Robert Cassard is the BS author of, Video Growth Hacking. His content marketing strategies and campaigns have generated rapid growth and hundreds of millions in incremental income for his clients over a 30+ year career.
As an owner of marketing, PR and video automation firms, Robert Cassard has helped emerging and established companies and organizations grow rapidly and increase their valuation using both viral and traditional marketing techniques, often centered on video.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Listen to this informative Publish. Promote. Profit. episode with Robert Cassard about growing a business rapidly with video centered marketing.
Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:
- How video went from costly, cumbersome media to an accessible and easy to share marketing tool.
- How a video on your website can make you 53 times more likely to appear on page one of a Google search.
- How a video can show someone what makes you tick, your philosophy, and how you can help them before you even meet.
- How trackable videos in email provide marketing advantages.
- How video can make your branding and message incredibly consistent in a way an employee can’t.
Connect with Robert:
Guest Contact Info:
All right. Welcome, everybody. Rob Kosberg here with another episode of our Publish. Promote. Profit. podcast. I have a great guest that specializes in video growth hacking. I have some special questions myself. Robert Cassard is the best-selling author of the book, Video Growth Hacking. His content marketing strategies and campaigns have generated rapid growth and hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental income for his clients over a 30-year career. That’s quite impressive, and you have a great list of clients. As the owner of a marketing PR and video automation firm, Robert’s helped emerging and established companies and organizations grow rapidly and increase their valuation using both viral and traditional marketing techniques, usually centered on video. Clients include Logitech, HP, Sprint, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and on and on. Robert, great to have you with me today on the podcast. Excited to pick your brain about video growth hacking.
Thank you, Rob. Glad to be here. I’ll just unzip the brain right here and pull it open for you. What do you want to ask?
Well, many of my questions probably are a little self-centered and focused on myself. I figure if these things are important to me in my business, then they’ll probably be important to a lot of people that want to get their message out there. I guess the first thought that I had regarding this whole idea of video growth hacking is I imagine that great platforms like YouTube that have been around now for a number of years and is the number two search engine online might be the primary platform that you’re using. I don’t know that, so I want to start there. Give me some of the basics and foundation of video growth hacking. What are the platforms that you use? How do you focus? Is this primarily based on social media growth?
Great place to start. I think one thing I want to just back up a little bit to just reiterate something that you hinted at, which is the video itself. When I started in marketing 30 plus years ago, we didn’t have an easy way to get video content out there. You needed a massive budget, everything was shot on film, it was very cumbersome, costly, you needed a big team, all of that. Over the course of my career, I’ve watched as videos become more accessible and of course the big change happened right there in like ’05, ’06, ’07 when suddenly the compression algorithms allowed us to communicate via video online. That was amazing, I would even say thrilling. I mean, that’s not a word I use lightly. But it was to me because, having done all kinds of traditional marketing print campaigns and billboards and radio and you name it, I’d done it all, there was a point where I had this moment I thought, “Video has always been, in my career, the most effective of the tools in the arsenal.” It had been so cumbersome and then suddenly it was like, “Wow! We can float a video on a website? There can be a website and someone can actually watch it and it doesn’t take forever to load.” Obviously in the early days it was slow, but once the technology caught up, I just knew that was it. So, it’s amazing to me. That’s a good 15, almost 20 years ago, that video really was viable on the web. It’s amazing to me when I still come across companies that have never done any video. It’s a lot like, “Really? You’ve never done any,” but I understand it because video is scary. I mean, it’s putting yourself out there. It might be you as an individual thought leader, but it can also be the company. You’ve got chief marketing officers, some of whom are still definitely afraid of video because it’s still one of the more costly media they might choose, depending on how it’s done, and they are afraid they can fall flat on their face. I’m here to say, “Yeah, it’s possible to fall on your face, but it’s really unlikely as long as you have some good people working with you to help guide you through the process.” I don’t know if that really answered your question at all, but it’s a good place to start.
