When the economy is in a downturn, it’s especially inspiring to talk to marketing pioneers who can inspire those in the trenches right now and help them not just adapt and adjust, but thrive. My guest today, Dwight Holcomb is someone I got to hear speak at a National Speakers Association LA chapter meeting, and he really impressed me, so I knew I had to have him on the show.
In this episode, we talk about Dwight’s evolution from CMO of an enterprise software company where everybody was so stuck in old systems and old processes. Dwight takes us on a ride, detailing the lean methodology that he implemented in the marketing department while he was there, turning things around and getting unprecedented results. It began when he started making a unique kind of video, which you will hear about later in this episode.
Dwight had so much success with this foray into video marketing that he decided to launch his own company six years ago. If you want to hear more from a real innovator who has that knack for knowing the next wave of marketing and getting ahead of it, then buckle, and let’s get started!
In this Episode
- [00:30] – Stephan introduces Dwight Holcomb, CEO of HC Development, providing MaaS CMO™️ , Marketing as a Service with Executive oversight to the Software & Technology industry
- [05:20] – Stephan and Dwight talk about the creative setup you can do with Zoom calls to make it more exciting and fun.
- [10:09] – Dwight shares how some organizers got creative in converting their events to virtual this year.
- [15:10] – What are Zoom Breakouts, and what is its objective?
- [20:22] – Stephan shares how a compelling guest podcast pitch was sent to his email and made him book the person for his show.
- [25:06] – How being on both audio and video in a Zoom call changes the conversation’s dynamic.
- [35:02] – Dwight’s expert tips in creating a video that you want to send to your customers, clients, prospects, etc.
- [41:31] – Dwight describes how Jason Swenk’s marketing campaign strategy is one of the most effective funnels.
- [48:50] – How to show up as a featured video in the Google search results.
- [52:47] – Visit Dwight Holcomb’s website hcdco.com to learn more of their services, or email his assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a free 30-minute brainstorming session with him.
Dwight, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Let’s first start with video because I see you got a really cool video set up in the background there. For those who are watching this on YouTube, you’ll see that he’s got the green screen and so forth, if you’re just listening to the audio recording, then you have to take my word for it. But you’ve got all the special lighting looks like you’ve got at least four lights there plus the green screen and a special microphone. What’s your setup, and why the green screen? Why the certain equipment that you have?
Great question, and it’s funny. I don’t really use green screens much anymore. I’ve gotten frustrated with it. I bought a high-end camera. I bought a Canon C100 because I wanted a really high-quality video. But I noticed that when I’m here in the studio filming, one of the biggest benefits of using a high-end camera is that you can get real sharp shots of your subject with a blurred out background. And that’s better when you’re in a large area with 8-10 feet of things behind you. But when you have a backdrop right behind you, it doesn’t have as much of an impact. So what I was using the big camera for, I just started using my webcam, I just sit down and started shooting with a green screen behind me. And then I started trying all these variations of lighting because it’s hard to chroma key out the green screen if it’s not lit properly, there’s shadows or wrinkles. I have several rolls, they’re called savage paper, and I have white, blue and green that I use mostly, sometimes I’ll just throw that thing for fun with a Zoom session where you can knock out the background and look like you’re somewhere else for fun. But in terms of editing, I’ve gone simpler, and I’ll just pull a backdrop close to me either white or blue, put a nice light on it, and then just record directly from here, and then our editor will put a fly-in text and different things like that. So I use a savage paperback there, and I have a little spotlight that I’ll use to cast a little lecture glow behind me on the backdrop. I use fluorescent tube lighting as well, they are LED, so they don’t burn so hot, but they have a much wider cast of light, so it’s not as hard to get a nice even light on the backdrop or other areas you’re trying to light. And I put a light to about 45 degrees in front of me on the left and a light directly to the side, and those are little square LED panel lights that I use for that. My mic is a Blue Yeti microphone, and I put this big foam thing on the front called Alctron. And you can see the mic there, and it just helps dampen any audio echo. And then finally I put a carpet down beneath me, which also helps take out some of the extra echoes when I’m recording. So that’s the basis and other than, like, if I’m going to an event or a live presentation, I have a Razer and a Logitech HD webcam. And that has been plenty sufficient, especially for stuff where I just have a flat background behind me.
Gotcha. And you said that you’re sometimes putting a virtual background for Zoom calls, what are some of the more interesting or entertaining ones that you’ve chosen?
One of my favorites is I got a really bright red solid background, and I put a gradient right behind where I’m sitting, so it looks like I’m kind of glowing, but with a red background. And on Zoom, if you go into the video settings, there’s a virtual background, you can pick one. The funniest that I’ll throw into groups was a huge gorilla that’s sitting behind me, and I said, “We got to work to get this gorilla off our back,” I’ll have that pop-up, just to get a laugh. I don’t usually do that, but sometimes it’s fun just to joke around with people if the audience is in the mood to be light. Or especially these days, with everything going on with the pandemic, sometimes you just need to light it up with some humor because things are so crazy right now. People appreciate it to just get out of the seriousness and have some fun on a call.Video has outperformed just about every ad platform- Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, and AdWords. Click To Tweet
Yeah, I do see people really upping their game in terms of their Zoom kind of style and not just using a virtual background. Nick Sonnenberg was on a Genius Network call last week, and he had himself as a video background, holding up a sign that said something. I forgot what it said, but he was in the background, and he was In the foreground too. That was pretty funny.
Oh, that’s great. Well, even with Zoom now, you could do animated GIFs or even video background.
Right. So he actually used a video of him holding the thing, not just a still image.
Oh, it was a video. That’s great. Because I have done that with regular editing, where I want it to appear that I was in a setting with moving people behind me, so I went to places like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto. And you can find backdrops, and then I just add a layer of blur. So it just looks like I’m the clear subject of focus, and then you’ll see people moving behind me, but just kind of blurred out. If it’s done right with a green screen, it looks pretty classy. Still, I find that it’s sometimes so much of a hassle on keying stuff out, sometimes it’s better to just go to a location and just do it.
