How to Increase Your Homepage's Conversion Rate by 40% with Video (w/ Danielle Diamond, Epiq Media)
Matt Bilotti: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Growth podcast. I am your host, Matt Bilotti, and I am really excited today to talk about a topic we have not covered yet before, which is shocking in all of the 75 plus episodes we've done, which is video and how to use video for B2B marketing to drive growth. I am joined today by Danielle Diamond, founder of Epiq Media, who was once a Drifter, has now moved on to other amazing things and has gone deep in B2B video. Danielle, thank you so much for joining.
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Matt Bilotti: Absolutely. So, we caught up before, we talked all about your high level philosophy on B2B video, how most businesses get it wrong and how you think about it in terms of top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel, would love to step through all of those things. So, why don't we just start at the top? So, let's talk about how do you think about B2B marketing with video as the vehicle? What is the approach?
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, so I think that the key thing to start with is what wasn't and isn't working about B2B video? So when I first started at Drift, I didn't know much about marketing. I was young, just starting out. I always joked that I got my MBA marketing from Dave Gerhardt. So because of that, I had just done a lot of research into, okay, what are other B2B brands making in terms of video? How are they using social media? Are they leveraging YouTube? Are they using different social platforms and really delving into what type of videos B2B brands were using to sell their products and then what that funnel looked like? What I found was that there was actually just a lot of really boring content out there. I think what happened was, with B2B video, there were two types of videos that people started making probably about 10 years ago that we got stuck in because people would just do it because that was the way it was always done. So there were two types of videos and I still see today that people make, and the first one is the boring animated explainer video. Everyone has gone to a B2B website, seen that generic type of video, and it always looks something like this. You watch the first 10 seconds, you get really bored. You move 30 seconds in, maybe a minute 30, because someone decided that this video needed to be three to five minutes long. You don't find what you're looking for, you scrub through the website through a bunch of jargony copy and you end up leaving the website. So, that's that first type of video. No one really likes it, but so many brands still have it for some reason. Then the second type of video is that video of the CEO on the homepage, talking about their values and their why. It's usually behind this backdrop of office B roll that's pretty generic. The truth of the matter is as much as you think your values are differentiating factors, when it comes to your customers, your why and your values really are not differentiating factors. When people go to your website, they want to see how you can solve the problem that they're experiencing. So, that type of video actually belongs on a careers type of page and not your homepage. So, those were the two types of videos that we found and both of them seemed really broken. Fortunately, working at Drift, DG and DC were really big into investing in brand and they really let us run with the idea of, let's see what the ROI is on creativity. Through that, we really started building the foundation for what does B2B video look like in what is now 2021. So since then, I've worked with some really awesome companies, both in the B2B and B2C space. Anyone who's seen the recent Trainual videos, we just did those. We did some stuff with Loom. We've also done a lot of work with B2C lately, with Tampax, and Invisalign, and Adidas and companies like those. Basically, through testing a whole bunch of videos, me and the team at Epiq Media have recreated what that video funnel looks like in terms of what are... and we basically kind of brought it to three types of videos that every B2B brand needs in 2021.
Matt Bilotti: Love that. I mean, it's amazing to see, we worked together on some video content four years ago now, we did some brand videos that we were driving around top of funnel, and you've learned so much about what works in different contexts and different industry in terms of videos since then with those really cool brands. So, let's zoom in right now on top of funnel. So, just trying to raise awareness, you have very strong opinion that those boring animated explainers, those need to go, what do you do instead? What does really good look like for driving top of the funnel with video?
