The Making of Our On-Boarding Video Series, "Project Randor"

May 3, 2012

Jeff Vincent

Operations

Late last year, Chris and I decided we needed to build an on-boarding video series for our customers and trialers. Inspired by great projects like Hootsuite University, we set out to make something we called “Zero to Hero.” It was ambitious, time-consuming, and ultimately a production nightmare. It took us a few months to recover, but in February we had re-grouped and were raring to try something new.

Why Project Randor?

Wistia had recently started using Asana, and identified their on-boarding videos as THE reason we stuck with it. Armed with knowledge of what definitely didn’t work in the first go-round, we set out to conquer the on-boarding video problem. With “Zero to Hero” connected with too many bad memories, we chose a new codename: PROJECT RANDOR. Randor is the king from the awesome He-Man series, and he gave He-Man his powers. It was perfect - our videos would give customers the power!!

Lessons Learned

Scripting!!!

It was absolutely key to have a script, both for the live-action bumpers and screencast sections. It took less than two hours to finalize the bumpers script - Chris and I tend to have pretty lively banter anyway. Having that script saved us hours of discussing what we should say once the camera started rolling. For the screencasts, it took longer to get the script right, but it was still totally worth it. We based it on the way we lead customers through the product today (by phone and email).

Know Your Talent

Chris Lavigne had great foresight in shooting takes from multiple angles. Chris and I aren’t accomplished actors, so mistakes were definitely the norm. The multi-cam shoot allowed him to cut out our mistakes. It also kept the live-action bumpers lively and engaging.

Jazz It Up

Having fun, as strange as that sounds, was a big takeaway for us. Had we tried to take the series too seriously, it would have been boring to shoot, and definitely boring to watch. We mixed in camera tricks and props, from hot espressos to Ben, to break up the content and keep it fun. Sometimes Chris left the camera running, even after a mistake, and the results were some of our favorites (i.e. ’business-type fun’).

Make Content Accessible and Useful

We added a drawer to the footer of the app that would open by default for folks in a trial (and cookie if they closed it). One of the things we didn’t like about other on-boarding videos was that they prevented you from taking action while watching! So we embedded the actual video in our documentation, and sent the viewer there if they selected it. In this way, they could watch the video and take action in their accounts simultaneously.

Results

So now to the fun part - the results! The videos have only been ’live’ for a few weeks, but the early results look good. 30% percent of new trialers are watching at least one of the videos, and nearly half who watch a video continue on to a second one.

Watchers are also using their accounts more (good for them and for us!). Accounts that watch a Randor video are 80% more likely to complete a ’workflow’ (uploading, embedding, checking stats) than their counterparts. Anecdotally, reception has been very positive, and support has noticed a decrease in “Wistia Basics”-level questions.

What about new customers? Conversion rates for trialers who have watched Randor videos is higher than those that have not. In short …  these videos have been very good for business.

What’s Next?

Next for us is to add some content to the Randor series. We’d like to do a video on “Private Video Sharing,” a workflow we didn’t cover in the first go-round. I’d also like to experiment with the order of the videos as they are presented. The first video, “Wistia Basics,” is watched a full 3x more than the final video, “Understanding Analytics.” It will be interesting to see if those accounts that got the basics down will go back for the analytics video once they have some stats.

So What Does the Finished Product Look Like?

Here’s a taste of Project Randor, “Promoting Your Video With Wistia”:

May 3, 2012

Jeff Vincent

Operations

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