Elevating your Marketing through Video

with Tyler Lessard

Lauren Volpi's headshot on a blue background

Tyler is VP Marketing at Vidyard, host of a variety of online shows and podcasts for marketing and sales professionals, co-author of The Visual Sale, and a proud father of four. He’s spent the last 8 years immersed in the world of video for B2B marketing and sales, and the evolution of modern content marketing and demand generation programs.

 

Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Long Story Short:

 

  • How the changing expectations of audiences led to the rise in video marketing
  • Filling a shift in audience needs by creating educational video content
  • The key to standing out in your sales strategy
  • Allowing customers to self-serve into the buyer’s journey
  • Creating a friction free buying and engagement experience for your customers
  • Using video as an essential part of your content strategy
  • Learning directly from your market to create inbound opportunities
  • The importance of audience engagement to gauge how your content is working
  • Having empathy for your audience and creating content that resonates with them

     

    Resources:

    The Visual Sale

    SalesFeed

    Content Inc.

    The Catalyst

     

    Connect with Tyler:

    LinkedIn

     

    Connect with the Host:

    Jeff Sirkin on LinkedIn

     

    Connect with Sirkin Research:

    Website

    Twitter

    Instagram

    LinkedIn

    Transcript:

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Long Story Short, the podcast about storytelling and connection. I’m your host, Jeff Sirkin. On this show, we talk to people making a difference as marketers, entrepreneurs, and social impact advocates. We dig into actionable strategies and tactics to help you connect with your audience and keep your finger on the pulse of your market. My guest this week is Tyler Lessard. He is a Vice President of Marketing at Vidyard, host of a variety of online chosen podcasts for marketing and sales professionals, co-author of The Visual Sale and a proud father of four. He spent the last eight years immersed in the world of video for B2B marketing and sales and the evolution of modern content marketing and demand generation programs. We’ve all seen the exponential growth of video content, and there’s no better person to talk to about it than Tyler. In our conversation, we cover a wide range of use cases for video and we get tactical about which you should start using right away. Without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Tyler Lessard.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Hi Tyler. Thanks for coming on Long Story Short.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Thank you, Jeff. It is a pleasure to be here.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I’ve been really excited for this conversation, and really where I want to start is that as B2B marketers, we’ve all seen the massive rise in video content over the last two years, and really where I want to get your perspective is how did we get here? First and foremost, where are some of the factors that have played a part in that?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Well, I’ll start by saying it’s been a pretty fascinating experience to lead the marketing team here at Vidyard. I’ve been here for just about eight years now, and we’ve had the chance to see this rise in the use of video in businesses. Everything from, for awareness building, to demand generation, to presale post sale, it has become much more integrated part of course of how we tell our stories and communicate with our audiences.

    Tyler Lessard:
    One of the most important things that happened over the last number of years that got us to this point of video playing a more prominent role, is the changing expectations and preferences of audiences. Frankly, I think that’s the most important thing that we all need to be mindful of. In marketing, we don’t do things because it’s what we like to do, right? We have to focus on those things and have extreme empathy for our audience and say, what is it that’s going to best resonate with them? What kinds of content information ideas are they looking for? Let’s service our customers, and over the last number of years, video, podcasts, other forms of new media are now starting to become tops in those lists.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That’s great. Again, obviously, I always love the perspective of starting with your audience and working backwards, and one thing with that as well, and you and I have talked about this is that certainly, the use of video content has been not limited at all to marketing. I’m curious to hear from your perspective, what the impact has been beyond marketing into sales and to some of the other major use cases.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Yeah, well, you’re absolutely right. It’s become a what I think of as a full funnel medium for the entire buyer’s journey. As we’ve moved through these last number of years, the role of video has shifted both in how we use it as marketers and, and as well as how we use it in this new world of sales, and it all does come back to the expectations and preferences of the audiences. What we’ve seen, if you sort of put your funnel vision on, if you will, over the last number of years, we’ve almost like seen video move down progressively deeper and deeper into the funnel and then into post sale as this evolution has happened.

