Skyping in space. A sales rep eating blazin’ hot wings during a pitch. An explainer video that treats you like a 5-year-old. An amazing parody of The Godfather starring, well, you! Vidyard’s 2019 Video in Business Awards showcased an incredible array of video marketing and video selling strategies that are helping ordinary businesses achieve extraordinary results.
Who were the winners of each of the 10 categories? Who was crowned the Video Master? And what can the rest of us learn from these award-winning video-in-business strategies?
Read on to find out and to enjoy some of their amazing content and use it as inspiration for your own marketing and sales teams. And remember, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, so don’t be shy to flatter the heck out of these forward-looking businesses.
- 1. Video Marketing: The B2B Storyteller
- 2. Video Marketing: The Visionary
- 3. Video Marketing: The Performer
- 4. Video in Sales: The Attractor
- 5. Video in Sales: The Accelerator
- 6. Video in Sales: The Innovator
- 7. Video Production: In-House Video Producer of the Year
- 8. Video Production: The Video Enabler
- 9. Video Production: Agency Partner of the Year
- 10. The Video Mastery Award: Winner and Runners Up
Video Marketing: The B2B Storyteller
The Storyteller understands that creative storytelling isn’t just for Hollywood. This exceptional B2B marketing team tells masterful stories that inspire action and produce an emotional response. This category was judged by the amazing Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and best-selling author of Everybody Writes.
Winner: NetMotion Software
Runners-Up: Uberflip, Genesys
Honorable Mentions: Confirmit, SmartBug Media
“Skyping in Space” by NetMotion Software is the ultimate example of show don’t tell storytelling by a B2B brand. While brainstorming ways to prove their Mobility VPN can maintain a video call on any device, on any network, in any location, they came up with an out-of-this-world idea to show their product working in outer space. Seriously. They strapped an iPad and some GoPro cameras to a weather balloon, let it loose, performed a Skype video call all the way in space, and documented the story in an amazing video. How far will it go? Do they end up Skyping with alien lifeforms? Watch to find out.
The four finalists showcased a wide range of approaches to creative B2B storytelling. Uberflip has redefined the explainer video category with their four-part explainer series “Explain Uberflip Like I Am…” It’ll leave you laughing, inspired, and genuinely interested in booking that demo. Genesys produced a series of emotional stories about their customers called “CX Heroes” that will forever change how you think about customer service reps.
Confirmit delivered a heartfelt story to wish their customers a happy holiday, and SmartBug Media used hilarious skits to make what they do relatable to just about anyone. Enjoy these videos and perhaps they’ll spark new ideas for your own approach to video-based storytelling.
Video Marketing: The Visionary
The Visionary recognizes that “good enough” is no longer good enough, creating exceptional video experiences that engage prospects and customers in unique and innovative ways. This marketing team is blazing new trails with unique approaches to video that make them truly stand out from the competition. This category was judged by the awesome Andrew Davis, marketing strategist and bestselling author of Monumental Shift.
Winner: True Influence (in partnership with Arc Media)
Runners-Up: Axonify, Lucidworks (in partnership with Storyboard Media)
Honorable Mentions: S&P Global, Selling Delco (in partnership with New Pace Productions)
True Influence markets to marketers, so there’s a high bar when it comes to their content experiences and a low tolerance for cookie-cutter marketing. That’s why they partnered with Arc Media to produce a pitch-perfect homage to The Godfather films entitled “The DemandGen Father.” The four-part video series not only uses familiar scenes from the classic films to make their products more relatable and memorable, but they incorporate automated personalization to customize the video for each individual recipient, literally bringing each viewer into the story. Get inspired by these examples of The DemandGen Father videos rendered for a sample recipient named John Smith.
The four finalists were equally creative in how they’re approaching their video marketing strategies. Axonify has reimagined customer marketing with personalized holiday videos, personalized event invitations, a “Meet the Features” series inspired by The Bachelor, and more. Lucidworks launched an original branded series called “Lucid Thoughts” to help anyone—even you—understand the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. S&P Global is creating high-impact videos to support social causes and their corporate social responsibility programs. And Selling Delco, Delaware County’s No. 1 real estate team, is creating social video content that is so authentic and genuine, it makes you actually want to do business with them.
Video Marketing: The Performer
The Performer knows that, when it comes to video in business, view counts don’t count. This team uses video to generate more leads, accelerate pipeline, and generate real results for their business. This category was judged by the marvellous Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing and smoker of the finest bacon in the Pacific Northwest.
