Want to win with video?
Tune into this episode with Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard, as he answers questions from CMOs, for CMOs, sharing a wealth of pragmatic advice for B2B CMOs looking to utilize this powerful business asset. We cover the 4 Es of great videos, why you need a “watch demo” button on your website, how video enables personalization to a whole new level, and a whole lot more.
What You’ll Learn
- What makes a great B2B video
- B2B video production lessons from… TikTok?
- How to use and personalize video to convert prospects
Renegade Marketers Unite, Episode 377 on YouTube
- CMO Huddles
- Share Your Genius
- The Visual Sale by Tyler Lessard & Marcus Sheridan
- Tools mentioned
- [2:32] Meet Tyler Lessard
- [5:23] When to use video (or not)
- [7:24] The 4 Es of video
- [10:36] The role of video in Vidyard’s marketing mix
- [11:56] Lessons from TikTok: Short form, vertical video
- [17:42] Best practices and common mistakes
- [21:58] What’s your CTA: Talk to Sales or Watch a Demo?
- [25:42] Speed round: This or that
- [26:35] Gen AI and video
- [34:36] Personalization via video
- [40:19] Video metrics: Reach, Resonance, Return
- [43:36] Tyler’s Tuesday Tips
“Content quality trumps production quality in most of what we do today.” —Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard
“The main mistake outside of video production that marketers make is only using video as a top-of-funnel medium.” —Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard
“What’s the best thing I can do for my buyer? Put demo videos on my website, let them binge on it, let them see what we do for real, because that’s really what they want.” —Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard
“Shorter is better. It doesn’t mean every video has to be 30 seconds, but be super critical of the length of your videos. Get right into it and make sure you’re respecting your audience’s time.” —Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard
“Get good and comfortable and efficient at creating video in-house. If every time you want to make a video you need to outsource, it’s not going to be a part of your content culture.” —Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard
Full Transcript: Drew Neisser in conversation with Tyler Lessard
Drew Neisser: Hey, it’s Drew. I’m excited that you’re here to listen to another episode of Renegade Marketers Unite. And if this is your first time listening then welcome. This show is brought to you by CMO Huddles, the only marketing community dedicated to inspiring B2B greatness. And that has a logo featuring penguins. Wait, what? Yeah, well, a group of these curious, adaptable and problem-solving birds is called the Huddle. And the B2B marketers and CMO Huddles are all that and more, huddling together to heat up the coldest job in the C suite. And now that CMO Huddles has three membership tiers, we’re ready to inspire B2B Greatness at all levels. To learn more, check out CMOhuddles.com. Now before we get to the episode, here’s a shout out to the professionals at Share Your Genius. We started working with them over a year ago to make this show even better and have been blown away by their strategic and executional prowess. If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or want to turbocharge your current show, be sure to talk to Rachel Downey at shareyourgenius.com and tell her Drew sent you. Okay, let’s get on with today’s episode.
Narrator: Welcome to Renegade Marketers Unite, possibly the best weekly podcast for CMOs and everyone else looking for innovative ways to transform their brand, drive demand, and just plain cut through. Proving that B2B does not mean boring to business. Here’s your host and Chief Marketing Renegade Drew Neisser.
Drew: Hello, Renegade Marketers! Welcome to Renegade Marketers Unite the top-rated podcast for B2B CMOs and other marketing-obsessed individuals. Alrighty folks, you’re about to listen to a Bonus Huddle, a specially curated Huddle that we run once a month with experts sharing their insights into the topics that are most important to our CMO community. We call them “Huddlers.” The expert at this particular Huddle was Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing and Chief Video Strategist at Vidyard. He shared his profound expertise on all things video. Let’s get to it. I’m thrilled that Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing and Chief Video Strategist at Vidyard, a leading video platform for business is here with us today for this Bonus Huddle. According to his great LinkedIn headline, Tyler is a and I quote “purveyor of fine content, sales, humor and creative marketing strategies.” He’s the head of Sales Feed and the author of The Visual Sale. And one of the things that we talked about in the pre-show is, he is Mr.Authentic. And that is what we’re going to be today. And we’re going to bring it with raw-centricity. So Tyler, by the way, is a champion of all things video and is here to give us both pragmatic advice on video and help us understand what’s around the corner. With that. Hello, Tyler. How are you? And where are you?
Tyler: Hello, Drew, I am so stoked to be here. Thanks so much for having me for this bonus CMO Huddle. I am physically in the Toronto Canada area, which is where I’m based as well as the fine folks at Vidyard, about an hour west in Kitchener Waterloo. So that’s where I’m coming at you from. Mentally I’m in a great place this week. There’s so much goodness going on, in the space that I’m in my team’s cooking and revving. So I’m super stoked to be here and excited to answer questions that everybody has about using video.
Drew: Share the goodness, I mean, let’s start there. If you’re having goodness, it must mean video is obviously hot. But what’s getting you excited right now?
