re looking to bring to their university.”

The results that Vidyard’s customers are seeing are really phenomenal.

“We recently worked with a number of customers on some holiday campaigns back in December, and we got them to share some of their results with us. Tradeshift is one of the customers we’ve been working with. What they shared is that their click-through rates are typically around 1% on their email campaigns, which is pretty average for marketers today. When they ran this personalized video campaign, they saw their click-through rates sky rocket to over 10.75% which is a pretty phenomenal increase in click-through. We saw Cetera Financial see similar types of increases, 600% increases in their click-through rates.”

Act-On saw 30% more people watching personalized videos right until the end.

“Typically speaking, just under 50% of viewers of Act-On’s videos would watch all the way to the end, and with personalized video, that number increased to approximately 80%. What we’re seeing typically is increases in click-through rates, increases in click-to-open rates, longer time spent on page, longer engagement with the videos themselves, and more downloads … in addition to fewer unsubscribes than people are typically used to.”

What marketers are saying about video and what marketers are actually doing about video, are two very different things.

About 75% of marketers would say that video is the most important content medium that they have. However, only about 15% of them are actually capturing actionable data about their viewers that they can use to score leads, segment customers, build more effective nurture programs and do things that would allow them to demonstrate the value of their video strategy and show the ROI on their video.

“Marketers definitely are under-utilizing video; not that they don’t understand that video is a powerful medium. They get that it allows them to capture the minds and hearts of their audience, but they don’t have the tools to be able to actually translate those views into actionable insights that allow them to move their business forward, generate revenue, and show results.”

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company looking to help buyers find marketing automation software, CRM systems, and more.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Non-Artist’s Guide To Storyboarding Marketing Videos

We’ve all been there before.

You’ve got a great idea.  This lead gen video is going to be the next Dropbox success story.

You talk to your video team.  You write the script.  Everyone is excited.  You shoot the video.  World-domination, an IPO and/or a promotion are mere frames away.  You launch the video.  That upload click has never felt so good.

Then the crickets start.  And when you watch the video you realize… this is nothing like what I had in mind!!”

What gives?

Shoulda made a storyboard.

Some people think a storyboard has got to be a Pixar-level work of art in and of itself.  Or that you’ve got to be able to draw or be creative to make a good storyboard.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s a simple process we use to make storyboards so there’s less of a chance of botching production.

It’s Got To Start As An Outline

Storyboards (unfortunately) aren’t magic.  If you don’t know what you’re going to say, there’s no saving it.

There are a few common outlines you can use to get started.  Here are two every video marketer should have in their tool belt:

1. Hero’s Journey

Here’s a link to a free Google Doc template that spells this out.

Stories from Star Wars to Dropbox’s legendary explainer have harnessed this framework to make high-growth videos.

It goes like this:

  1. Meet the Hero, Bob.
  2. Bob has got a problem.
  3. He tried this, that, and the other thing and they didn’t work.
  4. Then he found the solution which works like this __________.
  5. Bob got this sweet, positively emotional pay-off + call to action.

2. Problem, Agitate, Solve

Check out this link for the Google Doc template

Cheesy infomercials have made BILLIONS with this framework.

The idea is when there’s a pressing problem you don’t want to let up on the pain, but keep pressing forward so it’s clear how much they need your solution.

Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Do you have this problem?
  2. Here are the things making your problem worse.
  3. This solution focuses explicitly on your big problem.
  4. Customer testimonials or proof.
  5. Benefit recap and call to action.

Choose Your Software

My software of choice is Google Presentation.  One because it’s free, but two because it’s familiar and has almost zero roadblocks to getting started.

If you’ve got some paper, a cell phone camera/scanner and a Google account you’re ready to go.


Here’s a helpful, free slide template you can use. Or if you like to do the pencil-to-paper method, here are a few printable word docs.

If you’re looking to get a bit more fancy you can take a look at StoryboardThat.

Highlight Your Critical Frames

Inside a two minute video you may not have a ton of scenes, but there will always be a few critical frames.

Every marketing storyboard should have frames for:

  1. Opener
  2. Problem Statement
  3. How the Solution works ← Often the most critical to storyboard.
  4. Call to action ← This is a close second in terms of storyboard need.

Frame 1 – The Opener

The main goal in the first frame is to create a sense of mystery.  If you’re working on a lead gen video, this is doubly important since a visitor is normally trading their contact info to scratch the itch of their curiosity.

Frame 2 – Problem Statement

This is the frame that should get your viewer’s head nodding (or qualify out the ones who shouldn’t be watching anyway).  If you have any dark or depressing frames, this is where they’ll go.

Frame 3 – How Your Solution Works

My favorite frame of all.  This is where your marketing chops come into play.  You can shave major time off an explanation with a well-thought-out solution frame.  Binge watch the explanation section of some late night infomercials to see this one done exceptionally well.

Frame 4 – Call To Action

Without this you might as well go home.  This is a nitty gritty frame, with the most important factor being clarity.  Is your URL easy to read?  Did viewers see where to click?  Does your info stay on screen long enough?

One important note: some frames are important to script well but don’t really need their own storyboard.  For example, benefit statements are critical to a script, but as long as your wording is right, your imagery may not be as essential.

