Master Modern Marketing Podcast: Lessons Learned From Wistia’s ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’ Video Docuseries Project

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In today’s episode, we speak with Barb Gagne, Director of Demand Generation at Wistia. Barb Gagne, Director of Demand Generation with Wistia Headshot

We discuss Wistia’s incredibly interesting long-form episodic video project called ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’.

Here is a project overview to get you started:

‘One, Ten, One Hundred’, is the title of with Wistia’s first ever video docuseries. Wistia partnered with a video production agency called Sandwich Video, to come up with a creative concept and produce three video ads to promote their video recording app, Soapbox, with a production budget of $1,000, $10,000, and $100,000. (Learn more on Wistia’s site)

Wistia has an internal video team and they shot behind the scenes coverage of that production and made it into a four-part video docuseries. The goal of the project was to explore the relationship between creativity and money. Does money actually impact creativity?

Additionally, the goal was to test which video would produce the most app downloads of Soapbox. What is Soapbox you ask? 

Soapbox is a Chrome extension that enables anyone to record, edit, share, and measure presentation videos.

Today’s Topics:

  1. What is the current state of video and what are some growing trends?
  2. A deep dive into the ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’ video docuseries project
  3. What areas of video production and distribution are often misunderstood or under-appreciated?
  4. What should a SMB consider as the main goal of videos they produce?
  5. Pro Tip about video production and distribution

Here are some highlights from our interview with Barb:

  1. What is the current state of video and what are some growing trends?

One of the trends I’m most excited about is when brands create long-form episodic video content. This is where brands and creators dive deep into a particular topic. They tell a story through a series of long-form videos, which also aligns with our business strategy. I like this because long-form video allows brands to dive deeper, and have people engage more with their content. So, it’s a way to provide educational and entertainment value beyond the products and services that your brand offers. And it helps you build your brand in a really meaningful way.

We think that longer form, episodic video content is one of the most exciting and creative mediums to pop up in recent years, and we’re excited to get in on the action.

RELATED: Master Modern Marketing: How to develop your inbound video marketing playbook

So, one of the common questions that I get from marketers at small and medium businesses is “How can I do video marketing with a limited budget?”

I think there’s a misconception that you need a big budget to include video in your marketing and communication strategy. But in fact, you can do a lot with a very limited budget.

For example, if you have one produced video, there’s lots of ways you can repurpose it; you can shorten it to share on Twitter or LinkedIn, you can make it into a vertical version to share an Instagram. Or you can even make it into a video thumbnail to use in your email. Or if you don’t even have one piece of produce video to repurpose, that’s okay, you can just create a video using your iPhone or with Soapbox, which is a Chrome extension from Wistia that allows you to record your screen and webcam at the same time.

Well, I think it’s a long-form episodic content is something that I think a lot, not a lot of businesses are considered right now. Because they always think the thing that they have to do is the short style videos, product overviews, or maybe a video ad to generate conversions for their product, and those are absolutely things that you should be doing.

But, I would encourage other businesses to consider producing longer form or episodic content to build more of a story about your brand, and provide the educational and entertainment value to keep users on your site. Because once they’re on your site, and they’re spending more time with your brand, they then will see the value in your brand. And then they will start to explore the products and services. So, it can be used as the gateway to be able to get them in get to know them within your brand. 

RELATED: Wistia’s Blog – 4 Companies Producing Episodic Video Content, Big and Small
  1. A Deep Dive into ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’ Project

Project Overview:

So, once again, ‘One, Ten, One Hundred’, is the title of with Wistia’s first ever video docuseries. And this project is where we worked with a video production agency called Sandwich video, to come up with a creative concept and produce three video ads to promote Soapbox with a production budget of $1,000, $10,000 and $100,000. Wistia has a video team and they shot behind the scenes coverage of that production and made it into a four-part video docuseries. And the goal of the project was to explore the relationship between creativity and money. And does money actually impact creativity?


For the Soapbox video ads, we had three videos, with three very different production budgets, and I wanted to find out what video will be the most effective and efficient at driving product installs, would it be the video that was shot with a production budget of $1,000, 10,000, and $100,000. or $100,000?