Tyler: Well actually, internally in our business, what I’m really fired up about right now, all of you CMOs, I’m sure appreciate this; We’re in the midst of what I would think of as kind of a repositioning of the organization we’re leveling up our messaging, we’re expanding how we think about ourselves in the market and are really kind of on the cusp of doing some new category building work, which I’m really excited about. It’s been about eight, nine years since I’ve really felt like I’ve had the opportunity to step back and build out a bigger kind of message strategy and really expand sort of the categories that we’re in and the expansion of what we’re doing with video tech is actually really driving that where it’s no longer just really about like video, it’s about go to market approaches, where video is just a key part of that. So it’s super exciting and hopefully all of you as well love a good opportunity to reposition to expand messaging. Don’t say rebrand, though.
Drew: It’s funny because that is a word that doesn’t always go well with VC or PE capitalized firms. It also just reminds me that we need to get you officially into CMO Huddles, because there are several folks that are months or a year ahead of you in terms of repositioning and changing their go-to-market, I imagine they’d have some words of wisdom for you, it’d be a good exchange because I want to pick your brain on doing better with what you guys are experts on. And what’s interesting, in the way you talked about that. I just want to go there for a second, which is trying to make video, a strategy, not an execution. It sounds like that’s what you’re thinking about. So the big picture on video is, everybody’s a creator. Everybody’s creating a ton of content. And I think the first question that CMOs have is you can do video for everything, right?
Tyler: For me, what I think about is, when it comes to content strategy, when it comes to how you message, we all know that first and foremost, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience, of our buyers, of our prospects, of our customers. And I always think about as we embark on our own content, which video is clearly sort of fits into, from a marketing perspective, even when we think about like how our sales team is engaging, and messaging, and sharing information. We always start there with what is the most impactful, effective, valuable way to deliver this message to tell the story, whatever it happens to be, for our audience. And we recognize and we understand people will prefer to consume it in different ways on different channels, depending on a lot of different factors. And so there are many very clear-cut cases where we would say this right here like this absolutely, video makes sense. It needs visuals to create clarity, there’s an opportunity here for us to really hone in a complex message and simplify it and so on. In other cases, it will be like nobody wants to watch a video for a minute just to get this quick tip that really should be a simple post. So there’s always a time and place for these different mediums. And I think one of the things that not to like shamelessly promote, but that I talk about in The Visual Sale by Tyler Lessard and Marcus Sheridan, is what I call the four E’s of video and they are what I think are like the superpowers of video, I always think about and we do this in our own team, right? We think, can this message really be elevated by what video is really good at? And if so, we should strongly consider it as a way to deliver it. Or to support that message, or to engage somebody on a video first channel.
Drew: You got me now I need to know the other E’s, ease us into it.
Tyler: Alright, well done, well played, well played. So the four E’s of video, if I tell you what words that start with E do you think really identify what those unique capabilities of video are like compared to text, video is really good at blank, words that start with E. So engaging, absolutely one of those. Video is unparalleled other than being there in person, as a way to create an engaging message, right, and it comes down to all the different factors in it, we have the ability to do storytelling, use visuals, audio, we have tone, all those things that create a potentially more engaging message. Number two, for me is educate. Video is more educational than other forms of content and it’s because of how our brains process visual and audible information. It’s also more memorable as an extension to better educating, we can learn a lot more from a one-minute video than we can reading for three to five minutes. And it’s based on how our brains process visual information. And it’s not to say that the written content isn’t also important because some people will prefer that or want to be able to skim, right, but video is potentially more engaging, more educational. Entertaining, is a great one as well, I baked that into sort of a combination of engaging and emotional than any other form of content. And that could be entertaining, right? It makes us laugh, it makes us smile, maybe it makes us scared. There’s all those things that has the ability to generate an emotional response. And then the last one that I use is empathy. It’s more empathetic than other forms of content because it gives us the ability to tell our stories, deliver our messages in a way that’s truly human, that allows us to really transparently talk like a peer to our audience, which is hard to really come through in written and other forms of content. So it allows us to create that more personal connection.
Drew: Here’s the thing that my takeaway on this is, I’m trying to think of a piece of content that you wouldn’t want to educate a target about that didn’t have empathy that wouldn’t have an emotional connection, and wouldn’t elevate your story. So in other words, use video all the time is basically the answer here.
Tyler: I mean, it’s funny when I do this to live audiences, I say like, okay, so these are my four E’s and there are many more when you do this, you’re like, holy crap, it should be like 10 E’s, right? But like my four E’s are like educational, emotional, engaging, and empathetic. And then I ask the audience, I’m like, who disagrees with any of those? Like, feels like video isn’t any of those more than static information and nobody raises their hand. And then you say like, so why don’t you do more video, like, are these the things you really want to be able to do and accomplish? And so there’s very good answers to that, right? Like video is harder to develop and create than written text and others, we don’t typically have people in our marketing team that are trained to do video consistently and at scale, distribution is a little bit different. And people don’t always want to just watch video, and I will again, be the first to state that and so it certainly has to be complemented in your strategy. But I agree, like, when you think about those superpowers, you’re like, video’s always got a place to play. It’s just whether or not you think it is the right fit for the kind of message you’re delivering.
Drew: Okay, so one of the things I’m expecting is that you all and you, yourself, and your team are really good at creating the right content for the right situation, including video. Can you talk about the role the video plays in your marketing mix? And what’s working for you right now?
