It’s the 15th episode of Meaningful Conversations with Revenue Leaders – No fluff. Meaningful conversations only.

When we are talking about content, no matter it is an email, an eBook, or a blog post, we naturally think about written content.

But is there another (maybe better) way to engage and sell more?

With more than 15 years of experience in B2B marketing, sales enablement, content marketing, brand, and video, Tyler Lessard wrote the book The Visual Sale and continues the journey as the VP of Marketing at Vidyard.

Here’re his views about videos and how sales can use videos to reach a higher quota and close bigger deals.

  • 00:35 Tyler’s passions as a marketer
  • 02:17 How to talk human-to-human, digitally?
  • 03:43 The journey behind the book The Visual Sale
  • 05:49 Why is video marketing a must-have now?
  • 09:36 How to make people click and watch?
  • 14:58 How to re-engage your prospects with videos?
  • 18:50 The craftiest prospecting method
  • 25:17 How do you like to consume content?
  • 27:43 Gated or un-gated content
  • 32:05 Things that excite you in the industry

Highlight 1: How do you make more prospects click on the video you sent to them?

There’re a few things you can do to really maximize the chances that they are going to click and watch.

1, New subject lines to get people to open the email in the first place

Things like “Video for You or Name”, “I Made You This Quick Video”. It creates a high degree of curiosity. They say, somebody made me a video?

2, Keep the text before the thumbnail image of the video short and sweet

You don’t want all this information and then a video because they’re going to skim the text and move on. The goal of the text in your email is to get them to click the play button.

Say simple things like:

“I made you this video because I wanted to introduce myself a little more personally and share a quick story of somebody who I’ve helped solve this certain problem. I think you might be interested. Then it’s a nice short video.”

3, Re-think your CTA

After the thumbnail image, get rid of the line that says “can we book 30 minutes to talk more?” “Are you available tomorrow for 30 minutes?”.

People see that line and they just ignore the rest of the message because they don’t want to necessarily book a meeting already.

Use a sentence like this instead – “Is the problem I described in the video something you may need to fix, question mark?” It’s an interest-based call to action, but it drives that almost need to go back and watch the video. Now that person’s thinking, well, wait a minute, what problem did they discuss in the video? Is it something I need?

4, The thumbnail image itself: Make it personal

A customized thumbnail image will also help you increase the click rate. They’re going to see and know visually that you really did make this just for them, that it’s not a generic video you send to everybody.

That’s why people do things like, they’ll have a whiteboard, where they’ll hold it up in the camera and write the person’s name on it. They’ll do a screen share video where they’ll bring up their prospect’s website, or their LinkedIn profile, or something else on the screen.

There you go. When they see that in the thumbnail image itself, that picture is worth 1,000 words.

Highlight 2: Some prospects watch the video but don’t answer. How would you deal with it?

This time to go a little bit deeper on something.

If the first video you send was just you on the webcam introducing yourself and your value prop, and they only watched 20 seconds of it, the next video might be a screen share with something about them up on the screen.

In this video, now you want to say, “Hey there. I hope you had a chance to watch my last video. I did want to follow up with a little bit more in case you’re interested in diving deeper before committing to a chat.”

Think about your multi-channel approach after sending that first video.

Whether they watched it or not, a great way is to keep reinforcing back to it. Your next voicemail should probably say, hey, I sent you a video to your inbox.

The last tip for the reinforcement is that your next email, instead of a new video, could just be a sentence like “the good old, thoughts on the video below?

It’s a really quick, simple follow-up, but it could prompt them to either reengage with the video or to respond to you in one way or another.

Highlight 3: How do you like to consume content?

The reality is, most of us expect and appreciate different forms for different things that we’re trying to do and different things that we’re trying to learn.

I absolutely do read written content. But I would say that we are seeing the death of super long-form and gated content – E-books and white papers fall into that category.

More and more people are not consuming those. It depends a little bit on the market that you’re in. If you’re in a super technical market or security people, they do like written content often because you can get very specific.

For most people out there, they’re just not engaging in that anymore. You’re better off taking what you would have normally written in a 20-page e-book and making it a four-part video series, where each video is two to three minutes in length, covering parts of that topic in sequence.

