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Time for Marketing

Jun 2018

Episode 1 - Tyler Lessard - The Art of Creating Customer Experiences with Site, Sound and Motion

June 22, 2018

The first episode talks about how we should be creating video content for all the parts of the sales funnel. We invited Tyler Lessard, the VP of Marketing at Vidyard

Here are the links to some of the things we spoke about on the podcast.

Chalk Talks
Inbound marketing conference
Brian Hallingan, CEO of Hubspot

Transcript of the podcast episode

Tyler Lessard: 50% of your content should be video.

Peter: This is Time for Marketing. The marketing podcast that will tell you everything you've missed when you didn't attend the marketing conference.

Peter: Hi, my name is Peter, and I welcome you to the very first episode of the Time for Marketing podcast. I'm a marketing person myself. I have worked in SEO, I've worked in content marketing, I've worked in email marketing, and because of that, I've been to a lot of marketing conferences. I've learned a lot there, but sadly, I was never able to go to all of the conferences I wanted to go to. That means, of course, I've missed a lot of interesting talks, and probably, so have you. The idea of what we're doing here is, we want to change that. We don't want to miss any interesting talks on any conference anymore.

So, what I do in this podcast is I look for interesting people who speak at marketing conferences, I invite them and allow them to sum up their presentations in five minutes. I give them questions about what they told us, and release all that in a podcast. This is the very first episode. We have a lot of excellent guests lined up. We have a really nice guest for the first episode, and because I don't want you to miss any of the future guests, I will ask you to subscribe. You can, of course, go to iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you like the podcast, of course after you finish listening to it, go to iTunes and rate and comment on the podcast. All right, our first guest is--

Tyler: Tyler Lessard.

Peter: He works at--

Tyler: I'm the VP marketing here at Vidyard. The company is a video platform for businesses.

Peter: We found him as a speaker at the content marketing conference. The title of his presentation was, "The art of creating customer experiences with sight, sound, and motion." I would like to ask you to sum up your speech in the next five minutes, and give us the most important points that you gave at the conference.

Tyler: Yes, absolutely. I think tied to what I said with regards to video being a more and more important part of the customer life cycle, I think most of us will agree that today's audiences expect richer or more personalized, more interesting communications. Whether it's your top of funnel marketing activities, whether it's how they're learning about your products and your company, how they're interacting with sales representatives, or even existing customers, how they're being educated on how to use your products or services, or how they're being communicated with by their account reps.

Gone are the days of long text-based emails, and white papers, and things like that, and more and more it's about short-form blog content, short-form infographics, and of course, rich media and video content. One of the things that I'm really passionate about is this notion of, in this new world, as we're changing the ways we communicate with prospects and with customers, video becomes a very important part to how we build relationships and how we create really, what I call remarkable experiences with individuals.

Again, as they more and more go into self-service mode, right? If you think back 10, 15 years, most B2B companies were about, there was more a direct sales process. You would have that face time with clients, and you'd build relationships as you go through that buyer's journey, but these days, that's getting less and less. People are more expecting to consume content on their own time and in their own digital worlds. As marketing and sales leaders, we need to be providing them with the kind of content that still builds relationships, that still wows them, that still builds an emotional connection to our brand.

As I hinted at earlier, I don't think that text-based emails and white papers are enough to do that. Really, the impetus here is to challenge us as marketers to think about, how do we build relationships with prospects throughout the buyer's journey? How do we use things like video to connect in more emotional and engaging ways? As we look at, some of the big takeaways are, as you think about your top of funnel marketing. We've all thought about, we have some brand videos and things like that, but how does video become even a more important part of storytelling at that top of the funnel?

Storytelling is really important to engage people, again, in a more emotional and personal conversation. How do we use visual content to relate to our potential buyers, to show them that we understand the pains that they're feeling, maybe to make them laugh, maybe to inspire them? Video is an incredible medium to do those kinds of things at the top of the funnel. Then as we move through the buyer's journey, again, video, I think is, this is where video is really an unsung hero, is how we educate and nurture our potential buyers.