Tyler: Yeah, so it certainly, I mean, we certainly use video quite extensively. But again, in complement to, we’ve got written blogs that we really lean into, we’ve got lots of other forms of content. So we use video in a few different places. And I think, you know, no different from any others. We’re very active with video, now in social media, much more than we were three to five years ago, we found that certainly all the social media networks have become content platforms, really. And we see great engagement in video content, but that’s very different video content from a lot of the other things we create, it’s built for the different social channels. And over the last couple of years, the first time we’ve really gotten to a point where we are creating video content for LinkedIn, for TikTok, or Instagram, as opposed to like before, it was like, “Hey, we create this video for some other purpose, like a campaign or a blog or something else, and then we share it on social.” So we’re now actively creating consistent video content for the different social media networks. And that’s been a really big unlock for our team and doing that consistently.
Drew: So that’s an insight then is, in an ideal world, you are creating content for the channel, and not trying to sort of create one and use everywhere. What works on TikTok is not what’s going to work necessarily on LinkedIn.
Tyler: For sure. That’s a tough one for a lot of B2B marketers to rally around because it sounds expensive. That sounds like a lot more people, a lot more work, a lot more effort. And it’s also new, right? Like even when I said TikTok, like I assume some of you probably had like a visceral, physical reaction of “Uh” And you know, not only because you’re like, “I really don’t want to be there, like I don’t think my audience is there. I hate what it’s all about.” But also, “I don’t have the people that do that, like my marketing team aren’t TikTokers, so to speak.” And it is a very different skill set to create content for TikTok than other channels. But it’s like super liberating when you find that moment when you’re like, “We can create great content for a network like TikTok or Instagram.” And by the way, some of our best LinkedIn content is actually TikToks, repurposed over on LinkedIn. But kind of going the other way, when you start super short form, that content works almost everywhere. It’s also been this great forcing function to get us to figure out how do we like do great content in like less than 40 seconds. It seems like, “What can I really do?” And then you’re like, “It’s kind of an unlock and like a forcing function to figure out how to really create a new style of content.”
Drew: That’s interesting. So if it works in TikTok because the medium is such a quick link, you have to have a quick grabber, gonna be able to tell the story in a condensed period, it has to be highly entertaining, all of those things that would make TikTok work. Also, it least works in terms of driving views.
Tyler: I think so and I just want to like emphasize a point there, you said has to be entertaining, which I don’t think it has to be – that’s sort of part of our previous conceptions of TikTok as a place where people post silly dance videos. But the reality is, there’s just as much pure educational content as there is entertainment content – it does have to do one of those things, though – it has to either entertain or educate, it has to do so very quickly and grab people’s attention. Iit can be a great way to be able to get people to engage in the content. Should all of our content be that? Clearly not, people are in the mode where it’s like, “I want to learn about your new product offering. Don’t give me a bunch of 40-second videos. I want that five-minute video that goes deep and gives me the deep learning moments.” Absolutely right. So there’s all these different modes. I actually talk about, I just like short-form vertical video. TikTok is now the main channel for that, but so is Instagram, so is LinkedIn, so is YouTube, right – Shorts. And so can be video showing up in your email campaigns or other places and so on as a short form vertical video and it just sort of has a different expectation from people now – they know the format and they know they’re in for like a quick burst of goodness. And so it can really work. So that’s one thing that we’ve definitely been doing a lot more of now than we ever have before.
Drew: And so it’s not even a question of target of Gen Z or Millennial or so forth, given that TikTok has a pretty big audience. It’s really about getting that skill set and perfecting that skill set will make you a better video marketer, is what I’m hearing, which I think is pretty profound.
Tyler: It makes you a better marketer. And then I think that stuff can carry over in lots of different ways. Yeah. 100%.
Drew: Okay. So that’s an interesting one. It’s funny, I’m thinking about the video series. So we have these Tuesday Tips, which we record at the end of every Peer Huddle. And what’s crazy is the quality of the content is great. The quality of the video is Zoom, repurposed, it’s not fantastic. Some of them are four and a half minutes, some of them are two minutes. And the length doesn’t seem to be a factor. And the quality of the video doesn’t seem to be a factor when it’s consistent – every Tuesday, they come out to the folks that are sharing it, or authorities that know what they’re talking about. And three, I think I bring a little bit of high energy to those. So there’s a little bit of, you know, it’s like, “Oh, there’s Drew with his hands.”