Speaking of kinda punking people on Zoom with video backgrounds, it was Dan Crowd, who made a Zoom background of himself accidentally walking in on himself for a Zoom meeting.
Oh, that’s great. Yeah, you’ve just given me some great ideas. I’m gonna try some of this. I love it. One of my favorite videos, have you seen the guy on the BBC News, and he’s actually doing a newscast from his home office, and a little kid comes in? I completely relate to that, because it had happened to me before so I thought that’s so great.
Yeah, well, there’s actually a technology out that is competing with Zoom. It’s in private beta right now, it’s called Around. And the idea is that it brings you to the forefront, just your head and it tracks where your head is. I guess it uses AI or something to figure out where your head is on the screen, and then everything else is out so you wouldn’t see your kid walking in. It would just be zooming in on you, and if you moved your head, it would move to adjust to keep you in the center with just your head. And everybody, no matter whether they’re sitting at a big conference table, and normally there’s like one camera, shooting the whole conference room and everybody looks like a little dot sitting at the conference table compared to the person who’s dialing in remote, but this puts them all kind of on an even keel, like they all have the same size head in a bubble above the virtual kind of workspace, like whether it’s a Google doc or whatever they’re working on collaboratively. It looks really cool. It’s around.co, you might want to check it out.
I will, that’s great. It’s amazing the stuff they’re coming up with now even with Zoom. Even if you don’t have a green screen behind you, it’ll figure everything out and block it out and put the background. I mean, it’s not great.
Yeah, it’s less than perfect.
But the fact that it’s even doing what it’s doing now is leaps and bounds from what it was two years ago. So it’s amazing to see the improvements. It’s great.
Yeah. And I just saw that there’s a way to hook up an SLR camera as your webcam, and then you dial down the F stop to one point or something, and then it blurs all the background in a very elegant sort of way, and it looks very slick, high definition all that. I have a Canon 80D, so I was thinking about playing with hooking that up as a webcam. I’ve got a really nice Logitech webcam, the high-end BRIO, but this is a whole other level to use one of those really nice DSLR cameras.
Especially like you said to achieve that blurred background, it makes such a difference in the quality of how the video appears when you have that nice blurred background. I didn’t do the blurred, but for the National Speakers Association, we started doing the live stream of the Zoom meeting and hooked it into a DSLR camera and so it looks pretty good. We didn’t blur out or anything, but it was a wide shot of the stage. The fact that you can plug them in now and just use it on live streams. It’s fantastic.
Yeah. I’ll include a link to the tutorial I found out about this. That’s how I found out about around.co as well, it was this one Youtuber who was explaining how to set up the DSLR camera to be your webcam, and then at the end, he was explaining this Around app. So National Speakers Association, let’s talk about that because that’s how we met. It was at a National Speakers Association, a local chapter event for LA. I imagine you’ve been involved actively with the National Speakers Association (NSA) for many years. How many years have you been a member?
It’s about five years now.
Okay. And you’ve been to the annual event in the past?
Yes, and I am going again this year, assuming they’re going to have it, it sounds like they’re going to try to have the live event, but they’re adding a lot of virtual stuff in advance if that happens. The last event I attended was just this year at the end of February, the Winter Conference in Houston. And so it was right after that, we had our final live in-person meeting and then right after that was the quarantine.
Yeah. Different world now, I just saw yesterday that Comic-Con, which I had tickets for, has been canceled. That was gonna be in late July.
Yeah. I can’t remember the first big one, and I think it was South by Southwest when I saw that one cancel, I said, “Uh-oh, it’s gonna get crazy.” And one of my favorite marketing conferences that I go to every year is Traffic & Conversion Summit by DigitalMarketer. It’s just fantastic, and it’s such a great crowd, so many great presentations, and they cancel that one. I think it’s going to be held in November, I believe, they’ve pushed it. But they did a live viewing session during those dates, the same dates of the actual event. So it has really forced people to get creative. It’s interesting.
Yeah, they call it I think a watch party.
A watch party. That’s right. You were in it, too?
I didn’t have time to take several days off as soon as I saw that the event was postponed, I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna fill it out with other things.”
Yeah, I’ve seen a few of these watch parties style things, the tough thing though, is if you’re not leaving your office and going to a live event where you’re with people forced to sit in, you can’t have your phone on or computer, you’re there, so work stops. But when you’re in your office and your business, it’s harder to do the watch parties just because of all the other distractions and things going on. You have to really find a way to just say, “Everybody, I’m unavailable. I’m gonna do this watch party.”
Yeah, especially if you know that it’s a watch party so that you could go and watch those recordings yourself on your own when you have more time, whereas if it’s a live virtual event like Genius Network, last week was two days, and I blocked off those two days. I only had one call that conflicted during those two days, and that’s it. So I blocked off the time, and I attended. I didn’t speak at this one—my wife, Orion, spoke at it though. So I wanted to just make sure that I’m fully present, not doing email and all that sort of stuff at the same time. Have you been part of any virtual events like that?Video is everything right now. If you’re not leveraging this strategy in your marketing, you’re missing out. Click To Tweet
Yeah. Jeffrey Hayzlett, the CEO of the C-Suite Network, he did when he came to LA, has a Navy Admiral speak. He’s had one every day this week. I could only do one on Monday. I turned everything else off, and I listened, and it was really great. They did what we also did for NSA, which is the breakout rooms, Jeffrey is great at this because he’ll have a breakout room. You’ve got a hundred people on the call, obviously, you can’t hear from everybody so you go into these little mini breakout rooms on Zoom, and everybody’s having these miniature conversations, talking about what was discussed by the admirals and talking about leadership. It makes you feel so involved and included to have that, and you get to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise know. And in a setting that’s like your head is as big as my head on my screen, I’m looking at you could just almost be sitting here, you’re that close. So it’s one step away from being in person.
