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How to use B2B video throughout your funnel

Olin Hyde

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How to use B2B video throughout your funnel

Tyler Lessard, the Vice President of Marketing at Vidyard, has over 15 years of experience in B2B marketing, sales enablement, content marketing, brand and video. In today’s episode, Tyler shares how video has become a critical aspect of the marketing and sales process for organizations, the benefits of adding the personal touch of video when prospecting, and the importance of making content an organic part of your marketing process.

Key points from this episode:

  • Surge in mid-funnel and lower-funnel content: educational videos, customer stories
  • A shift towards in-house video production in organizations
  • The benefits of adding a human face to the sales outreach process
  • Effective uses of video for top-of-the-funnel demand generation activities
  • Future changes in B2B sales and marketing videos
  • Democratization of video and the evolution of advanced experiences.


“There’s a lot of data out there to show that the use of video is growing exponentially in organizations.” — @tylerlessard [0:03:19.1]

“In a lot of ways, authenticity trumps production value.” — @tylerlessard [0:06:09.1]

 Links mentioned in today’s episode:

Tyler Lessard — https://www.linkedin.com/in/tylerlessard/

Tyler on Twitter — https://twitter.com/tylerlessard

Vidyard — https://www.vidyard.com/

Chalk Talks — https://www.vidyard.com/chalk-talks/


[0:00:07.2] Announcer: Welcome to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. Help us start a movement to make B2B marketers the maestros of shareholder value.

On our website, leadcrunch.com, you can find timestamped transcripts of these podcasts and info about the guests. Subscribe to these podcasts on all major platforms, like iTunes. Send topic or guest suggestions to the host at david.green@leadcrunch.ai.

Here’s Dave.

 [0:00:34.3] DG: I am here today with Tyler Lessard with Vidyard. Tyler is the Vice President of marketing and is a frequent speaker and writer and blogger on podcasts and his own video show called Chalk Talks.

Tyler, thanks so much for joining us here today.

[0:00:53.0] TL: Thank you, Dave. It’s a pleasure to be here.

[0:00:55.7] DG: The topic is video marketing, and take just a second to tell people about the problem that Vidyard solves for customers and who they solve it for typically.

[0:01:08.3] TL: I head up our marketing team here at Vidyard and so I wear two different hats in my life; one is I spend all my time immersed in this world of video and particularly how it relates to your typical B2B companies out there and their marketing and sales programs. The other, of course, is as a marketer myself, how our own team uses visual content and video in our own programs.

What I’m consistently seeing out there is we all recognize that video is a very important part of our content mix, right? Nobody out there right now is saying, “Oh, no. Video doesn’t work,” right? We all get it, and video is an important piece. But most businesses don’t really understand how to use it more effectively in their programs. We create our video for our homepage, a couple of explainers in a product demo, and it’s just part and parcel of some of those initiatives.

But we don’t actively think about, “How do we scale our use of video as an organization to better support our business goals? How do we empower our sales teams with video? How can we use video explicitly to help us generate more demand and leads in the market?” Those are some of the things that we hear a lot about.

Of course, as an organization we help organize what other companies think about, and then we also provide technology to support those programs for video hosting management distribution, as well as creating interactive and personalized video experiences. Maybe most important is tracking the impact of those videos back in your marketing and sales tools so you know what’s working, and what’s not, so you can optimize your investments.

Free ebook: “How to Scale Your Demand Operations”

[0:02:36.4] DG: Very good. My impression Tyler, and you’re closer to this segment of the market and this behavior in the market, but my impression is that video is just exploding, that people in marketing departments and sales organizations are now really adopting it and it’s on a pretty big trajectory. Can you put a little light on where you see things today in that area?

[0:02:58.4] TL: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. A lot of the conversations we’ve had with companies over the last few years have shifted from, “Why should I do video, or how do I do it?” Now it’s much more of a, “Yes, we know we need to be doing more video, we know that it works,” and now it’s much more of a strategic conversation about how do we leverage it more effectively, how do we scale that use.

But yeah, there’s a lot of data out there to show that the use of video is growing exponentially in organizations. In fact, every year we publish a benchmark report, which analyzes all of our first-party data for nearly a thousand different enterprises that are using us for video hosting management and publishing. We just released our 2018 edition about two months ago, and the most prominent take away from that report was a huge increase in the volume of videos that companies are publishing.

