Can a Social Video Series Save HubSpot $31K?

HubSpot is offering a $30,000 referral bonus for referrals to help them recruit qualified software developers. ZoomTilt offers a social video package priced at $29K. If the use of a widely-shared, demographically-targeted and Hubspot-branded social video series (which we’d be happy to produce) inspires [at least] two great developers to apply to Hubspot, ZoomTilt would save HubSpot $31,000 without blunting the force of their HR-driven PR campaign.

Every company on the cutting edge of technology needs great software developers, right? Hubspot agrees.

Know a great developer? Refer them to HubSpot for $30K!

This common notion has been emphatically reinforced by Inbound Marketing heavyweight HubSpot’s announcement of a $30,000 bounty for a successful developer referral. Hubspot hopes to fill 15 developer jobs through the referral program, meaning there is up to $450K to be claimed by those possessing an extensive developer database. 

Is throwing money in the direction of the problem the best way to attract top developer talent? Generally accepted thought says that monetary compensation is often secondary to developers, who typically care most about things like:

  • Autonomy
  • Environments where they can learn and try new things
  • Creativity in problem solving
  • Building something that matters
  • Excellent management
  • Recognition

Does Hubspot have a culture problem, preventing top talent acquisition? Not from conversations I have had. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of talking with three Hubspot developers after an event, all were quick to evangelize Hubspot’s working environment as one of the best in which they had participated.

Hubspot also goes above and beyond to promote great office culture and share culture insights openly. Hubspot’s CultureCode Slideshare garnered over 300,000 views in three weeks after hitting the web.

So why the $30,000 referral bonus? Is there a different way to get the same result?

To answer this question, I reached out to Luis Reyes, video content producer at video game company Nexon. Luis was the creative force behind Nexon’s web series, ‘Testers’, and had this to say about the impact a web series can have on company culture,

“In general, I would say, just having video content that featured the staff, either fictionalized by actors in Testers, or in interviews in Blabber Box (which was our variety show), it helped engage everyone that worked at Nexon. In fact, our Marketing Director from about two years ago sited our video content as one of the reason he wanted to come to Nexon. So I think there is a benefit.

A web series is always good. Its [impact is] two fold. (A) I think that a web series helps put a human face on an industry for a broader audience; and (B) It becomes like defacto entertainment for the current staff, able to articulate the frustrations and emotions of an industry in a way that more blanket entertainment can’t.”

What do you think? Is sharable, entertaining video a valuable recruiting tool internet companies are missing out on? Does spending $29K on a ZoomTilt social video package that results in one qualified developer hire or a developer remaining at Hubspot makes financial sense? What are some other creative solutions to this problem?

7 Video Marketing Benefits Brands Need to Know

Video marketing is a content marketing cornerstone, and an integral aspect of brand reach, influence, experience and inbound engagement. Regardless of what your brand identity is, if you aren’t prioritizing video marketing within your content marketing roadmap, then you’re missing one of the best opportunities to draw audiences and customers to an immersive message that is (1) highly sharable in digital and (2) when done correctly, creates high-valence emotional connections. Video marketing can put tiny companies like Dollar Shave Club firmly on the blog roll in a matter of weeks, catapult fledging startups like Ministry of Supply to Kickstarter campaign immortality and event help an established brand like Samsung reinvent itself as the hip, iconic upstart usurping Apple’s smart phone dominance.

AudiencesWantaStory

Source: Edelman and Adobe.

Overall, there are many benefits to video marketing, including these seven benefits every digital marketer needs to know:

7. Less Investment Needed for Video Marketing Than You Might Think

Did your agency just quote you $200,000 for that social video campaign activation for two quarters from now? Then you’re talking to the wrong solution provider. The reality is technology, information access and competition among creatives has dramatically dropped the cost of procuring high quality, professional video. Moreover, branded video doesn’t need sparkling big-budget studio color-correction to succeed with online audiences.  Rather, it needs to resonate with viewers by being hilarious, edgy, inspiring or shocking, and above all, authentic, with characters, visuals and experiences people relate to.  As a result,  companies like Ford, Ikea, Proctor & Gamble, KMart, Target, AT&T and Fidelity are finding that with just a fraction of their TV ad budget, some savvy storyboarding, social media integration and a thoughtful distribution strategy, digital video marketing significantly outperforms the ROI from traditional TV ad investment.

Which would you rather watch?

Traditional media (sorry eHarmony):

New media:

We thought so too.

