Thursday, April 28, 2016

How To Use Pacing In Your Video Soundtrack – 5 Considerations

So, you’ve found the perfect music for your next video. Now it’s time to get splicing! Some marketers and video editors prefer cutting video to music and others like their music to be dropped in after the initial edit. Whichever you prefer, the abstract, yet important technique of ‘pacing’ is what sets your video apart from the bad, good and amazing!

We just need to get this pacing thing down right. I’d like to share with you some tips for getting your video’s soundtrack just right.

What is Pacing?

First of all, what is pacing? Pacing is arguably the most important technique in editing. It’s the sequencing of footage in order to create a cohesive story. A story that ebbs and flows has arcs, excitement, drama, tension, release, and of course, emotion..

It’s the crux of video editing and therefore music editing! The two go hand in hand, they are yin and yang.

How To Use Pacing In Your Video Soundtrack

1. Understand The Story

This definitely has to be number one!

Use music to clarify what’s happening in the story. Determine what feel and mood is being conveyed. Music can deliver a dramatic emphasis and foreshadow events or reinforce the intent of antagonist or protagonist characters.

The viewer will become confused and pulled out of the story if the mood of the music doesn’t match the feel of the story, so this is important.

2. Pacing is situational, it’s not all about speed

In my experience and in my research, I wasn’t surprised to learn that most editors equate pacing with speed., thinking faster cuts equals better pacing. But this is simply not true! Speed does not matter and the pacing can be set perfectly for either fast or slow tracks. It all comes down to the mood and feel that is desired. Pacing is ever changing! The music should move with the flow of the story and support the feel of the scene.

3. Know how the pacing of your music will influence the viewer

Now that we’ve touched on the misconception that fast means good pacing, we can discuss what different paces convey to the viewer. Here are some general ways that you can pace music to a video edit. Keep in mind that these are general starting points…there are always exceptions to the rule.

Slow = Building tension and suspense: Think of slowly evolving and droning high register strings with cuts that are longer. The viewer has time to think about what’s happening. This is an effective dramatic pacing technique.

My example below demonstrates a slow build of tension and suspense. Notice the space between the organ chords and how long the chords are held for while they are hurrying to board the ship.

I should also mention that depending on the subject matter, slower music can also be relaxing.

Normal = Neutral: No drama here. The music is a perfect balance of tension and release. This is perhaps the most common type of pacing in a video. Picture everyday tasks and average conversation. The pace of your normal heart rate is effective in these types of scenes.

The pacing in this example is really great. Feel how it breathes and flows so perfectly:

Fast = Intensity: This could also be tension or suspense (exceptions to the rule). Fast and driving drums are typically characteristic in music that works for a fast cut action scene. Check out the example:

4. Utilize key elements of pacing: Pattern, Timing and Flow

Now that we’ve talked about what pacing is and how it is applied, let’s look under the hood and see the inner working of pacing. In my opinion, pacing as it relates to music and video can be broken down into three different aspects: pattern, timing and flow.

Good pacing doesn’t mean all of these things need to be happening simultaneously, but at least one element should be involved at all times.

Pattern: Recurring music cues can act as themes for characters or subjects. It creates structure and cohesion in a video. Listen to the opening and closing music cues in this video. They act as bookends, which give the video full closure.

Timing: A change in the music at exactly the right moment. The music should hit important cues within the story. I really like the timing between the music and the action on screen in this ad for Jetta

Flow: The sense of the music moving with the picture and reflecting the emotion and feel of the story. The feeling of breathing should come to mind when a piece of music is paced well with video. The neutral pacing example above is an excellent demonstration of flow.

5. Practice! Know the difference between good and bad pacing

Having excellent pacing in your video isn’t something that comes over night. You develop a feel for when the music is paced well and when it isn’t. Listen to what your instincts tell you. You’ll know when the music should keep going or stop, change or not even be there at all.

It takes lots of practice, but it’s something that when done right can make your video stand a cut above the rest.

The post How To Use Pacing In Your Video Soundtrack – 5 Considerations appeared first on Vidyard.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Introducing the Worst Buzzword Ever: #Crexecution

Marketers complain all the time that creativity gets killed by too many processes, but creativity let loose often loses track of what the end goal truly is. Yes, it’s possible to be too creative, too cute, and in the process, create campaigns that are far too complex to execute properly. The same way, if you don’t let your creativity flag fly at least a little, the results will be boring, and probably won’t be any more successful.

That’s where #crexecution comes in: a mindset where you constantly challenge your creativity, and make up processes along the way to ensure execution goes smoothly. It’s a middle ground for marketers, a way to actually get the best of both worlds.

The Burrito Story: An Important Warning

Before we dive in the specifics of #crexecution, I have to give you a fair warning. This one actually happened to me. I was working at a tech company, and a graphic designer and I were in charge of all the creative production in marketing. We got along great, and our brainstorms always went swimmingly. We were consistently producing awesome, edgy work. Or so we thought.

One of our coworkers on the operations side of things started nicknaming us “The Creative Burrito”. As funny as it sounds, it was not done in good faith. She was frustrated that our ideas were always so complicated to execute. At the time, we didn’t realize this and we took the nickname as a pride badge. We renamed our brainstorm meetings to “Burrito Sessions” and referred to each other as “The Burrito”. You get the drift.

What we never stopped to think about is why that name came to be placed upon us. It was because my designer and I got along so well that we started doing things simply because they sounded awesome, and not because they made marketing sense. We would egg each other on over some pretty ridiculous ideas. Sometimes it worked, other times it failed pretty hard.

Because we were two very creative individuals, we lost sight of the end goal of many campaigns. We forgot what our prospects were looking for, and what our sales team needed to sell. It’s an easy mistake to make. Deep down, you probably know if you’re doing this. Looking back at my Creative Burrito days, I definitely knew something was wrong, but fixing it was a matter of admitting it to myself. It’s easy to find yourself in such a predicament, but it’s fairly easy to get out of. You just need to change the way you look at marketing projects, and how you work on them.

Meet Who Will Use What You Make

It’s a pretty fair bet that marketers know how to market things, right? And we do, but sometimes we have a hard time figuring out what to market. We’re often pretty far removed from actual operations, simply devising campaigns, and watching them perform.

We rarely talk to clients, or prospects. We don’t really know what they say, what they think. It’s always things we infer from their online behavior. This is the kind of attitude that builds silos within companies and diminishes effectiveness.

So swallow up your pride, and go talk to sales, go talk to customer support, go talk to whoever is going to be using the asset you are producing. They will tell you what they need. If you pitch it to them in a way that will help their job, they’ll gladly give you some of their time. You’re free to put a creative spin on what they say, but keep the original goal in mind. I know I’ve had a hard time with that last part. Don’t be afraid to go as dorky as visual reminders. I like to write the main goal of the asset I’m producing on a post-it, and sticking it on my desk. It keeps me focused at the most basic level. Sometimes, the simplest measures keep you grounded.