It went from, the previous year it was about 20 per month within our customer base. Then in 2018, it was 34 per month. So it was more than one per day for our average customer. It’s this great explosion of using video. The interesting thing, of course, is that it’s using it all throughout the buyer’s journey. It’s not just top of funnel brand and social videos anymore. We’re seeing a huge surge in more mid-funnel and low-funnel content: educational videos, customer stories, product demos, things that people are often doing in-house and are using throughout different stages of the buyer’s journey.

[0:04:24.4] DG: Yeah. Doing it in-house. Talk about that a little bit. I know when I first went and looked at video, I had a little bit of sticker shock earlier in my career, because it was very expensive. It seems that is falling a little bit, the cost of it is falling and people are doing more and more in-house, is that what you’re seeing?

[0:04:42.6] TL: There’s a couple different ways to think about it. One is for the things we’ve traditionally thought about using video for, which again are kind of these bigger campaigns and these bigger brand initiatives. The cost has certainly gone down on those if you’re working with external agencies, you can use freelancers these days at much lower cost. It’s not quite as intimidating as it used to be. For those high-value productions, yeah, a lot of businesses to spend $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 on a video is still a lot.

More and more, there is absolutely the opportunity and people are starting to do it in-house. We’ve all got 1080p recording devices in our pockets, literally, that we can be using with a decent microphone and decent lighting around the office to record other types of content. We can be using screen captures to be recording product demos. There’s all sorts of things that people can be doing these days with off-the-shelf tools to be capturing and sharing video content. And I think the big thing to be mindful of there, though, is it’s actually more of a shift in our mind frame of, “How and where are we using video?” Because before we always thought, “Oh, video is about top of funnel brand, and I need a highly produced thing, and so I need to go and outsource that.”

Now if you think about the way people buy, they’re expecting video throughout that whole buyer’s journey. You can do educational content, you can do whiteboard videos, you can do video interviews with thought leaders, customer stories, all of those with very basic equipment. Audiences expect it, and they love it, and in a lot of ways, authenticity trumps production value. I think it’s really about reframing our minds of, “Yeah, what types of videos should I be creating?” There’s a lot of those you can do really easily in-house, and people don’t expect anything more from a production value standpoint.

[0:06:25.3] DG: When I first got into this, someone had told me that, in fact it was one of your customers who told me that, “Hey, you just go onto Amazon and get a green screen for like a 100 bucks and blah, blah.” I really—it did not occur to me. I assumed that was all really lavishly expensive stuff, but like you said, on your iPhone or whatever phone you have today, the camera quality is actually outstanding. The video recording quality is really outstanding.

Well, that’s interesting. You know, what had prompted me to reach out to you is I read this fantastic case study from HubSpot that talked about how they’ve done some experimentation and they’d seen a huge uplifts for sales reps prospecting, putting a little bit of human face on it. Can you talk about that? Not just that particular case study, but the specific use cases that you’re seeing there, so that marketers can maybe think about how to help sell with this stuff?

[0:07:17.0] TL: Yeah, it’s been frankly probably the most exciting trend that I’ve seen in the last year, beyond just this proliferation of marketing, using video in many different ways; it’s this rise of video in the sales team. What you’re referring to there with that case study, and we see lots of these out there now, is organizations who’ve got an inside sales model, where when they get an inbound lead, then they’ve got a sales rep following up and trying to engage with that individual. They may have an outbound function, where they’re reaching out cold to prospects to try to get them into a conversation.

The reality is all those old tactics don’t work anymore. Like sending a crappy automated text-based email—nobody responds to those anymore. Calling and leaving a voicemail, fewer and fewer people frankly even answer their phone during the business day anymore. Social selling is an important aspect of it, but it again has its limitations just with trying to connect with people. It’s tough. What we found is the really simple idea of enabling a sales rep to record and send a personal video message via email, via social, via their typical channels, but putting their face on camera and doing things to visually represent to that individual that, “Hey, I did this just for you.” The effect has been incredible.

So it’s the difference of, instead of sending a text-based email, I’m going to send an email with one sentence and then a big video thumbnail. In that video, it’s got me and the camera, I brought up something that’s relevant to you. I might write your name on a whiteboard. I might have your company’s website up on my screen share or something that. Little tips and ideas that reps are using to, again, add a few different elements to their outreach. The beauty of it is that one video, even just the thumbnail of it in the inbox, that person immediately recognizes, you did this just for me, it’s not automated. There’s a human behind this. Third, the fact that they put themselves on camera gives me a greater degree of trust that they’ve got something interesting to talk about, and they’ve done their research.

