630: Engaging Customers through Compelling Content | Rish Bhandari

Podcast Cover Image: Engaging Customers through Compelling Content Featuring Rish Bhandari
Podcast Cover Image: Engaging Customers through Compelling Content Featuring Rish Bhandari

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Rish Bhandari is the Founder & CEO of Content Beta, a creative-as-a-service platform for tech companies. He is a Growth Hacker with a background in Investment Management and Engineering.

In addition to his role as CEO, Rish hosts two popular podcasts: “The Product Marketing Show” and “New Things in Customer Education,” where he engages with thought leaders and industry experts to discuss strategies for scaling and growing through product marketing and customer education.

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Engaging Customers through Compelling Content 


Jeff Tomlin: Welcome to the Conquer Local Podcast! Our show features successful sales leaders, marketers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs who will inspire you with their success stories. Each episode is packed with practical strategies, as our guests share their secrets to achieving their dreams. Listen in to learn the highlights of their remarkable accomplishments and get tips to revamp, rework, and reimagine your business. Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or aspiring entrepreneur, the Conquer Local Podcast is your ultimate guide to dominating your local market. Tune in now to take your business to the next level! 

I’m Jeff Tomlin and on this episode, we’re pleased to welcome Rish Bhandari. Rish is the Founder & CEO of Content Beta, a creative-as-a-service for tech companies. He is a Growth Hacker with a background in Investment Management and Engineering. He has co-authored the popular ebook ‘Customer Training Maturity Report 2021’ with the renowned customer education expert, Brian Childs. And he is active in the Customer Education community.

He also hosts two hit podcasts, The Product Marketing Show & New Things in Customer Education with thought-leaders and experts of the industry discussing how to strategize, scale, and grow product marketing and customer education.

Get ready Conquerors for Rish Bhandari coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast.

Rish Bhandari, Content Beta Founder Discusses Impactful Video Marketing

Jeff Tomlin: Rish Bhandari, welcome to the Conquer Local podcast. Hey, it is a pleasure to have you on here today. Hey, say a few words, introduce yourself to the audience, a little bit about you, and a little bit about your company.

Rish Bhandari: So, hey. Hi, I’m Rish. I’m calling from India. I run a company called Content Beta, I’m a founder and CEO. I say founder first, CEO second because founder has this real hustle mentality. We’re a creative production services for software companies, help them scale content for product marketing in go-to-market. I’m really excited to be here, Jeff.

Jeff Tomlin: Hey. Well, I’m excited to have you here and this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Clearly, so, you’re an expert on the topic of video and you’re an expert in the field of product marketing. So, maybe just to start things off… There’s a lot of things that have changed in the marketing world and in the way that people are using video over the last few years. How is the proper way that people should be thinking about video when it comes to even specifically product marketing?

Rish Bhandari: I think you should think about video like how generally people consume content. So, today, you see the newer generation consuming content, which is more in the short form. You’ll see Reels, TikTok, and YouTube shorts, and you’ll notice the attention span is going down. And this is the biggest learning for video marketers because your video content has to serve to that attention span. The opportunity for long-form videos is more of live, more of podcasts, and less for consumption of content on YouTube or your own website or blogs. So, that’s number one. So, cater to the audience where the attention span’s less. Now taking the same learnings to product marketing, I think, A: the content should be crisp, and B: you should show real stuff. So previously, how product explainer videos were shown, there were… You’ll see a person climbing a mountain, there are trees and there are office buildings, lots of characters, and probably a bit of storytelling in terms of characters. I think people are done with that. People want to see the real stuff. You look at TikTok videos, they’re not professionally finished if I would say, they’re probably lo-fi. People are okay to compromise on the fidelity of the produced video, but it has to show real stuff. So if you’re a product marketer, keep on showing your product, and try to show the benefits your product will have by actually showing that happening in your product. So, product-led growth is not just for sales, it’s also for videos or for any content you publish. So, I think these two things are pretty crucial. One is cater to the lower attention span of the audience and show real stuff. If you want to show people, show real customers, show real products, show real applications.