Again, I think this is really takeaway number two is, we need to be more prescriptive in how we think about using video during those education phases. When somebody is on our website, how are we showcasing our products or services to them? Are we forcing them to read big long documents? Or are we giving them a great two-minute explainer that shows them exactly what it is we do? As they're learning about different topics, we use a lot of video content now on our blogs to, again, showcase different ideas or to have real people explaining solutions or problems or ideas as opposed to just having the written word.

It's not to say it should be all video, but it's a very important thing to start complimenting your other forms of content with video. I'll give you one really specific example that we do. We have a series called Chalk Talks. If you search for Vidyard and Chalk Talks, you'll find it. We have about 20 different Chalk Talk episodes, which are each about five to eight minutes in length. They go very specific on a certain topic in the world of video. For our customers, we have Chalk Talk episodes on how to build a video strategy, or how to use video in sales, or how to use video for SEO purposes.

Each one is a very specific topic that gives you a lot of great detailed information, but it's delivered in a way that's very visual, very personal. It's usually myself on camera, and I find that people, we often get great feedback where they love that kind of content because they can relate to it. Again, because we're presenting it in a visual and audible way, it's more memorable, it's easier to learn than them reading long-form content.

I think the big thing there, again, is just thinking about, how do we educate our buyers through rich media content, through video? As it can be a much more engaging and memorable content format. I think you've got those two things to think about. Video as top of funnel to really engage and build an emotional connection, video in mid-funnel to educate buyers and be more memorable in how you're doing that.

Finally, the last takeaway is, how are our sales teams engaging these potential buyers? Are they doing it in a way that's really going to stand out and make people want to do business with the company? That's where empowering our sales teams with some of these great video content or, and this might seem frightening to some of you, but empowering our sales reps to record and send their own custom videos. Whether they're webcam videos where they're talking directly to a prospect, screen capture videos where they're, again, walking through a topic or showcasing what your products or services can do.

I think these are things that we need to think a lot more about and, again, making sure our sales reps are also set up to be able to deliver the kinds of experiences that people expect today. I think those are really the main emphasis points that we're talking about, and it's this idea of creating a more immersive customer experience throughout that buyer's journey, using a rich range of on-demand video content, or one-to-one video messages.

Peter: All right. These were very, very specific takeaways to how to use video in marketing. It seems that what you're saying is making companies open up a bit more. You said that salespeople should be able to generate video, and then use that video in their sales process when they feel that that should be positive for the sales process. This sort of sounds scary on one side, but on the other side, we've learned that the Internet makes companies open up, allows different channels and different people within the companies to start sending out the messages. This is yet another step that sounds really interesting, right?

Tyler: I think you're absolutely right. You nailed it that there's a big trend here towards transparency, and towards rehumanizing the marketing and sales of businesses. I think honestly, over the last five to 10 years, a lot of the market, I think, went too far the other way. We over digitized and we started hiding behind our websites and our keyboards and our emails and things like that. I think a lot of businesses lost that personal and human touch out to their base. I think the younger generation, and the millennials, are really forcing that back because they're growing up on these social networks, and they're expecting more authentic, genuine human-to-human communication.

They're recording and sending videos every day. The number of videos, there's over 10 billion videos played every single day on Snapchat, and over 100 million hours of video played back every day on Facebook. It's shaping this generation to be expecting authentic, simple video content as part of how they communicate. I think for some companies, it's a bit of a challenge because you need to think about, how am I going to create this content as a marketing organization? Or am I comfortable allowing my sales reps to record short videos and send them out?

I think on the flip side, you have to think about the opportunity that exists there, and the ability for your people to tell better stories, to be more open and transparent, and to focus on, again, building human relationships. I think that's what will help a lot of companies stand out from the competition.

Peter: As we probably prepare workflows and rules on how everyone within the company can be a voice on social media, if we prepare stuff like that for video creation, then probably we can create video that would be okay with everyone, or if everyone within the company creates that, we just need to have rules and ideas on how to do that. Right?

Tyler: Yes. I absolutely, I think so. For more and more companies, what we're seeing, whether they're small 10-person companies, or large enterprises, is that more and more, they're building in some kind of video production capabilities or expertise in-house within the company. We heard this not long ago from-- actually, I recall a great quote from the CEO of HubSpot, Brian Halligan. HubSpot is a company that they were really the godfathers of inbound marketing, if you will, and they really built an industry around the idea of the blog. About a year and a half ago, at inbound, Brian Halligan got on stage and said, "50% of your content should be video."