Hate Everything You Do

Obviously, you should be happy with what you produce. The important part is not being blinded by your ego since we are inherently biased about our own work. If you have what you think is a really good idea, there’s a high chance you’ll forget about other aspects.

I remember having this idea (yeah, in the Burrito) about a hospitality room our company was hosting at a convention. My designer and I thought it would be cool to make it into a relaxation room. Soft colors, comfy chairs, there was a table with a hollow center that we wanted to fill with sand to make a Japanese zen garden. I even wrote business haikus (what a nerd) and my designer made banner stands with soothing images. I still think that idea sounds pretty cool, but if I had stopped for a second and reviewed it from another stance, I would have seen the error of my ways. The room was a massive flop. It was way too complicated to execute, it was in a city far away in a different country, things were too hard to source, it was a mess.

The thing is, we rolled with this idea from the start, and things got out of hand. No one really questioned us along the way, but you can’t always count on that. My job was to produce a good concept, and I didn’t do that. If you don’t have a good concept, you have no chance at producing a good end product. This applies to anything, whether it’s a print document or a full conference. I thought since no one voiced concerns, my concept was good, but that’s not how it works.

Since I tend to get excited for concepts and forget to question myself about them, I came up with a trick to not repeat the relaxation room fiasco. I invented a few personas, of typical people that would interject to a more “out there” idea, and I read my briefs while pretending to be them. Here are the ones I use, but feel free to make up the ones that fit you and your job:

  • The boss who think this will be too edgy/too expensive
  • The sales guy who thinks some of his potential clients won’t “get the joke”
  • Your coworker in marketing who always thinks what you do won’t align with the brand
  • Your mom, because she always loves everything you do, but isn’t impartial at all

Make Up Deadlines

I’ve been out of university for a long time now, but I sure still work like a university student waiting until the night before a paper’s due to write all 15 pages. There is something about how our brains process stress that seems to make us more creative. Now, all-nighter work sessions were fun back in the day, but not so much now. At a real job, big projects have deadlines set up by management, but they can sometimes seem so far away.

To keep myself from procrastinating until the last minute, I found that making myself deadlines for smaller portions of the project worked well. If I had to deliver the copy for a whole website by April, I would make myself deadlines that I had to have finished the Product page by February, the About Us by March, and so on. This will help you put things into perspective, and it will allow you to look at the project at a more reasonable scale.

They Say Creativity Can’t Be Taught

I used to think being creative meant coming up with the wackiest, edgiest concepts, but that’s not at all what it’s about. Creativity in marketing is about servicing a goal through innovative means. It doesn’t mean your ideas are restrained, but that they have a purpose.

Creativity and execution will always be a balancing act for marketers. What you need to figure out, is which side you need to release. Whether you’re trying to become more creative, or you already are, you have the potential to fall into the same traps. In both cases, the #crexecution mindset will help you greatly. Just keep these four things in mind, and you should be good:

  • Don’t become the burrito. Never think you’re better than others, and that you know best.
  • Find out who knows best and listen to them. Just don’t forget to put your spin on it, don’t just become their mouthpiece.
  • Learn to hate yourself. Give yourself critique, the nastiest ones are usually the most constructive.
  • Make your own schedule. Invent deadlines for yourself, for where you want to be in the project.

The post Introducing the Worst Buzzword Ever: #Crexecution appeared first on Vidyard.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Knowledge of This Might Be All the Power You Need for Better Leads

Knowledge is power. Like knowing that your top quality leads — those that MQL — are 3.4x more likely to have engaged with video content than those that didn’t. (Psst … Altium knows this!)

This type of knowledge is like TOP TIER® gasoline with 10% ethanol.

It’s the best of the best. Because your prospects are watching video every day, for hours of their day. And a large majority, 72%, are watching all the way through the buying process. But while watching view counts climb might be a good ego boost, it’s not giving you the information you need to identify top opportunities and close more deals.

Knowing who’s watching your video content, when, and for how long is critical to the smooth running of your revenue engine.

Wait, what’s a revenue engine?

Webinar: How to Rev Up Your Revenue Engine by Adding Video Data to Marketo

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What’s a Revenue Engine?

/ˈrevəˌn(y)o͞o ˈenjən/

A revenue engine is an integrated marketing and sales system that powers your company’s opportunity funnel. It does this by coordinating your strategy, content, technology and analytics so that your organization can better understand your audience’s digital body language and deliver the right message at the right time to the right person at every stage of the buying process.

So remember: knowing who’s watching your video content, when, and for how long is critical to the smooth running of your revenue engine.

Less Idling, More Results

Seriously, we’ve spoken about this a lot. About scoring leads based on the video content prospects are watching and adjusting based on where the video content sits within the funnel, how much of it is watched, and the type of video it is. Or how about knowing when to send a lead directly to sales when they’ve already consumed the threshold level of video that you know their account has a high propensity to close.

We’ve blabbed and blabbed. But great marketers always say ‘show, don’t tell’.

So after all of our preaching, best-practice posts, and ‘how-to’ guides, we have a team to show you first-hand, just how they’ve done this. And how they were able to determine the direct impact their video content has on likelihood to purchase.

Join us for the live webinar! Or … if you’re more of the watch-on-your-own type, sign up to get the recording once the session is over. We won’t judge either way.

revenue engine

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How to Increase Open Rates and Better Engage Prospects

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all instantly increase our effectiveness at engaging sales prospects or even better, our dream customers?

It would be nice, I’m talking like, realllly nice. That’s why I coach my team of sales development rockstars at LevelEleven personalized outreach to only our ideal customer profiles. Today, I’m going to share some of our best Motor City strategies.

This is going to take both creativity and research on your part, but I’m confident that if you’re reading this, you’ll be up for the challenge.

5 Ways to Increase Open Rates and Better Engage Prospects  

1. Intrigue

Use your subject line to bring a little intrigue to your emails. One of my reps got a very well-known SVP of Sales to respond / engage with our team with the subject line “Chips, Broncos and … Beer?” Who could possibly resist opening that email? Even better, this subject line was very personalized, referencing that specific prospect’s alma mater and football team. (Note: I’m a massive Detroit Lions fan. Lions-s-s-s-s-s!!!)

Get a little bit creative when it comes to your email subject lines and come up with something that even you couldn’t resist opening. Another personal favorite I’ve seen someone use is “Life is like a box of chocolates…” I think it’s safe to say that most people recognize this famous movie line, and therefore would be compelled to open the email and find out what comes after

2. Humor

Here’s another chance to use creativity to ramp up your open rates. Why not break up someone’s mundane workday with a little laugh? Here are a few examples that our SDRs have come up with:

  • “Would you rather: CRM metrics or Beef Jerky?”
  • “My mom will NOT get off my back about productivity.”
  • “What’s your commit for this month…sound familiar?”