6. Precision Targeting

With digital video marketing your brand can reach a targeted consumer audience with relative ease.  And by properly taking advantage of social media, distribution channel and keyword targeting, your priority demographic audience can be engaged with near-surgical precision.  By combining good content with sufficient seeding to drive an initial, critical mass of viewers to their content microsite, YouTube channel and/or social media hub, brands can hit an earned media home run from social sharing and viral referral.  Advocates who like your video are more than empowered to tag, retweet, repost, pin or re-blog it if you make content that is highly sharable.

5. When People Care They Share and Participate

Watching video generates approximately 60% of internet traffic. Other data show that YouTube’s 1 million daily unique visitors watch nearly 3 billion videos per day, with 46% of those viewers taking some sort of action for every TrueView ad they see – typically by clicking the “skip” button.  Today’s consumers are highly-connected, easily-distracted internet-informed socialites who recognize when a company is creating value for them rather than just trying to shove a product or message down their throats.  This doesn’t mean Millenials can’t be advertised to; but it does mean the way advertising communicates and engages them has fundamentally changed.  When 18 to 24 year olds were asked “How do you want to a brand to interact with you?” in a study performed by Global Web Index, over 65% of respondents replied “Entertain me,” a response which occurred higher than “Keep me informed,” “Connect me with people” or “Provide me with interesting experiences.”  Moreover, because video is such “leveraged communication” (if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be 100,000+?), the stakes for both success and failure are bigger as well as faster.  A truly viral video is elusive – as well as marketing nirvana – but it’s a lot easier to create audience engagement magic and widespread social chatter with a recurring, character-driven video story viewers tune into episode after episode.

Generally, a broad range of recent success stories in branded video entertainment points toward five key themes in winning the battle for video engagement: (1) be authentic, (2) tell a compelling, recurring story, (3) manage content duration and pacing for maximum entertainment payload, (4) give audiences a way to get involved and participate if they want and (5) experiment; try new things.  Particularly relevant (and good news) for marketers is the fact that audience’s social sharing of content happens irrespective of the presence or absence of branding and branded messages within the content.  Additionally, highly engaged audiences do convert better, in many cases showing 300% higher ad click-through rates on high-quality web TV series compared to average industry pre-roll rates.

4. Humanizing the Brand Experience and Increasing Accessibility

Being more than just a brand is essential to the dialogue you maintain with our customers and social followers. Audiences today want to see the heart, people and characters behind the logo, and video marketing is the one of the best ways to achieve that.  When Hubspot rallies its inbound team to perform a cover-rendition of Psy’s viral YouTube opus “Gangnam Style” or Pixability puts its team front and center in entertaining, informational skits on its YouTube channel, it demystifies the brand in an accessible way that enables audiences to enjoy an insider’s perspective.

3. Video Marketing Simultaneously Solidifies Your Inbound and Outbound Marketing Presence

Having a strong, joint outbound and inbound marketing presence is not just smart; in today’s digital marketing landscape it might as well be a necessary. Strong, video marketing allows for this to be achieved with a great deal of ease by generating and proliferating content that simultaneously broadcasts the brand experience and also draws in audiences around conversion destinations.

2. Trial & Error

In the old days of video marketing, brands could simply advertise their product on someone else’s content (for example, TV), because the content brought people’s captive attention to their message.  But with traditional TV viewer growth stagnant, time-shifted TV becoming the status quo and 33-50% of TV viewers also consuming additional content on a second-screen device, brands need to embrace new content marketing approaches to bridge the engagement gap.  According to the Ruder Finn Intent Index, not surprisingly 82% of people want to be entertained, 96% of people want to be educated, and 92% of people want to be participating in something meaningful.  Put that together and it’s not surprising in hindsight that “This is Not Yellow” was a smash success.

But who could have predicted that? The great thing about digital video is that its cost structure and its medium makes experimentation and controlled tests with different content types, experiences and ecosystems a lot easier than, say, experimenting with Super Bowl Commercials.  At ZoomTilt, our business centers around testing, piloting, analyzing and distributing a broad range of branded entertainment concepts before we advise our clients to make their media buy and serialize content.  That way, video marketers have a lot more certainty around the brand experience they’re creating, the app integration(s) they want to run, as well as the ROI, engagement, reach and earned media outlook for the campaign.

1. Striking Gold: Content that Goes Viral

The holy grail of video marketing is seeing content catch on like wildfire and end up instantly spread all over the web within days. When this happens, a little-known content creator or brand can find themselves transformed into a cultural icon overnight.  While it’s impossible to target “virality as a strategy,” gradually building a vested audience with steady, high-quality video content marketing certainly increases the chances that a specific video will catch and ignite.  But rather than chasing a single, viral “home run,” steadily hitting singles and doubles – videos that collect tens of thousands of views, consistently broaden awareness of your brand’s message and increase your social reach –  can not only supercharge the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts, it can set the stage for when that perfect storm of a video happens to come along: