John Jantsch: This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Zephyr CMS. It’s a modern cloud based CMS system that’s licensed only to agencies. You can find them at zephyrcms.com, more about this later in the show.
John Jantsch: Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Ethan Beute. He’s a chief evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast and coauthor of a book called Rehumanize Your Business. Ethan, thanks for joining me.
Ethan Beute: Thank you so much for the invite! I really, really appreciate it. I respect the work that you’ve done over the years and it’s just a privilege to spend time with you.
John Jantsch: Well, thanks so much. I hinted that you are the chief evangelist at BombBomb, so I think probably we should start with what the heck is BombBomb?
Ethan Beute: Oh, good. I thought you were going to start with what the heck is a chief evangelist?
John Jantsch: It could have gone either way. It could have gone either way, yeah.
Ethan Beute: We’re a software company. Our whole premise is that you are better in person. We want you to be a little bit more personal, a little bit more human, a little bit more often, and that you’re relying on faceless digital communication for some of your most important and valuable messages. We make it easy for you to record and send video messages in place of some of the typed out texts you might send otherwise. We have a web app that lets you do it, mobile apps for iPhone and Android, works in Gmail and Outlook, works in Salesforce, Outreach and a bunch of other platforms. But the whole premise is that if you could just look someone in the eye and communicate your message, you’re probably going to save some time and be much more effective in that, and so we want to make it quick and easy to do that for you.
John Jantsch: You know, video marketing or video in marketing has been pretty hot for, I don’t know, let’s say the last five years at least. Would you say that this is an offshoot of that or something completely different?
Ethan Beute: Well, the way that we started talking about it, we’ve been at this since the company was founded in 2006. I joined full time in 2011, and that was kind of when we went to market with it. We’ve been doing this for a long time. In helping people understand this back in like 2012, 2014, and even today, one of the lines that we draw is a line between marketing through video and relationships through video. The skills of course are highly transferable, but some of the particulars and some of the desired outcomes are different, right? Marketing through video we use for your YouTube channel, that super nice video on your homepage, your Facebook lives, and all these other things that are for typically mass audiences. You’re looking to get as many views as possible, et cetera.
Ethan Beute: This is more of a, “Would this be better if I said it in person? Would I be more clear if I did a little show and tell in this message instead of hitting the keyboard? Maybe I’ll hit the screen recorder.” That kind of a thing. It’s lighter weight. It’s faster. I think the production values and expectations are much lower than a lot of people think. There are a number of things. The language we use here is relationships through video versus marketing through video to kind of draw the divide. They are related. I wouldn’t say necessarily that they’re offshoots of each other, except they both capitalize on the fact that we’re carrying around amazing cameras in our pockets or our purses, and they’re built right into our laptops.
John Jantsch: One of my favorite uses of this, probably before I even thought about it as a sales tool or an engagement tool, is that a lot of times I have like a web designer. I want to tell him, “I don’t like this little thing over here. Make this thing bigger.” It’s so much easier to communicate that in a little screen capture video. You know, I’ve been doing it … I don’t know what was the first screen capture app, something called Jing from Camtasia, or those folks. I’ve been using it at least a decade for that kind of purpose.
Ethan Beute: Right? And so a couple of things there. Yes, absolutely. Now think about your customers. Think about where they get confused, frustrated, annoyed, like any point of friction can be walked out a little bit. You can manage emotion and tone by communicating with people eye to eye, face to face. You can show and tell as you said. And from a technology standpoint, one of the things that we do is we make this recording and sending and tracking motion all one motion, you know?
Ethan Beute: So with Jing back in the day, you’d record your screen and then you’d have to host it somewhere and find the link and put that somewhere or whatever. Like we turn the first three seconds of your video into little animated loops so people can see you. You can use that three seconds to do things like capture their attention, let them know it’s truly personal, et cetera, and show the play duration to manage people’s expectations. I have 37 seconds for that.
John Jantsch: Yeah. Yeah. Do you see this … Obviously the delivery mechanism quite often is email. Do you see this replacing traditional text email in some fashion? And before I let you answer that, I don’t get as many of these as I think I would. That’s the reason I asked that. Yeah.