Tyler: Yeah and I say like, that’s one area where like doing a lot of his like short-form social video, you know, we’re also doing a lot of the let’s call it mid-form – three to eight minute content that tends to be focused more on education. Now we leverage that content across YouTube channels, we leverage it on our blog, and it can be a variety of different sorts of approaches to it. But you know, what I’ve learned in both of those, whether it’s like the 30-second, or the three to five minute – that I think a lot of people do wrong with video today, and I’ve done wrong myself for many years, is when they hit that play button, you gotta be right into the content. The days are gone, where you click play, and then it’s like, “Hey, it’s Tyler from Vidyard here. Thanks so much for watching my video. So today, I’m here to talk to you–” like by now the person’s gone, right? And, I’ve learned this greatly from like TikTok and Instagram and YouTube is that the title of your video, the thumbnail, some quick text that can pop up at the beginning, that can add all the context you need – they know what it’s going to be about, they know who’s in it, right? And it should be right into it. And so even those like four-minute ones, you know, always keep that in mind of like when they click play, you should be right in on the action, and let them cut into the scene and start learning or engaging right away – and try to minimize intros and stuff. On TikTok there’s something called the Gen X pause or the boomer pause, but you see videos where like, you start to watch it, and there’s like two seconds where they’re like, hit record, they’ve stepped back their weight and they’re like, “Oh hey everybody, it’s Tyler–” and you’re like, ugh, right? We got to get better at that as modern marketers. And it’s not just for the young audience, it is just the content works so well.
Drew: So note to team and note to self. So it’s like, “Hey, it’s Drew Neisser with another Tuesday Tip. I’m here with ______. Let’s talk about that,” as opposed to, “Here’s the topic that what it is,” and I get it, we could probably get 10 seconds from each of those Tuesday Tips. Who knows that could send those things into the stratosphere. Okay, those are helpful. Now you’re on the topic of things that people do wrong. Let’s go deep on that. What other things are common that you see out there that marketers are getting wrong with video?
Tyler: It’s a great place to pick up because I think from a creation standpoint, there’s, A, we make it too long. We think we need a lot of preamble post amble things like that, in terms of the scripts we create. Still, a lot of folks feel like the content needs to have a really high production value for a lot of things we do. I think content quality trumps production quality in most of what we do today, and more and more people are engaging with content that feels not just more authentic, but just more trustworthy. Like, I think that’s the big part of it. And so when it’s something that is clearly like a written script, and so on, and so on– And you can see this even in like customer testimonials, there’s a time and place where we like send down our video producer, we do an on-site shoot, we create this really great story. But we’re also always mindful of like, let’s make sure we’re pulling in that real human story to make it really relatable. But we also do a lot of testimonials that are like, “Hey, really enthusiastic customer? Can you just answer these three questions, just hit record on your phone, answer these, send it on over, I don’t care if you’re in your office, in your basement, in a park or whatever it happens to be.” Some of those are our best testimonials that our sales reps use, and they just feel super authentic. They’re clearly not scripted, they’re not produced – they’re just real cuts of them sharing their own experience in a way that people can really relate to. And it’s almost like a “Get Out of Jail Free card” for us marketers where we can create the content on a much lower budget because we don’t need drones and production agencies – we can do it in a way that’s really just simple and human and raw, authentic. It’s cheaper, it’s easier, and often that content works and performs just as well.
Drew: So length is an issue, overproduce sometimes can be an issue in favor of more authentic, more content. But again, it’s about what people are saying on camera, that’s where the value is. It’s not necessarily that the camera is a 35 millimeter, you know, just perfect lighting or everything else. It’s what are they saying.
Tyler: For sure. It’s like so many other things is what are they saying? Don’t mistake me saying like, “Oh, it shouldn’t be scripted” with saying you shouldn’t be prepared – right? That is the other mistake. Pre-production is more important. What are we going to talk about, what are we going to say, what questions are we going to ask– all those things are super important – those are all like really important nuances to it. There was a question about like, “Optimum length?” And the answer is, as always, like, “It depends on a lot of things.” Generally shorter is better. And that’s actually where the other piece, which is editing, obviously, is really, really important. And I find that’s also where a lot of B2B marketers haven’t really developed that great skill yet of really great cut-down editing – AI tools are actually starting to help out with that, which is kind of neat. They’re auto-doing cut downs, and they’re actually working really well. But again, like, really respect your audience and go like, “Can I shave out,” “Can I cut out any filler here?” “Do we need the first half of that sentence?” And when you get really good at cut down editing, you can take like a four-minute customer story and turn it into like a 90-second really punchy piece that more people are going to end up watching. And it is just as much value in information. You’ve just used hard cuts and things like that to like really tighten it up. And I think that’s where great writers, great video creators are great editors.
Drew: So a couple of things, one exclamation point on the preparation that goes into these things. The best quote I ever heard about interviewing is “prepared to be spontaneous.” And that’s exactly what you do. It’s like I have an outline for the show. But I’m paying attention to everything that you say and trying to be in the moment. And in order to do that you have to prepare. Second thing is editing. And boy, that applies to everything in the content world. Chat CPT is terrible unless you are a really good editor, not just a prop wizard, but a good editor – and know how to take something that’s average and turn it into something that’s really good, which means you understand the topic well enough to pick the salient points and bring it into something. So editing, I think folks are going to want to be hiring for almost more than a classic video skills, and not necessarily that they have to know how to cut maybe mechanically they know how to do it, but they intellectually understand the concept. Okay, that’s really important.
Tyler: Let me share one more thing that I find people still get wrong with video that is really important is I’ve talked a lot about what I consider like top-of-funnel content, if you will, as social media content, a lot of shorter form things. I think the mistake outside of video production that marketers make, is only using video as a quote-unquote, “top of funnel medium.” And again, if you go back to the fact that video is the best way to educate, engage, create empathy, and create an emotional response – it works so well through the whole buyers journey, clearly.