Highlight 4: Gated content or Un-gated content?

I think that most people underestimate how many individuals they’re missing out of their funnel as a result.

They see that they generated 100 new leads from gated content, but what they’re not seeing is that they didn’t engage 500 other people who came to the page and bounced because it was gated – people who would have consumed the content had it been open.

I think in today’s world, information is democratized. The value in our content is about educating people. It’s about creating interest. It’s about creating curiosity in what it is that we can do.

If you have it gated, there’s a good chance your competitor has a very similar resource that’s not gated, and somebody’s going to find it instead. We need to think about different ways then.

If we remove those gates in front of e-books and other content, we need to figure out – we do need to think what is the new way to bring those people into our “funnel” so that we can engage them and get conversations?

That’s what we need to be thinking about today. If you can never put a gate in front of your content, how would you drive conversions with people? There’re lots of ways to do it.

Highlight 5: What are you excited about in this space?

It’s a simple idea, which is, can we just market and sell the way that people genuinely want to research and buy? That’s really all we need to do as a community.

We’ve spent the last so many years focused on building automated processes, conversion points, different colored buttons, gates, and all these things.

But if you put yourself on the other side – feel the buying experience for yourself. Find all those points of friction, all those times when you’re being asked for your information, all those times when you’re being bullied into taking a meeting…

All those things that are things you’re like, “I don’t really want to do that”. If you don’t, neither do your prospects, so re-think it. Re-think it through that lens.

It’s different from 10 and 20 years ago – Buyers want more self-service. They want more control. They want more liberty. They want more things shared with them that they can consume on their own time. They don’t always want to book a meeting or talk to sales.

That doesn’t mean the sales rep is irrelevant because the sales rep becomes a person who helps them, who shares information, who educates them offline. That’s the stuff that gets me going.

Want to check the uncut full text? Here's your transcript.

Jan: [00:00] Tyler, thank you so much again for making it. It’s a true pleasure to have you. I remember it was I think about a year ago when one of my old colleagues Axel said to me, “There’s these guys in the U.S., they are doing video. We need to do this as well.” We started doing it. You get so many compliments on it. We just found that Vidyard is the best platform to do this. I just personally thank you for spreading this product because I am absolutely an ambassador of it.

Tyler: [00:35] That’s great.

Jan: [00:35] I think following your content, following your company, being at your LinkedIn, I think I have an impression of what you’re passionate about, Tyler. What are you actually passionate about?

Tyler: [00:50] Well, I’m a marketer by trade. I actually was an engineer originally in my life. I’m an engineering grad. I spent time as a software developer. I spent time managing partnership teams and eventually migrating over into the world of marketing. It’s funny. The one profession I actually haven’t done myself is sales. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the sales community after spending a lot of time working with them in my role here at Vidyard.

One of the things I found across my different roles as a marketer but also in appreciation in today’s world of sales, is just how important real, meaningful, human personal connections really are. It’s been amplified in this world where we have this digital divide with people. We can’t even often meet them in person, and it’s just not the way we do business anymore. I have a heightened attenuation to it now by making sure, are we all doing the things we need to do to build these kind of relationships that we need to be successful in our careers?

Jan: [01:52] Yeah, cool. I definitely can relate, especially during COVID, just wearing a T-shirt. You’re at home maybe, it looks like in a kid’s room of one of your kids or something, or a drawing of one of your kids there. You get such a personal insight into a person’s life. You understand there’s actually a person behind the title and a person behind the screen.

Tyler: [02:17] One of the things that’s just really interesting about that is, a lot of us feel, rightfully so, that in a more virtual world, where more of our communications are happening digitally, online, and not necessarily in person, that we feel we don’t have the opportunity to be as personal, to be as human, to be as authentic to people. It’s actually the opposite. It’s a bit of a paradox. You think, how can we be personal and human when all of our communications are over digital? Things like you said are exactly aligned to that because we can actually be a lot more of our authentic selves when we’re in our home environments, like I am here. As you said, I’ve got one of my daughter’s paintings behind me.

Jan: [03:03] Love it.

