Interview with Jordan Fox, who focuses on sales and marketing at Athena Software.
JORDAN: Video has become an increasingly important marketing tool at Athena Software over the past four years. We sell a web-based case management software solution to health and social services organizations around the world. Our clients are based in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., and 10 other countries worldwide. Video helps us connect to our global audience. We started out using a different video hosting company, but weren’t happy, and eventually turned to YouTube.
We were a client of HubSpot and Salesforce for several years before we saw the strong relationship they had with Wistia. It took about 3 minutes going through Wistia’s website to know they were a fit from a culture and company standpoint. Since they offer a free trial, we had nothing to lose, and signed up. After a couple months on the free program, we upgraded so we could start to ramp up our efforts and integrate with some of our other marketing tools.
Our initial landing page video tripled in views once we started using Wistia. There is nothing wrong with YouTube, but since we upgraded to the Wistia Pro plan, we have a clean-looking player that delivers high quality video with calls to action. On average, prospects are watching 3–4 different videos before they convert to a lead, and once they do, the higher quality prospects will often re-watch much of the content and share with their team.
“Our initial landing page video tripled in views once we started using Wistia.”
JORDAN: Our goal with video is to take the robust software that we sell and showcase it in a very simple and globally adaptable way. Compared to other marketing expenses, video doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. We have many different types of marketing resources that we use at different stages of a prospect’s buyer’s journey. As we get further along the sales process, the resources we use tend to be more technical and specific.
In the earlier stages, we use video more than anything else. It’s the easiest way to catch someone’s attention and leave them wanting more. Using email and social media, we’re able to distribute video to a wide audience. Besides the sales cycle, we’ve now started to use video in our training and software “help” resources as well. These videos have allowed us to speed up our response time to questions, making it more on-demand and much easier to scale when selling to larger organizations and entities. Our goal here is to continue expanding our help resources with video and integrate them into our deployment and implementation plans.
JORDAN: We wouldn’t be where we are at all if it wasn’t for Wistia, period. Since we signed on, our video library has tripled and our views on videos have done the same. Since we’re a small marketing team here, we have to use both our budget and human resources to the best of our ability, and Wistia has allowed us to do just that. Their resources helped us build our own studio and create our own content, which is crucial from a money-saving and market-responsiveness point of view.
“Since we signed on, our video library has tripled and our views on videos have done the same.”
Up to this point, we’ve used the “how-to” video resources that Wistia provides more than anything to create our own content. We used them to choose our lighting, backdrop, mics, and media editing tools … all the way down to sound foam, the room in our office, and the ways to present ourselves in front of the camera. Wistia has provided helpful tips for exporting our videos from Final Cut Pro, and suggestions on how to improve our final product through their community boards. The video resources on Wistia’s website have been our go-to for everything we do.
JORDAN: From a sales perspective, we use the embedded tracking feature with HubSpot the most. It allows us to track which videos prospects are watching, and based on their actions (Did they click on the video? Did they watch it? etc.), we can follow up appropriately. For instance, if we see that a prospect is watching 10 seconds of the videos we send, we know they’re either not interested at this point, or we’re sending them the wrong content.
If we look at a heatmap and see a prospect who is not only watching the videos but re-watching, which happens quite often, we know we’ve struck a chord, so we follow up quickly with similar content or questions that relate.
One of the first e-mails we sent out using the Wistia integration was our new animated video to our bank of prospects. We saw an open rate of 23.4% and a click-through rate of 12.5%, compared to our typical click-through rates between 1.5% and 3.5%. As a result of that video success, we’ve now branched out to have 12 drip marketing streams, all with video components. This was coming from 1 drip stream about a year ago.
“We saw an open rate of 23.4% and a click-through rate of 12.5%, compared to our typical click-through rates between 1.5% and 3.5%.”
Our drip marketing program is set up to deliver content that relates to both the persona of the client and their vertical. Based on these criteria, they receive videos that speak specifically to their needs, embedded directly into the HubSpot emails, creating a stronger brand presence along with a more professional look. We’ve set up our drip marketing streams so that the more videos clients watch, the more it helps their “score.” The higher their score, the more bells and whistles go off for the sales agent to follow up immediately. Pretty cool stuff!
JORDAN: Our video strategy has been a work in progress and really is following a “Kaizen” mindset (continuous improvements). We tweak our live action videos monthly, and we’re just in the process of re-filming again this month. We will look to expand our budget so that we can increase both the quantity and quality of both our in-house and outsourced videos. We are constantly re-working our drip marketing streams with the Wistia-HubSpot integration based on what prospects are and aren’t watching.
Our most successful video this year was no doubt our company 90-second animated explainer that sums up what we do here. It’s short, to the point, colorful and fun. The idea behind it is that a prospect should know in 90 seconds whether they’re in the right spot and should investigate our product further or if they should move on and look elsewhere. We just launched the video in February of this year and already we have almost 3,000 views with a 73% engagement rate, which we’re very happy with. It is one of the first videos that a cold prospect will see in our drip marketing as well.
World domination. No, there is a lot on the horizon for Athena’s marketing team and the company as a whole. We work very closely with an animation company in San Francisco called Sharp Eye Animation, who do great work building short videos that can sum up a broad concept in a digestible nutshell. We just finished another video launching our new feature called Engage, which will be a huge product for us.
We’re also in the process of filming vertical-specific live action videos in our marketing studio that we call the Dreamatorium. This would not be a reality without Wistia. I was walking down the aisles at Home Depot selecting the lighting, backdrop, and foam with the Wistia “how to build your own studio” video playing off my phone. Once these are finished, we’re looking to build up our software training bank in both animated and live action videos. This should all happen over the next couple of years!
Want to share your success story? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a little bit about how you use video and Wistia to achieve your business goals.