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Power of Video




Luke: It looks like we are now officially live. A couple of quick introductions to the panel. I'm joined today by Hilary, who is the chief marketing officer at Wibbitz. Hi, how are you today?

Hilary: I'm great. Hi, Luke.

Luke: Awesome. And of course, we're joined by Ai-Zhang from Classroom Without Walls. Hi, how are you doing?

Ai: I'm doing great. So excited to be here.

Luke: Awesome. I love the energy. First of all, I'm the host for today. My name is Luke. I'm the owner of a YouTube certified digital marketing agency, Falkon Digital. I'm currently joining you today from our offices in a town called Warrington in the UK. 

Hilary: I'm the CMO at Wibbitz. I joined Wibits about five years ago. I lead all of our global marketing and communication and strategy, everything from brands and demand generation, product marketing, performance, so I really cover the board.

Within that is our website and using video for it. In the past five years, there's been quite a lot of changes in the industry, in the video industry, as I'm sure both of you are very aware of. I've been able to kind of see that shift and also been a big part of it with the company.

Luke: Our other panelist is of course Ai. Ai, welcome to you too. Where are you joining us from today?

Ai: I'm in the neighborhood of Hilary. I'm joining you guys live from Philadelphia, and I'm really excited and welcome to everyone to join us live. Yeah.

Luke: Ai, do want to tell us a little bit about yourself and Classroom Without Walls?

Ai: Yeah, totally. I am a professor turned entrepreneur. I taught in higher education in the U.S and a few different countries for 10 plus years, and I just resigned. Now I'm building my own school, which is Classroom Without Walls.

Luke: I think I've given everyone enough time to join us, so let's officially get started. The topic of the webinar today is about the power of video and how you can use video to improve the performance of your website and what impact it can have on the website's user experience, every stage of the customer journey. 

In just a moment, I'm going to hand over to Hilary so she can deliver her presentation. I'm really excited to see the presentation. Without further delay, over to you, Hilary.

Four Best Practices for Successful Video Content

Hilary: All right, so let's jump into it. We're going to spend the next 15 minutes or so going over some key items when it comes to how you can improve your website performance using video. After that, we're going to go into a panel discussion, as Luke mentioned, and following that, we'll go through Q&A. 

Of course, there's lots of things to think about with video, but we're going to go through just four focuses for best practices to get started.

The first is context. Whenever you're creating a video and adding it to a page, you want to make sure that the video is relevant to the rest of the content on that page. It may seem obvious, but it's not always the case, and it's really important when you're thinking of the impact that this will have on your search ranking. 

Another thing is to make sure that videos are actually providing value specific to the context of the page that they live within. This is similar to how you think about content in general, but you want to make sure that you're speaking to the challenges, the objectives, and the goals of your audience.

The second is length. It might be surprising how short you actually want videos to be. Typically, you have around 10 seconds to capture someone's attention when they're watching a video. You need to take those 10 seconds to really make sure that you're engaging them in order to maintain their attention throughout the rest of the video.

The third is optimization. Keeping it short like we just said. The other important part about keeping your video short is to make sure that you are reducing the actual file size of the video. Videos tend to be a bit heavier, so that can impact the page load time on your website. Keeping it short is one way to optimize for that. 

Another way is, you can actually host videos on a different platform. For example, we are using Vimeo in order to host our videos and then actually using the Vimeo embed link to embed it within our site. That can also help to optimize for page load. 

Lastly, you want to think about making sure you're optimizing each video for search. This means using keywords probably that you found with SEMrush in the titles of the video file and in the description. That will actually help with your search ranking when you're using keywords within the meta-information of the video.

And always having a call to action at the end of your video is important. If you've cut people watching to the very end, you want to take that opportunity while they're super engaged to drive them to whatever next action it is that you're looking for them to take. Whether it be downloading a report or signing up for a webinar like this, or it could be requesting a demo of your product, you want to make sure there's a very clear call to action at the end of that video, and making it clickable whenever possible. 

Different Types of Videos for Different Pages on Your Website

Where should these videos actually live? Well, that depends on the goal of each page. Let's take these four key pages: homepage, customer pages, product pages, and your blog and article pages.

Let's think about your homepage. The goal of the homepage is to immediately draw someone in, keep them on your site, make sure they're taking the next step to go visit other pages, and having that first interaction be as positive as possible. So adding a video to your homepage is, of course, a very good way to do that. You can quickly show what you're all about, show what your offering is.