Tyler: [03:04] We can be a little bit more real. We can be a little bit more, I think, casual and relaxed. We can also connect with more people in this visual way of us together, even on camera. In the old world, five, six years ago, it was actually very uncommon for other people in businesses to see you and get to know you because we relied on just email and in-person meetings with our champions. All the other decision makers would never actually see us. Nowadays, it’s more common that we’re all at least getting on video calls. We’re sending them video messages that they can watch. It’s actually a new opportunity to expand the way that we connect with people personally.

Jan: [03:43] Yeah, cool. Was this one of the reasons you wrote your book, The Visual Sale? I’m very curious about this. Once when I’m old and – not old, but more experienced and grown up – I would love to write a book. How did that journey come along?

Tyler: [04:05] Yeah, that was a really exciting moment for me. I co-authored a book. I think I’ve – here’s a copy. Here we go. There it is, The Visual sale, with I co-authored with a good friend of mine named Marcus Sheridan, who is an established thought leader in the world of marketing. He wrote a book called They Ask You Answer, which is phenomenal for marketers. Marcus and I were both very passionate about this evolution of video in both sales and marketing, but also recognizing through all the work we do in our businesses that most businesses, most individuals, most leaders still number one, underestimate the potential of video as a way to not only improve, but to change the way that they do things in this new world.

Secondly, they still find it very intimidating. They lack the practical ideas for, well, what do I actually do with it? How do I do it in a way that doesn’t blow my budget and is something that our team can really get behind? We really set out to, when writing that book, to really address those challenges that we see people are having, really understanding through lots of examples as well as strategies, how it is that video can actually change the way you communicate in today’s world, but also providing as many tips as we can on just how to do this, how to not overthink it, not overcomplicate it in sales and marketing, and just find really simple, tactical ways to get going with video and creating a bit of a culture of video.

It was a lot of fun to write the book, to come together, to bring our stories together of what we’ve learned in the markets. We’ve gotten tremendous feedback. It seems to be a really helpful resource for people.

Jan: [05:49] Yeah, it’s still on my to-read list. When I get some sort of award, I get a voucher. It’s on my reading list. I’ve been actually recording another episode earlier this morning. I asked that person that got interviewed. I was like, hey, I’m speaking to Tyler later. Do you have a question for him? He said, “How do you use video?” The why video pitch, so to say – because they’re like, this is great, but where do I start? For me personally, I’m just saying, I used to vlog when I was a kid. I used to record. It was natural, camera – you just speak. Then you have a result. There’s a barrier to start. Some people, I had some companies I’m speaking with, they disallow video. I was like, oh my God. You’re losing opportunities here to build these connections. How do you react to such a question?

Tyler: [06:50] Yeah, well, it’s a great question because it is where a lot of people stumble. What do I start doing with it? There’s two different answers, depending on your role or goal to your company. If you’re on the more marketing, let’s say, side of the business, then you need to start thinking about just really simple ways to start using video as a way to discuss, deliver, and bring to life the different important topics you’re out there talking about. I know a lot of marketing teams who, still today, their content strategies are exclusively written blog posts and e-books. That’s fine.

You should be doing blogs and e-books, but the opportunity to just pick some of those topics that you’re already writing about, and just think about, how could I bring that to life in a short video? It doesn’t have to be a high-end production. It can feature our own people. It can be really simple, with somebody in front of a chalkboard or a whiteboard. Just start simple. Think of it as a way to communicate the message, but to bring it to life with real people, with real narrative, and a little bit more emotion. Actually, the answer on the sales or everybody businessperson side is very similar.

If you’re a sales rep, if you’re a team leader, whatever it happens to be, don’t think about video as a whole different thing that you’re going to do, or something that you need to figure out how to produce, publish, and share. With tools like Vidyard, it’s literally as easy to record a video and send it as it is to type an email. It really is. I think you can attest to that.

Tyler: [08:33] The way to start thinking about it is, hey, recording and sending a video is just a different way to deliver my message. If I was going to type out an email to a prospect that said, hey, prospect, this is Tyler from Vidyard. I’m reaching out because of A, B, and C. We help companies do this, and I’d love to talk to you more about it. Instead of typing out that email, try hitting the record button and saying a message like that into the camera. Now the first time you do it, it’s going to feel awkward, it’s probably going to suck, and you’re going to want to re-record it. That’s fine, just like the first cold call you made, right?