Runners-Up: Digital 22, New Breed
Honorable Mentions: Liberty Safe, SnackNation
The Zycus marketing team has deployed a comprehensive video program to support all facets of marketing and sales, resulting in a 6.6x return on their video investment. Their website features video prominently, including a dedicated video hub designed to engage their online audience and generate qualified leads faster. They use Vidyard as a video hosting and analytics solution to track viewer engagement data within their marketing automation platform and to report on video return on investment (ROI) through their customer relationship management (CRM) system of record. As a result of their strategic investment video over the past 24 months, 32% of all sales opportunities are now influenced by video content, resulting in a massive impact on pipeline and revenue.
Digital 22 and New Breed both recently rolled out video content strategies across their content, demand generation, and sales development programs realizing amazing results within their first 12 months. SnackNation launched a terrific and LOL-worthy video campaign called “Stop Wasting Hours Getting Snacks for Your Office” that has generated more than 1 million views (not bad for a B2B brand!) and big results for their business. Liberty Safe recently launched The Home and Gun Safe Channel resulting in more than a 1,000% year-over-year growth in their YouTube traffic and lots of new leads for their sales team.
Video in Sales: The Attractor
The Attractor knows that it takes more than a catchy subject line to warm up a cold prospect. This memorable sales development rep uses videos in creative ways to stand out from the crowd and book more meetings. This category was judged by Shawn Karol Sandy, CRO at The Selling Agency and co-host of The Sellout Show.
Winner: Frank Weschler from Dynamic Signal
Runners-Up: Alexios Yannoulis from Stapes, Devika Advani from Uberflip
Honorable Mentions: the sales team at Drip, John Van Wagoner from Yellowbrick Data
Frank Weschler, Sales Development Rep at Dynamic Signal, is willing to do whatever it takes to get the attention of key prospects. Even if it means putting his own life at risk. When assigned Buffalo Wild Wing as a target account, Frank took it upon himself to drive to a local restaurant and order their hottest hot wings to go. Yes, we’re talking about the Blazin’ wings made from ghost peppers and measuring in at 350,000 units on the Scoville scale. Frank proceeded to record a personal video for Buffalo Wild Wings where he delivered his sales pitch after eating one of the Blazin’ wings. He laughed, he cried, he nearly choked, and yes, he booked the meeting. You are a true inspiration to us all, Frank. Bravo.
The four finalists in this category all take their own unique approaches to selling with video. Alexios from Staples uses video to let his wonderfully infectious personality shine through while also showing prospects how new products actually work. Word on the Staples street is that customers actually look forward to his sales emails—who else can say that? Devika at Uberflip is creating customized screen capture videos showing each lead’s own website to capture their attention so she can clearly explain how she can help. John at Yellowbrick Data and the sales team at Drip are using highly personal one-to-one videos to hook big whales in their markets and crack into new dream accounts.
Video in Sales: The Accelerator
The Accelerator uses video to stay one step ahead of the competition. This sales team uses targeted videos to create more opportunities, accelerate deal cycles, and increase close rates. This category was judged by the sensational Scott Ingram, host of the Sales Success podcast and author of Sales Success Stories.
Winner: Imagine Business Development
Runners-Up: TWG, Advanced Imaging Solutions (AIS)
Honorable Mentions: Kimball Midwest, Team Pinto at Re/Max Twin City Realty
Imagine business development has transformed sales efficiency and effectiveness using strategic video content. In addition to using personalized videos for outbound sales prospecting, they’ve created a library of explainer videos packaged in a choose your own adventure-style interactive experience to clearly describe their unique service offerings, and an educational video series to drive engagement in the early stages of the sales cycle. They use custom videos to recap sales calls, to summarize sales orders and to introduce their team to prospective clients. The use of video throughout the sales cycle has helped them increase engagement with target accounts from 13% to 47%, increase sales qualified lead (SQL) generation by more than 250% year-over-year, increase close rates by 20%, and reduce the average time spent per opportunity from more than four hours to less than two hours. Now that’s what I call sales acceleration!
The four finalists also showcased a range of strategies for using video to drive sales effectiveness and efficiency. TWG is creating thought leadership videos to build relationships with key prospects and accelerate sales in target industries. AIS has gone all-in with video, creating a library of off-the-shelf content for their sales team and empowering them with one-to-one video creation tools. Kimball Midwest is producing educational videos to train their sales team on new products, but also to use downstream with potential buyers. Team Pinto at Re/Max Twin City Realty is taking video in real estate to the next level with creative content to appeal to both home buyers and sellers, resulting in more clients and faster home sales.
