Don’t think YouTube and Vimeo. B2B video for lead generation is on the rise but the keyword is “data,” not “views.”

Video marketing ROI has been a notoriously tricky proposition for marketers, especially in the B2B space. In the past, video marketing strategy often amounts to posting a YouTube video with fingers crossed. Three months later when the CFO inevitably asks “So, where are all the leads?” the Director of Marketing sinks a little lower in his chair.

There’s now a way to connect the dots. Vidcaster, along with companies like BrightCove, Wistia, and Viddler are helping organizations move video from a being a cost center to a revenue center.

We sat down with Vidcaster CEO, Kieran Farr, to discuss the next wave in online video, tailor made for business.

Vidcaster CEO

Vidcaster CEO, Kieran Farr


What are some of the different ways companies use Vidcaster?

[Kieran Farr] There are two primary areas of business that use our technology. One is internal training. That is clients of ours like Wix, DIRECTVDave & Buster’s, and other customers that have a large distributed workforce.

The other area is video marketing — using video content to push people further down the funnel.

How is Vidcaster enabling business to better generate and qualify leads?

Think about your marketing and sales funnels: top, middle, and bottom.

The top of the funnel is not what we serve. That is Youtube, Facebook, paid acquisitions, etc. Those companies are great at what they do, but that’s not moving customers closer to purchase.

Where Vidcaster is extremely effective is the middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel. These viewers are already on your site, they’re on your lists, they’re getting your emails, and interacting with your content. What Vidcaster does is help convert an essentially anonymous person to a known person. We are then able to track an individual user’s activities down to the second of what they watch and every click they make. Each of these data points is a key piece of information that can be used for automatic prospecting and lead qualification.

When viewers move down the funnel, sales teams can better prioritize and structure outreach based on a prospect’s interaction with the video content.

What are some of the data points you are able to capture? How does interactivity play a role?

So one piece of data that’s very simple is, “How much do I watch?” Even platforms that we think of as great options for marketers like YouTube or Vimeo don’t even have that data. All you know is whether a video has been watched or not. You don’t know, down to the prospect-level, how much a prospect watches.

Vidcaster then layers on interactivity – things like chapter headings, CTAs, interactive quizzes, or other pieces of content that offer value like a PDF you can download.

The reason why that functionality is so valuable is that we can gain insight into what content is actually interesting to this prospect. If you have somebody watching your webinar and they keep clicking on the chapter headings about “training,” “authentication,” or “data security”, well, you not only have a pretty good indicator that prospect is interested, but also a window into what they are interested in. The next step is to jump on the phone and have an informed conversation.

How does Vidcaster sync with a CRM like Salesforce, or marketing automation tools like Hubspot and Marketo, to provide marketing and sales teams with actionable analytics?

So our philosophy is that at the end of the day we need to make sure that Vidcaster has robust tracking and analytics all within our own application. That data can also be exported to third party systems such as Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot, SilverPOP, Pardot, etc. without forcing people to silo it, or keep it on our system. We want give our users best of both worlds.

In many cases, one department will have access to a CRM or marketing system and others will not. The department without access is up a creek without a paddle when it comes to the data.

We make all the data available to your team, then you can set up events and rules with your existing system as you see fit.

What are some examples of the events and rules businesses set up to segment video data?

Just one example of the infinite options here: if a prospect watches three videos more than 75% of the way, you might put them on an email list to get a drip campaign. Another example would be automatically sorting prospects into lists based on video categories. Triggering automatic “thank you” emails once a video is watched 90% is another. The potential is infinite, but you get the picture.

What types of video work best for B2B?

Surprisingly, it’s not the highly produced explainer videos that marketing paid lots of money to create that work the best. It’s typically either webinars by the product team or technical team — the very long and specific content you might think of as boring. The same goes for screencasts or other literal explanations of how to use your product or service.

What’s interesting is that almost every organization already has this stuff. They’ve recorded 10 webinars and stuffed them in a Dropbox somewhere. Or, some lonely person on the support or customer success team spent three weeks of their time making 500 simple training videos about how to do every single thing. This content gets shuffled into their little Zendesk portal, but nobody knows how to get to it.

The correlation is very clear from enough of our customers that same content that we think is boring is actually the most valuable. Even if somebody tells us, “Well, I don’t have any content.” We don’t take them for face value. We say, “Well, wait a second. Doesn’t your team here produce this?” They’re like, “Oh, well yeah you’re right. I guess I do!”

Content that poses a question and delivers an answer always performs well. Sometimes it’s as simple as using a screen recording program.

Split your application or service into all these different micro-components and make a video for each one. Make a video for, “How do you create an account?” Make another video for, “How do you login?” Make another video for, “How do you create a campaign?” Each one of these things is an asset on it’s own that can drive lead gen, organic search, and more. They’re ridiculously easy to make.

How do your users typically promote their videos in addition to their website?

We find that the use of video significantly increases open rates for newsletter emails. It also pairs extremely well with polls for capturing additional data points.

We are also seeing video used very effectively for outbound. For example, a sales email might say, “Hey, if you’re too busy to do a demo just watch this three minute video.” The video itself provides a valuable information and then there’s the opportunity to link related resources within the player to get the prospect to dive deeper.

This type of experience allows you to start collecting all sorts of data without necessitating a direct response from a prospect. The prospect just uses your content as their time and interest allows. If they don’t watch anything or they watch 30 seconds after they click on it, your rep does not have to waste their following up.

Who are some examples of companies that are doing a really great job leveraging B2B video for lead generation and what are they doing that works so well?

VMware is a good example. VMware moved from offering exclusively paid training videos to launching a new site,, with free video behind a lead wall.

Now, this is not top of the funnel content. You’re not gonna go home tonight and watch this like you would Netflix or Hulu. These videos answer very specific questions about how to use the technology. Accordingly, there’s a very high correlation between the folks that watch this content and either a current customer or prospective customer for VMware.

Customers thought, “Gosh, something that used to cost thousands of dollars, now I get this stuff for free.” In exchange, VMware expanded the top of their funnel to attract new users and is able to capture amazing data for the VMware sales team.

Another really cool example is actually a company called SafeNet. Something that’s very unique about them is that they’re using our localization feature. They have video in multiple languages. It is very helpful for both organic SEO within those different countries, but also for significantly expanding the potential reach of the top of the funnel.

Where is Vidcaster, and B2B video in general, heading in the next year?

Video for marketing and sales is definitely the sexiest and the easiest for people to understand. But we see that the use of video is growing in every department. What’s actually happening in the market is that video is being used for everything. Operations, internal communication, statements from the CTO, user research, customer success, onboarding new employees.

That’s really where the growth is.