13 Video Marketers Reveal The Tactics Behind Their Top-Performing Videos

Marketing Feb 1, 2018 15 minutes read

Table of contents

    Video marketing exploded in popularity among marketers in 2017.

    This trend is no surprise. 52% of marketers say that video content delivers the greatest ROI. And 43% of buyers want to see EVEN MORE video!

    With the rise of cheap video recording equipment, plugins from companies like Wistia and Vidyard, and increased popularity of evergreen platforms like YouTube, it is easier than ever to create a marketing video.

    But, just like blogging, this trend has also encouraged plenty of low-quality, rapidly produced content. Although this content may not actually work very well, it does compete for attention with any content you create. It makes it even more challenging for a B2B or B2C buyer to discover the video that will actually answer their question or solve their problem.

    So, we polled marketers from digital agencies with specific video expertise to learn about the tactics they use to set themselves apart. We organized their responses around the strategies they used to create a powerful video.

    Being More Authentic Than The Competition

    Prospects have a keen nose for content that “smells like an ad“. Sure, you may be producing content with the intention of offering value, but if it seems like an ad for your product, customers will doubt your true intentions.

    If your video is product- or service-centric, potential customers have no chance at feeling some connection with your video. Your product or service just helps them accomplish a job that they need to complete! But, if you take a human-centric approach, you have a chance to grab their attention even when they are not explicitly looking to solve a problem. They can enjoy your story and learn a little more about your brand without feeling like they are watching an advertisement.

    Alexandria Abel
    Weidert Group

    Number of Views: 222

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Average engagement rate (95%). Most viewers watched the video in its entirety, which is exceptional. With Wistia, we are also able to measure re-watches which helps us understand what content was valuable or entertaining.

    Why It Worked So Well: The video is not part of a large campaign or living on a main page, it’s a component of a blog I wrote. It was surprising that it did so well and told us that viewers want to see the human side of our agency as well.


    “We Are Blue Water Defense”

    Alex Koby
    Adhere Creative

    Number of Views: 1200

    Other Way of Measuring Success:  Total views was not a metric that we focused on, but we instead looked at the polish/quality of the video and the reception of the overview video by Blue Water Defense. As a brand overview video, this was very well received by the client. The overall redesign of the website along with the overview video increased qualified traffic and engagement for Blue Water Defense. We set out to tell the story of our client in a powerful, engaging, and dramatic fashion which was accomplished and proven by the final product.

    Why It Worked So Well: The success of this overview video project hinged on several factors.

    1. The incredible story of Blue Water Defense is the cornerstone of the success of this video. Because of their powerful brand story we were able to capture it through video and enhance the message.
    2. We strive for quality. After establishing the story of the video our team meticulously planned, organized, and executed production at the highest level.
    3. Pairing the new overview video with the rebranded website packed the one-two punch resulting in a successful campaign overall.


    “Surf Stay and Play – The San Diego Experience”

    Clay Chaszeyka

    Number of Views: 34.4k, but views is not always the key metric for engagement.

    Other Way of Measuring Success: We use engagement rate. It’s the most important metric because it lets us know the percentage of people who actually receive the info we are trying to send across.

    Why It Worked So Well: It is light-hearted and approachable. It’s not overly produced so it resonates with people that are hungry for authenticity from brands they follow. We actually won an award for this video from Wistia last year because we produced it for less than a $1k budget.


    “Godsmack Music Video”

    Erin Hayes

    Number of Views: 7.5 million

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Engagement with “community” / press. Because we strive to create pieces that move people to interact and start a conversation.

    Why It Worked So Well: This is a two-part answer and each part is equally important.

    #1 – It was filmed and edited to give an intimate, authentic look into the band’s recording process. This video was not “produced” like your normal music video. The takes you see are the true takes that ended up becoming what you hear on the record / radio.

    #2- A prominent rock blogger “found” this video and wrote a short little piece, applauding the authenticity and telling his community to check it out. The song came back and jumped into the Top 50 Billboard chart – 4 years after its initial release – because of the rapid popularity of the video.


    “Job Alert for Inbound Marketing Consultants”

    Karim Bouras

    Number of Views: 5010

    Other Way of Measuring Success: I measure engagement: likes, comments and shares

    Why It Worked So Well: This video is a “job alert” as we are recruiting. It performed so well because :

    • As the agency owner, I tried to be simple and authentic and transparent about what type of candidate we are searching for.
    • This video was posted on the right channel (Linkedin) for professional networking to maximise its raise
    • The subject: it’s about new jobs in a growing agency with plenty of challenges


    Max Traylor
    MaxTraylor LLC

    Number of Views: A couple hundred

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Phone calls. The call to action just underneath this video regularly produces phone calls to me directly. These calls have turned into customers on multiple occasions.

