On this episode of 'Inbound & Down,' host Jon Sasala chats with Kate Skavish, Chief Visionary Officer at Wave.video, an online video editing platform.
A few episodes back we spoke to Dave Snyder, CEO at Smartacre about utilizing videos in your sales and service processes. One thing we didn’t really touch on however, was videos for marketing. That’s a gap that can be filled with a service like Wave.video.
You can create and repurpose short promotional videos, videos for a blog or website, video ads, social media videos, and much more!
You can find Kate Skavish on LinkedIn and online at wave.video.
Do you have questions about creating marketing videos? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the episode transcript below.
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This is Brian Halligan and you're listening to Inbound & Down from Morey Creative Studios.
SL: Hey, it’s Sage here! Today’s guest is Kate Skavish, Chief Visionary Officer at Wave.video, an online video editing platform.
A few episodes back we spoke to Dave Synder, CEO at Smartacre about utilizing videos in your sales and service processes. One thing we didn’t really touch on however, was videos for marketing. That’s a gap that can be filled with a service like wave video.
You can create and repurpose short promotional videos, videos for a blog or website, video ads, social media videos, and much more.
Alright, let’s throw it to Jon and Kate Skavish.
Jon Sasala: Joining me today we've got Kate Skavish. Kate, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you?
Kate Skavish: I am fine. I am very honored to be on your podcast.
JS: Thank you for joining us. Before we get started can you tell me a bit about who you are career-wise? Kind of like how you ended up becoming a chief visionary officer at Wave?
KS: I am an entrepreneur. I've been a co-founder of a couple of businesses before I founded Wave.video. I started a flash generator. It was a side product for Flash. If you remember, there was such a tool some time ago.
JS: Sure do.
KS: When it was successful it was acquired by Macromedia. After that, Steve Jobs announced that Flash is dead. And we thought that this community which used to be a Flash community is going to move to another product and we created an Animatron. It was an animation tool and we hoped that all these people who did back development and animation would come to our product – which didn't happen.
They scattered, enjoying different communities of smaller and more focused tools and that's where we decided, “Okay we will create something for videos, because videos are getting hot.” They began being supported on Facebook in 2015 I guess, or around that time. We just repurposed this full-fledged animation tool into a very focused product for marketers and we needed something like that ourselves, because as an animation tool we needed to produce a lot of videos and that's something that worked on Facebook very well at that time. We struggled, it took so much time to create every single video, so we wanted something that could be done in minutes and we actually did it for ourselves. It worked, we knew what's needed and it just took off.
JS: So that's Animatron specifically, that's not Wave?
KS: It's Wave. It was pivoted out of the animation tool.
JS: Is an Animatron still a product out there that people can leverage?
KS: Yes, it's called Animatron Studio. It's more advanced and you can create an animation and more advanced explainer videos. It has one flaw—a high-learning curve and that's what keeps people off this product, because Wave is so intuitive, you can come and in a few minutes you can create videos. That's what attracts people. We have 200 million video clips and they can mix and match that with their own content. Videos come out looking very professional. We always get this feedback, “I didn't know I could create such a professional looking video, it’s so beautiful, thank you!” That's something we wanted to achieve and I think we succeeded.
JS: That's a general sentiment around Wave how user-friendly it is. We’ll get into the nuts and bolts of how people can leverage Wave, but jumping back to Animatron real quick—we've seen such an uptick in the last five+ plus years of the demand for this explainer videos and even if there is a bit of a learning curve, instead of having to rely on service out there that provides explainer video services, to be able to do it yourself and do it on the fly once you have conquered that learning curve is something I think is very valuable to people, only because we've seen how impactful those explainer videos can be.
Interesting that it’s out there, I am not familiar with the tool. Thanks for that. Jumping over to your experience though, now transitioning to video specific and maybe talking head videos that are being edited together. Can we talk a bit about how video can be leveraged in the marketing world, for a strategic marketing plan. How can we leverage video better?
KS: I guess, we all know by this time that videos work so much better in terms of engagement of community, in terms of driving sales. There is a lot of research around it and data shows that videos versus pictures or text, 64% of people are more likely to buy your product if you have a video which demonstrates it. It creates more trust, it creates more engagement around it. People just pay attention to moving things. It’s just in our brains from the time when we were hunters and gatherers—we had to pay attention to the things that were moving around to stay alive.
