Hi there and thank you for listening to The Business Storyteller Podcast. My name is Wilson and I’m your host for today’s episode. In today’s episode, we’re exploring the big topic of video storytelling and why businesses need to start investing in it. I’m thrilled to be joined by an expert in this area and we’ll be picking his brains on this topic. Today, I’ll be speaking with Marcos Bravo who is the Brand Ambassador and Head Video Storyteller of LiveChat.
Marcos is a veteran marketing and brand expert with over 20 years of experience in many industries. LiveChat is a complete customer service platform serving more than 30,000 businesses in over 150 countries. They are trusted by brands such as Adobe, Ikea, Nikon, ING, Atlassian, and many more. Today, Marcos will be sharing his experience and insights with all of us.
Hi Marcos, welcome to The Business Storyteller Podcast and I’m so excited to have you with us today. How are you doing?
I’m doing great and thank you so much for having me. I’m very honored to be with you guys. Piktochart is one of my best tools so when you guys invited me, I was like yeah!
I’m really excited to have an expert like yourself to also come on our show. Before we go any further, I’m sure our listeners would love to know you better. I’ve introduced you a bit but maybe you’d like to introduce yourself further and also tell us how you got into video storytelling and your role at LiveChat right now?
So the first 20 years of my life, I spend it at home in back in Chile and I was a very typical teenager until I finished university. Then there was an internship in Disney World that I applied and I got it. So I went to work for Disney World, which was a crazy experience. After that, I decided that the world was too big to stay in one place so I started traveling for about literally 20 years. I went from photographer to sales, to marketing, to teaching Spanish in different countries, even to being a scuba diver instructor, making beer, tons of different things that gave me a lot of experience into taking a bigger role in marketing.
When the time came for LiveChat, I was actually opening my own popsicle business. I quit my job as a marketer, I started my own popsicle business and suddenly I’m working around the mall and I get a phone call from LiveChat and they said, “Look, we’ve seen some of the stuff that you do for all the companies.” They hear a podcast that I did with them. So they’re like, “Do you want to come and be our brand ambassador and our video guy? And the rest is history. Obviously I said yes and for the last two years, we’ve been building a whole content strategy based on video.
Wow! From popsicle to podcasts and video, that’s a really good transition. That’s exciting and the wealth of your experiences on your resume must be crazy.
It is a funny one to read on LinkedIn for sure!
Well, I’m really excited to get our competition going, so let’s get started. My first question for you on this topic is this – as a video storytelling expert yourself, why is video storytelling so important at the present time and why should people care about this?
There’s been a sort of a switch into the way people relate to companies and I think video was the answer. People wanted to hear more from the people that made the company. They wanted to see a face behind the brand. They sort of stopped listening to brands and when brands realized that, they were like well let’s put someone from our team to talk. That started working great. People started relating with the actual people behind and it’s the human touch going back. They wanted to hear from the human on the other side like what are the things that inspired the brand and the company? It started picking up big and now even huge companies are doing that. It’s not about the big production, right? They’re doing video in many ways. They’re pushing their own employees to share their experiences. They try to do all the updates from what they do in video and it’s probably here to stay. I know people don’t like talking to people too much nowadays like they try to avoid conversations. But when you get to see a video and you can consume it in your own time, that makes a big difference. That’s that gives you the power, but it also gives you that connection to see a human behind.
Yeah, I liked that you mentioned about not needing a big production. That is actually one of the questions that we are going to tackle later on because I understand the challenges of video storytelling and the pressure of like you need a lot of probably budget on this, a lot of resources, a lot of skillset on this. I’m sure we’re going to explore into that later on to figure it out.
Based on your observation, that’s something that we’ve talked about like why it’s important at the present time. But based on your observation of the future, how do you see video strategy affecting the future of businesses and brands in the long term?
People are going to start relating to your style, your tone of voice, and there’s definitely no better way to explain or expose that tone of voice than video. What people or customers are going to like is not going to be anymore your catchphrase or the actual product. The product has to be good doesn’t matter what. But when you’re dropping that message, they’re going to fall in love with your tone, with the way you talk to them, with the stories that you’re telling. That’s gonna make a bigger connection and that definitely is going to create loyal customers in a much deeper way than just text or just ads on the technical side. So when people get listen to this thing, it’s going to create and generate a more meaningful relationship with the brand. But I think the key is that they’re going to get to hear this tone of voice that will definitely need to be well thought.