Ethan Beute: Yeah. It’s amazing. When I joined the company full time, I ran marketing and promotion inside local TV stations for a dozen years, like your local ABC station or NBC station. So I left an established 60 year old company that still had like a pension plan in order to join this company as like the sixth or seventh employee. The healthcare was terrible, left a bunch of money on the table and my wife was supportive of it. But I had this background fear of like, “Okay. Well, I guess maybe MailChimp or Google or someone else could just roll out a similar feature.” And that was back in 2011! And here we are today, and you as someone who’s probably communicating with a wide variety of on the edge and highly competent people aren’t seeing this in your inbox very often.
Ethan Beute: And so the uptake has been a lot slower than I would have expected. I think human vulnerability is probably a key part of it. Just the comfort and familiarity, the comfort in your own skin. “Am I doing this right? Is my video good enough? Am I good enough?” Some of these things we say consciously, some of them we say subconsciously because we don’t want to entertain those thoughts intentionally, but like am I good enough is really what’s going on here? “Am I open to judgment and potentially rejection?” And that is a deep, deep human fear, and so it has been slower on the uptake than I expected.
John Jantsch: I have been calling this for a while, one-to-one video. Because again, the personalization nature of it, which I think people really are craving. I’ve been using it for quite a while and I have some clients, I have a remodeling contractor that I finally talked into doing it. And they have designers on their staff, and their designers go out to people’s homes. Quite often I have convinced them and some of them are really getting behind it to where they’ll do, “Hey, we talked about your kitchen. Here’s a couple of our last kitchens we did. And by the way, here’s who I am. When you see me at the door, you’re going to know who I am now.” It took them a long time because they’re not real computer technology people. So it was like, “How do I do this?” And once we got them going on it, now it’s such a huge differentiator. I’d love if you’d talk about maybe some of the use cases you’ve seen.
Ethan Beute: Yeah. You’re exactly right. I mean ultimately when it comes down to it, when people say yes, like the macro yes, let’s say the signed contract or the commitment or whatever. They’re saying yes to who you are. And you might be a solopreneur, you might be a real estate agent or a mortgage loan officer or a financial advisor or a home builder or whatever. You could operate in a small team, you could operate independently, you could operate inside a large organization. In all of those situations, yes, people are saying yes to the price point and the terms and the timeline and the features and benefits and all this, but ultimately they’re still saying yes to who you are. And if they’re not, if the relationship doesn’t matter, that sales role in that whole process is going to be truly automated at some point anyway.
Ethan Beute: If the human is not adding value, the human is going away. We know that for a fact. And so all of these points where we can make people feel better, feel more confident, all these things, a simple personal video can go a long way to do that. So it doesn’t surprise me, especially before they’ve met, right? This example you have here is like I am the person who’s going to be at your front door. I’m the person, the stranger who you’re going to welcome into your home the day after tomorrow. What a much better situation to have them feel a little bit like they know you in advance. And so just to answer your question, across the entire customer life cycle from whatever a lead or an opportunity is for you through setting appointments, increasing hold rates, through differentiating yourself, especially if you’re being interviewed against two or three other product or service providers at the commitment phase. Onboarding, you need to onboard people into your product or service obviously.
Ethan Beute: You need to make sure that they get the value or outcome or benefit that they paid you for initially and you want to confirm that. And then you want that positive growth loop or referral engine or whatever language you want to use there, with the online reviews, the positive word of mouth, repeat, purchasing, expanded purchasing, et cetera. And again, I don’t care whether this is B2B, B2C. Across that life cycle, and I don’t care whether it’s a product or service. Across that life cycle, you have multiple points of opportunity to be more clear and to build more human connection, to manage emotion and tone. Again, positive emotion, you want to double down on. Negative emotion, you want to mitigate and empathize with people.