    Tyler Lessard:
    What that’s meant is for us marketers, video has moved from just being a promotional content medium, a top of funnel attention-grabbing awareness-building medium, to becoming an educational content medium, and thinking about as people move through these buying journeys, as they want to do deep learning on certain topics, as they want to see, not just hear about what it is that we do well, frankly, their expectation is that they can do that online, that they can find content. In many cases, videos that clearly answer those questions that explain complex ideas or that actually show and tell what it is that you can do for them.

    Tyler Lessard:
    As marketers, that’s been a huge rise of educational content. In the world of sales. It’s been a little bit similar, right? We’ve seen sales teams more and more using preproduced videos from either enablement or marketing to do some of these similar things, to help their customers learn about topics, ideas, to see what it is that they do, but to deliver that in a way that they can watch on their own time on demand. Sales teams are leveraging more and more video content being created by marketing, but sales reps are also become video creators themselves. This is where we all gasp in horror at the same time. Wait a minute, we’re not letting sales people make videos, are we? Don’t worry, everybody listening, I’m not advocating that your sales reps should be making your next big marketing campaign video. But what I am saying is that sales reps are not just used in their cameras for live Zoom calls anymore.

    Tyler Lessard:
    A lot of sellers are figuring out how to record and send custom videos, whether it be a webcam recording, a custom screen share that they record to deliver to their prospects information that’s timely, that’s really interesting, that’s visual, but without always having to rely on a live video call. These sort of micro videos are being created a day in and day out by sales reps now, and I’m telling you, some of them are actually becoming really prolific creators. I think it’s actually a really great sign for the future of marketing and sales that we’re starting to get there.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Yeah. Again, I mean, I think it’s amazing, and we see this a lot is that now we’re finally seeing that marketing and sales reflecting some of the trends that we’ve seen broader in society, right? We’re all becoming more comfortable on video, I imagine, especially Zoom, the rise of some of those things and virtual ways of being able to meet and get together. Also, I know myself as a consumer that if there’s something I need to learn, I’m going straight to YouTube. I want a video medium to help teach me something. To your point around education, so why should a more complex B2B sale be any different, right, but it’s just that it’s new.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Now, wait a minute, Jeff, are you telling me that if you need to fix your toilet, you’re not going to the Home Depot’s website and clicking the button that says, book a demo with a sales rep, are you telling me that’s not what you’re doing?

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Well, you know what, I was going to start with 186-page PDF document. That was going to be the how-to, but I just figured I’d go straight to the 11-minute video that helped walk step-by-step through it.

    Tyler Lessard:
    I say that only partly tongue-in-cheek, because it is a real thing in today’s world of marketing and sales that most of us aren’t thinking in that fashion. We’re so tied to our traditional modes of interaction, our traditional funnel models, our traditional calls to action that we’re partly afraid to change how we do things, but we’re also unsure about what the new approaches should necessarily be. In that example, I just sort of teased out there, I just want to quickly share a story from a marketing team that literally transformed their website conversion rates, by going from book a demo to watch a demo as their main call to action. That company is somebody that, Jeff, you and I’m sure most of the listeners are familiar with is good, old Marketo. I’m sure you’re familiar with Marketo.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Heard of them.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Heard of them. Marketing automation platform. It’s funny, I often look to them. Of course, they’re part of Adobe now, but I’ve worked with them for many years as both a partner. We’re also a Marketo user here at Vidyard, but I’ve worked with them on their video strategy for a number of years, and as part of their content. They sell products that are fairly complex, right? There’s a lot of different ideas baked into it. They’ve got a lot of different capabilities. What they did a number of years ago is on their website, like most of us, traditionally the main call to action across their site was talk to sales, book a demo, book a meeting, call it what you will. Like many of us, they saw very low conversion rates on that button for all the reasons we all know, and they tested it.

