Useful Wistia Features for Video Producers
March 31, 2016
I’m Chris. I make videos here at Wistia. The following are the Wistia features that make me a more effective video producer. Some of them may surprise you.
Sure, sure. I’m just another guy pitching you on the company that I work for. While this (technically) is not false, the following features really do improve my day-to-day workflow.
I have a lot of videos in my account. At last count, 3705 videos, to be exact. I’m constantly producing and organizing videos, so I’ve come to appreciate the way that Wistia handles media management.
Wistia accounts are made up of projects. Each project is essentially a folder that contains a collection of videos. In there, you can add another level of organization by using sections. I can move videos, make copies of videos, rename videos, and even search for my videos.
Timecoded comments and 2x playback
Viewers can leave comments on your video and choose to link their comment to specific times in the video. Our timecodes are frame accurate, which makes this an awesome tool for rough cuts and proofs of videos that I’m working on. When I’m revising a video proof, I can read a teammate’s comment, click on the timecode it’s associated with, and jump to that exact part of the video.
Another tool I use when I’m proofing a video is the 2x playback option. This does exactly what you’d expect — it plays the video back at double speed. This is great if you need to cruise through raw interview footage to make notes for a collaborator. No chipmunk voice here! Surprisingly, you can still understand what most folks are saying at 2x.
Fancy player customizations
Sure, you can do the obvious things, like change the player controls and the thumbnail, but allow me to introduce you to my little friend: the high quality GIF. If you set your video to autoplay at the beginning and loop at the end, you can create custom GIFs with impressive image quality. Just remember that these puppies should almost always be silent.
As a video producer here at Wistia, I don’t have access to the code on our website. Luckily, I don’t have to bother our designers or engineers with my video-related requests, because I can always make changes to video customizations without worrying about re-embedding anything!
I can change the thumbnail, add annotation links and CTAs, adjust the player color… you get the idea. The changes will all be updated live wherever the video is embedded. No code. No problem.
Every now and then, we’ll release a video that needs to be replaced. In some scenarios, it’s a small thing, like a misspelled word or a weird audio blip. In other cases, we’ve had to add a scene or change the music. Either way, I find myself using the Replace Video feature a ton.
If you’ve only made a slight editing tweak, you can overwrite the older version and keep all the stats you’ve accrued so far. If you’ve made more significant changes, like adding a new ending or a new music track, you can archive the analytics from the first cut and start with a fresh set of stats.
Just like updating player customizations after the video is live and embedded, when you upload a replacement, you’ll never need to re-embed or worry about the video updating everywhere it’s been shared.
Heatmaps and engagement graphs
As a video team, we’re interested in viewcount, yes, but we’re more interested in overall engagement. Did our concept land? Did our message resonate? This is where Wistia video stats come in.
At first, it may feel a bit creepy to know exactly how someone is watching your video. But once you get over the creep factor, you’ll find yourself refreshing the stats screen every few minutes to learn how viewers are interacting with your video.
First is the heatmap. It’s a second-by-second look at how people have watched, re-watched, and skipped around in your video.
After we publish our videos, we keep a close eye on our Engagement Graphs. Sometimes our graphs reassure us that our video was well-received, while other times, these graphs indicate when something’s not working.
For a graph with a nasty drop off, I’ll occasionally make adjustments, like shortening up a section or adjusting the pace of the edit, then replace the video and see what happens in the updated stats.
We wrote a post that reveals 5 engagement graphs from 5 of our Wistia videos, if you’re interested in learning more.
In my account settings, I can adjust the video playback quality that gets served to my audience. Because I’m a video purist, and I don’t care about buffering times, I’ll peg the selector to force 1080p HD version for my own personal audience.
In our home Wistia account, where we store all of our marketing and learning videos, we’re more focused on making sure that no one in our audience ever experiences buffering. For these videos, we let Auto-HD do it’s thing, and serve the right encode based on the internet speed of the viewer.
Since my workflow and needs are likely different from your own, I encourage you to explore the Wistia product as you create more videos for your business’ website. You never know when you’re going to need a looping, autoplaying video of someone dancing in a top hat.