It is a good place to start. I want to probe a little bit deeper in that regard because there are lots of ways to think about video, I guess. There’s video on your website that may introduce somebody to yourself or to your organization and create some authenticity. But when I think of growth hacking, when I think of virility and making something go viral, but maybe not to millions, but even to thousands of people, I often think about, again, using it on the foundation of social media. Is that, I guess, a primary tool that we’re using when it comes to growth hacking and video?
I try to look at growth hacking, the whole notion of growth hacking, as basically the shortcuts that can help your business go from here to there. Video is the most overlooked, most often overlooked growth hacking tool in my opinion. People don’t really think of it as, “Wow! I can use video to systematically grow my business.” Now, that’s happening in a lot of different ways. To your question about what is the platform that I use, social is very important. I would put it up there, but I think, in my mind, there’s a triumvirate of where video needs to be. One of them is your website. In fact, a little statistic that might wake the listeners up; A company called Forrester Research is always doing research about this kind of stuff. They were trying to figure out how important is a video, a native video, one that you own, how important is that to have on your website. What they found out was that you are 53 times more likely to appear in page one of a Google search if you have a native video on your site. 53 times multiplier by putting a video on your site. Now, there are some hidden behind-the-scenes info that we need to know about that when we unpack it, where we find out it’s not just any video and it’s not just put it up on your site, it’s put it on YouTube and then have it on your site. So, it’s playing from YouTube, but through your site. Now, why would that matter? Of course, those of us who know that Google owns YouTube, we know that they would tend to favor videos that are being hosted on YouTube. So, that’s one to say, yeah, for your company video, the statement you want to make on your website. B, my recommendation would be, don’t have it being an all about us puffery video, have it been, what you do for the customer. When the person arrives there, what do you need to say to them that matters to them? That’s a really key element. Then knowing that if you’ve done that well, you are automatically boosting that algorithm. Not only do you have the video up on YouTube, which as you pointed out is the number two search engine, got to love that, but it’s also now getting boosted on Google. By the way, I mean, I’ve been doing this for clients for many, many years and it works. That’s all I can say. The 53 times multiplier, I really do believe it. The website is the first part of the triumvirate. Another one, and I think this is easy to overlook these days, is video via email. I call it e-video. Where you send an email out, but there’s a link or a thumbnail or something in that email that says, “Hey, there’s a video here that you should take a look at.” A lot of my career in the last 15 years has been focused on email and video content together as a unit. Email still is, in terms of return on investment, it’s the number one marketing tool for return on investment. So, everybody says, “You got to own your email list.” That’s so true. Invest in your email list, invest in your email technology for sending. That’s all really important. The thing that video does, and this is something I got into a long time ago now, is that as long as you are tracking who is clicking through to watch the video content, and as long as you’re being very honest in your emails about what they’re clicking through to, it’s not clickbait, it’s legitimate content. If you’re truthful and straightforward and authentic with that, and if the content itself is worth watching, it really pays off when somebody makes the click, then you build this whole new level of trust. The second thing though is that you know who clicked. So, from a sales and marketing perspective, that is worth its weight in gold. It’s more than gold. It’s crazy what it means. If you’re instantly notified when someone has clicked through to a key piece of content, and you’re a salesperson, now I know if I call him sometime in let’s say the next 60 minutes, that info is fresh, he knows something about me. This, by the way, correlates to writing a book. The video is almost like a book in the sense that we now know somebody has clicked through and watched the video, they have information. They know who we are, they know what we’re talking about, they know why it matters to them, and that’s all before the salesperson ever has any contact. Same way a book works. Somebody reads the book, they already understand me, my philosophy, what makes me tick, what’s different about the way I think, how I can help them. They know all that stuff before I ever say a word to them. Phenomenal, very powerful. Well, one more is social media. The difference with social media, if you include YouTube within social media, then it’s a little different than it is when you say, “Hey, we’re going to push it through Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever.” I am always a little disappointed by how video, I guess I would say, performs in the context of true social media. I think it has to do with the algorithms of the platforms themselves. If you’re willing to pay as you put the video up and decide who it’s going to go to and target and do all that stuff, incredibly effective. If you’re not willing to pay, man, those systems are rigged, in my humble opinion.
