How to Use Wistia: A Step-by-Step Guide

What is Wistia? The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing‘s Secret Weapon

Are you looking to take your video marketing strategy to the next level in 2024? If so, you need to know about Wistia. This powerful video hosting and marketing platform is designed specifically for businesses that want to attract, engage, and convert more leads with video content.

In this ultimate guide, we‘ll dive deep into what Wistia is, how it works, and all the ways it can supercharge your video marketing efforts. You‘ll learn:

  • The key features that make Wistia stand out from other video platforms
  • Step-by-step instructions for using Wistia to host, customize, and share your videos
  • Proven strategies for generating leads and driving conversions with Wistia
  • Real examples of businesses achieving impressive results with Wistia

Whether you‘re new to video marketing or a seasoned pro, this comprehensive guide will give you everything you need to start leveraging the power of Wistia. Let‘s jump in!

What is Wistia?

At its core, Wistia is a professional video hosting platform built for businesses. It provides all the tools you need to upload, customize, share, and track your videos in one central place.

But Wistia is much more than just a place to host your videos. It‘s really an all-in-one video marketing platform that helps you strategically integrate video into every stage of the customer journey. With Wistia, you can use video to attract new leads, engage and educate prospects, close more deals, and delight customers.

Some of the key benefits of using Wistia for video marketing include:

  • Keeping your videos private and secure and presenting them in an ad-free, uncluttered, and branded environment
  • Deeply customizing and controlling the entire viewing experience
  • Capturing leads and collecting useful viewing data you can use to qualify leads
  • Easily sharing and embedding videos anywhere you want, from your website and landing pages to email campaigns and social media
  • Getting detailed analytics to see exactly how each video is performing
  • Seamlessly integrating with marketing automation tools and CRMs like HubSpot

In short, Wistia empowers you to create more engaging video experiences, generate more leads and conversions, and accurately measure the ROI of your video efforts. It‘s truly a secret weapon for businesses that are serious about video marketing.

Wistia was founded in 2006 by Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz. Over the past 15+ years, the company has grown to serve over 500,000 businesses around the world, including HubSpot, MailChimp, Sephora, Starbucks, and Tiffany & Co. In 2021, Wistia was acquired by ShareTribe, but continues to operate as a separate brand.

Now that you have a high-level overview of what Wistia is and why it‘s so valuable for video marketing, let‘s take a closer look at some of its standout features.

Top Wistia Features for Marketers

There are a ton of helpful tools and features packed into Wistia, but here are some of the ones that are especially useful for marketers:

Custom Video Player
Wistia offers an elegant, minimalist video player that you can customize to match your brand. You can set custom colors, upload your logo, and even create a custom thumbnail.

Turnstiles and Annotation Links
With Wistia‘s Turnstile feature, you can require viewers to enter their email address at any point in the video before continuing to watch. This is a very effective yet unobtrusive way to capture leads directly from your videos.

You can also add Annotation Links to specific points in your video timeline. These are clickable calls-to-action (CTAs) that appear in the upper corner of the video. You might link to a related piece of content or prompt viewers to schedule a demo. It‘s a great way to capitalize on the moments when your audience is most engaged.

Channels
If you have a large library of video content, Wistia Channels make it easy to organize your videos into categories and create Netflix-style collections. Your Channel can include videos, a description, header image or video, and even an email signup form.

This allows viewers to easily browse and binge-watch your content. You can embed your Channel anywhere, creating an immersive experience right on your website.

Video SEO Tools
Wistia automatically transcribes the dialogue from every video you upload and displays captions, which boosts SEO and allows viewers to watch without sound. You can easily edit the transcripts as needed.

Wistia also allows you to upload a separate audio description track and closed captions file for greater accessibility.

Finally, Wistia automatically generates a video sitemap that helps Google and other search engines find and index your videos more easily, giving you an SEO boost.

HubSpot Integration
One of Wistia‘s most powerful integrations is with HubSpot. Connecting your Wistia and HubSpot accounts unlocks incredible opportunities to use video to generate and score leads.

With the integration, you can embed videos with lead capture forms directly in your HubSpot pages and emails. Any time a viewer enters their email, it automatically creates a new contact record in HubSpot. You can also use video viewing data to score leads, trigger workflows, and personalize follow-up.

Built-in Analytics
Wistia provides best-in-class analytics that go way beyond simple view counts. You can see enagagement graphs that show exactly which parts of each video are getting the most views and replays.

Even better, you can get a "heatmap" for each individual viewer that shows you precisely which parts they watched, skipped, and rewatched. Wistia will even automatically alert your sales team when a lead is watching an important video so they can reach out at the perfect time.

These are just a few of the standout features that make Wistia such a robust video marketing platform. Now let‘s look at how to actually get started using this tool.

How to Use Wistia: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Upload Your Video
The first step is to upload the MP4 file of the video you want to use. Wistia recommends an H.264 codec, a 5,000-8,000 kbps bitrate, and a 16:9 aspect ratio for best results. If you recorded the video with a different aspect ratio (like vertical video for social media), Wistia will automatically add black bars on the sides to preserve the format.

You can drag-and-drop your file or click the "Upload" button. You can upload as many videos as you want and organize them into Projects. Give your video a name and description.