Doodle Your Frames

Nearly every video I make starts as a doodle.  Ironically, I can’t draw but it doesn’t take complicated images to get the idea across.  My go-to images?  Stick figures for people, and labeled rectangles for objects.

Some of the keys you’re going for are:

  • Positioning.  Show the artist or videographer how the scene needs to be setup.
  • Timing.  Get across how the audio is going to be timed against the visual.
  • Transitions.  How much info is too much in your scenes?  When should you cut?  Pay attention to how your scenes are flowing into each other or if it feels like they’re not changing for a long period of time.

Do A Dry Run

The main value of storyboards is being able to run through your script and feel how your video is going to go BEFORE you’ve spent the time and money on production.

So fire up your script, pull out your key frames and do a dry run.  This is the step where the heaviest tweaking and revisions will come in and by doing it at the storyboard stage you’ll be saving yourself time and money.

John Lasseter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer puts it well.

“I will never let something go into production unless it is working fantastic in that version with the still drawings. Because no matter all the great animation you can do will never save a bad story. We will work and rework and rework and rework these reels — sometimes thirty times before we let it go into production.”

Go Forth And Storyboard!

While it seems like a little more work upfront, dropping in a storyboard step can save major time in production.  

If you have any tips of your own, please share them below!

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Businesses See 500% Lift in Email Conversion with Personalized Video from Vidyard

Personalization helps Act-On, Cetera Financial Group, Lenovo and Tradeshift get and keep audience attention in crowded email inboxes

KITCHENER, Ontario February 22, 2016  Getting your audience to pay attention to marketing emails is difficult in this era of crowded inboxes, but businesses including Act-On, Cetera Financial Group, Lenovo and Tradeshift are standing out from the crowd by using personalized video from Vidyard, the video platform that helps businesses turn viewers into customers.

By using personalized videos within email and content marketing campaigns:

  • Act-On increased video engagement by 182 percent and time-on-page by 62 percent
  • Cetera Financial Group saw a 600-percent increase in email click-through rates
  • Lenovo boosted click-through rates by 4.5 times and open rates by 400 percent while re-engaging cold, unresponsive leads within their funnel
  • Tradeshift increased page views by 231 percent

In a recent holiday email campaign, PC maker Lenovo more than quadrupled click-through rates compared to previous campaigns. Even more impressive: in a campaign to contact inactive recipients – people who hadn’t responded to the company in more than six months – 5 times as many people opened the personalized video emails compared to those that weren’t personalized.

“We expected personalized video to improve the results, but we were amazed by how effective it was,” said Michael Ballard, senior manager for digital marketing at Lenovo. “Personalization makes a huge difference for getting noticed in a crowded market.”

Business users sent and received on average 121 emails a day in 2014, and that is expected to grow to 140 emails a day by 2018. As much as marketers rely on email to reach their audiences, email campaigns don’t have a high success rate. Just 18 percent of marketing emails get opened, and recipients only click through 2 percent of them.

Personalized videos are customized to each individual recipient by seamlessly weaving unique information about them or their company right into the video. That could be something as simple as featuring their name, company name or job title at different points throughout a video or an image like a company logo or a picture of their website. In addition to personalizing the video itself, each recipient receives a personalized thumbnail image to drive greater engagement.

“Today’s marketers and sales teams face stiff competition for their audiences’ limited attention span,” said Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard. “Video by itself helps their messages get noticed. Personalized video compels action. It gets people to watch, keeps them watching longer and creates a memorable experience that builds brand affinity.”

For marketing automation provider Act-On, personalizing its videos resulted in more recipients actually viewing the content. Nearly twice as many people watched Act-On’s entire personalized video than typically watched other videos of similar length. Those viewers also spent 62 percent more time than average on Act-On’s campaign landing page.

“Our customer success team is in love with it,” said Linda West, director of digital marketing for Act-On. “Personalization helped lead to more conversions on our email campaign, but it also kept them engaged longer with the message we were trying to deliver, which is what really matters.”

Tradeshift, the leading global supplier collaboration platform, saw its click-through rate increase by a factor of 10 for its personalized 2015 holiday campaign, as compared to a similar campaign in the previous year that did not feature personalization. In turn, it led to a 231-percent jump in page views and an 88-percent increase in e-book downloads over the previous campaign.

“The results we have seen with Vidyard’s personalization capabilities have been remarkable,” said Denica Stoyanova, head of digital marketing and marketing operations at Tradeshift. “We understood it would have a positive impact on our engagement metrics, but the actual outcome was astonishing.”

Cetera Financial Group uses video content to capture the interest of new prospects and increase engagement in their lead nurturing programs. The rich video analytics provide new insights into customer behavior and their interest in Cetera’s services. During a recent email campaign featuring personalized videos, Cetera saw a 600-percent increase in email click-through rates.

“Besides the phenomenal metrics associated with personalized video, the technology is a real ‘surprise and delight’ for our customers that shows a level of sophistication associated with our brand,” said Eric Hansen, director of demand generation at Cetera Financial Group. “When you receive an email from a customer thanking you for making a video just for them, you know you’ve made a lasting impression.”

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 generate personalized videos for targeted prospects and customers with the click of a button from right within Salesforce.

