The Big Event Podcast: Starting and Scaling Video Marketing

Video became a core part of our marketing here at Akkroo very early on – it was one of the first areas of marketing that we specialised in when Finn joined the team as our video producer.

In this episode of The Big Event podcast, Finn and Stefan discuss how we produce and use video at Akkroo, and share the biggest lessons we’ve learned after a couple of years producing video as part of our marketing efforts.

In this episode we share:

  • Tips for how companies can start using video in their marketing
  • Our key learnings from developing our video marketing strategy
  • Advice for getting your whole team involved with video
  • How to generate video content ideas and spot quick wins.

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Want to try adding video to your marketing? @_hyfinn and @scorders85 discuss starting & scaling video marketing on the latest episode of The Big Event #podcast Click To Tweet

No time to listen? Read the transcript

Stefan: Hello, welcome back to the Big Event Podcast brought to you by Akkroo.

Stefan: Joining me today, from the marketing team, Finn, our video producer extraordinaire.

Finn: Hello.

Stefan: Who makes … hi, Finn … who makes these things happen.

Stefan: What we’ll be talking about today: video. Wanted to talk a bit about where we’ve come from with video, and where we’re currently at because I think that would quite interesting for fellow marketers.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: Let’s get straight into it.

Stefan: Yeah, Finn, tell us a bit more about you, where you come from, how did you join Akkroo? Then, we’ll get into the nitty gritty.

Finn: So, I’ve been at Akkroo nearly two and a half years now. It’s been amazing. In that time, we’ve grown quite substantially, all sorts of people joining us in different departments. It’s been brilliant to document that along the way in video.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Yeah, I started off when we were about 10 people, and wanted to get into showing the product in video, in social. Before that, we weren’t doing anything, really, with video.

Finn: Yeah, that’s how I joined Akkroo. It’s been awesome.

Stefan: We joined at not too dissimilar time.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: I was a few months before you, as the only person in marketing, and then you came on to look after video.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: So, what’s been cool is we’ve had video in house from the start, haven’t outsourced it. It’s always been our own creation.

Stefan: Also, how did you find out about Akkroo?

Finn: Yes, it’s a bit of a weird story.

Stefan: It’s cool, I like the story, though.

Finn: It’s quite fun.

Finn: Yeah, my background is in filmmaking. I was a freelance filmmaker before joining Akkroo. Yeah, I grew up in the hills of Aberdeenshire, and it was very nice to live in such a picturesque place. Having a camera in hand, it was really easy to get really beautiful video. I did a bit of client work there, one thing lead to the next, and ended up going to Africa for about six months, joining a charity called Bhubesi Pride. An amazing charity. I was really lucky to be able to document their journey and all the amazing work they did on the road, with camera in hand.

Finn: That was an incredible learning experience in itself, and thankfully on of the trustees, Andy Higgs, who is co-founder of Akkroo picked up on that and said, “Hey, I’ve got a little thing in London, Akkroo. We would love to introduce video to our marketing efforts. How do you fancy coming along”?

Finn: I tried it out for a couple of months, and two and a half years later, here we are.

Stefan: Yeah, haven’t left. From intern to full time video producer. Yeah, it’s cool.

Stefan: Let’s go back to that starting point where we knew we wanted to do video, the excitement’s there. You come on board, we’ve got written content going out, we’re looking at ways we can amplify that.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: What were those early days like, would you say?

Finn: It was pretty cool. I think, as you start with anything, it’s like this really … To be there from the beginning is exciting but nerve wracking. I think in this space, there’s no rule book, there’s no predefined plan that anyone can look it. It’s very much how does it fit in for you, your products, your services, or what you want to communicate.

Finn: Figuring that out was brilliant, but because we were such a small team, everyone had got involved.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: We tried all sorts of things out. It’s brilliant. By no means have we mastered it now, obviously we’re still always going to be learning and figuring it out.

