What does a strong video culture look like? [Interview with Zach Basner]
We talk a lot about culture of video these days.
In fact, if you hear about it, it’s probably coming from our very own Zach Basner, IMPACT’s Director of Inbound Training and Video Strategy.
Over the past four years, Zach has worked closely with companies, helping them establish a culture of video with their teams.
Zach and I sit down (remotely) to discuss this and to give you a sneak peek at a talk he is currently working on about the seven keys to a thriving culture of video.
Why is a video culture important?
There’s a question Zach has always gotten ever since he was a video strategist. It’s a question he’s found quite irritating, reason being, he’s never had the best answer for it.
“How long does it take to see success with video?”
Zach says it’s tough to answer because there are so many factors that play into video success.
One of the biggest, however, is establishing a culture of video. Success depends on what you do as an organization to adopt this.
A culture isn’t something just bolted on to whatever you’re already doing. A culture is when everyone at the organization sees the overarching goal, how they can aid it, and do everything they can to support it.
To have a culture of video means you involve everyone, in how they communicate with buyers but also how buyers are able to use video as a way to go through the sales process.
From years of doing workshops and working with organizations, Zach found you can’t just use the word culture. It’s an obscure term to many organizations.
In order to ultimately be successful every person at the organization needs to understand the value of video, and how it impacts revenue and what that means for them.
If they don’t, they are more likely to reject it and it won’t see the greatest possible success.
Data is showing us that video as a means of communication with buyers is not going to be optional in a couple years. You’re going to have to use visual communication to build trust.
If you aren’t starting now, you are going to be behind.
Why do some organizations fail at adopting it?
Many organizations fail at adopting a culture of video because they don’t go all in.
In general, they tend to judge the success of videos on outcomes versus inputs to start.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It should be no surprise that companies make decisions based on the concept that if it makes them money they’ll keep doing it, but if they do think this way and video doesn’t generate revenue immediately, they’ll also quickly drop the strategy.
In other words, they are too quick to judge and don’t give video enough time to truly show its value.
Like a lot of things, video is something you only get as much out of that you put in.
That means you need to judge success by looking at how successful you were with adoption first.
Did you hire a videographer? Is your entire team utilizing video? Are they willing to be in front of the camera?
This all needs to be in place before you can really get to work with video and start measuring outcomes.
7 keys to a thriving video culture in your organization
So what does a healthy video culture look like?
Zach shares seven keys that they all have.
The interesting thing is these aren’t specific to just video. They are things that can be applied to anything new you’re adopting in your company long term.
With these keys, if we change the way we look at initiatives and approach them as long term results with long term efforts rather than quick wins or hacks, then we can set ourselves up for success.
1. They have buy-in
Just because you tell your staff that something is important doesn’t mean they’ll believe it.
If you want there to be buy-in for video in this case, you have to show your team why it’s important for them, and how not using it will ultimately negatively impact them.
You do this by showing them how video applies to their specific job role, not just the organization. You show them exactly how it will end up benefiting them and ultimately helping them with their job.
If you’re introducing video to your sales team, you need to be clear about exactly how incorporating video is going to help them with their daily challenges like increasing email open rates, standing out from competition, helping increase the number of appointments booked, and cutting down on the time it takes to craft follow-up emails.
Ultimately you want to show the positive impact it’s going to have on them hitting their sales goals and how it can make their lives easier.
2. They hold proper training
If you were to send your team out to use a new tool or tactic without training what do you think would happen?
They probably wouldn’t do it, or they wouldn’t do it right.
In the case of video, we’re dealing with something that people already feel intimidated by.
Imagine you ask your team to go out and start creating video with zero direction.
Not only would they likely be uncomfortable on camera, but they might also be fearful of what they can and can’t say, not knowing what the company would approve of.
Proper training for video needs to take place and include expectations your company has for people on video, how and when video should be used, and training on how to make people feel comfortable and confident on camera.
It also needs to include training around having the right tools and how to use them and incorporate them into the day-to-day operations of each team.
3. They have the right tools
What makes the right tool for the job? It’s something that makes the job easier and more efficient.
For example, if you had to tighten the screws on a desk at your office, you’d likely use a screwdriver.
However, if you had to do that to every desk in the office, chances are you’d use a drill, as it’s faster and more efficient.
It’s the same with video.
You likely already have three of the right tools: your website, phone, and email.
Aside from these, you need a video host and a platform that allows you to create 1:1 videos.
The problem that many companies face is they want to see results before even getting the right video tools. Unfortunately, in order to start to do the work to get to the results you need tools to get started.
If you don’t have a video tool that allows you to track your performance then you won’t have insight into what’s working and what’s not.