As you’re mentioning that, I’m also thinking about how if you can imagine LiveChat as a person, how would they look like? And when you mentioned the word tone and people being able to see, I guess that’s how video storytelling also helps to tell the story of your brand. Like when people see this, they know that this is from LiveChat, this is from Piktochart, this is from a particular brand. Is that the same?
Exactly. This is an exercise I used to do. I spend a little time consulting for marketing and I’ll do a workshop for companies. Today, we’re just going to draw your brand as a person and you get to draw like young, old, maybe go to college or high school dropouts, or are they smart ass? It’s like all the details. And then you go to details like hair, ethnicity, like how would you envision this voice coming out? That makes it a lot easier for you to create the persona and to find the persona to put on the front of the video as well.
Yeah, that’s a good correlation. Kind of just going back to the earlier concern that we had about how video strategy is challenging. For businesses and brands that haven’t embraced video as part of their marketing strategy, what is your advice to help them get started? Do they need a professional setup or a dedicated team to get started?
Let me answer that in two parts. First of all, when they’re thinking about video and this is my sort of my new mantra for marketing – it’s TTT. Just test test test. Doesn’t matter what, don’t stop. Just keep testing, keep learning, keep testing. Don’t just grab any strategy from a book, implement the whole thing and see what happened. Test little things. These are the things that are going to show you if it works or not for you because maybe video will not work for your brand. And that’s fine, but you need to test it before to know.
Now regarding the production, don’t worry about it. If it started working for you, invest some more but start with your phone. There was a guy that I used to follow in LinkedIn. I don’t remember his name, but he will go around with an electric scooter with a phone attached to it and some AirPods. And he would just drive around his town, talking about business, which is probably very dangerous not paying attention to the road but that was it. That’s all he needed. Like he had the microphone from the ear buds, he has his phone and he will make video. It was not about the production. It was about what’s he’s talking about and how he engage. So don’t worry about the production. Start with your phone and start testing. Start with this little cheap ring lights, which I’m using right now. That’s all you need. Literally everything I have in my room, it didn’t cost me more than a hundred dollars. This is where I record my podcasts, my personal stuff, and it works. Start cheap. If it works for you, start investing more, but don’t forget that after all it’s the message that’s going to make the difference.
I appreciate the fact that you mentioned TTT – test, test, test. It’s so true because if you never get started, you never test it out. You actually won’t know if it’s working. You also mentioned how it might not work for you, but you have to test it out. So I remember Piktochart a few years ago when we start to see the switch towards more video content, we decided to give it a test and we saw the fruits of it. So that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing now like webinars or podcasts or even video. And that has been helpful for us. I think that the initial stage was a bit challenging but I get the challenges of like you have to just get it started, try it out, and then see what works after that.
Exactly. Just look at the numbers afterward.
I know I’m speaking with the right person here because your YouTube channel, Success by LiveChat has grown to more than 1,000 subscribers in just one year. That is a great achievement. Congrats on that great milestone!
Thank you so much. It was a lot of work behind. It was a lot of promotion, which was never paid promotion. That’s something we’re very proud of. We didn’t put any money behind it to promote the channel. We try to let it grow organically. And even myself, my best technique was to talk to people on LinkedIn. I said, “Look, I have a project and I’m making this channel. Why don’t you take a look at it? And if you like it, subscribe.” It worked!
To our listeners who are listening to this, definitely check out Success by LiveChat. I’m sure you enjoy the content. You’ll be able to see Marcos in person. He is very engaging and has a very charismatic way of communicating to you a particular message. So a lot of valuable content there from you and your team, so definitely check that out.
I want to bring that up because I realized that a lot of businesses might actually struggle to justify investing in their YouTube channel. Based on the success of your experience, could you perhaps share some tips with us? How do you launch a successful channel on YouTube and proving the ROI of investing, especially to a CEO or the upper-level management?
That’s going to be a struggle for everybody. Even we still struggle with that. The direct ROI from a video channel, unless you have super clear path through it with call to actions and different things that takes you to eventually convert someone is really hard to pinpoint. But it also depends what you want your video to do. If you want your video to convert, you better invest a lot of money based on how much it takes you to convert someone. But if you want your video channel to be your top of the funnel initiative to gain brand recognition and sort of kick off the customer journey, then relax with the ROI. You know that what you’re doing is right by looking at how your channel grows, how people talk about it. That’s a start.