Effective Video Use: Onboarding, Training, Storytelling and Engagement Strategies

Jeff Tomlin: It’s interesting that you say that because I saw a number of companies over the recent years, storytelling and product marketing and getting away a little bit from showcasing their product. And one of the things that we’ve been thinking about here more and more is how do we show short stories about how you execute a particular use case in the product to get a job done, and do it effectively and in a short period of time. So, it’s interesting to hear you say that, reinforces some of the things that we’ve been thinking about here. Because at the end of the day when you’re thinking about a product, it is way more helpful to see how something can help you get a job done practically. And being able to do that in a short form is still… I think it’s an art for people to be able to do that in a very effective way.

Rish Bhandari: Totally. A lot of marketers tell me that, “Hey, my product is way too complicated. And if I try showing the application, the audience might be overwhelmed.” And we normally advise that, Hey, try to show your product UI/UX in a simplified way, don’t try to overwhelm with showing your complete product at once. If you’re trying to show one particular panel, or one particular use case, just focus on that. Don’t let your viewers or your audiences eye laser around the entire screen. Yeah. So, I’ll still stand by that here.

Jeff Tomlin: Rish, one of the things at the very top of my mind right now is learning management systems, training and onboarding, because we’ve had to do a lot of work in that area recently, and I’ve also come across some learning management systems that are really, really done well. And I’ve signed up to a few products that have really, really impressed with the onboarding and they used video. And so, talk a little bit about how people can really effectively use video for training and onboarding because that’s a really, really critical part of the entire customer journey.

Rish Bhandari: Yeah. I think training and onboarding definitely don’t get the budgets marketing content gets. So, that’s the number one problem to solve that, hey, allocate a budget for educating your existing customers as much as you are trying to acquire new customers. So, that’s one. Second, I would say, most people are trying to use videos like a click here, click there kind of approach. Nobody likes learning. We’ve all been students, nobody loves studying for hours unless you’re way too motivated. So to compensate for that, add a bit of quick win, add a bit of storytelling even in your training videos. One cool example is if I’m an email marketing platform and I can teach my audience how to use my email marketing platform to send their email campaigns, now how can I add more value? I can tell them that, hey, if you try to use these subject lines, or if you try to use the first name of the recipient in the subject line, your open rates will drastically improve. And these kind of quick wins really helps your customer to win, customer to absorb from your content and make a difference because your goal is to not make your customer very good at your product, your goal is to make him the best email marketer, if you’re an email marketing software. So I think. So, a couple of things. So, go beyond your typical product training and try to make your customer a better professional, and add a bit of entertainment or, I would say, storytelling in your training. Don’t let it be just click here, click there. Give some context, talk about some best practices, and talk about some pitfalls. You’ve got to make it interesting. I’ve seen a lot of, at least, the compliance training kind of stuff, which was the most boring kind of training, are heavily moving towards storytelling. That if you put them into a situation, make a movie parody so that their episode sticks in their head. And I think if you. And it’s an accepted fact that the completion ratio for online training or online recorded courses is less than 2%. Coursera has proven this, and Udemy has proven this. And these are great platforms. So, it’s a question for us that what can we do to motivate our learners to complete the course content? Try to motivate by gamification. Probably you could share certificates, which they could put on their LinkedIn, or probably you could involve them in some other activity for which they feel involved. So, I think those two things. One is to try to give more than product training and make it a bit more entertaining.

Video Funnel Strategy: Top, Middle and Bottom Stages for Conversions

Jeff Tomlin: It’s a good point. You brought up Coursera there, and I just recently took a course through Coursera for OKRs. So, it was OKR training, objectives and key results and being able to do that. And they’d done such a good job of showing short little videos that were no more than two to five minutes at the most, and then a little bit of reading, and then a little quiz to take afterwards. But the format was really, really engaging. And I thought what an amazing format for product onboarding and training to have that type of approach because it really keeps you engaged. And they did a really good job of the videos too. It wasn’t hard to stay engaged with the video, and they told stories. And so, I think the path to getting there is proven out by others and you just have to follow it, and it’s not a really heavy lift to get there.