The first cold call you made was terrible, you hated it, and you wish you could have re-done it. The nice thing with video is you can re-do it before you send it, so that’s a little bit better. It’s as simple as that. Just start finding moments where you’re going to send something via email. Just pause and say, hey, maybe I could record a quick video to deliver this in a way that’s just a little bit more personal, a little bit more real, and send it off. Don’t overthink it.

Jan: [09:36] Yeah, I think especially don’t overthink it is a big barrier because the worst thing you can do is re-watch a video. You’d rather send it and then they they say, oh, we don’t have sound on that. Then you re-send it or something. Yeah, fantastic point that I’ve been thinking about myself. I had the pleasure to sit in a webinar with you. You could share best practices on how to get a video open. You did it. You’re super excited. I don’t know. You have a gimmick going on. You’re engaging. How do you make them click?

Tyler: [10:15] Yeah, that’s so important. We spend the time to make a prospect a video. We send it over. If they don’t even open it or watch it, it’s very disheartening. You spent that time to make that video. It’s almost insulting to think they wouldn’t take the time back.

Jan: [10:30] Oh my God.

Tyler: [10:30] There’s a few things you can do to really maximize the chances that they are going to click and watch. The first is getting the email opened in the first place because what we’re talking about here typically is sending a video in an email. For those of you who haven’t done it before, basically, once you record a video, you can add the thumbnail image for that video along with a link into the body of an email. It could be you waving. It could be you holding up something. It could be a thumbnail image of something up on your screen that they might recognize. We’re sending this over typically via email.

What that prospect is going to see is that thumbnail image, whatever copy you write in the email, and so on. A few things you can do – number one, you’ve got to get the email itself opened in the first place. I actually encourage people to think about trying new subject lines that could work even better than your existing high-performing subject lines, things like Video for You or Name, I Made You This Quick Video. Even a subject line like that, we’ve found time and time again, boosts open rates for people because when somebody sees that in their inbox, it creates a high degree of curiosity. They say, somebody made me a video?

First of all, that’s very different. Most people, probably nobody is making me a video at work. Secondly, it implies that that person put a lot of effort into this. I made you this quick video just has that natural implication that they put effort into it, and that there may be more value in it as a result. Try a subject line like that to increase the open rate on the message. Now once they’ve opened it, keep the text copy before the thumbnail image of the video short and sweet. You don’t want all this information and then a video because they’re going to skim the text and move on. The goal of the text in your email – you have one goal, and that is to get them to click the play button.

The text in your email isn’t trying to convert them into booking a meeting or something else. All of the text in your email should be focused on getting them to click that play button. If they do, they’re going to hear you, they’re going to see you, they’re going to get to know you. You’ve now started to win that opportunity already. Get them to click the play button. Say simple things like, I made you this video because I wanted to introduce myself a little more personally and share a quick story of somebody who I’ve helped solve this certain problem. I think you might be interested. Then it’s a nice short video.

Here’s one other really cool tip. After the thumbnail image, get rid of the line that says, can we book 30 minutes to talk more? Are you available tomorrow for 30 minutes? I’m telling you, people see that line and they just ignore the rest of the message because they don’t want to necessarily book a meeting already. After the thumbnail image, use a sentence like this. Is the problem I described in the video something you may need to fix, question mark? It’s an interest-based call to action, but it drives that almost need to go back and watch the video. Now that person’s thinking, well, wait a minute, what problem did they discuss in the video? Is it something I need?

Jan: [13:52] This is so good, Tyler. This is so good.

Tyler: [13:55] A really simple idea, but it creates this open loop. The final thing is your thumbnail image itself. They’re going to see that thumbnail image, and that’s going to be the last thing. They’re going to go, okay, am I going to watch this? The final tip there is if that thumbnail image that you put into it is somehow customized for them, that will also help you increase the click rate. They’re going to see and know visually that you really did make this just for them, that it’s not a generic video you send to everybody.