Not only does this type of email stick out in a business professional’s inbox, but your prospect will feel more inclined to listen to what you have to say if you happen to put a smile on their face while adding value to their daily responsibility. Just remember that you must tie the subject line in to your email. Don’t promise a bit about beef jerky and then not deliver the meat. Man that stuff is good

3. News

This is where the research element comes in. Look for any recent news about your prospect or their company. Please do not over-complicate this. We live by the 3 x 3 rule: find three relevant pieces of information in less than three minutes. Was your prospect recently promoted? Did the company launch a new product? Has the company just finished a really strong Q1? Use this to drive a personalized message around your touch-points with your ideal prospect. Great resources for this are LinkedIn, InsideView, and Google Alerts.

4. Connection

Because we live in such a connected world, it’s only natural to leverage your network to your advantage. Use social media to find out what connections you have in common with prospects. Maybe they are connected to a few of your biggest customer advocates. Perhaps they even used to work at some of those companies. Or what if they know your Uncle Steve? I have an uncle, his name is Steve and yes, he is money. (Love ya, Uncle Steve!) The possibilities are endless. Channel your inner Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to see what kind of magic you can whip up.

5. Interest

You’re going to want to get really cozy with LinkedIn. Take a deep dive into your prospects’ social profiles and find out what their interests are. One of our SDR’s identified that a targeted prospect played the cello and was able to better engage with them because they both had that in common. People aren’t so different from each other, so look for something that you can use to make a genuine connection with the person on the other end of the line — whether it’s their alma mater, favorite sports team, or recent article they posted.

These are just a handful of ideas that our team keeps top of mind. Take this opportunity to use your imagination and take calculated risks. I challenge you to design and develop other engagement ideas that land your dream customer.

The post How to Increase Open Rates and Better Engage Prospects appeared first on Vidyard.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vidyard Named Finalist for 2016 Marketo Revvie Awards

Vidyard recognized in the “Partner of the Year, LaunchPoint Technology” category for the success and impact of its video platform with joint Marketo customers

KITCHENER – April 19, 2016 – Vidyard, the video intelligence platform for business, today announced it is a finalist in the “Partner of the Year, LaunchPoint Technology” category in the 2016 Marketo Revvie Awards. The accolades honor marketing teams and technology providers who are leveraging Marketo in innovative ways to take their marketing initiatives to the next level, positively impact company revenue, build engaging relationships with customers, and inspire others in the marketing industry.

“Vidyard’s recognition as a finalist for the 2016 Marketo Revvie Award for LaunchPoint Technology Partner of the Year validates our commitment to delivering best-in-class video marketing solutions that help Marketo users engage with their customers in new and innovative ways,” said Tyler Lessard, CMO of Vidyard. “Through our integration with Marketo’s Engagement Marketing Platform, our customers are gaining unprecedented insight into the digital body language of their online audiences and the true performance and impact of their video content assets.”

Vidyard provides Marketo customers with the ability to track the video viewing activities of prospects and customers across all digital channels and use those insights within Marketo to enhance lead scoring, nurturing, segmentation and sales enablement. In 2015, Vidyard surpassed the milestone of more than 100 Marketo customers using its platform to boost marketing and sales performance. Vidyard customers range from small businesses to large enterprises, including Dynatrace, Elsevier, Sharp, Honeywell, Mitel, Altium, Tradeshift and Verizon.

In 2015, Vidyard launched two new products on top of the Marketo platform:

  • Vidyard Live enables Marketo users to broadcast live video streams to their customers and prospects and use embedded Marketo forms within the live stream to generate leads while tracking the engagement of each individual viewer within Marketo.
  • Personalized Video enables Marketo users to generate personalized videos for each prospect and customer, weaving names, company names, photos and other details from their Marketo contact records into the video content itself. The personalized video and a related personalized thumbnail image can be seamlessly merged into outbound email and social campaigns.

In addition to supporting a wide range of customers, Vidyard is a Platinum sponsor of the Marketing Nation® Summit and an active participant in Marketo’s roadshows and virtual events. Vidyard partners with many Marketo services partners including LeadMD, Demand Spring, Bulldog Solutions, Demand Gen, Faction Media and Verticurl, among others.

Vidyard recently raised its $35 million Series C financing and plans to continue to invest in the Marketo community in 2016 and beyond.

Marketo Revvie winners will be revealed during Day 2 of the Marketing Nation® Summit in Las Vegas on May 11, 2016. Expected to attract more than 6,000 marketers from around the globe, the conference will feature thought-leadership, educational sessions, workshops, and trainings that empower marketers of every level to succeed in today’s digital era. Learn more about it here.

About Vidyard
Vidyard (Twitter: @Vidyard) is the industry’s leading video intelligence platform that helps marketing and sales teams drive results and ROI with online video content and video analytics. 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 tracks the viewing activities of each individual viewer and integrates with key marketing automation and CRM tools to deliver user-level video engagement data that helps businesses identify their hottest prospects and turn viewers into customers.

About Marketo Revvie Awards

Established in 2010, the Marketo Revvie Awards recognize and celebrate members of the Marketing Nation who leverage Marketo to drive the Next Era of marketing. These marketers constantly find clever ways attract and engage customers, propel their companies to new growth and success, and inspire others. To learn more, visit:

Media Contact
Brad Hem
The Dialog Lab on behalf of Vidyard
(281) 543-0669

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Turning the Funnel on its Head

Getting the most leads is the main goal of the B2B world, right? At least, it used to be. A lot of companies these days are realizing that getting thousands of leads might not be all that effective if you have to weed out 90% of them as unqualified. That’s where account based marketing (ABM) can come in handy. According to Terminus, you can think of ABM as a different way to see the traditional sales and marketing funnel. ABM is a switch in mindset where you identify which companies fit your ideal profile, and target them as a whole instead of targeting certain personas without regard for the organization.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 10.11.07 AM

The ABM funnel

Source: #FlipMyFunnel report by Terminus

Our friends at Terminus have been at the leading edge of this growing trend and recently interviewed more than 200 B2B marketers on the subject. Their findings are pretty definitive: Marketers are seeing the value of ABM to drive more revenue, most of them plan on doing more of it next year, and they plan to invest into technologies to help them do it better.

It’s Time to See Your Funnel Differently

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New Kid on the Block

Terminus found out that a strong majority of marketers plan to implement ABM in the next year.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.51.17 AM

Do you plan to implement account-based marketing next year?

Source: #FlipMyFunnel report by Terminus

This is especially surprising considering implementation of an ABM approach isn’t some quick and easy fix. It’s a completely different way to sell, but also a different way of producing content. It also requires some significant technology investments to access the data to identify top companies. That’s why Terminus also found that an even larger majority of marketers, 71%, plan to add ABM tools to their marketing tech stack in the next few quarters.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.24.22 PM

Do you plan to add additional tools for account-based marketing next year?

Source: #FlipMyFunnel report by Terminus

More Money, New Problems.