Yeah, I’ve found some organizations are really figuring this out, dialing it in so that the virtual experience is as good almost or even better in some respects than an in-person physical event. Especially with the Zoom breakouts that some of these organizations are doing, like METAL, which I’m part of, which was pretty much a local LA thing. And now, they have three times the attendees every Saturday. And it’s people from all over the world and really big name people too. So that’s metal.international. I’m also, as I said, part of Genius Network, and they’re doing breakout sessions as well. You mentioned Jeffrey Hayzlett, I actually met him maybe 15 years ago or something like that, when I was active with SMEI, it used to be called SME, but then SMEI (Sales Marketing Executives International). And I think he was the president at the time, and then I moved to New Zealand, and I became the chapter representative for the New Zealand chapter. Then I just had him on the podcast. It’s a great episode. Have you played with Zoom breakouts, by the way? I’m curious.
Yeah, I’ve done it. We did it at our NSA meeting last April 11. David Newman came and spoke for us about how to mitigate against what’s going on, how to take a lot of your business online, and continue to make money with it. So we did breakouts at the beginning of the meeting, our president-elect Robert Grossman, led a session where we were asking people to say what has been your greatest pivot, was one of the sessions. We had 60-65 people on the call, and then they broke up, it just randomizes who’s in the group, and everybody tells their best tip or tactic. Then they come back, and then one person from each group would share the best one, and it worked well. The other thing I found exciting, I speak to a lot of different types of groups, but when I’m speaking to a smaller group, like a Vistage group of, say 10-15 CEOs, what I really like about it, so we’ve gone virtual for those talks that I was already scheduled. But what I did were two things. One is that I could much easier share things I wanted them to see screens, browsers, websites, videos, by sharing my screen and flipping back and forth between the shared screen view and the live view. And some of it I’m actually showing them how to implement things. I’m teaching them specific steps or that they need to implement something, I can just let them take the screen, and I can walk them through it individually. And so I find that to be really interesting, because you can’t really do that from a stage or if you’re in a conference room, maybe you could walk around to desks, but if you’re presenting the person on this platform speaking, that just doesn’t happen as often. But in a setting like that, it doesn’t matter where they are what they’re doing, you can say, “Hey, share your screen, I’ll take you through it real quick,” I found that really nice. I mean, you’re in essence getting transported into their desk space with them in their office where they live and breathe, and you can walk them through something and see exactly what they’re doing. It’s just amazing you can do that. It’s really cool.
Yeah. Now, you mentioned that David Newman did an NSA LA chapter workshop. Didn’t you do a workshop as well? Or were you involved in a workshop that was supposed to take place in March or something?
Yeah, so the one I did was kind of a preface to the two-day retreat that we’re still going to do, we had to push it because of the pandemic, the quarantine. But in the first part of it, I do video conversion marketing, so I present this workshop where we go through all of the things that you can use video to help improve any existing campaign. I’ve shown examples of how we, you know we’ve worked with clients where I call it a flat campaign where, it’s maybe an image ad or a text ad that points to a landing page, they do some action, go to another page, and then they purchase and go to a final page, or a B2B scheduled for a meeting, whatever the end result is, and the call to action. I call it a flat sequence where there’s nothing there; it’s just a step by step by step. And we’ll take video and put it into every piece of that funnel, video to help push them to the initial page, pre-roll ads, or video ads and Facebook or AdWords or LinkedIn, and they have a better result to push traffic to that first page. And they hit the first page, and we’ll welcome them, they’re congratulating them for taking these steps. Use a one-liner that tells them specifically who they are, their pain, what the unique solution is, what that result looks like for them along with a call to action, and then continue that path, adding videos that help them take those steps. And we’ve seen conversion rates as much as 80% better conversion by adding all those videos into a sequence. So that’s a big part of my topic.
And I also talk about one-to-one video marketing, where you’re using tools like BombBomb and Vidyard or use Loom. Vidyard is one of the best free tools you can use where you had a meeting with somebody, or better yet, you’ve never met with somebody, and it’s a high-level prospect that you’re just trying to get in front of. And so I will hold up a whiteboard and write their name on it, “hi, so and so,” filament, no more than 30 seconds. Kind of a one-liner, “Hey, we work with a lot of different CEOs. And they share with us that they struggle to create a profitable marketing mix. So we have an intelligent system that will seek out prospects as they’re ready to buy with intent-based marketing, so you have a better fit client, and it’ll drastically reduce your closing time. So if not opposed to jumping on a quick call, I can share some case examples to see if there’s a fit for you.” That’s as fast as it is, and then it puts that video thumbnail in the email, and then when they receive it, they see an animated GIF of me waving with their name on a board, who’s not going to open that? That’s so personal.
That is super cool.
And so we teach these methods of using video because the video is everything right now. It’s the highest return on investment, and any campaign that’s already running you can add to it with video. So that’s the great part about it.
Yeah, I actually interviewed Matt Barnett, who’s the founder of Bonjoro, so they’re competitors to BombBomb, and I use it. I like it a lot. It’s very simple to take a quick video with your iPhone or Android phone and then have a nicely formatted email, like we said, with the thumbnail that is animated, so it’s got some activity to it. I really liked that approach of holding up a whiteboard or something, that’s what got me. One time I responded to one of these kinds of outreach emails that you get. As a podcaster and a blogger, you get hit up all the time. “Can I write a guest post? Can I be a guest on your podcast?” Or “Can my client be a guest on your podcast?” And many of these are just kind of brain dead in terms of their outreach approach. It’s very clear that the person never even visited my blog or listened to my podcast, some disingenuous things like “Oh, your last episode was fantastic. I really enjoyed it,” and I know they didn’t, they don’t even know the name of my podcast, it was just mail merged in. So I hate those, and I never respond to them.
