MarTech Interview with Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing at Vidyard

The use of video in marketing and sales is only going to increase as marketers and salespeople get more adept at video marketing and video prospecting techniques. Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing at Vidyard shares some observations:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Tyler, tell us how Vidyard has evolved in the last year?

The last 12 months have been a banner year for the adoption of video in businesses across virtually every industry. Not only did we see a surge in the number of videos being created and shared by marketing teams to better connect with digital audiences, but we also saw exponential growth in the use of video within sales and customer experience teams. Not just live video calls, but sales reps now being empowered to record and send custom video messages to their prospects and clients just as casually as they would type out a written email! This has become a key aspect of virtual selling and it was exciting to see this new innovation in sales really come to life this past year. As a result of these trends in the market, we’ve continued to expand the functionality of our core video hosting and video analytics solutions while adding more robust video capture, sharing, and tracking capabilities to our flagship video messaging tools for sales teams.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts and observations on video messaging and video in sales and marketing today? A few leading brands that have mastered this on both sides very well?

We’ve seen countless sales teams add video messaging into their outbound prospecting sequences and customer engagement programs with great success. Companies like #paid, Flight Centre Travel Group, Advisor Group and HubSpot have reported 3x-4x higher response rates since incorporating personalized videos into their direct outreach! This is a massive boost to both pipeline development and sales efficiency which is exciting to see. On the marketing side, we’re seeing more and more businesses investing in video content for their core websites to offer more engaging, friction-free, self-service learning and buying experiences for their prospects. Companies like Marketo, an Adobe company, have seen a huge increase in website conversion rates by driving visitors towards an online video-based demo experience directly from their home page. Not only do these site visitors convert at a higher rate, but they are using Vidyard’s analytics on the back end to track how long each lead spends watching each of the videos. This has enabled them to qualify new leads six times faster than before. As a marketer myself, impact like this gets me truly excited.

In what ways do you feel marketers of today can optimize video use in their email marketing, social media and other campaigns to drive better marketing ROI and impact?

In today’s virtual world, authenticity and transparency are beating out production quality and paid actors. Audiences are looking for trustworthy information that connects on a personal level, they don’t need drone footage and special effects. Simple, authentic, and short video content can have a huge impact on engagement levels in social media, email marketing, and outbound campaigns where you’re trying to earn attention but also respect the time of your audience. If you’re not yet at a point where you can consistently create short-form videos to support your social media, email marketing, and demand generation strategies, now is the time to build that muscle!

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As customer trends and marketing trends evolve, videos too will evolve into something more impactful, what is your thought on the future of video in tech marketing?

In recent years we’ve seen the shifts from promotional video content to educational video content, and long-form information to short-form ‘snackable’ content. I expect we’ll continue to see these trends accelerate in the years ahead, but I also expect more B2B brands to start thinking and creating like B2C brands. This includes producing video content specifically for their YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok channels (yes, even TikTok!). Not just posting other videos on these channels, but taking a disciplined approach to creating unique videos for each to meet the expectations of audiences on those channels. This also includes the production of episodic series-based content, as well as interactive video experiences that allow viewers to choose their own paths and learn in new ways.

For marketers and other customer-facing teams who have reservations with the use of video, what are some top optimization and motivation thoughts you’d share?

Video will always be difficult, expensive and frustrating if you don’t embrace it as a core competency of your own team. Much like businesses started hiring dedicated writers, designers and social media experts in years past, many are now hiring in-house video producers to help them scale their use of video in a way that it integrated, cost-effective, and natural. This is likely the most important aspect to being successful with video in business today. Beyond that, be mindful not to get too hung up on production quality and trying to perfect. When it comes to video, focus on connection, not perfection.

A few last thoughts and takeaways for marketing leaders and CEOs/CMOs to keep in mind through 2021?

The most important thing you can do right now is to look at the way you market and sell, and to ask yourself honestly, is that the way that today’s audiences truly want to learn and buy? Most businesses are still marketing and selling the way that they want to do it, because they have a “process to follow” or because it allows them to maintain more control during the buying cycle. But the reality is that your prospects want – and expect – to control their own buying process. They want as much of it as possible to be available on-demand, on their own time, and accessible in a way that helps them learn quickly and effectively. They expect on-demand information in a variety of formats including written content, guides, podcasts, videos, social content, and more. They rarely want to “book a meeting” or “schedule a demo”, they would rather watch a demo and learn on their own time (as the story of Marketo above demonstrates). But are offering them that path of least resistance? Or are you losing them out of your funnel before you know they are even in it? As you set about creating a more seamless and on-demand buying process for your prospects for the digital-first age ahead, video can be a powerful ally. It can help to ensure you don’t lose the opportunity to create an emotional connection with your audience, to clearly demonstrate what you offer, and to earn their trust before they ever raise their hand.

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Vidyard helps businesses and professionals connect with their audiences in a whole new way through engaging, personalized, and measurable video experiences. Through its global video hosting and analytics platform, Vidyard empowers businesses to transform their approach to marketing, sales, and corporate communications. Vidyard helps any business professional create and share custom videos to deliver their message in a more personal and impactful way through its free and pro tools. Thousands of businesses and millions of people around the world rely on Vidyard for their video needs. 

Tyler Lessard is the VP of Marketing at Vidyard

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