Actually video works much better than any other type of content on every step of the marketing funnel. Start in the beginning and then you just need to raise the brand awareness. In the middle when you need to educate the people and create the trust and on the bottom of the funnel, when you need to convert your audience to buyers and advocates your brand. So for any part of it, videos just work best. If you want to dive more into specifics we can talk more about it.
JS: Yes, sure. I would like to. We know as inbound marketers, when we are producing content like you described, it’s for different stages of the buyer’s journey when you wanna attract people to a site. For me, attracting people to a site means producing content that is going to rank very well in search engines. Organic is what we all strive for.
That doesn't necessarily mean that there are different ways to get your content to rank, and we find that one of the better things you can do is include video in the content you are producing. So it’s not relying on video exclusively, but letting the video be the component of what you are producing, especially when you are trying to attract them to the site, they wanna be impressed when they get there. When we are talking about producing that video there can be disservice that happens when the video is poor. How do we make sure that we’re producing content that does keep people there and does engage with them. What are some tips to improve the quality of your videos?
KS: First of all, it might sound surprising, but the quality of your audio in every video is very important and crucial. People are actually more likely to turn off your video if the quality of sound is not good.
Next, people watch, especially if it is brand awareness—something on social media, they often watch your video with the sound off, so having captions, having text which is reinforcing what you are talking about is very helpful and again, quality of the video itself. If it is not very high it could be working for you because it looks more trustful and more social. Something that you produce with your phone is fine, but people still pay a lot of attention to the quality of sound, just naturally.
But it will definitely create more trust if you show a video and show your product in the video. So when you start with ads as brand awareness or a promotional video for your conference or your blog—so even a simple teaser for your blog post could be very helpful. When you place it on social media and will drive more traffic to your blog or your website. Including video snippets in your blog post is also something that triggers a search engine.
As we all know right now, Google shows videos with snippets above every other content, even above some ads. It’s very helpful, it’s probably like 800-600 pixels above. It also creates more visibility for your content, that's for sure. Same promotions for your webinars, courses and everything which you place on social media also drives traffic to your main property, website, YouTube channel or to your online products.
JS: You mentioned having a second channel on search engine results that you can be maybe driving traffic—that's a huge benefit. But on the written word side, when you're embedding videos into your content that's simply going increase the time on site. When someone gets to the page or an article, they might read through but if they stop and spend 30 seconds, that's an additional 30 seconds that Google sees that they've spent on the page. So you can see a lift in the organic rankings that you have, just by embedding this rich media and this more engaging content.
So that’s looking at it from the marketing perspective. When you are trying to attract people to the site and as they are making a decision and presenting content that helps them to make a decision—but there are different things that we, as a marketing agency do, outside of just content production, we support our clients with their sales processes. We look at the types of videos that are being leveraged for sales, this can be like you said, a really great, trust-building process. What do you see people are doing with videos for sales?
KS: A variety of things, of course. First of all, before they actually do close a client they tend to educate them and education happens on all sorts of levels. Starting some top of the website videos which show in general what you are all about, your agency, your business as a business. Then webinars, some educational videos which you embed on your website.
If you’re talking about youtube, there is a channel 'Explain your videos'. Those videos are also very important to keep people, to make them subscribe to your channel. A video intro and outro also creates brand awareness, creates habits in people. They wait for sort of teasers or certain rituals which we perform at the beginning and at the end of the show. It is important to create this kind of queue that people pay attention to.
And, video landing pages. We offer video landing pages, because our clients like to collect lists using certain videos on websites and to send a video in emails. If you already have clients on your email list but you want to put them further down the marketing funnel you might want to include some videos in your emails. And we notice that the click through rate is always higher if you have a thumbnail with the button on it. People are more likely to watch your videos than to just click the link on your website. So it is kind of working better.
JS: So you can increase your click through rate on emails by embedding maybe what looks like a video. The video is not gonna play inline in that email yet. I am sure that at some point in the future that will be possible, but right now that is going to encourage them to click through, get to the landing page and watch the video in that capacity.
Something else we've seen, this isn't something we came up with, you know when people leverage—on forms, landing pages where there is a form—a little video that says, “Here is what to expect when you fill out this form.” It’s a way to let people feel that you will get some value by filling out this form.
A previous guest on an episode was Mike Keplinger. Mike is with a company called SmashBrand. The use of video they have through their site is exceptional, so if you wanna check that out is: smashbrand.com. For their bio pages rather than just the photo of their employees, when you see the still and when you click play they're explaining who they are, what they do for the company and what they will do for you. It’s a very creative way to use video, I think.