But this one guy, his name is Jonathan Barshop, I even remember his name. At the third lack of response, his fourth follow up, I guess. It’s just a still picture of him holding up a whiteboard and had my name on it, and it had a sad face, and then the subject line of the email was “Whiteboard Timmy is sad because you never replied.” That was pretty awesome because it had my name on the whiteboard, and with the picture embedded in the email, it’s very clear that he went to the trouble to create that just for me. It wasn’t like mail merged in. Some technologies allow you to mail merge in a video, but he didn’t do that, he hand wrote the name Stephan there. So I thought, Okay, I’m gonna respond to him. And I actually ended up booking the guy, his client was the co-founder of ManyChat.
Yeah. That’s great. And that’s a great example too. I think most people have at least heard of this and maybe haven’t researched how to do it, but a lot of people know that it exists and is possible. And a lot of people are like me, I don’t really like to be on the camera, I used to always want to be on the camera. Now, the last thing I’ll do is get on the camera, but I realized, you just have to get over it. Nobody cares about how you look, nobody cares about any of these things that we get in our own brains about, but it makes a huge difference. It’s really hard to do on a one-to-many, but one-to-one on a B2B sales if it’s a decent-sized sale on the other end of it. You could pick ten a week, or do one a day five a week, do one every day of your highest level prospect, and you can make a really big dent in getting into having meetings with people because they’re impressed by it. And if it’s the right message, and you don’t ramble on, and you try to use that one-liner approach, that storytelling, one-liner to make it all about them and their problem. You’ll get a lot of response rates for that. It’s funny, I actually sent out a video, and it puts some stats in the video about how using video email increases open rates by me using a video email to help increase the open rate. It’s kinda ironic, and it really works.
In the workshop, this is one of the things I help people actually implement. I won’t just tell them about it, because that’s where the disconnect happens, people think, “Oh, that’s a great idea. I got to start doing that,” then they get back to their office, or they don’t do it. So I’ll say, “Okay, open up your laptop. Let’s just do this,” And I’ll get them to open up an account with like Vidyard, which is free, and just have them send one. And after they send one, they’re like, “I can do this again,” and I’ve had a number of workshops where people did this. They set it up, they sent it out, and they came back. They said I’d sent one this week, and I just booked Linda Hollander from our chapter. She’s the Sponsor Concierge. She teaches people how to get sponsors as speakers to sponsor their speaking engagements, fantastic service that she provides. So we were doing this together, and I showed her, she did it, she came back. She said, “I just booked a six-month-six-city tour of a guy I hadn’t been able to get a hold off for two years, and I did the video, I just put his name on there,” and she got the deal. And I said, “I know it works. I’ve seen it happen so many times.” So it’s really cool, it’s one of those things where a lot of people know they should do it by just putting it into practice and doing it. And it’s so simple once you start.
And it’s really important to be on video and not just audio-only. If somebody is on video, and you’re not, that really changes the dynamic of the conversation, they’re just looking at a black screen with your name, or maybe it’s a still image of you. I think it kills the deal, and it just makes it really kind of flat.
To that point, I’ve seen a great increase of our close-ratio, going up by not just getting into the first meeting, but having the first meeting like this, like you and I are talking and even if they don’t do their video, or I don’t force them, or I don’t even push them into it, but I’m always there by video, and they appreciate it. And I waved at him in the beginning, and we get to talk, and they get to see me and understand what my personality is and just get to know me as a person better. And we’ve definitely seen an increase in the actual close rate just by having meetings that way.There’s no original strategy and there’s nothing wrong with emulation. Everyone is doing digital marketing. Just plug in your material and see what works. Click To Tweet
So I just did a prospect call yesterday, and he was not on video, but I was. So I was staring at the black screen with his name, but I was trying to actually visualize or imagine that I was talking to him and I was looking at the camera most of the time except when I was screen sharing, and then I would pull up different tools and so forth. I do think it’s a better experience for that prospect to see you on video. So yeah, don’t worry about “Oh, did I shower this morning?” just show that you’re human, don’t worry about the mess in the background as much. I mean, if you can kind of quickly get in a spot that doesn’t have a messy background or use that old trick with the F stop with the nicer camera, or maybe you use a virtual background, or you can make your own Zoom suit. Have you seen this viral video? It’s really funny, and I’ll include it in the show notes. It’s this guy who made a, you know how you can have a clip-on tie, and it looks kinda like a real tie, he essentially has like a clip-on suit, and it takes all of one second to put it on, so he shows how he’s sitting on the couch in a T-shirt, and he hears a Zoom call ringing, and then he jumps, puts this thing on in one second and it’s just the top part of a suit, doesn’t even have a back to it. It looks like he’s wearing a full suit, but it’s completely bogus. It’s really funny. It’s gone viral.
That’s really funny. And with what’s going on with the quarantine, everybody else just about is in lockdown, too. So they’re in their house. It’s a great excuse to start doing this right now because that’s your excuse if you’re not all well prepared, you just say, “Hey, we’re all in lockdown,” and everybody is in the same situation, and you don’t have to worry about it, you may actually feel more comfortable. I used to almost always put a jacket on and I will sometimes depending on the nature of the meeting, but now I mean, I’m wearing a baseball hat, and I’ve never thought I would do that and I feel like it helps bring a little more comfortability into these types of meetings as well where they feel like okay, it’s relaxed, I can be myself. Unless it’s a more formal presentation or something, I’ll put a jacket on, but this is a perfect time to start because everybody’s in the same situation. So nobody’s really looking at or cares if your hair is out of place or haven’t shaved in a couple of days.
I agree. I think now’s the perfect time and if you just get in the habit of doing it, you get over yourself, you just get into this new habit of being on video. So I don’t have any problem getting on video, like if it’s a Genius Network meeting or a METAL meeting, or if it’s a one-on-one conversation with a prospect or a client or whatever. What I’ve been stuck on, and I know it’s a mental thing, it is jumping on to doing live video, like on Facebook or YouTube live, where I’m sharing a tip or some thoughts, advice, kind of opinions about things, things that will help people. I am just stuck on doing that. I’m not in that habit yet, and I know I need to do that.