It’s not a short sprint. It’s a marathon. This is something you have to keep up. Like the first thing my boss told me when I say we did a thousand subscribers in a year was “All right, let’s do a 10,000 next year.” So it’s always more. They always need more, but that’s fine. I mean, it’s a good challenge for you to keep growing. But when you look at the ROI and justifying this investment and that’s what I was saying, start small, see how the things grow things out, the feedback that you get from your customers, from peers and see how that moves forward. But it really depends on where you want to stick the video on your marketing funnel. If you go in super top of the funnel, try to even forget about the ROI and just enjoy the content.
This is important part of your content. Now, if you want it to be the piece that is going to convert people, that’s a whole different strategy. That’s a whole different tone of voice. That’s a whole different people that’s watching that video. It’s people that went through a whole journey. The ROI thing is something that we still try to give a number, but for a good rule of thumb of where to start, one view in YouTube is worth about 20-30 cents. That’s the number that we came out with, but that number can increase depending on what your video is doing. But that’s the basic, that’s the minimum you should give to your own videos. If someone watch it, that’s 30 cents worth of exposure.
That’s a really good insight in terms of like the ROI. I also appreciate how you mentioned it is a marathon. I think we expect quick results. And as a result, we give up way too quickly. I think just like marketing even in video storytelling, that is like evergreen content that we’re putting out on YouTube. It’s a place that is just full of people who are exploring. In fact, nowadays when people are looking for stuff like how-to something, they don’t go on Google anymore. They go on YouTube and search how do I fix a door, how do I learn more about video marketing? So it’s a really great place for content to be found there. You mentioned about LiveChat just now and I’m curious to hear this from you in relation to video storytelling, how has it benefited LiveChat?
Before we started with video heavily like now, LiveChat still had a YouTube channel. There was small video productions being done, but it was the problem of the tone of voice which were very generic. It was just another product video. But by changing this tone of voice, putting people in front of it. Like even when we started our production if you look from our first videos to what we do now, there’s a huge difference. When people get to see this change, they also get to learn there is value here. There’s value here and who’s making this value or who’s giving us this value, “Oh, LiveChat. Who is LiveChat? Let’s go and find out more.” That’s sort of the journey that we want to achieve. It’s that you’re so happy with the content that we’re putting out that you’re going to start going deeper down the rabbit hole and find out that, “Wow, look at all the stuff that LiveChat is doing.” It has been working good.
Looking at the way that LiveChat, it really changed the way they talked. They realized that product is not going to sell itself, even though the product is amazing. We need to give the product a personality. And that’s where video came into play. Let’s start giving it a voice. Nowadays it’s not just me anymore. I have Kaia. She is our co-host. She does another great series and we also started pushing all the people from our company. Just get in front of the camera and talk about what you do. You don’t need to talk like we do. Just talk about your stuff. And again, it’s growing, it keeps moving forward and it’s working great. We really want to encourage our own company to start making, just grabbing the phone and start talking about their job.
That’s remarkable to see an entire company coming on board with video storytelling. I’ve been on your website on LiveChat and I see how vibrant the colors are, so I can imagine the type of person it is. And then to be able to see it in video, now I know how they look like or how they sound like. I guess that’s one of the successes. Even in your video storytelling, people watch a video and then they go deeper down the rabbit hole. That is kind of me finding out more about you as well.
Exactly. I was surprised that you did that much looking into the videos that we have done. That proves that it just works, but also it works because maybe you were the target customer. That’s the other thing, the expectations of video. And I don’t know if you want to ask me about that later. But don’t expect that everybody’s going to like your video or everybody’s going to get your video. You’re going to get a lot of hate too. I mean, the trolls are everywhere. I remember posting one of my first videos and like, “Look at this guy. A hundred followers and he wants to teach us how to do things.” And I’m like, “I’m really trying here, man. This is my first time.” We keep growing. A thousand is a great milestone, but we’re far from where we want to be – to be the voice of business communication.
If I can encourage you guys, just keep doing it. I feel your content is valuable for your target audience. Just filter through the noise and keep sticking to your lane, and I’m sure you will continue to grow your YouTube channel. I know I’m speaking to a storyteller and you’re very effective and engaging when I watch your videos and the way you talk.
If you’re speaking to someone who’s asking, “How do I do storytelling right?” What would be like your three tips for them to do storytelling right?
The first thing is to stop trying to do storytelling. That will be the first one for sure. The second is just try to go back to how you tell your own stories to people around you. Any anecdote that happened to you, you want to tell to a friend, try to see the structure of the way you’re talking. I know it is very technical, but it’s not that much because after all, it was natural. It’s something that happened to us. So I had to find out on which occasions of my life people really listened to what I have to say and why did they listen to it? What I was doing different that will make people listen? Eventually, I figured out these things out and then I forgot about it and I stopped caring about it.
