Video Marketing: What I Learned at Search Fest 2014

By March 10, 2014Uncategorized

Recently a couple of us at Confluence Digital attended Search Fest 2014 in Portland, also known as SEMPDX.  The conference was
 really fun and informative, and I highly recommend it to all digital marketing professionals and really anyone involved in the digital space.  I took copious notes at the event and thought I’d share with you some of the big takeaways from each of the sessions I attended at the conference.  For this blog post we’ll be talking about the first session I attended, Building Your Brand with Video.

I found this session really interesting, both speakers gave the audience a good overview of how to get started in video production with awesome resources as well.

Session 1: Building Your Brand with Video


Presented by Elise Ramsay from Wistia and Mack Fogelson from Mack Web Solutions.

There were three important tips for coming up with compelling content for videos:


1. Don’t try to go viral

Creating a video in the hopes that it will go viral, requires a completely different strategy than videos created for your small to mid-size business.

2. Focus on nurturing your existing core audience

Find out what they’re struggling with, help them out, if it’s useful they will share it with other people who will find it useful (aka highly qualified leads).  Give away good, valuable, and resourceful information for free.

3. Be human

Have fun, show vulnerability, this lets people feel closer to you. 

4. People care about other people, not companies

Video allows customers to feel closer to the brand than text content.

Tips for Marketing Your Video & Integrating It Into Your Overall Marketing Efforts:

1. When posting videos on your website, post the entire transcript below the video.

2. Select a goofy thumbnail – make it fun and make people want to click on it.

Examples of SMBs Who Do Video Right

1. Doggy Dan

Makes quick videos that have valuable information.  More likely to be shared by highly qualified leads to other highly qualified leads.

  • Embrace scrappy production: the content of the video is more important than the video quality.
  • Make your video matter to the right people: make videos that your customers and potential customers will find useful, don’t try to just get as many views as possible.
  • Get specific: short videos give people exactly what they’re looking for.
2. Pool Supply World

Answers customers’ specific questions with a quick video explaining how to fix the issue.  Personable, not super polished or rehearsed, but help you feel connected to the brand.

  • Focus on your audience
  • Answer FAQs
  • Learn from Analytics: see what people are engaging with most and dive deeper into those topics.
  • Do things that don’t scale: awesome personal things that are designed specifically for the brand.
3. Litmus

Once the tutorial video finishes, another person at Litmus pretends to be the first presenter (wearing the same thing, sitting in the same location, etc.), and does a quick presentation like the first one, but talking about ridiculous things – a quick and easy way to add humor.

  • Don’t be afraid to go behind the scenes: people love this content (even just a time lapse video of your office for the day)
  • Share mistakes: don’t delete the parts of videos that won’t make the final cut (can share as bloopers are keep in the video to make more personable).
  • Create non-secular videos: make videos that are not related to your business, this shows you are more than your business.
Overall Takeaways – Building Trust with Videos:
  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Make personality a byproduct of what you do.
  • Video allows any business to feel like a local small business, be local in spirit.
  • Don’t be afraid to share your first videos even if they’re crap.  Learn from each video you create.

Integrating Video into Your Overall Marketing Plan


Once you’ve created a video, how do you amplify it to get the most impact?  With video marketing there are two things to consider: first the video, and second marketing.  There are two separate strategies here and determining what those strategies will be before you start producing videos will help you make sure you’re creating videos that will have your desired impact.

To develop a video marketing strategy you need to have an overall marketing strategy in place (we’ve written several blog posts about developing a digital marketing strategy if you need a refresher).  Once you’re overall marketing strategy is in place with S.M.A.R.T. goals and KPI’s, you can start developing a video strategy for your business.  Now it’s important to remember that the goals and KPI’s you have for your video are going to be different from the goals and KPI’s in your overall digital marketing plan.  This is where presenter Mack Fogelson from Mack Web Solutions introduced the idea of thinking of your video and your overall digital marketing plan as the parts and sum of the parts, respectively.  

The idea here is that it takes more than one video, more than one channel to change your business and build your community and/or brand.  You’ve got to integrate and leverage all the channels.