Step 2: Customize Your Video
Next, it‘s time to customize your video to provide an on-brand experience. Here are a few key things you can (and should) do:

  • Choose a Thumbnail: Pick a compelling thumbnail image for your video or upload a custom one. Make sure it features an eye-catching visual and a descriptive title.
  • Customize the Player Color: Set the color of your video player to match your branding.
  • Add Chapters: If your video has distinct sections or topics, add Chapters to make it easy for viewers to jump around. You can customize the names of your chapters.
  • Add Closed Captions: Wistia will automatically generate a transcript of your video‘s dialogue. Review and edit the captions, then turn them on. This makes your videos accessible to more people.
  • Add a Call-to-Action: Use Annotation Links to add a clickable CTA at relevant points in your video. Make the CTA‘s text compelling and link to a relevant page.
  • Adjust Privacy Settings: Decide whether you want your video to be viewable by anyone, password-protected, or only accessible to specific email addresses. You can also make the video unlisted so it doesn‘t show up in any public Channels or searches.

Step 3: Integrate with HubSpot
If you use HubSpot, connecting your account takes your Wistia videos to a whole new level. First, click on Account > Settings in your Wistia account, find "HubSpot" on the Integrations page, and click "Connect."

Now when you embed a video, you can add a HubSpot form that automatically captures viewers‘ information when they enter their email to continue watching. You choose which HubSpot form to use and where it appears in the video.

Step 4: Share Your Video
You‘ve uploaded and customized your video—now it‘s time to share it with the world! Wistia offers four main ways to distribute your video:

  • Embed it on your website, blog, or landing pages
  • Include it in an email marketing campaign
  • Share it on social media
  • Send prospects a direct private link to the video

To embed your video, just grab the auto-generated embed code and paste it into your web page‘s HTML. Wistia will automatically adjust the player size to fit the width of its container. You can choose an inline embed (the traditional style) or a popover embed, which plays the video in a lightbox.

To include your video in an email, copy the "Email Merge Tag" and paste it into the body of your email in your email marketing tool. When contacts open the email, it will display a clickable thumbnail that opens the video in a new tab.

With the Wistia-HubSpot integration, you can easily browse and insert your Wistia videos right in HubSpot‘s email editor.

To share your video on social media, use Wistia‘s "Publish to Social" feature, which pushes your video to your company‘s Facebook, YouTube, and/or LinkedIn pages in just a few clicks.

Finally, you can grab a direct, private link to your video to share with individual prospects or embed in a chat/messaging tool. The video will open in an uncluttered, ad-free page.

Step 5: Generate Leads
To start generating leads from your videos, set up email capture with Turnstile. First, make sure you connect Wistia to your email marketing platform or CRM. In your video‘s settings, open the Turnstile tab and select "Collect Emails."

Then choose where to place the email capture form—at the very beginning of the video, the very end, or at a specific time marker. You can also make it appear at multiple points or set it to pop up again if the viewer doesn‘t enter their email the first time.

Customize the copy on the form, including the submit button text. You can adjust the settings to hide the form for viewers who have already entered their email before.

If you‘re using the Wistia-HubSpot integration, you can add a HubSpot form right in Wistia and all submissions will automatically flow to HubSpot. You can even use progressive profiling to avoid asking for information you already have about a lead.

Step 6: Analyze Your Results
Head over to your Wistia account‘s Analytics section to gauge your videos‘ performance. You‘ll see a wealth of data for each video, including:

  • Number of plays
  • Play rate (percentage of page visitors who clicked play)
  • Total time watched
  • Average engagement (how much of the video viewers watched on average)
  • Heatmaps showing each viewer‘s unique viewing behavior

You can see all these metrics over a specific date range and break them down by embed location to compare how your video performs in different contexts.

If you‘ve integrated Wistia with HubSpot, you‘ll also see video viewing data on individual contact records in HubSpot. You can quickly skim to see which videos a lead has watched, how much of each video they completed, and more.

With these analytics, you can gauge which types of videos resonate best with your audience, identify your most engaged leads, and attribute conversions and revenue back to your videos.

Examples of Businesses Using Wistia
To help inspire your own Wistia strategy, let‘s check out a few real examples of businesses that have achieved impressive results by hosting and sharing their videos through Wistia.

Nextiny, a HubSpot partner agency, added Wistia video content to one of their main HubSpot landing pages. By placing a short, educational video above the fold with a Turnstile email capture form, they increased conversions on the page by 64%.

Moz, an SEO software company, uses Wistia to host educational video courses. They use Wistia Channels to create a "video portal" experience with different topic categories. This video content has become one of their main lead generation tools.

Allocadia, a marketing performance management platform, created a video featuring their CEO making an important company announcement. By using Wistia to host the video on a branded page and track viewer engagement, they found that 72% of their customers watched the video within one week.

Key Takeaways
Wistia is a feature-packed video hosting and marketing platform that gives businesses incredible control over their video strategy. With Wistia, you can:

  • Upload and organize all your videos in one central library
  • Customize the look and feel of your video player to match your brand
  • Generate leads with email capture forms and annotation links right in the videos
  • Easily share and embed your videos anywhere you want
  • Analyze in-depth viewer engagement data to optimize your strategy
  • Integrate with marketing platforms like HubSpot to streamline your workflows

If you‘re not already using Wistia, I highly recommend giving it a try. The platform offers a free plan that includes 200GB bandwidth and all the essential features.

Once you see how Wistia can level-up your video marketing game, you can upgrade to a paid plan for even more advanced capabilities.

Ready to create more engaging videos, drive more conversions, and accurately measure the ROI of your videos? Get started with Wistia today.