And some of our best customers at Vidyard are ones who think about it through the lens of the buyer again, right? Let me actually do a quick exercise here, this is a fun one. Everybody on the call here, if you could get ready to get your chat fingers going, put yourself in the shoes of a B2B buyer – and you go to somebody’s website to learn more about them, you get the surface-level information. And now you want to go a level deeper. And there are two buttons available on that website. One says “Book a demo with sales.” The other says “watch the demo right now”– clearly is a leading question. But I want you to be honest, one for talk to sales or a two for watch the demo now. So just drop it in the chat, a one or two. I’m yet to see a one. Point proven, right? Pretty much all of us and JD is doing both, I think a two plus one – like “talk to sales” and “watch the video,” which is the smart thing to do – right – cover all bases. So all of us would rather like watch a demo on our time, go deep, be able to replay it, share with others, than talk to sales. Now, I want to ask all of you to go to your website. What’s the big call to action in the top right corner? Is it talking to sales? Or is it watch a demo? Do you even have a “watch a demo right now” button anywhere on your website? Usually, this is like “oh my gosh Tyler, this is a thing.”That’s what I would rather do, that’s what everybody would rather do. But very few people actually do it. And then we all go like, “Well, there’s reasons we don’t have demo videos on our site. We don’t want our competitors to see what we do. And our sales process is entirely built around requesting a demo. So like everything we do focuses on there. And then if I were to say to you, so who’s most important, your competitor, your sales rep, or your buyer? Which one? Who’s most important? And if you don’t say your buyer, that’s fine, but I’m going to judge you because the buyer is the most important. And you say okay, so what’s the best thing I can do for my buyer – put demo videos on my website, let them binge on it, let them see what we do for real because that’s really what they want. That’s the other area where I’m like we see great use of video, “I want to watch a demo.” And yeah, you can put a form in front of it if you really want to make sure you’re getting a good lead that you can nurture afterwards. People will be willing to fill out that form if they know a great set of on-demand demos are behind it. Or don’t get it like Alan says and let them binge on it. And if they like what they see then they book that meeting with sales. And this works time and time again with like companies I work with, but they’re so scared to make that leap, because they’re like “Our sales team is going to freak out if we like change the main call to action to watch a demo.” So anyway, there are ways to test it and try it. But like it’s a great example of these other use cases from that on your website, down through into making sure you’re equipping your sales team with really great video content to support the sales cycle. Because again, when you’re in a deal cycle, would you rather have a rep send you a video that explains how their product compares to a competitor? Or would you rather hop on another call, so they can explain it live? We’re all gonna say, “Send me the video. Let me watch it on my own time.” So think about that as a marketer about how you can use video to create that buying experience that you would want. That’s what gets me really fired up, obviously.
Drew: Yes, obviously. Thank you for that. We’re going to do a quick speed round where it’s just like a short answer. Is shorter better?
Drew: In-house or outsourced?
Tyler: In-house when possible, and more of it.
Drew: Animation versus live action.
Tyler: Usually live action. There’s a place for motion graphics and animation that can work really well. Blending can work really well. But most of it, live.
Drew: Man or machine?
Drew: Human or machine?
Drew: Thank you. LinkedIn or TikTok?
Tyler: Wherever your buyers are.
Drew: Okay. All right. But I think we learned something about TikTok today that I think is really important, which is if you can make it there, it is a good proving ground that you’ve got a highly engaging or educational or entertaining video that your target audience may want to watch. Okay. So we simply can’t have a conversation on this show or with marketers right now without thinking about it. I know there are tools available right now where you can put in a little script and a video will magically appear. What is your experience so far with Gen-AI-created videos? What are you excited about? What’s not working? Talk to us.
Tyler: Yeah, it’s pretty wild to see all the tech out there right now. And like, there’s no doubt in my mind that Generative AI is going to have a big impact on video creation in the future. No question. Today, yeah, there’s tools out there too, as you suggested, take a script and auto-generate a video with the voiceover of that script. Some of them will like pull in stock footage or things like that automatically, that sort of match the topics being talked about. So we’ve certainly had people who have been like, use this tool, just with a script, spits out a two-minute video, rock and roll or take this blog post, turn it into a video. So that stuff is out there, and people are using it today. And it’s not bad.
Drew: Any specific tool that you’ve tried that you like?
