Video Marketing Lessons From People Who Have Been There, Done That

Looking to step up your video marketing strategy? Columnist Michael Litt highlights several successful video campaigns and offers some takeaways on what you can learn from them.

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video-streams-content-ss-1920For the past few months, you’ve read my suggestions, tips and encouragement to invest in video marketing as a strategic initiative within your business. It’s a subject about which I’m extremely passionate.

Today I’m going to share lessons from some others who are equally passionate — the innovative marketing and sales leaders from across different industries who use video to drive business and disrupt the status quo.

It’s one thing to learn from the teacher. It’s another to learn from the examples set by the other students.

They’re the ones in the trenches getting the job done. Whether they’re generating new business leads, building their social media audience, getting more deals done or just trying to make people laugh, there are a lot of great examples out there.

Let’s take a look.


Hootsuite, the social media management software maker, produced two of the most entertaining and successful viral business videos of the last year. (Note: Hootsuite’s not a client. I’m just a fan.)

The first, “Game of Social Thrones,” capitalized on the popularity of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” by replacing the Lannisters and Baratheons with the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in a fun take on the show’s opening credits.

The video exploded, drawing nearly a million views. Not bad for a B2B software company.

The second video, “Mean Tweets,” spoofed the Jimmy Kimmel feature where celebrities read critical Twitter messages about themselves. In the Hootsuite version, employees read mean tweets about its product’s user interface as a way to announce new updates.

“Mean Tweets” received more than 90,000 views.

My take: These were not your typical videos for Hootsuite, but by giving viewers something more than they expected, the company increased brand awareness and traffic to its video channels, blog and sign-up pages. It was featured in articles in Time magazine, Fast Company, Salon, Ad Age and Adweek.

And most importantly, it brought the brand front-of-mind with a massive number of customers and prospects.


BenefitMall (disclosure: client) has been using video strategically to nurture customers throughout the buying journey, which, as I’ve written, can have some powerful results.

Over the past 12 months, the company has developed a structured and strategic approach to its video marketing efforts. They began by defining a list of video assets aimed at buyers at each stage of the buying journey. Then, they produced targeted videos for each stage, to be used by both marketing and sales. These included product feature videos, whiteboard videos, a high-quality product commercial and a short product demo.

My take: The BenefitMall videos significantly helped develop new leads and close existing ones. The company’s new product was expanded to a national market, and today, according to the company, it has more than 2,200 active group and broker users, which BenefitMall credits in large part to the video campaign.

This is a great case of a business being smart about video marketing. It wasn’t about flashy videos; it was about lead gen and driving better conversions.


Marketing automation platform Act-On (disclosure: client) has adopted a video marketing strategy that uses these assets to both acquire leads and generate demand.

They made video an integral part of their website this year and built a video resource library to encourage visitors to engage with the company and become customers.

Act-On uses video calls to action to generate leads and now uses video content throughout their syndication networks to generate new opportunities. As a result, according to Act-On:

  • They have generated more than 20,000 video leads in the last 12 months, accounting for more than $25 million in opportunities.
  • On-demand demo video is the most clicked and best-converting call to action on the company’s home page, accounting for more than 100 leads per week.
  • Act-On’s video hub has produced more than 1,000 leads since launching in February. It’s a new lead source for the company.
  • Act-On has increased visitor-to-lead conversion rates for key product pages by more than 100 percent on average by incorporating video CTAs.

My take: This is the kind of comprehensive video marketing program that warms my heart, and Act-On is getting great results to reward their efforts.

For some companies, it makes sense — or is simply practical from a budget perspective — to start small with a couple of videos supporting a specific marketing function. Act-On is proof that going big on video pays off. And they did it on a minimal budget by producing most of these videos in-house.


Salesforce (disclosure: client) has empowered different teams within the company to produce video content in-house based on the needs of the business unit. As much as I talk about video for marketing, video is also an excellent sales tool.

Salesforce produces many videos on minimal or no budget at all but still has seen the creative significantly impact lead flow, pipeline, revenue and customer success.

For example, they created a product demo video aimed at small businesses, with the objective of driving sales and improving product awareness. The video explains key product benefits in fewer than eight minutes; an account executive would probably take half an hour to convey the same message.

One sales engineer produced the entire video using widely-available tools: Keynote, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, a USB microphone and a 15-inch Macbook Pro Retina display. In the first two quarters of this year, the video received 4,422 unique views and influenced $992,000 in sales, according to Salesforce.

My take: The perception that video has to be expensive — that you need a fancy studio, high-dollar camera, professional producer and so on — is unfortunate. Sure, great production is a nice thing, but it doesn’t have to stop you from making great content.

Authenticity and immediacy go a long way.

The most innovative marketers recognize the potential of video to entertain, engage and educate audiences, but they aren’t stopping there. They are going beyond creating amazing content to collect data on engagement, integrate with other marketing and sales tools and drive lasting results for their business.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Michael Litt
Michael is the co-founder and CEO of Vidyard, the leading video marketing platform that helps businesses expand their use of video content and turn viewers into customers. He is a passionate entrepreneur, avid surfer and skier, and has recently been recognized as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year and Marketing Magazine's Top 30 Under 30.

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