On this episode of 'Inbound & Down,' host Jon Sasala chats with fellow HubSpot Partner and CEO of SmartAcre, David Snyder, about utilizing video throughout your company processes.
David Snyder is the CEO of SmartAcre, a Platinum HubSpot Solutions Partner Agency and a MarTech agency, focusing on the intersection of marketing and technology. Among their many skills is video production—from high production value, polished pieces to quick screenshare walk-throughs.
Snyder walks us through the best practices and use-cases for creating videos by utilizing the Vidyard platform.
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Read the episode transcript below.
[00:00 – 10:03]
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Brian Halligan: This is Brian Halligan and you're listening to Inbound & Down from Morey Creative Studios.
Sage: Welcome to Inbound & Down: The Art and Science of Inbound Marketing with Jon Sasala, President of Morey Creative Studios. Hey! It’s Sage here. Today's episode features a fellow HubSpot partner David Snyder, CEO of SmartAcre, to talk about video and video production.
David sets a perfect example of how and why to use video as a standard method of outreach. It's old news by now that videos get more engagement online than static images or texts. Have you ever stopped and thought about why? Aside from being engaging and exciting, it feels more personal—like you're really talking to that person. Imagine now getting a personalized video in your inbox as part of a sales pitch that shows time, dedication, effort and research—and most people are more likely to open and respond. Okay! let me stop spoiling the episode and David’s tips. Here's Jon and David Snyder.
Jon Sasala: All right joining me today we've got David Snyder of SmartAcre. Dave, thanks for coming down.
Dave Snyder: Thanks so much for having me, really appreciate it.
JS: Yeah absolutely! So, we are spending the day here in our Philadelphia office and Dave with SmartAcre you're headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania correct?
DS: That is correct.
JS: Which is just like an hour north of here?
DS: Yes, just about one hour or so.
JS: Well I appreciate you coming down. Dave and I actually have a long, beautiful relationship. We've crossed paths at many different HubSpot events. Dave actually hosted the New York City HUG, along with the Denver HUG, and..
DS: Lehigh Valley.
JS: And Lehigh Valley. And as the host of those HUG events, I met Dave at the New York City one and was wildly impressed with the presentations that you guys put on there, and recently you guys stepped down and recommended that we step in. So, thank you for that, first of all. So, Morey Creative Studios is stepping in to host these HUG events. You want to tell us really quickly what a HUG is?
DS: A HUG—HubSpot User Group—is really designed for anybody that's using HubSpot—and maybe even non-user—that can come together to share advice, share best practices, share tips and tricks and then the best part of it as well, HubSpot always brings in one of their resources, a professor or someone at HubSpot, (a HubSpotter) to come in and help give a presentation.
So, whatever is new on a feature set, do some portal audits. It's a great community, because I think it's made up of individuals that are just getting started around—maybe they're a student, all the way up to fortune 500 companies. So, it's been a great community.
JS: I think it's one of the things, one of the differentiators for HubSpot is this great community that they have of resources, training resources, networking resources.
So, the reason that I wanted to have you on an episode here David is specifically around—I mean I’m seeing you on LinkedIn, I’m seeing you on social everywhere with these videos. I saw a webinar that you put on recently, specifically speaking to the role that video can play in the sales process. You're speaking highly of Vidyard and I wanted to see if you could spend some time with us today talking about exactly what you see with video as a tool for salespeople.
DS: Yeah, we don't have to talk about video being important and how it needs to be a part of your toolkit. If you're not doing video, I don't know where you've been the last two years, but video has really transformed the way sales is communicating.
So, what does that really mean, right? I think it's blending what you can do with video and how to implement it using the technology. So, Vidyard's platform or technology is super easy to use and it removes any excuses from someone in sales to say, ‘I don't have the production or I don't have the equipment to produce something and to communicate.’ I think one of the greatest strengths that video has is it kind of lifts the curtain back a little bit, right?
So, everyone gets those voicemails that some sales guy leaves you and they're awful, or you just get a regular email—you're not going to do anything with that. But what if you get an email and it's a live person there and it's personalized to you—whether it's just holding up a, ‘Hi Jon,’ or maybe it's your website, or its really gone the extra mile to make it personal. You're going to open that video and you're going to click on it. It humanizes the sale, the process and I think that is what has changed and is now the new expectation to the buyer, that they expect the one-to-one, white glove. No matter if you're super small or super huge, they expect that delivery.
JS: And that humanization, that comes from these not being super polished videos, right? Like you can make mistakes in it, you don't need incredible lighting. You want to come across as a human that recorded a message, that's all.
DS: Yeah, so what I like to do, and this is what we tell all of our clients as well, is make a blend of it. So, I shoot a video every single day. I use my iPhone and you know iPhone 11 Pro has a really good camera. I got a good selfie stick, I make sure I’m in good lighting, I make sure I’m in a quiet spot. You know there's things that you can do, right? We have blog posts and tips on all that stuff.