To learn more about Vidyard’s Personalized Video, visit here:

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:

Brad Hem
Phone: (281) 543-0669

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 Reasons To Press Record at Your Next Event

You’ve printed your name tags, triple checked your conference bookings, and finally got all your slide decks in order. You’re ready to kick off the most memorable event of the year, right?

Totally! But the big question is, will your event live on beyond this week? Video is like a time machine for your event content—if you set up your event video strategy from the start, attendees can rewind and re-live the amazing experience from your event whenever they want. And future attendees can see what all the hype was about and plan their trip to next year’s event accordingly.

Here’s why recording your event content is win-win for today and tomorrow:

Live Streaming and Episodic Content

Live streaming your event content is nothing new. Dreamforce has been streaming keynotes and major sessions for years and they report five-figure viewer numbers in addition to those in the audience watching live. The recorded videos also make for great episodic content to be released leading up to your next event.

Salesforce used footage from Dreamforce 2014 in the lead up to last year’s event, posting a weekly “Road to Dreamforce” update for three months before the big 2015 event. You can check them out here.

These videos included everything from what to expect at your first Dreamforce (featuring testimonials from first-time attendees at the 2014 event) to navigating the various keynote talks and finding the right content for you (featuring footage from 2014 keynotes and panel discussions). All of this helped build excitement for return attendees, but also presented Dreamforce 2015 to new attendees in an engaging, visually appealing way.

Live streaming your event content is an absolute must if you’re looking to increase the eyes on your keynotes and product presentations, but don’t forget to press record on that live steam. Using your existing event videos as episodic content leading up to your next event is a great way to drive more value from your past events, and build up the hype for your next one in equal measure.

Creating An Awesome Event Video Experience

If someone wants to watch your keynote video a week after your event, and they head over to your event site, will they find it? If they go to YouTube, they may find what they’re looking for, or they may find a grainy camera-phone version from someone in the audience. Not a great experience.

Video hubs aren’t just for showcasing your product content, they’re a great way to aggregate your event videos so that attendees (and future attendees) can easily find the sessions they want to re-watch, and share it with their colleagues. In addition to driving great pre-event video, Salesforce does an excellent job hosting their Dreamforce content on a hub, indexed by highlights, innovation keynotes and product keynotes. Check it out here.

We took a page out of Salesforce’s book for our own event, Space Camp, and set up a branded hub featuring all of the keynotes and session videos in an easily accessible format that can be shared with anyone. Take a look here.

Space Camp Video HubWhen someone wants to re-live the Space Camp goodness, or see what next year’s event is going to be like, they can catch all of the important sessions and keynotes easily without having to turn to YouTube. The big lesson here? Don’t make interested viewers hunt for your content. If you’ve recorded all of your sessions, give your viewers an easy way to consume this content, and find more videos like it. You may help someone who’s interested in your product find the right info they need to move forward, and you may help someone interested in your next event justify the ticket price!

Using Today’s Content to Woo Tomorrow’s Attendee

Many events make use of pre-event video. We’ve talked about it more than once, and the results are astounding (especially when you personalize the video). But if you’ve already recorded a wealth of sessions from your last event, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Right after their 2015 event, Oracle quickly assembled the best talking points from James Franco, Jay Baer, Charlene Li, and other keynote speakers into a fantastic wrap-up video and trailer for their 2016 event:

If you were curious as to whether or not this event is relevant to your interests, this video gives you a quick and easy overview of what to expect from the keynotes, and the overall event atmosphere.

For follow-up content, it’s important to get this out as soon as you can so you stay top of mind with your attendees, but just like the Salesforce example from earlier, it’s never a bad idea to use your existing content to get future attendees on board. Recording all of your sessions gives you access to those perfect one-liners that define the entire atmosphere of your event, so it’s worth pressing record whenever you can!

The post 3 Reasons To Press Record at Your Next Event appeared first on Vidyard.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New from Forrester: Building a Predictable Lead-To-Revenue System

There was a time when marketing was considered a cost center. Unable to determine what impact their segment of the business was having on the bottom line, marketers fought hard to prove their worth.

Now, marketing has earned its spot at the table with more and more marketing execs committed to pipeline and revenue performance.

But with increased recognition comes increased pressure to deliver on specific results.

Forrester Report: Understanding the Performance Levers in Your Lead-to-Revenue System

Get the Report

“How can we double our SAL count by next year?” or “What will it take to increase marketing’s contribution to pipeline by 5%?”

B2B marketers need to understand the causes and effects of their marketing in order to accurately predict the outcome.

Forrester suggests that it is, in fact, feasible to accurately predict the outcome of your marketing efforts if you take an analytical approach to understanding the key performance drivers.

As Lori Wizdo, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester says “B2B CMOs must step up to building a standardized lead-to-revenue process because a well-designed and documented process enables scalability, roots out excess cost, improves marketing execution, and provides the basis for continuous incremental improvement.”

Dive in to this report to explore techniques from results-based management to help identify drivers of marketing results and determine marketing’s impact on each component of revenue performance: volume, velocity, and value.

