This week, Gabriel chats with Wistia's co-founder and CEO, Chris Savage, about remote video solutions and how to make videos in today's world.
Listen to the Podcast version of this episode:
Working on adapting your business strategy during these tough times? Looking for marketing software to help your team with these strategies?
Join Gabriel Marguglio, CEO of Nextiny Marketing and some of our favorite #MarTechMasters in discussing what businesses are doing to pivot, as well as the latest MarTech opportunities for you, your company and your clients. Subscribe to our channel to stay connected with the ever-growing MarTech community as we continue to learn and grow together.
Today’s MarTech Master comes to us all the way from his basement in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s none other than the CEO and co-founder of Wistia, Chris Savage!
What Is Wistia?
Founded in 2006 by Chris and his partner, Brendan Schwartz, Wistia has been making tools for marketers to help them better understand video, learn about measuring performance, integrate video into their tech stack, and overall just make better content.
Through the power of their video publishing software and incredible tools like Soapbox and Wistia Channels, Wistia looks to give people the tools and knowledge they need to analyze and improve their content, connect with each other, and build truly meaningful relationships with their customers, especially now when we’re forced to remain so far apart.
Related Blog: How to Run Your Business While Working Remotely
Now Is the Time to Start Using Video
With the current events across the world, most of us are forced to stay home and many are lucky enough to be able to continue working from there, but that leaves video in what seems like a grey area. How can you make video content when you don’t have access to studios, professional equipment, or the ability to collaborate with your team?
It’s true that you won’t be able to produce any big-budget videos in the near future, but you don’t need the highest-end production value to produce high-quality video content. Using the tools at your disposal—such as your webcam and Soapbox by Wistia (which we’ll get to later)—you can make impactful videos right now.
In a way, today’s circumstances have actually created a unique opportunity for people who have never touched video to get in and hit the ground running because everyone is currently playing with the same rules. Nobody has access to the tools they usually use. If you’re worried that videos recorded on your phone won’t be good enough, remember that Jimmy Fallon is recording interviews with his iPhone for The Tonight Show. Nervous about your slightly grainy webcam footage? Don’t be, the NFL Draft and American Idol are both being done with webcams and the quality of the content is just as high, even if the production value is lower.
People are realizing that lower quality footage doesn’t have to mean lower quality content and you don’t have to set off and try to create a sprawling episodic series or anything huge. Video’s ability to create a connection between people is something that we all need right now and it can be harnessed in smaller ways like simply sending video messages or tutorials to coworkers and clients via email.
How Can Soapbox Help People Make Videos at Home?
If you’re looking for a quick at-home video solution then there’s no better option than Soapbox by Wistia. Soapbox is a Google Chrome extension that lets you create professional-looking videos using your webcam and it’s loaded with the features you need to make great video content:
Quickly switch between screen sharing and webcam: Soapbox lets you switch back and forth between showing your screen and your webcam with the push of a button. This is a great tool to showcase images, slideshows, other videos, and more during your video to add value and break up the long shots of you sitting at your desk.
Easy Editing: After you’re finished filming, Soapbox lets you quickly and easily trim your videos.
Soapbox is the perfect option for those without great amounts of knowledge or equipment and gives you the power to create valuable content for people to consume as their leisure. Touch base with clients or coworkers, leave a “video voicemail”, easily create a personalized message for anyone, create information videos for customer service, and much more.
Related Blog: How to Build a Professional-Quality Video Studio at Home
Brand Affinity Marketing During a Crisis
Brand Affinity Marketing is about a brand focusing on building a strong connection with their audience by creating valuable and entertaining content that encourages people to spend time with you. This could be through videos, blogs, events, podcasts, and much more, but the key to building affinity is creating content that is binge-worthy.
Now, though, it’s very important to realize that you don’t have to stop creating content, but you do need to take a long look at your messaging and tone and make sure you’re not engaging in conversations where your company doesn’t belong.
There’s still a place for brands to continue to create their own content, though. People are consuming more content and now more than ever, people want to be entertained, educated, and distracted. It’s just a matter of re-evaluating your tone, understanding the context of the world, and adding to conversations that you are an expert in and can add value to.
We’ll use Wistia as a prime example of this. Rather than shutting down shop, they started The Wistia Creative Alliance to produce great content, help affected people, and bring value to their audience.
If you’re someone working in an essential field and you need video to continue to serve the public good but need help with video hosting costs, Wistia wants to give you free Wistia access. Contact Wistia support today if this applies to you.