Yeah, me too, for sure. A couple of times I’ve done it, like when I did my book launch, the previous president of the NSA chapter in Albuquerque, his name is Jerome Wade. He helped me do a lot of my book launch and actually came out to LA, and we got on here in this studio. We got on live on Facebook Live, we did Instagram, we did LinkedIn, and the response was much better because it was live. And especially with LinkedIn live if you have LinkedIn and you have a decent audience built up, the notice that goes out is different from a lot of the other ones where they’re more suppressed. I think more people get that notice if you’re doing a LinkedIn live, you have a great chance of getting noticed and having people coming in and checking it out. So I’m like you though, I don’t know if it’s a self-conscious thing, it’s probably mental. And you know what it is? I’m scared because, like if I do this right now, we can always edit out if we messed up. But at least in the back of mind, you think you can, but when it’s really live, you’re thinking if I mess up that’s it, it’s out there. So maybe it’s some of that I don’t know.
Maybe, but I don’t know it doesn’t compute though when you and I are both speakers, and we’ve been on stages all over, and you can’t hit undo or edit out a screw up on a stage with an audience right in front of you. In fact, that kind of puts me into presentation mode, and I am more eloquent, more just on it, higher energy. I don’t know what it is. I just think I need to start doing it anyway until I get into that new habit.
A good thing to be aware of, and a good habit to start getting into. I agree.
Yeah. Now let’s talk about putting video into different places on the website to increase conversion rate. For example, are you doing in-cart videos, so somebody adds something to their cart, and you have a video that kind of coaxes them to do the checkout process?
Yeah, we did. One client has an e-commerce sequence, and it’s not really complex, but it was complex enough that I think they were having a higher bounce rate as they went through the process. We created a series of videos, we don’t say “thank you” each time, because thanking them, it’s like they’re doing us a favor, and I think it’s really good to communicate, we’re helping you. And when you’re helping somebody, you’re not consistently saying thank you, thank you, thank you, you’re just saying congratulations on taking this step. This is a good step and then get into just the meat of, “Here’s what to expect next.” The next step will be, you pick the site, and you move here, and then it takes it, we’ll see on the next page. And then it gets to the next page, “Hey, you did it, good job. Now the next step is, do this, this and this.” And putting those in makes a difference in terms of the bounce rate people leaving because maybe they’re frustrated and keeps them engaged.
Video is just an engaging thing in itself. So that’s one way that we did it using a straight checkout process. And then there are landing pages, getting people to the landing page using video. So video has outperformed just about every ad platform, Facebook ads, LinkedIn, AdWords, a really great thing you could do now with YouTube connecting to AdWords, you can do a pre-roll video ad. It takes a little more work, but if you do a video for each search term that you want to be relevant for, let’s say, in my case, somebody searching for email automation, we have an email automation platform that we provide to people, and there’s unlimited data, an unlimited number of users, better price and done for you than Infusionsoft or HubSpot. And we actually do the work for them, which is what they really need. But that search if somebody’s searching for it, I can then have a video that shows a display as they’re doing the search or looking at articles related to but also if they say they get busy and distracted in their work and they go over to YouTube, and they’re watching crazy cat videos that can show as a pre-roll ad “Are you looking for email automation solutions?” And because it’s so relevant, then they see it. And it seems to be not quite as creepy when it’s done in a video versus having a pop up all over with retargeting people are feeling like it’s a little bit creepy. But I think with the video, it’s nice. And we’ve run Facebook ads where we’ve compared the video to an image ad, sponsored posts, video outperforms just about every single time. So you get the people drawn into a page and then we’ll put a video on that first page to keep it real simple, no distractions, no menus, just a couple of pain points, the video that tells the one-liner and then what to do next to the call to action. And then, they go to the next step and that every time increases the conversion rate on that page.
Right. And speaking of retargeting, you can actually incorporate it into the video ad on Facebook, like you could retarget the folks who have watched let’s say 80% of the video. So you put a video ad out there and then do a follow-up ad to those people who have watched most of your video.
Yeah, that’s a great point. And the other thing is, you can keep that audience for other campaigns. So if you know that people started engaging with you here, well, then you launch another campaign and go back to the same people with your next engagement. So you start to kind of build a relationship with them over time, and it’s not starting from cold each time. The other thing is that after people go all the way through the conversion, you can create that lookalike audience and say these people have converted, and you plug it in as a lookalike audience, and it’ll find people with similar attributes to try to bring up, and that’ll bring up the conversion rates just by that as well.
Yeah, that’s great. Now, I was just having a conversation with one of my clients earlier this week about a thank you page video, and I think it’s great advice, what you said about not thanking them because you’re actually doing them a favor, giving them this free valuable lead magnet or whatever it is. But do you see certain best practices with a video for a thank you page for, let’s say an ebook download or some sort of lead magnet download? What would be some of these best practices?
That’s a great question. And first of all, I want to clarify the “not saying thank you,” I’m not saying it like an egotistical thing, or an arrogant thing, like, “I’m not thanking you. I’m doing you a favor,” it’s not that, it’s just the mentality that helps from a marketing perspective. If you think in terms of I’m offering somebody something because I want to help them out, there’s a different mentality that goes into the marketing there so that when people receive it, they feel like I’m getting the help I need, not this person’s thanking me profusely like I’m doing them a favor for even being on their site. It sounds funny, but it’s just something that mentally, I think, helps that process.
It’s a positioning play, and I think it’s important. So I really like that distinction.
