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Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing and Chief Video Strategist, is the interviewee in the latest episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. In this episode, Tyler and Neil discuss the importance of using video to help with time, sales and education.
Here is Vidyard website: https://www.vidyard.com/
Here is our new vidwheel Creator Network product that also comes up - https://vidwheel.com/creator-network/
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Our goal with this podcast to deliver high-quality, actionable tips and advice from business leaders. Advice that will help you succeed. Oh yeah and that video bent - we are going beyond the typical business tips, we are going to explore the use of video with these business leaders too, from marketing to sales, to internal communications - how they use it and how it impacts their businesses. Thanks for tuning in.
00:00 - Intro
01:00 - Tyler and Vidyard
01:30 - Using Vidyard Data
02:45 - Using the Plugin
03:00 - Founder Story
04:35 - Vidyard in One Sentence
05:20 - What has Changed since Covid-19?
11:00 - Sales with Video
15:00 - Custom Videos
16:30 - Using Video in Sales
18:30 - "The Visual Sale" Book
20:07 - Best Place to Get the Book?
21:00 - What is One Thing That You Have Done To Make Your Business Smarter?
24:05 - The Three R's
26:25 - Open-Ended Piece
26:45 - Last Piece on Using Video and Sales
28:17 - Closing
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LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/vidwheel/
- Welcome to this episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. This is a podcast where we talk about all things video and how they relate to your business. Today, we're talking to Tyler Lessard, who is the VP of Marketing at Vidyard and also the Co-Author of The Visual Sale. Tyler, it's great to have you.
- Hey, thanks so much. It's a real pleasure to be here. And as you know, I've been passionate about this world of video in business for quite a few years now. So it's absolutely a pleasure to be here, to share some of the things I've learned, and what we're expecting as we head into 2021.
- Yeah, it's an exciting time for people in video, right? As long as you're able to adapt a little to all the craziness that's going on right now. So the first thing I want you to do, Tyler, is just give us an intro, I intro'd your title, but tell us a little bit about, your position, Vidyard, kinda what goes on there and what you all do.
- Yeah, happy to. So as I mentioned, I'm VP Marketing here at Vidyard, and we are a video technology company, we've been around for just over 10 years, and there are effectively two parts to what we do. We are a full video hosting management publishing and analytics platform for businesses. So businesses will use us to publish videos on their websites, on their various digital properties in their marketing campaigns. And we provide the ability to customize the video playback experience through our own player, create interactive videos to track rich engagement data on the backend on who's watching which content and to integrate that back into your marketing and sales tools. And that's been a big focus for us is helping businesses get a better degree of knowledge and understanding of who's actually engaging with my videos, because more and more they're becoming a really material part, both the marketing and sales process.
(upbeat music) - Welcome to this episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. This is a podcast where we talk about all things video and how they relate to your business. Today, we're talking to Tyler Lessard, who is the VP of Marketing at Vidyard and also the Co-Author of The Visual Sale. Tyler, it's great to have you. - Hey, thanks so much. It's a real pleasure to be here. And as you know, I've been passionate about this world of video in business for quite a few years now. So it's absolutely a pleasure to be here, to share some of the things I've learned, and what we're expecting as we head into 2021. - Yeah, it's an exciting time for people in video, right? As long as you're able to adapt a little to all the craziness that's going on right now. So first thing I want you to do, Tyler, is just give us an intro, I intro'd your title, but tell us a little bit about, your position, Vidyard, kinda what goes on there and what you all do. - Yeah, happy to. So as I mentioned, I'm VP Marketing here at Vidyard, and we are a video technology company, we've been around for just over 10 years, and there's effectively two parts to what we do. We are a full video hosting management publishing, and analytics platform for businesses. So businesses will use us to publish videos on their websites, on their various digital properties in their marketing campaigns. And we provide the ability to customize the video playback experience through our own player, create interactive videos to track rich engagement data on the backend on who's watching which content and to integrate that back into your marketing and sales tools. And that's been a big focus for us is helping businesses get a better degree of knowledge and understanding of who's actually engaging with my videos, because more and more they're becoming a really material part, both the marketing and sales process. So that's one half of our business, and the other half is we have a tool that makes it really easy for any sales rep, customer service rep, or others to record and send custom video messages externally to prospects or customers, or even internally within their teams, through a simple Chrome extension, that not only allows you to record and send videos, but will also alert you when somebody watches, and allow you to upload and send other videos, directly via email, social and other channels. So it's been a lot of fun bringing all those things together and now working with marketing sales and frankly, every team within a business on how they're expanding and evolving their use of video. - Yeah, and it is a great suite of products. We have a subscription through vidwheel and the Creator Network and have actually demoed through one of the types of meetings, which we'll get to this later, but you're gonna