    Why It Worked So Well: People want to buy from people. The video gets viewers comfortable with me and my personality, which creates enough trust to pick up the phone and give me a call.


    “The Thought Leader in the Big Red Suit”

    Steven Gallo
    Reputation Ink

    Number of Views: 170 so far! (It was released to a select group one month ago)

    Other Way of Measuring Success: The video features a call-to-action for viewers to download an accompanying content offer (a thought leadership guide we published). We tracked downloads of the content offer that were driven by video views as well as overall engagement of the video itself: How long did viewers stick around? Where did they drop off? Did they re-watch it?

    Why It Worked So Well: It was fun and aligned with our brand voice. It was timely (released the week of Christmas) while also communicating our services/expertise as an agency. Plus, the story didn’t end when the video was over — viewers received value in the form of a downloadable takeaway.



    Hilary Topper
    HJMT Public Relations

    Number of Views: 39,100 views

    Other Way of Measuring Success: We also based this on reaction from the media. It was well-received and many outlets across the country covered our series.

    Why It Worked So Well: It was the first of its kind, a reality show using the Google Glass. I became a Google Glass Explorer in July of 2013 and tried to think of strategies to use Glass to promote our clients at HJMT Public Relations, Inc. Through Glass, you can watch me scramble as my life takes unexpected twists and turns and see how I navigate through the life of being a small business owner. Glasslandia is a work of art that we pieced together using real video from a production company and video produced through Glass. Glasslandia shared a different point of view.


    Loic Barbaux

    Number of Views: 3019 views

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Watching time- it’s a matter of quality. If people stop watching after 15 seconds, then you will have a lot of views but nobody got the message. It means your video content is poor! You lost them.

    Why It Worked So Well: We are a very young startup, founded in September 2017. So this video is already a success for us for multiple reasons.

    First, we have a catchy story. A family making a world tour just thanks to Home Exchange! The couple are teachers with 3 kids. Everybody can identify to them. And they realise the dream of those people watching and it is possible thanks to Home Exchange. Anyone would like to understand how that is possible and would like to be in their place. That video, among other communication tools, created huge publicity for them. They have been contacted by the number one channel in France to make a TV report on their project!

    Producing Content For A Specific Persona

    Due to the rapid growth of video content, prospects can now expect to find content that directly addresses their needs. Since they have plenty of choices, they will look for content that most directly addresses their needs.

    You can grab their attention by getting involved with the influencers that are unique to your specific customers. Or, you can use long-tail keywords on Youtube or Google that would only be used by your target persona.

    “Whiteboard Animation Reel”

    David Carpenter
    Connection Model

    Number of Views: 26,400

    Other Way of Measuring Success: We look at conversion assists as well.

    Why It Worked So Well: It’s well animated, fast-paced and contains real stats


    “New Marketing Techniques For Software And Technology Companies”

    Mike Lieberman
    Square 2 Marketing

    Number of Views: 5200

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Clicks to our website landing page

    Why It Worked So Well: It was very timely for the changes going on in marketing and the introduction of technology to support a lot of the requirements in a marketing program today.


    Rikki Lear
    Digital 22

    Number of Views: 957 (so far!)

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Views wasn’t the main purpose of this video. We wanted to speak with a major influencer in the industry to increase our credibility and trust. This video has been referenced in many of our prospect calls so we believe it has been successful.

    We also produced it to help us rank for some long tail keywords, it’s still early days – as the video was only published 1 month ago – but we already rank on page 1 for the target keywords.

    Why It Worked So Well: In our niche, Brian is the main man – he is synonymous with HubSpot and inbound marketing. Whilst we have interviewed people with more followers on Twitter etc, this video works because of it’s relevance to what we do.


    “Client Testimonials”

    Marc Apple
    Forward Push

    Number of Views: 1000+

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Through end-screen CTAs to drive people to a website and convert them to new customers.

    Why It Worked So Well: For this client video, we used a combination of b-roll footage and a handful of client testimonials. By using more than one person, the message we’re trying to get across is continually reinforced through many different voices. The testimonials provide evidence that our client does solve customer’s problems, while the images show how it’s done. This combination works brilliantly because the video captures the benefits of working with our client with very little sales speak.


    “What’s the Sales and Marketing Strategy Blueprint?”

    Jenna Engel
    Trending Up Strategy

    Number of Views: Over 300 views between Vimeo and YouTube – not including social

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Our clients’ businesses are so niche that volume isn’t nearly as important as clicks from social to the post of the video (which is embedded into a blog post). We do this for 80-90% of all blog posts for our clients. It is part of our strategy to incorporate video into almost every piece of content created.