Yeah. And when I say it, sometimes I feel like it sounds weird because I don’t want to make it sound like it’s some arrogant thing, I’m not thinking of anybody. But then on the final page, the thank-you page depends on what is happening there. Let’s say, for example, we’re setting up meetings with somebody, we’ll do a consultation, and we put our calendar there, and then they’ll sign up. So then it’s me, and I will say to them, “Look forward to our call, I will be able to really dig in and see what it is that you guys are working on. So I can learn more about your situation and then see if there are any recommendations or even referrals that I might make.” So it lets them know what to expect on this call and looking forward to our call together, and they see a face with a name, just kind of like that one-to-one approach. But now it’s not one-to-one, but I still am basically in a way thanking that person, but preparing them for what’s to come, what they’re going to get out of it. And so I think that’s a really good thing, especially if you’re the person who’s actually gonna meet them. Absolutely try to have you be the one doing the video, a face and a real person I think is a good way to do that. But if it’s a mass approach like a product, or a white paper or an ebook that somebody might download, I think it’s still good to have a person to do it, especially if there’s some other further action you want them to take or to get ready for. Or if they get on your list, say, “I’m going to be following this up with some more helpful information that’s going to help take you down this further path or whatever, it is that the next plan is. If it’s to get them into an upsell, cross-sell, resell type of situation, I think definitely it’s worth putting one in there.
And those are the ones I would do higher production value as well, like there are these kinds of meetings or Zoom calls where you can be in a rough studio setting and have a baseball hat on but I think in those, it is the first impression and I think to dress up is always advised. My dad always said, “You can always dress down, but you can’t dress up.” So if I’m going to network events, I’m gonna wear a suit and tie. And I can always dump the tie in my car if I need to, or put it in my pocket. But in these kinds of situations, you have so many people that have different variations of this argument. And you have guys like Gary Vee, they say, “I want that kind of style,” well, he’s famous, he could do whatever the heck he wants. He could drop f-bombs, and he can do whatever he wants. I don’t believe that’s right for me. I think everyone has to pick what’s right for themselves, and for me personally, I believe to dress up in those higher polished videos because it’s the face of my company more than it’s just me. So we have a marketing firm, and we have a team of people, and I’m representing our entire company when I do this. Facing forward on that stuff, I think it has to be or should be more polished but having a face where possible. We do have some explainer videos that don’t have anything just animation and text, but I’ll still throw that stuff in as I say it, the animated text will fly in and emphasize my words, but it’s still somebody on the screen.Build relationships and make sure you know where your customer is in their journey so you don’t go back to cold greetings ever again. Click To Tweet
Right, and will you use B-roll as well?
Yes. B-roll from places like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, Adobe has theirs now. YouTube has stock footage that you can use for free, royalty-free YouTube stuff. VideoHive is another good one that has a good bank of stuff, as well as all the templates you could ever want in VideoHive. Adobe After Effects, you could buy a $40 pack of Adobe After Effects, fly in titles, and animated text, and you could send it off to somebody on Fiverr for $5-20 and get any fly in words you want, and if you can’t do that in yourself.
Yep. And there’s also 123rf.com they have a bunch of videos as well.
I haven’t heard of that one. Is it 123rf?
Yep, that’s a good one—lots of really high-quality stock photos and videos. Also, if you’re using Lumen5, do you use Lumen5?
Oh, that’s another good one, that’s a writer downer right there. That’s a great tool for creating these social videos where you’re using stock audio and flying in animations of texts and things like that. You’ll see all those social videos, a lot of those are done on Lumen5.
Have you heard of promo.com?
That’s one that I use sometimes. And it’s great because it’s a stock footage site, but they have pre-made ads, so they’re already done from beginning to end. They’re really short 10 seconds, 15-20 seconds tops, and they’ll have several different stock footage, B-roll of things going on with the fly-in text that happens across the different frames. All you have to do is click on where the title is and just change the text to be your text, and then you could publish it out. I can’t remember what their rate is, but it’s not that expensive. They have a base plan, I think they even have a free base plan that you can do a freemium model to go up into other versions, but then they even have an agency model. So, if you’re doing it for multiple companies, you can get an agency license and publish it for your clients.
Oh, very cool. I’ll take a look at that. Now, I’m curious about any examples that you want to share of really great internet marketers, who are doing great on thank you videos and sequences, follow up sequences, drip campaigns, and that sort of stuff, just the whole funnel as well built out. And one example that comes to mind for me is Todd Herman and his 90-day year program. I just recently found his performance style quiz, which I thought was really clever. After you take the quiz, it asks for your contact details to send you a custom report. That’s how they capture the information for a follow-up, and then they’re based on your performance style, based on the answers that you gave. It will give you one of three different thank you videos depending on your style. He had his personalized, customized thank you video for that, and it was very informal. He was actually holding his iPhone, and it was a little unstable and the way he held it, so it was a little jerky. It should have been in a tripod at least, I think, but for the most part, it was solid. And I thought, well, that’s pretty easy for somebody to kind of replicate. You just go to that 90dayyear.com into the performance style quiz and just kind of R&D it, rip off and duplicate it, right? Just have your own cool personality test and then report at the end and email sequence and all that. Do you have any examples that you thought were pretty effective?
Yeah, quite a few actually. One I can think of right off the top of my head is that I prefer a specific reason I like it: there’s a guy named Jason Swenk, he runs a thing called Agency University. Jason has become a friend, and I actually previously joined one of his mastermind groups that he does. But what I really liked that he did first, I saw him speak at Traffic & Conversion Summit maybe two or three years ago, and then I got into his funnel. And he had a channel on YouTube where he released this, I don’t know if it was weekly or how often he did it, but it’s very consistent, it was marketing tips; it’s what you need to be doing as a marketing agency. And then when I got into the landing sequence, he had this thing called keep time-wasters and pay a deposit, whatever it was, so you had to pay him like 100 bucks to have the consultation call, you had to apply to get into his program. Which created this exclusivity of getting into the program. And you felt like I think I qualify, I hope I qualify, let me get in, let’s see if I qualify, and you had to pay money to do it. And he even explained that he was doing that because he said I don’t want to waste anybody’s time and if you’re a serious fit and you’re qualified then if it’s not a fit, I’ll give you your money right back. And if it is a fit, come on in, and we’ll apply that to your first month’s fee.Dress up for significant occasions in the company because it's the face of your company not just yours. Click To Tweet
I thought that was a really good and effective way to do that funnel. Of all the people I’ve seen, there’s a number of good funnels I’ve seen out there, I think, and I could be wrong about this, but I think most of them are probably doing some variation of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. There’s a really great guy on a video named James Wedmore, who I follow and have bought his course and have done a number of things with through his programs. But one of the things he did, I saw that I actually recently revisited it to see. It was a series of five videos, and he was just standing in front of a green screen with a whiteboard, and he said, “These are the top five videos you need as a business.” And then he went into the other five videos, and he got one released every day by email, different email. And then at the end, he made an offer for $1, you could join his monthly club, and at the end of the 30 days, it’s $49 a month. And he’s literally built that up to thousands of people. He’s a really good guru on YouTube of using videos and video SEO to bring traffic in by offering free value and free service. And so I really appreciate what he did. But recently, I was looking at Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula material, and he has this thing, it’s that five steps sequence of the shot across the bow, and then he does his video series, and it’s almost exactly the same thing. And I thought he’s kind of like the Godfather all of all this perhaps.