But yet, I think the biggest thing is just starting, that's the big—I think a lot of companies and individuals struggle with just getting started. You have to just get started and put yourself out there. Yes, no one likes to hear themselves talk. I’m going to cringe when I hear myself back on this podcast, but you just gotta put yourself out there and I think that is part of humanizing. But you don't need any crazy equipment, there's some tips and things around it.
JS: I think it is a challenge because it is nerve-wracking, maybe anxiety-inducing, when you think about getting in front of a camera or getting it right and you start judging yourself and you hate your hair and you hate your weight, or whatever. Like, you're going to have problems with that, but you just have to try and start.
I saw this—you know I’ve been working for our company for about 18–20 years now and in the beginning we had a floor full of salespeople that had to pick up the phone and cold call. And, there was a personality issue where some people were uncomfortable, they could have a great phone conversation if they were alone in a room, but as soon as you put them at a desk next to other people, the anxiety of that would prevent them from being successful. And we worked with that, we put them in private spaces.
You can do the same thing with video if you're uncomfortable in an open floor plan recording videos—find a situation that's conducive to you trying this out and make mistakes, redo it, do it 40 times before you get it right. But, eventually you probably get better and better at it.
DS: Yeah good point. I even still get nervous when the big camera and lights come on me. I’m like I got my script down, I have it memorized and then they're like, ‘Go,’ and I’m like... I forget my lines.’ But so, one of one of the tips that we do is you have—so, if you are going to go the professional route, you're going to have your nice camera and light set up. Have somebody set that up for you and then just say, ‘Hey, you know what? Let me just riff here for a little bit.’ Just do it by yourself. So, it's all set up perfectly, you're by yourself and just keep it running. Just keep it running and don't try stopping and starting and like, ‘Oh, that one wasn't good.’ Just keep going. You're going to get rhythm, it takes practice. I’m actually even considering taking acting classes to help get polished on my delivery because I would listen back and I would have a lot of ums, ands and awkward pauses.
JS: Or, ‘Why am I talking so fast?’ So, you're speaking of actually doing a really well produced, well-lit, well-recorded—so, that's a bit different than the typical Vidyard, recorded at your computer. Let's talk about the different types of video people can leverage.
DS: The simple way with Vidyard–and this is for free by the way. If you're thinking about doing this, I highly recommend just getting a free basic account for Vidyard and it will add an extension to your Chrome browser.
So, if you have a camera built in on your laptop which just about everybody does and just about everybody—unless if your grandmother—has a smartphone, they have an app as well. You can shoot this right in their app. What it does is it records it real time through your browser, it uploads it directly to the cloud, to their software, it takes care of all of the codexes and all of that, and it produces it almost instantaneously. Then what it does is it creates an animated thumbnail if you want, you can customize it, you can trim it, you can have a unique title and then you can share it. You can share it in an email, you can share it on social media and it goes directly to that person.
It's very fast! Every inbound lead that we get, we respond with a personalized video saying, ‘Thank you for reaching out to SmartAcre. We appreciate you spending some time on our website. We noticed that you're interested in X, Y and Z. I’d ove to get to learn more about your challenges, I’m going to put a direct link at the end of this video with a call to action to book time directly on my calendar,’ and they're off and running.
JS: The cool thing about software like Vidyard is that can track opens, that can track how many times they've watched it. You could see a high level of intent where they must be sharing this video because it's been watched six times. That's a great signal for you to now know this is one that I need to keep an eye on.
DS: Yeah, and by the way it integrates with HubSpot too. So, I mean it's really—there are no excuses anymore, there really aren’t.vFrom a sales process I’ve seen it work for our clients, for ourselves it integrates with other platforms too like SalesLoft. So, if you're using other systems for cadences, I highly recommend it and I think it's a blend. So, we talked about the first part of sending one-to-one very lo-fI videos. That's important, do that in real time and those are very customizable.
[10:03 - 20:10]
It's not too scalable on that side. So, what we recommend is creating about a dozen or so— depending on what you have to talk about—a library of more highly produced content and you can also store that in Vidyard. So, those are more generic, maybe the front part is a little customized or appears to be customizable. You can upload those into Vidyard as well and then have those at your fingertips.
So, a great use case for that would be if you're communicating through the sales process and you're getting some pushback of, ‘Your price is too high or your competitor XYZ offers this.’ Boom! you have something to combat that with another video.
JS: Right, so you have it teed up there in a library. You can say this is an objection I hear often, let me just roll this at them and we can answer it, as opposed to just typing out an email, firing that off and hoping that they read it. Another benefit that you see with being on camera is it's a trust building exercise. When they get to see you and they get to identify with you as a real human, it really does fast track.