Lead-to-Revenue Performance

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Vidyard and Media One Creative Bring Video Personalization and Analytics to Businesses

New partnership delivers end-to-end video marketing solutions spanning content production, personalization, distribution, and analytics

TORONTO, Ontario – February 17, 2016 – Vidyard and Media One Creative today announced a partnership to offer comprehensive video marketing solutions to help businesses drive new levels of engagement in their content and turn viewers into customers. The new partnership will see the leading video marketing platform and one of Canada’s fastest growing digital agencies help businesses quickly deploy video marketing programs while ensuring they can track individual viewer engagement and the ROI of their video content. Media One Creative will also offer a new service to help businesses create Personalized Video experiences that seamlessly weave the viewer’s name, company logo and other personally relevant content into the flow of the video to drive greater engagement, higher conversion rates and increased ROI.

Video is proven to be the most effective content type for engaging audiences and converting prospects into customers. While the majority of businesses are increasing their investments, a 2015 industry research report found that the top barriers to video marketing success include the lack of an effective video strategy and the lack of compelling content. Vidyard and Media One Creative will collaborate to help businesses overcome these challenges, delivering video marketing solutions that combines content production, video personalization, online distribution, individual viewer tracking and ROI reporting.

“Every business needs to be thinking about analytics and insights as a core part of their video marketing strategy,” said Derek Rider, co-founder and CEO of Media One Creative. “We’re thrilled to partner with Vidyard to help clients take their video programs from tactical to strategic, and to deliver exceptional content and video analytics that deliver real results in a way that is integrated with their broader marketing and sales strategy.”

Through the new partnership, Media One Creative will also use the Vidyard Personalized Video technology to create 1-to-1 personalized video experiences that literally bring viewers into the story. Personalized videos have been proven to significantly increase click-through and conversion rates, offering an innovative new way for marketers to cut through the noise and create memorable content experiences.

“The results we’re seeing with personalized video are incredibly exciting, with some of our largest customers seeing more than a 500 percent increase in conversion rates over their typical campaigns,” said Tyler Lessard, chief marketing officer at Vidyard. “We’re excited to partner with Media One Creative as a trusted personalized video content producer. Together, we’ll help clients in both B2C and B2B markets deliver innovative video campaigns that drive action and deliver results in a scalable manner.”

To see personalized video in action, simply visit here and enter your information to have a custom video rendered just for you. For more information on Vidyard and Media One Creative, please visit and

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.

About Media One Creative

Media One Creative has become one of Canada’s fastest growing digital video agencies, with a team of over 65 professional video, audio, creative and project management staff.  Media One Creative specializes in working with clients and agencies to solve business challenges through video.

Media Contact:

Brad Hem
Phone: (281) 543-0669

The post Vidyard and Media One Creative Bring Video Personalization and Analytics to Businesses appeared first on Vidyard.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

How to Create a Powerful Event Kick-Off Video

You’ve built up the hype. Now you have to live up to it.

You’re holding a major event for your key audiences. It’ll be full of thought leadership, engaging speakers, networking, excitement, and more, more, more. You’ve marketed the event well, and put a lot of bottoms in a lot of seats. But now, how do you start off the event? How do you make your audience glad they came, and happy they shelled out the ticket price?

With video, of course. But what should a kick-off event video be like? What should you avoid? How is it different from creating exciting pre-event videos? Well, here are a few things to consider.

What is the message you want to portray?

Video is all about telling a story that your audience can see, hear, and almost touch—it’s so real, it’s like they’re inside the video. It’s an incredibly powerful medium for sharing a message. So, it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: you must think carefully about the message you want to share with your audience. Who are they? What do they care about? Why did they come to this event? What will make them get off their phones or stop talking to their neighbours long enough to watch a kick-off video? And what impression would you like to leave them with once the video is over?

That video montage of past years’ attendees dancing at event parties and smiling for “candid” shots? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong: a video montage of past footage set to upbeat music has its time and place. It’s great for pre-event hype. It shows all the fun people can have at your event. But here’s the thing: your attendees are already at your event. Now is the time to slow down the party train, and begin to create that powerful message, that lasting story of your event. Your attendees are ready to listen, learn, and be amazed about all the things they can take action on when the event is over and they’re back to work. So aim to inspire them and kick their minds into high gear.

Did you know 100% of event attendees attend events?

Okay, so you don’t want to go overboard with the fluffy high-energy video clips that lack real “meat”. But try to stay away from the other end of the spectrum, as well. Would you be inspired to get cracking on learning everything you could at an event if it was kicked off with a bunch of facts or statistics? A kick-off event video doesn’t need to be straight-laced, plying audiences with a bunch of figures, or start off with a serious talking head getting straight down to business. The sessions will be plenty informative enough, so let your event kick-off video have a thrilling and encouraging tone.

Show, don’t sell.

Finally, remember the goal of your event. Is it thought leadership? Is it announcing the newest corporate direction or product line? Whatever it is, attendees probably don’t want to feel like they paid just to be sold to. They want to learn and discover what will make their own lives easier and better. Show them what you have to offer them, and give them every opportunity to make the most of the event without feeling like they’re being chased down and pressured to buy whatever your company is selling.

Webinar: How to Use Video for Events to Sell Out, Find New Business, and Track Impact

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Now, what is the experience of that message?