Rish Bhandari: Totally. And I think one of the key elements is also to humanize. So, whatever product training you see in the software world, it’s mostly screen recording. The first case, it’s like a loom recording with the person in the circle. And sometimes the audience will feel that, “hey, is somebody teaching me or am I just watching a bunch of videos?” And that’s where we’ve seen the audience’s attention the most. If you have an instructor or somebody from the product team who could just step up on the camera at the start, at the end of the video, you basically humanize a connection. Videos are normally one-way communication, it doesn’t get feedback about how it should improve. But if you add elements which humanizes this relationship, I think you could definitely improve the content potential for those kinds of people.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. Yeah, 100%. So, let me back up a little bit. So, I jumped right into training and onboarding. But let’s back up further in the funnel, at the beginning of the customer journey and talk a little bit about strategies and how you can use content throughout the primary stages of your funnel through the middle of the funnel and all the way down to the bottom of the funnel to increase conversions.

Rish Bhandari: Sure. So, I divide the funnel into three parts: top, middle, and bottom. And probably when one starts working on a video marketing project, you should be aware that what are your goals. Because if your goal is to get signups, probably you’re not at the top of the funnel. In the top of the funnel, your goal is to get awareness and tease your audience to learn more. So, let’s say you have a certain what’s your goal. And probably at the top of the funnel, you could create content which is more educational in nature, where it’s not like you’re pitching your product, but probably you can sneakily talk about how do you solve these kinds of problems, which are product solves, or what are the best practices, or probably even run podcasts or webinars around the industry trends, best practices or somebody’s success story. So, these kinds of educational content helps your audience discover you and helps you improve brand awareness. And the way to measure the success is what’s the kind of engagement. If you put it on social media, how many views, and how many impressions do you get? So, that’s how you measure the success of this kind of content. In the middle of the funnel kind of content, your goal. So, you have to assume that your audience is basically in the stage where he’s problem-aware and solution aware and probably in the middle of evaluating a couple of products. And the kind of content you show there is actually your product. So, you throw them product explainers, product demo videos, show what are the use cases, and sometimes even some bit of how-to videos to show that, Hey, you even care about educating your customers. The goal of the middle-of-the-funnel kind of content is to see how many signups or how many demo requests do you get. The bottom of the funnel, there’s a thin line between the middle and bottom of the funnel for video marketing because some content can be reused in the bottom of the funnel too. But I would strongly focus on customer videos. So, you talk to your customers, grab your customer’s voice and face and their words, and try to create a short, one-minute, two-minute kind of story because that kind of content is more believable than an account executive talking a thousand words. Customer videos are relatable and they talk in the language of your customer… Your prospects really understand. The way to measure the success of that kind of content is basically how many conversions do I get. So, in a nutshell, basically for these three stages of the funnel, first, you’ve got to be clear about what are your goals, and hence, where is this going to be hosted, and then what type of content you could access to one. Another cool way of really expanding the top of the funnel is by reusing existing content. So, let’s say we are doing a webinar, or let’s say when we are doing this podcast, what I would do is we could turn this 30 minute into probably five one-minute clips and put it up on Shorts, TikTok, Reels, and you’ve got a brand new set of audience who will learn more about this podcast. So, I think it’s easier to make top-of-the-funnel content by repurposing existing content. The biggest challenge I think is in the middle and bottom of the funnel where you’ve got to push a lot of product content, where you’ve got to push a lot of use cases. And I think that’s where the biggest scope of improvement is.