- What Is Wistia? (1:11)
- Using Video In Today's World (2:31)
- What is Soapbox (3:13)
- Production Quality Expectations in Today's World (5:11)
- Tools for Creating Videos (6:30)
- Using Videos in Sales (8:12)
- Brand Affinity Marketing These Days (10:15)
- Adapting Your Episodic Content (12:38)
- The Value of Production Quality (15:04)
- How Wistia is Helping (17:51)
Gabriel: Hello, everybody, and welcome to Martech Masters! I have Chris Savage with me today. It's such a pleasure to have you here from my home video studio and where are you Chris?
Chris: Yes, so I'm here in my basement, aka my bunker aka my gym and my old couch so, yeah. I've been set up here while we're all working from home which has been working well.
Gabriel: Awesome. Again, thank you for joining us today. I know we did another recording of this before the pandemic and, of course, we wanted to make sure that we now talk about what are the things that people are doing with video. This is especially important for people nowadays. People are using more video than ever and I wanted to get it from you on what's going on with the video world. How is Wistia helping?
But, first of all, for people who don't know who you are, which there's not a lot, can you tell us a little bit of who you are and what your company does?
What is Wistia? (1:11)
Chris: Yeah, I co-founded a company called Wistia where I'm the CEO almost 14 years ago with my co-founder Brendan Schwartz and basically we make tools to help people connect better with video mostly focused on marketers like understanding how your video is performing integrating it to the rest of your marketing stack managing publishing distributing syndicating content to like market with your content better and then we also have a product called Soapbox which allows you to really quickly make professional-looking videos and that's a Chrome extension.
So, yeah. That's what we do. There's a lot going on right now we've seen a lot of things change since this entire anyone who's fortunate to be able to work from home has been working from home.
Gabriel: Definitely, and these are trying times everybody's trying to work from home a lot of people that never work from home or trying to make it happen other people that have been remote or had the ability to do it can use some of the tools but one of the things that we want to help people with is ‘what are the tools and what are the things that they can do to do better video?To use video to be more human?
Do you have any tips? I know you've been working with video and communicating with different companies that use video in different ways. What are the best ways to use video today to be more world today?
Using Video In Today’s World (2:31)
Chris: I think the big thing is if you're a company that had a lot of meetings during the day those could be internal meetings or meetings with clients to get business or whatever it is like it is very hard to live in this world and have meetings non-stop.
It is the energy that comes from connecting with somebody in person is is you can still get energy from connecting on the web but it's just different and so what we have seen is a very large shift in of course people are moving things online and making them live we've seen quite a large shift in our numbers looking at people using asynchronous video to communicate.
What is Soapbox? (3:13)
Chris: Soapbox is an example of a tool that does this like we can quickly create these videos.
We’re seeing tons of people quickly create videos for their clients sometimes they're one to one one to many things for partners things for internal communication and the idea is like you can get the emotional tone across in the video that you would have been trying to get across in person so you're trying to make up for this lack of all of these in-person connections.
I think that's been super important and then we've seen a lot of people look to content in this moment because advertising how do you even advertise during pandemic it doesn't make sense demand for a lot of products is down dramatically and I think what that means is that like when we're interacting with brands right now we're looking for different tanks like the brands that we do interact with we want them to be genuinely helpful, we want them to be genuinely educational or entertaining to help us forget what's happening and that has meant a really big shift.
We've seen a huge are of our client shift towards more content in this moment because if you're a lot of relying on organic sharing if the content is good it's gonna take off and it's not no one's gonna see it but like that's actually pretty right now because if you are putting on ads and they're not in touch with what's happening you're gonna get a backlash.
Gabriel: Definitely, definitely. We've seen horror stories already of marketing brands that had brands that were doing marketing in a way that they either have automation or things that were already going out and you have to keep the tone.
The tone is so important nowadays and everybody if you have any automation pause it right now review what you're doing and maybe add some video to those touches because it's gonna make it more human and connect in a better way right right Chris?
Production Quality Expectations in Today’s World (5:11)
Chris: That's right and I think there's another thing that's happening this moment which is: no one can shoot stuff together in person so the production quality expectations have changed more than they've ever changed.
I'm a fan of a lot of the late night shows and I would watch them before but like I wouldn't watch every episode and it's like when I saw a good clip on there whatever and if you see what all of those folks are doing they have basically started by shooting on their iPhone or iPad horrible lighting but they're just putting content out there and they're slowly getting better.
I think what's happening is like we now have a level playing field and so it's a lot of people who I've been talking to groups of companies and founders and Stuff since the pandemic has started because it's questions coming out but how do we communicate in this world and a lot of people have talked to our people who've been afraid to make video in the past because their friends can hurt their brand well guess what for the first time ever like your production quality like I'm in a basement
Gabriel: Yeah, I’m in my living room by the way.
