How Video Enhances Your Content Marketing, with Chad Reid


In this episode, Benji talks to Chad Reid VP of Marketing and Communications at Jotform.  

Discussed in this episode: 

- Does video replace blogging or enhance it? 

- The strategy behind great video content

- The potential ROI of video  


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Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B two B growth. Today I am joined by Chad Reid. He's the VP of marketing and communications over at jot form. Chad, great to get to chat with you man. Yeah, excited to be here, Benji. Yeah, and I think a celebration or congratulations as in order, because you're about to celebrate eight years at jot form, which is no small feats. So congratulations there. Thank you so much. Yeah, I feel uh, it feels weird. I'm kind of an anomaly, especially in the tech world, especially in then the bay area, but it's it's all for good, for good reasons, of of love the journey. It's it's a great company and yeah, thank you very much. Years is a long time. No, it's it's definitely a good thing. I think there's so much that you learned from longevity with the company as well. So I want to tap into some that and let's actually use that as like a jumping off point right from the top here, because we were talking a little bit before this recording just on how much has changed, specifically from a content standpoint, which is something we talked about kind of come back to a lot on B, two B growth. When I think of eight years and how content strategy has evolved, what is in that bucket? There's so much we could get into, but think about it specifically for you in your time at job form, how have you seen content strategy continue to evolve for you guys? Well, it wasn't much of a strategy when I when we first started, I came on as one of two original marketing hires, but the company had exists, Johan had existed for eight years prior to my arrival. So there was this really great foundation of product and kind of viral growth and good bones and everything else. But all the blog posts at that point were, we're written by our CEO, as you can imagine, and busy with a million other things. So you know, that was obviously an early thing that we were doing. is just seeing what worked. And you know, content strategy wasn't my background. Writing was my background. So I had a really good sense of how to write, but not necessarily what to write. And but there's a little bit of trial and error, just kind of learning, learning as we went, slowly developed an editorial calendar. But content sure took a different meaning after after a few years, and I think we we hit an inflection point of realization of okay, there's a skill set discrepancy in the strategy side versus the writing side. So we started branching that out and hiring separately for that. So to this point we have kind of a machine. We have grow or content strategists and and SCO professionals who do a lot of work in terms of keyword research and positioning and targeting, you know, the various job form features or kind of audience overlapped, and then we have a full team of writers, full time writers, full time editors, and then, uh, frankly, a really wide network of agencies that we work with and freelancers that we work with. All of this amounts to a hundred thousand words of content that we've been producing every single month for several years now and just about then. A perspective, a hundred thousand words is about the equivalent of a four page book that we're doing at a continual basis, obviously with with significant returns. Otherwise we wouldn't even you know, we wouldn't continue down that path because it's it's an enormous investment in time and resources, but it's uh, we've seen a lot of benefit from it. So yeah, that's that's been like the long winded evolution. I guess, is kind of how how it started. And then we have branched into other mediums to not just not just our blog, but we've invested in in video marketing and UH seen, you know, similar, similar growth too. We didn't have my to a youtube channel a few few years back and the...