A message and a script is only part of making a video, obviously. What about the rest of it? The branding, the music, the colors…while some techniques may be similar as when you’re making any other video, it’s useful to keep these things in mind:

Is the video representative of the event or company brand?

Part of the power of a video is the branding behind it. Your brand offers a unified experience; your kick-off event video should have similar colors, tone, and style to the rest of your event and your pre-event marketing materials. Consider this pre-event video and kick-off video, both created for Space Camp, the video marketing summit in 2015.

Pre-event video:

Event Kick-off video:

They offer a similar storyline or theme (you want each video to offer something unique, but still feel relevant to what you will be offering at the event). They have a similar tone and style—one continues the inspirational feeling of the other, and their “look and feel” is consistent. They feel like they belong to the same event experience, which only helps to strengthen that experience.

Attendees don’t just experience a video. They affect the experience.

The experience that a viewer would have watching your video alone at their desk with headphones would be very different from watching your video at the event. When will the video play during the event? Will it be the “introduction” to the event, before even the host or speaker appears on stage?

At Space Camp, the kick-off video welcomed attendees into the event. There were no speakers on stage to announce the video. It was important that the experience of it was powerful enough to attract the whole audience’s attention. So what did we do? Pre-roll footage and music was used to attract attention; when attendees walked into the space and took their seats, they were greeted with visually appealing space images which attracted their attention to the giant screen. Then, a voiceover started, saying “Incoming message!”, followed by the video. Unlike the pre-event video, which used only music and text on screen, it was key to use a voiceover for the event kick-off video to attract and hold viewers’ attention in a loud and bustling place. The powerful message and the way it was displayed to the crowd was the perfect opener to the event and a great way to introduce Michael Litt, Vidyard’s CEO to the stage.

The opening of the video isn’t the only thing you need to think about when you’re on location. Keep in mind how a large audience will experience the video together. For example, if your script is humorous, you need to build in time to allow the audience to laugh, which will be louder and last longer than one viewer watching alone. When you cut scenes or change shots, consider the experience you want your whole audience to have.

Location is everything.

You may also notice the size of the Space Camp event kick-off video compared to the pre-event video. Not only the number of people, but the physical attributes of your event location must be considered when you’re creating your kick-off masterpiece.

For example, We knew the screen at the Space Camp location was quite long, so the video had to be created accordingly, with everything happening in certain sections of the screen so that no matter where attendees were sitting, everyone could enjoy the video equally. Even sound can be experienced differently when you’re in the event space; it needs to be adjusted properly so it is at a consistent level throughout playback—then you won’t cause speakers to boom or rattle, and attendees won’t wish they could take out their headphones!

Want to learn more about how to use video to make your events awesome? We’re talking selling out all the tickets, tracking the impact of the event, and even finding new business? Well, here’s a webinar for you!

Blog CTA Video in Events

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wild Animals Inventing Flying Umbrellas? Yep, Slack’s New Video is Whack

The other day, Slack’s latest and (dare I say?) most incredible video came to my attention. There are no words … just check it out:

This was actually a TV spot and it is just so … out there! I mean, really, before we dig into the meat of this video, can we just pause for a moment and consider how off-the-wall this concept is? I just … it’s just … ah, amazing! I feel like half the reason I kept watching was just because it was so unusual! Slack definitely got me for the full duration of the video! Oh, and they also produced a blooper reel – which is just hilarious, since there obviously wasn’t a blooper reel to begin with (because, you know, those animals weren’t actually filmed in real life … or real at all, for that matter). We’ll get to the bloopers in a bit.

15 Experts Spill Their Greatest B2B Video Production Advice

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For now, let’s take a look at what we can all learn from Slack’s stroke of brilliance.

Show the Product, Naturally

We all have a need to create a video that explains what our product is and what the main value prop is. Slack’s out-of-the-box thinking can teach us two things about doing this in our own videos:

  1. They showed us (instead of telling us) why their product was so great in the form of a story, from start to finish. Everyone was getting covered in rain on a rainy day and even those who did use umbrellas, struggled. There’s your pain point. Your conflict. Then you see the whole team work together to solve the problem – from concept to prototype to production to reality.
  2. They incorporated their product into the natural environment. In other words, there were very few shots of a mouse moving along a desktop screen. Which makes sense, because very few people want to see that – at least at the early stage of the buying process that this video is appealing to. Slack added messages into the general office scene which makes the video more interesting to watch and also alludes to the fact that Slack’s product really does fit seamlessly into your life … or an owl’s life anyway!

    Slack product shot video

Build out Strong, Supporting Assets

Slack stretched beyond their TV spot to incorporate a supporting campaign. The video was accompanied by a landing page, which was smartly referred to in the final CTA of the video: What I love about their landing page is that it is really campaign-focused, even down to the imagery throughout. You see Slack messages from Geoff the lion and Alan the prawn. Slack animal video landing pageWhat’s also great about this landing page is that, while being customized to this specific campaign, it still stays very true to Slack’s messaging overall. Their tagline always stays close to something about amazing teams or teams doing amazing things. If you go to their home page (one of four or five versions of it!), you’ll likely read that Slack is a messaging app for teams … of some sort. Slack home page robots on MarsSlack home page through EarthSlack home page changing world

And this landing page and campaign was no different: Slack is for amazing teams. Plus, as another extension of this campaign that the audience can stay engaged with, Slack even produced that blooper reel I mentioned earlier. And man – do content-hungry internet goers LOVE blooper reels!