We have an example here from Bloomberg of a video that they've created to add to their homepage. Bloomberg, as I'm sure you're aware, is a publisher. Their goal is to provide valuable news and information to their audience. And so, they've identified video as really an essential way to do that. They're adding video to the homepage and they've actually created almost like a homepage for video itself in order to house all of their video content.

The goal of a product page, of course, is to show the services you provide, the value that it brings to your customers, and the general offering that you have. Video is a very, very easy and powerful way to do this by showing visually what you offer.

littleBits created this video to show a new product that they launched. It's a toy that helps children understand how to code. Very cool, I must say. I wish I had this as a kid. Even have some R2D2-themed toys. But you can see that it shows the user very clearly what this product is. What it's all about. And it gets you to actually want to learn more about what they're offering.

Customer pages is something I'm sure we are all aware of how valuable it is to show the story and the success that your customers have seen working with your business or using your products. And to tell a story, video is a very, very, if not the most powerful way to do that. You can actually put a face to the name. You can show the success and show what the customer has done. Adding a video to your customer pages is really, really valuable in order to just really hone in on the value that you're bringing to a customer and tell it from the customer's perspective.

And lastly, blog and article pages. I'm sure we're all reading the news in one way or another and it actually might be watching the news for many of us. Consumers are really expecting to see video as a supplement or even as the key piece of a piece of content. 

We have an example here from Real Estate brand Hawaii Life's blog and it's probably a familiar format to you. You've probably seen on other news sites where you have the video at the top of the article and the article following. It's definitely best practice to put the video above the page folds.

All right, so you probably guessed it by now and I mentioned before, but at Wibbitz, we actually have a platform that makes it very easy to create videos online. Anybody can create professional-quality video without prior experience. If you're interested in learning more about Wibbitz, feel free to jump over to our site, request a demo. I'm going to hand it back over to Luke for the panel discussion.

How Watching Video with Sound Relates to the Sales Funnel

Luke: Great stuff. Thank you very much for that presentation. We have a question already from Pure Motion. They ask, "In general, how do we think the stage of the customer journey affects whether or not the user will watch the video with sound? Are they more likely to watch with the sound further down the funnel?"

Hilary: That's a really great question. I think that it is very possible. We actually don't have any metrics on this, but I think you have to think about where the person is watching this video. Typically if you're at the top of the funnel, someone might be browsing your blog or they might be even on one of your social channels and those channels, less likely to have the sound on, so it might be even more important to have the text there. 

If you're thinking about a video that maybe your sales team has sent, like a customer story for example, to one of the prospects that they're talking that they're talking to, let's lower down in the funnel, then they're probably more likely to actually care a little bit more and want to turn on the sound to watch the video.

The sound is important. We do still recommend to have some sort of text on screen just in case, you know, especially in the beginning actually in case someone starts watching without sound so that they generally know what the video is about.

Luke: Definitely. And I think from a social media perspective as well, I think most people will autoplay a video without sound to begin with.

Hilary: Absolutely.

Best Video Formats and Video Duration for Different Use Cases

Luke: Have you got any thoughts on the preferred format of the video? Again, the format of those videos that you showed were quite similar and they're all created within Wibbitz. How important is the format in terms of, you know, the kind of content you produce for your website?

Hilary: And format, do you mean the like square, landscape, or vertical?

Luke: Yeah, square, landscape, vertical, but also the fact it was all the content was within kind of the subtitle effect, if that makes sense.

Hilary: Yeah, we definitely recommend having a variety of types. Format, we recommend going off of the channel that it's going to live on. You want to have on Facebook and Instagram typically square in the feed. Any stories format is going to be vertical. Landscape is best for channels like your blog content and even any sort of product or customer testimonials on your website. 

Luke: You talked about the duration of a video. You said how the video needs to be very, very short. I think you recommended about a minute in length in total was kind of your best practice recommendation. Are there any kind of times or any examples when you would have a longer video?

Hilary: I think there are places that you should and can leverage longer-form content. One example is the customer story. I would say, and going back to the idea that this is something that can be very valuable, lower down in the funnel when someone is more engaged with your brand, more engaged with your product, and they're willing to spend more time looking deeper into, you know, what the story is that you're telling in the video. 

There also are opportunities for more educational types of content, I think. But I do recommend having a shorter version as well, and it's actually something to do with just your video strategy as a whole, thinking of how you can chop up videos or leverage videos for multiple video assets. If you do have a two to three-minute video, figuring out how you can take 30 seconds to a minute out of that longer video and use it for different purposes.