come present to one of our meetings. One of the meeting was around how to do screen capture style videos with your tool. So it's been, it's a great piece of tech. Anyone should check it out, especially, the plugin is free at the most basic level. So you've got to give it a shot, and Vidyard based in Kitchener, right? - That's great, yes, we are a in Canada, we're just outside of Toronto. We were founded here, as I said about 10 years ago, and have grown the company here in our headquarters. We're obviously now a distributed team for the most part, but it's been great growing this organization here in Canada and amazing pool of talent and particularly engineers. And we've just really focused on being innovative and adapting quickly and building tech and tools that people can use really easily, to kind of bring video to everybody, which is a big part of that mission is ensuring whether you're a producer or a marketing team or an individual sales rep, a leader, a finance professional. Yeah, we're kind of on that mission to say, hey, everybody needs to be able to create and share videos of various formats and varying degrees of productions of value, and because that's where the world is heading. So, it's been, yeah, it's been really fun to grow the business here. - That's excellent, yeah. And we're located just over the border in Buffalo, so yeah, you're just up the road, but we're not allowed to kind of see each other at this point. (both laugh) - No, but I'm sure we both have the same snow right now, which is, it is what it is. - It happens this time of year. I'm gonna ask you a little bit of a harder question. If you had to boil it down to one sentence, what would you say it is that Vidyard does? - Oh, Neil, you're putting me on this. That's a tough one. - I know - So many great things. - It's not just your elevator pitches, it's just, yeah. (laughs) - I'll use our mission statement, which is to, help businesses and organizations succeed and grow through the use of video. And, it really does come back to that, of thinking about all these ways in which we can tap into the power of video in lots of different parts of our business to grow and achieve our results. So that's kind of what gets us out of the bed every morning. - That's awesome, yeah, that works really well. All right, so let's talk a little bit, we're on two different sides of the border, when it comes to kind of the business and COVID, side to things, but part of we made a big pivot to this greater network because of COVID, and how it's affected the way that businesses operate. So I would say this video is more important than ever, especially for the small businesses that, maybe got away with networking events, and handshakes and so on to kinda get deals done. What do you think has changed I guess the most in terms of video with business? - Yeah, it's really interesting the last number of years, and then of course, this past nine to 10 months as COVID has been in our lives. Over, in a more macro sense, what we've been seeing over the last number of years is this evolution of the use of video in businesses, not just for promotional activities or advertising or the big hero video on your homepage, which a lot of companies do and are great and are things that we should be thinking about. But traditionally it was very much that notion of, hey, we produce three videos a year and we'd have a budget of this and an agency would do them for us. And that was it, right? Whereas, fast forward to today and video has become both such an accessible medium for businesses, a much more inexpensive medium to use to create even when working through partners and freelancers. And then it's also become an expected medium for our audiences, right? People are just, they're in a world now where they expect to be able to come to your website and learn about a topic, not just through a written blog post but through a video, they want to be able to connect with you through things like podcasts, right? So it's very much this multimedia world, and more and more of the content I'm seeing businesses invest in, are educational videos, are series based videos, are question and answer style videos, things that aren't necessarily meant for millions of viewers and advertisements and pre-rolls, but are things that come back to our core content needs and saying, we need to help somebody learn about this topic. We need to show them what it is that we do. And we can't have forced them to get on a call with a sales person, every time they just want to learn about us. So that's what I've really started to see at a macro level. And since COVID has happened, it's also pushed it to be more and more authentic style content. If you will, more conversational style videos, having less of a marketing and sales feel to it. And more like real people, having real conversations, authentically explaining problems, genuinely showing you things and being more helpful and human than trying to be overly produced and promotional if you will. And I think that's gonna continue to happen in business. And we're gonna be now focused on making videos every week at a low cost for each video, as opposed to three videos a year that each cost us $50,000. - Right, right, yeah. I had a on the sales call just yesterday, I was talking to somebody like now is the time when you can get away with the, not get away with it, but it's more accepted, it's more expected to have that kind of more raw type of video, where, like I said to you beforehand. - Absolutely. - I thought the kid would come down the stairs. (laughs) My wife just walked through and a cat, and but when you look at it and the national newscaster is broadcasting out of their home office or their kitchen or something and it just brings a whole new level of like, well, this is it's going to be a little more real, right? - Yap, yeah. - So, that's not a bad thing, you could to get a little glimpse. - No, it's not, it's super interesting, right? Because as creators, it opposes all these new opportunities for how we think about content, how we create it, as budget holders, we feel like great we can create content now at, potentially don't need the same level of budget, but we still get the same output. But, what we also need to be thinking