It’s like you put a video up on your Facebook page, a few people will see it, it’s not going to do anything for you. I mean, unless that just happens to hit the person who really wants what you got, but in general, no. That’s an advertising medium at this point, that’s how I look at it. Email, you own it, very, very low cost. If you’ve got that list, email is going to be a big friend to you there. YouTube itself, when people are looking for things on your website, you got a video content to establish who you are, explain it, make sure the value proposition is very clear.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the email thing. I do a lot of email marketing, have been doing it for a long time. Are there any particular tools that you recommend? You mentioned some things. Obviously, putting a link in an email is no big deal, but that’s different than actually putting a video in an email. There are some tools where you can do that. Is there anything like that that you suggest? Or are you talking about any email auto responder is fine and you’re just throwing a link in? What are your thoughts there?
I think the number one issue these days, and I’m saying this based on having for now almost 15 years owned a platform that does emailing and packages video in the context of the email and tracks the clicks and notifies the salespeople whose clicking, when, and all that. I’ll be frank, I am actually moving out of the email side of the business. The reason for that is because there are so many platforms out there that are better at it than I want to be. That is an art and science unto itself to determine what the deliverability is going to be, and once something gets delivered, how it’s going to be tracked. I’ve done a lot of shopping. In fact, my company, Voodoo Video Marketing, recently went into partnership with Constant Contact. I’m going to give a plug to Constant Contact here. In all honesty, what I like about them is that they’re really good at partnerships. So, for me, I’ve got this Voodoo platform that I had developed for all those years, what my platform is really excellent at is packaging videos. What that means to me is, let’s say you have a hierarchical sales team, right? You’ve got a company, let’s say it’s a vendor, let’s just pick one out of the air, let’s say it’s Apple. You got Apple and Apple has a sales force, maybe indirect, we call it channel, and that sales force, you want to arm all those people with their own version of the video. What I mean by their own version is, it doesn’t have to have them talking. It can be the corporate video, but now it’s going to be packaged in such a way that they’re identified. You can contact them, you can click a link, and you can go to a location or a website or whatever that they designate. This works great when you have resellers. So, my system was really designed with that in mind, is resellers. So, you’ve got all these distributed salespeople, they’re all over the place, they’re all at different little companies, how do you give them their version of the video, so they really want to share it and distribute it? That’s what the Voodoo platform does. It puts a nice, beautiful branding at the top of the video, and then at the bottom, it has all the contact information for the salesperson. So, when you take that and then you combine it with what Constant Contact does, which is very good-looking, professional, easy to launch campaigns, easy to manage your list, and most importantly the ability to have those links be trackable. If someone watches the video, I want to know about it. That’s what we’ve done. We’ve moved in that direction because I want to let the email experts do that, I want to stay focused on video, the content, the quality of the message we’re putting out there, the amount of response we are capable of generating from our video content. There’s an art to all that stuff. I mean, this whole video Growth Hacking concept, that’s what it’s about, is what are the secrets? What do you do and what don’t you do in order to generate actual growth for your company and your resellers, if you’ve got resellers? Which is tricky.
Let’s dive into that just a little bit if we could, because that is your specialty, that is your focus. We’ve been talking a little bit maybe more about the platform, but the platform, it sounds like, is not foundational, meaning that you can use multiple different kinds of platforms. However, to create great video content, there are certainly some mistakes that are probably common and there are certainly some foundational things that need to be done. So, when I think about video, and I’m sure you have lots of ways to look at it yourself, far more than me, but I think of organic stuff like this. We’re creating video right now. Somebody is listening to this on a podcast, on Apple or Spotify, but others may be watching this on YouTube when we put it up there. So, some is organic and flowing, but we can clip this also to create content for people. Others is, like you mentioned, where it may be the CEO of an organization introducing people to the organization and creating some authenticity. I wonder if you can just take a minute and speak about both of those things, like mistakes that are made or what to maybe to look out for in both of those things to create just the best video possible.
