V-Bot joins us to party!
As a Marketo Summit newbie, I was pretty pumped to be heading to San Francisco with the Vidyard team last week. We sponsored the recharge lounge but I had a chance to sneak away a few times and sit in on some sessions. Here’s a quick rundown of the top three sessions I attended and what I learned along the way.

Session 1: Lean Content Marketing for Lead Generation

This was one of the first sessions I went to and it definitely didn’t disappoint. Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Marketo and author of Lead Generation for Dummies, Dayna Rothman, led a packed session about two challenges I’m sure all content marketers can relate to:

1. It’s really hard to produce great content, let alone a lot of it

Dayna’s advice? Use your co-workers! (Sort of like what Jennifer is doing right now by having me write this post…) You may have folks in other groups that are interested in writing, so give them an opportunity to support your content marketing efforts. If hands don’t go flying in the air when you ask for volunteers, try getting a group of your co-workers together to brainstorm ideas for content that you can produce yourself. Crowdsourcing can come in really handy.

2. “I’m not getting enough leads from my content marketing!”

The answer? Repurpose everything. This is a strategy we use at Vidyard. Instead of coming up with brand new content for each piece of collateral you produce, take an existing piece and turn it into a blog post, video, webinar, infographic etc. For example, we turned a case study into this video campaign and repurposed it as a blog post too.

Dayna’s talk served as a great reminder that even if you don’t have a huge team or a ton of resources, you can still have a kick-butt content marketing strategy.

Session 2: Video is the Modern Marketer’s Best Friend

Okay, okay, so maybe I’m a little biased, but I really did enjoy this session! Our CEO, Michael Litt had some great video marketing insight to share during his talk:

Michael's session

3. Hop on the video bandwagon

If you’re not already investing in video, you should be. Video is everywhere, and the reason it is everywhere is because it’s effective and engaging. Michael pointed out that in 2006 if he had said marketing departments would have a team dedicated to social media, we probably wouldn’t have believed him. That’s where we’re headed with video, soon enough it will be standard to have an entire team devoted to managing video.

4. Size doesn’t matter, engagement does

You should be optimizing your videos for engagement, not length. As a first step, start using attention span to gauge how interested your audience is in your content. Aim for a 60% completion rate, meaning that 60% of your audience completes the video in its entirety. Looking at engagement can teach you a lot about how your viewers are interacting with and digesting your content. You can then use that insight to tweak and optimize your video content.

5. Video belongs throughout the funnel

Depending on what phase of the funnel your content targets, it will look and feel very different. For instance, as you move further down the marketing funnel, viewers are much more likely to consume longer, more detailed content. As marketers, we often spend so much time focusing on top of funnel content that we neglect to give other stages the attention they deserve. As a rough reference point, Michael shared the following diagram, breaking down how you should allocate your video content throughout the funnel:

The funnel!

As you can see, you have to focus a lot more of your videos beyond the initial discovery phase and start making a good chunk of content to cover the justify stage of your customer’s path to conversion. You’ll need videos to guide prospects through their entire journey.

Session 3: DJ Waldow on Being Human

DJ Waldow is the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Marketo and his session on being human definitely made my top three list. Not only was the presentation hilarious but it was jam-packed with actionable examples:

6. Brands need to be more human

Our inboxes are flooded with messages that sound like they came from robots. Just think about how often you get messages from a “do-not-reply” address. Those emails aren’t compelling or creative, and they’re certainly not human. Throughout his talk, DJ kept referring to this quote from Bryan Kramar: “I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is, or what message you’re sending. We all need to speak more human.” Agreed. Here are a few places where we can be more human:

  • Email subject lines and copy: Get rid of the no-reply email address and generic subject lines. Your email copy should be conversational and creative. Keep in mind that the people reading your emails are well, people! Upworthy got a shoutout for having engaging email titles that compel their subscribers to open them.
  • Videos: This is something we preach all the time at Vidyard – let your personality and company culture shine through in your videos. Your viewers want to see the people behind your brand. This is your opportunity to have a conversation and share a connection between your brand and your viewers.

Beyond emails and videos, DJ pointed out plenty of other areas that could stand for some more human marketing; everything from email opt landing pages, and footer links to mobile email signatures and out-of-office replies. Essentially, anywhere that you’re communicating with your audience, aim to create a more human connection. Nobody wants to talk to a robot. Unless of course it’s V-bot…
V-Bot with a fan!

V-Bot makes a trip to San Francisco

In typical Vidyard fashion, we rocked our green T’s, but we also brought along a special guest, V-bot himself! Walking around the exhibit hall with V-bot and watching him tear it up on the dance floor at the Customer Engagement Zone party was probably (read: definitely) the highlight of my Marketo Summit trip. Everybody wanted a photo with V-Bot. Just for fun, here are a few of my favourites:

dancin' at the party
V-Bot and the elcom meerkat
Recharging with Invoca
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Thanks for a great event, Marketo! Big kudos to the team that organized this year’s Summit – ya’ll ran a smooth ship!

Nina Blagojevic