That’s why people do things like, they’ll have a whiteboard, where they’ll hold it up in the camera and write the person’s name on it. They’ll do a screen share video where they’ll bring up their prospect’s website, or their LinkedIn profile, or something else on the screen. There you go. When they see that in the thumbnail image itself, that picture is worth 1,000 words. When they see that, it’s going to again, be that extra nudge. Now they’re like, this sounds interesting. I know it’s a short video. They talk about a problem I need to know about, and they made it just for me. How could I not watch this?

Jan: [14:58] Yeah, that’s great. I’m getting excited while you share those tips and tricks. What’s your experience with, they watch it, but they don’t answer, or they watch it only 30 percent? You have any best practices on that as well? We have some. For example, we would send – we have two different ones. Oh, only 33 percent. Was my acting that bad? Always looking to improve my skills. Maybe I get a second shot. If they watch it and give that answer, we go, hey, saw you watched the video. You’re either cranking out about my – I don’t know – things that I’m saying, or you’re actually interested. Anyhow, if option two, I would love to learn more and speak to you. Yeah, what are your ideas there?

Tyler: [15:51] Yeah, there’s a couple ways you can handle that. You’re right. One is that – you can be very transparent and almost a little bit fun in the fact that, hey, I know you watched my video, and curious about what you thought, or noticed you didn’t watch the whole thing. Sorry if my acting was that bad, or something like that. You can certainly try that. I think it depends on who you’re reaching out to. Some people will find that very fun and vulnerable, and it might spark a reaction. Other people may find it as a bit of a turn-off because maybe they’re like, oh, yeah.

I get it. You’re sending me videos just to know if I can watch them. That’s a little bit overboard, no thanks. I think you want to be careful with when you use that tactic. It can work, absolutely, especially if it’s marketers that you’re reaching out to or other salespeople, folks who may almost be in on the joke. Oh, yeah, I know if you’re watching my video. Generally speaking, beyond that, there’s absolutely other things you can do. First of all, if you know they did watch some of your video, you know that they’re not shy to click a play button. It might be worthwhile now to send them another video. You can send it to them via LinkedIn or back again via email.

This time, go a little bit deeper on something. If the first video you send was just you on the webcam introducing yourself and your value prop, and they only watched 20 seconds of it, the next video might be a screenshare with something about them up on the screen. Again, it might be an article that they commented on. It might be their website. It might be one of your own customer stories. In this video, now you want to say, hey there. I hope you had a chance to watch my last video. I did want to follow-up with a little bit more in case you’re interested in diving deeper before committing to a chat.

I want to quickly share a story of this customer, who’s up here on the screen. They’re somebody just like you, da, da, da, da, da. It might be an opportunity to say, hey, maybe I’ll send them another video because they seem like they’ve self-selected as somebody who’s willing to click the play button. Let’s try going a little bit deeper with another one. That can be a way to do it. Otherwise, I also encourage you to think about your multi-channel approach after sending that first video. Whether they watched it or not, a great way is to keep reinforcing back to it. Your next voicemail should probably say, hey, I sent you a video to your inbox.

Not sure if you had a chance to watch it, but we’d really love your feedback on it. If you know they watched 20 percent of it, you can still leave that voicemail. They’re going to be like, oh, yeah. I remember that. I should probably go back and respond to that person. There’s other ways to reinforce it. Last tip for the reinforcement is that your next email, instead of a new video, could just be the good old, thoughts on the video below, question mark? It’s a really quick, simple follow-up, but it could prompt them to either reengage with the video or to respond to you in one way or another.

Jan: [18:43] That’s fantastic. I’m listening. I’m happy it’s recorded so I don’t –

Tyler: [18:47] Go back and take notes.

Jan: [18:50] Thank you, Tyler. It’s great to hear that. I think we covered a lot on best practices. You are a great resource. Your entire team is a great resource. I know Terrance a bit as well in your growth team – fantastic guy. The million-dollar questions now – you must be getting prospected a lot. What’s the craftiest way you have been getting prospected?