Video in Sales: The Innovator
The Innovator is blazing new trails when it comes to how they use video to improve the effectiveness and/or efficiency of their sales team. The secret to their success? Thinking outside the box and being thoughtful about how to leverage the visual nature of video. This category was judged by jazzy Jeff Howell, Director of Growth at AlayaCare and 2018 Video in Business Award winner.
Runners-Up: Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS, Blissful Prospecting
Honorable Mentions: EFI, Sun Life Financial
Shootsta is taking personalized video messaging to a whole new level! When reaching out to key prospects, they create wow-worthy one-to-one videos that are impossible to ignore. While it may take a little more effort to produce each video, their success rate is high and the ROI is off the charts. They’ve also taken an innovative approach to scaling these high-quality one-to-one videos by creating a library of reusable B-roll footage and a script that stays 80% the same for each video. Watch this example carefully, and consider how the same video could be created for other prospects by simply changing a few words in the intro and outro. Shootsta, your sales team is certainly crafty and innovative!
The four finalists also demonstrated that businesses are getting more creative with how video can play a role in their sales programs. The Solutions Consultant team at Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS is creating both off-the-shelf and customized product demo videos that are now used by their sales team to avoid requiring SCs to be on demo after demo after demo. Jason Bay at Blissful has used one-to-one video messaging to get himself on dozens of podcasts as a way of building his personal profile and earning trust with potential buyers. EFI has transformed its sales enablement program by replacing traditional sales training content with short, fun, and engaging training videos their reps love to watch. And Sun Life Financial has empowered their financial advisors with a customized tool for personalizing pre-produced videos before sending to clients. So many great ideas, why aren’t we all doing these already?!?
Video Production: In-House Video Producer of the Year
The In-House Producer of the Year is a top-notch in-house video producer who helps their business generate big results with amazing video content. This individual or team produces killer content and does whatever it takes to help their business succeed with video content. This category was judged by the epic Eric Langhoff, in-house video producer at Tech Data Corporation and winner of the 2018 Video Master Award.
Winner: Patrick Morrison from AQUILA Commercial
Runners-Up: Troy Rucarean from Jabil, Megan Foerster from Canada Life
Honorable Mentions: Zachary Swain from Sallie Mae, Thomas Bass from RBI
Patrick Morrison has transformed AQUILA Commercial’s content strategy over the two years he’s been with the local real estate company. As AQUILA Commercial’s CMO states: “Patrick has been instrumental in establishing our company as one with a strong video culture, and a video leader not only within the Austin market, but the entire commercial real estate industry. This year Patrick deserves the award more than ever, producing 55 new videos, growing our YouTube engagement to more than 44,000 views (up from less than 300 views only two years ago!), and hosting workshops for our sales team on how to utilize one-to-one video in prospecting and shortening the sales cycle. Truly, there is not an in-house producer as savvy or talented as Patrick!”
Troy Rucarean and his in-house video team support every aspect of Jabil’s business with professional-grade videos and even a critically acclaimed documentary film. Megan Foerster and the small media team at Canada Life supports a global organization of more than 11,000 employees with purposeful video content that brings their biggest stories to life. Zachary Swain has built out a small in-house team at Sallie Mae that makes video sing, delivering a wide range of content including the highly emotional Bridging the Dream Scholarship series. Thomas Bass and the team at Reed Business Information (RBI) produce every type of video imaginable for their global business, doing “whatever is needed to support our business partners, no matter where they are in the world.” These in-house producers are truly delivering out-sized results.
Video Production: The Video Enabler
The Video Enabler is a savvy business or in-house producer who is empowering people across the company to leverage video to improve their performance. This category was judged by social video guru Brian Fanzo, founder of iSocialFanz and keynote speaker on pressing the damn button.
Winner: Jim Kozyra from TBI
Runners-Up: Tom Burgess from Revenue River, Wesley Rice from Crowley’s Granite
Honorable Mentions: Discovery Education, Devon McCarty from Mazzella Companies
Jim Kozyra is doing whatever it takes to help TBI win with video, and to do it as efficiently as possible. Jim joined the team earlier this year as their first in-house video producer. Since that time he’s turned a non-existent department into a thriving one, has built out a turnkey video studio to enable videos to be created quickly and easily, and has transformed how TBI builds and delivers content to its audiences. TBI’s content now better reflects its brand and its values, and Jim’s inclusive approach ensures that everyone at TBI is a part of the video culture.
