Ep. 30

The Power of Video

with guest Tyler Lessard of VidYard.

Home Service Toolbox Ep. 30

Brian: We want to welcome everyone to the 30th episode of our podcast. We’re joined today by Tyler Lessard and he is a Marketing Executive and has a passion of creative storytelling but he’s part of the team at Vidyard. We are going to be talking about the power of video and how his video can transform the current season of our business that we find ourselves in. So stay tuned.

Male Speaker: Welcome to the Home Service Toolbox, a podcast dedicated to helping home service providers. Every Wednesday your host, Brian and Olivia will interview leading experts in both the home service field as well as companies who support the small business owner. Our guests will help you nail down what will and what won’t work to grow your business. Whether you are on a job site or taking a break, there is no better time to sharpen your small business skills.

Brian: Oh, I unmute my mic. How are you today, Tyler?

Tyler: Hey Brian. I am great, thank you. How are you?

Brian: I am good. Well, it is funny that we are talking about technology today in video because if I cannot press the unmute button, a video does not work very well.

Tyler: We are all living in this interesting new world where all of a sudden we’re expected to be on video calls and video chats all day long. So we are all learning for the ride. I am just happy you are not using a cheesy virtual background, so let us call this a win.

Brian: Yeah. You know, I mean, I have not used one ever. I’ve seen some decent ones, but the standard ones, you know, when you’re in the sky and you know, when you’re in the space and all that is not quite, I think [Inaudible 00:01:55]. Have you paid attention to the news recently that the newscaster that, you know, was in shorts and he got like, the video was showing him, um, and he was actually in shorts and they could see him. I do not know if he did that on purpose or not, but I mean, it was quite interesting.

Tyler: Yeah. You know, we’ve seen a few of those happening and you know of course it all goes back to the origin of this, which was the epic BBC interview when the child came into the room while the newscaster was on but you know what it’s interesting. I know within our team at least that being forced to be remote and doing things like, you know, live video chats and video conferences at home in many ways has actually brought us closer, which is interesting, right? We think being further apart keeps us distanced but having that really, transparent view into, you know, people’s personal lives, while some people fear it a little bit, those who embrace it I think are actually finding a lot of value. It has brought our teams together and little things like that of standing up with shorts on hopefully their shorts and not actually underwear. You know, those things are great and we get to share these experiences. I, for one, am finding a lot of interesting and unexpected, you know, benefits coming out of being forced to be at home during this time. It is good. It is interesting.

Brian: Well, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about Vidyard? You know, we as a company new have been using Vidyard for well over, probably a year or two in our sales process but you know we sit behind the computer all day long, that is what we do and so it makes sense for us. I am sure that a lot of our listeners are like, what is Vidyard, what does it do and how is it going to help my business? So give us a little brief intro to who Vidyard is and you know, the platform you guys offer.

Tyler: Yeah. So Vidyard is a suite of tools, video technologies to help businesses better communicate with their audiences, whether that be through the marketing content they’re putting on their website or through one-to-one videos that they may be recording and sending to prospects, to clients, to partners, or to employees. In that realm, that is where we are seeing a lot of activity right now and an opportunity for people. We were just joking about things like live video calls, which a lot of us are now getting used to, but you know, we cannot always hop on a live video call when we want to communicate something to a prospect or a customer. So our tools make it really easy to hit record and record a quick video message using your camera on your computer or doing a screen capture. Once you are finished recording that message, you can immediately send it to an individual via email, via social, however it is you want to share it, and they can immediately watch it and you’ll actually get notified to be told when they watch that content. So it’s all about making it simple, simple, simple to record and send a quick video message out to a client to both more personalize and humanize your communications, but also to show them things they may need to see that you just can’t do through email and text based communications.

Brian: Well, that is really, cool. I think you mentioned, if not, you can do this from your phone, you know, you do not have to do this for a computer and you know, you have an app. I think what’s really neat is for someone that’s in sales being able to be notified when they’ve viewed that content, you know, you don’t need to be weird about it and be like, oh, I know you’ve read the content or I know you didn’t be the content, don’t be a creeper about it but it helps. I know it helps me do my job better because I know if they are engaged, I know whether they have fully watched it or you know all the information it is going to be helpful. Speak a little bit about, you know, when you email it, you know, you have a unique feature with animation, you know, speak about how that piece helps enhance someone engaging with the video.