Ethan Beute: You can do that so much better if you just look the camera in the lens and say, “I am so sorry. That should not have happened to you. Here’s why it did happen. Here’s what we’re working on right now, and here’s how we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen to you or any of your fellow members in our community ever again.” Right? It just manages that so much better. And then of course, detail or complexity we already talked about. With the screen recording in particular, we can kind of show and tell multiple points in your customer life cycle. And, I would add in your employee life cycle, to more effective by being a little bit more personal and human.
John Jantsch: Yeah, that whole stage of the journey. I think a lot of people when they think of marketing videos, they’re thinking of, “Hey! Get attention, maybe build a little trust, and then it sort of stops there.” Think about asking for a referral, for example. We’re so thrilled you got the great result. Here’s something that we’d love it if you’d help us out with. Imagine that coming across in a video way, way, way, way down. I’m already a customer. You’ve already provided a service. It’s like way, way down the end of the journey almost. I think people are limiting the use of this technology to kind of the front part of the journey.
Ethan Beute: Dramatically. It’s been really interesting. We came up in some of the communities I mentioned earlier before, and so when you think about like a small three person real estate team for example, they manage that entire customer journey. It’s not some other department in the West wing of the office building or something. So we’ve seen these use cases across the entire journey, and it’s really fun because they just identify these points that are like, “It would be better.” And so two things about getting online reviews or testimonials or whatever. One, you can do it truly personal, truly one-to-one. And that’s going to be the most effective because you going to remind them of that goofy thing that happened midway through, but we managed to work through it together and overcame it and got you where you needed to go.
Ethan Beute: Or you could do it evergreen or slightly automated, where you record the video once and you use it over and over and over again. As you look at that post-purchase process that you have at your business, step three might be make sure that they get the online review request video email. And one reason that video email is great there is that over the phone you’re just like, “Hey, can you go to Amazon and give me a review, or can you go to Google and give me a review or can you go to Yelp and give me a review? Can you go to Home Advisor and give me a review?” There’s the link right there.
Ethan Beute: Right? And the other benefit of doing video and email in particular, especially with a service like ours or some other ones too, anywhere that they’re keeping the opens, the link clicks and the video plays all together and you can segment lists of people who did this or didn’t do that. Allows you to follow up and just do that polite follow up to make sure that you … Even the customer that loves you and loves the service that you provide and got a great outcome, they might not have three minutes right now to go leave that review. They might need that reminder.
John Jantsch: Content is everything. So our websites are really content management systems, but they’ve got to work like one. Check out Zephyr. It is a modern cloud-based CMS system that’s licensed only to agencies. It’s really easy to use. It’s very fast, it won’t mess with your SEO. It really reduces the time and effort to launch your client’s websites. Beautiful themes, just really fast, profitable way to go. They include agency services to really kind of make them your plug and play dev shop. Check out zephyr.com. That is zephyrcms.com.
John Jantsch: So I’ll tell you another great use that I think is … We talked about kind of the, “Hey, you haven’t met me, I’m coming to your home.” We’ve talked about the referral. But in my business we send a lot of proposals, and there’s a lot of language that needs to be in these proposals because we want to spell everything out for that person that reads every word. But the reality is, I would say 90% of the people that get our proposals don’t read much of it. And what they want to hear is, “What does this thing mean?” And I think that a video explanation proposal is almost mandatory if you’re not delivering them across the desk.
Ethan Beute: I love it, and there is another benefit of doing it this way. It’s a great use case. The other benefit is there are often multiple decision makers. You’ve been dealing with Jennifer, but Jennifer also has to consult with Tina and Ted to make this commitment. And so this ability for you to put your best face forward, your best proposal for it, you don’t need to rely now on Jennifer to communicate the value prop and the points of differentiation to readdress any objections to make sure that people are comfortable with the contract.
Ethan Beute: You can do that yourself, and you’ve given them something that’s very easy to forward. And then again, because of the tracking, you know that it got forward because Jennifer’s not going to open your email 18 times and play the video six times unless she’s a weirdo. I bet she’s not in my hypothetical story here. This allows you to know that you got past the gatekeeper and/or got to the other decision makers. We hear that story all the time as well.
John Jantsch: Yeah, the tracking is key.
Ethan Beute: You get to do it yourself is the key.
