Using video to showcase your product is nothing new, but what about showcasing your customers? Building video content that puts customers in the spotlight is the key to building real advocates, and truly showing off how much you appreciate the people who use your product. And nobody knows more about that than Truman Tang, Senior Marketing Manager for Customer and Advocacy at Influitive. And at a company that advertises itself as “the advocate company” that role is no small deal either.

“I got involved in Influitive through my background. I’m very passionate about community building, and how to really engage your community to support your brand.”, Tang said in our interview. His job is to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base, but for Tang it’s deeper than that. “I want to help sustain a long-term relationship with our customers.”

At Influitive, long-term relationships are key, as everything revolves around advocacy. They’ve pioneered the concept that buyers trust their peers far more than sales people, so turning your most passionate customers into your most ardent advocates is the real key to success. And the best way to do that is video. As Tang puts it, “At Influitive, we’re really about humanizing marketing, and the only way to really engage with a customer or prospect nowadays, we believe, is video.”

To get the inside scoop on how Influitive uses video, the benefits of using customers in your marketing, and what marketing resources Tang can’t live without, let’s hear what he had to say:

Where do you find video content is most effective?

Where I see our video content being most effective is right on the home page. We all know now that buyers have the attention span of a fly, so if you really want to capture their attention, we use video as a way to succinctly tell the market what our offer is in an emotional and engaging way.

Does featuring customers make your content more successful?

You may see that at Influitive we do a lot of customer features. There are a lot of customer faces, and the reason that we do that is simple: we’re the Advocacy Company, we love featuring our customers, and we do tend to find that content with a lot of customer faces does a lot better than content where you’re speaking about yourself.

There’s something about the whole social proof thing that really works out, and that’s what we stand for. So we’re going to always feature customer content, always show faces, and you can expect more of that from us!

What are the challenges of using customers and teammates in videos?

We’re a humble startup, and we do use our teammates for a lot of videos, and as you know not everyone is a trained actor. Having your own crew in your videos is not only fun but it’s great for team building.

The drawback is definitely that there are sometimes more takes required, because people forget their lines, or they may be too stiff. But, the thing is, you have to include your teammates because it shows off your personality and your culture, and that extends and makes a much bigger impact on your brand.

How can companies use video to recognize and build their advocate community?

I love this question because video is such a powerful way to recognize your customers, and not only recognize them but make them look like celebrities. Sharing their thought leadership, and doing that in a scalable way is a winning formula for everyone.

You have your advocate community, you feature your customer videos, you reposition that in content, and not only are you getting leads in a very authentic, third party social proof way, but your customer is also being featured. They’re elevating their career, and helping out their own brand. Finally, prospects are getting that third party voice that is unbiased because you’re letting the customer talk. It’s amazing, it’s magical, and that’s the power of video!

What resources do you use to become a better marketer?

First off, I do a lot of reading, and one of the resources I read a lot of is MarketingSherpa. Essentially they are a case study website that features specific companies doing great things and they show the case study from step one to the final stages on how a campaign went. They’re great for showing transparency.

I check out a lot of marketing automation blogs as well whether that’s HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo, just to see what’s really resonating in the email space. Sometimes you might get a nugget or two to turn back to your own initiatives.

Of course I follow the Vidyard blog as well for all of our video marketing needs, everything from setting up a camera or recording session all the way to what things resonate in video marketing.

And our own blog — we are the advocate marketing experts here — and I reference that and use it as a way to push content over to our customers. We crowd source a lot of that thought leadership and I learn as much from our customers as they do from me.

Jon Spenceley