Ai: To follow up on what Hillary just mentioned, regarding how long a video should be. In my case and because I do lots of educational content, my people come to my platform to learn something. I think really like Hillary mentioned, you really have to think about your overall strategy, and think about the type of artists who are following you and what they want from you. Sometimes it really depends on the content.

I think if the content's good enough and you are offering so much value to your audience, and they want to stay longer. Play with it and see how your audience responds to certain types of video. I think the best practice is what works for you. 

How Beginners Should Approach Video Marketing: Strategy and Equipment

Luke: We were having this conversation recently about how people's attention spans are getting progressively worse, seemingly, or their patience is getting worse when it comes to the web at least, anyway. We talked about the format of websites even like five years ago, how they used to have a lot more content on, and we've chunked the content down and down and down and people still don't actually read it. 

A question for you, again Hillary, for people that are new to video...what's a good starting point when it comes to actually adding video to your site? Where do you begin?

Hilary: It's a great question and I think it actually goes back first to what I said around figuring out what goals you're trying to achieve or leverage video for. Just understanding what are my goals. Narrowing in on that and then working backwards almost and understanding what types of videos, which channels should these videos live on, in order to actually start building out that plan around the types of video content you want to be creating.

Then in terms of actually creating it, that also can be a very daunting task for someone who's never created a video before. I think it's actually becoming a little more accessible as we have tools like Instagram Stories or Facebook Live that are making it very easy for your average person to jump on and create a video, and add text and all of the fancy things there. But creating video for business is different. I think you have to make sure you're abiding by all of your brand guidelines, that you have a clear sort of structure there.

A good place to start if you're looking to create video in-house is to get a few key essentials for filming. That could be a 4K camera. It even could be an iPhone nowadays. A gimbal, it can be very useful, a tripod. They even have handheld teleprompters now, which can be really great to get people in front of the camera. There are a lot of things out there that you can get and kind of create a DIY studio that actually turns out pretty professional content.

The second thing to think about is how are you actually going to edit and create it? Then the third is thinking about how to actually host it somewhere. I mentioned Vimeo is one of those options. Of course, YouTube is a great one that Luke, I'm sure you're very familiar with, but trying to figure out, "Okay, I have a video, now what do I do with it?"

Ai: When I travel, I want to go to conferences, I just bring this on my smartphone, and a nice microphone, and I do interviews that way, I go live that way. At home, I actually have a nicer microphone but it's broken. I do think audio is important, even this one is pretty cheap. It's like $20 and you guys can hear me fine, right?

Luke: Yeah.

Ai: I do DIY and there are a few apps that I use to resize my video to make it look better, to add captions, but there are so many different apps, free/paid ones, yeah.

I have another point. I think in terms of video production because I work with others and people always ask, "What equipment do you use?" As if, when you had this amazing expensive setup that will make everything perfect. Both of us know, like all of us know, technology is only one slice of the pie. 

There's content, there's strategy, there is so much that goes into video production. Don't be so obsessed with the technology you have. Do be more obsessed with the overall strategy. Even if you get millions of views, if you don't have a strategy, so what? I think I just want to add that point.

Luke: That's a great point. I think a lot of people get very focused on equipment and quality and these kinds of things and especially for video isn't as successful as they think. The first thing they think about isn't, well is the content right? Was the strategy right? It's, well maybe my video needs to be 4K instead of 4HD. Maybe that's the problem. 

I think even when you're using things like mobile phones, with the right lighting...just having that light can make a huge difference to the quality. What we've noticed a lot is that people can tolerate a lower quality picture, but what they can't tolerate is bad audio. I think as long as you've got a mic, however cheap it may be, it can make a big difference to the overall quality.

We have a question from SF Digital Studios. They have asked, which gimbal would you recommend? If you want, I can jump in on this one. It depends on what you're using to film with. For example, when we're using mobile phones, we use a FeiyuTech gimbal. It's for mobile phones. It's very, very powerful. We can actually attach a GoPro to it as well. And it's pretty cheap. I think it was about £120. 

And one of the great things about it actually is it has face tracking. If you were to move from one side of the room to the other, the gimbal will actually automatically follow you around. It doubles up as quite a nice bit of equipment.

When we're using our digital SLR cameras, we use something like the Ronin, which is a DJI Ronin-S, which is a big piece of kit. It takes a long time to set up and stabilize, but it's for kind of like professional filming. 