Tyler: Yeah. So let me just quickly walk you through the really, simple steps to how an average person would do this. So as a salesperson, as a business owner, you know, one click within your web browser, it is actually a simple browser extension and you can immediately record your video. Once you hit stop, it can be shared directly with somebody as mentioned via email and when you do that, you are not actually sending the video file because often they are too large to make it through email. What we actually do is we drop a thumbnail image of that video into the email. It has a nice big play button on it. You can make that thumbnail image, either just a static image from the video itself. You can upload a custom image if you really wanted to, or you can make it what is called an animated gif. So it’s a three second loop of a section of your video. By doing that to your point, it can make it really, stand out in your communications. Some people will make sure at the beginning of their video, maybe they are waving for a couple of seconds so when they drop that into their email, it is a little three-second looping of you waving and it’s hard to ignore. Of course, when you see a real person, you know, on camera waving to you in your email it is both novel. We are not used to it, so it draws our attention, but it is also, again, just a lot more personal and interesting and more likely to get somebody to click through and want to watch your message. So there’s lots of ways that people use that feature to make sure that they’re getting the attention they deserve and they’re cutting through the noise when trying to communicate with clients or prospects.

Olivia: I mean those personal touches they go such a long way. I feel like especially considering the current season so many business owners are finding themselves in right now. I mean that little wave, that little gesture it can really connect with your customers. So given the fact that we are in such an unprecedented season of business, what have you guys at Vidyard noticed in terms of your client base, what have they been doing to stay proactive? Obviously, in the pre-show we mentioned a little bit how your [Inaudible 00:08:13] free resources really gone through the roof these past couple of weeks.

Tyler: Yeah. It has actually been really, interesting over the last few weeks to see how the market has adopted the tools. So as you mentioned, there is a free version for everyone to use, so I’m sure we’ll share it later but you can just go to vidyard.com/free and you can start using it in an unlimited fashion for free. As a result, we are seeing lots of different use cases, everything from teachers, my own kids are getting videos from their teachers on a weekly or daily basis with quick summaries of their work for the day and assignment instructions, to of course inside sales reps who are using it as a way to communicate with customers. Perhaps, you know, before the transition to work from home and enduring. We’ve also seen this surge in the market that we all live in here, in the service market, where individuals who traditionally have been, you know, in the office, in the showroom out with clients meeting face to face are now looking for new ways to communicate and keep that personal touch. And so we’re seeing, you know, people across lots of these different markets using the tool now as that way to stay connected with customers. It is everything from, you know, their outbound selling efforts. So maybe there were some prospects or clients that were, you know, in the sales funnel prior to going into quarantine and now they’re using video messages as a way to update them maybe on a weekly basis and to keep their face top of mind so that they don’t get forgotten about. Others that are using it to, you know, explain things through the buying process.

I am trying to purchase a vehicle right now and I am actually talking to two different dealerships and, it is interesting though, one of them, the rep has been sending me since my first, you know submission form on their website. He sent me a series of videos introducing himself as the representative. I am actually walking through the vehicle because I could not go there to see it and then he did a follow up earlier this morning where he was explaining the pricing proposal for the vehicle. The other dealership has not done anything like that. They have sent me a series of text-based emails, you know, explaining why they could not do a test drive and now they can and they are booking it and that is fine. That first dealership, I know that guy now. Right. His name is Will Horan I am sorry Will, you know not sure if this breaks a privacy policy, but you know, he’s Will Horan at the dealership. I know what he looks like. I feel like, you know, he is a friend now, right, and just those simple tactics of sending those videos, you know, speaking openly and keeping your face top of mind goes such a long way. So there is so many ways that people can use these kinds of tools for sending videos it just really depends on, you know, how you do business, the types of clients you work with and what it is you need to explain during these times when you have to be remote.