Tyler: [19:20] There’s two things I could say. I do get prospected a lot. My inbox – for reference, I’m going to open it up right now. I have 126,000 unread messages, and those are mostly sales pitches, I’m sure. There’s two things that tend to really work well with me, that I appreciate. Both of them go back to reps who are putting in the effort to show up, to really show me that they know me, and to try to build a relationship, not just try to pitch me. One is folks who – and I can think of a couple people that have done this really well, that have done a really good job of social selling. They’ve connected with me online. They’ve been following what I’ve been doing, but they’ve been very personable, amicable, interesting.

For the first number of months, I never got a message from them saying, hey, I’d love to pitch you on something. It was very genuine relationship building, actually adding some value at certain times. Then when there was an opportunity or a time for the right conversation of, oh, yeah, I’m interested in this area, oh, I remember that person over here who’s with that company who does this. I should probably reach out to them. It’s very much that organic, trust-building, thought leadership that that individual was doing that just made them memorable to me. When the time was right, I reached out to them.

It was almost that passive prospecting, which I think is really smart. The second thing, not surprisingly, is folks who have sent me really good videos. The best videos that I’ve gotten are actually ones where the individual has taken the time to show me, very clearly and specifically, how they can help me in a way that is almost undeniable. I’ll give you one example, an individual at a company called Trustpilot. They have solutions to help you get reviews on different review sites, get five-star ratings and things like that. I remember this video that I got not that long ago.

The thumbnail image of the video had his face in the corner, and it had a Google search result up on the screen with a few results that were ads at the top. I could see one was a Vidyard ad. There were a couple other competitive ads. Immediately, I saw the screenshot and I went, oh, that’s one of my ads. I recognize that. Okay, what does he got to say? I clicked the play button, and he very clearly showed me – within about a minute and ten seconds, I think – he showed me, hey, Tyler. I wanted to show you how today, Vidyard is showing up for these ad results. You probably recognize this. What I also want to show you is these other results that have these five stars beneath them.

As you can see, visually, they tend to attract more eyeballs. Those tend to drive higher conversions as an ad because people see the five-star rating underneath and that gives them a sense of trust. Now I want to flip over to another tab to show you how your ad might look if you actually had the five-star rating below it. I can help you get that. If you think this is interesting, I’d love to chat with your team. I could visually very clearly see it. It was something that if he had sent it and typed it in an email, I would have been like, nah. It was a bit of a seeing is believing, and you go, I get it.

It was a simple a-ha. I get it, absolutely. I’d be silly not to ask you a bit more about it. There’s all those great techniques where you can – it also saved me a lot of time because I didn’t have to go and research or anything. I’m like, literally one minute and I got it. It was a really great experience for me as a prospect that I think others could learn from as well.

Jan: [23:11] Yeah, thanks for sharing that great example. One minute, not too short, not too pushy on the CTA. Yeah, I admire that, a good video. I was still surprised because not too many people, I can imagine, are sending you videos. They’re probably still trying to – you have to use the tools where you are. You are the video guy. People think about chocolate and Switzerland, [28:45] from Germany, and it’s Tyler and video.

Tyler: [23:50] Well, it’s funny. You would think I would be getting videos every day from salespeople, but it is still honestly a rarity that I do, which blows me away as well. What I think it’s an important reminder of is that this is still very new. It is still very much the bleeding edge of people that are using videos in their outreach. If even people like myself are getting maybe one or two videos a month, most of your prospects, for those of you listening, are not getting any videos today. It’s actually part of the power of it right now. It’s not only just a great way to deliver your message, but it really stands out right now because it is new.

It’s a little bit novel and interesting, and it’s different. That’s part of the power of it today. Two years from now, look, we’re all going to be saying, not another video. Somebody’s going to ruin it. We all ruin great things like this. I think that it’s going to become much more commonplace in the years ahead, but I think now is such a great opportunity for all of you listening and watching. You can get in at the early stage of this. See if it works for you.

If it does, it’s great, and you’re going to be ahead of everybody else when it does become more common because you’ll have developed the skills, the confidence. Where they’re just starting to do their first videos, you’re going to be at the point where you’re going to be doing editing, all these cool effects, putting in a little bit of music, and having some fun with this. Now is the time.