    Tyler Lessard:
    They said, you know what? We’ve got this hypothesis that our website visitors would be much more inclined to watch a demo than to book a demo, right? That’s not rocket science. I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious, but they started to figure out, is there a way we could capitalize on that? Not to just get more engagement, but to actually convert more people through the funnel? They did that. They changed that call to action. The main call to action on their website for the last three years is take a product tour. That was actually the verbiage they found that work the best, but what they figured out was when you click on take a product tour, number one, they actually had a form in front of it, and they found the completion rate on that form was really high because just like you, trying to figure out how to fix a toilet, if you’re like, “Great, I can watch this instead of have to talk to sales, I’m in. I’ll give you, I’ll give you whatever you want. This form is nothing.”

    Tyler Lessard:
    You fill out the form and then it unlocks this really nice online demo experience page, where it’s not just a two-minute overview. They have like 10 different deep dive videos that actually let you watch a real walkthrough of different parts of their solution. As an audience, it’s like, “This is great. I could binge on this. I don’t have to like book a time with a sales rep, those things I don’t want to do anyways. I love this.” On the back end, Marketo was really smart because they said, okay, people love this content, but we can actually track what you’re watching, how long you’re engaging in it. We can use those to now trigger signals to our sales team to say, “This is a highly engaged lead. You should follow up with them now,” and their conversion rates throughout that process skyrocketed, right? It’s a really simple idea, but just giving their customers what they wanted to watch a demo instead of talk to sales, totally transformed their website experience.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That’s such a great anecdote and something you said earlier, again, back to the fact that marketers and I think this is more traditionally true of businesses in general are afraid to change. I think one of the main points, and I think we’ve seen this and again, I think that some of this change is accelerated certainly is it’s gone from what I would say was the sales cycle, the idea, but calling it that sort of the notion that the company who’s selling is in control of that process.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Now, I think the idea has now been, how do people want to buy, right? People want to do more self-service, they want to self-select into this. They want to be able to take these product tours and if, and when you are the right solution for them, they’ll let you know. Again, it’s a matter of, it sounds like companies are getting better results by again, thinking about how their buyers want to buy and building around that process as opposed to, we need to do XYZ because of these arbitrary sort of mile markers within the sales funnel.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Jeff, I mean, you and I are kindred spirits here. I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying. It extends right into what is also one of the biggest trends in today’s world of at least SaaS and technology, which is product led-growth strategies and PLG strategies, where this is now bringing product, marketing and sales all together and saying, how do our buyers not only want buy, but how do they want to interact with us? How do they want to onboard and experience our products?

    Tyler Lessard:
    All of these ideas of they want more on-demand, self-serve content to learn. They want immediate access to your product to start to feel it out and learn about it themselves from their own experience, right? These are both examples of creating what we all now talk about is friction-free buying experiences. To your point, it’s not a friction free sales process. It’s a friction-free buying and engagement experience for our customers, and that bleeds through or should be bleeding through how we build the product, how we market and how we sell, and of course, how we support those customers post sale and turn them into long time recurring customers and advocates for us.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I love that. I want to get tactical for a minute. From your perspective, what are some of the best use cases for asynchronous video that organizations really should be using today?

    Tyler Lessard:
    I’m going to start in the sales side of the business because when you brought it up earlier, it’s an area that we’re seeing hyper growth in, but most companies still haven’t invested in. For those of you marketers out there listening, you can actually be the champion of this for your sales team to help them get better at this. That use case is this idea of empowering your sales reps to be able to record and send custom video messages as part of their outreach and communication with prospects. We’re seeing a lot of companies do this really successfully as part of their prospecting efforts. If you have a sales development team, a business to development team, or even AEs that are doing prospecting, custom video messages are helping a lot of teams really transform their conversion rates because people are ignoring the traditional emails.

    Tyler Lessard:
    They’re often not answering their phones. We still should be doing those, there’s efficiency gains there, but for those accounts, we really want to go after, having reps to be able to record and send custom videos that really stand out from the noise is working really, really well. Again, I mean, Vidyard has tools in this space, which is why I’m so familiar with it, but I’m still astounded day in day out, the kinds of results people are seeing when they’re doing that. That’s a really big area that I encourage people to think about.