John Jantsch: Yeah. So we’ve talked a lot about … I think we’ve probably spent a lot of time convincing people why they should do this, but maybe we want to talk a little bit about the practical how. I’m assuming that most of the tools that do this, it sits in a browser extension and you just kind of pop it open and record your video of yourself or of your screen. And then you are able to embed that in Gmail. Did I get any part of that wrong?
Ethan Beute: No, that is. There are a lot of Chrome extensions in particular. I guess Chrome is just the easiest to build into. We do have a Chrome extension that would allow you to access your entire video library or record a video, and then take the HTML or take the URL and drop that in a variety of places. So for example, I use our Chrome extension to record videos, take the URL and drop them into LinkedIn messages. What a lot of other people do for CRMs that we’re not integrated with, they take the HTML code there and put it other places. But we operate directly inside the Gmail inbox. Inside every single composer reply window, we have a little bomb icon. Open it up. You can access your library and use the video you recorded.
Ethan Beute: Before you can record a new video, you can schedule it and a variety of other things there. Same thing in the Outlook inbox. And then from our web app, it’s more of a traditional email marketing and very lightweight marketing automation platform. Again, where video is designed to be integral to the process from the get go. So you can throw video straight into an email off your desktop, or you can record one straight into the email and you can manage lists and contacts and all that. And then our integrations with a service cloud or a sales cloud or some of the other CRMs that were integrated in, depending on how it got built and whether we built it or the other company built it, the recorder is there, the video library is there. It operates directly inside that system. And whatever their sending process is, we send through that.
John Jantsch: And so when the recipient gets it, say in an email that’s been composed in Gmail for example, does the video play inside the email or do they have to go somewhere to watch it?
Ethan Beute: That’s a great question. It’s funny, that question I feel like is re-emerged. Initially when the email marketing community was like, “That’s not video email. That’s-”
John Jantsch: Right. That’s an image from a YouTube video.
Ethan Beute: Correct, correct. Well, funny thing is here we are years later, and that’s still the case. The number of environments … Because the email inbox is a much more secure environment than say an open web page, there are a lot of things you cannot execute technically inside an email inbox. And so the incidents of support of video play in the email in the inboxes, I don’t know what the percentage is right now because it moves around a lot. There’s so few and they’re kind of corner cases. Most email clients on most devices in most browsers don’t support that experience. And so we send an animated GIF that we automatically produce for you, and you click to play it and we dynamically regenerate your email and the video starts playing there.
John Jantsch: So what are some practical ways to, especially as I suppose as more and more people do this, it’ll be like email. It’ll be harder to get open, then harder to get played. And so what are some of the practical tips now to really get ahead of that, to make sure your video gets seen and played? And maybe if you have a call to action, it gets executed?
Ethan Beute: Yeah, that’s a great call. My number one tip, and this is going to be like marketing basics, but is to be very, very clear about what’s in it for the person before you ever type or record anything. So when you’re clear what’s in it for the other person, whether you’re making an email to go to one person a thousand times as people arrive at that instance, or whether it’s truly just for John, when you’re clear about what’s in it for the other person, you’re going to write a better subject line. And there’s some fun things you can do there because obviously your video can’t be seen unless your email gets opened. And then I always recommend obviously some kind of greeting, but at least a one liner. One mistake I see happening all the time when people start using a lightweight video in an email like this is that they just send the video on its own and expect that the video is enough to get attention.
Ethan Beute: And frankly right now because it’s so uncommon it is, but to your point, we’re going to need to get more sophisticated. This thing’s going to get better. And we have a lot of tips in the book by the way around this, but I always advocate for one line of text to drive the video play. Why should someone give you 42 seconds? Why should someone give you a minute and 12 seconds of their time? And because we do that animated preview, there are things we can do. For example, I keep a whiteboard next to my desk, like a little 8 by 12 or something like that. I write messages on it. I draw logos on it. I might promise value if I’m replying to someone. This is another great use case by the way, a customer inquiry. “Hey, I was wondering why this, why that.” You can typically explain things in a way that they’re going to understand better, and feel much more appreciated when you give them the gift of your time and direct attention.