Brian: Well, I think what is interesting about this is you described two people in one industry, and how they are doing it completely different and both of those companies had the opportunity to do that. I think that so many business owners or employees are choosing not to embrace technology and they are trying to do it, you know, in a kind of old school way. Same thing, we just bought a house, we’re getting renovations done and I’m getting quotes and you know, half the people are like, we need to see this space to give you a quote when half the people are giving me a quote, you know, and, and asking me to take pictures or do video and things like that. Talk to the audience about what you think is going to happen post the quarantine and for those that have chosen to embrace things like that, how it is going to impact their business? Because, I mean, I do not want to put words in your mouth, but it is very possible. I know who you’re going to buy the car from.

Tyler: Yeah.

Brian: Based upon [Inaudible 00:12:14].

Tyler: It is his to lose. It is his sale to lose. Yeah.

Brian: So I mean, I guess I am just worried for businesses that are choosing not to, and I say the word choosing very specifically because they would say they are just not doing it, but they are making an active choice to not try something new. I really think it is going to be a major impact.

Tyler: Yeah. I think for just about every business, there is a new status quo now and you know, again, some of you right now will say, well, not in my market. Our market is, you know it is special and this is how it works in our segment but I would really challenge you to think about what is the new status quo for your industry from a buyer’s perspective. What are their new expectations when interacting with businesses in your market and going through an evaluation and buying process? Because again, speaking as a buyer, like all of us are, you know, in buying a vehicle, my expectation whether it’s the next few weeks or the next few years is that I can see these vehicles in a video, I can meet my sales rep without ever having to go into the dealership. Frankly, as a buyer, that is a huge relief and I am actually feeling this is a very positive change for the market. I know that when I need to get food for my family, I can order it from just about any local restaurant. I do not have to resort to going to McDonald’s, no offense McDonald’s but now I know that all of my local restaurants have shifted to offering, you know, at home delivery or they have partnered with Skip the Dishes or DoorDash. These are very common examples of how markets are changing to adapt to this new expectation of buyers and I think there is an analogy and in every single market. You actually had mentioned earlier an example of one of your clients who moved to a virtual and video-based showroom tour and I think, you know, again, that example is something that going forward I would love to be able to do that. Whether I am, you know, in quarantine or not being able to look, see, browse things, and interact with reps at a company without having to physically go into the store I think is such a great new luxury and opportunity as a buyer that I’m going to look for that in the future. Would you mind sharing maybe your story, you had mentioned to me earlier about that customer of yours who was doing the video-based virtual showrooms to overcome some of these challenges, Brian?

Brian: Yeah. They’re an outdoor furniture company and you know, they have three showrooms and you know, they were immediately shut down and you know, it’s interesting, you know, they had a website prior to us partnering together, that did e-commerce, but only a very, very, very small percentage of their business came from e-comm. And so we chose to actually, when we rebuild the website to completely redo and eliminate e-comm because their bread and butter was like the in face engagement they could customize the style, the fabric and you know, do all this amazing stuff that most people didn’t even know you could do. I certainly did not know you could do and so when all this happened, you know, their bread and butter going face to face, you know completely got eliminated. Fortunately, the website was launched prior to this, about a month before and you know, one of our partners that has helped with us with a couple of other clients, offers the Matterport Virtual Tours. They came in, they did the virtual tour, we locked it down behind a gate, you know, they wanted to give their email and name to be able to get access to it and that it’s been accessed thousands and thousands of times but the virtual tour is only one part of it. Then the sales reps took that and everything got divided to different sales reps and then they were able to use Vidyard to create a personalized engagement with the people that are doing the virtual tour. Just say, hey, you know, if you saw something through the virtual tour that you’re interested in, you know, just because our showrooms are shut down now doesn’t mean that we can’t do business, you know, let me know how we can help you and it’s been great for them.

Tyler: That is great. I love it. I mean, it is such a great example of, you know, a new status quo and again, it’s not to say that we’re going to go away from in store, in retail, face-to-face, you know, hands being shaken types of sales because absolutely that will return an absolutely that will continue to be critical. You know, for many businesses and consumers these new ideas I think offer, you know, yet another channel, another way and I think a great way to scale and something that I think we need to be doing now but to your point, I think it will continue to be an expected part of that buying process. You know, let me see it. Let me interact with folks. Let me hear from you. Let me get to know you before I ever set foot in the store and I think those types of experiences are going to win in a lot of markets in the months and years ahead.