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, so there's two different top of funnels. There's top of funnel for organic social and then there's top of funnel for paid media. So, I'm going to start with what top of funnel is for organic social. That is those short, little snippets, usually people, especially B2B companies have that podcast, or the big thing, usually they'll take from podcasts and make those social clips. Sometimes it's the CEO talking about their mission or talking about some sort of specific area of expertise in that field that they focus on. So, those little social clips are the day- to- day content that really make up that top of funnel. And those really help build trust and establish you as the expert in your field. Now for B2B, those work especially well on LinkedIn. I've also seen them perform well on Twitter, even certain audiences that still use Facebook, it performs well there. Instagram they've been big as well. So really, the key with those social clips is to have a really catchy headline and to have a short, concise piece of content that delivers value. That's really the key thing, is to educate your audience with these daily social clips. So, that's top of funnel for social. The great thing about it is anyone can do it. You don't need a huge video budget. You can just take out your iPhone or even record on your computer and you can create a social clip as long as what you have to say provides actual value to your audience. This is actually what I recommend a lot of companies hire in- house for, because this is where you're really going to want to have someone on your team, on the marketing team, running social for a video because I think especially in 2021, one of the best things you could probably do is get a two- in- one video social person, because so much of social now is video. So if your social person can also be a video person, that's going to really provide a lot of leverage for you and your brand. So, that's something that I really recommend companies bring in- house so you can really do it at scale and on a day- to- day.
Matt Bilotti: And on the daily video piece, I think what's so beneficial to that sort of approach too, is it allows you to so quickly and actively test out different messaging. You were talking about the CEO recording a video selfie. Every day, you're getting a chance to try a new angle of the messaging, see what resonates, see what hits on social. It's an opportunity for you and your marketing team to get the reps on what is our messaging? How do we get that right?
Danielle Diamond: 100%. That's been one of the biggest benefits besides actual leads and building trust with an audience too, is you can see, okay, this particular video or this topic resonated so much, this got so much engagement compared to all of our other videos. Let's take this topic and let's double down on it. As opposed to," Oh, this video, no one really had any interest in it. Maybe this isn't the right messaging. Let's stray away from that topic." So yeah, it's really this awesome daily feedback loop to see, okay, what are people responding to? And maybe what don't they care about?
Matt Bilotti: Okay. So, we talked about social, ad, video stuff. What about, you said there was a second angle to it?
Danielle Diamond: Yes. So, this is for paid media and this is going to be middle of the funnel for your regular organic channel. So, for organic, it's top of funnel, is that day- to- day educational content. Then middle of the funnel, which is also a top of funnel for paid, is going to be this comedic style brand video. Now, it doesn't always have to be comedic. If you are say, a healthcare company, you're probably not going to want to do something funny because, like I always say, people getting sick is not funny. So, it really depends on what the brand story is and who your audience is. I have found that for B2B marketing in particular and for SaaS products, comedy often performs much better than trying to take yourself too seriously. Because at the end of the day, as much as we all love our jobs and we all love B2B marketing and SaaS, our SaaS products aren't really that emotional and so comedy performs the best there. And really the goal with these videos, whether you do comedy or something more serious, is to connect with people on the problem. One of the biggest mistakes I see when it comes to brand style videos, is companies just talk about their product, their product, their product. Before you can talk about your product, you need to connect with someone on the problem, otherwise they're not even going to care about the product in the first place. And also with these brand videos, the whole purpose is to A connect with them on the problem and just get them to remember you. That's why comedy works so well because if you can get someone to laugh, they're going to be much more likely to remember you than if they just watch a pretty generic product ad. So, if you already have an established audience, because you're doing that day- to- day content and you put out one of these comedic videos, that audience is already there to watch it and so it performs super well on organic social. I just did one with Dave, for DGMG Jobs and that one, I think has amassed about a million views at this point, just organically because he already has that audience that he's been building. So, once you take that comedic video and put it up there, it's really easy to go viral. Then there's also, say you don't have an audience yet. That's totally okay, maybe you don't have the resources to do that day- to- day content. That doesn't mean that you can't and shouldn't have an awesome video funnel for paid marketing. So these really work well as top of funnel ads for paid, especially on platforms like YouTube or even LinkedIn they've done really well on. Actually I've seen them honestly work well on all platforms, which is the great thing is because great content is great content. So really, the key there is before you hit them with that product ad, you have to get them to remember you. They need to know who you are and so those have been performing super well as top of the funnel paid ads as a way to go," Oh, I remember this brand." Or," Oh yeah..." You hit them with something funny and then they're really going to be more likely to just really remember," Oh yeah, that's a problem that I have." That's the goal with these videos, is to get people to raise their hand and say," Oh yeah, I really relate to that. I was in a situation similar to that." So, that's really why focusing on the problem with those videos, as opposed to jumping in with your solution tends to be the best there.
