By now, it’s abundantly clear that video is by far the most natural engagement tool in a marketer’s tool box. And if you aren’t using it right, it’s not just your content that will suffer, but your entire business.
There are virtually no limits to how you use video. Ten years of YouTube has demonstrated this quite well. Video is a tool that allows your business to tell stories, show off really awesome stuff, educate prospects, capture attention, and tons of other things. It’s a powerful platform.
That’s not to say you can just check the video box and skate by. Peppering your website with random videos won’t get you there. That’s not the point at all. With video, like most things in marketing and life, the benefits you’ll see depend on if you are using it the right way.
There are two routes you can take: the cheap and easy way, or the difficult way that provides the most return. It’s no different than content marketing, or marketing best practices, or anything else that marketers are talking about.
These concepts were at the forefront of almost every aspect of this year’s Space Camp. That said, let’s blast off and cover five key takeaways.
The promise of personalization achieves liftoff
If you saw Vidyard’s launch campaign, you know how awesome it was. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth checking out. To me, it’s a prime example of a truly effective, front-to-back campaign.
The intro explainer video itself is straightforward and has a sleek, but off-the-cuff feel. It’s a nice way to grab your attention with a dash of authenticity before the ask.
And what an ask it is: Enter your information and get a personalized video, on the fly – how cool is that?
If you’re like me, you were sold. By the time the explainer wraps, a personalized video with your name in it zooms into your inbox. Again, it’s a stellar demonstration of an integrated approach and worth your time.
What struck me was that I can’t think of anyone doing anything like this in the realm of B2B. It’s uncommon to see such integrated campaigns that also supremely attention-grabbing. The much longer B2B cycle of building trust lends itself very well to this approach, and the personalization component is a great way to get the rubber to the road.
And in case you’re wondering: yes, it does have a Marketo integration.
Get your launch sequence in gear: The importance of a video call to action
Another highlight (also featuring Marketo integration) is the ability to have a call to action and form within a video. We all know how much video can shorten the sales cycle, but with a dynamic call to action the game is upped several levels.
Grabbing a prospect’s attention first before asking for information is the right approach every time. It’s much more effective than simply just asking for it up front and hoping for the best. Offering some value before the ask is one of the oldest and most well-known elements of persuasion. It’s very cool to see it meshed with the video revolution.
I’d also like to note that we do something similar for our Marketplace and Navigate platforms. A little chunk of a video is served up as a teaser for a large piece of juicy gated content. You can sign up right there to receive the rest. Strike while the iron is hot.
Content takes center stage
The wide array of speakers and topics were a welcome change from most conferences. They all shared a single focus: making you a better marketer. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Commander Hadfield was one of the most engaging speakers I’ve ever seen at a conference.
Rather than just get the typical big speaker, Vidyard went out and got a speaker with a truly unique background that was more relevant to the audience than it would appear at first glance. Sure, astronauts are cool. But it wasn’t just an astronaut speaking to the audience. It was an astronaut that had firsthand experience using video and social media to not only increase his own exposure, but NASA’s as well.
Initially Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who in 2013 became a Twitter phenomenon as @Cmdr_Hadfield, was slapped on the wrist for posting so much on social media from the ISS. It was deemed too self-promotional. But over time, NASA’s metrics (can you imagine what those must look like?) revealed they were getting just as much of a bump as he was. It was a watershed moment.
It was a very unique way to demonstrate how building a personal brand can work in tandem to also build the brand of the company you work for. This is something I’ve often considered. Most digital efforts just look more legitimate when there are more people involved. With employees that also have personal brands, your prospects won’t often wonder if you are legit, or a guy starting a business in a spare bedroom. Instead, you’ll have the appearance of a group of likeminded people working toward a goal.
The conference as a content creation hub
Conferences continue to evolve and Space Camp is no exception. Sessions are no longer just someone speaking at a bunch of other people. They have become fully-interactive experiences.
One standout was Arc Media’s slow-mo booth where confetti was launched at people, then played back in super slow motion. That was a crowd-pleaser. But it wasn’t all fun gimmicks either, Vidyard had a full video production area, where thought leadership and B-roll were filmed. This allowed an unprecedented opportunity for interaction and brand building for almost any attendee.
Every single session was recorded in high-quality video, and are being made available on Vidyard’s site. You can check them out here. Beware: you may find yourself spending an afternoon watching them all. They are that good.
Biggest takeaway: Video Marketing Awards show that content marketing is leaving the old, boring whitepaper format in the dust
There’s something going on when you have so many great media providers and marketers vying for a B2B video marketing award, of all things. It’s crystal clear that a big shift is taking place.
This quote from from Vidyard’s own Michael Litt has stuck with me the most: “No one ever bought a pair of shoes after reading a whitepaper.”
Point is, people make business decisions the same way they do in their personal life. They check reviews, videos, what other people are saying. And it’s not all during work hours.
Prospects are watching your videos in their spare time because they want to, not because they have to. With 24/7 internet access via smartphone and hours that are non-traditional, the content that you create might very well be consumed at 8pm after a family dinner. So it should be interesting above all else. Because during the day, people are busy. So in their outside hours, they’re watching things they want to watch. Make sure your video is one of them
The same holds true with publishing content. This isn’t often considered. A content manager works a day job, and feels during that time they should be pushing out content. But their audience is generally also at their day job, and likely too busy to filter through the noise of everyone else pushing content out during their day jobs. Trackmaven has a great breakdown on this that you can read here.
Everything that I took away from Space Camp and the Video Marketing Awards inspired me to come up with the “5 Ables” of Content marketing. Your content should be:
Shareable – Above all, your content should be compelling enough for your readers to want to share it. Give them content that they will feel smart for sharing. Your brand will only rise.
Relatable – Pay attention to your tone, and make sure it stands out from the sea of bland. Don’t be afraid to take chances here. Everyone needs a break from the grind.
Consumable – Your audience is everywhere, you should be too. Don’t think you can neglect the mobile experience.
Usable – Talk is cheap, tactics are what people really want. What have you done recently that’s worked? Share it.
Trustable – The trust barrier is not something to be taken lightly – why should they listen to you?
I know these are big points. Look for a little more elaboration in a future blog post. But in the meantime, internalize and use these methods to make sure your content is always on point and relevant.
Who knows, rather than rushing to publish yet another white paper, you might just be the next marketer vying for a B2B video award.
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.