Brian: Well, Olivia, you are an extrovert, so you are probably like, me I love this. You know, I, I’m an introvert even though, you know, I get on do these podcast, like, you know, me going on all these virtual tours, like I love that. For you Olivia, the other half of the crew, you know, in the world are extroverts. You know, how are you embracing this? I mean, what are your thoughts on, I mean, besides the fact that you are dying to get outside of your house right now.

Olivia: I mean, I am definitely dying to get outside, but I am also in the process of a move Tyler, Brian touched on his move, but I am also in the process of a move. So for me it’s been particularly stressful because I like to go and meet everybody and like go back to the apartment, take measurements, I’m trying to buy furniture and so many big e-comm places don’t have enough diversity in terms of what can I look at, what can I view? I can’t go in, touch, and see it so I’m very stressed out beyond belief and it is T-minus 10 days, 10 days on the dot, pretty much. So, I’m a little frazzled, but I think being able to embrace things and my apartment complex actually, the manager, she’s been able to give me walkthroughs of my now vacant apartment so I can see it and at least, you know, make sure it’s still there and Corona free and all that good stuff. It’s definitely given me a new level of peace of mind that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, but I’m just chopping at the bit to get out of the apartment and go somewhere that’s not to my mailbox and hopefully, you know, downtown will open up here soon so I can actually start enjoying things besides takeout. So we’ll see what happens, but I’m definitely ready for this season to be over.
Tyler: Imagine how much more difficult it would be if we did not have, you know, video conferencing and sending video messages. Right. Like it’s interesting that we’re in a time now where we can do this admittedly you know, it’s challenging and stressful for a lot of people, but, the fact that we can do this and we can still do business and we can connect with clients in a personal way still is I think really remarkable. I think, again, it’s that great idea of let’s think about how to embrace this and let’s focus on those positives of how we can evolve and change our businesses for the long term to, you know, both just offer a great experience to buyers. We could also find efficiencies for our own companies as well and say maybe we can do more. Maybe we can do more with less if we just think about how to use tools like video calls, like one-to-one video messages and other things like adding e-commerce options and so on. So a great time to think a little bit outside the box and get creative.

Brian: I know Olivia as a question queued up but does this tie into what you were just saying. We were talking to another vendor, I do not know if it was Housecall Pro or HomeAdvisor. I do not know who it was, but they were just talking about one of their customers, you know, they are a service provider and they used to take four or five hours on average to do one quote.

Tyler: Right.

Brian: You know, to go to the home, go there and meet the person [Unintelligible Sound 00:20:48] and insert video. I do not know what tool they were using, you know, whether it was a simply FaceTime or another tool like Vidyard but insert video into that process and they were able to bring that process down to like an hour. He point blank said he would never, ever go back to the old way because I mean, you know, obviously he’s probably got to get to the house eventually. He has to get to the work eventually. If you can get to a process, imagine how much time you can save, for your business and make it efficient for your customers. You know, because when I am getting quotes, you know there are people that are getting quotes like that and there is people that are getting quotes. You know, I asked for two weeks ago for a quote and I still have not gotten it and it’s because, you know, they are wanting to do things in the old way. I think you are right the people that embrace this, the new normal is going to be a much more efficient process.

Tyler: Yeah. And it’s, you know, we’re seeing this shift, you know, video is one part of it, more online visual and then, you know, to the point you guys have made, it’s a broader digital shift that a lot of us I think need to get behind and need to think about how to adapt with it. I actually love, I am going to go back to the example you shared because I think that was a really, smart approach for the virtual showroom that idea of actually using it as a lead capture opportunity. Right? Those that want to be able to go in and see everything, you know, asking them for their email address and name, offers a great opportunity for you to suddenly now expand your network of potential buyers. If you can do that and then much as your client is doing, follow up with those people, with a video from one of your reps introducing themselves and clearly explaining how they can help you in your buying journey with whatever it is that they’re looking for. That to me is really, really, powerful and can absolutely scale and find new ways to, to generate revenue. Because a lot of those may be people who would have never set, foot in the store and would have never met, you know, that sales rep or those of you watching, they would have never met you. Right. Probably a huge part of your opportunity at business is when people meet you and see you face-to-face. Right? Then I go back to the car example. I am like, I know that guy who’s trying to sell me the car over here. The other one over here, all I know is his name is John and it is very, very different. So it is really, need to think about that whole experience and say, people discover me online, right. What is my content strategy to get people to find me online? What is my search strategy? What is my paid ad strategy to get people to find me online? Once they do, what can I do more than just bringing them to my website? Can I offer them some kind of digital engagement to help them understand what they can do with me? Can I offer the ability to hop on a video call or can I have one of my reps introduce themselves visually with a video? We can redefine that entire sort of online buying journey again, without, you know, disrupting the in person store but I think this is a great new way to think about doing business.

