Well, quality always matters, of course - but when do you need that outside viewpoint, that extensive research, that van full of booms and tracks and 4K cameras, that precise editing, that 3-D animation, that intellectual and emotional impact when the music, editing, lighting, composition all come together, and tell a story in a powerful heart and head grabbing way?
We talked to two people who know when and where high production, high engagement are needed. And when it's not! One of them, Tyler Lessard, is the VP of Marketing at possibly the most innovative video platform firms in the world, Vidyard, and the other is Rob Bois, Senior Director of Product Marketing at FUZE, which is one of the hottest high tech firms in Boston, focused on unified business communications.
We're biased - we do focus on that high engagement, high production value video work! But, as you can see in this video blog post, you don't need that everywhere, just when you do....
Here's more of our discussion....
Here's the product launch video Rob mentioned, at the top of the funnel, where high quality, high production value drives viewer engagement.
Here's the product demo video - still good quality! But it's further along in the viewer's discovery process.
Context is all - at the beginning of the discovery process, high quality, high production value programming makes all kinds of sense.
Further down the discovery process, there is less need to invest in brand and image building production - just a continuing need to inform.
Throughout the process, quality matters, length matters, and analytics matters!
P.S. In case you can't listen right now - here's a quick transcript:
The big question - does video quality matter in driving viewer engagement?
It’s an interesting question. Quality absolutely does matter but, the question is, what is quality in today's world of video, right? Top level funnel campaigns that are really brand oriented, and our home page videos, and our explainer videos - those I believe do need to be good quality, both from the perspective of visual production, audio, and telling a great succinct story.
But as you move through how people are using video nowadays, I see all sorts of great usage of things just like this video blog, where people are capturing online interviews or, doing thought leadership discussions, to getting customers on camera, they're using those in their blog and other places and, those don't have to be high end productions.
And, when you talk about video quality, it doesn't need to be anything more than a webcam, using a tool like Fuze (which we’re using here) and others, and you can get great quality content, which doesn't have to equate to high quality production, right? So, it really matters of what content are you creating, and the perception of what does quality really mean in the context of that.
And let me jump to Rob. You live that theory with your product launch and your product demo. Can you talk about why you invested in a high production quality for one end and then, you did a Do-it-Yourself on the other end?
We always have finite budgets, right? So, there's always this balancing act of both the budget that you have to apply to these different projects, and then, honestly its velocity as well. It could take months to come up with a fully scripted, real high quality production like we did for our kind of, top of the funnel, day in the life, Fuse video.
But, we're getting requests from sales, from sales enablement, and even from prospects that they want more detailed product video and that's where we're doing more in-house production. It's me doing the voice over, it's me just producing it in Premier Pro on my laptop. Because, we can move faster, we can be more agile and then, obviously we're not competing against the same budget as some of those higher production things.
To Tyler's point, I think once you get further down the interest funnel, people are just looking for very quick, discreet, answers to the questions they have. Does the product do A, B, or C. They don't necessarily care about wow factor. But - when people are just coming to your website for the first time or, just experiencing your brand for maybe the first or second time, that production quality can really be important for pulling them in. We've done both and it's been successful.
Can poor quality, like unplanned and unscripted iPhone video, discourage engagement? I don't want to say it's a race to the bottom, but do you ... Where do you draw the line for good quality throughout the process?
We do have a threshold in terms of the quality that we'll produce. I've seen situations where sales people have gone rogue and created things on their own. I know this is unique to us, right? I think there are limitations. I tend to be a bit of an audio snob, too. I think even if your production quality video-wise is a little lower, or you don't have fancy graphics, if you have poor audio quality, I think that's an immediate turn-off to a visitor. We always set the bar, at least on the audio side.
Then, what we'll do is we'll just test ... length is another key factor, too; especially when you're trying to do product demo content. You want to make sure that it's short enough, bite-size, that somebody can consume it, and that we can get high engagement curves. That's the piece of analytics that I look at most frequently at Vidyard - what does my engagement curve look like? If I've got a cliff after a minute and a half, and I built a three and a half minute video, that's a big problem. I think quality is a factor there, as well as length and just the quality of the content; let alone the production value can also factor into how engaged people get.
Tom: Tyler, you deal with hundreds of companies. Do you have any general analytical trends that support what Rob's saying?
For sure. A lot of that, again, does correlate to how the video is being used. We certainly find if it's a lower end production, if you will, video that's sitting on your homepage, you will statistically see lower engagement, as opposed to a higher end production at that level. On the flip side, I've seen trends to show that overproduced product demos don't get as much engagement as somebody doing a screen capture with a voiceover, and maybe their video in the corner; because there's a level of authenticity. That's where I think, again, knowing where the content is targeted, what stage of the buying journey, what sort of information they're looking for, ... because there are use cases like that where more authentic, genuine content actually resonates better.
I hate to say lower quality trumps, but there is a factor there that people want to see, "Hey, these are real people, talking real language, and they're not fluffing it up, and this is genuine content." I think all those things ring true. Then certainly length, and those things you got to watch out for. Again, I think the rogue thing is an interesting one. I think the biggest issue with rogue, low quality content, is really just making sure people are having a consistent style of creating videos and consistent messaging. I think those are the big things, because it's all about the story you tell and the content within it that makes the big difference.
Where is the high production most valuable? Where does it really drive engagement?
The things that we're seeing higher production tend to drive ... there's more activity and more resulting engagement in things like product explainer videos is certainly a very popular one. If you are doing a major product launch, or a big marketing campaign, things where you are doing a bigger, broader push, and you're trying to tell a more abstract story, that's where it's hard to tell a short, concise story without doing some level of post-production and tightening things up. Those are areas where we tend to see the higher production come in. As well as a handful of getting those really big solid customer stories.
I'm a huge advocate of video-based customer stories. We'll do some that it's our own team that are out there with their cameras, or we get customers to submit things. We're always trying to do at least maybe one per quarter of a really good quality, high end production that tells a big story, ... where part of the value of a partner is both the actual production, but part of it is also the story telling, asking the right questions, and knowing how to bring that together, ... and giving an outsider in view on how do we tell this story and bring it to life in a video, as opposed to how we might write it in a blog.
That's perfect. You both answered my questions, and I appreciate it. That's terrific, Tyler. Thank you. We'll do a quick blog post and look at the engagement!