The four finalists are also driving a video culture within their businesses. Tom Burgess is enabling virtually everyone at Revenue River to create and share custom videos for better external and internal communications. Devon McCarty at Mazzella Companies and Wesley Rice at Crowley’s Granite are taking a do-it-yourself approach to creating vast amounts of content for their marketing and sales teams while also including them in content creation and video training. Discovery Education is empowering their customer success and community teams with the ability to record and share personal videos to differentiate their customer experience. Lights, camera, results!
Video Production: Agency Partner of the Year
The Agency Partner of the Year goes above-and-beyond to help their business clients be successful with video content. They not only produce amazing videos, but they help their clients plan and execute their video content strategy. This category was judged by the sensational Stephanie Baiocchi, Director of Community at IMPACT and 2018 Video in Business Award winner.
Winner: Innertainment (client: Axonify)
Runners-Up: WireBuzz (multiple clients), BabelQuest (client: LAN3)
Honorable Mentions: Media One Creative (client: Hyundai Canada), Wooshii (client: ThermoFisher)
The team at Axonify can’t say enough good things about Agency Partner of the Year Innertainment: “You know that feeling when you connect with someone and they just get you? And as the years go by, you know they always have your back and can see your vision even when it’s just a few sketchy notes? That someone for us is Innertainment. No matter the (outrageous!) ask, the tightest of deadlines, limited budget or most grandiose ideas, they come to the table and partner with us to deliver on our goals. They are true partners who have helped us transform how we communicate with our customers!” Innertainment has gone well beyond creating great content, helping clients like Axonify plan and execute a holistic video content strategy that even includes personalized video campaigns.
The four finalists also deserve some serious recognition as agencies who are helping clients take their video strategy to the next level. WireBuzz is helping B2B businesses develop a holistic video strategy across marketing and sales—encompassing content creation, one-to-one video messaging training, and advisory on how to effectively package and productize their video content. BabelQuest helped LAN3 develop a new sales strategy, incorporating one-to-one video to help them crush their year-end sales goals in less than two months. Media One has helped clients like Hyundai Canada plan and execute sophisticated personalized video campaigns, blending content and technology to generate eye-opening results. And Wooshii is helping global businesses like ThermoFisher scale global video production in a highly efficient way thanks to their global network of creators and editors.
The Video Mastery Award: Winner and Runners Up
The Video Master is a visionary organization that is embracing the power of video to transform every stage of the customer journey. From marketing and sales to success and support, they use a wide range of video content to humanize their brand, educate their buyers, accelerate sales, and connect with customers in more personal ways. This category was judged by Tyler Lessard, VP of Marketing at Vidyard and host of the Creating Connections show.
Runners-Up: Miovision, Traction on Demand
Honorable Mentions: AMRI Global, Assurance
All of these video masters are using video throughout the buyer’s journey to expand their audience, increase conversion rates, and generate more pipeline for their sales team. In addition to creating impactful content, they’re embracing new types of video experiences such as live streaming, automated video personalization, interactive video, and one-to-one video messaging to expand their reach and engage buyers in new ways. They’re also using real-time video engagement data within marketing automation and CRM systems to qualify leads faster and to track the true return on their video investments.
SolarWinds, the Video Master of 2019, is a leading provider of IT infrastructure management software, but could easily be mistaken for an online media company. The SolarWinds Lab series is a perfect example of how to create a unique educational content experience that makes B2B marketing look more like Disney+ (as opposed to Netflix, of course, because it’s about quality not quantity).
Their irreverent SolarWinds Fun content makes their community LOL and then share with all of their peers. Some of my personal favorites include “Happy IT Professionals Day,” “SysadMANIA: The IT Board Game,” “IT Joe: The Action Figure,” and their Stranger Things parody “Stranger IT.” During their annual community event, THWACKcamp, they live stream keynotes and produce amazing on-demand content to leverage throughout the year. And if you browse the video resource library on their website, you’ll find hundreds of videos spanning product explainers, thought leadership, on-demand webinars, customer stories, and more. All of this great content is planned, produced, and published by an amazing in-house video team that supports all of the internal business units. Congratulations SolarWinds, you are a true Video Master.
Check out the hilarious video below to meet the Video Masters at SolarWinds.
And that’s a wrap! Check out the content from these businesses to inspire your own marketing and sales strategies, and maybe we’ll see YOUR name as a winner of the 2020 Video in Business Awards.