I don’t know what it is about blooper reels, do we just love seeing other people (or ahem, animals) screw up? Whatever the reason, this is almost always a good addition to a video campaign. It’s a real, engagement-boosting initiative in any campaign, that’s for sure.

Infuse Brand Colors into Video

Speaking of branding with consistent taglines, did you notice how frequently the scenes of this video incorporated Slack’s brand colors? Let me remind you. Here’s the Slack’s logo:

Slack Logo

And here is the animals’ office:

Slack office animal video

Or… here’s the Slack logo:

Slack Logo

And here are the flying umbrellas:

Slack flying umbrellas video

This color infusion is a super subtle branding strategy that helps Slack tell the same story and convey the same feelings across multiple assets. It helps with brand consistency. Here, it’s not overbearing and it’s certainly not in every scene, but it was definitely a conscious effort (which, by the way, is a lot easier to add in when it’s an animated film!).

Make the Point Clearer with a Metaphor

I’ve talked about the value of metaphorical concepts in video before, like when we took a deep dive into the video for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ lost and found puppy. And the concept has proven true in this video, too. What do I mean by metaphor in video? Well let’s just say that there aren’t actually teams of animals using Slack.

Not only does this metaphorical representation make the video more interesting to watch (than, say, a bunch of humans building an innovative product together – snore), but it also actually helps Slack prove their point and drive it further home: any kind of team can benefit from Slack’s collaboration app. Yes, even animals.

Be Aspirational

No, I’m not suggesting that we all want to be a beatboxing prawn or a world-traveling beaver (and no, I don’t think he’s Canadian), but we do aspire to be innovative. And you don’t get much more innovative than a flying umbrella. What does your audience crave? How can you help them get closer to who they aspire to be? This is what you should be representing in your videos.

And in Slack’s case, the voiceover at the end really seals the deal when he says “all kinds of people and all kinds of teams use Slack to do amazing things”. It was at this point that I caught myself mentally ‘hoorahing’: “Yeah! I want to do amazing things!”. You, too? Maybe it was just me.

A Word of Caution

Okay, I do have to come down from my high for just a second. A real shame, I know.

I want to warn you, that while this concept was just crazy (amazingly crazy, but still crazy), it works for Slack because their product is relatively simple to understand. Just make sure you don’t come up with a concept so abstract that no one has a clue what’s going on or what the heck you do.

Now, back to it … how much did you love that video?!

B2B Video Production Tips

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What B2B Marketers Can Learn from Super Bowl 50 Ads

While most people were busy donning their jerseys, cooking up football-shaped treats in the kitchen, and laying down the foundations of a solid easy chair butt-groove this weekend, many of us were watching the Super Bowl for some marketing inspiration. Peyton Manning is truly an inspiration to us all, but B2B marketers can also learn quite a bit from the minutes that happened between gameplay – here are some of our favorite Super Bowl ads from this year, and how you can apply their amazingness to your next video marketing campaign:

Doritos: User Generated Content At Its Best

Doritos has a long tradition of taking innovative steps in its marketing – for several years now they have run a contest among their fans to create their Super Bowl ad for them, and the results have been very well received. This year’s video features three dogs desperate to get their hands on some Doritos, and facing off against a store manager with a strict no-dogs policy:

The content of the commercial isn’t exactly groundbreaking – I remember the ‘three kids in a trench coat’ gag from countless cartoons as a kid, but letting people submit their entries, and letting the community vote builds a sense of engagement with fans that few other brands can capture. The big lesson here comes from the opportunity for interaction with your customers. Whether you’re planning a multi-million dollar Super Bowl ad, or just looking to give away tickets or a speaking spot at your next event, let your customers and fans submit their ideas and work to highlight the amazing work of the people in your community. This isn’t necessarily easier – working with an agency to build an ad would have been less work for Doritos than sifting through hundreds of entries, and managing a voting process – but the results just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Need some tips for using UGC in your marketing? Check out this post: “User Generated Content: How to Use It, Share It, and Love It“.

TurboTax: Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself

While the idea of adding a famous face to your Super Bowl ad isn’t new – see about 95% of the ads that played this year, and you’ll see what I mean – few brands made their celebrity endorsement as memorable as Sir Anthony Hopkins not selling out to TurboTax:

The ad has everything one would want in a Super Bowl commercial – star power, a cute dog, and plenty of gratuitous references to the product being sold, but it’s humor lies in what it’s missing – any believability whatsoever. The irreverence of Sir Hopkins drinking from a TurboTax tea cup, and calling his dog (affectionately named to come running in a TurboTax sweater, all while defending that he’s not, in fact, a sellout because TurboTax doesn’t cost anything, makes this scene much more hilarious than if it had tried to take itself too seriously. The big lesson for me in this ad? Even if your marketing content checks all the stereotypical boxes, you can still turn the subject matter around and make it something that everyone is in on the joke for. Want an example of a company that does this in spades? Check out Taulia’s content – they’re an accounts payable company that isn’t afraid to laugh at themselves and their industry.