My biggest contribution when I go into most companies is to get them to think more holistically about video. Every organization’s first inclination is to do video all about us. They’re all like, “What makes us special?” Can’t help it. Everybody wants their ego involved, they want their brand front and center. It’s natural tendency that everybody wants to do it. So, what I tend to do is to go in and to say, “If you really want to use video for growth, if you don’t just want to throw up stuff and hope that something sticks and you build brand awareness like in the old TV days, if you want to really grow,” then what I urge companies to do is think about their customer life cycle and to think about how video can be used and should be used in the customer life cycle. What it can do is, A, it can automate communications in all of these areas. That’s one side of it. It can make your branding and your message incredibly consistent. Once it’s done, it’s done. It’s going to tell the same message every time unlike the sales person who’s on the phone and riffing. Then there’s all kinds of things that people don’t normally think of that video can help with. So, if you think about the customer life cycle, you start with a customer who knows nothing. Initially, you’re trying to just throw some hooks out there and hope that you’ll get someone’s attention, gain a little bit of awareness, maybe educate them a bit about the value you could bring to them. So, there’s that awareness stage. That’s a certain type of video in many cases, often though that’s where vitality matters, where you’re trying to just get people’s attention. If you can do that virally, then you save a bunch of money, you don’t have to pay to distribute that. Even if you can’t do it virally, the web gives us some really, at least cost-efficient ways to get that out there. Once you gain their attention though, now you start to move them through the cycle. If you’re thinking in a business to business context, which are a lot of my clients, tech companies that communicate with businesses, how are you going to provide enough education about what your product is and how valuable it is to get somebody to really feel comfortable making a multi-thousand dollar decision, right? Pulling the trigger and buying something that costs a bunch of money or committing to something that will involve monthly payments forever, like with phone systems these days, hosted phone, that type of thing. So, it’s an education process. Now, here’s where it really gets fun. So, you get to the point and someone actually makes a purchase. Now what? Most companies go, “We’re done. Videos done. We did our job; we got our sales.” What they’re not thinking about is the fact that, “Hey, someone just bought a product from you. Why don’t you thank them?” How do you thank that person? Most companies never even think about doing a video to thank people for making a purchase, but it’s one of the most effective things. It will earn loyalty like you can’t even believe. So, that’s one little moment, thank them. Do it directly, heartfelt. While you’re at it, why not have another video that’s going to come and help them with the anticipated issues they’re going to face. If the product is it all complicated, let’s talk to them about the resources they need in order to use it effectively. So, you can provide links, you can connect to other videos, you can do all kinds of things like that. Then as you move through, anticipate, what are the breakage moments? What are the moments where we know people get dissatisfied? It’s been long enough they’re not thinking about it anymore, how do we rekindle their interests, remind them? There’s a really cool point where I urge companies to reach out and get feedback. Usually, the tool that the big companies use, and my clients, a lot of them are pretty big, they’ll use net promoter score. What they do is basically a very simple zero to 10 ranking. How likely are you to recommend our company product, services, to other people? If you’re a nine or 10, you’re considered a promoter. Anywhere from like six up to eight is neutral. Anybody below six is negative. So, this is an interesting thing to understand, that you think, “Oh, five, that’s not bad. It’s right in the middle of the scale.” Nope, that’s a negative. So, what does that do? Now the company has a great information. They can say, “All right, we know who we need to contact, who’s not happy with us. We know the whole group who’s not happy with us. We know people who are neutral, but we know who our promoters are.” What we do often as we automate a promotional process to the promoters. Let’s say we know these 50 people or 5,000 people, in the case of a big company, our promoters, they’re nines and tens on the net promoter score, we can go right to those people. We give them tools to then pass along referral mechanisms to their friends, colleagues, et cetera. You would not believe the business that can generate. Those people don’t even want a gift, they don’t want a reward there, they are ready to proselytize on your behalf. That’s Video Growth Hacking in a nutshell, the whole customer life cycle. Then when it gets overwhelming, is, where do we start? That’s the challenge. That’s what I help people figure out, is where do we start and then how do we systematize that process? So, without spending millions of dollars, you can get to a point where you really are leveraging video and growing the heck out of your business. I mean, it can work miracles, truly.
