How to Do Video Marketing Like Wistia: Tips from Co-Founder Chris Savage

September 2, 2014

By now, you know the stats. Not only is video rapidly becoming the dominant form of online content (according to Cisco, video will account for 79% of all consumer internet traffic by 2018), it’s also proving itself as an extremely effective marketing tool (quick example, emails with videos receive a 2x-3x increase in click-through rates).
You know you need to start incorporating more video into your marketing, but if you’re like many B2B marketers, you’re not exactly sure where to begin (especially if you’re on a tight budget).
There’s no lack of questions when it comes to getting video right, and where better to turn to for answers than Wistia, the company responsible for helping over 85,000 companies worldwide do video marketing more effectively.
In this Q&A, Wistia CEO Chris shares his insights on:

  • The inspiration behind Wistia
  • How to produce professional-quality videos on a tight budget
  • Examples of B2B videos done right
  • The right metrics to track video effectiveness
  • How long your videos should be

“I think the biggest change since the beginning of YouTube has come from a change in expectations. Video is so ubiquitous now that audiences expect it.”

— Chris Savage, co-founder and CEO at Wistia

What inspired you to start Wistia?
We saw that online video was changing really fast and we wanted to be a part of that change. We were naive enough to believe that we could figure out how to build a company and we were lucky enough to start when we were young enough to take on a ton of risk.
Wistia’s growth has surged over the past few years. Can you talk about some of the key drivers to that growth?
For a long time, we thought that we would build and sell products to big companies to solve problems that we didn’t have. That made it really hard for us to figure out what features were important, how things should be priced, and how we should sell. Over time, our strategy evolved into making a product that we would actually use ourselves delivered in a way we would want to buy a product. As we made that transition growth seemed to follow.
Where does your passion for video marketing come from?
I’ve always loved video. In high school I wrote scripts for fun with friends. In college I made short films, worked on documentaries, and had a blast watching how quickly film and video were changing. I find it extremely exciting to be working on technology that is changing fast and video marketing does a great job of keeping me on my toes.
How would you define video marketing? How has it changed since the start of YouTube?
Video marketing is using video to market something. I think the biggest change since the beginning of YouTube has come from a change in expectations. Video is so ubiquitous now that audiences expect it as the medium to explain complex products, to prove that things are real, and to convey emotion. We’ve got a long way to go until we are really meeting these expectations and this is where the opportunity lies for video marketers.
Who are some B2B companies you think are doing video extremely well?
One example I love to highlight is BambooHR. They are using video incredibly well throughout their site. HR is not the most glitzy of industries, but Bamboo has been able to take something and make it really exciting and personable in large part due to their awesome videos.
What’s your favorite video project you’ve put together internally?
My favorite would have to be the rap that we made to launch our free plan two years ago. Making that video was a big risk for us and I was so proud of how fun it was and how well it worked. It pushed us to be even more aggressive with getting fun into our videos.
A lot of companies have yet to adopt video as part of their marketing strategy because they think it’s too expensive. Do you have any tips for doing things on the cheap and still looking good?
You can get way farther than you would expect with the right lights and setup. My suggestion is to check out the production portion of our learning center for all the lighting and framing tips you could need:
Do you have any tips for video and email?
My advice for email newsletters in general is to keep them simple. I get so many newsletters that are so busy that it makes it hard to decide what I should click on. Keep it simple so that I know exactly what I’m getting!
Besides email, what are some other channels that marketers should think of using video?
Video is an amazing way to add emotion and humanity into part of your marketing. Add video where you think adding a deeper emotional connection would be helpful. Basically, you should use video everywhere.
One hack we’ve seen a lot of companies use to increase their position in search rankings is to include video on the page. Can you talk about why this works?
This works because video is information dense, hard to make, and therefore more rare than other media. Google tends to rank pages better that heavily feature video for that reason.
For a marketing team just getting started with video, what are some goals or metrics to measure its effectiveness?
I’d look at time on site and video engagement. Understanding how much of your video people are watching is super important. It’ll help you learn if your videos are doing the job you intend them to do.
If a marketing team has only a small budget what are some ways they can effectively leverage or create videos?
I would start with screencasts or consider shooting something with your smartphone. There are some very simple things you can do to make your content more engaging. Here’s a video we put together on shooting with an iPhone that I find very helpful:
A big question many marketers have for all content, not just video, is regarding optimal length. So which is best for video — short or long?
If your audience doesn’t know your brand or product that well, you should start with shorter content to hook people and prove that you’re not going to waste their time. If you’re dealing with tutorials or an audience that knows you very well you’ll be able to get away with much longer form content.
How important is consistency in terms of posting?
I think consistency is important to force yourself to become better and to learn what’s working. We live in world where attention is the most important currency we have.
When is it time to use a platform like Wistia instead of YouTube?
Using a platform like Wistia is important when control over your video is important. Unlike YouTube which makes money by putting ads on your content, we only succeed when your videos succeed in their goals. A platform like Wistia usually gives you analytics to understand how to make your videos better and tools to drive viewers to take more actions like joining a mailing list, buying a product, or watching the next video in a series.
But abandoning YouTube entirely wouldn’t be a good idea, right? Any tips for maximizing reach with YouTube?
The content that does best on YouTube is content that doesn’t require people to leave YouTube. I see companies using video successful in a variety of ways: sometimes it’s only on youtube, other times they use YouTube and Wistia effectively, and often their videos are hosted just on Wistia. Every strategy and campaign will be different but it is important to understand what works best where.
Here’s a recent article on Moz to look at when thinking about where you should put different types of video: Video SEO in a Post-Rich Snippet World
What can we expect next from Wistia for video marketers?
You’re going to see even more tools that will make it easier to make better and more effective videos.
For more how-to tips and instructional videos, visit the Wistia Learning Center.
Signup_Bottom_first-hand-tipsImage by Benjamin Chan


Chris Savage is the CEO and co-founder of <a href="">Wistia</a>, a video marketing and analytics platform that helps businesses host, customize, and measure video content. After graduating from Brown University with a degree in Art-Semiotics, Chris and his co-founder, Brendan Schwartz, started Wistia in Brendan's living room in 2006. Wistia has since grown into a multi-million dollar business with over 50 employees and 50,000 customers.