    Why It Worked So Well:

    1. The animation and graphics are lively and easy to watch
    2. Targeted to the RIGHT, niche audience – understanding the type of videos this audience prefers to watch
    3. The audio/voiceover is catchy and easy to listen to
    4. It is a popular plan for us and easy recap to send to prospects
    5. It’s a complicated process we are discussing, but the video breaks it down easily.
    6. 2:00 minutes or under
    7. Subtitles for social

    Getting Inspiration From Customer Feedback

    Your sales and customer success teams are on the phones all day with customers and prospects. Hopefully, you are used to writing blog posts based on what you hear from customers. If you use the same strategy for video, you will find that you are automatically addressing concerns about your product or service!

    “Is SEO always the answer?”

    Jerry Crockford
    Crockford Carlisle

    Number of Views: 185

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Completion of the CTA that is associated with the transcript. We want to engage people with our nurturing funnel, so this is an important first step.

    Why It Worked So Well: Not sure. The opening frame image (idiot holding a plastic head) may have had something to do with it as it looked unusual? Or, it may have been the topic, which was asking a question that was clearly going to be answered in the video? Or was it that the topic was challenging the expected norm from a company that does SEO work? I am not sure!


    Lindsey Daku

    Number of Views: 1500

    Other Way of Measuring Success: Play rate – this page gets a lot of views but the play rate on the video is only 14%. We have been tweaking the thumbnail and video placement on the page to increase play rate.

    Conversion – we have also added a turnstile to the video (currently at the end) and moved it around to test conversion rate from the video. We also look at conversions from our service pages that originate from the video blog.

    Why It Worked So Well: We positioned it strategically on a page that gets a lot of organic traffic. We optimized the video and content for high-value search terms and, because the content is built to target top-of-funnel viewers or “beginners”, we know video is going to be something they rely on as a resource. It’s also a great video that hits on all the basics of PPC.


    “How To Outsource An Entire Marketing Department”

    Will Williamson
    JDR Group

    Number of Views: 8100

    Other Way of Measuring Success: We measure traffic & leads as well through HubSpot. Plus, we’ve run video advertising with PPC and therefore, impressions, cost-per-view etc as well.

    Why It Worked So Well: The video has achieved high numbers of views partly through boosting the video with YouTube advertising. However it is primarily used to help convert visitors into leads on a key page on our website  – this was the main purpose of the video. It works as it gives people a chance to see who they would be working with, and it (hopefully) answers many of the questions that we get asked when people are considering working with us.

    Using Humor To Make It Entertaining

    “Build Forms Anywhere With JotForm”

    Hassan Ali

    Number of Views: 709,490

    Other Way of Measuring Success: The video is also hosted on a landing page on the Jotform site.

    Our main goal of the video campaign was to drive awareness. Because of this, our primary metric for success is the number of views we received. To us, that represents the number of new people with whom we were able to share the message of JotForm and what we do.

    If our goal was engagement, we would go further down the funnel and look at metrics like the clickthrough rate. In terms of clicks, we saw a 2.2% clickthrough rate at a cost of $1.07 per click (lower than most of our search network ads)!

    Since the landing page has been live, 24.8% of our page visitors have watched the video

    Over 10% of our viewers watched the entire video. The video (which was part of a wider marketing campaign) helped to drive more than 5,000 visits to the landing page that day

    Why It Worked So Well: The video demonstrates how easy it is to use JotForm’s new product: while walking the dog, traveling to work etc.

    It keeps things simple, and only briefly mentions key features of the new product to catch their viewers’ attention, rather than bog them down with mountains of information. It uses humor and funny imagery to keep the viewers engaged e.g. the baby at the end.

    How To Measure Your Top Marketing Videos

    Every video marketer above uses a metric alongside views to measure success. Of course, it depends on the application for the video.

    If you are creating a brand-focused video, you might measure the number of people that reach 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% through the video.

    If you are trying to generate leads, you can look at number of clicks on a CTA after viewing the video.

    If you are trying to educate prospects and later turn them into customers, you could look at the number of people that sign up for your list.

    Here are a few examples of ways that marketers automatically track their data for free from YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia without copying and pasting.

    The YouTube Watch Time Analysis dashboard will help you track the videos that earn the most watch time. Watch time is the largest factor in YouTube’s ranking algorithm.

    The Vimeo Overview dashboard shows you all the overall statistics for your account, and uses “Likes” as the key determinant of engagement.

    The Wistia overview dashboard uses plays to measure the success of your videos, although you can also add 20+ more metrics. Wistia videos are usually embedded on an existing landing page or blog post, so the Plays metric gives you an idea on how many people choose to view the video.

    Article by
    Tamara Omerovic

    Tamara is Content Editorial Manager at Databox. She is an SEO aficionado, a coffee addict, and a huge museum lover! When she's not working or writing, she enjoys visiting an art gallery, drinking her 5th coffee with her friends, or playing video games.

    More from this author

    Get practical strategies that drive consistent growth

    Read some