Inbound Best Practices and Hacking the New User Experience

I took some time recently to do some research and think about where growth comes from. The two areas that I found to be the most compelling were inbound marketing and a product-specific area that I’ll call “hacks”.

Inbound marketing

The video hosting and analytics market is still relatively young so Vidyard has the opportunity to establish itself as a leader in the space and dominate. In the eyes of marketers and content creators, Vidyard has to be a thought leader in video marketing and analytics the same way Hubspot is for inbound marketing. In order to get there, Vidyard’s social and content channels must reflect that thought leadership.

Content

As we all know, good content, often in the form of a blog, is critical to user acquisition. It allows you to attract potential leads (assuming you have good SEO) and bring them into your sales funnel. Vidyard‘s blog is updated regularly with company news, new feature announcements, guest posts, and so on. There are some things, however, that I would test out and see if it makes a difference.

  1. High-level blog posts are great to get the basic idea of a particular subject. However, it would be great to start seeing some blog posts that go deeper. This is critical if you want to be considered a thought-leader. Seeing a post go in-depth into how Vidyard’s use of the YouTube Analytics API (thanks Patrick!) allows you to access all your data from one dashboard, for example, would be awesome.
  2. Like I said in an earlier post, the blog is not equipped with CTAs to bring potential customers into the funnel.

Here are some content suggestions:

  • A case study (haven’t seen one in months)
  • A full summary of the integration with YouTube and what that integration means for the user
  • Leveraging data to make better videos
  • Publish results from a quarterly/semi-annual survey of Vidyard users

Hacks

Here’s the fun stuff! From what I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, being a growth hacker isn’t just about content, social, and paid growth channels. There also exists an element of creativity that is driven by data and intuition. I don’t have data (yet) but I do have intuition so, without further ado, here are some hacks that I think would help to increase the rate of conversion from trial user to paying user:

The New User Experience

Being a free trial user of Vidyard, I’ll be honest, I felt like the experience was too “quiet” on Vidyard’s part. Having a new user on a trial is a great opportunity for education and building a relationship. Unfortunately, there was not too much of that. I received exactly two emails over the past few days. One asked me to set up my password and the other told me that my cat video was ready to share and presented me with a couple of share buttons. After entering your email you are directed to a welcome screen that introduces the dashboard and gives you some very brief pointers on what you can do next. It also asks you to “Like” and “Tweet” before you’ve had a chance to use the product.

The Welcome Screen

Regarding the timing and placement of the Like/Tweet on the welcome screen, have you tested asking for these upon the second or third login? By asking someone to Tweet, you’re encouraging them leave your website to go to Twitter where they may get lost and never come back.  The new user experience should be focused entirely on getting the user engaged with your product. Perhaps once they’ve used the product a couple of times it would make more sense to ask them to share Vidyard. Finally, I’m not entirely sure what to think about using discounts to encourage a “Like”. The user hasn’t even started their free trial yet and we’re already discussing discounts?  Again, the presence and timing of this could be tested for optimal conversion. Maybe as they get closer to the point where they have to make a purchase decision the idea of a discount would be more effective.

I think Vidyard could also benefit from structured email campaigns. The lack of contact feels weird. Even as my trial is in its second half, I haven’t received any reminders, analytical summaries, or educational content. There doesn’t appear to be any standard drip campaign set up for trial users either. There are options under “Account” for subscribing to the monthly newsletter (should be “yes” by default – another thing to test), frequency of analytics emails, and so on. If we encourage users to complete their profiles early on, we learn more about them and can build better relationships with them. Something I’d like to test is a campaign based on segmentation. Are there different use cases among Vidyard users? Is there any way we can determine what their intentions are through their (ideally first) use of the trial. Once we have determined their intent, could we not send them relevant emails with things like best practices for their particular use of Vidyard?

Email 1

Email 2

Here is a sample email campaign that I think would be more engaging. The whole point here is to be dynamic in the way we build relationships (Amazon.com is ridiculously good at this):

  • Email #1
    • Welcome message
    • Setup password and prompt user to complete profile
    • Getting started
  • Email #2
    • IF no player created THEN remind the user to create on and provide a link to a tutorial
    • IF player created AND has no views THEN remind user of sharing and embedding options
    • IF player created AND has views THEN show the user what can be done with the data
  • Email #3 (Trial is coming to an end)
    • Can include anything from #2, if applicable
    • Mention anything the user hasn’t tried (CTA overlay, YouTube account sync, etc.) and the benefits of doing so
    • Survey the user regarding their experience so far
  • Email #4 –Trial has ended
    • Maybe one of the team members can reach out to the user here (or maybe someone should have reached out earlier – should test)
    • Recommend a paid plan based on their usage, profile, etc

 

Finally, one thing that’s not entirely clear to me is what tier of product (Professional, Advanced, and Basic etc.) I’m getting a trial of. Which features do I or do I not have access to? Including this information in an email or on the welcome page is something that we could try. Take a look at this pricing page from Box. You know exactly what you’re getting a trial of.

Box makes it very clear what you’re getting with the trial.

Wrapping up

In this post we discussed the optimization of inbound marketing and a trial users’ experience using deeper and more engaging content. Just looking at what I’ve covered in this post, there is a TON of testing to be done. If you’re a growth hacker, I think it’s very important to not only test and implement best practices but to also take some smart risks and be open to using your data in different ways. Whatever you happen to be implementing or hypothesizing, though, the key is to test and evolve as rapidly as possible.

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