Tyler: There aren’t any specific ones that I personally have, like, I’ve seen a lot of them, I haven’t used any of them in my own day-to-day yet, because I still feel like oh, yeah, like that’s pretty good. But like I could do better with a little bit more time. And I’m a bit of a perfectionist. So I’d rather spend the extra time to do what I want, than use what’s generated by these. But it’s pretty impressive. There are ones like Cynthia or another one called Synthesis, which I think is similar, and a couple others that will actually create avatar-based videos, but it looks like a human. And it probably was originally a human at some point that is now actually delivering the information on camera and their mouth is moving to it and everything and it looks pretty good. It still feels a little bit robotic. But it’s bad timing to be talking about this with the actors and writers strikes and you’re like you’re just putting people out of business. And I still don’t think it’s quite there. But for some use cases, those tools are largely being used for generating like training videos for internal use, as opposed to stuff you’re gonna be putting out as a marketer. So I feel like we should be like staying on top of it, we should be seeing what’s happening, we should be playing with them, and sort of be ready for this tipping point to come when this stuff is really going to help us accelerate video creation. Like anything with AI. It’s like your sidekick, our own video producer in-house. He’s been playing with a bunch of things. And his favorite tool right now is some of the Adobe stuff that both does AI-based audio enhancement. So Adobe Podcast is a free and amazing tool to like enhance the audio of any video. It’s meant for like podcasts or like video interview recordings. But like any video where somebody’s talking, it’s amazing and it uses AI to like remove background, enhance the voice, it’s really impressive. And then he also uses the generative AI tools to do backfill and scene fill. So we’ll like shoot something and then he’s like, “Oh, this is gonna be Halloween video and we want this to look like a dungeon” and the AI tool will create like a dungeon background and things like that. So anyway, lots of neat things like that happening. Definitely worth keeping a pulse on.
Drew: Earlier we talked about editing and I know in the podcast world that there are tools available. I haven’t used them and don’t remember the names of them but I know that the folks at ShareYourGenius who produce our podcasts are using where they can look the script that has been generated by AI and it can find the you knows or the ums. And you can take that and delete it from the script and it will delete it from the audio. I’m imagining that’s got to exist already for video as well. Now, I think I heard it’s a little glitchy at the moment.
Tyler: Yeah, there’s some really cool stuff out there. The one tool I am somewhat familiar with is called Descript, which is an amazing product. And it will do much of that. So when you say like, yeah, you record the video, it auto generates a transcript. And then you can actually go into the transcript, not only can you remove “ums” and “uhs”, but if you said something like maybe you said authentic, and then you’re like, shoot, I wish I had said raw-thentic, you just delete authentic, you type in raw-thentic, and it will make your voice say raw-thentic. And like for small changes, it’s completely unnoticeable. Like it’s perfect. And so it uses AI to like build a voice model. And then it makes you say that word and the fluidity of everything else. And it works really well. So that is another thing that our internal team is doing. Now, when we’re like, This product video is now out of date, because the price changed, or like the name of this feature changed or something else happened. In some cases, we have to like, edit some new video. In other cases, he just goes in and says make Rava say $2,000 instead of $1,000. And it just does it without her having to rerecord it. So some of that stuff is happening and works pretty darn well.
Drew: That’s such an interesting use case. Because you do whether it’s a demo, you record the demo, and then six months later, you have a whole new set of features, or at least one important one, and you’ve deleted another one to be able to go back and fix it. I just think we’re gonna have to go back to every episode of Renegade Marketers Unite and squeeze in the word raw-thentic, and just can feel that it’s gonna happen. And we’ll use Descript to do that. So thank you. I don’t know if the team will thank you. But I do, because that’s exciting. But no, I love that retro. And I think it’s important to look at the videos on your website and look at them and see, are they still relevant? And could they be updated easily? With a tool like that, I have a feeling and I’m going to guess we just did this copy test, man versus machine, it should have been human versus machine so it’s not gender. But the AI alone couldn’t generate good enough quality to drive in this case, SEO visible keywords, it just didn’t work as well. I suspect that’s the case today, for video generated that way. However, the difference though here is in the video case, in theory, you’re putting your script, you’re not asking it to create a script unless you use generative AI to create the script for you, in which case, because now you’re really at a low common denominator. But if you started with your own content, and then you had it at least as you said, in training video, it might be good enough, the avatar thing I noticed at a conference in Boston, and they had an avatar and it never smiled. It was kind of icky.
Tyler: It’s a little off-putting when you watch some of that, for sure. That stuff is getting better, like literally every week right now, and still a little off. Here at Vidyard, we’re doing a lot of experimentation in the back end. And in addition to having an awesome video hosting and analytics platform, we also have like video messaging tool that sales teams use to record and send a custom video and use it lots of places in sales cycle. And we’ve been playing with different generative AI tools to solve the problem of, which we hear from a lot of sales reps of like, yeah, I want to send a video, but I don’t want to make one, either like it takes too much time, or I don’t know what to say or like, I don’t want to brush my hair today, whatever it is. And so we’ve got like working in the lab, a tool like it’s in my own Vidyard instance. Now, when I fired up Vidyard for the first time with the new version I had, it asked me to like speak to the camera for about a minute. So that it could then build a model of both my face and visually as well as my voice. And once it had done that I can now go in, put in a script, much like you were talking about earlier, and generate a video. But in this case now it’s actually me delivering it on the camera. So you generate the video. And now it’s like hey, Drew, Tyler from Vidyard here. Thanks so much for having me on CMO Huddles or whatever. We’re at a point where I can just type that out and generate the video. And it’s me saying it. And it’s pretty good. It’s pretty darn good. It’s still a little off-putting like there’s times where like your ears suddenly cut off or your mouth does this weird like Joker face. It’s really close and miles ahead from where it was even like four months ago. So it’s happening. I’m still on the fence of like, is this technology for good or evil? I’m not sure yet. But if it helps people scale delivering their message in a more personal way. I think we’ll have to let the viewers be the judge of it. But it’s happening. Yeah.