    Tyler Lessard:
    The second more sort of pulling back over to the marketing side, is using video content as part of your thought leadership, inbound content strategy, whatever you call it, but as a way to clearly answer the questions your audience is asking, and to explain ideas visually and in ways that are just much more interesting and approachable. Take all those topics that you’ve been writing about blogs and eBooks about for years and start to reimagine them through the lens of video and say, how can we bring these ideas to life in fresh new ways, through short educational videos that actually draw people in that create this emotional resonance, that let real people from our company get on can camera and be out there. I think that’s a really big missed opportunity for a lot of businesses still today.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Yeah, and I mean, I’ve seen a ton of data around how much more trustable that, again, when it comes from an individual, right? Because I think so often, and ultimately what we’re also talking about is humanizing the experience of buying and selling to some extent as well. Where it’s, when you have faceless nameless corporation and it’s just, then all, it’s just a matter of is their product the best, and are you even going to be able to figure out whether their 11 features are better or worse than the six of their main competitors, but this puts a human face to it as well. I think that creating a real relationship with the organization through a person is so much different than just having this sort of nameless faceless content.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Oh, once again, you nailed it. The word trust is so, so important there, the relationship,. Those are things that as, if I put my marketing hat back on, I’m very, very passionate about this notion that as marketers, we own more of the buying journey than we ever have. We own more of the funnel than we ever have. It comes back to this fact that more and more people prefer to engage with us in an on-demand fashion self-service fashion. That means that as marketers, you know, they’re coming to us, they’re coming to our content, taking them all the way almost to the bottom part of their buying journey. If you have a product led growth strategy, they may not have even talked to a sales rep until after they become a customer. As marketers as we do that, we have to take on that new role that sales reps used to play early in the funnel of earning their trust and building that relationship, right?

    Tyler Lessard:
    It’s like, what is the marketing version of the good old, how’s the weather where you are and how about that local sports team? Like, hey, let’s go golfing, right? Those things just, it’s not part of that process anymore. We, as marketers tend to underestimate how much we need to pick up to build that relationship with a, before they ever talk to us and content builds that relationship content builds that trust, but just doing things in written form leaves a big, big, big part of that out of the picture. Yeah, the more we can see these videos into our content strategy, the more they can see us and hear us and feel us, even if they’re simple creations, right? These don’t have to be like hyper drone footage, Super Bowl commercials, by any means, right? Like short, quick videos on your social channels, on your website of people talking about real important ideas, can go such a long way to do all those things you talked about. They basically become the sales reps that never sleep.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    If I can add a use case that we use internally, we’re in client services businesses. One of our main parts of a client project is analyzing data. When we’re working with a client team, typically it’s across a couple different parts of the organization. When we want to share some data analysis, it used to be the form of these really lengthy emails where we’re trying to send a spreadsheet and then kind of explain every piece of it. Partially, this was a time saver too, but the fact that now in what would’ve taken us maybe two hours to put together this really lengthy email, it’s a 20-minute video, right? It’s a 20-minute video. You can see it in real time. It’s asynchronous. Now, we also don’t need to be at the mercy of the client’s schedule, trying to get all eight people in the room at the same time too, so we can send it over, share it, they can share it with their team. Then to that point, it’s like, now we can meet later in the week when we do all have time, but we don’t have to let this slow us down. And this has really created so much efficiency for us, even in servicing clients as well.

    Tyler Lessard:
    It’s such a wonderful use case. What you talked about there, I think of as an extension to that use of video in sales, right through in the client service to your point, because what you’re talking about there is having the ability for you or anybody within your organization to record a custom video for that prospect or client to show, rather than just tell, to do so in a way that’s on-demand to your point that they can watch any time. The power in your team being able and empowered to do that is it means you can totally customize the content for them, right? You’re not relying on an off-the-shelf walkthrough. That may not be exactly what that person needs, right? You’re able to customize the delivery, to your point, even up stuff specifically about them on your screen and talk about it.

    Tyler Lessard:
    It also allows you your face to be in the corner, talking, delivering it again, helping you build rapport or trust as a real person at that company, more so than an off-the-shelf video could ever do. What’s also interesting about that is I suspect that when you send those over to clients, it’s not just your champion that watches it. They share it around to other potential decision makers who will never join a Zoom call with you and who you will never see in person, but guess what, Jeff? They all met you, right?