So I know this is my tone of voice as a person. My values match the company values, so this is how we talk. I’m not overriding the way the company talks. It’s actually we are a match. I talk from a place of knowledge. I talk about the things that I know. I’m not going to get involved in things that I don’t know because I did and there are a couple of videos in there that I know I BS my way around. But I find out I don’t need to do that. I’m just going to stick to the stuff that I know and engage people, even if I don’t know them well. I will talk about it from a place that I’m not sure about this, but this is how I understand about these things. If you want to know more, there is plenty of information, but this is my vision. And after all, that’s what you’re bringing in. It’s your own experience, your own vision of things.
Yeah, and I think that’s also being very real and genuine. People can kind of figure that part out especially through a video. Maybe through a podcast and audio, you can’t sense it. But through a video, you’ll be able to see it as well.
I actually started my own podcast as a therapy basically – talking about midlife crisis. I only have like six episodes or five episodes or something like that, but it’s so great to find people or friends or even random people that are like, “I’m going through the same thing, man.” That message relates to someone. And it’s the same in business. When you talk about, “Look, you’re struggling with customer service? Let me tell you what we do.” Now we can relate, and I think that’s the key probably.
Perhaps we could revisit as you mentioned about what are some of the expectations of what your video should be? Maybe you’d like to clarify that shed some light on that as well.
Yes, I will definitely encourage you to think of your own journey first. I made this mistake when I joined LiveChat. I didn’t have experience with creating a YouTube channel or anything like that. I was good at communicating so let’s see how that goes. My biggest mistake was to say we’re going to get a thousand subscribers in a year. And my boss asked me a really good question, “Why?”
“I don’t know, it’s a good number. It’s a good number, but like why and how. I made a mistake here. So I had to work extra hard to get thousands of subscribers. The thing is you need to see and adapt your goals. You cannot start with blind goals and saying, “I’m starting my YouTube channel and in a year, we’re going to have this.”
You don’t know exactly how your video niche will be. It’s not going to be the same amount of people that read your blogs for example. Because the people that read maybe don’t want to watch a video. And the same the other way around. So if your blog posts or an article is getting 10,000 views per month, don’t expect your video to do the same, even if you copy the exact content.
Start with making sure that the watch hours are high. That will tell you at least that, even if you don’t have many views, the people viewing your content are actually consuming it a lot. They’re really watching your stuff. If you have 10,000 views of one video, but everybody watched the first 10 seconds and turned off, what’s the point? That’s just empty views. You need to adapt the goals. You need to be very flexible with the way your channel grows and understand the people who are watching the stuff that you put out.
Really good point that you mentioned about watch hours and viewing, and just being able to adapt your goals. I’m sure our listeners are listening to this even myself, just being able to hear from that as we think about even like video strategy, pick to chat, what you said really makes sense. So really for something for us to consider, well,
I’m sure you draw a lot of inspiration out there. Would you like to share with us some of your favorite examples of businesses and brands whom you think are doing business storytelling successfully?
That’s my problem. That’s my pickle with that question. Cause brands try to talk and they’re great at doing amazing advertising. For example, Monday.com or Grammarly. I’m pretty sure anyone who signed up on YouTube will see an eToro advertising. They’re a good thing. Like I get to watch them eventually just because they’re good and brands are doing that very well. They engage you with really fun, entertaining content, and that’s a key – entertaining. It doesn’t matter what you put out, try to make it entertaining. Try to make it for people to enjoy it. So I can’t really pinpoint, I just leave those brands in there because I’m really attracted to their advertising. I think brands are doing that well.
On people, I really base myself and analyze the way for example how Simon Sinek talks, how Gary V talks. Not to copy them or give me an influence. It’s just to say why are people listening to them? What is it that they do that they sound authentic? That’s sort of helped me. The only way to sound authentic is to be authentic. You’re not going to sound authentic like let’s try to be more attentive. You just have to be yourself. That’s the only way.
If you listen to Simon Sinek and this is sort of a mixed feeling, he engaged amazingly but he throws at you generic content. It’s stuff that you can find anywhere and stuff that mostly is very common sense. Think about Gary V as well. Gary V will tell you amazing things like how you need to hustle, how you need to work hard, how you need to be everywhere. We all know that. I mean, people have been working forever. But it’s the way he say it to you, that you get, “Gary told me to do this. I’ll do it.” So I really think it’s the style and authenticity more than the actual content. The content is valuable, but it’s the way they engage.