Finn: Working, I think, in the early days, as you said, it was just you and I on the marketing team, just sitting down with a camera and a laptop and our script and filming something. It was brilliant.

Stefan: The kind of route from idea to creation was pretty short.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: That was … I don’t know, there’s positives and negatives to that because we were just trying anything, weren’t’ we?

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: Okay, this is the problem that we want to talk about, or this is the benefit of the product we want to talk about, go shoot it. Look at the video and just publish it on YouTube. People are going to watch it, people are going to come.

Stefan: That was back when category creation wasn’t even on our plate, so it was really almost taking an inward view of Akkroo and trying to explain it to people, maybe not thinking about people who never, ever heard of Akkroo, or Event Lead Capture, or … there are alternative capture methods at trade shows. I feel like that’s more what we think about now.

Finn: Yeah, I think like you said, it was very quick turnaround stuff because we were still figuring out, not only with video in our marketing, but as a business who we’re talking to, what place were we in. That whole journey that we’re still on has been incredible.

Stefan: Yeah. This podcast is an evolution of our work.

Stefan: Why is video important? I mean, we know the answer to that, but perhaps it would help if people were thinking about getting involved in it.

Finn: Yeah, simply put video is one of the best ways, and the most efficient ways, to communicate and be clear about what you want to shout out about. It’s so common now to see a video on social media, or even searching for things on Google. YouTube is the second most active search engine-

Stefan: Yeah, well, it’s linked to Google. Those search results come up in the Google search results.

Finn: Yeah, yeah.

Stefan: For videos that might be interested in.

Finn: Yes.

Finn: Video is extremely powerful, and it’s now really accessible, in my opinion. I think most people now have some form of really high quality camera on their smart phone, and it’s really easy to edit that, as well, because most computers now come with free editing software.

Finn: Yeah, it’s just a really … It’s exciting, as well.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Not saying content writing, or photos are boring by any means, but video is just … It adds another dimension to your marketing, and communicating, and it’s the best way to put life to your brand, put a face to your brand.

Stefan: Yeah.

Stefan: I think that’s been proven through platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn moving to a native upload. You can actually upload video into the platform versus a few years ago, where YouTube was the king, or you were using Vimeo, maybe.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: You would upload content into your post. Now you can actually get analytics within the social platform.

Finn: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: Yeah, I think another key thing with video is story telling, isn’t it?

Finn: Absolutely.

Stefan: It’s that ability to … You mentioned it there, written content, perhaps you’ve got a 12 page guide. You can take the best bits, and you can turn it into video to either promote that guide, or just tell it quicker.

Finn: Absolutely.

Finn: That’s something we’re doing now, as well. Emily, our content writer, writes some brilliant content pieces but a lot of her work, once she’s published the blog article or a post on social media, it serves as inspiration for a video. We can then reprocess what she’s written, and get a bunch of team members involved and do video versions of what she’s written about to help promote that piece of content, as well.

Finn: It’s multi faceted. The benefits are amazing.

Stefan: Okay, so we talked about where we came from, what we think video is important for.

Stefan: So, let’s talk about where we’re currently at. What have learned, what are we doing now with video that makes us more efficient, perhaps?

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: Do you want to touch on that?

Finn: Yeah, our marketing team here is a really well oiled machine. We’re still, obviously, discovering our groove and always evolving, but in terms of the marketing that we do with content, we’ve got a really good groove going. I think key to any success is making sure you know what you’re communicating, and what is the purpose of any content. For video especially, because it’s so easy to mess up.

Finn: Yeah, you want to be as clear, and use the opportunity. When someone’s looking at a video, there’s a really powerful opportunity that you have so you want to make the most of that.

Finn: Yeah, being clear with a strategy, having a really clear brief, and just knowing what the call to action is, what do you want people to get out of a video.

Stefan: What does success look like?

Finn: Yeah, exactly. Invoking some sort of emotion, or some sort of reaction, whether it’s liking, or commenting, or sharing.