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That’s right.

    Tyler Lessard:
    They all got to know you. You effectively walked the digital halls of that business without them even knowing it. Your face got around, you said your hellos, your how you’re doings, just by sending a video that was shareable to other people. Even for those who only watched for 30 seconds and then stopped, they now at least know you as a person, not just as an email address, so it really is. It’s simple, but really powerful. Again, I think for all of you listening, the best part is that this has become easy to do, like that the barriers to entry for this stuff are gone. You don’t need an expensive camera. You don’t even need a camera. You’ve already got the camera. You don’t need video editing skills. All you need is you and a little creative thinking and yeah, the right tools that make this stuff simple, but that’s what’s so exciting right now. It’s so accessible.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I love that. You have such a great handle on sort of where your market is. I would just love to sort of take a step back. How are you so effectively able to keep your finger on the pulse of those marketers and sales and the use cases that you’re seeing every day?

    Tyler Lessard:
    A big part of what I do personally in my role is staying close to the community of customers, users, and beyond that, as well as, as close as I can be to some of our champions and advocates to be continuously learning from them, because I think that’s important for so many reasons, but for me personally, that is a big investment of my time, which I think is very much worth it. There’s a number of things that I do to make that happen. I’m very active out on social media in these communities, sharing ideas, prompting people on LinkedIn with questions to share their ideas with the broader community as well. Really helping to be a champion of this idea of video and marketing and sales, and that causes a gravitational effect, right? A lot of people then find me as a great resource for this, but it’s not just me sharing my ideas.

    Tyler Lessard:
    I’m constantly creating a platform for others to share as well. That’s been a really big, and really important learning for me is that power of community and creating that platform. The second is when I run intentional programs and campaigns that are forcing functions to do this. For example, we are at the time of recording this, you may not know Jeff, but today we’re actually announcing the winners of our annual video and business awards. It’s a program …

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That’s awesome.

    Tyler Lessard:
    … I run every year that we open up to our customers, but as well, the broader community, we have a different … This year we had 12 different categories for the best use of video to educate clients, the most visionary use of video for a marketing campaign, video in sales and prospecting, virtual selling team of the year. We create these categories and we invite anybody who’s using video to submit their stories about how they’ve done great things with video.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Of course, we’ve got great prizes for the winners, but it’s my favorite program, honestly, throughout the year, because I get to see literally hundreds of stories submitted from people about what they’re doing with video. Then of course, I’m like, “Oh my, I love this idea. I love this idea. We should be doing this. Everybody should be doing this.” Then we share those ideas back out with the community. I love doing stuff like that. I encourage all of you out there as marketers or sellers, try to create those sort of inbound opportunities to learn from the market.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    The thing I want to echo there is sort of creating and championing the community. The other thing from when you and I last spoke as well, is the idea that it’s not just focusing on what those customers needs are in relation to what you can do, but just understanding more broadly what it is they’re doing and what it is they’re struggling with. I mean, frankly, even the way you’re talking about how building and cultivating that community, it’s really going to where they are today, right? It’s really approaching them where they are, as opposed to expecting them to just meet you and having just kind of like a quick list of things, of like, what can you be doing better ultimately, just as if you have your kind of product development hat on, but ultimately getting to know who those people are, what they’re struggling with. Again, there may be things that you specifically, you as Vidyard as well are not able to directly help them with, but again, maybe that opens up partnership opportunities. Again, it’s just getting a better sense for what it is, where it is they are.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s part of the category building and category leadership methodology as well, where we understand that if we can continue to elevate the category of video in marketing and sales, help people be successful, that long-term, that rising tide will float all boats, and Vidyard will be successful. I’m very passionate about these kinds of ideas. Again, I think for a lot of us out there, it just pays so much to have that open lines of communication with that community of what they’re doing, what’s working, what’s not, and being the champion to share that stuff with others.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    So speaking of passion and shifting gears just a little bit, one thing that we love to ask all of our guests is how they define success. This can be how you view it personally, professionally, but just what comes to mind first, when you think of what success means to you?