Jan: [25:17] Now is the time. Yeah, it’s great. I have a follow-up question. We are already about time here. I don’t want to take too much of your time. I’m really interested in good content that you consume. You said in the beginning, you still have to do e-books and so forth. How do you like to consume content? When was the last time you downloaded an e-book?

Tyler: [25:42] Well, I think like most people, I’m not that picky about the specific type of content. I’m not the kind of person, and most people aren’t, that would say, I only watch videos, or I only read written articles, or I only listen to podcasts. The reality is, most of us expect and appreciate different forms for different things that we’re trying to do, and different things that we’re trying to learn. I absolutely do read written content. I read blogs. I read posts on social, and so on. I absolutely watch videos. I find that videos – there’s two reasons I will often watch a video. One is because I believe it’s going to be a better way to learn about a topic because a lot of us are visual learners.

It’s a very educational medium. You can, again, show rather than just tell. If I really want to learn about a topic, I will usually start by Googling, doing some initial spot checks on blogs, things like that. Then I’ll start diving into videos to start to see the ideas brought to life. Same thing, again, with sales reps – it’s always a good thing to be able to watch some of these things when you get educational. It is a little bit of each. I would say that we are seeing the death of super long form and gated content. E-books and white papers fall into that category.

I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t do it as a business, but the reality is, more and more people are not consuming those. It depends a little bit on the market that you’re in. If you’re in a super technical market or security people, things like that, they do like written content often because you can get very specific. For most people out there, they’re just not engaging in that anymore. You’re better off taking what you would have normally written in a 20-page e-book and making it a four-part video series, where each video is two to three minutes in length, covering parts of that topic in sequence.

Jan: [27:43] Love to hear that. The person I spoke before said, I started my new job nine months ago, and that’s the last time I downloaded an e-book. I was like, oh yeah, that’s true. It becomes rare nowadays. You already touched upon that a bit. Please let me know when you need to leave. I am not going to take too much of your time. Gating and not gating – what’s your standpoint on that? Are you a fan of it? You already gave me an idea on what you think is fine. What do you like?

Tyler: [28:25] Yeah, I think for probably 95 percent of what we’re putting out there as businesses, should absolutely be open, ungated content and information. We all have lead goals and demand goals to hit. It’s a bit of an outdated mindset to think that, I need forms in front of these as a means to capture a lead so that I can nurture them and send them to my sales team. I think it’s a very outdated mindset. I think that most people underestimate how many individuals they’re missing out of their funnel as a result. They say, hey, we put a gate in front of this e-book, this video, or whatever it is, and we generated 100 new leads.

What they’re not seeing is that we didn’t engage 500 other people who came to the page and bounced because it was gated, people who would have consumed the content had it been open. I think in today’s world, more and more it’s an expectation that information is democratized. The value in our content is about educating people. It’s about creating interest. It’s about creating curiosity in what it is that we can do. If you have it gated, there’s a good chance your competitor has a very similar resource that’s not gated, and somebody’s going to find it instead. We need to think about different ways then.

If we remove those gates in front of e-books and other content, we need to figure out – we do need to replace that with, okay, well, what is the new way to bring that people into our quote, unquote funnel so that we can engage them and get conversations? That’s what we need to be thinking about today. What is the alternative? If you can never put a gate in front of your content, how would you drive conversions with people? There’s lots of ways to do it. Those are things that we need to be thinking about.

Jan: [30:21] Good content – do you have any ideas? When you move away from that, the person I spoke before was like, he said we need to – maybe webinars still need to be gated because we need to be able to send out an email, or a specific quiz, that needs to be gated. Otherwise, it’s really good content that is interesting.

Tyler: [30:48] Well, I think you’re right. There’s things like webinars, which by nature, they need to be able to be communicated via email with calendar information, things like that. I think that absolutely makes sense. I think there’s probably – here at Vidyard, for example, we put a lot of investment into some really big research reports that we’ll do maybe twice a year. We will often have those gated.

Jan: [31:13] I downloaded them, I think.

Tyler: [31:16] The interesting thing that we will do is, we will often gate them on a page that we’re promoting to external third-party audiences, people we don’t yet have a relationship with. If we’re doing promotions via third-party channels, those people will land on a page that does have a form to unlock the research. We have our own demand goals there. We will also have a page with that resource that’s ungated.

