6 Video Marketing Lessons from Asking Animoto Anything

March 5, 2015

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Alyce Currier


We hold one AMA (Ask Me Anything) each month in the Wistia Community. During each AMA, experts from the video marketing industry (and beyond!) answer member questions via livestreamed video. We’re always looking for new guest experts, so please let us know if there’s someone you’d love to learn from!

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to spend half an hour with Tom and Stevie Clifton, co-founders of Animoto:

“We’re Tom & Stevie, co-founders over at Animoto - a super simple app (web + mobile) that makes it easy for anyone to create professional videos. We’ve been around for nearly 8 years, and in that time have played pretty much every role, including tech guy, product guy, film director, web designer and developer, music curator, brand manager, product marketer, copywriter, photographer… and all the other stuff founders have to do. Now, Stevie’s our CTO and Tom’s the GM of our B2B business unit, where we’re working tirelessly to make our product awesome for businesses to use.”

328 people tuned in live, but if you missed it, not to worry - here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite moments.

Timebox your video creation process to jog creativity

At Animoto’s annual company parties, they host an internal video competition with a time limit. Tom and Stevie drew inspiration from that process for their AMA intro video and limited themselves to two hours. They recommend the same for others who feel creatively stuck. “You just have to get started; get in there and don’t worry about the perfect layer of polish,” they advised.

Engagement comes with human connection

Even if you work in an industry where the subject matter feels dry, you can still connect with an audience through video. “Engagement doesn’t come from the content itself. It comes from the how. The way that you do it.” Incorporate humor. Introduce viewers to real members of your team. Talk about how your product affects real people. Focus on making a human connection.

Don’t rely on templates to set the tone

Using templates to make the video process easier can be really helpful, but don’t rely on the templates to set your video’s tone. Your story and message are yours and yours alone. Start with a more simple template, and remember to vary things up and keep it moving! At Animoto, one exercise that’s been helpful is having the team participate in a “raise your hand when you get bored” viewing. If seven hands are up within 30 seconds, they know the video could use some work.

Find inspiration everywhere

Whether it’s from the city you’re living in, the office where you spend your days, or the websites you’re browsing, you can find inspiration in tons of different places. Tom and Stevie based their intro video idea on a box of champagne under Stevie’s desk! Browse through sites like StartupVideos and other companies’ video work and take notes on what you like and what you don’t like.

Use motion graphics and animations tastefully

Motion graphics and animations should augment your story, not distract from it. Skew towards simpler, more customizable styles, use nice typography, and make sure to stay focused on the content and the message.

Video isn’t just for conversion

As you become more sophisticated with video, don’t narrow your focus - go wider! Figure out better fits for video across all of your different touchpoints. Video can be just as useful at the top of the funnel, or for retention. There are very few places where video is bad. Ask yourself: what can you help your audience do?

You can still view the entire AMA in the Community:

March 5, 2015

Topic tags

Alyce Currier


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