Where to Host Your Videos

Another question from Hans Nap. Wistia or YouTube or both? I'm guessing that means in terms of where you host your videos. I can say from my perspective, I'm extremely biased, so take this with a pinch of salt, but I would always say YouTube. But then again it depends on the format of the content. I like YouTube very much for longer-form content. I think for shorter phone content, I might be more inclined to use something like Wistia. I don't know what your guys' thoughts are on that?

Hilary: I mentioned we use Vimeo. Wistia is also a great option for video hosting for marketing teams, but YouTube, we do also upload our video content to because of the SEO boost that it gives us. Google prioritizes YouTube as a video source, so it's actually something we've gone back and forth with a couple of times knowing that, but currently we're uploading also to YouTube and adding a link back to whichever page it is that that video should be tied to.

Luke: Out of curiosity, why did you choose Vimeo as your primary hosting platform?

Hilary: We liked the video player itself. It's very clean in terms of just the design, and their platform is very easy to use. It's great for beginners or people that just kind of want to move quickly. And it's also very inexpensive. It's a little less expensive than Wistia is.

Luke: Yeah, I think from some of our clients' perspectives, they don't like embedding videos from YouTube because sometimes their competitor’s videos get recommended, so we ask them when they choose Vimeo, they pay for the premium player...and it's only their content that pops up.

Hilary: And there's great tools like the call to action button at the end, which I mentioned.

Luke: Exactly. Oh, interestingly, sorry, on that call to action. That was an interesting point that you brought up. You talked about adding the call to actions within videos and you talked about adding them at the end of the video. Are there any times when adding them earlier might be appropriate maybe?

Hilary: I think that depending on the purpose of the video, for example, like promoting a webinar, you want to have the goal or the objective very clear in the beginning of course. Saying, sign up or join us for our webinar, in the very beginning, but then still having the actual button itself at the end. 

Video Marketing for B2B on Platforms Other Than LinkedIn

Luke: Yep. Sounds good. I agree. We have another question, I think from Pure Motion. They say, how effective do we think using video on social platforms other than LinkedIn can be specifically in the B2B market? Are B2B buyers happy seeing this content on personal news feeds, for example, Facebook?

Hilary: Sure. It's definitely a great question and one that we have asked ourselves many times, but we, for a variety of reasons, do believe it's valuable for B2B companies. The audience on Facebook is just significantly larger than on LinkedIn. The audience that you can reach there is bigger for sure. It also is a place that I think you can kind of develop a little bit more of a personal interaction with your audience. The content you're posting on LinkedIn probably isn't the right content for Facebook or Instagram.

Instagram is another one, I think. For B2B businesses, we've seen that grow significantly over the past year. Maybe even some of you have gotten ads on Instagram for B2B businesses. I know I do often, but I think it's also where people are and you just want to get in front of people where they are.

Using Animations in Videos

Luke: Perfect, great answer. Okay. One other question from Hans Nap. They have asked animation or real people for video tutorials? 

I mean it depends in my opinion on the context of the video, the context of the tutorial. From our experience in working with tutorial videos on YouTube, what we found is a tutorial video, you can get away with being very low quality in terms of production. And you can have very, very long videos, so in excess of an hour. And you'd get very high retention rates for those videos.

We have worked in the past where we've done screen capture animation videos for tutorials, like sharing how to use some kind of online software. And that's worked very well because we can keep it very concise. What might be a 10 minute tutorial with a real person, we might be able to bring down to say three minutes because it's more concise and animated. But really, it depends. You have to work out I guess what's best for you and again, the kind of the context again I think is important in that one.

Ai: Yeah, totally.

Hilary: Yeah, I would agree. I think that there are certain cases where an animation might almost be necessary when concepts are a bit more abstract. Maybe for some tech companies that have a bit more of an advanced product, there's a complicated implementation process, then animation can be very helpful there.

Create Videos With Important Metrics In Mind

Luke: Totally agree. That's a really, really good point. Really good point. We've got another question from Cynthia Mambrino. How important is it to take into account KPIs such as video audience retention? We have shortened our videos to try and improve this KPI, but usually, users don't consume the whole video. 

In YouTube, it can make a big difference. One of the most important metrics on YouTube is actually watch time. The amount of watch time you get really impacts how YouTube perceives that video. It is their most important metric when trying to determine the quality of the video. 

When it comes to duration, what we always say is the duration should be the ideal duration. Don't try and inflate it to make it longer because people aren't going to watch the whole thing, but don't try and make it short either. It just needs to be the right length. It's a difficult balance to try and get. But you want to try and make sure you get as high a retention time as possible.