Dollar Shave Club: Start Small, and Win Big

If you haven’t heard of Dollar Shave Club, you’re missing out on some fabulous video marketing (and maybe living under a rock). Their original ad, produced for under $5000, has over 21 million views on YouTube and catapulted the brand into success as one of the earlier subscription services. For the first time in the company’s history, they decided to run a Super Bowl ad, and captured everything that made their original video funny in 30 seconds:

What makes this ad a success? For one, it’s got the same low-budget feel as their previous ad, and still captures the brand’s sense of humor perfectly. What’s even better is that there are no pro athletes, no slick demonstrations of how amazing a razor can shave an already shaved face for the camera, none of the usual schtick that we see in personal grooming ads. Just a dirtbag razor, and an easy solution to the problem. How can you apply this to your own marketing strategy? Sometimes celebrity cameos and big budgets work, but sometimes going back to your roots, making a commercial in-house that truly represents your brand is all it takes to come out on top in a sea of generic competitors.

Heinz: Just Use Wiener Dogs – Lots of ‘em

With Budweiser taking a break from their usual dog and pony show (see what I did there?) the field was open for anyone to make a play at appealing to the dog-loving audience that dutifully tunes into the Super Bowl every year looking for their dose of puppy power. This year Heinz took the reigns, and rather than telling a heartwarming story of a puppy and a horse, they went in a bit of a different direction:

A single wiener dog is almost irresistible from a marketing standpoint – take an army of them, dress them up like hotdogs, and point them in the direction of your favourite condiments, and you’ve got a recipe for success. I share this video because, unlike last year, this was one of the few videos that trickled into my Facebook feed before the big game, and earned itself a share from many folks in my network of dog-loving friends. There’s even a puppy hotdog that finds its love in a child dressed like a ketchup packet. It’s irreverent, hilarious, and ends in a sea of wienerdogs playing with loving, welcoming condiments. Meet the Ketchups isn’t groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be – it’s fun, and it’s the perfect recipe for social sharing. The main take-away for me? This commercial will live on well past the Super Bowl on social channels and in office jokes. That’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving that all marketers are looking for. When in doubt, just use wiener dogs – lots of ‘em.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Video Marketing How-To: How Long Should Your Videos Be?

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Video Marketing How-To! You’ve probably heard us joke now and then that human beings have a shorter attention span than most goldfish, and sadly it’s not far off. If your content can’t capture your viewers interest in the right amount of time, they’ll bounce off to something else.

So with that in mind, today we want to talk about the best lengths for your video content at every stage of the funnel. These are all best practices – and your audience may vary – but let’s dive in.

Starting at the top of the funnel, educational, fun content that’s designed to get people excited about your industry should be kept short. TV commercials are generally 30 seconds in length for a reason, and you can apply the same ideas to your online video. For social content, keep it short—Instagram will cap you at 15 seconds, and while you can post long content to Facebook, people’s attention spans are short. For YouTube you can go a bit longer, but we don’t recommend going much past a minute and 30 seconds. You won’t see many people getting to the end of your video unless it’s truly memorable.

Moving through the funnel to the learning and evaluation stage, you can start to get a bit longer for this content, as people are already interested enough in what you do to want to interact with your video. Demo videos can be a few minutes long, and your content can start to talk a bit more about why you, specifically, can solve your prospects’ problems. Don’t go much past 5 minutes though – try to focus your videos on one aspect of your product, or bundle them based on your personas, but don’t hit people with a full 45 minute demo yet.

Now, I said yet there because there is a time and a place for your full demo, and it’s the last stage of the funnel. When people are at the point of purchase, your video’s job is to give them all the tools they need to succeed, and all the info they need to convince their superiors that your product or service is right for them. Take as much time as you need, but keep it personal – a generic 45 minute demo video won’t carry the same value as a customized 20 minute demo that touches on the specific pain points you’re solving for that specific customer.

So, that wraps up this week’s tips – I hope this has answered your questions around video length, but if not tell us in the comments! Stay tuned in another few weeks for a new episode of Video Marketing How-To!

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

How to Drive more Event Registrations by Getting Crafty with Video

It’s coming. Along with the 5432387 details to plan, the long days of travel, the hundreds or maybe even thousands of hands you’ll shake, and the pipeline … just all pipeline you can imagine.

We’re on the cusp of the first event season of the year, and the anticipation is palpable.

You know the value of a great conference, strong planning, and a well-supported marketing plan or you wouldn’t be here, reading this post. So I’ll skip all that event mumbo jumbo and get right to it: if you can increase event registrations,

  1. your direct monetary return jumps, and
  2. the potential for pipeline from new or upsell business spikes, too.

Good thing we have a few tricks up our sleeve to help you boost those numbers.

Surely you already know that including a video to promote your event is a supremely smart idea. More than just a smart idea, adding video to your event landing page can boost on-page conversions by up to 80%. These tips assume you’re already riding along on that bandwagon, have a video idea cooking, and just want that extra juice to pump those registrations up even higher!