Finn: We understand, now, what video does. It’s about really pushing all of our content marketing, and trying to communicate really loud and clear our messaging.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: I think compared to the early days where we were just trying to figure out … We’d write a script, we’d film it, and we’d share it. Maybe we might gain so much of a reaction. Learning off that quickly, reiterating, and doing something quickly, I think that’s the key to our success. Just trying something and knowing that it’s not the end of the world if it’s not the most popular video on YouTube.

Stefan: Put it out there, see what happens.

Stefan: Yeah, great. Great points.

Stefan: I think, also, other things we’ve learned is being efficient, or as efficient as possible because, especially … We were talking about this the other day. As a marketing team, you can come to us and go, hey, guys, I want to shoot this quickly. We just get up and go and do it. We’re happy doing that.

Stefan: Other members of the team are busier. Well, not busier, but they have different calendars to us. They’ve got calls and that sort of thing. So, their time is finite. I think we’ve definitely learned to be more efficient with video. When we’re getting someone’s time, we’re like, okay, we’re shooting this video but we want you to do it two different ways. Actually can we borrow you to shoot something for another video? Get as much out of them and go-

Finn: Absolutely.

Stefan: Thanks.

Finn: Yeah.

Finn: I think that brings up an interesting point about team adoption, as well. Video can go either way. People are either really ecstatic and excited to get in front of the camera, or they’re really scared and shy. Both are understandably acceptable.

Finn: When you’re working hard to get people in front of the camera, you want to make the most of them.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Yeah, I think people soon realize the benefits when their face is all over social media. If they want that, then that’s cool.

Finn: Yeah, making the most of people’s time, and making sure that you’re not trying to overwork things. I think the best way for us to work is to do just do something and try it. Don’t try and be a perfectionist about it.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: I think, at heart, I’m a perfectionist. It’s hard to let that go. At the end of the day, most of the work that you do is acceptable, and it’s going to do the job.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Be efficient and learn quickly.

Stefan: Yeah.

Stefan: It does go back to that being honest and transparent.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: It can’t be-

Finn: It can’t be calculated.

Stefan: It can’t be too polished.

Finn: No, no you won’t.

Stefan: There’s got to be a production level.

Finn: Of course, of course.

Stefan: Another thing that we’ve done which has been helpful in terms of planning is mini sprints.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: I think that was quite a good move.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: For example, this podcast, we’ll shoot on a Monday, edit on a Tuesday, release on a Wednesday.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: We’ve had a little gap recently because we’ve doing other stuff, but just having that predictability around the project, I think, has really helped.

Finn: I think that’s important for any creative project, especially if it involves lots of people, is just allowing the time to sit down and make sure you’re not restrained. When creativity … When you want to get the most out of creativity, you want to feel as free as possible.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: If you’re constraining that, then that’s going to hinder quality. Allowing those three day turnarounds, even though in relative terms that could be quite short, but that’s allowed us the freedom to be like, fine. At some point on Monday, we’ll film, we’ll get something really good out of it because we’ve got that time and we don’t have to feel pressured to just get it out as quick as possible.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: With mini videos, as well. Some of our larger video campaigns we’ve spent, sometimes, a week just doing the scripts and honing in exact messaging, then the following week is filming and publishing, and getting the content written for that one there.

Finn: Yeah, having those windows. However long or however short, they’ve just got to work for that project. Allowing those windows are really, really good.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: Yeah, so efficiency is key.

Stefan: I’m sure we could find more efficiency in video.

Finn: Of course.

Stefan: And get more out, but at the same time, we’re just constantly learning.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: That’s why we decided to come and talk about this.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: Another point I wanted to talk about before we move on is environment.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: We’ve been in this office a year and five months.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: We’re hiring like crazy., if you’re looking for a new opportunity.