Tools for Creating Videos (6:30)
Chris: Yeah, you're in your living room in front of a ton of typewriters. This is not what I would have ever thought I would do or have chosen to do but it's the reality situation and I think that's what we're all looking for right now and that means I think that there's for a lot of people have been afraid to adopt video it's actually like one, you're gonna get the benefits of the asynchronous communication right now but two, because the playing field is leveled you can start to try things that you wouldn't able to try before. You can fail and obscurity much more easily right now and not feel like you're hurting your brand.
Gabriel: And in and that's a great segue to my next question which is ‘how can Soapbox help someone? Because you mentioned you can start doing at home you can do it with your laptop you have already a webcam and microphone you're pretty much ready to go you can start creating videos today and Soapbox can help with that right?
Chris: Soapbox can help enormously with that I mean basically what soapbox does it records your webcam and your screen at the same time and then allows you to add simple transitions between them so you can start behind me it just be the webcam or then you can it can switch it to your screen it'll slide over and I'll show the screen or you can show one third you and two thirds your screen and all you're doing is adding the same types of transitions that are added during live television that's it like live TV if they never cut away from the anchor it would get pretty boring.
You'd see some people like drinking things and writing things on paper and like turning around and they hide all that stuff by switching between the different live angles and that's so box lets you do that really easily and so in a moment when you're trying to figure out how to make stuff that looks more professional it's an easy way to do it you can start on the webcam go to your screen show the presentation you want to show to somebody they felt that connection to you and you're able to cover up as you check your notes or whatever.
Using Videos in Sales (8:12)
Gabriel: It's creating your own b-roll, right? And you can have a slideshow presentation you can have another video ready to go you can have your screen showing websites we've been doing this for a couple years now and helping companies set this up not just for marketing and that's the other part of it salespeople using videos for a long time now and if you Pro you have to Rao because you can't actually meet in person.
Soapbox is the perfect way to set up a video in two seconds you've recorded two minutes put it on a copy paste directly from so box into an email and then you send it as a video voicemail or as a cat touching base understanding trying to keep people moving through through the process through the sales process but it also helps for customer service for all kinds of messages right now we're working with a with a healthcare provider that needs to go into telemedicine and we're having the doctors record videos with folks from their houses.
This is something that they would have never done before and that's that's amazing so this is also a good opportunity to get more people to use video and get into that um that human connection, right?
Chris: Yeah, I think it's always like one of those things like oh I want to do that but when I'm gonna have the time and it you just you just get it done and figure it out I mean for us like we've been working from home for over four weeks now we're based in Boston and we made the decision to close the office when there was eight cases but it was growing exponentially and we're a company that is built on in-person culture.
So of 120 folks we did have some people who were remote, maybe like 10-15 but it's still a very different thing. We never would have said ‘all right everybody go work remotely for an indefinite amount of time’ but you do it, you figure it out, you change your habits, you change your behaviors and rely more on asynchronous communication.
You start to figure that stuff out and I think that everybody is facing this in a different way right now and I think yet for because video especially asynchronous video can allow you to communicate with somebody who's at home who has kids and can't make the meeting at the same time and all those types of things I think that's why we see such a big increase there.
Brand Affinity Marketing These Days (10:15)
Gabriel: That's awesome. So, we we've talked about brand affinity marketing over and over again and and and I think Brian affinity it's it's more important now than ever considering how everybody's going through a crisis and we're all trying to help each other and tone needs to be important how can you do Brian affinity marketing in these tough times and and maybe define brand affinity for whomever hasn’t heard about brand affinity marketing and, again, what are the different ways that you can continue to do brand affinity marketing and get people to love your brand during these tough times?
Chris: I agree with you.
"Brand is more important than ever and the actions that companies take right now during this pandemic are going to be the things that people remember."
I think with your brand you have to try to figure out what conversations you have the right to enter at this moment and entering the wrong conversations is not going to be good for you because people will remember that you tried to talk in a place where you don't really have the right to talk.
On the opposite side if there's topics like where your brand is an expert where you can talk about something differently or more humanely or whatever then I think that you can jump in and have those conversations.
Brand affinity—and brand affinity marketing—is simply the idea of focusing on trying to build a stronger connection with your audience as opposed to just building awareness.
"When you build a really, really strong connection you end up with brand advocates that are going to recommend you, tell other folks about you, and stick with you through hard times."
All those types of things, along with brand affinity, it's created through time spent with a brand and so that can be using a product, that could be getting soapbox videos from somebody, that can be going to an event.
"We think the pinnacle of this is content that is binge worthy and that's podcasts and shows where someone really connects with and continues to interact with your brand."
They can spend more and more time they can build a stronger connection and then you could just build legions of those advocates that's the idea.