We actually see this on the customer service side, where you might be dealing with something— you've got an existing client, we're now trying to make sure that they're as satisfied with their services and as delighted as possible and maybe there's a miscommunication via email. Something wasn't reported properly for example. And as the emails go back and forth via text, you can see that it's escalating in a negative way. If you respond with a video either, a video message or a just video conversation, they immediately see, ‘Oh, this person's not mad at me, there's no reason for me to escalate this anymore or be heated,’ it's a way to really diffuse and build relationships.
DS: Yeah, it's not exactly written into our process but we encourage everybody at SmartAcre to communicate and use video because we have these tools. So, oftentimes a client will ask for like, ‘Hey! I really need help polishing up these social posts ,’ or, ‘I’m having trouble on LinkedIn with this rendering correctly.’ We'll reply and do a screen share and with Vidyard too or other platforms like Drift with their video platform as well. We're agnostic in the space. So, allow you to do a screen share and have your face in like in the little left corner, little circle. So, they can still see you, you're smiling, you're on camera, they're having that humanized conversation and then you're showing them in real time. I guarantee you once you get comfortable, the amount of time it's going to take to produce the video, versus you typing it all out and doing a screenshot and making sure that your text is all spelled correctly, it's going to be a lot faster .
JS: We actually started in that space using a little piece of software called RecordIt, where you could—there's no audio with it, you just record a quick little GIF of like when somebody emails you saying, ‘I can't figure out how to change the spelling of my name in HubSpot.’ Instead of typing out, ‘Click on the company name in the upper right, go down to profile,’ you can just make a quick little video showing them how to find it. It really fast tracks that process.
DS: I think with video there's so many applications. So, we talked about on the sales side, customer service, I use it internally as well. So, my SmartAcres, every Friday get a video of me just talking about some internal things and I send that just to my internal tram because I’m not always there. And you know we're located in Bethlehem and Denver and we have people in Philadelphia and you know we have some remote employees. So, they don't get to see me all the time. So, I think there's a lot of different use cases you can do with video and I again, I want to stress that it's the important thing is just get started with it and try it. You don't have to have crazy software. It does help for those high polished videos and you definitely want to have some decent equipment.
JS: Yeah and editing abilities. If you know you're doing a polished video, it kind of helps put you at ease with the nerves when you know, all right if I make a mistake, pause, redo it and we can just have an edit, a cut you know. So, great.
DS: So, Jon I think actually you guys are Vidyard certified as well or part of the partner program, right?
JS: Yeah, well the reason I wanted to speak to you about is because you speak so eloquently on it but yeah, we're a Vidyard partner as well and we actually had a really interesting situation recently. One of our HubSpot clients, one of the clients we manage is a HubSpot connect partner called Salesmsg. It's two-way texting for businesses, so with your marketing you can text back and forth. I had made a Vidyard video explaining something for them and they saw that and were like, ‘What is that? I want that.’
So, now their sales team is adopting it. So, yeah you know there's so much power in this Vidyard platform and like you said, the integration with HubSpot being able to automate actions—if somebody watches certain videos and being able to bring a sales person's attention when somebody watches certain videos. It's really powerful.
So, SmartAcre you guys offer this as a service—this is essentially sales enablement with leveraging video. What other services do you guys offer over there?
DS: Yeah, so, the easiest thing to do is go to getsmartacre.com. That has all of our list of services and Vidyard is there as well. We're a marketing technology agency, that's the simplest way I can put it. We focus on marketing and technology and they're that blend of MarTech.
So, on the marketing side we really focus and look at demand generation as the umbrella of services. All things inbound, account-based marketing, outbound, making sure that those multi-touch campaigns have great content behind them. We help companies get started with strategy and growth and positioning. I think that's really at the start and then we get pulled into a lot of opportunities to help companies get the most out of their tech stack.
So if you're a listener you're using some of this software as a service that we're mentioning but you might not be getting the most out of them. So, we come in, we'll audit, we implement, we set up managed campaigns—whether if you're in HubSpot or Pardot or Marketo, we have Salesforce admins as well—making sure that from the start all the way to the finish that you can show proper lead attribution and showing ROI on your marketing dollars, that's extremely important. We round everything out with good creative and development as well. So, that's why we position ourselves as a marketing technology agency.
JS: Okay! Beautiful. Well I appreciate you being on the show. How can people find you other than getsmartacre.com?
DS: Yeah, If you want to check out some of my videos if you're not connected with me on LinkedIn, please do, I’m at LinkedIn/David Brian Snyder or if you want to check out my brand-new YouTube channel help hit the subscribe button at youtube.com/David Snyder Jr.
JS: Okay! Be sure to do that. David, thank you very much for joining us.
SL: Thanks for listening to this episode of Inbound & Down. If you like the podcast, please rate us, review and subscribe. If you have any questions or suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on social everywhere at Morey Creative and subscribe to our question of the day at moreycreative.com/qotd.
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