...videos on the site weren't necessarily great quality or we didn't necessarily produce a lot of them. But I guess the first video higher that we made, and we made a full time videographer higher, which is kind of unusual at the point, was one of our first, you know, six marketing hires, which is maybe a little bit more unconventionally. Have interesting we do. You never went like outsource agency anything of that sort. You went straight to we're gonna have someone full time. Well, we we UH contracted with the freelancer initially and then we just love the results and love what what he was producing in our CEO very enthusiastically came to the same conclusion that I did that we should just make him a full time employee and get more production out of it. Um. So that's exactly what we did in those early days. Uh, you know, we we were honestly doing a lot of what we still do today. But customer case study videos were really important for us. We wanted to establish online forms are we think they're exciting, but not. They're not inherently exciting to a lot of other people, but these users stories are. So, you know, we're kind of we developed a lot of those and and then, uh, you know, our video team is done a really remarkable job, but that's really expanded. So to this point we we create, yeah, commercials that that you'll see on various Google ads anytime we have a new product or anything like that. We do newsletter videos. So every time we have a monthly newsletter, we have a video that coincides. It just kind of summarizes everything into two minutes or so just to kind of tell tell the view or what's what to expect or what's newly job form, and it's also something that's sharable that we can put out on different, different channels. We have loads of S C O content. I mean Youtube is the second biggest search engine and it's right on the heels. You know, you need to approach it the same way that you approach your content strategy for free, your blog or for your website. So we do our content strategy team that that's helped with all this great keyword research for a blog is often doing the same for for Youtube. And and then, you know, we're creating the material. We have to have the resources in order to do that. So we have continued to scale our video team. It's about four or five people strong at this point and that's internally. But we also outsource videos that don't require product expertise as much, or if that's kind of a light lift or something that's strictly s c o driven, but we're kind of, you know, giving them broader, broader range topics. We have a really great partnership with an agency that can kind of turn them out a lot faster than we can. You know, they have a production studio, they hire actors that can do twenty recordings in a day, which none of us internally are capable of doing. Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, that's it's allowed us to scale. So there are kind of a couple of ways that that any BBB company can can approach their youtube channel. You can either look at it as a a catalog or kind of a library of contents, or you can try to create posts that an individually, are going to really resonate or have a lot of buzz or be virals. That's kind of tricky to do and you know, honestly, I'm not sure which way we go, which way we lean. I think we're probably more of a video library at this point, but we also try to make fun videos as much as we can. Yeah, I was gonna say I've seen you in UH in an ad of those pretty actually like creative and fun. So I know there's you guys are playing with with both. Still need to educate still to some of those customer success type stories, but then you also have that sort of leaning into how do we make people laugh and do this in an entertaining way as well. Yeah, yeah, I'm glad, glad you pointed that out. That's that's one of the Quirky things that we've done as a marketing department and whenever we do have a major feature or or product launch, we get behind the camera ourselves and and try to try our best to, you know, create these Goofy, goofy ads, and I'll tell you the beauty of doing that...

...all in house, and even just having an in house video team in the first place. Is the flexibility. You know, I think if you're contracting every bit of video that you have, it's a long lead time, you know, between something. You really have to have things sorted out weeks in advance. You can't be that Nimble. But with a in house team, sometimes, much to distagrant of our video team, I'm changing the scripts or, you know, improvising things the day before or the day of. We can deploy a lot more videos that way. So it's uh, it's been been a big benefit. I love that creative flexibility. For sure on that set of things I want. Before we get too far from this, I wanted to mention two things that I think are really interesting. So first being you had mentioned a couple of times one that early on your CEO was writing blogs and then you also like highlighted that the CEO was like, Hey, we should just hire this guy to do videos. So there's something in the CEO that's like paying attention to content, knows the power of content. What's that like now, as far as is your CEO involved in the content strategy still to any point? How do you think of involving involving that role. We're so fortunate that he wasn't even buying. It was, frankly, encouragement from our CEO to really invest in content marketing. And then when I thought we were investing in content marketing early on, he said no, invests in content marketing. Like, we want scale, we want infrastructure, we want this to be much bigger than it is currently. So that was that's a great sign, you know, from from a marketing department, to get that kind of buying from from our executive leadership. And and then he did that. He basically took the same approach with our content that he u he gave the green light for to our video. And Yeah, he's he's a huge fan. He's not involved in the strategy per se, but he's definitely h aware of what we're producing and pays a lot of attention to it and he kind of loves video himself. So periodically he'll he'll get on and I ask our video team to to highlight him and he kind of shares his thought leadership and various videos too. So yeah, it's been it's been great and it's it's key to have that that buy in from above for sure. Yeah, that buying. And then I'm I'm glad you even mentioned like him getting in some of the video. I think that's something we're pushing a lot right now. Is that, even as you scale right, like there was founder led selling early on. That heart as a CEO can translate really well. If you can get that person in front of a camera, they probably already have some level of thought, leadership and good, good perspective. So keeping them somehow engaged in the content strategy is a really big win for the marketing team overall. The other thing that I was wondering about is the relationship between your video team and what you're building in the house and this team of writers that you have and how you're like how those teams play together, how they're working together. How do you think of that side of things? And and maybe you would you call it complimenting each other? Would you like? I just wonder what that looks like. Definitely complimentary and you know, they follow a very similar path, similar trajectory. At this point. Our video team is more or less catching up s c o wise to what our content team is established. So if anything, we're we're replicating a lot of the same material or same content that was in a blog post maybe written a year ago and creating it for a different channel where it's still just as useful, but you know, we're creating it in a different space where maybe people are looking forward on youtube versus just a regular Google search. So at some point those, once we do catch up more, the same post is going to be relevant for for both Um and, you know, maybe this video is going to be embedded in a blog and kind of give it more more life, and we do find, you know, people are going to hang around on your your blog longer if there's an embedded video. Right. There's like there's more benefits, I guess, just too to having that than than just creating content for the sake of creating content. But they very much work together. Even...