That’s what we’ll share with our existing community, our customers, people who are already organically coming to our website. We’ll direct them to the ungated version of it. We always have that dual mentality as well. If there is a hero asset that we think makes sense to gate, does it make sense to also offer it ungated for, again, people that are already engaging with your brand? I think that’s a smart thing to think about as well.

Jan: [32:05] Fantastic. Last question here – what are you excited about in this space?

Tyler: [32:13] Well, there’s a lot of things that get me really, really excited these days. I think the big area that I think a lot about, and I get excited when I see people doing well, is just this very simple idea that’s hard to execute. It’s a simple idea, which is, can we just market and sell the way that people genuinely want to research and buy? That’s it. That’s really all we need to do as a community. We’ve spent the last so many years focused on building automated processes, conversion points, different colored buttons, gates, and all these things. Thanks to the rise of marketing tech and sales tech, and everything online, we’ve focused so much on creating sales and marketing processes that are based on how we as businesses want to market and sell, how we want to engage.

We want their contact info. That’s why we put a gate up. We prospect in a certain way. We’re always asking for a meeting because that’s how we do things, right? If you put yourself on the other side, mystery shop your own company and feel the experience for yourself. Find all those points of friction, all those times when you’re being asked for your information, all those times when you’re being bullied into taking a meeting, all those things that are things you’re like, I don’t really want to do that. If you don’t, neither do your prospects, so re-think it. Re-think it through that lens. Go, hey, that’s back to one of the very first things we talked about.

You don’t always have to ask for a 30-minute meeting when you’re emailing a prospect. In fact, you should rarely ask for that. You should only ask for that once you’ve created a conversation. I think that’s what we really need to be mindful of today. I get excited when I see people doing it. I see more people doing it than ever right now, of trying to create these really buyer-centric, more friction-free experiences that are aligned with how they want to consume and interact today because it’s different from 10 and 20 years ago.

It’s different. They want more self-service. They want more control. They want more liberty. They want more things shared with them that they can consume on their own time. They don’t always want to book a meeting. They don’t always want to talk to sales. That doesn’t mean the sales rep is irrelevant because the sales rep becomes a person who helps them, who shares information, who educates them offline. That’s the stuff that gets me going.

Jan: [34:51] Oh, fantastic. I actually had the pleasure to speak to Mathias, who was, I think, was the head of strategy at GetAccept. What they are doing right now is introducing someone. It’s in between a customer success and a sales rep, someone who’s helping in the free trial, this form of rep –

Tyler: [35:14] Yep, we have that.

Jan: [35:15] For what you were addressing. When they’re already in the trial, then they – they have no quota on sales. They’re just there to educate.

Tyler: [35:23] Yeah, we have that. We actually have that model here as well. We have coaches. They’re called coaches. We have a small team of them. They work across our base of users, both free users, for finding free users, particularly if we find that, hey, this company has five different free users all at the same business. We know that they could get more value out of our team’s product than just the free version. We’ll offer them a coaching session proactively. Now, again, that coach, to your point, doesn’t have a quota, but we’ll prioritize. Who do we think you’re going to get the most value out of coaching?

Again, they’ll offer free coaching sessions. They’ll get to know the business a little bit, share some ideas and some tips. It builds a relationship with them. It’s something that feels risky to do as a business because you could keep hiring as many coaches as you want, and never run out of time or energy for things to do. Little things like that really help. It’s back to that point like, even from a business strategy perspective, a free product that people can try – that’s how they want to operate today. That’s why we as well – we introduced a product-led growth strategy about four years ago.

People want to try products before they buy. They want to be helped to learn to see success with it before they make a decision. All those are nuanced things that go back into this point of, let’s operationalize our business the way the modern people want to do things. Yeah, it’s a big deal.

Jan: [36:51] Tyler, thank you so much for that conversation. Is there anything you would like to add that is unsaid or you felt?

Tyler: [36:58] I think this is great. I appreciate the opportunity. Obviously, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, anybody out there that’s watching, listening, or reading. Yeah, happy to share a lot more there for people who have questions.

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