He said very directly, "Stop hiring bloggers, start hiring producers." This really struck me because this was an audience of 15,000 people who for the past five years had been told, "Hire bloggers, be great writers." Now, they're being told, "You need to hire producers." It wasn't to say get rid of the bloggers, and I think more and more, it's about, you need people with those skill sets who are comfortable and are able to create quick video content, and can help people in the organization. I think even if it's somebody in your company who, maybe that's not their primary role, but there's somebody who's adept at creating and editing video, a lot of people can do it now. Especially the younger generation.

It amazes me even what my children and what my younger relatives can do. You just got to ask around. I think that's important to helping this sort of thing. Because if your CEO may not be comfortable recording something and putting it on social, but if there's somebody within the organization who can quickly get them on camera, do some really quick edits, and post it as a thought leadership video, do it. Get out there. Get those messages out, and find people in your company who can help with basic capture and editing.

As long as the content is valuable, if it's authentic, and if it has pretty good audio, it could work, and you don't need to worry about high production value and spending $10,000 on an agency, just to record a quick two-minute educational piece of content.

Peter: Yes. What's interesting with using video on different channels, or maybe let's call it using video content on different channels is what I've seen from Moz doing-- a lot of people know their Whiteboard Fridays, their weekly videos. Of course, the transcriptions of those videos for a long time. We started right now is also producing a podcast or having audio recordings, and then posting them on SoundCloud, I believe.

Directly from video, what they do is they create one message, but then they are able to send that message out on three different channels. Video, text, and audio. Of course, that then helps on social media, that can help on organic traffic with a lot of text. Of course, podcasts have, especially in the US, a big number of listeners. Probably, video as a starting point for content is very good, and then you should spread it out.

Tyler: Yes, I love that. We actually took some of the inspiration for our own Chalk Talks video series from Whiteboard Fridays. We said, "Well, let's take a chalkboard approach instead of a whiteboard approach for a different visual style." We took a great cue from Rand Fishkin and the Moz folks that I think showed you can create that kind of content on high frequency, on a weekly basis, without having to put a ton of additional effort into it. If you come up with a repeatable format, and exactly to your point, Peter, when we create those Chalk Talk videos, every one of those goes out as a blog post, and we transcribe the audio, and the transcription becomes a part of that.

They go into our main resource center on our website, where again, the transcriptions are a part of the page, so people searching for it can find them, and then our sales team uses those a ton. When they're out there engaging with customers or prospects, they'll use those videos as a way to answer commonly asked questions or to help educate or nurture them through the buyer's journey. There's lots of different ways in which that-- and then as well as you mentioned, the audio can be repurposed as podcasts.

It really is a great way to create a hub and spoke model of content. Let's start with a video, and then you can branch off and turn it into a variety of different related assets. It's a great approach.

Peter: All right. Video cannot only be used as a top of funnel channel, but should be used as the middle and the bottom of the funnel channel, and video should probably use-- the content that is produced for video should probably be used in different channels, and this will make the production not cheaper, but because the content that is made once will be used on different channels, the production will be--

Tyler: Generate more return and more value from those pieces of content. You nailed it. Absolutely, Peter, you nailed it.

Peter: Yes. Are those the four takeaways that we can leave our listeners with?

Tyler: I think you've got it. I think that was a great summary, and yes. All of that comes down to, just do it. Don't be afraid to start thinking about how to create more video content. A big underpinning idea to make all those things happen is, try to do more content in-house. Don't think that every time you want to create a video, you need to go out to an expensive agency. Yes, just do it on top of those big four ideas. I think we got it, Peter.

Peter: All right. Thank you very much, Tyler. This was an excellent recap of why and how to use video. This was a very nice first episode of the podcast. You were an excellent guest, and I'm really glad we did that. Have a great day in Canada, nice wishes from Slovenia. This is it.

Tyler: Thank you very much, and thank you for having me. Happy marketing, everyone. All the best.

Peter: This was episode number one. Nothing else to add at the end of the podcast than go and subscribe, go and rate, go and vote, go and listen. Have a great day.