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Make the Play Button the Star of your Email

Video in eventsSending event invites through email? Of course you are, you smart marketer. Maybe you also know that including a video in your emails can increase click-through rates by 2-3x!

Since you already have that video ready to go (or will soon!), just adding an image of the splash screen—as in, literally taking a screenshot of your player and it’s play button … or maybe your designers have a more ‘professional’ route in mind. *Ahem*—means you can rise from 1,000 people clicking through your emails to 3,000.

Sorry – did you get that? You took a screenshot and added it to an email. … Then you got 300% more people clicking through to your website.

I’ll consider that one on your list to do already!

Oh, and as a side note. Yes, using the screenshot is our recommended approach since most email providers will not play videos directly inline. Plus, you really want viewers to end up on your reg page anyway!

Send Personal Invites … none of these mass mail-outs

Imagine I sat on the rooftop of your office building and shouted “Hey chumps, join our super-cool-wicked-awesome event next month! You’ll love it because there’s going to be some stuff for everyone and drinks and food and stuff.” … That’s what a generic video (or any generic marketing messaging) sounds like to your audience and chances are I’d lose a lot of people at “Hey chumps”. Aside from the fact I called them “chumps”, which could have a lot to do with it, they also just don’t have the attention span or care to sort through your message and determine if it’s for them or not. So more often than not, they default to the “not-for-them” setting.

You can get around this by opting for personalized marketing and let them know you’re speaking to them. Show your audience that this invite (or other event-video concept) was made just for them with a personalized video. Call them by name. We’re all programmed to respond to our name since a young age … and our names generally produce a positive feeling, so this is a win-win all around.

Guide them Right to the Action with a Video CTA

You were trying to boost event registrations here, right? So far we’ve helped more people get to your page to watch the video and captured more of your audience’s attention by addressing them personally. So how do you get them to actually sign up? You offer a CTA within your video! You’ve reeled them in so nicely, it’s only polite that you help guide them to the next step. So use a pop-out CTA part-way through your video or end with one to grab them before they wander off. And remember: think carefully about what the next step is! It might not be to register immediately. Instead, it might be to learn more or maybe even to hear from speakers who will be at the event (see the next tip!).

Offer a True Taste of the Event

No, don’t send them a sausage sample in the mail of the hot dogs that’ll be on the grill. ‘Cuz that’s strange. But dig deeper than a bland overview of your events. Consider interviewing some of your keynote speakers or breakout session leads to give a sneak preview into what they’re going to be discussing.

Okay, you got me, this is a bit of a cheater tip as it involves a secondary video – but it’s so worth it! Additional videos supply more content to your viewers and taking this approach brings a “realness” to your event, it humanizes it, and provides a pretty detailed picture of what the attendees can expect. And lastly, it’s much more engaging than reading a bunch of text descriptions of the sessions! Hubspot took this approach when they announced Martha Stewart as their keynote speaker for Inbound 2014. Check it out:

Make the Video (not just your page!) Easy to Share

Unless you’ve got a real spiffy incentive, people just don’t want to share your registration page. Sorry to burst the bubble here. But what people do like to share is good content with a story. And the more people that share your video (which is hosted on your event registration page and will likely have an amazingly compelling CTA at the end, wink-wink, nudge-nudge!), the more likely you’ll see increased event registrations. So if you branch out from the typical event video with absurdly happy people in a crowded banquet hall with drinks in hand and speakers walking confidently across the stage, and actually tell a story of what’s to come and how it’s going to radically impact your attendees year or even career, then you’re onto something that’s worth sharing.

The next step is making it easy to share. Utilize the sharing options within your video player, ask viewers to share as the final CTA, or include another on-page CTA to share the video. The possibilities are endless!

Video Share Social

That should give you a good leg up as you head into the most exciting and also most insanely packed time of year. You’re well on your way to a spike in event registrations! Have you gotten crafty with video in the past to boost your event registrations? Share with us in the comments!

Blog CTA Video in Events

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Step by Step: How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy

By now, you likely have at least a handful of videos, if not a locker-full. You’re probably smartly using them to build interest and keep your audience engaged throughout the funnel. Good on ya! But what I really want to know is: do you have a comprehensive video marketing strategy? One that incorporates your video content with the rest of your messaging and communication plan? One that lays out who’s responsible for what in a video project and where each video will be distributed for maximum impact? Or what about one that outlines how your brand guidelines will transfer to video?

Strategic planning is more than a nice-to-have.

9 Steps to Building a Video Strategy

Get the Workbook

We liken a video marketing strategy to the foundation of a successful relationship. If you don’t understand each other and how you’ll communicate, will the relationship last? Ehh…50/50. Maybe. Maybe not.

But laying the proper groundwork can be tough. That’s why you have help:

Download this fillable workbook to walk through 9 steps to creating a video marketing strategy:

Step 1: Establishing Your Goals for Video

Step 2: Identifying Your Content Needs

Step 3: Pinpointing the Opportunity for Video

Step 4: Building Campaign Rules of Thumb

Step 5: Crafting a Distribution Plan

Step 6: Transferring Your Brand to Video

Step 7: Setting Guidelines for Viewing Behavior

Step 8: Organizing Your Team

Step 9: Measuring Video Success

video strategy workbook

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