KS: Absolutely. And again, this type of video creates more trust, you can see real people, they are talking, they are alive and you get so much more information by looking at the video, because about 60% of messages we send, we don't send through words. We send them as a type of a face expression, body language and all sorts of things that we’re really attuned to. But they are not vocal, they are visual. That's why actually customer testimonials in forms of videos work so well, product reviews, endorsements, all sorts of videos around building trust and driving people to their final decision. It also works so much better and that is something we do and there’s lots of research about it.
JS: I think a lot of people don't understand the value of video. But the barrier is how challenging it is not to shoot the video but get it cut up, get it edited, get it produced. And that brings me to Wave and the value proposition that Wave has. Can you talk about how Wave is really built to streamline and make video production more efficient?
KS: Absolutely. I'd love to. First of all, we have a very intuitive and simple tool which designs for marketers to produce marketing videos without talking to designers. We have a lot of templates and they are highly customizable—any text, any font color, everything can be replaced. Marketers can easily type text and choose an animation, how the text appears. We allow our business customers to have up to 25 brands which includes graphics, logos, fonts, colors—everything that brands need to streamline the process, so you don't have to upload everything a few times. You can have palettes of colors for holidays for special seasons which we can reuse, and that streamlines.
People can also create templates out of our templates or from their own. For example if they come up with a certain type of intro and outro they want to keep for their podcast or YouTube show, for webinars—they can reuse it. For live streaming they can do like lower third videos and all sorts of overlays which also are reusable and super easy.
All of that helps to streamline a video production. We also have separate folders which help to keep your content organized and you can reuse and copy/paste the graphics and upload videos and everything that you bought at our database, because we have certain video clips which cost extra. Everything can be used again and again. We are very good with repurposing and reusing content.
We have 30 video formats and each video can be easily repurposed to drive the most engagement from certain platforms, any video can be designed and squared, vertical for instagram stories or square for Facebook. For YouTube is of course horizontal, for Facebook cover there is a separate format. So any video can be easily replaced and repurposed for any type of social platform to get the most engagement and the best look on that platform to stand out. And CTAs at the end of videos of course, because that’s what drives engagement.
JS: So the skill level that someone needs to leverage Wave is very low. You need no technical skills, you don't have to know how to code or anything like that. Anyone pretty much can just jump in and be successful.
KS: Right, but this person has to understand what the messaging is. That is what we expect people to understand outwardly. Like, a hook in the beginning, middle and call to action in the end, but that's what marketers basically know how to do and that helps them to create videos fast.
JS: So, if you don't have a camera, if you don't have somebody who speaks well in front of a microphone ,you can leverage your stock video library that people can look through. And like you said some of them might be premium, so I purchase a video and I can use it multiple times and multiple places. And as you said, include captions that can be used on social and make sure that audio is not necessarily part of it. If you do want audio I’m sure you have a library with music that you can leverage?
KS: Absolutely. That’s very important, as background music. We also have voiceover features, so if you just want to say something as a voiceover for your video you can do it in our product. And we have a few million videos and photo clips which are included in the free subscription, so you can just use it free. We also have some premium stuff which we actually don't get any profit from. It just gives us the opportunity for clients to search for some content if they have very specific, not very popular things. Most of our clients mix and match their own content with the database. So something they have photos or videos of and they mix and match something to demonstrate their point which they can easily find in our database using keywords, cross-industry.
JS: Very cool. Jumping back to the voiceover. I’m curious about that service. Is that something that is auto-generated and kind of computer-sounding or is this like, order a voiceover, someone records it and sends it back and it’s good to go?
KS: It’s just a button. You click on it and you start talking.
JS: Ohh! So it’s your own voiceover! Got it!
KS: If you are shy to do that or you have a heavy accent like me we suggest to use VoiceBunny. It is a very inexpensive service. They have all sorts of accents and demographics and you can hear and see samples, but we don't provide that part of the service, only videos.
JS: If someone is comfortable using a quick-time video or recording their own audio, you can upload your own voiceover without using your tools, or you can upload your own videos you captured from your computer?
KS: Right! That's something a lot of our customers do and some of our customers don't really use Wave as a heavy editor, they use it as a place where they can easily create video landing pages with a call to action and short descriptions. It’s super simple. You just type the title, you type explanation, you type your call to action for your page, place your video and you are done! Plus of course some player adjustments. It’s super easy and takes no time.