Matt Bilotti: Yeah, the videos that you and the team, Amy, and then we start in at Drift, the four years ago one, that was a comedic thing, but it anchored on the problem. I think it's one of our most few videos that we've ever put out at Drift. It also makes me think, your whole point about comedy, it makes me think about some big time role models, like insurance. Insurance is boring, but Geico and Progressive, their whole thing is to be funny. You're talking about paid and doing well there, I think of Dollar Shave Club and their approach and how viral that went, because it was this funny thing that talked about the problem of expensive razors. Another one that comes to example is, I think it's like Dr. Squatch, something like that, it's a soap brand, but the videos are funny or whatever. But yeah, I think it's so important because I think when teams are in B2B, they think that," We're selling to businesses, we need to be professional. We need to get to the point and tell them what we do and talk about the features and benefits." Whereas what you're saying is bring the humanity back into B2B marketing through video.
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, people are still people. That's the basis of the company that I've been building, is don't be the ad, be the TV show, especially because content is so saturated now. You need to find a way to stand out and rambling on about your product, or even just getting straight to the point, isn't really going to make you stand out. I feel like the thing that's going to make you stand out is if you emulate what people are actually watching. So, a lot of the inspiration that I like to steal from is YouTubers, or what are my favorite TV shows right now? What's everybody watching? How can we take that and apply it to an ad? You had mentioned this earlier, but I briefly had done some work on SNL and that's a big source of inspiration for me, is taking the work that we've done at SNL and using that style comedy in B2B ads because they're short, they're sweet, they're to the point, but they still make people laugh. They're super memorable and it really follows the rules of virality.
Matt Bilotti: Love that. Any other notes? I know we started at top of funnel, our conversation naturally went to middle of the funnel. Other notes on middle of the funnel stuff?
Danielle Diamond: I think that's really key to the middle of the funnel, is just getting our brand name out there by connecting with people on the problem. That would be my biggest advice there.
Matt Bilotti: Love that. All right, let's jump to bottom of funnel. So, we talked about social, paid, thinking about viral and reach. Now, how do you think about using video to get a customer to convert?
Danielle Diamond: Yes. So, you've built their trust with daily content. You done that comedic video. You've hit them with maybe that brand ad that focuses on the problem. Then you can finally talk about your product. Once people know who you are, they're going to be much more likely to go," Oh, I recognize that logo. Oh yeah. I watched that really funny video they put out." I'll sit and watch this 30 second ad about their product that's when you can hit them with middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel ads, if it's paid or social, of here's the actual product. We just did a series for Loom that has done really well as an ad to drive to free trials. And basically in the beginning of these ads, it's good to always bring up that problem again. So, for something like Loom we would show an image of someone scrolling, and you could still make it lighthearted and funny depending on what you're going for, is someone scrolling through an endless calendar that's totally booked up. It's like," Don't have time to sync up with your teammates? Try Loom asynchronous video messaging," and then you can go through those key features and benefits. Something that I really recommend for this is it's also another great way to test messaging. This is often the type of video that'll actually start with certain brands, especially if maybe they don't have the budget for the bigger comedic video yet, or maybe they're still figuring out what their messaging is and then go invest in that comedic video. The great thing with these is in one production, you can test out three different scripts and you can either target those three scripts to maybe three different personas that you have of, or you can just test out three different key messages and learn from that test and go," Oh, this script right here is the one that's performing best, as opposed to this other messaging that we tested out. People aren't really responding to it as well." So, that's something that people tend to overlook with video, is that you don't have to just make one piece. You can turn in that one piece into maybe three different things. Use it to really test messaging and then also use it to really drive your product marketing both in terms of your video funnel, and really making that final touch point of," Oh, this is the video that's going to drive them to the freemium product. This is the one that's going to get them to book a demo." Also you can use that data in your actual product marketing on your website, in the content that you're putting out and all that fun stuff.
Matt Bilotti: And when you talk about making three scripts and testing it out, I'm almost imagining if you're doing a 90 second video, the first 45 seconds is stable for all of them, but then the part where you show the product, maybe that is angled differently, you do three different versions of that. Is that sort of how you think about that?