I’m sure because the message that they have is valuable, but the messenger itself carrying that message is also as equally important. It’s good that you brought up being yourself, not trying to copy someone else. If you’re perhaps a more quiet and more analytical person, then perhaps you should offer your content in that manner.
Exactly, you also need to think of the other side. If you have a funeral home, you don’t want to go super entertaining. You want to keeps to the tone of the people that are listening to this. So it’s a bit of both way. Be yourself, but also try to connect with the tone of the recipient.
Correct. I guess that’s where knowing your company and who are the people you’re reaching out to is so important and you find the right balance. Well, we’re actually coming to the end of the episode.
Before we go into the fun questions, I want to hear your take on video storytelling perhaps if you have any thoughts that you’ve had lately about video storytelling? What would the industry look like or some of the new lessons you’ve learned so far about that?
I think that the main lesson is what we were just saying before. Analyze yourself, be authentic, and hear the way you tell stories outside video. What are the stories that people stop and listen to? It’s like when I talked to my wife, I sort of try to figure out when she stopped listening because we do that. Like we stop listening to people and we just pretend and we throw, “Oh, that’s crazy. Oh yeah.” But sometimes we break that and people listen to the whole story and they’re very interested in it. It’s looking a lot into the way you tell stories and applying that to the way you tell the content.
Also super important, know your stuff. You need to know what you’re talking about. If you don’t know if you’re going to tell about facts, better skip them. If you don’t know if those facts are real, you’re proving it to yourself. Just don’t do it. Just tell like, “Look, I’m going to tell you about something I read that might be interesting. It might differ from what you think, but I just read it.” Don’t say like, “We try it and it works.” No, don’t lie and just know your stuff because then you can tell it from a better place and it will give you more confidence as well.
Thank you for sharing so many valuable insights with us today, Marcos. I’ve definitely learned a lot about video storytelling from you in this episode and I’m sure you’ve helped to convince some of our listeners today why did they should start investing in video storytelling.
Just go for it.
Yeah, remember TTT – test, test, test. Before we conclude this episode, there are some fun questions related to storytelling and this is actually a great way for our listeners to learn about what inspires you as a storyteller.
My first question for you is what is your favorite movie?
‘Back to The Future’. Eyes closed, hands down. No questions about it. The whole trilogy is amazing to me.
What about your favorite book – a different part of storytelling instead of video?
I do have many books that I liked, but every time marketers especially asked me what book you recommend for marketing. It’s ‘The Little Prince’. It has one big message. First of all, it’s an enjoyable book. It has one message that’s going to help you do better marketing, which is the essential is invisible to the eyes. So forget about the tech, forget about the surface, go down deep and see what is the connection that is happening that you can’t see.
I think those recommendations are noteworthy for our listeners to check out. Of course the movie ‘Back to The Future’, everyone can watch it and the book, ‘The Little Prince’.
And the following question would basically be like this or that question. So my first question for you is this, would you prefer the theater or cinema?
Second is this, would you prefer reading or writing?
And for social media, would you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I would have gone for LinkedIn for sure.
In terms of a platform to watch stuff, would it be Netflix or YouTube for you?
It really depends but YouTube videos are wide there. Let’s go for YouTube video.
And in terms of movie, this is not ‘Back to The Future’, but if you have to, would it be Avatar or Star Wars?
Star Wars. Avatar, I still don’t get it.
And especially if you like a trilogy, then Star Wars would be a really good one.
Finally, is this – in a type of movie, would it be action or documentaries for you?
Documentaries. I actually enjoy learning things through video. I’m a visual learner.
That was fun and I love your take on these questions. I trust that our listeners can learn more about what inspires you and also do check out your favorite book, which is ‘The Little Prince’.
Yeah, everybody should go and read it twice.
So before we conclude, to our listeners who would like to be staying connected with you, Marcos, how can they reach you?
LinkedIn is my favorite platform. I spend my whole day there. Find me on LinkedIn, Marcos Bravo and you’ll find me through LiveChat in there.
Yeah, definitely. Do check out LiveChat and also connect with Marcos on LinkedIn. I follow him and get to watch some great content. Also, do check out their YouTube channel. One is the general LiveChat. The other is Success by LiveChat.
We have LiveChat YouTube channel, which is very dedicated to the product. And we have Success by LiveChat where we tell our experiences and give some knowledge out.
I’m sure our listeners would enjoy the content from Success by LiveChat. There are a lot of valuable videos there for you to watch. Once again, thank you Marcos for coming on this episode of The Business Storyteller Podcast. That’s all that we have for today and until the next one.
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