Ethan Beute: And again, it’s a better, more effective message. But I might, “The answer to your question, Tina …” And hold that up in the beginning and then I start the recording, set it down and I continue talking to Tina in that use case. And then underneath the video I always advocate for another line of text to drive the call to action. And so obviously the call to action needs to be in the video. Two, I recommend not burying it at the end in case you don’t get played … If you get played to the 90% point in a one minute video, they might miss your call to action, although it could probably be implied by the 50 seconds they did watch, let’s say.
Ethan Beute: But using text and video together I think is one of the best opportunities to drive that engagement with you as a person, to have that asynchronous moment with you in real time. I record a video and send it to you at 6:00 in the morning because I’m an early guy, and you open it up and watch it at noon your time. But you still have that moment with me. I think one of the opportunities that’s missed in that is blending text and video together to get the full desired outcome that you seek.
John Jantsch: Do you have the ability to edit your video in any fashion? So if there’s something I don’t like or maybe … A common thing, I turned it on and I was looking around, “Oh. It’s going.” Can you trim some of that off or do anything like that?
Ethan Beute: We do not have trimming right now. We have made it in beta before. It’s just been kind of sitting on the shelf for a while. A couple of ways that people get around that, one, we do have a rerecord. So the only time I’ll rerecord a video is, one, if I just truly mess up. Like, “Oh, I actually wasn’t ready.” I don’t even know why I clicked the record button. That’s rare. And then the only other time I’ll do it as if I know I can record that video in 50% to 70% as much time, like out of respect for the other person.
Ethan Beute: If I record a two minute video and I know I could do it in a 1:10, I might rerecord out of respect for the other person. So that rerecord button you that opportunity. What a lot of other folks will do is if, especially in mobile, because there’s so many apps that make it easy to do that, they’ll record it natively, edit it and then just upload it through our mobile app into their account and send it that way. And of course if you’re doing something, you know we mentioned Jing before. If you’re using like a Camtasia or similar, it has editing on it. And then you would upload it into BombBomb, or whatever system you might prefer to use,
John Jantsch: Ethan, tell people where they can find out more about BombBomb, but also your book Rehumanize Your Business.
Ethan Beute: Cool. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Again, my name is Ethan Beute. Last name is spelled B-E-U-T-E, so you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find all these things on LinkedIn when you hit my profile. I welcome any connections, especially if you add a note to it. We’re at bombbomb.com it’s just the word Bomb, bombomb.com. You can learn more about Rehumanize Your Business at bombbomb.com/book, or you can just search for Rehumanize Your Business at Amazon. Or wherever you prefer to buy books, but apparently it’s … As a multi-time author, I would expect that your experience is similar to mine in that so much of the activity is at Amazon. Even if you let people know that if you like independent business, then you like Indie Bound.
John Jantsch: Yeah, that’s-
Ethan Beute: Right? They still go to Amazon.
John Jantsch: Yeah, Amazon’s got a lot of people captured, especially in the book buying business. They made it so easy, so that’s part of the process. I appreciate you stopping by, and I think you’re just down the road from me today. I’m up West of Boulder in Coal Creek Canyon, but I think … Aren’t you in Colorado Springs?
Ethan Beute: Yeah. Beautiful. What are you doing up there? Is this like an extended holiday experience?
John Jantsch: No, no. I have a home up here as well, so I live in Kansas City and in Coal Creek Canyon as well.
Ethan Beute: Beautiful. Good for you. Yeah, we’re all down in Colorado Springs. We have a few far flung folks, but the vast majority of our 150 team members are right here in downtown Colorado Springs.
John Jantsch: Well, it’s cold and windy up here at 10,000 feet.
Ethan Beute: Yeah. Cool.
John Jantsch: Awesome. Well, thanks for stopping by, and hopefully maybe one day when I head down 25, I’ll drop in on you guys.
Ethan Beute: You are welcome anytime, and lunch is on me.
John Jantsch: Awesome. Thanks, Ethan.
Ethan Beute: Thank you.