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, so that's one way to do it. Another way we do it is even changing the intro, is maybe figuring out what's that opening hook? Maybe if we try, busy calendar versus... what's the other one we did for Loom? Busy calendar versus maybe team meetings and updates, or maybe for I don't know, certain event platforms we're working with, we've tested out things like webinars versus events, versus meetings, to see, okay, what are people going to resonate with the most here?" You can test out, okay, this opening hook really got people's attention. You could also test out maybe we think that these key features and benefits are going to be the most interesting. That's maybe where you change out, okay, we start with the same opening hook, but maybe we'll test out different product features that we'll showcase in this particular video. So really, you can test anything. The idea is you can do it with the same talent, that same backdrop, and really get it all done in one production. It really becomes this performance marketing test.
Matt Bilotti: I also think what's really interesting about how you step through the funnel, is you only started talking about showing the product in any way at the very bottom of the funnel, rather than... because I see a lot of... you go to a B2B website and the video on the homepage is like," Welcome to our platform. Here's the five things that we do."
Danielle Diamond: Yeah. And actually, it's funny that you mentioned the homepage there because we actually had a client test out the comedic video on their website as their homepage video. Within two weeks they saw, I believe it was a 40% increase in conversion, and they doubled their MRR, because they're an MRR- based company, but it was pretty impressive to see what changing that typical cadence looked like when you focus on," Oh, I'm going to go to the website and this homepage." So this also can work as the cadence for your website. You go on the homepage, maybe that's the first time you're seeing a brand. If you connect with them on the problem on the homepage, they watch this funny video, they get a sense of who you are. You can really raise your hand and go," Oh yeah, I have that problem. They're solving the right problem." From there, that's where they go to your product page and really go to learn more about," Okay, well what are the actual problems that this product is solving?" That's when they really want to learn more about the product and that's where those talking head videos, and I really learned this through doing these videos with you specifically Matt, it's where those talking head videos where actual elements of the product pop up so you can see what it looks like. That's always the thing that gets me about those animated explainer videos, is that it's never the actual product, it's this weird animated version of the product. Show people what the actual product experience is going to look like. Use an actual human being. Another mistake that I see people make with B2B video is they'll just put a boring product demo. No one really wants to watch your five minute demo. The nice thing about having an actual human being walking you through it is A, you could get through it faster. And B, there something about a human being talking that is just so much more intriguing to people than watching a mouse move around the screen. My theory, besides the fact that we just are designed to respond to other humans, is that it emulates what a YouTube video looks like and there's this native feel of," Oh, this is the type of video that I would choose to watch in my day- to- day." So, those do really well. Anytime you can just use a person instead of graphics, I usually recommend that.
Matt Bilotti: On the note of showing the actual product in the video, this is a question that comes to mind for me, but I imagine people are listening are like," Yeah, but then if we put the product in, it gets outdated within a month because our team shifts." How do you think about solving that? Is there an easy answer to that?
Danielle Diamond: Yeah, you can edit the video later if you really need to. Also, the more you wait to put that video out, you're going to be waiting forever because there's always going to be changes to the product. You're always going to change little things. But at the end of the day, if the product is a little bit visually different in your video, or if maybe there's a minor change, honestly, no one's really going to remember that. The whole point of the video is to walk them through the product and give them that general overview and that feeling for what the product feels like and what it looks like and who you are and how you can help solve their problem. If a little feature, it looks a little bit different or changes a month later, that's really not the point of the video. When they go to use the product, people understand that products are constantly evolving and then if it evolves to a point where you need to make a new video, you can always replace the footage of the actual video with that old footage. So, that can be easily done. So, to anyone waiting to put out a video for their product to be perfect or because they know they're going to make a change in a month or two, my advice is don't wait, just get that video out there because you want people to buy your product so you can scale faster and let that product continue to grow.
Matt Bilotti: Makes total sense. So, we talked about top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom of funnel. There is a separate thing that you had mentioned to me when we were catching up before the podcast, which is video around product launches. Would love to just get your download on that before we go ahead and wrap up here.