about is, how and we can leverage in many cases, even our own people, like even if we're, in some cases we can create videos ourselves within our business with our own employees. In other cases, maybe we are working with production partners, freelancers, but in many cases you can still have your own employees be featured in that content. And you're leveraging somebody else's expertise to produce it, to shoot it, to edit it, right? But you don't always need actors, to be in your videos often they can be your own employees. And often that goes a really long way to again being really genuine and authentic. And I think creating content that people are really resonating with. - Yeah, yeah, authenticity, always the key, that's something we preach in the Creator Network, and I've always preached to my client. I would much rather have the real customer, with the unpolished delivery and the testimonial, than some spokesperson who's trying to do the perfectly crafted message. - Yeah, I'm sick of hearing 300% increase in this, it's like no, yeah, okay, yeah, all right, all right. But I want to hear their story, like what real problems did they really have, and how did they solve those really tactical issues that I'm facing every day, right? That's the stuff that gets me going as a potential buyer. So let's tell those stories, that are really about what they did and not the, like we will transform your business.(laughs) - Right, right, right, much more relatable, absolutely. Well, and speaking I guess of the messaging and so on, some of what I saw from you recently, and I know is your kinda main space that you operate in, is sales with video. I saw a pretty good one that you put out there with people kinda reading the bad sales messages recently, which is an entertaining piece, if anybody wants to go check it out, but sales with video, that's part of the reason that I'm having you on 4th December, because in the Creator Network, we're focusing on sales with video for the month of December with all our programming. I don't know, let's talk about it. Like what are best practices isn't an effective tool? What are your thoughts? - Yeah I mean, that's the biggest shift that we've probably seen this year, I've mentioned, there has been, this gravitation towards more conversational, personal style content. And in parallel, we've seen this just explosive growth of the use of video in sales teams. Obviously, partly driven by the fact that they are all now being pushed into being inside sellers. Many of whom have traditionally been more out there in the field, visiting customers in person. So a lot of them shifted to video calls and tools like Zoom and others to do that. But then as part of that, sellers are now getting pretty adept at recording video if you will, they're figuring out having a decent camera, having a decent mic, having decent lighting, 'cause they need to do that to come across professional and engaging with their customers and video calls. But then as an outshoot, now they're starting to realize how easy it can be to also record and send their own custom videos, whether it be when they're doing their prospecting into a new account, and instead of just sending, the same old text-based email, they can hit record, record a video of them delivering their message and send that off via an email or a social message and get their face in front of that person, even before they've ever had a chance to meet. And this has just started to become a reality in the last few years as tools like Vidyard and others have made it really simple and accessible for sellers. But again, I think there's been this real catalyst of with COVID, they're now getting a lot more comfortable being on camera and many people are now also working at home, which makes it much less awkward to record a video than when you're sitting at a bullpen in the office with people sitting three feet away from you. So, I'm really encouraging sellers to think about that and go what embrace working out of your home, make phone and video your new best friends again, because you can put your personality out there, you can record, you can send this great stuff, and really get behind it. So, we're really seeing that catching momentum now, as well as sales using other styles of pre-produced videos, which we can talk about as well, because I think all of that is really important now as sellers adapt to this new world and need to create that personal connection, even when they're remote. - Yeah, yeah, well, and another piece of that easy video recording that I've seen a lot. I actually saw it from some of your sales team when we were, months ago when we got set up with your software, but the animated GIF, right? With the holding your name and like all that kind of stuff is all like really nice personal touches that I think helps cut through that normal, like the number of emails that everyone in business gets that are disingenuously customized, right? That's another level of customization and another level of personalization. - Yeah, it's really interesting. 'Cause as you think about how sellers can start to use custom videos in their sales process, we as creators, we understand a lot of these sort of super power traits of video that make it, really exceptional, right? And what we're now seeing is sellers starting to learn, oh yeah, how can I use it at different points in my sales process to overcome different challenges or achieve some results by kind of tapping into those super powers of video. And if you, when you just talked about there is using it as part of cold prospecting when you're out there trying to get somebody's attention, right? 