Perhaps most interesting of all, there are more marketers using ABM for revenue generation than lead generation. In a time where we see a lot of marketers struggling to justify their budget allocations, this could be a groundbreaking move in the B2B world. It’s also interesting to note that 17% of marketers see ABM as a sales and marketing alignment opportunity. After all, it’s when sales and marketing see eye to eye that marketing starts being seen as a revenue center, instead of a money pit. And that’s when it becomes much easier for marketing to justify new investments in their tech stack.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 12.03.29 PM

What are your goals for account-based marketing?

Source: #FlipMyFunnel report by Terminus

Is Marketing Different Now?

So what does this all mean for marketers around the world? Is ABM the answer to all woes? It certainly makes you question if more leads are always the answer. Getting the right leads is a goal that more and more marketing departments are setting for themselves. Overhauling your approach is quite the scary endeavour, since many marketers find themselves with an already overloaded marketing tech stack. The approach to qualifying leads is different with ABM, it’s now about looking at companies as a whole: what they are searching for, who they’re hiring, or what kind of positions they’re opening. For example, if you sell SaaS software to manage big data campaigns, you might look for companies hiring data scientists.

When you take an ABM approach, your content will also have to change to become more targeted to the specific needs of the company you are trying to sell to. Video is extremely relevant for this. In many cases, you’ll find yourself going after companies that haven’t necessarily even heard of your name. That’s why you need content that will really catch the attention of your potential clients. Interactive content and personalized video work very well in this type of situation where you’re going in cold but still need to make an impression and catch your audience’s attention, quickly. It might also be time to go through your content library and see if you can repurpose older content to target specific accounts. There are plenty of little tweaks you can make to your content to make it more relevant for an ABM approach, but you can bet it will be worth it.

Everything new and different is always a little scary at first. ABM doesn’t have to be. It’s an exciting time for marketers. A time where they have options, where they have different ways to roll with the punches. Maybe it’s time for you to turn your funnel around.

ABM_Survey_Report-600x200 (1)

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Managing and Organizing Your Growing Video Library

Remember going to the library as a kid: strolling through the book racks neatly organized by subject and author until you found a stack of books to bring home and read? Now imagine if that library wasn’t the organized masterpiece the librarians spent countless hours maintaining. Goosebump books sitting next to AUTOCAD manuals. Richard Scarry’s Busytown beside Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Not exactly the most inviting reading experience, right?

Now take a step back and imagine your video library. The best content in your marketing toolkit. How is it organized? If you needed to find a demo video you put together two years ago for a product that is undergoing a huge UI change, can you find it? If you want to grab that thought leadership interview from last year’s conference, and you search the speaker’s name, will it be there?

As content libraries grow, organizing your content is one of the most important actions you can take to ensure your video content remains accessible and easily searchable. It pays to get this right from the beginning, as updating thousands of videos to a new organization scheme is a chore that nobody wants to go through. Here are some tips on how to keep your video content as beautifully organized and easily referenced as a small-town library.

Tagging Your Content For Easy Reference

Tagging isn’t a new concept, your blog probably has categories and tags so that readers can easily find related content, and your blogging software may actually use these tags to offer recommend content to readers already. Many companies don’t put this same effort towards tagging their video content, as video frequently lives within a blog post anyway, so why bother?

Tagging your content on the back end has the same value as tagging blogs on the front end, but the rewards benefit your viewers and yourself. Tagging videos, even just by the type of content, makes them easy for you to search and find in your video platform, and allows you to group content together so you can quickly find all videos that match certain criteria. Consider tagging your content by type:

  • Webinar
  • Thought Leadership
  • Product Demo
  • Product Launch
  • Culture Content
  • Event Video

And by persona and funnel stage:

  • Top-of-Funnel
  • Middle-of-Funnel
  • Bottom-of-Funnel
  • Marketing Buyer
  • Sales Buyer
  • Corporate Communications Buyer
  • Etcetera

This makes it easy for you to quickly find all the product demo videos you have and update them as needed. Plus, it enables your sales team to find specific content like all middle-of-funnel video assets that are product demo videos focused on sales buyers.

Tagging your content properly from the beginning means it’s easily accessible to everyone on your team, but only if you share your tagging system with everyone on the team that is uploading content. Make sure your videos all follow the same scheme, and everybody wins.

Knowing What Content to Refresh

Did you know that libraries don’t keep books around forever? If you’re thinking it’s counter-intuitive for a library to get rid of books, think about this: when’s the last time anyone checked out the power-user’s guide to Windows 3.1?

The same line of thinking should be applied to your content, no one needs out of date content. But then again, not every video needs to be thrown away. Sometimes a quick update is all you need.

We wrote a post recently that covered how to decide which video content needs to be updated. But before you can decide what needs to be refreshed, you’ll need to have your video content organized well enough to know where these videos can be found.

Most video marketing platforms will allow you to segregate content by date, so finding old content isn’t difficult, but what if only some parts of your product have changed? Consider adding specific products to your tagging or organizational scheme, so that if have six products and update two of them, you can easily find which videos need a refresher, and get that ready before the old interface is in the wild for too long.

The same goes for thought leadership videos. Making sure you tag your content with the speaker name. That way, if a speaker leaves their position, or requests that the video be changed for whatever reason, it’s super easy to find.

Consider having your video team adopt a similar strategy in their raw video editing projects as well. There’s nothing worse than knowing where the video lives on your website, but not being able to find the original video files to make the necessary updates. Tagging and organization is just as relevant behind the scenes.

Performing a Content Audit on your Organized Content

The beauty of having your content organized so you can search by funnel stage and buyer persona is that your sales team can easily find any asset for any persona, if it exists.

While you may not need to perform a full video content audit, consider doing some cross-searching every now and then to see how your funnel stages line up with your personas. Using our examples from earlier, imagine I search for middle-of-funnel content for the corporate communication buyer and no videos show up. I would know that there’s a glaring hole in our video library that we can address as part of our next quarter video goals. Similarly, if I do the same search for the sales buyer and find that there are hundreds of videos targeting the same audience, that can be an indicator that we’re producing too much content for one persona, and need to diversify a bit if we’re going to have an impact in our other markets.

Organizing your content makes it easy to find the videos that are relevant for your communications, but it’s also a great indirect tool for finding out where gaps are in your content strategy. If sales is using your search criteria properly to find content and coming up empty, now you know where to align your content plans moving forward.

Organizing Your Content in a Video Hub

While most of this post has discussed keeping your content organized from a back-end perspective, tagging and categorizing your videos has huge implications for presenting your content to prospects and customers. We built video hubs to allow our customers to easily present relevant content to their audience, especially when watching videos of a certain type. But all of this power is predicated on organization!