Adapting Your Episodic Content (12:38)
Gabriel: Of course, and of course, in these times, we always talk about video series as an incredible way to fuel brand affinity marketing. What kind of advice do you have for video series? Should people pause their video series? Should people change the tone of the video series? Tell me what you've heard from other people doing this.
Chris: So, I would say you need to be aware of the tone.
"A brand exists in the context that it's in and the context for everyone just changed. You have to reevaluate the tone and the messages you're putting out there. Some stuff is gonna do way better than ever because consumption right now is way up. We're hearing this across every single platform."
Netflix has been forced to reduce the quality of their streaming in Europe because it was taking up too much bandwidth. I think I saw that Disney Plus was like 18 percent of all bandwidth in England or something.
Like, that like it's crazy how much content people are consuming and people want to consume things that are gonna entertain them distract them from what's going on and educate them and depending on the person there's a lot of folks who are using this moment to start something new or to learn something they what might not have learned otherwise and so I think when you're think about the content you're making you can definitely still make content.
It's a great time to make content if you can figure out how to do it at home and it all comes back to what are those conversations you can enter what should the tone be but already I've seen a huge uptick in people creating podcasts because you're not gonna know where the podcast was created.
You create a podcast now and the episodes come out in six months no one knows when you start out recording them and I've also seen. I think many more niche shows where people are dialing and it's like so hyper specific around like how you going to learn something right now all of the creator platform teachable kajabi, all of those folks are seeing huge masses of people coming in and creating courses and getting out there trying to figure out how to get their message out to the world.
So, there is a lot of demand it's just it's just shifted a lot and I think if you're in a segment where it hasn't shifted or shifted really negatively you have to look at that and say like is there a way that I can enter a totally different conversation and get people to connect with my brand
The Value of Production Quality (15:04)
Gabriel: Definitely, definitely. So, one of the things I wanted to ask you is we've seen people using just their webcams and doing it with their computers. Even Jimmy Fallon has bad lighting and a bad microphone but it's still engaging content.
Of course, there's value to engaging content is there value to the quality if you can and not even spend money but connect a DSLR camera or something to your computer or have a Soapbox station— which by the way we have an article explaining how to put it together and it all came from Wistia and how Chris Levine put it all together for the world to use is their value to quality in these times where everybody's doing video.
Chris: Ah, yeah there is value to quality, certainly. I think it's the range of possible quality is just like it's very different right like you used to have this giant range of things and now we're all stuck over here and I think the question is if quality creates confidence, I think so like if you look at yourself and you feel like you look good, and you're well lit, and you're well framed, that creates confidence for the person speaking and that makes it easier to put a message out there.
So, I feel like that is the one part where quality does matter and like yeah we're doing this office out of office hours thing every Tuesday, Thursday at noon and you can call and ask questions with Chris Levine and a big part of that is can we help people get set up. How do you set up a light or how you set up the right camera?
This moment because I think like you can make a big big difference I mean this is my basement right and I have a DSLR to have a light and I changed that I changed all the bulbs in here to be Hugh bulb so I could dial in the color it would be okay I think to do this without that it just looks much worse and I am more self-conscious about the space and so it's like worth it to me to top the quality.
Gabriel: Of course, of course, and it's not a huge investment. If you're a company doing a lot more video now, for a very low investment you can ramp up the quality and also differentiate yourself with everybody else creating media right.
So, if your videos look better they have better lighting and better sound then you will look better if that goes back to your brand, right. Awesome, so again thanks, Chris.
This is usually the time when we say whatever you want to say, whatever you have as a message in these times where everybody's at home. What's your message to the world? What's your message from Wistia? I know you guys are helping a lot and I know you guys so they'll push that a lot but if you want to share some of that stuff, please go ahead.
How Wistia is Helping (17:51)
Chris: Yeah, so we've made Wistia free for anyone who's working directly on COVID-19, for educators—they want to use soapbox or Wistia to create course videos and stuff like that, for hospitals that are directly impacted.
So, if you're in one of those groups and you want to try ways to use soapbox just email us at support it was calm I would say like my message is the same message I think it should be every business is you're just like stay home take care of each other to carry your family to carry your friends like check in with folks connect with them way more I think when we look back on this in five years and ten years like I hope we look at it and say like wow we all took care of each other and I mean we see signs of that already happening which is amazing people doing grocery shopping for each other and things like that but yeah I think that's what's most important and I just encourage our own stay strong look we can do this.
Gabriel: Thank you, Chris. Thank you for joining us today and again Soapbox is free no matter what so people can start doing that today, but again, thank you for opening the Wistia platform to everybody trying to help with this crisis and thank you for everything you've done for us and in our partnership. We couldn't be here in a good place during a crisis without partners like you so I really appreciate it
Chris: Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm so excited you guys are partners too and yeah can't wait to can't wait to get to the other side of this whole thing.