Then one day our filmmaker friend Chris Lavigne came by the office. He looked around, and then he proposed an idea so obvious and perfect I can’t believe I was ever skeptical of it: since Wistia is a video hosting company, why not use video in your actual marketing?
I was a filmmaker myself before Wistia, but when Chris said this I was just confused. We already had a screencast of our product on our homepage. I didn’t understand what making more videos was supposed to add. We were marketing to other businesses, not putting together a reel, but Chris was our friend and he offered to make the video himself. So we agreed to let him do his thing.
The video he made was pretty unconventional, at least for the time, because it wasn’t about our product at all: it was about the Wistia team goofing around on an ordinary day in the office, working hard but having fun doing it. And to our surprise, people loved it. The video was a huge success, which taught us an unexpected lesson—that people would respond to what we made if it demonstrated the fact that we actually care, heart and soul, about what video can do.
This was one of the single most important shifts in mindset that had to happen in order for us to succeed. Hundreds of videos later, we’re profitable, with a much bigger team and customer base. And we owe it all to shutting up about our product and focusing on our mission of empowering everybody to get more out of video—what we now call mission-based marketing.
When we started Wistia in 2006, all of our marketing was centered around our video hosting product. We thought we were doing all the right things—demos over the phone, a PR firm, a “business-like” team page—so we didn’t understand why we had no money and only 5 employees.
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