Project Management

The Secret to an Awesome Video Series, according to Wistia

Laura LaPrad
July 30, 2020
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If there’s one thing Wistia is passionate about, it’s building brand affinity. In fact, they created a whole video series called Brandwagon to spread the message.

Brand affinity marketing is all about turning your audience into full-blown fans of your brand. And it’s more than just a platform for Wistia. It’s the how behind everything they do—including their content and promotion strategy for Brandwagon. 

We sat down with Wistia’s Head of Production Chris Lavigne and Strategic Partnerships Manager Kristen Bryant to learn more in What’s the Plan—a video series where we talk to leading brands and influencers about how they plan, build, and launch their best projects. 

Here’s how to keep your audience coming back to your content again and again.

Produce content your audience cares about

Episodic content gives you a unique opportunity to establish ongoing touchpoints with your audience. But if you want them to keep coming back for every episode, you have to make it worth their time. 

Here are a few ways Wistia did that for Brandwagon:

  • Listen to your audience. Your social channels are a treasure trove of audience feedback and engagement. So use that input to create content that matters. “It’s just an incredible amount of face time you get with an audience,” Chris says. “If you can interact and engage with people like that, you’re going to build an army of super-fans that are obsessed with your content.”
  • Strike a balance between “Wow!” and “We can do that!” Before Brandwagon came One, Ten, One Hundred, and it was a cinematic force full of wow factor. But Wistia knew that kind of production was out of reach for much of their core audience. With Brandwagon, they scaled the production back to something any team could pull off. “What we aspired to do with the show is to keep it aspirational but also attainable,” Kristen says.
  • Study the numbers. “We also had some quantitative data around how One Ten One Hundred performed, and that actually influenced our decisions with Brandwagon too,” Chris says. “We were looking past views on this stuff and looking at hours watched, time spent with the brand.”

The fact that teams have watched Brandwagon and been inspired to go make their own shows is proof Wistia got the content right. 

Keep the big picture in easy view

Lay a clear path to success with a visual plan that’s easy to understand, and keep everyone in sync with flexible workflows and team collaboration.

Create your free plan

Generate value, not leads

Brand affinity starts with meaningful content. But Wistia didn’t stop there. They’ve been just as intentional about how they handle their subscriber list.

“If you subscribe to Brandwagon, we’re going to give you content that’s about Brandwagon or overlapping information that’s only about content,” Kristen explains. “These people are not our marketing qualified leads. They are subscribers for our content, and we are very intentional about that.”

And it works. Some of the best feedback Wistia got about Brandwagon was from people who had forgotten about Wistia and came back because of the show. 

“The best thing we could have asked for is that we’re on people’s radar again—not because of our product. They may never need our product again, but we’re giving them value in another way,” Kristen adds. “It’s what we believe in.”

Take promotional cues from media networks

“If you think about an episode of some show you might be watching now, there are so many assets people are creating to promote that single episode,” Kristen says. 

That’s why Wistia decided to set the traditional SaaS launch playbook aside and looked to media networks like Netflix to guide their promotional strategy. 

Create pre- and post-launch trailers

You don’t have to wait until production wraps to build buzz for your show. Wistia created a series trailer early on to generate subscribers for Brandwagon—and they did it without any actual footage of the show. 

“After we launched the first episode, then every episode subsequently had its own trailer,” Chris says. The individual episode trailers teased out what viewers would see and learn from each guest. 

Once the show wrapped and Wistia’s Brandwagon team had some breathing room, they created a new post-launch trailer that captures the series as a whole even better so they can use it for ongoing promotion. 

This example from the free show planning template we created based on Wistia’s process shows you how you might break pre- vs. post-launch marketing tasks down in your own plan.

Screenshot of Wistia video series plan with focus on marketing tasks

Use multiple channels to extend your reach

While email served as the primary tool Wistia used to announce episode releases for Brandwagon, it wasn’t the only channel they used to drive traffic and views. 

“For each individual episode we had a promotion plan. We knew we were going to launch it on Tuesdays. We knew that email was going to be sent out, but we also had ad assets that were going online that were specific to the episode,” Kristen says.

These additional assets might include mini-segments for Instagram TV or other social channels or paid ads on Facebook and YouTube. 

And Wistia didn’t rely solely on their marketers to get word out about Brandwagon. They created promo kits with sample tweets and posts that made it easy for their entire team—as well as show guests—to share on their own social channels.

Watch What’s the Plan? and get a free project template

Want to make your projects more memorable? Watch the first 3 episodes of What’s the Plan? to discover:

  • Why good project planning creates space for brainstorming, concept development, and even the occasional bad idea
  • How Wistia organized a crew for Brandwagon and why role clarity was key to managing workloads and inspiring better accountability
  • Why Wistia ditched the traditional SaaS marketing playbook and looked to media networks as inspiration to create an evergreen strategy for promoting Brandwagon

We’ll also show you how to apply the lessons we learned from Wistia to a real project plan and share a free template you can use to plan your own video projects.