...our content team produces the or rights, the descriptions and we have very detailed descriptions on our youtube page, which isn't nothing, you know, if if we're producing videos at the rate that we're producing videos, we have to spend a lot of time writing those descriptions. So our our content team is uh is working through those. So they do work very closely with each other and yeah, they're going to continue to work closely more and more. Okay, so for a team that may not have the capacity right now to just build out a total in house team, you still advocate for video. I'd assume there's definitely the bars getting like lower and lower. I don't mean that in like you shouldn't create excellent video, but barrier to entry has been drastically removed. I mean even shooting on your iphone like could get very decent quality. So I guess the question there would be like why do you see this being so important, like what are those key advantages that you're going this is what you can get from video that you can't quite get the same r o I or engagement in a certain way from written or maybe more traditional forms of content marketing. Yeah, I mean you touched on a great point. I think the important thing is just getting started and you don't need a lot of production. In fact, a lot of times people prefer when they're watching a video that it's more authentic if it's someone's iphone or there. You know, they don't feel like they're being sold to as much if, if there's fewer bells and whistles in the production quality. So there's really something to be said about that and it's really about the content or the message that you're delivering. But the main reason, of course, is your customers are, or your potential customers are, looking for video and and it's it's a medium that a lot of people prefer when they're searching for content or when they're searching for answers, and if you're able to provide an answer, you have to be there. I think it's it's really necessary and it's going to do wonders for your brands and create more visibility. And the way that you're talking about creating video. You know, if you don't have a big team or or equipment or anything else, is not that much of an investment at all. You know, I think if you have your talking points and everything else and all if all you have is an iphone and a good idea, you know, there's not much holding you back at that point. And you know, I think it's it's just a great you know, it's a great tool for all those things and also for your existing your existing customers, your existing clients, having that extra communication touchpoint is amazing. You know, whether it's for support or explaining a new product or, you know, some exciting news, recruiting, whatever the case. You know, it's just great to have that and create a system where, if you don't have a big team or or extensive agency, you know some sort of cadence where maybe you're doing this once every two weeks or once every every week or whatever you can manage. I think the important thing is just getting started. Yeah, let's talk about how you guys scaled video or how you thought about it. So at first, was it the like sort of those customer success type stories that you really wanted to document? Then that's why you brought in that that freelancer or what? What did it look like at first? And then, I guess, how did you prioritize what other types of big projects you wanted to take on? Yeah, you know, we we ran into the same or maybe I had the same epiphany with with video as we did with writing, where we hired the production skill set first without necessarily having a sense of the strategy, and it was always a mistake in thinking, oh, this videographer is just going to know what to shoot or this writer that we hired is going to know what to write. We have to realize that there's a strategy component and that's going to come from people who specialize and strategy. Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah, and that was key to scaling right. Like we we sat there with kind of a small and flexible video team, but we created videos that we thought were fun. We did them often, we did great case studies, we did email newsletters, but we didn't haven't necessarily a sense of we need a head in this direction because people are searching for this and this is going... help them find jot form this way. So once we looked in content strategy, it really really scaled from there. And then once the request started pouring in and we realized that we needed to build up a video to the hand the capabilities to produce all this, we started doing that and then that led to finding an agency to partner with two to handle some of the more like I was mentioning, less products, focused s c o pieces that were still relevant enough to jot form that we felt that they needed to be needed to be produced. But, yeah, scaling, there's really a matter of, yeah, dividing skill sets where where they're most needed, and for us that was realizing that the strategy needed to to come from from outside of the video team. Specifically and really help us out from from that standpoint with all the research. But define strategy for me for a second because, like there's, I think, an element that I'm seeing harped on more often. We're even doing some of this on Linkedin to get B Two B brand specifically to think about their unique P ov and like have that point of view really well documented, their brand story really well documented to where that's infused into the video content you're doing, the podcast content you're doing, any content marketing. Like, if you have that strategy in place from a from just a brand voice perspective, that's going to really inform your your teams that are working on this content. But there's obviously other pieces of strategy too that are involves. So just, I guess, define strategy for me. What all? What all do you mean there? For drap form, it's casting a very, very wide net and trying to make sure that we are searchable for hundreds of different use cases and ways that people might be looking or when the people are looking to solve a particular problem and they're going to youtube, that we are front and Center for them. And I'd say that we cast a wide net because we're sort of in a unique position as a an online form service where online forms are used for everything and by everyone, every single type of organization, whether it's a government or a major university