A great place to start with organizing content in a video hub is event videos. If your event is anything like Advocamp this year, you’ll be walking away with dozens of new content pieces, from keynote talks to panel discussions, to the promo content you put together to get people excited. Influitive did a great job organizing their content from this year’s Advocamp. They organized videos by which day of the conference the talk was presented on, and what the topic was, giving viewers several ways to find the videos that are relevant to them. Check it out here!

Your categories can be anything you want them to be, if you want to show off all of your product demo videos, all of your thought leadership content, and all of your fun campaign videos as separate areas of your hub, that’s easy to do when you’ve categorized your content properly. And, coincidentally, how we organize our own video hub.

If you want to organize your content by personas so that marketing users can see all the content relevant to them, and sales users aren’t watching videos that don’t matter for their jobs, you can do that too. The possibilities are endless – as long as you’re keeping up with your video tagging and categorization, reorganizing your content into meaningful, curated collections for prospects and customers is easy.

Bringing it all Together

As businesses are expanding their libraries of video, the next big challenge will be keeping that content fresh, relevant, and easy to find. By adopting a comprehensive tagging and organization system from day one, you can ensure that any new videos added to your library are easily accessible for both your prospects and your team. There’s nothing worse than having the perfect piece of content to send out to a prospect that will close the deal today and having to navigate a poorly labelled pile of content to find it (or … not find it). Organize your content. Your next deal may depend on it.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Forrester Sounds the Digital Marketing Alarm

The years change but the marketing plans pretty much stay the same, according to recent research from Forrester. Many companies have marketing mixes that are fairly set in stone. In-person events such as conferences have existed pretty much ever since the term marketing was invented. While conferences have their definite pros, digital came along about a decade ago as a revolution in how marketers promote their brands. Content marketing was an evolution of that, as a new way to show value, and in return, capture attention.

The tools and technologies available to marketers have evolved. But has spending?

“When it comes to spending trends, we see little change in B2B program plans from 2015 to 2016. In-person events, digital marketing, and content marketing once again captured the top three spots in our 2015 survey, consuming over 40% of working dollars.” – Forrester Research

2016 B2B Budget Plans Show That It’s Time For A Digital Wakeup Call

Get the Report

In-person events as well as digital and content marketing are all great ways to stimulate lead generation and bring in more revenue, so it’s no surprise to see that they still get the most investments. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But what if the picture isn’t so pretty? Are these three strategies really working out for you? If you answered no to that last question, it turns out you’re really not alone.

“B2B marketers remain gloomy about their ability to show definitive outcomes: 56% admit they still struggle to attribute program spending to revenue results, and 52% say it’s difficult to demonstrate a clear return on marketing investment.” – Forrester Research

Simply put, if you can’t even show that what you are doing is bringing in more money, you’re going to have a very hard time justifying bigger budgets.

If you find yourself in that majority, don’t despair! It’s just time to stop hitting the snooze button on the proverbial marketing alarm clock. It’s also time to stop simply dipping your toe in digital and take the plunge. If your priority isn’t already to make digital your biggest marketing spend, it should be. If you’re not sure how to make that happen or want to dig further into B2B marketing budget trends, read this report, and learn:

  • Where B2B marketers are wasting the most money
  • Why you need to focus marketing plans and execution on digital
  • How to use analytics to improve digital execution
  • How to linking digital marketing to business results.
  • How to manage digital engagement across the customer life cycle


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Monday, April 11, 2016

A Marketer’s Guide to Advertising on Facebook and Instagram with Video

When advertising to today’s audiences, the first step is to analyze how viewers are digesting content. Audiences have become more visually inclined with platforms today like Facebook and Instagram, which both offer great ad platforms for marketers. As a result, viewers are engaging with social video ads more than ever before and, according to data from comScore, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy products after watching videos.  For this reason, it’s no wonder that businesses are investing a large amount of their promotional efforts in social video ads on both Facebook and Instagram.

But not all content is appropriate for all platforms, so when creating video ads on Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to understand the differences in audiences and the content that they want. Here is a breakdown of these two platforms’ video ads, so you can supplement your inbound marketing efforts using social media successfully.

Facebook Video Advertising

Facebook videos now get more reach than any other post on the network. People reportedly return to Facebook’s News Feed on average 14 times per day. That’s 14 times per day that your video ad has the opportunity to be seen in their feed.


Due to the autoplay feature, you must ensure that your first few seconds of video are the most captivating to stop viewers from continuing to scroll down their newsfeeds. You can put captions on your video ad to make the dialogue understandable for those that are unable to view your clip with sound.

Content Tone

Facebook as a platform spans almost every age demographic equally. Thus, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a ‘young’ voice in your ads to speak directly to millennials.

The viewers, in general, respond best to light, humorous content. Of late, the best genre of video content on the platform has been “How-To” videos, like the ever viral Tasty videos.

Take a look at your analytics from previous Facebook posts and note what has worked best. Also, study your competitors to see what content is the most successful for them.

There is no time limit when using Facebook video, so you’ve got a plethora of options for ways in which you can serve up your content, but be careful, most viewers won’t go past 5 minutes of viewing time, even for the most dynamic of video ads.


Facebook allots a lot of targeting options from location (i.e., country, state, city, or even zip code.) You can also target your audiences based on demographic (i.e., age, gender, interests, and languages spoken.) Finally, you can also reach out to those who have interacted with your page and their friends (i.e. those who liked the page, friends of those who liked the page.)

A general rule of thumb for good targeting is to access a group that is 5-6 figures in size. If your target audience turns out to be 3,000 to 5,000 that is too small of a scope. If your target audience is in the millions, you’re being too general.


When boosting your posts, you have a choice for the duration of days that it will last for and the number of people it will reach. You can always adjust your budget in the Facebook Ads Manager. You can put a spending limit on yourself by setting a maximum budget. Once your ads go past that amount, all your ads that you have in rotation will be put on pause until you add more money or adjust the maximum amount settings.

facebook video ad budget

Call-to-Action (CTA)

It’s good to try out multiple versions of a video and test them separately on different audiences. This helps isolate which one has a more engaging impact on which audience. Even CTAs can be tested for effectiveness thanks to Facebook’s A/B testing options.

For example, the effects of an ad with the CTA button ‘Learn More’ was compared alongside an ad that didn’t feature the ‘Learn More” CTA button. The result was a 63.6% increase in conversions and 40% decrease in cost-per-click just from the ad that featured the ‘Learn More’ CTA button.

CTA facebook video ad

Courtesy of:


The downside to Facebook video is its metrics, which still lag significantly behind those of YouTube ads. Autoplay is primarily to blame for these shoddy analytics, as automatically playing videos means that most Facebook ‘views’ will occur in a user’s Facebook newsfeed. But Facebook has no way of tracking ‘passive’ vs. ‘active’ views, because every time a user stops for 3 seconds with the video visible in his feed, the platform adds that as another view in its analytics. So while Facebook video ads have many advantages, it’s not advisable to solely focus on Facebook for your promotional needs.