Two things to consider when measuring Video Marketing ROI:


  1. The Parts: the integrated pieces, but only on their own (i.e. offline, email, social media, etc.).  Determine what value those pieces are providing.
  2. The Sum of the Parts: the true value (ROI) comes when you add up the sum of the parts of all of the things you’re using.  What change did your efforts make in your whole business?
Identifying Goals for Video Marketing:
  • Goals for Video: all goals should be S.M.A.R.T., specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (example: we’re going to create and post videos for 5 weeks to earn 350 signups for our community branding guide).
  • Goals for Video with your overall marketing plan: set goals to make a difference in your whole business (example: we want to become the integrated web marketing company in the west within the next 3 to 5 years).
Identifying KPI’s for Video Marketing:
  • KPI’s for video: play rate, % of visitors that watched, % of engagement, completed calls to action, leads.  Keep in mind there may always be more, KPI’s should be based on not how many people watched it, but how they watched it, and what they did after.
  • KPI’s for video within your overall marketing plan (there are three types): See, Think, and Do KPI’s.  See KPI’s: unique visitors, social followers, impressions, amplification/conversation/applause, organic search traffic. Think KPI’s: returning visitors, mailing list and blog subscribers. Do KPI’s: leads, and direct revenue.

It won’t be just a video or social or search or email or offline activities alone that will make the difference, it will be the sum of the parts that make the biggest difference in the end.

Analyzing How Your Videos Performed:


There are several different tools available for figuring out how people watched your video, what they did while they watched it and what they did after.  Here are a few examples:

  • Engagement graph data: lets you look at what people are doing while watching the video, do they click a CTA at the end?
  • Play rate data – helps you determine if your thumbnail made a difference.
  • Heat maps data – shows you how and when people actually watch the video.

All of these resources provides an opportunity to compare your videos against your other videos to see which ones perform best (don’t try comparing your videos to other videos from other brands or audiences).

To Recap Using Video to Build Your Brand:

  • There’s power in integration: it helps you get more out of everything.
  • Brands and communities are not built in one day.  Or even one year.  It takes time and diligence.
  • Clear the noise and do what works for you.

I also took notes from the question and answer part of the session:

Q: What about video for B2B?

A: It all really comes down to the same thing, what do the viewers (potential clients) need?  Figure out what the pain points are and start addressing those with video responses (like Moz does in White Board Fridays).

Q: What are some recommendations for how to get buy-in from the entire team on production of the video?

A: Communicate the plan, you may be excited, but the rest of the team might not be there yet.  Step back into what are the pain points (cost? Being on camera?) of others on the team and how you can start addressing those.  Explain what it does for the brand – how it goes beyond just producing a video, it’s integrated in several different areas of the business.  Plan as much as you can ahead of time, perhaps make a video demo? 

Q: Recommendations on technology?  Something that says scrappy but not shaky iPhone scrappy.

A: If you use an iPhone, get a clip to put on a tripod, iPhones actually have really great video technology.  Balance out scrappy production quality with punchy, to the point scripts that get right to the point … you can go to home depot and get a lighting kit for under $100 (see Wistia’s Down & Dirty Lighting Kit video).

Q: Are there some general examples we can use to show value of videos to get management (data-obsessed bosses) to buy-in to video?

A: Management is focused on leads, but point out other valuable KPI’s (how valuable is brand awareness?  Client retention? Etc. were the videos successful in those KPI’s?).  Ask, what’s the opportunity cost?  What could we be missing out on by not doing video?

Q: Video for community building, how does that connect to video for advertising?  Is there an order or hierarchy?

A: There is a separate strategy in your entire marketing strategy.  Ads are effective, as long as you’re still trying to show instead of tell about your business.  Paid videos can do 2 things: heighten awareness, and solidify relationships that are already there.

If you found this post useful, I would highly recommend heading over to Wistia’s Learning Center to learn more about video production, strategy, and marketing. 

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing the rest of my notes from the other sessions I attended, so stay tuned!

Zoe Huden

Author Zoe Huden

More posts by Zoe Huden