When it comes to video tools, we are partnered with Vidyard and believe it encompasses everything you need in a tool for video such as the ability to see who is watching your video and how much they’ve watched of it, as well as the ability to easily add video into your email outreach and add calls-to-action throughout your videos.
4. They have the right strategies
If you were to ask everyone at your organization what a great video strategy is, you likely would get a very different answer.
The problem is, if everyone has a different idea of what a great video strategy is it’s difficult to see success.
The right video strategy is not self promotional but rather using video as a way to answer all of your prospects questions creating transparency and trust.
People do business with organizations that they trust and like. If you’re able to be there to answer all the questions they have in their buying process and beyond, you have a leg up.
If you don’t have a mutual understanding of this strategy across your team you don’t stand a chance of having a good video culture.
We’re talking leadership, sales, marketing, and service. Anyone who is interacting with customers needs to understand The Selling 7 and The Big 5 and why they are important.
5. They have appropriate and measurable goals
How often do we run our businesses where we think about the outcomes and set our goals based on that?
As we mentioned earlier, you can’t judge new videos based on ROI over the first couple months.
You likely won’t have enough data, the right tracking systems, or be using video properly to see a return that quickly.
The things you should be looking at when it comes to video success for marketing is how often do people click on your videos, how much do they watch, how much has it improved conversions.
This will show you if people are consuming your video content, and if they are, it will tell whether or not it’s resonating and encouraging them to take action.
For sales, you might look at how many people open your videos in your emails, how much watch, and how many objections and fears don’t come up as often since your prospects have watched the videos.
If you want to stoke the flames of your video culture, you also have to do a good job of communicating your progress with video to your organization.
The more frequently you’re updating the staff, the more you’re able to show the importance of it.
This is especially great when you have competitive people on your team. You want to give those people an opportunity to excel and take their own journey with video rather than waiting for the organization to tell them what to do.
There is power in having others on the team share their stories and the efficiencies and success it brought to their job. It will only encourage others to want to be a part of it.
It also shows that it’s not a fad, but something the company takes seriously and is investing in.
made made a huge difference. They had less objections, we closed the deal in half the time. Sharing stories that exemplify will help with video culture.
When people are proud of the videos they are creating, and when people see the wins video is bringing in they are more likely to want to be a part of it. This will help build a strong culture of video much faster if others are involved in wanting it to be a part of the culture.
6. They have an efficient review process
Imagine if every email you ever sent out had to be reviewed by more than one person.
How would it impact how quickly you could respond to someone or how often you were able to send emails out? It would be a nightmare. In fact, you’d probably look for opportunities to not send out emails.
This far too often happens with video as well.
If you are looking for a quick way to kill video culture, get multiple people involved with reviewing content before videos are used or sent out.
When organizations first get started with video there tends to be too many layers of reviews. People want to audit every video for accuracy and brand reception.
This can cause a major delay in getting things done if videos have to wait for approval, and it can also squash anything from even getting published or used.
It’s imperative that you have an efficient review process in order to keep things moving along.
This means making sure those involved in creating videos ahead of time know what videos should look like and what the standards are.
This will help make the review process more efficient and empower people to create videos when they know there aren’t too many hoops to jump through.
7. They have the right team
In order to have a true culture of video, you need to have someone who owns it in-house for you.
That doesn’t just mean having someone who helps with the execution of video, but someone that is willing to own it completely — creating the videos, but also helping other people feel comfortable on camera. The videographer should be there to help with on camera performance tips and helping the team, both sales and marketing, through any concerns they have about being on camera.
Ultimately this shouldn’t be an additional job responsibility you put on someone currently on your team.
When this happens, there’s always the risk that other work they are responsible for is going to take precedence and they won’t be able to focus as much energy on the success of video.
When you have someone whose sole responsibility is video, there is less red tape and distractions to keep things from getting done. .
Think about what all you could accomplish with video when someone has 40 hours a week to dedicate to it versus 10 hours. You’ll increase your odds of success with someone focusing all their time on it.
You’ll be able to create and publish more videos, as well as be able to shift and change strategy on videos if needed quickly.
Succeeding with video isn’t just about having someone on your team take it on and run with it. It’s about having the buy-in from the top and developing a culture that will allow video to thrive in across the entire company.
Video has become an integral part of our lives, and is how you’re going to be able to create trust and connect with your audience in a way that you wouldn’t be able to without it.
If you’re looking to be successful long-term and get the most out of your video efforts, Zach’s seven keys will help you make sure the foundation you’re building things on is solid and puts you on the quickest path to success.
Wondering where to begin?