Instagram Video Advertising

Instagram has become a force to be reckoned with in the social media world. With 400 million monthly active users and Facebook’s pocketbook backing, for Instagram the sky’s the limit.

As of 2016, Instagram has doubled the length of video ad run time from 30-second to 60-second video ads for marketers.


Instagram’s autoplay will begin without sound. For many viewers who are using Instagram from their phones while in transit or in the office, sound won’t be an option while watching the clip. Unfortunately, unlike Facebook, Instagram doesn’t offer video captions. For this reason, it’s imperative that your video ad is dynamic in its movement and energy so that it works silently as well as with sound. You should view sound as a bonus. Banana Republic gives a great example of this when they used a time-lapse technique for its video ads, highlighting its winter line. The campaign “drove a significant lift in ad recall and lift in associating the brand with  fashion-forward clothing.” Check it out for yourself to see how well the ad works muted.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 4.31.05 PMTone

Instagram caters to a younger generation than Facebook with reportedly 73% of users being between 15 to 35 years old. Women are 64% of the user-base compared to men at 36% and a whopping 75% of users are based outside the US. Keeping these demographics in mind will help you tailor your video ads accordingly.

A good rule of thumb is to use your top performing organic Instagram posts as a guideline for what will make the most effective ad. The content should be light, funny or teach something interesting to viewers. 48% of users say they follow brands on Instagram because they find the brand content funny and 54% say they follow brands to discover new things.


The same targeting options available for your Facebook video ads are available for Instagram ads.


You may have heard the news that just recently Instagram changed its newsfeed algorithm and now posts will appear based on the likelihood that you’ll be interested in the content rather than in chronological order. Other factors like your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post are taken into account with this new algorithm. This means that Instagram will take a page from Facebook’s playbook and choose what will appear in your feed based on your movements and connections on the platform.

Ultimately, this leads to your ads receiving less organic reach on a budget and will soon require the big bucks for you to reach audiences that were once easily accessible. This is a negative for small business marketers so proceed with caution when investing too much time and money on this platform.

Video ad reach on instagram


The same CTA buttons that are available on Facebook are available on Instagram; however, keep in mind that since it’s a different platform, they perform differently. A very popular “Shop Now” button that sees success on Facebook tends to see a drop in CTR on Instagram. The blatant promotion that works on Facebook needs to be hidden better on a platform like Instagram. Keep in mind that the Instagram demographic is younger and this audience doesn’t respond well to outright promotion. Test these CTAs and see which works best for your brand.


To set up your Instagram ad analytics, click into each ad objective (clicks to website, video views, or app installs) in the Facebook Ads Manager and choose the Instagram option.

instagram video ad analytics

You’ll want to set up conversion tracking to see the impact your ads will have. You can utilize the same conversion tracking that you use for your Facebook ads. If you don’t have conversion tracking set up yet, you can learn how to do so here.

Each social video platform takes a different approach to video ads. Hopefully, with this breakdown, you can begin to master your video ads on Facebook and Instagram.

The post A Marketer’s Guide to Advertising on Facebook and Instagram with Video appeared first on Vidyard.

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Friday, April 8, 2016

8 Non-Work Related Exercises to Strengthen Your Marketing Muscles

Marketing is one of those jobs that you can’t do while sleeping. (Well, you might be able to, but your results probably won’t be as good.) You have to constantly think up fresh ideas, stay relevant, and convince people who don’t want to be marketed to that it’s in their best interests to listen to you, love you, and buy from you. So how can you keep the amazing ideas and strategies and results coming, day in and day out, year in and year out?

If you want to be the best marketer you can be, there are lots of things you can do on the job, of course. Follow industry blogs. Learn from a mentor. Join webinars, go to conferences and seminars, read industry articles and books…the list goes on.

But what about when you’re not working? Are there things you can do that won’t feel like work (since who wants to work 24/7? You need a break sometimes!)? I’m not talking about just eating well. (Sugar has significant negative impacts on the function of your brain, you know!…That’s why I’m putting down this piece of chocolate after just…a few…more…bites…) I’m not just talking about exercising (it helps you stay alert and focused), or getting the right amounts of sleep (for obvious reasons). Yes, do all those things. But also check out this list of ideas to try. Promise, they won’t be too much work, and you could even have fun!

1. Examine the marketing that’s all around you.

It seems everything you own, everything you do, and everywhere you look you’re being marketed to. It happens so much that we’re turning a blind eye to it. Years and years ago I actually got into the habit of muting commercials while I was watching TV–I wanted to sit back and enjoy watching Californication, so I happily invited David Duchovny into my living room once a week. I did not invite Mr Clean, or banks, or car companies, etc etc etc.

But you can still become a better marketer even as you’re kicking back watching your favorite shows and eating yummy chocolatey snacks (I mean, no, chocolate is bad for you….sigh). Watching commercials, reading store signs, flyers, or any other advertising (and I mean actively ingesting it, not just tuning out and treating it like white noise) can actually help you develop fresh ideas. You can think about what’s working and what doesn’t work. For example, the marketing of financial institutions always seemed a bit dry and boring to me. But it’s about money! Who doesn’t like money and want more of it? The problem was the approach. That’s why recently I’ve been a lot more thrilled than I probably should be about financial marketing:




These recent commercials by Wealthsimple and Tangerine are…wow. Is it wrong to use ‘bank’ and ‘inspirational’ in the same sentence? Because I sure want to! They actually pull their viewers into a story, and make them feel connected to the brand on a personal, relatable level. Suddenly I care about this stuff way more than I ever did. (And let’s not even get me started on this new Meridian commercial. It may be a bit of a dirty trick, but man, who doesn’t fall for puppies! I mean, PUPPIES!!! Okay, I’m done now.)

Not only commercials but YouTube is a great place to get some video marketing inspiration. (Yay, now you have a good reason to spend hours aimlessly watching YouTube videos!) Want a few ideas of ones we thought were great? Check out this post, this one, and this one, too.

But you don’t have to love something to be inspired by it. Taking a look at something and trying to figure out if or how you could improve upon it just keeps those creative juices flowing all the time, which means you’re more revved up and excited when it’s time to apply that creative thinking at work.

For example, on my drive in to work, I pass a bakery with a sign that says: “Stressed? That’s just desserts spelled backwards!” Being the copywriting geek that I am, I spent the next 15 minutes of my drive thinking about the pros and cons of the sign, and if and why I would change it. It was simple, it was direct and easy to understand, it was clever and memorable. But what if there was a wording tweak or two that could develop the idea and make it even stronger? The current language suggested a link between stress and dessert, which isn’t a great thing. So what if it was revised to: “Stressed? That’s the opposite of desserts!” The small tweak juxtaposes stress and dessert more clearly, suggesting that one relieves the other, instead of simply correlating with the other. Okay, so this was a 15-minute game on my commute to work, and maybe I couldn’t improve on the sign–but simply the exercise of considering, analyzing, and trying to improve upon an idea is a great way to strengthen your creative marketer powers.