If you know that people aren't watching your videos all the way through, then what you need to do is look at your audience retention graph and see if you can work out why people aren't watching your videos all the way through. Is there a key point in every video where you lose people? For example, do you have a 30-second intro, which just shouldn't be there? You just need to chop it out. Do you say something that just doesn't resonate with your audience and you put people off and they've left? You just need to constantly look at what you've previously done and try and learn from that before you create your next video.

Ai: I could add something that worked really well in my case. In the beginning, I tell my audience, "Hey, watch until the end. There is a surprise or there's a PDF you can download." Whatever I'm talking about. There's a workbook or just to tease the audience a little bit to make sure they watch until the end. Try that.

Luke: That's really good. I mean that comes back to another question I had for you, Hilary as well. You talked about grabbing the viewer's attention within that first 10 seconds. I wondered if you had any recommendations for ideas for how you might do that?

Hilary: Yeah, so I mentioned using text. Having text caption or subtitles can do the trick. I think that can quickly give people an understanding of what the video is about. Hopefully, they're interested in whatever the topic is. 

Luke: From a YouTube perspective, one of the most important things we found is actually making sure that we're meeting expectations. Within YouTube, the thumbnail is extremely important to the success of the video. And oftentimes people think they've been clickbaited if what they're seeing within that first few seconds doesn't match the expectations of the thumbnail.

Ways to Measure the Less Tangible Benefits of Video Marketing

This is a bit of a difficult question perhaps for you, Hillary. Within your presentation, you talked about a lot of very, tangible metrics, things that are quite easy to measure I guess in some respects. You've got things like time on site, conversion rate, increased visibility in search engines.

But I imagine there's quite a few other benefits to using video on your website as well, which are harder to measure or maybe less tangible things like perception, trust and brand sentiment, these kinds of things. Do you have any way of kind of measuring any of these things? Is it something that you take into account?

Hilary: It's a great question and it is a hard question. You know, it's something I think that any marketer who or any entrepreneur who is responsible for a brand struggles with, right? Just measuring impact on brand affinity, loyalty, awareness, it's definitely a challenge. I think one thing you can look at potentially is sort of velocity through your pipeline is one thing.

Basically from the first point that you have an interaction with someone, whether they visited your website or maybe they submit their contact information, how long does it take them to get to your ultimate goal? Any reduction there you could try to measure that once you implement a video strategy or continue to make changes if you've been able to see any sort of increase in the velocity across your pipeline or funnel.

Luke: I think historically it's something that we ourselves have always found very difficult to kind of understand fully and to fully measure. Especially when we post a lot of videos to different platforms, we get a lot of people that watch the videos and seemingly like the videos but never really engage, never really let us know that they watched them. They've kind of been that silent viewer so to speak.

And then when people call us they'll say, "Oh, we liked that video that you did on X, Y, Z". They had that brand affinity because they'd seen that video and obviously liked something within it. And I think that's one of the biggest benefits that we always try to explain to some of our customers. You know, there's all these other intangible benefits to creating videos that perhaps are more difficult to measure.

Hilary: Definitely.

Luke: Okay. When it comes to tracking video engagement on a site, have you got any best ways of doing it, the best practices. And what are your thoughts on, just really understanding how people are using video on your site?

Hilary: We talked about some of the metrics that YouTube provides. Like watch time for example, but really any hosting platform should include some sort of metrics and analytics that you can look at. Looking there just to see how the video in itself is performing, how long people are watching, if they're watching the full video, how many people are clicking to watch.

Then trying to tie that back to other things, like conversion rates. You can use tools like Google Analytics, to look at pathways and events within your website. If someone clicked a video and then converted and the percentage from click to video, to conversion rates for example.

Luke: Okay, so I think that's probably all we have time for. Ai, where can people find you online?

Ai: I have the same social media handle, A-I-A-D-D-Y-S-O-N-Z-H-A-N-G, every single social media platform, the same thing.

Luke: Perfect. And what about yourself, Hillary?

Hilary: We are at wibbitz.com it's W-I-B-B-I-T-Z, and it's also the same across all of our social channels.

Luke: Perfect. If anybody wants to reach out to me, you can do so alsheehan at Twitter, and you can use my company socials as well. Which are all Falkon digital and that's Falkon with a K. I also have to say that, because the K really confuses everybody. Thank you to Hillary and Ai. Hillary, thank you very much for your presentation and all of your insights. Ai, thank you again for joining us today.

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