Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, Formlabs builds powerful and affordable 3D printers for businesses across a variety of industries, including engineering, dental, manufacturing, and education. The world’s biggest brands like Google, Tesla, and Gillette, are using their printers to rapidly prototype and produce functional parts in-house as well as power end-use part production for products like Gillette’s Razor Maker and New Balance’s TripleCell shoe.
Formlabs reinvented what was previously an expensive and industrial process, making professional-grade 3D printing affordable and desktop-sized. However, being at the forefront of a groundbreaking industry means they needed to create content that educates their audience on the concept of 3D printing. So, how do they get consumers to understand the value of their products while enhancing their brand experience?
We chatted with Faris Sheikh, Growth Marketing Specialist, and Jeremy Needham, Customer Education Manager at Formlabs to hear how they’re using Wistia Channels and other features to promote their products and make processes like onboarding easier to digest.
For Formlabs’ team, one of the biggest challenges they face is product education. 3D printers are a hands-on product with detailed setup processes. Therefore, during the awareness and adoption stages, they must clearly explain how to use their 3D printer from start to finish to ensure people feel more comfortable getting up and running with the new technology.
To ensure that using video for customer onboarding was indeed the right move, the team sent out a survey to existing customers to find out which mediums they enjoy engaging with the most. Over 90% of survey respondents said that video was their preferred medium, which reinforced the idea that customers want to actually see visual demonstrations of how the products work and are used. Jeremy said, “ … especially if you’re engaging with the product for the first time, watching someone is more beneficial than reading a lengthy written explanation.”
When introducing their latest product, the Form 3 3D Printer, Formlabs used Wistia Channels to enhance their onboarding experience. The Form 3 Channel provides an unboxing video, an entry-level walkthrough, a how-to of their PreForm software, and more. Displaying these videos in sequential order in a Wistia Channel was the best way to deliver the information.
By breaking the onboarding experience into smaller parts, customers have the opportunity to treat the content featured in the Wistia Channel like a workbook. Regardless of where they are in the setup process with their Form 3 printer, according to Jeremy, “People can engage with content as they see necessary. They can skip through parts they already know and hone in on parts that are most relevant to them.”
“By breaking the onboarding experience into smaller parts, customers have the opportunity to treat the content featured in the Wistia Channel like a workbook.”
Throughout their onboarding videos, as well as other support-related content, Jeremy uses Chapters to make things even more clear for Formlabs' customers. For example, in the how-to video for Formlabs PreForm software, the video is chaptered into Job Setup, Import a File, Navigation, Job Info, Sidebar, and Support. This lets viewers navigate to the information they’re looking for with ease, without having to scrub through all the content to find what they need.
Not only does adding Chapters help customers navigate through their video content, but Jeremy also said he’s been able to track exactly what type of content viewers are most interested in by looking at Engagement stats and rewatches around specific chapters. This helps inform their strategy around the types of educational content they’ll invest in creating in the future.
Aside from creating onboarding and support videos to help educate their customers, Faris creates webinar content that encourages people to take the next steps in the sales cycle. In the past year, Formlabs has produced over 50 live webinars! And to host, track, and analyze their webinar content performance, they’re taking advantage of tools like Wistia’s Marketo integration, Calls to action (CTAs), and Chapters.
During these webinars, Faris collaborates and co-presents with industry experts in engineering and dental to teach various 3D printing applications. After the live webinar, he helps coordinate campaigns to promote the Wistia recordings across email, social, paid advertising, and syndication channels for people to access the content “on-demand," at their leisure. The Wistia-Marketo integration helps Faris accurately identify who has watched Formlabs webinars to flag sales opportunities.
Faris also takes advantage of the CTAs feature to encourage viewers to request a free sample 3D printed part. At the end of long-form webinars, Faris adds in a full-screen CTA, and as a result, they’ve been able to see a higher than average click-through-rate on each webinar video.
“At the end of long-form webinars, Faris adds in a full-screen CTA, and as a result, they’ve been able to see a higher than average click-through-rate on each webinar video.”
The final feature Faris uses extensively is Chapters. He described hyperlinking specific chapters in Formlabs’ large-scale email promotions under a section called “Our Favorite Moments,” which makes it easy for them to call out specific timestamps people may be interested in.
With all of these tools, Faris said, “Wistia is the backbone in hosting and analyzing [our] huge library of webinar content.” Check out some of Formlabs’ webinar videos and their use of Wistia features for inspiration!
From onboarding and customer support to webinars and demos, Formlabs is creating engaging content for their customers and prospects while building their brand in a groundbreaking industry. So, what’s next for the 3D printing company? They have a video series up their sleeves that they plan to showcase in a Wista Channel. You’ll just have to stay tuned and see.