Stefan: Yeah, we started off, and we had loads of space.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: We’ve got a great space in the middle of the office, which, if you watched the earlier episodes of the podcast, you’d have seen us sitting there.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: It was cool, but it had challenges, didn’t it?

Finn: It did. We’ve got a lovely office, don’t get me wrong. It’s a lovely Victorian warehouse converted into some awesome offices. They look really cool, but they are large, open plan, very acoustically reflective. I think, yeah, when we started this podcast we were half the size we were at today.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: There’s now twice as many people, and twice as many voices to battle now every time we switch on the mics and cameras.

Finn: It’s great to shoot video in our office because it looks cool, and we want to promote all the people and all our environments wherever we can, but this podcast, I think, for the purpose of quality and also concentration, putting yourself in a more confined space, away from distraction so you can focus.

Stefan: I remember that first podcast we did on GDPR.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: It’s not the most particularly sexiest subject.

Finn: No, it’s not.

Stefan: You can’t really amp it up. I did feel like a newsreader. I also felt like I was being observed by everyone in the office.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: Probably some people were interested for a couple of minutes. Oh, what’s going on over there?

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: After a time, it was too scripted and it was all uncomfortable.

Finn: It’s not the lightest of topics when you’ve got people watching you.

Stefan: No.

Finn: Pressure’s on.

Stefan: Yeah, crazy.

Stefan: Now we do it in this room.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: It kind of works for what we want.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: We’re behind a closed door. The office is doing what it’s doing out there. We’re a bit closed off, and we can have a better conversation.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: I think that’s a good thing to aim for if you’re doing stuff like this.

Finn: Absolutely. It goes back to the point of allowing the time to do something, make sure you’re not pressured to do something, but also allowing to space. If you are feeling pressured, or if you’ve got a bit of stage fright, put yourself into a cupboard like this or something and practice and see what works for you. You don’t have to publish anything.

Finn: I think the first couple of episodes of this podcast we didn’t publish, they were just pilots.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: We tried a couple versions of this and then we got the confidence to share out.

Finn: That’s one of the best tips, I think, for getting started at least, podcasts, video, or otherwise.

Stefan: Yeah.

Stefan: Sometimes, as well, the location just doesn’t work, and you’re off to a local studio. Today, at some point?

Finn: Well, that’s an interesting point, actually. This week, we’re really excited to get started with the production of our new product tour, a really important tool for when we’re trying to get new customers on board, giving them a very basic overview of Akkroo.

Finn: Our first one we filmed in the office, again, when we were 15, 20 people big, but now there’s 40 people in the office, and it’s just too loud. We tried to film yesterday and, yeah. Lots of people. There’s only so much you can do of, hey, can you just not be on that call right now?

Stefan: Can you stop that demo?

Finn: Can you stop making that coffee, or whatever.

Finn: Yeah, last minute thing. We’re going to look at getting a studio down the road just to film in a nice, isolated space where we don’t have to worry about noise, don’t have to worry about people walking into the shot, whatever.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Again, nice freedom to create great work.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: It’s that constant learning, isn’t it?

Finn: Yeah, absolutely.

Stefan: We sat down and looked at that product tour, and you were like … I could tell you weren’t happy with it. You’re like, “Well, we had to shoot it this way because the noise, and then we did this because of the location”. It boiled down to the end, it was like, we need to do this somewhere else.

Finn: There’s only so many work-arounds you can do before it’s just, you know, diminishing returns of trying to cut corners.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Sometimes you’ve just got to do it the proper way.

Stefan: Yeah. We’re putting pressure on ourselves to get it out, because since that first product tour video, our brand has changed completely, the product looks different.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: The messaging different, so we’ve got to move forwards. We’ve got to make that happen.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: But at the same time, it’s got to be right.

Finn: Yeah, absolutely.

Stefan: We do video in house, we haven’t got massive budgets to do it, but we want to do the best we can balanced with the expectations of getting something out.

