August 7, 2018

The CouchCon Quick-Take: An Interview with Chris Savage

Learn all about the evolution of content marketing from Chris Savage, Wistia’s CEO and cofounder — and CouchCon speaker!

Jenny Mudarri

Creative


If you’re familiar with Wistia, then chances are you’ve heard of Chris Savage, our CEO and co-founder. After graduating from Brown University with a degree in Art-Semiotics, Chris and his co-founder, Brendan Schwartz, started Wistia in Brendan’s living room in 2006. Wistia has since grown into a multi-million dollar business with over 80 employees (including 1 labradoodle).

Before Wistia, Chris helped produce an Emmy Award-winning feature-length documentary and was named a Top Young Entrepreneur by BusinessWeek. In his live keynote address at CouchCon, Wistia’s first-ever virtual conference, he’ll talk through a new way of thinking around video in the marketing funnel. And while CouchCon is only a week away, we just couldn’t help ourselves and had to get the inside-scoop on what Chris believes is the future of content marketing! Let’s hear from the man himself.

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WISTIA: How do you think content marketing has evolved over the past ten years? What’s made it better, worse, or more challenging?

CHRIS: Content marketing has proven to be an effective way to grow a market and a brand, but it’s gotten a lot harder to differentiate on just content marketing alone. 10 years ago, if you were blogging consistently around a niche topic, you had the opportunity to build up an audience and fill the content void. Today, you can’t just blog — you need to act like a media company and build out unique content strategies for wherever your audience spends time online.

WISTIA: What role do you think video will play in shaping the way we think about the traditional marketing funnel? Are there any certain opportunities marketers are currently missing out on?

CHRIS: What we’re finding is that audiences expect they’ll actually be able to choose how they consume your content or message. Some people want to read, some like to listen, and a lot of people like to watch. If you have a significant amount of people making their way through your funnel, you have a huge opportunity to engage with them through video to help them along that journey.

“If you have a significant amount of people making their way through your funnel, you have a huge opportunity to engage with them through video to help them along that journey.”

WISTIA: In the past, video has been thought of as an awareness tool, with metrics like view count as the key indicator of success. What video metrics start to become more important as you move further down the funnel?

CHRIS: View count is still a pretty good indicator of reach, however, depending on where you share your videos, the definition of a view will change. Video engagement, on the other hand, becomes more important because you want to know that the video is doing the job you “hired it” to do. The video engagement metric will tell you whether or not a viewer found the content helpful, informative, or at least somewhat entertaining.

As far as the bottom of the funnel is concerned, we often find that these videos may have a very small number of views, but have an enormous impact on conversion and retention rates. So, when you’re looking for success metrics at the bottom of the funnel, don’t get tied up in vanity metrics — it’s all about conversions at that stage.

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WISTIA: With new channels for video exploration cropping up every month (Instagram TV, Facebook Watch, etc.) do you have any advice for how marketers should assess these opportunities?

CHRIS: The audiences on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin are all slightly different in terms of what they’re looking for. This means your video strategy should be different on each platform. My advice to marketers is to evaluate these channels as top of funnel activities, and then compare them to the other top of funnel initiatives they’re currently running. It’s incredibly hard to get earned traffic off all of these platforms because they monetize with advertising, which is tied to watch time. Try to embrace this constraint by making content that’s specifically catered to those platforms.

“My advice to marketers is to evaluate these channels as top of funnel activities, and then compare them to the other top of funnel initiatives they’re currently running.”

WISTIA: So, the future of content marketing — what is it?

CHRIS: The future of content marketing is no longer about earning an audience, it’s more about retaining an audience. In a world where it’s incredibly hard to stand out, it’s critical that you keep the people who do pay attention engaged and focused on your brand.

This is why podcasting has become such a good medium to invest in — once you get someone to subscribe, it’s easier to keep a high percentage of your audience coming back for more. Expect to see similar types of initiatives happening across text and video in the next couple of years!

Want to learn more from Chris Savage and other business video experts? Don’t miss his live keynote session at 12 PM EST on August 14 at CouchCon!

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