Great things never come from a comfort zone. You have to push yourself because no one else will do it for you.
These are Kate Skavish's thoughts - Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Wave.video. She is responsible for business development, strategic partnerships, and not only.
Discover Kate's journey!
- What’s your role? How does your day-to-day schedule look like?
- Describe yourself as a professional, what makes you succeed, what do you try to change or improve?
- What skills do you need as CVO?
- What is the company’s marketing strategy?
- What are the marketing channels you are using to promote Wave.video?
- What are your marketing goals?
- What are the most significant marketing challenges you have at Wave.video?
- What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the year?
- What’s next? Plans, goals, dreams?
1. M: What’s your role? How does your day-to-day schedule look like?
Kate: I'm the Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer. I would say my role includes three mutually related areas:
- It's about market demand assessment.
- I continuously gather feedback from users and analyze how they respond to what we add, change, and improve.
- I transmit it to the team and reflect the findings on the product roadmap.
I spend a vast share of my time talking to our clients. Live communication and customer surveys give me access to valuable insights about Wave.video community, partnering opportunities, and current thought leadership.
This information is precious for the further development of the product and our adjoint activities. Based on this data, we develop features that our users need and create everything else to facilitate the learning process and enhance user experience.
During the lockdown caused by the pandemic, I embraced the value of live video streaming.
I've started hosting our live events and realized that it's an excellent opportunity to communicate with experts and users from all over the world, showcase our new features, and discuss it all with the community. It has become my favorite part of the daily routine.
2. M: Describe yourself as a professional, what makes you succeed, what do you try to change or improve?
Kate: I enjoy inspiring people and imbuing them with the courage to take on new challenges. Now and then, I try to do things that I've never done before and suggest doing the same to my team.
The modern world has become dizzyingly rapid. The only way to keep afloat is to look for new, non-trivial solutions continually. Yes, it might be frightening and tiring to some extent.
Was it frightening for me to do my first cross-channel live show? Oh, yes.
It was such a challenge for me on so many levels! However, I overcame the fear and pushed myself to do it. Looking back, I'm proud of myself and how I progressed.
When it comes to my team, I choose the same approach. I'm worried about their professional growth and personal wellbeing, that's why I keep looking for new ways to enhance and advance the way we work and communicate. I always say that challenges are just new opportunities and happy when my colleagues take on new responsibilities and succeed.
There are two great sayings that I treat as my motto:
- Great things never come from a comfort zone. You have to push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.
- Never compare your beginning with someone else's middle!
3. M: What skills do you need as CVO?
Kate: In my opinion, there are two key ingredients to success: intuition and courage.
The gut feeling helps to make it through all the buzz with its inaccurate data and contradictory judgments. The courage, for its part, is essential to be bold enough to rely on intuition.
Also, it's essential to be a good listener.
Together with my team, I used to attend various conferences and exhibitions where we presented our product. It's vital to see and track how people react, what makes them excited.
I call it an "aha-moment" when you see that spark in one's eye and realize that you are on the right course.
4. M: What is the company’s marketing strategy?
Kate: "Walk the talk" principle lies at the heart of what we do. We learn from our own experience and mistakes, get inspiration from our community's feedback, and stay true to what we preach.
The last point defines our strategy in practice, I would say. Because we always test our tools and solutions on ourselves, integrating them into our work.
Let's take our underlying message. It states that video format indeed increases the effectiveness of the overall marketing effort. To ensure that this allegation is not unfounded, we always experiment with videos when doing our marketing.
For instance, when we wanted to check the performance of video-stylized thumbnails in email campaigns, we ran an experiment with various assets and then published the outcomes on our blog.
In April, we hosted a series of Facebook challenges and grew the community by 26%. We also shared our experience in a step-by-step guide.
We're now uncovering the SEO power of video rich snippets by adding relevant videos to all our articles; let's see what results we'll get. We also plan several live events and blog articles to share our experience and induce our audience to learn from them.
Of course, this so-called "video first approach" wasn't adopted by us in one day. But now everyone in the team, be it a content specialist, social media marketer, or onboarding manager, makes videos for their purposes using Wave.video.
5. M: What are the marketing channels you are using to promote Wave.video?
Kate: We strongly believe that video marketing is the new black on the content marketing palette.