Everyone calls it the Sideways Sales Letter, is that right?
Yeah, I think that’s it. So I don’t know if everybody’s copying it, or they’re all students of or derivatives of students, but I think there’s something there that is obviously working for people. And like you said R&D, I hadn’t heard before, but you can take anything and emulate there’s nothing wrong with emulation. If there’s a process that works, you plug in your material. I think that’s completely fine to do. You just don’t outright copy it. But I see these things working, and we’re trying to implement that with our clients, we’re trying to do it ourselves, and we’ve found various levels of success with different campaigns. So it’s really cool to watch.
Yeah. One thing I learned from Sunny Lenarduzzi, who is on this podcast, she talks about the HOT script. This is how you introduce any YouTube video, for example, you start with your hook, that’s the H, then your outcome, that’s the O, and then finally, T is testimonial, so giving an example where a client or a friend or another YouTuber uses this to great effect and get massive ROI. So starting that way, instead of “Hey, I’m Stephan Spencer. I’m the co-author of The Art of SEO, and I’ve been doing SEO for X number of years, and I’m going to talk to you,” you already lost them. They don’t want to hear all that, and they don’t need your bio, they need to know why they should continue watching it. So I’m curious about what your approach is to a video. That is, let’s say in the middle of the checkout process, or it’s at the thank you page for downloading the ebook or whatever the opt-in was. How do you launch into a new video?
You just mentioned about doing a video where instead of saying, “Hi, I’m Dwight, and I’ve done this, and I’ve done that,” nobody cares about that at all, for sure. And that’s a great point, especially if somebody launching a YouTube channel or YouTube videos that may go into campaigns. We’ll try to always start it with a question or a statement, and one of the best methods I’ve seen of this is Donald Miller. He has a book called Building A Story Brand, and he just launched his new book called Marketing Made Simple. I’ve just started reading that, but I’ve read his other book three times now.
It’s a great book.
It’s a really great book. What he does is the three-step one-liner, so it’s who exactly the person is, and it’s an exact target, it’s not everybody. It’s very hyperfocus, what industry they are in, what titles are they by job, and then their exact problems so they may have ten problems, but you gotta focus on the one problem you want to get to them. Then you tell how you uniquely solve that problem, and then you tell what the outcome looks like for them. And then if it’s in a video format, then give them a call to action. And then the way this can be done, and I’ve seen a couple of YouTubers do this very well, you ask that as a question like, “Have you ever wondered how to optimize your video on a sales page? Well, in this video, we’re going to tell you exactly,” and that’s another great word “exactly the steps you need to do to up your game and to bring in traffic.” And then it does like a three to five-second trailer about the show. And it shows the guy on the stage and shaking people’s hands, a little bit of music, and then boom, not more than three to five seconds, then right into the thing.
So today, we hear people ask all the time, “How do you do this?” Well, here’s how we do it. And then they just teach it, they keep it short, brief, and then on their way. And the other great thing about that is YouTube automatically transcribes every video. And because that question is in the front, how do most people ask questions in the search box? How do you, how-to, you’re already more relevant just by doing that. So it’s a great way to frame a YouTube video, but it is also really great at capturing people’s attention. Because in most of these videos, nobody says anything about their credentials, and again, nobody cares, they don’t care if you’re 23 years old, right out of college doing it. But if you have the answer to their problem, and you’ve stated their problem, and who they are upfront, tell them that you have an answer, they’re going to follow it to get the answer. They don’t care if you have an MBA, they don’t care about any of that. They just want to know, can you solve my problem and how fast.
The other thing I noticed when I’m looking at these videos on YouTube, if I search how to do something, there may be 20 videos, and I’m looking at the timestamp if this one is 10 minutes, and this one’s two minutes. I’m going to the two-minute one first to see if I can get a quick answer, and then if I need more in-depth, I’ll go to a longer-form video. So keep them short. Next time you’re watching YouTube, think to yourself, when am I bored, and then look at the timestamp, it’s gonna be in about seven to 10 seconds. That’s it. People want to do these really long videos. Stop it. Ten seconds on some of these things for an ad, pre-roll video, that’s all they give anyway but get that first point about their pain and how you solve it right away in the first 10 seconds.
Yeah, that’s so good. Another nice benefit of doing these is what kind of videos and address the questions that are in the viewer’s minds, and then answering it is you’ll be able to show up as a featured video in the Google search results, not just in YouTube. YouTube is the number two search engine, but the number one search engine is Google. So for example, if you type into Google, how to tango, there’s a featured video, it’s not a featured snippet, it’s a featured video, and it’s highlighted the segment of that video that is specifically about the answer to that query of how to tango.
Yeah, that’s right. And Google owns YouTube.
It’s a two for one. Okay, so we only have a few minutes left, I wanted to talk a little bit about your book, The Lean CMO. I know there’s The Lean Startup, and that’s a thing, there’s a whole series of books about that. But I’m curious, what is The Lean CMO or chief marketing officer, and why should somebody try and implement that kind of methodology or our process?