Drew: That is one of my questions because the promise of mass personalization via video is one that you know, I think like a Sunday sky has been trying to address but it’s pretty crude, at least the last iterations I was looking at where’s your telephone company send you a video message that said hey, your bill or your electric company does, it here’s your bill. And here’s how many hours and by the way, Joe you could have saved this amount of money, that kind of personalization, what you just described has the opportunity to be one-to-one, but a relatively because you could do that for 100 different prospects that you have that you want to call and you could if you were a salesperson, you could do those pretty quickly. Is that where this mass personalization is going to come from? Or some other tools?
Tyler: Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see. Because to your point earlier, the tech also exists to write that script for the video with AI. And you plug those into tools that can do a huge amount of online research of somebody literally in like nanoseconds, right? So it’s not far off from where I can say, make a video for Drew. And it will figure out if it goes online, figures out all sorts of things about you and writes a script, and then it makes a video. And sure enough, there I am saying, hey, Drew, I noticed from your LinkedIn profile that you’re hiring for two new video producers, I was wondering if you’re going to need a good video hosting platform, we’re like, not far off from it, being able to connect those dots create a message that’s relevant and generate a video. Now, again, is that going to be a big thing? I don’t know yet. We’ll see. Like how well they really work. And we’ll ruin video like we ruin everything right? Like marketers, salespeople, we’ve ruined email, we’re ruining content, we’re gonna ruin video at some point with these sorts of things. And so the mission is to like use it effectively before somebody ruins it.
Drew: It is kind of the opposite of authentic. I gotta tell you, and one things that I wonder is do you need to protect yourself from that? You and I are talking here we could hashtag human-made and there would be no question about it, that it’s you and me. We’re having a conversation and this audience is all here. But if you went that way, do you need to identify it and say, cyber-enhanced AI. And so they at least you’re calling out the fact that you’re using a tool like this, it is interesting, is thinking of tools that I use on occasion to personalize, but it takes time, it might be the landing page of CMO Huddles that I might send to somebody who’s new to the community. Hey, just wanted to give you a quick overview on how you can register for a Huddle. What’s your feeling on that, and the use of it.
Tyler: What we’re seeing today is both marketers and sales teams are using that for both one-to-many and one-to-one. And it definitely adds the human element to those messages. And the one too many to your point today is still very much a general message. But it’s now going from it being written on a page to you actually being able to see and hear the person deliver it, they get to add the body language, the intonation, you get to feel a little bit more who they really are. And maybe there’s a bit of that empathy and trust that comes along with it. So like in the sales example, we see folks who will be like, okay, so I sign up for that, or I watched that demo on your website now that you’re putting up there, all of you wonderful CMOs. So I go to your website, I click watch a demo, I watched the demo. And I fill out the little form that says yeah, I’m interested in learning more. Now the automated email that typically comes after that saying, hey, thanks so much. Here’s a link to book some time with whoever from our team or whatever, is usually a pretty big basic email that doesn’t really stand out that doesn’t really leave a memorable first impression, not that engaging, and so on. So like, one simple small step is now that email has a video from Trevor, that it’s not personalized yet. It’s just like, hey, it’s Trevor here at whatever it is. Thanks so much for watching the demo on our site. You know, I hope you learned a couple of things. Curious if it sparked any ideas or questions. I’m here to help you out as you go on your journey. So please let me know what questions it sparked for you. Right. So even like a short video like that, at least now humanizes the message a little bit, and creates a bit of more of that one-to-one connection. So you’re adding a bit of personality to it while it’s still not yet personalized. And then that next step is okay. It’s actually a video from Trevor, where he said, Hey, Drew, thank you so much for coming to our website, I noticed you only watched half of the demo video. Curious if it lost your attention, or you were only interested in what we talked about. So I think those things are happening, they’re creating that more personal connection when more and more stuff is going like digital and offline. So I think there’s a huge role for that. And then the question is, how does that pair up with Gen AI to make that automated? We’ll see.
Drew: It’s funny, as you’re talking, I’m thinking about so email has been, you know, let’s face it, we all get way too many. But when I see a little video GIF of someone and it’s got, hey, Drew, they literally have a little sign that says, hey, Drew, and they’re holding like this, and it’s like, you’re not hearing it. It’s so hard not to click on that. And then all they did was they have a little Blackboard and they wrote Drew on it, and they hold that up at the beginning of the video and then they record the video and it’s just hard to ignore. There it is, hey, Drew.
Tyler: Yep. And you can tell my like marker is even like out of ink. I’ve used it so much.
Drew: That’s a technique. So I think a lot of this is about ‘and’ not ‘or’. This about combination, this is trying to get more out of email by adding video to it, this about getting more out of video by editing a little bit more, about thinking about where it fits along the way, you’ve already made the point about having a good demo. The one thing that’s tricky, I think, with videos, with the exception of the demo, which everybody pretty much is very clear that that’s an interested person is how do we assign metrics and value to video, whereas like a FORM FILL, easy to add value? In theory, to me, name is useless, but it feels like it’s value. How can a CMO defend an impression of play? What do you look at for metrics that really would be valuable and track to indicate that your video was worth creating?