You put all those together and the net result is we’re seeing companies like HubSpot and others seeing three to five times higher response rates. Not three to five percent, three to five times higher response rates when using personal videos in their sales outreach as opposed to not. I mean, I hate to use the clichéd term “game-changer,” but for some of them that’s exactly what they’re saying. They’re like, “For our sales team this is a game-changer. We’re going from two- to three percent response rates from our inside sales reps to eight to ten percent response rates when using video,” and it’s a really interesting one.

[0:09:44.8] DG: A lot of our audience is your traditional demand gen marketer and mid-sized and larger accounts. I wonder what you would say to them about some of the more effective uses of video for top of the funnel demand generation kinds of activities.

[0:10:04.9] TL: We started with a focus on the demand gen audience with our platform and thinking about how does a demand gen team get the most possible value from video throughout their demand programs? I think there’s a couple simple things, couple low-hanging fruit items, and then some more advanced things to think about.

First and foremost, it’s just using video content that you may have today, or create some net new assets to help support and improve the existing programs you’re already doing. Don’t think about video as a separate channel or silo. Think about, “How could I add video into my email nurtures to see if I can boost up my response rate on my email nurture programs?” Could adding a video to our demo request page, or to certain places on our landing pages or websites, drive an incremental conversion rate on that page? Can we use video in our—if you’re tied into your social media team again, with calls to action directly into them. Can I use on-demand webinars as a way to again drive leads all year round from those live webinars that we did previously? Those are some simple things of just repurposing existing content to drive more activity.

The second thing is actually creating direct calls to action from those videos. As somebody is watching that on-demand webinar, do you have integrated calls to action to drive a demo request? Are you able to track, did that person actually watch 10 seconds, or 10 minutes, or 45 minutes of that webinar, and can you get that data back into your lead scoring and your qualification process? Little things like that, and I’ve got a full Chalk Talk on this. So if you just Google for Vidyard Chalk Talks, you’ll find our Chalk Talks hub, and I’ve got a Chalk Talk I did on video for demand gen, where we talked through a lot of those practical ideas about how you can use video to improve conversion rates, how you can drive net new leads from video, but also how you can use the data on who’s watching which videos to really fuel your lead qualification process.

[0:12:00.4] DG: Wow, that’s really great stuff. Final question Tyler, when you look out over the next couple of years, what do you see changing about video?

[0:12:08.8] TL: Oh, the big question. Oh, the crystal ball. It’s obviously a great question. For me right now, there’s sort of two different things happening with video, when I put on my typical marketing and sales team and B2B hat. On one side of it is we’ve got these really interesting, new, creative experiences that we’re starting to see with video. It’s the idea of taking it from a lean back to a lean forward experience. We’re seeing interactive video. Where you watch 30 seconds of a video, and then it’s like choose-your-own-adventure. You know, “Are you interested in this or that?” and you could guide your own path, or there’s questions throughout the video. I think interactive video is an interesting one, particularly as I put my demand gen hat on.

We’re doing personalized video. There’s the ability to automate bringing in somebody’s name, or company name, or other information about them from their account into the video itself. We’ve started to see it on consumer platforms like Facebook, right? Where you get a little video pop-up that’s like, “Hey, Dave. You’ve been friends with Tyler for five years.” It’s neat and novel in that sense, but think about it in a B2B world, where I could send a video out to a hundred thousand people, and when it lands in your inbox, Dave, you see something specific to you or your name right in the video. Again, it boosts conversion rates.

There’s some really neat things there, and I think we’re going to keep seeing more interesting experiences with more advanced types of videos. That’s on one side. On the other side is the exact opposite, which is just the democratization of video as a simple content medium. This really ties back to what we talked about earlier, of saying, making it easy for any marketing or sales team to create content quickly, to share it out there and to track who’s engaging in it, and just make it an organic part of our marketing and sales processes.

I think today in most businesses it’s still something separate, and you’re not really sure how to do it, or when to do it. I think that’s going to change, and it’s just each team in the business. The content team includes videos in their blogs, the email marketing team’s using video. It just becomes another part of the content mix in all of our different programs. There are lots of things happening there to fuel that as well. So I think those are the two key trends: democratization of video and then this evolution of really interesting advanced experiences for those that are a little bit more on the bleeding edge.

[0:14:21.1] Announcer: Thank you for listening to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. On our website, leadcrunch.com, you can find timestamp transcripts and info about the guests. You can send topic or guests suggestions to david.green@leadcrunch.ai. Subscribe to these podcast on all the major platforms like iTunes.

Thanks for joining us and we wish you happy data driven growth.