or a tech startup to a you know, a person working out of their garage with with a laptop, you know, like kind of and everything in between. But that gives us a lot of opportunity for content. So, if you know, if you look at our our youtube page, we cover everything. You know, there's an animal shelter focus or a photographer focus or enterprise level focus. Um, and if, if we've if there's a use case out there that we want people to be using job form for, we want that to be visible on Youtube and our blog, and that's that's kind of the focus of the strategy and we're because we have the infrastructure now to mass produce. We don't really hold back. Yeah, yeah, I want so. Okay. So then, was it the strategy conversations early on, just thinking through topically, what are all these use cases that are available to us that we want to highlight? And because, and that's where you needed to translate it to the video team to like understand where they could take it. Story wise, it kind of went from the lowest hanging fruits early on to it's kind of branching out to more I don't want to say obscure use cases, but you know, lesser, lesser known or maybe lesser searched. Honestly, the first ones that we were doing were what is job form, how to use job form, how to use job form for registration, like really basic but impactful keywords. You know people actually who were searching for what is job form? Well, other people at first other companies were showing up, you know, first, second, third and fourth for what is job form? That we can't have. That obviously right. So and and evaluating this. There there was definitely a hierarchy of of importance of not only what's what's being highly searched, but what's most relevant to to our product and then, uh, you know, kind of kind of going down the list from there. Yep, I I know. For me, one of the things I would advocate the most for B two B marketers listening to this is to just evaluate your website and the content...'re already producing, probably in a written form. That's what I come across the most often. That's answering the questions. Chad just mentioned about, like who you are, all those just make a video that reiterates that in a more personal way, and that's a great place to start. And especially like those types of who are we type of of things that you're gonna are gonna live on your site for a long time. That's where you should get your CEO involved. Again, it's like a starter pack of videos and then, yeah, branch out into use cases, branch out into some of these like we would advocate for podcasting. There's a million different things you can do with video, but that's a great place to start, which is kind of where we're gonna come up for air here at the end chat. Is just to to go. What's an action item and obviously where we have marketers all across the board, some that are executing at a super high level when it comes to video and others that are going to be like all right, well, we're dipping our toes in right now, but we don't necessarily have this full blown strategy. So, if you think of important things in your time really building out this video content strategy, what have been like those vital things that you want to reiterate and and and maybe give us some action items? Yeah, well, I think you actually just touched on the biggest action item and that if you have those low hanging fruit videos, those basic like what is your company, do that sooner than later. We we we sort of worked and inverse where we did that later on and I'm kicking myself that we didn't have that video or those videos live sooner because the moment we we produced to them or in the months that followed, they've become our highest traffic videos by far and then you get comments every week and they're incredibly valuable and they're incredibly valuable to people who are, you know, perspective users, a job form, to people who just signed up, to people who are searching for it, Um, whatever the case is. Uh, that's key. But the biggest action item also is just get started. It's not as scary as as as you think you're going to get more comfortable with it and in the process of it or being in front of camera yourself over time, but the important thing is to, you know, just take that, take that plunge and then deploy the same methodology that you do for s c o, that you would have on your on your your own website or your blog. You have a sense of what your keywords are or what's important for your business or what's going to generate interests. Put those those same strategies to to mind for for video works just the same. Yeah, last question here is just as you look at the impact that video has had on your marketing and those that are engaging with it, what kind of like like are there? Is there a story that you would want to highlight that's like, man, this shows how useful video has been for us. I'd love to hear just the impact that it's made. Yeah, well, there's impact that's easy to measure and this impact that's a little more difficult to measure. But from a base level, our video team created this great chart on our last quarterly marketing meeting where basically they're showing a curve of sign ups that are coming directly from our youtube page, and it's it's significant and it coincides exactly what, uh, you know, the production that we're putting in videos and more more videos we produced, the more sign ups that we're getting. So that's key, you know. But there are there are other things that are a little more difficult to measure, you know, with the value that people are getting when they're on our site and there's they're viewing an embedded video. You know the product learning that they're getting from it. If we're putting out a case study or an email or a video newsletter into one of our emails, there's a lot of discovery and and product learning. That's not necessarily something that people are going to measure right after that, but we think it's incredibly helpful and we can just tell that from the engagement that we're getting from the videos themselves. And then you know the fact that our youtube channel has has grown. You know, it was it was not substantial before we started creating more videos and now I don't know where we are exactly, twenty four or twenty subscribers. It's not that it's needs it and we we're just we're just a little SAS company with an online form service. So it's not we're not some influencer or anything like that.