Tyler: It comes back to mapping it to the underlying goals, right? So you have to be careful not to just have video metrics for the sake of videos. And being mindful of like we’re making and sharing this video for one of potentially several reasons it might be to create more engagement within our existing community, because we know more engagement leads to more followers more conversion, whatever it happens to be, it might be we’re trying to drive again, more like community growth. It might be we’re using this video to generate an actual like, I want to talk to sales action. It might be we’re using it in the sales process to help a salary more efficient. It’s hard to like think that way, because you’re like, oh, well, I just want to measure all my videos in one way. But the reality is, that’s how you’ve got to think about it. And so we look at what I call the three R’s, another three-letter thing that I use, and it’s reach, resonance, and return. And so those are typically the one of the things we will measure. So reach is views, did this get the reach that we were really looking for. And that’s typically I only care about that for like, top-of-funnel stuff. It might be things on our YouTube channel or others. There’s a lot of factors that go into how well it was it promoted, all of those things. But it is one metric to be mindful of if it’s meant to be something to get broader reach. Resonance is engagement. So are we seeing people like what’s the average engagement in that video? Are we seeing people who start going all the way to the end? How long are they watching? That tells me are we hitting the mark in terms of the content quality, right, and more resonance, aka more engagement, equals more likely that person is going to hear the message we wanted them to hear and convert downstream. So if you can show high engagement in that content, that’s really important. And then the third is return. And that’s where it’s like, well, what were you really trying to accomplish downstream? So did this video or these videos, contribute to driving that next step, whether it would be requesting a demo or a sales call, maybe it was something that was then linked to signing up for a product or whatever happens to be. Simply think about it in that way, like any other piece of content, you can’t just bucket video into one big thing.
Drew: I always like using this analogy, when a sale happens, the salesperson had taken the customer prospect out to dinner. Was it the drink? Was that the steak? Was it the chocolate mousse that helped convert the sale? And the answer is yes, and who cares. But I think that return it thing is interesting, because there will be tools. And there’s manual tools today, where you could look at your last 50 customers and see what video if any, they did watch if you can track that through. And if all of them watch the demo video, then you know something pretty important. So in the interest of video, one of the things that I know is important is a lot of folks put a lot of energy in creating sort of a masterpiece video, and then they don’t have enough budget to market the marketing. And so they created this video and then expect people to watch it. So one of the things that we do here at CMO Huddles is we have our Tuesday Tips. So we’re actually going to create the Tuesday Tip right now, that will promote this show when this actually airs. So we’re going to do this live and it’s going to be raw, authentic. So I’m here with Tyler Lessard from Vidyard, we just spent, we just now, I already screwed it up. We got to start again. We have to get to the content fast. So here we go. This is why it’s hard to do this. Hey, it’s Drew Neisser with another Tuesday Tip. How can you get more out of your videos? Talk to Tyler Lessard of Vidyard. Tyler, what is one tip to get more value out of your videos?
Tyler: Respect your audience, put yourself in their shoes, and create a piece of content they are going to love, not what you want to make.
Drew: So that’s tip number one. And I love that because it’s always about the customer and what they need. Good. What’s tip number two?
Tyler: Shorter is better. Doesn’t mean every video has to be 30 seconds, but be super crucial and critical of the length of your videos. Get right into it and make sure you are respecting your audience’s time.
Drew: Love it. Alright, what’s tip Number three?
Tyler: Get good and comfortable and efficient at creating video in-house. If every time you want to make a video you need to outsource to a partner or bring in a freelancer, it’s not going to be a part of your content culture. Just like you can write emails, just like you can write blogs, you need to be able to make videos quickly, confidently and get them out there. It’s got to be a part of your skill set internally.
Drew: There it is. There you go. All right, Tyler Lessard. Thank you for those tips. I’m Drew Neisser. That’s your Tuesday tip. If you’re a B2B CMO who can share, care, and dare with the best of them. Check out CMOhuddles.com. Peace out. Okay, so with that, Tyler, thank you so much for being on the show. And being with us here today. Where can people find you?
Tyler: Oh, it was so much fun. Thank you. First of all for having me. This was a really great conversation. LinkedIn. Like everyone, please connect with me on LinkedIn and honestly, if you have any questions about this stuff, just DM me, feel free and I will do my best to respond.
Drew: Thank you so much, Tyler. I really appreciate it. And I know we’ll be talking soon. If you’re a B2B CMO, and you want to hear more conversations like this one, find out if you qualify to join our community of sharing, caring, and daring CMOs at CMOhuddles.com.
Renegade Marketers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Hey, that’s me! This show is produced by Melissa Caffrey, Laura Parkyn, and our B2B podcast partners Share Your Genius. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro Voice Over is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about B2B branding, CMO Huddles, or my CMO coaching service, check out renegade.com. I’m your host, Drew Neisser. And until next time, keep those Renegade thinking caps on and strong!