However, it's not the only one, of course. The oldest, yet the most effective marketing channel, is word of mouth, and we make sure our product is worth recommending. Also, we get a vast influx of organic traffic via our video marketing blog.
We actively forge our excellent affiliate program. We partner with the leading brands like Hubspot, AgoraPulse, Sprout Social, Tube Buddy. And we also cherish mutually beneficial relationships with thought leaders and influencers like Neal Shaffer, Mari Smith, Sue Zimmerman, Donna Moritz, Brian Shulman, and many others.
Our content marketing team has quite a high bar for the quality of the content produced in-house and what's coming from guest experts and visioners. The educational content of all kinds makes a mighty promotional channel, too.
It helps people discover us when they seek to learn about video marketing best practices. Some articles' conversion rate surpass the 5% mark what proves the interest in the product that people read about.
As said earlier, 80% of our materials feature video format. It includes video tutorials that help users in their learning process. We also share use cases and examples of how businesses implement these best practices in reality. We post videos made with Wave.video and often turn them into video templates so that others could also use them for their campaigns.
Email marketing is also a strong suit. We don't spam or database with irrelevant content. We keep readers updated about the major releases and new features; share inspirational sets of video templates; send invitations to the live shows, inform about special deals. Some of our email campaigns feature an open rate exceeding 35% that I find quite impressive.
Last but not least comes our Facebook community. It is the most soulful and heart-warming channel for us. It's where people share their gains, seek inspiration and support (and get them), throw watch parties, and discuss the latest industry news. Our community is our compass that helps us "feel the pulse" and respond to the feedback accordingly.
6. M: What are your marketing goals?
Kate: Given the relatively recent launch of the video hosting solution, we mostly focus on gaining a foothold on this market and act towards the leading positions, of course.
We aim to transform our product's perception and prove that it's not just a video editor anymore. It's an integrated video marketing solution that unites a powerful editor and reliable hosting services.
Although we are an international SaaS company, we miss the offline events that we found inspiring and thought-provoking.
The lack of real-life communication made us rethink how to forge communication with our existing customers, potential users, and even the team. As usual, we'll share our successes and setbacks openly, and probably this experience will somehow get reflected in the product.
7. What are the most significant marketing challenges you have at Wave.video?
Kate: In 2020, every marketer knows that videos positively affect marketing results, expressed in ROI. Nonetheless, not every marketing team is ready to get to this exercise that requires making videos consistently.
Our mission (and challenge) is to help small businesses start practicing video marketing. We aim to convince them that zero design background is not an obstacle to fruitful video production and efficient distribution.
We’ve recently run a study asking representatives of small and mid-size businesses about their video marketing journey. We found out that 31% of them are still not ready to use videos because they don’t know how to integrate this format into their promotional toolkit.
The learning curve of our product is short and straightforward. We put a lot of energy into educating our users through live broadcasts, challenges, how-to articles, and video tutorials.
8. M: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the year?
Kate: We are now witnessing somewhat unprecedented circumstances. It’s a challenging time for the world in general, and each human being personally.
We need to embrace this new reality when we should be close and remote at the same time. We need to establish efficient workflows while being in different time zones.
We need to stay focused and productive regardless of the work-from-home model that doesn’t fit everyone for sure. It all happened so fast. I would say it’s an entirely new reality where businesses are moving to be completely digital.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself and the Wave.video team is that we are very agile and can quickly adapt to the new realities.
These new challenges make us stronger professionals and more confident, wiser humans. Everyone in the team stays positive, reasonable, and supportive, making this turbulent journey a joy.
9. M: What’s next? Plans, goals, dreams?
Kate: Currently, we invest a vast share of our time and efforts into supporting our community throughout these challenging times.
First, we tweaked our pricing policy to make the product twice more affordable. As said, we strive to share our expertise to help small businesses get to the other side of the pandemic with minimal casualties, be wealthy and successful. I believe it’s the right thing to focus on at the moment.
As for plans, we’re going to extend our offering embracing new industries and markets. We are determined to keep growing our ecosystem with new integrations and solutions to serve broader market needs, keeping the “video first marketing” in mind.
This article is part of a series of interviews with social media strategists where we're trying to define what skills you need to develop for this job.