Olivia: Well, one question I had since obviously States are starting to open back up gradually, hopefully knock on wood, everything goes according to plan. How do you think business owners, since we’ve had to adapt to the new normal, are going to be able to segue and transition into this new, in between of being open but not really be open and how do you think we can continue to use video as a viable platform to help give customers peace of mind? Because obviously everyone is still very self-aware and on edge and even though we want to get back to that place we used to be three or four months ago, it’s not going to quite be the same for at least another three or four months if not longer.

Tyler: Yeah. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how during that transition period to really leverage your existing or previous client base or the network that you have, because it’s going to be difficult to get net new people in the door who may not be, you know, coming by via foot traffic or otherwise. Hopefully you’ve got, you know, a list and a database of previous or existing clients that have done business with you in the past and I think as you open back up, that’s where you should start and be proactive in reaching out but of course go beyond the template. You know, hey we are back open you know, unprecedented new norm, [Unintelligible Sound 00:25:28]. Right. Get past the, the buzzwords of it and, you know, try to connect with these people as, as real humans. I think, again, you know, people that have traditionally done business with you have been in your stores and have interacted with you, you know, send them all a video. Maybe it’s from the owner of your company or whoever it happens to be, but as you open back up, right, send them all an email with a video with your face, front and center and you know, make that message very genuine, right? Be like, we are so excited to be opening up again. We would love to see you and to show you kind of where things are at. We would love the opportunity to win your business again, and you know if you are interested in hopping on a video call instead of coming into the store, we have that option as well. So I think there is ways to do this in and really leverage that base you have. You know, people want to help, right? So those previous clients, many of them will understand that, you know, you’ve been gone through very difficult times and they’re looking to support local businesses as best as they can. So I think that simple idea of be proactive and outreach to them put yourself on camera and send a video message to make sure they see your face because they will recognize you, right and you’ll stand down from the sea of other emails they’re getting. Then give them that option to say if you’re able to come into the store great otherwise we’re happy to schedule a video call with one of our reps, a traditional phone call imagine that, or we can, you know, record a video and walk you through, you know, a product or a service that you might be interested in. So be proactive in that. Give them those options and try to leverage that existing client base that you have to get you that upswing as you return to normal.

Brian: So for those that are kind of scared of the video thing, because what’s interesting is if we’re doing this live, one of the reasons why we’re doing this because when it’s being recorded, I personally like worry about what I’m going to say and I get all tongue tied.

Tyler: Right.

Brian: I make a mistake and I have to redo it. There’s even a joke about me trying to film a video from two years ago and I said, hi, my name’s Brian, like 85 times.

Tyler: Yeah.

Brian: So, you know, the reality is video is a very different platform and so what are some basic things that you could just encourage people to maybe get over the hump of being scared to get behind the camera and just go for it.

Tyler: First of all, I love that sort of analogy to going live versus prerecording because you know, to your point, you’re almost forcing yourself to be more natural and more conversational in nature and I think that’s really part of the key to using video effectively as a business owner or as a sales rep. So when you use, a tool like Vidyard, you hit that little record button, first of all, of course, go into it with a good sense for what you want to say, right? You never want to hit record and then spend the first 10 seconds going [Unintelligible Sound 00:28:24 -00:28:25] oh yeah. Okay. Right? So that is a no brainer is at least make sure you know what your message is going to be but always start that video off. Be natural. Pretend you are actually talking to one of your customers, one of your friends, you know, one of your relatives. Right? Try to disassociate this like camera and whatnot and just be like, you know what, I am talking to this person. It is one person on the other side of this. Keep it conversational. Start your message off with the, hey, Brian, it is Tyler here from Vidyard. You know, really hope things are well on your side, right? Like just have some kind of consistent introduction that gets you flowing naturally but again, you know, do not try to treat it as something you need to get perfect or pre-produced keep it conversational. Then there is other little things that you can do to build your confidence that the video quality is going to be good enough. Right? Don’t worry about being perfect but you want to be good enough that you feel confident in doing it and you are not hesitating to send them because you feel like all of this looks too amateur.