So, to test this out, I used Facebook and YouTube to test at scale, which provided us with the flexibility to move the budgets around based on performance and optimize in real time. And what we learned was that across the board, the video that we created with $10,000 production budget performed the best based on our goals. It had the lowest cost per install across both Facebook and YouTube. And, I think it has to do with that $10,000 video ad deliver the strongest story about what Soapbox is and how it can be used.

It all came down to the storytelling. The $1,000 one didn’t have enough of the story to showcase the product. And the $100,000 version was just over the top with this production, so the $10,000 was like the perfect blend of both.

Additionally, our goal for campaign was to achieve the lowest cost per install. And it was consistent across all media partners, that the $10,000 ad was the winner at achieving our goals.

So, to promote the docuseries, we produced a two-minute trailer to promote it (see above). And again, we turned to Facebook and YouTube as our primary paid partners. But we also tested the video ads, Reddit, and text ads as well. We promoted the series with the trailers three weeks prior to the series being released online. During this pre-launch stage, we captured email addresses of those who wants to know when the content was released. And, we came away with a lot of great learnings not only from that phase, but we had another phase that included promoting the series once it was released to the public. And we’re still gathering learnings now to this day, because we’re still promoting it.

So, what we learned was that people really appreciate and crave this kind of long form episodic content. And, in the first two months of the content being released, we were able to generate 484,000 engaged video views!

In addition to tracking sessions, so that’s landing page with the videos and video views for example, we also have tracked engaged video views, which was we defined as the viewer having to watch 25% of the video. And, we also learned that early promo phase, where we had the trailer promoting the series before it was released, far exceeded our expectations. The trailer promo was great a capturing and creating interest in the series. It was really helpful in building buzz around the project and generate interest in the series.

During this short three-week promotional period, we generated nearly 7000 leads the cost per lead of less than $5.

We also learned that we can use One, Ten, One Hundred project, or other video docuseries to build an audience pool for marketing of future video series. And each time that we do this it is going to be easier and easier to build that reoccurring audience base.

  1. What areas of video production and distribution are often misunderstood or underappreciated?

I think one would be script writing, which I think can seem really intimidating. But I found that having a process and framework and place, is crucial to writing a good script. You could start with a simple brief and include, what you want your audience to be, who consumes the content, what the key takeaway should be, and how the video be used, whether it will be hosted on your site, or through other additional promotion, for example, on social, and that really helps with the writing process.

And, I would say like, when you’re writing your script, keep it conversational. Read it out loud a couple times, and just keep practicing getting really good at it.

  1. What should a small to medium-sized business consider as the main goal of videos they produce?

I think the main goal with video should be to drive more engagement with your audience. I know, we’ve been talking a lot about that with the long-form episodic content. But I really believe if you provide a lot of value in your videos, whether it be educational, or, entertainment value, it’s a great way to keep them watching the video and stay on your site for longer. It really is a great thing. So again, I would encourage folks to consider creating episodic video series a way to do this, and also to help your company achieve their goals. 

  1. Do you have a ‘Pro Tip’ that you would like to share?

First of all, set goals. As digital marketer, I often get overwhelmed with all the data that is available. And it’s often easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to do with your marketing campaigns, because the access to data is just in abundance.

So, I would say when evaluating your videos, look for metrics outside the standard ‘view’ or ‘play’ metrics. I would look for other metrics such as time spent with brand, which will give you an indication of engagement with a brand. It will tell more of a story.

So, video ‘views’ and ‘plays’ are great. But, if you can get people to watch 25% of your videos, 50 or even 100%, that’s way more valuable.

And, you should be evaluating and optimizing off of those engagement metrics, rather than just the ‘click’ or the ‘play’ metrics. I will also say, look for opportunities to play, and display your videos as a series either as like a carousel ad, or sequential in advertising, or as a video question on your website. Because, once someone has watched one of your videos, they’re much more likely to consume more content and display the videos in a way that makes it easier for them to watch related content is key there.


Connect with Wistia:


Connect with Barb:

LinkedIn Profile

Connect with Sandwich Video:

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