Stefan: Okay. Yeah, let’s round off. Some really, really good points there. I wanted to get your thoughts on helping people. If you’re a business, a marketer, you want to get into video. Whether that be internally, you’ve got the expertise internally or someone who has an interest, or working with an agency, perhaps, writing scripts and briefs.

Stefan: What are your tips for starting?

Finn: Yeah.

Finn: There’s many ways to start. First off, it’s just go easy on yourself. It’s all about trying to find the best ways for video to work for you. There are many ways to do it, lots of people are doing it in many different spaces. Just find out what works for you.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Start light. Use a camera phone or whatever and figure out what kind of scripts work for you, what you’re trying to communicate. Show it to maybe just your close peers, don’t just shove it out to everyone, publish immediately.

Finn: I mean, go ahead and do that, but the best way to learn I think, for me, looking back at the time in Akkroo is sharing you, sharing with Mike, head of demand gen, just getting a quick feel for, does this video worK? Just like this morning. Product tour wasn’t quite right, showed it to you. This is what we can do.

Finn: I think the best way to do it is to just try it and learn quickly. You’ve to got fail fast, that phrase. That’s the best way to learn, I think.

Finn: Just find your own feet. You’ll publish stuff and people will react to it. You’ll soon understand what works and what doesn’t.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: That would be my overview of how to get into video.

Stefan: I think another one, as well, to quickly elaborate on it, is if you want to move video content out fast, look at your top performing blog content and guides.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: Build video for that.

Stefan: I said earlier, didn’t I, about like a guide, taking bits of that. Just shooting little snippet videos. We now use videos on our landing pages to convert people. All we’re doing is saying what’s on the page, but it’s a personal touch, and we’re providing value.

Stefan: The SDR team, the Sales Development Reps, they’re loving the Vidyard at the moment, getting stuck into that. That’s really cool.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: I’m a marketer and my inbox is quite full, but whenever someone sends me a video in their outbound sequence, it’s like, hm. Give it a little play.

Stefan: Of course, they’re collecting data, that SDR is getting a little notification. Yeah, definitely, look at your top performing content and either make a video about it, take the best bits out, or do a little review of it. You don’t even need to have your face on it. I know our SDRs have been doing presentations on screen. There’s lots of different uses there.

Finn: Agreed.

Finn: Even in the case of our customer success team, as well. In the early days of figuring out what video could look like in Akkroo, we took the top five most asked questions about Akkroo when customers were onboarding and we made five videos based on those five topics.

Finn: Immediately, there were less questions being asked in our chats, and our forums because they were just watching those videos. I think trying to figure out what quick wins can you get out of video because very often, they’re just really simple ways to communicate something clearly. Video can be very powerful in that way, in a very simple way, as well.

Stefan: Yeah.

Stefan: Okay, well I think we should leave it there. That was a good chat. I enjoyed that. It’s good to talk about video on video.

Finn: Exactly.

Stefan: If you want to see more about what we’re doing at Akkroo, our YouTube page is probably the best place to go.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: Just search for Akkroo on YouTube.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: A-K-K-R-O-O.

Finn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stefan: We’ll leave a link in the show notes, as well.

Stefan: Yeah, like we opened with, we haven’t cracked this.

Finn: No.

Stefan: This podcast wasn’t’ trying to be like, we’ve completed video.

Finn: It’s not. I wish.

Finn: Actually, I don’t wish.

Stefan: I reckon in a few months time, maybe we can do another one of these.

Finn: Yeah.

Stefan: It’ll be interesting to track how we get-

Finn: How we constantly evolve.

Stefan: Yeah.

Finn: Yeah, yeah.

Stefan: Finn, thanks for coming on today.

Finn: Thanks, Stef.

Stefan: You can now go back behind the camera,

Finn: Whew.

Stefan: And get editing. Thanks for tuning in.

Finn: Cool. See you later.

Stefan: See you.

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