Now that's good, but people obviously enjoy the content and that's that's very validating. Love it well. Thanks for breaking this down for us. Chat. I know this is a good challenge for some teams to just like hey, we need you need to get serious about this, think about content in in the new format right. It's not just blogs and in this old way of thinking. But there's so much that that this can enhance in your strategy. So you want to really lock in on it for people that want to stay connected to you. And so to jot form. Just tell us real quick what's the best way to do those things? Well, jot form is very easy to uh, to try for yourself. It's it's completely free. It takes twelve seconds to sign up. Just JOP THEM DOT COM. You can find me all over the jot form blog, but Awestul, feel free to find me on Linkedin and there's a lot of Chad reads out there. I'm usually first or second. I'm very fair proud of of how easy I am to find there, so feel free to reach out perfect well, thanks for stopping by B two B growth. Man, this has been a really great conversation. Yeah, thanks, appreciative. Benjie. Hey, for everybody listening that is maybe new to the show, maybe this is the first time checking out B two B growth. Thanks for stopping by and if you would follow the show, then you'll never miss a future episode. We want to be the ones to help you continue to grow and innovate in the marketing efforts that that you're putting forth. So you can also connect with me on Linkedin. Just search Benji block and that would love to chat with you about marketing business life over there. Keep doing work that matters. We'll be back real soon with another episode. If you enjoy today's show, hit subscribe for more marketing goodness. And if you really enjoy today's show, take a second to rate and review the podcast on the platform you're listening to it on right now. If you really really enjoyed this episode, share the love by texting it to a friend who would find it insightful. Thanks for listening and thanks for sharing.

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