Love it. I got to be honest, I didn’t expect to hear that, but as you were talking about it, I was like, “Wow! That is just fantastic.” I mean, what an easy way to surprise and delight your clients, the ones that just got started with you by thanking them, those that love you, taking care of them, giving them some great connection tools, referral resources. And then of course those that aren’t happy or aren’t as happy as they could be, finding a way to take care of them and meet their needs too. So, love that, Robert. Everybody’s going to want to get your book now to find out exactly how we do these things. So, that’s perfect.
I’d love for them to do that. The full title is, Video Growth Hacking for Channel Chiefs. That can be an off-putting to some people because they think, “Oh, gee, it’s so niche.” That was done very intentionally on my part because my ideal audience is channel marketing executives. That’s who I’ve been dealing with in the tech sector. I’ve narrowed in on that. This may be helpful to those in your audience who are thinking about writing a book. I did it very deliberately. I knew that if I just wrote a general video book, video business, I’d be thrown in a big pile with a massive amount of competition. This was my first book. I had a business coach at the time, great guy named Giles Fabris, and Giles said to me, “Narrow, buddy. Narrow in. Who do you really want and need to talk to? Who needs to understand this philosophy? Who needs the brain dump in a positive way?” We focused in on the channel and I’m very happy I did. A, it helped me get bestseller status way more quickly because as I wasn’t in a pile of competitive books. But B, it became my calling card. I like to say this, this book’s been the best business card I ever printed.
Sure. I love it. That’s a great segue. We tell our clients, “Go narrow, go super narrow.” The narrower, the better, because the money is not in the sale of the book via royalties, the money is in creating that authority, that presence, that correct framing in front of your ideal client. So, maybe spend a couple of minutes and talk to me about how you’ve used your book as that calling card. How has your book led to sales in your business, speaking opportunities if you do that, or whatever ways you’ve grown your authority in your place, in your market?
Sure. One of the cool things about it is, even though I went narrow, I find that the book’s relevant to anybody who’s thinking about business video marketing. So, I didn’t get penalized for going narrow in a sense. I have tons of people who are not channel marketers who read the book and light up and say, “Oh my gosh! It’s changed my life and my business model is totally different now.” But what’s cool, for me doing it for the channel audience, even having the words channel chiefs, you wouldn’t know that term if you weren’t in the business. We’re speaking code to an extent. I’m telling them, “I know your world.” I’d been dealing with it for about 10 years at that time, so I had a pretty good backlog. I have great case studies where I’d literally worked with a particular channel marketing executive and we had taken a risk. I’ll give you one example. There was one company, they spent $18,000 on their initial videos pushed through their sales team and literally made $640,000 in profit the next month. They were addicted from that point forward. So, similarly for me, I had this business coach who’s saying to me, “Boy, it would be a good idea for you to write a book.” He was like, “You got all these stories in your head, you got these case studies in your head, and wouldn’t it be nice to get it out there and not have to repeat yourself a thousand times?” So, when I wrote it, I wrote it very much with this audience totally square in my sights. I thought, “I’m going to come at it from their problems, the challenges they face, the pressure they’re under to deliver a certain level of results, and I’m going to show how video is really a godsend to them, or can be and should be a godsend.” They got to have the courage, but if they have the courage and a budget, they’re set. So, I came at it from that perspective. What was so cool for me was I wrote this fast. It took me literally one month start to finish, to write it, prepare it, put it up online, get all the blurbs for the book, the whole bit. I powered and I set aside four hours in my calendar every business day, and that’s all it took. So, one month later, I got a book. Three days later, I had a best seller based on the number of people that I had mobilized to get in there and buy. With that, the fact that I was suddenly a best-selling author, it allowed me to reach back out to all of the channel contacts that I had and say, “Hey, I wrote this book.” People who hadn’t really given me the time of day or who we might’ve had one call and they left it cold. I thought, “I’m going to reach out to them all, I’m going to make it free.” I literally packaged up the book and sent copies to the people who