So some little things that you can do, uh, first of all, lighting helps a lot. So here in my room that I am, I have a small lamp in front of me here to give a little bit of front light to my face, which helps, you know, try to keep your camera kind of face or eye level. Do not do the up the nostril shot nobody wants to see that. So if you are using your phone, you know, make sure you are holding it up. If you are using your phone, it can go a long way to have it sort of sitting on something so it is stable so it is not getting shaky. Little things like that that just help and also be mindful of your audience that can go a long way, right? People they will watch a video if the audio is clear, even if the video is jittery, but the vice versa is not true. Right. If you cannot hear the message, people will, will tune out. So try to make sure you have good clear audio. I use AirPods hopefully I sound pretty, good. You know, but try to use maybe again, a wired headset or something like that to mitigate background noise and to be clear. I think those are the simple things, right? Keep it simple. Keep it conversational. Just pretend you are talking to a friend or the customer themselves and do not overthink it.

Brian: I am glad you mentioned audio because that is what we have been telling our customers. You know, that pixelated video is one thing, but when you have bad audio, it just, awful. You know, we have been encouraging people just to get their phones and you can buy I don’t know for Android, but at least for an iPhone we bought a lightening lapel mic. You know, so it’s wired but you put that lapel mic on that person and the audio just goes from bad to good and it just makes a world of difference for that person. That example of that customer that I was talking about, he had been doing some videos before, I brought my lapel mic, he was blown away, and that is like a twenty-dollar purchase from Amazon. And so, you know, just small things, just like as you said, you know, Tyler that you can do to really improve your process.

Tyler: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. I love that and you can get, again, inexpensive microphones, less than fifty or a hundred dollars. You can get inexpensive, you know, HD quality webcams, that will, you know, give you a nice clear picture if you’re doing webcam based, you know, again, for under a hundred or hundred and fifty dollars. So there are things like that that you know, can start to level up your video game but again, they’re not critical or necessary to get going. I think for those conversational videos you know, perfect is the enemy of good and complete and I say just have at it, give it a shot and see what kind of response you get.
Olivia: That is great. I am all about good camera angles because I am always very self-conscious of my nose. I feel like that is the thing that takes precedence whenever I jump on a podcast or do anything. So I appreciate those tips and I will take them to heart because you just, you never know sometimes.

Tyler: Remember it as light and height. So good light and good height for your camera. So keep that in mind. Light and height.

Olivia: Light and height, I like it. To pivot a little bit, when you submitted your bio to us, I noticed that you began your career in software development and now obviously you are in marketing at Vidyard. So can you tell us a little bit why you decided to pivot fields so dramatically?

Tyler: Yeah, it is a bit of a long story, but to your point, I was a graduate of engineering program here at the University of Waterloo. I am based just outside of Toronto in Canada in case you all had not picked up on my Canadian accent yet.

Brian: [Inaudible 00:33:08] just put you all there.

Oliva: Yes, we do.

Brian: We are in North Carolina, if you did not know.

Tyler: No, that was for you. I started off as an engineer. I was a software developer actually at Blackberry for those who remember the Blackberry’s that was our hometown here in Waterloo. So I worked at Blackberry for about 10 years.

Brian: Do you know what a Blackberry is?

Olivia: I know what a Blackberry is. That is rude. I am not that young.

Brian: I mean you are a decade younger.

Olivia: Okay. People on this show probably already think, oh, this girl is like 16. No need to add insult to injury over here. Okay. It is about to be my birthday. Let us just not all right.

Brian: Okay. All right, back to you Tyler.