2. Ask why.

Remember when you wanted to know why? Why is the sky blue, why are vegetables good for you, why is the saying that it’s raining “cats and dogs”? Asking “why” about everything is a great way to look at the world and the people in it with a fresh perspective. It gets us out of accepting old patterns of thinking, and jolts us into new thoughts and ideas.

A number of years ago when I was tutoring some ESL college students, one of my students asked during a session, “What does ‘I feel blue’ mean?” I told her what it meant, and that it was a slightly dated idiom. She accepted the definition and left the session feeling happy that she had mastered a bit more of the tricky English language, but I was left wondering, why does a color equal an emotion? There are so many instances where we just accept things because we are used to them, but seeing it from someone else’s perspective can really make you stop and think.

I make it a habit to question language, specifically cliches. What does it mean to ‘unleash the power’ of something? And if it’s good to unleash it, why do we then hear the opposing cliche of ‘harnessing the power’ of something? Do we want to let it go or tie it up?! I’m so confused!!! Why do we say these things, and what do they truly mean? Is there a better way to say it that has more power and meaning? A way that will actually resonate and be remembered? (Because cliches are NOT memorable!)

Don’t just ask why when it comes to language, but also why people think the way they do. The next time someone says they don’t like something, ask them why. If they love something, or if they don’t understand something, why? It’s useful asking these questions of someone who doesn’t think in the same way you do, so that you’re shown a fresh perspective and a new way of thinking. If you’re a creative marketer like a writer or designer, talk to a product developer or product marketer, who are used to seeing something in a much different light than you are. Understanding these perspectives can help you market better and deeper to a broad audience.

3. Argue with people (yourself, included).

I can just hear my Dad’s voice saying, “I think you mean discuss. Don’t argue.” I think parents everywhere try to smother the desire to argue out of their kids. While that may be a good thing when it comes to my sister and I bickering over who gets to sit where during family get-togethers, in this instance I actually mean argue. Bring back the fire and the passion! Now, I don’t mean this is your golden excuse for walking around and whispering mean nothings in people’s ear just to piss them off. I mean argue in terms of a healthy, well-considered debate.

When an idea is presented to you, try to poke holes in it. And here’s the thing: take the opposing stance to an idea you actually agree with. There is evidence that being a devil’s advocate helps you develop critical thinking skills; you’re seeing something from a different perspective, instead of jumping to the answer that is most comfortable to you. It jolts you out of being a yes-man or yes-woman, and being able to arrive at the best solution (which may or may not be the answer you preferred in the beginning). And don’t just argue with everyone else; argue with yourself, too! The next time you come up with a thought or idea, try to argue yourself out of it and see how far you get. It might sound like a weird thing to do, but it’s a great exercise in honing your own point of view and strategies.

I have found arguing a really great way to polish my ability to see the other perspective, which as a marketer, helps me better address my audience’s pain points. Instead of simply saying “Yeah, this is an awesome product, you should definitely use it”, you can think about their needs and desires (which aren’t always rational!), and speak to them accordingly.

Disclaimer: Just remember, this tip can be a little bit tricky. Don’t put it into practice all the time, like when your spouse wants to know what you want for dinner and you go on a 20-minute tirade on the pros and cons of chicken or fish. Just don’t be an a**.

4. Learn something.

Learn anything. Why? Because it makes your brain smarter, and strengthens your memory. Sort of like “you are what you eat”, you’re also what you think: studies have shown that your brain develops more the more you develop it (no, kidding, right?). Let me explain: one study showed that taxi drivers have a larger hippocampus because this region of the brain is used for using complex spatial information–like navigating through a city’s streets! People who are bilingual have a larger left inferior parietal cortex than people who are monolingual, and the list goes on.

So, when you aren’t watching commercials and analyzing them, learn about a new topic, try a new skill, do something you’re interested in to keep that brain of yours growing stronger and smarter! In no time that can only lead to a promotion and raise, right?

5. Don’t Google.

Did your head just explode? What would you do without the Google? (I hope you didn’t just say “Use Bing.”) I understand the fear, I Google everything. But there are side effects to using the internet so profusely: studies are showing that we are no longer as capable or likely to remember something we learn. Instead, we remember where we found it, so that we can just pull it up again if we need to reference the information.

There are also implications for our problem-solving skills: no longer do we try to solve something ourselves when we know that the answer is only a few buttons away. As marketers, we need to have knowledge at our fingertips (and in our brains, not just stored on a computer) to be able to critically think about how to create and communicate the best solution for our audiences.

It’s not just Google though. Tech in general, our computers and our oh-so-ubiquitous phones are affecting how we interact so much that they’re changing how easily and effectively we understand each other’s emotions and develop empathy. In a recent study, after five days without phones or tablets, a group of kids were able to read facial emotions significantly better than a control group. Why? Because they talked to each other and paid attention.

As marketers, we need to understand what makes people tick, and how to create an inspiring, powerful, funny, etc., story or message. It’s the human quality of companies that helps forge relationships with customers. Now I’m not going to tell you to never use your phone again except for phone calls, but maybe try creating a “no-phones” block of time each day, whether the ban lasts for an hour or however long you can sustain it. You might notice a difference of how you relate to people and vice versa. That can only make you a stronger marketer in the end.

6. Read books.

We’ve all probably heard a thousand times over that goldfish now have a longer attention span than we do. Crazy, isn’t it?  The first time I read that stat I thought come on, that’s just insane. I can focus my attention for longer than–squirrel! Wait, what was I talking about?

The great thing about reading books is, not only do you enjoy yourself, learn something, and save your eyes from staring at a phone or screen, you actually help your brain focus. There are no commercials to interrupt the story, no ads flashing in your face. Focusing on reading a book may feel like a feat at first, but it helps your brain absorb detail, in contrast to how we read on the internet. You know what I mean: you just scan web pages, read the headlines, check out a few bullet points, and see if anything else catches your attention. (I will try not to take it personally that you’re probably just skimming this right now.) Force your brain out of the habits you’ve gotten yourself into, because the powers of imagination and focus will do you well as a marketer.

Another tip? Read (or watch) different genres. It’ll give you a chance to learn about something you wouldn’t otherwise have discovered, or experience different styles of humor or drama, giving you some fresh inspiration for your own work.

7. Play video games.

It’s true, there are benefits to playing video games. And not just Wii Sports because it gets you up and off the couch. Some studies suggest that video games can enhance your perception, attention, and cognition! You’re focused on something fun, looking for details in a game, setting goals to achieve, working under deadlines, and more. Who knew?! Yes, I’ll wait while you show this to your mother.