    Tyler Lessard:
    At the end of the day, everything ladders back to business success and the core business metrics of are we growing the business, are we of course hitting our revenue targets, but are we also creating the outcomes for our customers that we want to create and that we’re promising out there? All of those things are kind of my center of gravity for what I invest my time and energy in. There are so many leading indicators and KPIs that feed into that. There’s the traditional marketing funnel of things that we care about, but I personally also tend to maybe even over rotate on engagement that we’re creating within our community of influence within our customer base and again, with the partner community that we’re working with at large.

    Tyler Lessard:
    I think that engagement overall is an undervalued metric in the marketing and sales world. It’s very hard to measure. I haven’t figured out how to measure it really effectively, but the theory is if your audience, your community, your customers, your partners, if they are continuously engaging with you as a brand in your content and your ideas and your best practices and your programs, that you will be one of those few memorable and standout brands for them as they’re looking for new solutions, and whether they’re not a client, or they are a client, there is incredible value in that. It also creates opportunities for advocacy and word of mouth, which I think are more important than ever. Don’t underestimate the power of active engage within your communities of influence. Hard to measure, hard to go back and say, this engagement generated this much pipeline, but wow, when done right is it ever powerful.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That’s so powerful, and thank you for sharing that. Again, I think that kind of goes back to the rising tide will lift all boats, right? That fundamentally, if you are continuing to champion, and I love again, the fact that you started with, are we driving the customer outcomes that are most important? Because again, ultimately at that point, if you’re doing that, all of the business metrics will take care of themselves. Again, and to your point too, if you’re creating a real and cultivating a real community where people are engaging, all of that stuff will come. I think you’re 100% right. From my perspective, I think it’s partially, it gets underutilized because people don’t know how to measure it. I think that’s always become the issue is if you don’t know how to measure something, then if we can’t put it on a spreadsheet, then what are we driving towards? But I think you’re 100% right.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Yeah. Marketing attribution is a double edge sword. We all need to be obviously very focused on our metrics, but we also need to understand and recognize that, hey, we’re all in our jobs because we bring a lot of value in our instincts, in our experience, and a lot of things that we offer to the organization above and beyond the individual contributions on the spreadsheet. Sometimes you got to trust your gut and make those investments, knowing that there’s a good chance the revenue will pay off at the end, whether it can be a dotted line attribution or not. It’s hard.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    You ready for a couple rapid fire questions?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Oh, all right, Jeff. Let’s do it.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Okay, so from your perspective, what would you say is the most overrated marketing activity?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Oh, this is going to go back to the conversation we just had. I think most overrated is clicks and conversions.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Love that. I was going to say, I think I’ve always said some times attribution just more generally, but agreed. Understand the importance. Then on the more positive side of the coin, what would you say is the most underrated marketing activity?

    Tyler Lessard:
    There we are, back to the word engagement, which, which is honestly my answer. The reason I led into this with clicks being such a dangerous metric is, when you think about the programs you’re putting out there, I think we do over rotate on how many people clicked, as opposed to of those who clicked, what was the resonance? What was the engagement? Did we hit the mark with what we were putting out there? Because that’s what’s going to actually make the difference and that you can learn from. Engagement is I think the most underestimated or underutilized metric.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I love that. What would you say, what’s the most important, if there’s a single skill a marketer can have, what do you think the most important one is for them?