Tyler: Oh, that is great. Yeah, so I spent 10 years at Blackberry from 2001 until 2011 and was a software engineer. Then I was actually not a very good software developer, but I was much better with people and so I took on the role of actually supporting third party developers that were writing apps for Blackberry’s. Those were like mobile apps before there was such a thing before the app store. Again, imagine that Olivia. So, anyways, what I found over the time I ended up managing our external developer community. I built town evangelists programs and developer programs and just really enjoyed that part of the business of working externally with people, understanding their problems and also communicating to them and translating technology to business value. That is where I ended up spending a lot of my time over my years, which sort of gave a natural transition over into more marketing centric roles and yeah, today I’m VP marketing here at Vidyard and obviously love what I do. It is a really, interesting intersection of technology and kind of art and science. The way I think about it you know the art of video and how we use it to connect with people. To be more personal, to be more human and deliver our stories but the technology behind the scenes of how we can empower it to make it easy for people to allow them to track data behind it and know who’s watching those sorts of things. It is really super interesting. So love being a marketer and a, I think this is my true calling.

Brian: Well that is great too. Go ahead Olivia.

Olivia: I was going to say that is a great story. And also to go back to my youngness or however I’m being insulted by right now, my parents used to have a Nextel walkie talkie phones and that’s how they would communicate with one another. We had dial up internet until I was 15 so I am not that behind on the times of what was life like before the iPhone. Closing out that segment, but just putting it in there.

Brian: So speaking about your career, you know, you’ve done a lot of different interesting things, but you mentioned this in answering some of our questions prior to our show, what are two or three things that you’ve learned over the course of your career that really have helped you utilize video in a more powerful way?

Tyler: Yeah, good question. I think the first is something that, you know, all successful business owners I think appreciate, and it is just the importance and power of relationships. You know over my career I think, you know, every opportunity that I’ve had to, you know, to elevate, to move up, to expand what I do has been built on strong relationships with the people around me, whether it be my peers in my organization, customers and partners that I work with. In fact, when I left Blackberry, I went to one of the partners that were part of our community because, you know, they enjoyed working with me so much that they said why don’t you come on over here and help us. I think we all understand that the importance of relationships, whether it is for our own careers and business or for how we work with customers. And I think again, today in, you know, increasingly virtual and digital times, the video is that next best thing to being there in person when it comes to managing and building relationships, whether it’s with co-workers who can’t be in the same office, customers and clients, partners, it doesn’t matter. I think that is a big piece of it. And I try to use video in my own day to day life as, as a part of that, of making sure that, you know, I’m keeping those relationships going with people, that I’m supporting them, but also, you know, putting my personality out there, right? Having fun, you know, connecting in ways that are more human, which is difficult to do when you are not in the same place.

I think that is number one, is the importance of relationships. I think the second is the importance and power of storytelling. It is something that I mentioned was kind of the segue of me going from being a developer and working with developers to becoming a marketer was this. You know, I sort of unearthed this love of storytelling and helping people think about solutions in the context of the problems they’re facing and to contextualize my messages and in that sort of traditional storytelling narrative. As a marketer, as a seller, I think today more than ever, we need to be able to tell stories. We need to be able to position our products and services in a story arc type fashion by making sure we, you know, help people feel a bit of pain first, you know, help guide them on that path to a solution and show them why and how we’re the hero. I think that is such a powerful idea and framework and there is lots of ways to story tell to bring your stories to life, but obviously video is a particularly powerful way to do that. Whether it is something, you are recording and sending yourself, getting your customers and clients on camera telling their stories, right? Those sorts of things are super powerful. Something else you can be doing today as a business is, you know, ask your clients, hit that record button, sending little video testimonials, right, whether it’s now or afterwards, those sorts of things go a long way. So I’m going to go with those two power relationships and the power of storytelling and you know, I’m thankful to be in a role where video is part of what I do to help those things come to life.

Brian: Well, that is great. So we have mentioned Vidyard so much. You have a dedicated page for trade and services. I wanted to bring that up to talk. You mentioned you can sign up for free. Obviously, there is some paid things. So what are just, some things that, you know, someone comes to the website that they can learn about, you know, Vidyard and you know, how they get started.