8. Puppies!!!

Do I need to say more? Fine, fine. Have you heard that more and more schools are bringing puppies on campus during exam periods to help students relieve stress? It isn’t just a new, fuzzy, silly trend. Tons of information like this and this (I’d tell you to Google it, but don’t) shows that people can actually experience less stress when they have their pets with them than when a friend or spouse is with them! Even nursing homes are beginning to use therapy dogs. Puppies and other pets can reduce blood pressure and anxiety, and help lift your mood. You know what that means? You feel better, more rested, happier, and better able to get down to work and achieve your best results. So there you have it. Puppies make you a better marketer. Go adopt one today!

Try some of these tips and let us know how they work for you, or share some of your own exercises that help you become a better marketer!

The post 8 Non-Work Related Exercises to Strengthen Your Marketing Muscles appeared first on Vidyard.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Screencasting, a Love Story with Clients Involved.

For any SaaS company, the whole customer relationship is closer to a love story than a traditional business deal. Clients go through dozens of options to find the most attractive one to them. Then, the courtship begins, with the SaaS company showing the potential client how they fit all their needs. When the client commits and signs the contract, it’s like a partner moving into your apartment: you want to make them feel welcome, show them where everything is. And whenever a character flaw comes up, you both work on it to figure out the best solution (or tech support, whatever you want to call it).

What if I told you that there was a way to handle all those steps and make it a smooth journey towards a happy marriage? It’s called screencasting. Put simply, it’s the process of recording your screen while performing typical tasks in your company’s software. It often includes audio or visual narration to better guide users through the task, which makes it easier to follow the actions in the video. It’s like dealing with the problems in your relationship before they even happen! Here’s an example of one.

Screencasting is great for:

  • Onboarding new clients
  • Teaching clients about new features
  • Tech support on common issues

It’s awesome because:

  • It’s proactive (it allows you to answer questions before they ever reach you)
  • It can be repurposed (an onboarding video for new clients can also be a great sales tool to show the product)
  • It saves time (you can use these videos to answer common questions)

Tools of the screencast: Recording

Screencasting is a practice that can benefit any SaaS company, and it’s really worth it to invest a little in a software specialized in conducting a screencast. Here are a handful of some of our top picks:

Camtasia, $299 for PC, $99 for Mac: This is a very complete option, with a lot of different built-in animations as well as tools like quizzes to keep your viewers engaged. The company, Camtasia, itself has also produced a lot of screencasts to get you started with the platform (and get you inspired!)

camtasia screencasting

ScreenFlow $99 Mac-only: Even though it’s Mac only, ScreenFlow is very feature rich. It allows you to add text or tiles to your video, customize your cursor, decouple the audio and video, and it also has multiple exporting options.screenflow screencasting

Screencast-O-Matic $15/yr: This one works on all operating systems since it’s a web app. It’s a little more pared down but it’s also much cheaper than the other two and is a great option if you’re just starting to try out screencasts. You can still add watermarks to your videos, as well as text, and even password protect your screencasts.

If you’re committed to using screencasting as a customer success tool, and you’re a PC user, Camtasia is pretty unbeatable. It allows you to create professional looking videos right from your computer, and it even offers opportunities to keep your viewers engaged with in-video quizzes to see if they’re understanding the content.

If you’re a Mac user, Camtasia is a little less feature rich, and that’s where Screenflow might be a better option. It has powerful editing tools, and even allows for iOS recording, which can be a crucial option if your product supports mobile and you want to record some mobile screencasts.

Screencast-O-Matic is way cheaper at $15 per year, and would be a great option if you’re just testing out the waters. It still provides you with editing tools and the ability to record different audio tracks, which would allow you to get a good grasp of the power of screencasting.

Making it really good: A few things to note

So you’ve done a couple sample videos and you think screencasting might be worth a second date? Here are a few tips:

Get a good microphone

Since your voice will often be the only audio in the video, it has to sound good. That means investing in a good quality microphone.The Blue Yeti is a microphone used by the majority of those serious about recording. It’s pretty affordable at $100, and it’s very versatile with a wide range of recording setups. No matter your choice of mic, it’s best to record the video and audio separately, it will allow you to better control your voice and pace.

Find a good place to record

Your users will be watching your screencasts while they try to accomplish an action within your software at the same time, so background noise is especially frustrating. Book a meeting room, record it at home, or early/late at the office to make sure there is as little noise as possible.

Keep them engaged

Even if you’re helping users, you still have to keep them engaged during the video or you risk them not learning how to properly use your product, or worse: churning. To keep users engaged, you can:

  • Utilize pop-up arrows or circles to highlight to features you’re explaining.
  • Use animated transitions or transition images between topics.
  • Have viewers take a quiz at the end of the video to gauge their understanding.
  • Add pop-out calls to action during videos to direct your viewers.

Write a script

What you’re explaining in the video might seem easy for you, but if a user is watching, it’s because it isn’t easy for them. If you write your script down beforehand, it forces you to slow down, stutter less, and ensures you don’t miss any steps. Don’t read, though. Get used to your script and try to speak as you would normally speak to a client on the phone.

Getting started: Keep these things in mind

To ensure your screencasts strengthen your relationship with your customers, make them as comprehensive as possible, they’re videos to explain something. They can be as long as they need to be. But don’t be scared to segment a more complex subject into multiple videos (or chapters within the same video if you’re using Vidyard!) if they get too long. Once you’re done editing a video, show it to one of your friends who doesn’t know the product to see if the video is clear and simple to understand.

You probably already know what screencasts you need to produce. All you need to do is identify what your users struggle the most with and what questions you answer every single day. Those are perfect subjects for your first screencasts.
Soon, you’ll realize that this type of video is also perfect for introducing new features to your clientele. And that they make perfect mechanisms for delivering product overview. And they’re great to build out your knowledge base. Next thing you know, you’ll be deep in love with screencasts.

The post Screencasting, a Love Story with Clients Involved. appeared first on Vidyard.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Be Honest: Does Your Lead Gen Suck?

Lead gen is the lifeblood of marketing. But most lead gen activities are … well, kinda sucky. They take too much time, cost too much, and produce too few MQLs, not to mention customers.

Good thing Jay Baer has the reverse vacuum to unsuck your lead gen.

Okay, there’s no reverse vacuum.

But there is Jay Baer! And he has some phenomenal secrets for getting more leads without alienating your prospects. He’ll be sharing those secrets in the webinar 7 Ways to Unsuck your Lead Gen on April 20th.

Webinar: 7 Ways to Unsuck Your Lead Gen

Sign Me Up!

You should probably be there. It’d really be a real shame if you weren’t. And hey, if you were to join, you’d learn:

  • The lie every marketer tells themselves at night
  • Why marketers (yes, even you!) refuse to believe
  • in the Golden Rule
  • How to atomize your content and increase your
  • lead gen mileage
  • Why the future of lead gen is pictures, not words
  • Why the best lead gen transcends the transaction

Right, we’ll see you there.

lead gen jay baer

The post Be Honest: Does Your Lead Gen Suck? appeared first on Vidyard.

from The Video Marketing Blog – Vidyard via web video marketing
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