'Cause that's the hardest thing as a seller is when you're prospecting, you just, you've got to get that first response, right? And in that case, sending an email with a video in it, that's got an animated thumbnail image. So they see you, they might see something that's personalized to them. You might be holding up their name written on a whiteboard. You might be recording a screen share with your face on it as well, but maybe you're on their website or something like that. And that becomes this pattern disrupt. First of all, they're like, wait a minute, a video, I'm not used to that. It becomes much more personal, right? You all of a sudden go, oh, I can see that person's face, I've got an association, and it can help you break through that noise. So, in prospecting, it helps you stand down and be more visual, and connect with them early on. As you move through the sales process though, there's other ways in which video becomes your best friend as a seller, because as we both know, Neil, video is the best way to educate people, because you can show as well as just tell, right? And as a salesperson, when you're trying to explain what it is that you do, or you're trying to answer a question that they've sent over or you're trying to again demonstrate or show here's how our product or service works, right? It's so much easier to do that visually and to do a screen-share recording or to hold something up visually or to even just use your body language to help explain it. And it has such power in helping people to comprehend ideas because you can mix visuals with your voice and so on. And that's why we as marketers make explainer videos and recorded demos. But we're now at a point where salespeople can hit record on their desktop, get using a tool like a Vidyard, and they can record a webcam video explaining something. They could record a screen share showing something on the screen. They can pull up a presentation and talk through a few things. All of those things are now possible. You can send those videos over easily, and let somebody watch it on their own time, and not always be dependent on setting up a Zoom call or something like that. It's genuinely changing the way people sell. So that's why I gets so excited about this. - Yeah, that is a great point that the kind of flexibility of time that it creates, because yeah, I don't know if any, it probably came through my daughter in the background, screaming along with the babysitter, like kids being kind of at home, home offices, like everything that's going on now, time is more kind of precious and maybe more fluid than ever, so it's giving that other step can be really, really helpful. So you coauthored a book on the subject, right? Do you wanna kinda tell us what's involved with the book? What's included and yeah "The Visual Sale". - Yeah, I'm so excited about this. Yeah, the book is called "The Visual Sale". For those of you watching the video, I'm holding it up now for those of you listening, just imagine the most beautiful book you've ever seen called "The Visual Sale". And the subtitle is how to use video to explode sales, drive marketing and grow your business in a virtual world. And this is something as I've co-authored with Marcus Sheridan, who's a phenomenal guy. And we came together with our joint experience in using video across both marketing and sales in modern businesses. And we both have backgrounds in content marketing, inbound marketing, sales strategy. And this book is very much a practical hands-on guide, to how to use video across your sales programs and your marketing programs to really embrace this new digital world, to help your sellers standout, to better communicate your ideas. And of course, as marketers, as ways to really enrich the different programs and channels you're using today. So we really go deep into tons of examples, tons of best practices, checklists, things like that, about how to use it at all these different points based on all these experiences we've seen, all the best practices we've gleaned from the clients that we work with and sort of all the latest trends and research out there. So, really excited about it. Very timely of course with everything happening right now. And yeah you can get it on Amazon and other online bookstores. It's very exciting. - That was my next question, yeah. Best place to get it, would you recommend Amazon or. - Head on to Amazon just search for "The Visual Sale" and you should find it by Marcus Sheridan and Tyler Lessard and as well you can just go straight to the visualsale.com and we've got a great site for the book. That'll explain more about what's in there, what to expect lots of other related resources as well on the Visual Sale page, where you can download additional worksheets templates. There's lots of related articles, videos about the topic as well. So you can check it out there too. - That is excellent, and yes, timely like that. When you brought that up as a potential thing to kind of tie into what we're doing this month, like it could not be perfect for our setup, with the Creator Network, so that's great. All right, I am going to bring you to, we've got one common thread that we run through all these smarter business podcast episodes, right? And it's all about, this podcast is really about making your business smarter through video, but I guess what is one thing that you've done to make your business or a client's business smarter? And if it's video or not video, that's up to you. (laughs) Whatever is smartest. - Well I think, one of the things we've really focused on and me as a marketing leader, I think a lot about and we think about it with our clients as well is, how do we use as much data insights information as possible to learn about, of course what's working in what we're doing, where we're spending our dollars and cents on different programs and campaigns, but also, what is, what can help us understand which leads or prospects or customers, are the right fit or the most interested, the most qualified. So we've spent a significant amount of energy over the last number of years, really building the systems behind the scenes and our own infrastructure to be able to track. And how are our different content assets performing? How are different videos, how are different guides? How are different blog posts actually not only impacting how many leads we're getting, but how are they helping to influence pipeline and revenue, right? So how many people who watched that video actually converted into a customer? So we get a better sense for how different content types, how different assets are actually influencing the bottom line and not just making us feel good, 'cause it got 20,000 views, right? And that's also something, just from a video perspective, we work with clients on as well is, our platform helps them track how those videos