Tyler: Yeah. So, you know, you can just go right to vidyard.com and you can see the nice big sign up free button there. We also have a page, I think it’s a vidyard.com/trades-and-services, I believe, which just sort of, you know, positions the value of the solution in the context of folks in trades and service. I think the real important thing here is being mindful of how you might use this tool. So again, if you come in here, you can sign up for free, you’ll get lit up with an account, you’ll be able to start uploading videos you have and, or start recording one-to-one videos and sharing them. You know, you will start getting those notifications glowing through of who’s watching what. Then I think the real value is just in starting to make that a consistent part of how you communicate with your customers. Yeah, what you are seeing here is Brian’s own library where he can, you know, go in and see the various videos he has already recorded. Really, simple to record a new video, you just hit new or hit the button in your browser and you can choose to record your camera or to do a screen capture with your face in the corner as well. So again, the tool itself is surprisingly simple. Sign up, it will prompt you through how to get going, how to record your first video and send it. It also plugs right into Gmail as well as Outlook. So if you use one of those tools for your email, you can also do it right from there, right inside of Gmail there’s a little Vidyard button that gets added and you can just click that to either record a video right in your email or to drop the thumbnail into email message. So again, lots of simple ways to use it. There are some nice bells and whistles around it. The free version again is unlimited to use have at it, enjoy it, make the most of it. There are of course paid versions. We are not entirely a charitable organization, so our paid versions we have a Pro product which is nineteen dollars a month and that allows you to custom brand the videos that play back and the pages they play on. So in that case, when somebody watches your video, it’ll be your company branding on the page. You can add your own buttons or calls to action to drive the next step from them. So it allows you to fully brand that video experience as well as gives you some other nice additional features around, you know, how many videos you can embed on your website. If you also want to use the tool to put videos, out on your website and so on. So again, you know, you will find all that information in the product itself but you know my suggestion is check it out and, you know, if it doesn’t work for you, let me know and maybe I can help. If it does, then, you know, hopefully it adds value to the business going forward and it is something your team can use on an ongoing basis.

Brian: Yeah, I mean, so this is a different example of something that we did for our clients, you know, so a lot of our clients are local, but then some of them are remote but obviously during the coronavirus we weren’t able to meet with everyone. You know, we just go into Google slides and make a quick presentation and, you know, because it has the face and video, I can walk through something visual and it will be engaging with that. We are partners with HubSpot and so we know that, you know, Vidyard also integrates with HubSpot and so you know, that is a great opportunity to be able to engage with that. So, yeah, I’m really excited just about, you know, how people can begin to use that resource. So Tyler, thank you for being on and thank you for sharing, you know, your story and how people can really take advantage of, you know, the power of video in their business and so I hope that our listeners can get over the hump of being afraid and jump in and try something new.

Tyler: Yeah, that is great. Thanks so much for having me. It’s a really, really interesting topic right now and I’m so happy to hear some of your own success stories and with you and your clients, so, you know, excited to, to help more and more businesses. So as mentioned, just feel free to go and try Vidyard out yourself. Connect with me, Tyler Lessard LinkedIn, Facebook, you know, find me wherever I am and honestly, if you have any questions about it just ping me online and I’m happy to help or to find a resource that can help you out.

Brian: Sweet.

Olivia: That is awesome. Thank you so much for joining us, Tyler. We really appreciate it. On next week’s episode, we are going to be interviewing Katie Thompson, who is the Community Manager at HeyOrca, which is a social media company. We are going to talk a little bit about how business owners can remain active on social media during these times of uncertainty and segue into reopening.

Brian: Well, great, appreciate everyone being a listener. If you are listening to us on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Facebook, you know, please give a like, or a thumbs up or even a review that helps us get our message from our guests, you know, out there, even further. We believe that we are better together and so let us share this with others. So, again, thank you Tyler for joining us. I am a little sad that we did not have any kids. My kids.

Tyler: I know.

Brian: They left you alone for 45 minutes plus, that’s impressive.

Tyler: Yeah, there must be something wrong. I better get going.

Brian: Yeah, we will let you go. Hopefully, the house is not burning down behind you and we’ll talk to you soon. Thanks again, Tyler.

Tyler: Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

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