JS: That's interesting, so I might have a great strong skill and produce, on my own, some really well-polished videos, but I don't have the ability to make a landing page for it, so I’ll leverage Wave, upload a video, create a landing page. How much control do you have over that landing page? Can I add a form to that or other content in addition to the video?
KS: Right now it’s just a very simple landing page. A call to action button can lead to your form to collect it, but it is not on the page itself. We are adding more templates for what people can always leverage.
JS: So with the call to action. when the video plays I can choose to, at the end. have a click here to learn more, click here to schedule time with me, click here to do something else.
KS: Yes. Or sign up for my newsletter, or learn more, the next video could be sent in an email and stuff like that.
JS: Okay. Excellent. So this show, we as Morey Creative are a HubSpot Solutions Partner and a lot of our listeners are involved in the HubSpot world. I understand that Wave actually integrates with the HubSpot platform. Can you tell me a bit about that?
KS: Any video that you render on our platform can be uploaded to the HubSpot file manager. We actually have a lot of clients of HubSpot who use our product, it’s mostly agencies. Just because we support agencies very well with their branding features where you can upload 25 brands and with other stuff like white label preview when you can send a preview of your video to your clients and get feedback and stuff like that. So agencies love us.
JS: And I can see why, because agencies are always looking for better ways to engage with their clients, audience and video is clearly something that we all should be doing. There also happens to be this coincidence that your headquarters is located a stones throw away from HubSpot's Cambridge office and actually right by the Convention Center in Boston. Is that correct?
KS: Actually just across the street from the Convention Center and we love INBOUNd. I actually miss it this year, because it is online, not a real thing and we've been sponsoring it for a few years now.
JS: INBOUND being a conference held at the Boston Convention Center, there are a lot of incredible events that actually happen after hours and not everybody even knows about, but over there at the Seaport where people get together and I’m sure you guys are heavily involved as a sponsor there but also in the shenanigans that happen during the get togethers.
KS: They have a very vibrant community in HubSpot. They invite partners to all sorts of events, not only during INBOUND but also through the year. It's kind of fun and we are glad we are here.
JS: I am sure that at some point soon we'll be back in person for the Convention. Like you said this year it was virtual, they did a great job, it was lovely, but I really look forward to getting back to the Seaport and spending some time with you guys.
Before we part ways, are there any resources that you would like to point people to? Maybe on the Wave website, where they can learn more about the tool?
KS: Absolutely. We have a great blog. Basically if you read throughout this blog you will get a pretty good idea of how you should insert videos into your inbound marketing or your video marketing strategy. A lot of simple, but useful advice on how to make your video look more professional, about colors, about different tricks which makes it look better. I think that a simple read of a few articles can really change for the better the way you make your marketing videos. So definitely the website is a great resource.
We also have free templates that you can go through and get an idea of what's popular on Instagram and other social platforms, how to make a good intro and just educate yourself in a visual way. Another helpful resource is a social calendar that has a video for every single day in a year. There are also all sorts of events, trending hashtags for the day, so you can post this video or two videos every day even without changing for your community to keep it engaged and interested, so I think it is a very helpful resource for social media managers and inbound managers. You can also use it for your blog and everywhere.
JS: So that tool that is inside Wave, if I am a Wave user, I can use the scheduler and just set up 5–10 days, 15 weeks—whatever it might be of content to be published at some point in the future?
KS: Not exactly a scheduler. We have a calendar, like a regular calendar, which has some videos for every single day, you can watch this video and if you like it then you push it directly to the social platforms or to your scheduler.
If you are a social media manager you fill your scheduler two weeks ahead of time. Our calendar is something that helps you to come up with ideas for some days, if you don't know what to post you can just come to the calendar, borrow that video and post it.
JS: Very cool. What about you personally, where could we find you online?
KS: On LinkedIn. We also have a very vibrant Wave video users community on Facebook. It’s called Wave.video Community. We also have a lot of educational webinars once a week. It is either to demonstrate new abilities of the tool, some interesting features or we invite some thought leaders to share their knowledge about different aspects of video making and marketing. So at some point if you want to come and talk about Inbound you are very welcome.
JS: Okay! I appreciate the invite and I really appreciate you coming on the show and spending this time with us Kate. Thank you for joining us.
KS: Thank you Jon, it was a lovely time.
JS: Okay, Take care!
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 email@example.com. Follow us on social everywhere at Morey Creative and subscribe to our question of the day at moreycreative.com/qotd.
This episode of Inbound & Down is sponsored by AudioEye, an industry-leading software solution provider delivering website accessibility compliance to businesses of all sizes.
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