    Tyler Lessard:
    I think in today’s world, there is such an importance in being able to, and being motivated and frankly, good at testing new ideas, testing and investing, being creative and not being afraid to take chances. I know that doesn’t directly answer it as one word, but I’m hovering around that notion of that ability to go outside of your comfort zone, try new things and being able to create a methodology around it, to figure out what’s working and testing and investing.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Oh, I think that’s a very direct answer. I refer to exactly what you were talking about as intellectual curiosity. The idea that you don’t have to have all the answers, you just need to know how to figure out and test into them.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Yes, yes. You win on that one, intellectual curiosity. I agree with you on that. I love it. Love it, love it.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    As marketers, I think we’re all very good at understanding how to do more with less, but, so I want to sort of give an example of the opposite. If the powers that be were to come to you and say, “Tyler, we have an extra 20% for your budget, but you need to spend it today.” What would be the first thing that would kind of go through your mind that you’d want to spend more money on as a marketer?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Oh, it’s such a tough one, such a tough one, Jeff. I think that I would invest it in targeted programs with our sales team, like in partnership with our sales team. We’ve gotten pretty good at our, what we would, “account based marketing” and ABM programs of creating focused campaigns and processes to identify and engage with those higher propensity accounts. That’s an area I would love to continue to invest more in, in partnership with our sales team to really move the needle with those key opportunities that are out there.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I love that. One perspective that I always love to share is the idea of, especially when you have it so demarcated that you have inside sales and sales sort of on the front line, that frankly, being able to better understand what are some of the, I think you mentioned this earlier, what are some of the key questions that they keep getting? What are the things that keep coming up and how can you proactively address those earlier on, whether through video, through content on your website, through any kind of content they’re consuming. The more proactively you can kind of get in front of that, but that is part of that sort of ongoing feedback loop between marketing and sales, that if you’re get adding that real time feedback, what is it they’re really hung up on? What are the biggest questions that they need to have addressed? How can you answer those and proactively address them as you?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Yeah.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Yeah, so then before I let you go, just two other quick things. First, what resources, books, blogs, podcasts would you want to recommend to our audience?

    Tyler Lessard:
    Oh, I’ve got a couple of good ones here. First of all, for those who are listening, I’m actually holding up the book now to prove to Jeff that I’ve got it sitting right here beside me.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I can prove it.

    Tyler Lessard:
    I’m a big fan of Jonah Berger, who is professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania. He’s written a number of fantastic books. His most recent book, The Catalyst, I’m a big fan of. The subtext on that is how to change anyone’s mind, whether you’re in marketing or sales, you’re in the business of changing people’s minds. The Catalyst by Jonah Berger is a great one. Any of his work, I highly recommend. I would also recommend Joe Pulizzi’s Content Tilt, which is an evolution of his Content Inc. I love this idea of really focusing in on your content strategy of what your unique tilt is to the market, to allow you to really evolve your content strategy into a meaningful part of the business. Those are two of my favorites right now.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I love those. Finally, before we let you go, where can people find and connect with you on social media?

    Tyler Lessard:
    I am a LinkedIn guy myself, so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Again, Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing at Vidyard, Chief Feeder at Sales Feed. You’ll see all sorts of other accolades on my title, but connect with me there. I share lots of goodness from across our community, in the areas of video, of course, but broader things that I’m seeing in the worlds of marketing and sales. That’s the best stop there. If you do want to dive more into the topic of video for marketing or sales, the best place for that, frankly is Vidyard’s website, surprise, surprise, but we have a whole slew of great resources in our resource center, our blog, lots of videos that are really geared towards helping people understand best practices in the worlds of video marketing, video selling and all forms of video. Again, it’s Vidyard’s website V-I-D-Y-A-R-D.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    All of that will be linked in the show notes. Just to echo Tyler’s LinkedIn specifically, he has an introduction video of himself in his LinkedIn profile, but Nigel is truly the star. I think we can all agree on that.

    Tyler Lessard:
    I mean, you can’t go wrong with cute French bulldog in any of your content, whether it’s your LinkedIn profile or beyond. Yeah, if you’ve got a cute pet, don’t be shy to use them in your videos. Guaranteed-

    Jeff Sirkin:
    That might be the most underrated marketing activity, if we go back to that one.

    Tyler Lessard:
    You want to talk about engagement, bring in a cute pet.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    There you go.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Implies engagement every time.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    Well, Tyler, this has been great. Thank you so much for taking the time with us today, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Tyler Lessard:
    Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure.

    Jeff Sirkin:
    I really enjoyed that conversation with Tyler. I love his perspective on the importance of audience engagement and all of the time he puts into keeping a finger on the pulse of his market. If you want to learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, you can find them in our show notes. In addition, we’re publishing the full text transcripts of the episodes on our website at sirkinresearch.com/podcasts. Thank you for listening, and I hope you’ll join us for a new story next week on Long Story Short.

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