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June 6, 2016

Always Be Teaching Something: Wise Words from Andy Orsow

When you’re looking to learn something new, who do you turn to? The best in the business, that’s who — and that’s why we’re excited to launch a new series on the Vidyard blog. Wise Words goes beyond thought leaders who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. We’re interviewing marketers that are in the trenches, creating video, managing campaigns, and driving revenue to see how they’re getting the job done every day.

For our first interview, we had the privilege of talking to Andy Orsow, Communications Designer at InVision, the world’s leading product design collaboration platform. Andy’s been with the company for over two years, and has watched them grow into a distributed team of over 200 people. Starting out his humble video career producing a music video in high school, Andy was tapped to write a blog post on a new feature InVision was creating, and put together a video. “It wasn’t great, but it was better than what we had done before,” Orsow said during our call, “and I quickly ended up becoming the go-to guy for product launches and videos.”

Over time his responsibilities have grown from the occasional video to producing a regular content series, and doing product launch videos on a regular basis. The secret to InVision’s success? Their belief in video comes from the top. “Our CEO, Clark, works very closely on video projects. He and I will noodle on ideas together, and having that advocacy at the top is super important.” Orsow added, “Clark is one of smartest people I have ever worked with. He’s an incredible storyteller and marketer in general, and having those two skillsets under his belt is key.”

To understand how InVision uses video in their day-to-day, we dove into campaigns, episodic content, and more:

1. Do you produce your videos in-house, or do you work with an agency?

About 90 percent of our video is done in-house, by me in my apartment. We’re an entirely distributed company, and have folks working remotely all around the world. This proves to be a big challenge with video, as sometimes you’re living in a larger place, sometimes you’re in a smaller one, and it’s not always glamorous when you see behind the scenes of something like Design Snacks. Some of my equipment spills into the kitchen, but we get it done, and it can be a ton of fun.

2. Design Snack is your episodic video series, tell us about that!

Episodic content is something we’re trying to capitalize on a bit more now. We’ve shifted the strategy to go from tips and tricks about Sketch and Photoshop to broader topics including general design thinking, the life of a designer, etc. What’s interesting is that Design Snacks do not get as many views as a product launch video, but they have a really high engagement rate for long videos. Our recent videos are over three minutes long, and have a 79 percent engagement rate, which is better than most marketing content. This is the data I’m currently trying to parse, as I want to know how we can boost our traffic to such engaging content.

Episodic content is great for generating a loyal fanbase — people who care about a specific thing that you are doing — which is always good. If that translates into an enterprise deal, that’s great, but getting people to care about what you do as a company and giving back to them is always a win.

3. Let’s talk about conversions, how does video fit into your lead generation strategy?

Our most successful lead capturing effort was a video that utilized email capture at the end, providing a preview of an upcoming feature. For example, we have a new feature called Motion coming out soon, which will bring motion design UI animation into InVision so people can design much smaller and more detailed interactions. The community is excited about it, and we used the video as a way to build a beta list. We had a 40 percent conversion rate on email capture, which is huge.

The key is, you want to make your video short enough so viewers watch all the way to the end if that’s where you include your call to action. Do your best at understanding people’s time, energy, and focus, and make a video that is concise and exciting.

4. What spells success for you as a video marketer?

I don’t always look at form submits, as we don’t always include them in every video. Video for me is an amplifier for the other work that goes on in the marketing process. We have an insanely talented group of people at InVision and their efforts go into this culminating point of a product launch. If you take video and add that to the collective effort, it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire.

In the absence of a really hard metric like signups, I pay attention to how many people clicked play — there’s a lot you can infer from this. For example, if you have a 30 percent play rate, how many of those people may have bounced if that video wasn’t available? How many are more engaged because they watched the video? We also look at video analytics like attention span to see how many people are watching all the way through. I value both of these things, so I work for shorter content on the marketing side – nothing over 1.5 minutes.

5. What’s your plan for taking video to the next level?

To start, more video. We’ve started expanding the different categories of videos that we make, working with outside contributors, and increasing the frequency of the videos that we post on the blog. We also have someone producing tutorial videos and that content has been performing really well.

Generally, we want to start expanding outward from the types of videos that we make. Not just product features, or how to do XYZ in Sketch — which is important and valuable — but looking at videos that serve our audience by teaching them something valuable, something that will better their lives in some way. That’s important not only to me, but our content strategy. Our goal is to give away helpful content that will empower designers to be better at their jobs.

6. Can you share a resource that you find valuable in your marketing efforts?

I don’t tend to read super technical marketing or design blogs. My inspiration comes more from the things I take in while watching other videos. Sometimes it’s watching a movie, sometimes it’s TV, sometimes it’s even just how someone shoots a commercial. That type of stuff gets stored away in my brain, and I figure out how to apply it.

If you look at a few of our Design Snack videos, there’s two where I do a goofy flashback moment, and I use the same types of sounds and visual effects as if you were watching a comedy on Fox or ABC. I love lifting from Hollywood.

Want to hear from more brilliant video marketers? Check out our Video Thought Leadership series, and get expert tips from Meagen Eisenberg, Jill Rowley, Joe Pulizzi, and more.

Jon Spenceley

Jon Spenceley

Jon is the former Content and Social Media Manager at Vidyard, and is passionate about helping companies get the most out of their video. In his spare time, Jon's an amateur longboarder, distiller-in-training, and is a sucker for breakfast foods.

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