Danielle Diamond: Yes. So, what I was talking about before is what I often see with product launches, is often people will use a Loom- style video where it's like," I'm at my webcam. Here's the new feature. Let me walk you through this new feature," and then it's full screen and it's the new feature for another three to 10 minutes. That's not going to be the best way to show off a product. The best way to show off a product, kind of like what we were saying before, is that talking head style video. I highly recommend making these for your product launch. From the product launches that I've seen at Drift, we've done a bunch with Privy that have worked really well. What we've found with that is just making a video the centerpiece of that product launch is a great way to get people to actually sit and listen to that for a minute and 30 seconds. The great thing is you can put that video on product hunt, you can put that video on your homepage and it can live there continuously until you feel like updating it. It can be there on that product page helping with conversion rates on your website continuously there. Then also, you can post that video natively. Always post it natively, never a YouTube link. You can post it natively on LinkedIn. You can have everyone in the company do that. Chances are, if everyone in the company post that video, people are going to start seeing it. You can have everyone posted on Twitter. You can post it on your organic socials. It's a great piece to really have that can really post everywhere, especially now that social media really prioritizes video in the algorithm.
Matt Bilotti: I just want to double down on the point that you made around, don't post the link to the video, post natively. That one's super important.
Danielle Diamond: Yeah and I honestly am surprised with how many companies I still see posting links. Native video is always going to perform better. You also want that auto play. You don't want to make anyone have to take any extra steps to watch your video. You want it to auto play and really get their attention with that initial visual.
Matt Bilotti: Awesome. All right. We covered a lot here. Any other big things that you want to make sure that we toss out here in the podcast before we call it a day?
Danielle Diamond: I would just say, I think the big thing to start with the goal in mind. I know a lot of companies sometimes think," Oh, we need this type of video. Well, we need this about us for the about page." Maybe you don't need that type of video really think about," Okay, what are our goals?" Then from there you can say," Okay, what is going to best fit our goals in terms of the creative that we need?" So, I find that the clients that we work with, the ones that see the most success are the ones that come to us and talk to us about strategy first and together, we strategize and say," This is the type of video that's going to work best for you, based on what we've seen," as opposed to the companies who say," I need this type of video because I want this type of video," and there's not really a strategy behind it. So, always tie that creative back to your bigger goals and your bigger strategy and see what you can do to make it more creative. If you can make people smile, or if you can be memorable or make people laugh, that's always going to be a positive.
Matt Bilotti: Love it. All right, Danielle, thank you so much for joining.
Danielle Diamond: Cool.
Matt Bilotti: This was a ton of fun.
Danielle Diamond: Thanks for having me.
Matt Bilotti: Absolutely.
Danielle Diamond: So great to be back with Drift.
Matt Bilotti: Yeah. I am excited to make some more videos together in the future in some other life and other companies, other products, whatever it might be. Thank you so much for coming on here and sharing your thoughts. I want to say to everybody listening, thank you so much for spending your time listening or watching, if you're watching on YouTube. I know there are so many things you could spend your time on, working on, listening to, watching, whatever it might be and you're spending it here. I super appreciate it. If you like this episode, hit the subscribe button. Check out the library of other episodes, there's over 75 other fascinating topics that talk about a specific growth channel, strategy or tactic, so check those out. If you're a fan, I'm trying to get a few more reviews on the podcast apps, Apple Podcast app in particular. So, leave a five star review and a written comment if you don't mind. My email's matt @ drift. com. If you have any feedback, questions, topics, potential guests, whatever it might be, feel free to drop me a line. Thank you so much for listening and I will catch you on the next episode. Bye.
Wondering what the secret is to converting more site visitors with video? Danielle Diamond, of Epiq media, has figured it out, and she's sharing her learnings in this episode.
Danielle was an early Drifter before she went on to work at agencies whose clients included Warner Brothers, ABC, and FabFitFun. Now, she's the founder of EpiqMedia - a creative team that focuses on content for B2B marketing serving clients like SNL, Oreo, and InVisalign.
In this episode, Danielle talks with Matt about what video production should look like at every stage of the funnel, the importance of being human in B2B marketing, and the strategies she's used to increase homepage conversions by 40%.
Wondering what the secret is to converting more site visitors with video? Danielle Diamond, of Epiq media, has figured it out, and she's sharing her learnings in this episode.
- (1:10) How Danielle thinks about video in B2B marketing
- (4:40) Top of funnel video content: Organic social
- (8:05) Top of funnel video content: Paid media
- (13:47) Bottom of funnel video content
- (22:02) Video in product launches