Yeah, so I was the Chief Marketing Officer of an enterprise software company, and everybody was so stuck in old systems and old processes and really reluctant to go and try new things. And they had been burned by a lot of different things as many people had. Still, I just knew, I’m big into technology, my undergraduate degrees in technology, I love sales and marketing. I knew we had to start marrying together these things as well as the new gig economy. Outsourcing, crowdsourcing, nearshore, onshore, offshore, all these things have to be considered. And so when I started, it was met with a lot of resistance at first, and it was very frustrating, it was very chaotic. But I just kept persisting that I knew to be successful, I had to make this happen. And in doing so, I pursued what I call Lean Methodology in the marketing egosphere. Everything that we did, like if we did a video, we had to use outsourcing, crowdsourcing low-cost methods to get a video produced, way less cost than anybody else was doing it out there, and found ways to do that. And then if we did a video, it wasn’t just to look nice, it’s not about our company where show and shots of the office and all the people in it, it was about the customer, and their pain, had to have the one-liner built into it. So everything had to have a purpose with return on investment added to it, and it had to be done using the gig economy or technology in some way that was going to make it happen faster and cheaper. And then I realized I could do this for multiple companies. And then I launched my own company. This was about six years ago. And I ended up launching HC Development and becoming a fractional CMO to the software industry. And so that’s how that started. But that’s what helped me write the book because I realized this is really important. And it’s so important for startups because they have to, but it’s maybe even more important for large enterprises, and we’re working with a lot of really big companies now. And the biggest problem they have is the bureaucracy of the mechanisms internally; they can’t get things approved. But by working with us, we can go do stuff and get it done quickly and add that support mechanism using Lean Methodology and marketing. So that was the premise, but it’s more important than ever companies have to embrace this, or else they’re going to be out of business because things are changing fast.
Yeah, they sure are. And I’m sure this is going to be a breath of fresh air for our listeners who want to adapt and adjust and not just survive through this downturn, but thrive. There’s nothing wrong with being successful when other people are having a hard time. You should try to be your best self, put your best foot forward, and do as much as you can. While there’s a downturn, you could make a bigger difference than you would when everything’s all easy peasy.
So how would folks find you online, and if they want to work with you, where should we send them to?
You know what, I will do something for your listeners if anybody wants to have a discussion, and I won’t charge anything to do it. I’ll just have a discussion, and it’s just a brainstorm, I’ll give them at least 30 minutes where we can just talk through some of the things we’re working on. You can email my assistant, her name is email@example.com, email her and reference your show and she’ll just put it on my calendar whatever availability I have during the week, and I’d be happy to share that with anybody. Otherwise, they can visit our site, which is hcdco.com. Our book, The Lean CMO is leancmo.com, it’s on Amazon, and it’s on ebook and paperback.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Dwight, this was a really valuable content and wisdom that you shared. Thank you so much for your generosity and also for being so generous with your time to allow our listeners to book a 30-minute call through Monica. Listeners, please take advantage of that generous offer. Thank you, Dwight.
Thank you, honored to be here.
- Dwight Holcomb
- LinkedIn – Dwight Holcomb
- Twitter – Dwight Holcomb
- Instagram – Dwight Holcomb
- firstname.lastname@example.org – book a 30-minute call through Monica
- HC Development
- Twitter – HC Development
- Youtube – HC Development
- The Lean CMO
- The Art of SEO
- Building A Story Brand
- Marketing Made Simple
- The Lean Startup
- Jeffrey Hayzlett – previous episode
- Matt Barnett – previous episode
- Sunny Lenarduzzi – previous episode
- Todd Herman – GYO previous episode
- Canon C100
- Blue Yeti microphone
- Logitech HD webcam
- Nick Sonnenberg
- Genius Network
- Dan Crowd
- Children interrupt BBC News interview – BBC News
- Canon 80D
- National Speakers Association
- How to Use a Video Camera for Live Streaming (or DSLR as a Webcam!)
- South by Southwest
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Jeffrey Hayzlett
- C-Suite Network
- SMEI (Sales Marketing Executives International)
- Linda Hollander
- Coronavirus Lockdown “Working from Home” Zoom Suit (Hi Res)
- Jerome Wade
- Gary Vee
- Adobe After Effects
- Todd Herman
- Todd Herman’s Performance Style Quiz
- Jason Swenk
- Agency University
- Jeff Walker
- Sideways Sales Letter
- James Wedmore
- Donald Miller
- Lean Methodology
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Be in the know with what people are saying and where they’re going to talk. Find the crowd that will support you best and give them what they need.
Look into the future and focus on implementing sustainable strategies. Don’t jump on the next trend right away. Make sure it’s not a short-time fad.
Get creative with my messaging. Humor tends to catch more attention and engagement. Go the extra mile when communicating. Don’t just send copy-paste email templates to my prospects.
Go virtual. Find ways to engage, communicate, and promote my business online. Hold virtual events, webinars, or Zoom meetings and maintain the connection even with your current schedule.
Determine which part of my business can be automated. Spend less time on manual processes and more time on innovating systems.
Get into video marketing for a more dynamic approach in presenting content. More and more people are consuming video content.
Learn the technical requirements to create an outstanding video. Invest in a good camera and microphone for high-quality audio and video.
Focus on goals that are measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. People respond better if something is proven to give them the most convenience.
Dress up for significant situations. Always bear in mind that I am the face of my company. I always want to put my best foot forward in front of our customers or prospects.
Check out Dwight Holcomb’s website for more content on marketing strategies that guarantee huge conversations.
About Dwight Holcomb
Dwight W. Holcomb is a Member of the Forbes Business Council and the host of the business television show, “SaaS CEO Success TV”. The show is set to air on the C-Suite TV Network which has global distribution in over 59 million households and more than 90 million views per month. He is also the CEO of HC Development, providing MaaS CMO™, Marketing as a Service with Executive oversight to the Software & Technology industry. Dwight speaks internationally as a Technology Futurist and on the topic of Sales & Marketing Innovation.