are my real prime target. The great news was, before I even had mailed those out, I had sent a couple of PDF copies to a couple of clients who had been a little bit on the fence. One of the guys, a CMO, brought the book, the electronic copy, gave it to the CEO of the company and literally like three days later, they contracted with me for about a $20,000 project. That was incredible. Literally so quickly, I had gotten 20,000 back from the book that I thought, “This is insane.” I knew it would be good, but I didn’t know it’d be that good. Anyway, you asked about success. That initial success was all I needed. I got that contract, I got another one for about 10K within a couple of weeks. Then a wonderful surprise, later that year, a marketing guy at a startup over in San Francisco, one of the guys who’d written a blurb was a VC executive, a guy named Andrew Romans. He’s pretty well known in the VC world. This guy had been searching Andrew because he had a startup and he wanted to get VC money. He’d seen that Andrew wrote a blurb for my book. He ended up reading the book and he called me directly and said, “I want you to come in and consult with us about our videos.” I went in, did a very low cost consult for them, took a couple hours, met everybody, we all hit it off. He’d read the whole book and it was like watching him articulate my philosophy and approach to his team with me in the room, was absolutely amazing. I mean, I could never have imagined that before the book. I walked away that day with a $50,000 contract. So, 80K that I absolutely can guarantee I never would have gotten within that first few months. Honestly, I stopped counting after that. The book had so much paid for itself in terms of my time and energy, it’s not even a contest anymore.
I love how you’re using the book. It’s exactly what we talk to our clients about. I love that you went first and foremost to your leads, the people that have already expressed an interest, but for one reason or another did not pull the trigger. Oftentimes, that’s a framing issue. They just don’t see you or your business or your offer as valuable as whatever the exchange of currency is. And that book can reframe everything and obviously that did it for you. It does it for us every day with my books, Publish. Promote. Profit, and others. Like you said, your book is written to a narrow audience, but it is absolutely for anybody that is interested in growing their business with video. So, let’s give some links. Where can people learn more about what you do as well as get a copy of your book, et cetera, because I’m a huge believer in it. It’s part of why I’m even doing this podcast and YouTube channel, is to repurpose our video and help our clients and potential clients.
If they’re interested in the book, Video Growth Hacking for Channel Chiefs, they can find it on Amazon. That’s the easiest place to find it. It’s available as a trade paperback or Kindle. I don’t even know what the current price is, but I’m very confident that whatever you spend on it will be well worth it in terms of the mistakes it prevents you from making. So, that’s a good thing. If people want to contact me, I would direct them to my own website, which is videogrowthhacker.com. There’s a capture form on the contact page, they can contact me through that. There’s phone number there too. That’s the easiest way. I have a solo practice where companies can just bring me in as an individual to consult and then to direct, write, whatever, produce videos. If they’re interested in taking a look at what Voodoo is all about, I told you we were narrowing our focus and we’ve basically narrowed it down to one software product that works for any business of any size to take their YouTube videos and package them up in such a way that as they get shared, people don’t get off to YouTube and get distracted. That’s the number one problem with YouTube as a platform, is people go there and then they’re watching cat videos, they get lost. So, my software is called Video Brand Caster, so videobrandcaster.com. For a very low cost, a small business, or even a huge business, can start taking their videos and having them be packaged so they can share them on social and they won’t ever just direct people back to YouTube. They’ll always have that nice brand, the brand content at the top and the contact information below. That’s what Video Brand Caster is all about. I hate giving people three links at the same time. Hopefully people who have the interest will go take a look because I am so excited to share video and how effective it can be for any business of any size. That’s the point I really, really want to make. People have to have a little bit of courage. The tools now make it so that anybody can use video, and if you’re not, you’re really voluntarily hobbling your business. There’s just so much you can do and I love helping people do it.
Love it. Robert, thank you so much. We’ll put those links in the show notes.
Thank you. Appreciate that.