are performing, but also who's watching which videos and getting that data back into their sales and marketing tools so they can report on that kind of data. So those are some of the things that I think a lot about, again for video, but then for the rest of the campaign and programs that we run, not just to pat ourselves on the back and say, yeah, we hit our numbers, but more importantly to continuously learn and optimize and know what are we doing that's really influencing sales and revenue? And how can we do more of that, and reduce investments in things that may feel good? ' cause they look great and they get a bunch of people engaging but they don't necessarily drive through to sales. - Yeah, this comes up a lot, right? Vanity metrics, that's where everybody goes to start, right? They want all the views and stuff, but like what it comes down to is does it convert, right? What, where does it end up? So the analytics part is something that has come up in this actual smartest thing before, where it's all about knowing what's going on there, more than the surface level, right? - Yeah but it doesn't surprise me. It's a hot topic for a lot of people because the technology is there to help you do it. So a lot of CEOs have that expectation of, okay, we shouldn't be able to practice and I'll leave you with one additional note on that as you think about, we'll focus in on video, since that's such an important topic here, when you think about the analytics you're measuring related to video, I often think about it as the three Rs, to make it easy to remember, there's reach, there's resonance, and then there's ROI, and reach is your measure of this things like views, right? But reach is really driven by frankly how well you promote the content and largely that, right? And then if there's some virality to it, that's great. So there's reach, which in some cases is important. If it's content you're trying to get out in front of a lot of people. The resonance is about for those people who do watch it, how long are they staying engaged? And that will tell you, is the content itself really hitting the mark? Because you can get 10,000 views on a video, by just making it click baity. But if people don't actually watch through, it's not resonating and it's not having the impact. So you wanna look at that engagement data for the videos themselves to know on average, how many people are making it through to the end. And a good benchmark is 60% is kind of the general industry standard for what you would expect a decent video to be keeping 60% of people watching all the way to the end. But if you're keeping 70 or 80% of people, that's a high-performing video and you're doing something right. So that's resonance, is it really working? Is the content itself effective? And then ROI is, are people who are engaging in that content eventually turning into pipeline or revenue for your business. And that's how you can really get down to was the money or time or energy we invested in creating that content or doing video in general, paying off to the business. So reach, resonance and ROI are the things to be thinking about from my perspective. - I love it yeah, three Rs, easy to remember. And that is, I mean, that's a great description of kind of yeah the different levels of kind of how important or how they impact your business. So, all right, well that ends our kind of scheduled questions in any interview I do, I like to always put in an open-ended piece there, where if anything got knocked loose, if there's anything we left out that you wanted to kind of bring up in this interview, now is your chance, Tyler, anything? - I'll just end with, some advice on using video in sales, since that is a hot topic that we're all talking about right now. Earlier I mentioned this notion of how sellers now more easier than ever can record and share custom videos and use it at different parts throughout their sales process. And I think it's something that all of us just, we need to start trying if you're not trying it yet, you're not experimenting with it yet. I swear to you that the barrier to entry is zero, there's tools as you mentioned earlier, like Vidyard that are free to use, and you can go and sign up today and your sellers can start recording and sending videos and using it as a way to really kickstart that process. And with our business edition, then you can start also empowering them with all those marketing produced videos for them to use and share as well. But I think for a lot of us, it's just being aware that this is an option, starting to try it out at different points in our sales process and making it a bit more of a habit, because I think, if you don't start now, you're gonna be regretting it, three, six, 12 months from now, and when this just, this is an expected way, and it's not just about live Zoom calls, it's about using recorded and on-demand content. So, give it a whirl and then there's lots of best practices out there as well on how to make the most of it, how to use it most effectively. We've got lots of those on Vidyard website, and you can find others out there. So just do it. - Absolutely, yeah, a lot of good content on the site there that can be used for, as a resource. So, well, Tyler, thank you very much for taking the time to chat with us or with me and being part of the Smarter Business Podcast. We look forward to, again, having you on December 3rd, we're gonna have you present at our open vidwheel Creator Network, Zoom meetup, which is gonna be a bunch of folks learning about video for sales. Checkout Vidyard We will have links in the description of this podcast, check out the Visual Sale. And if you enjoyed the content that we put together here today, please subscribe to this podcast, give it a like, give it a share. If you know anybody who would you think it would be relevant to, send it along, We would love that. And that helps support what we're doing here. So again, Tyler, thank you very much. We normally, we used to do these in studio, and there'd be a handshake at the end. So now we just do the old zoom wave, right? - Love it, love it, well, thanks Neil that was great. appreciate the opportunity and look forward to our next session. - Excellent, thank you, Tyler. (upbeat music)