Video Academy Courses: Micro Content, Storytelling and High Production Quality

Jeff Tomlin: I was happy to hear you touch a little bit on reusing content because sometimes people can start running out of ideas. But if you think about it the right way and you’re really good at reusing content, you could almost have an unlimited amount of content that you can use to grow your top of the funnel and even down into the middle. And I like the way that you mapped that out in the goals that you have: top, middle and bottom, awareness, consideration, decision-making stage. One of the things that we were struggling with in our office was reusing existing stuff and creating that unlimited supply of content that we could grow the top of the funnel with. But if you think about it the right way and you reuse stuff, you really can create almost a seemingly unlimited source of information that you can put out there.

Rish Bhandari: So, content repurposing is a tricky topic. Most people think that, “hey, I’ve now created a blog, now I can create 10 other formats. I could create Twitter thread, I could create videos, Shorts.” I wouldn’t say it’s very easy. You first got to figure out what’s the content strategy. Like I described in the previous discussion, where you want to focus your energy on is the marketing focus on the top of the funnel or where do you put your bucks on. So, once you have certain that, I think one could focus on reusing that content in those areas. And for that, the formats differ. So, if you’re doing real top-of-the-funnel, you don’t want to create case studies or white papers. You may want to create more shorter forms of content, which can be easily consumed. So, for instance, social media or even video platforms. The second thing about content repurposing, especially in the videos which I see, is people just clip those ends and just post it with some caption. That I would say is probably one of the lazy ways because the way content is evolving, the customer is having a lot of choices. Any viewer is having a lot of choices. So, you’ve got to prove to your audience that, “hey, this piece of content deserves more attention than any of the content you’re consuming.” And for that, the production quality has to be high. And that’s why although lo-fi videos or low fidelity videos, but the production quality cannot be compromised in terms of sound, in terms of the shots, in terms of even using b-rolls. So, make a strategy, figure out where you want to put all your money on and then focus on that format, that piece of content.

Jeff Tomlin: I like the way that you walked through that. And I jumped around a little bit. I was excited, and I jumped all the way into the product side of things and onboarding right at the beginning. And then you walked very logically through the funnel stages and how you can use content in the different parts of this funnel stages, and then how you can repurpose content. So, let’s go back a little bit. And so, one of the things we talked about at the beginning was academy courses, and I talked a little bit about that Coursera course that I took. They can be really, really effective, not just for customer onboarding and creating customer engagement, but also, you can use courses to grow the top of your funnel as another way to bring people into your company, and then you can use it for product adoption as well. So, talk a little bit about some of the top considerations that people should think about when they’re using video in academy courses.

Rish Bhandari: So, I think courses are a bit more than a single video. So, you might have a series of eight videos or 50, it could be a 30-minute course or 20-minute course or an hour-long course. So, first thing, keep your content short. Micro content is not just a buzzword, it’s real. With decreasing attention span, you’ve got to keep your content short so that somebody can consume one piece of content and come back to it tomorrow. The second piece, which we’ve seen most returns that we were building an academy for another software company. And previously, what they used to do is they used to teach the product or even the function that, “hey, how do you do workflow automation in your accounts department, or in your HR department?” And they created a series of videos and probably taught their product in the middle, and that’s how they created content. What we did was we made a storyline. And this story cuts from start to the end. So, we made a fictitious office space and then made some characters and put up scenarios and tried to address… Find solutions to those scenarios. And what we’ve noticed is around 63% of the people who started the course ended the course. So, that’s a big feat in the market where the average completion is two to 5%. So, I think micro-content and storytelling is equally important. One more thing. I really loved how you said that you could even use courses for the top of the funnel. Educational content is… HubSpot has proven that, Drift and lots of other SaaS companies have created academies and content to teach people about how to become better professionals. And this has been proven in the past too. You can even make these courses, you can even monetize these courses. So, let’s say, if I’m a performance marketer and I spent some money on a marketing campaign and probably one of my prospects buys the courses, you could basically get your CAC back in this way. I wouldn’t say this is applicable for everybody, but if you are dealing with a mass market, probably even lower end of the SMBs than your market is, you might want to try that. And this has been proven by people who have done books. You would’ve seen founders writing books around… Drift, Dave Gerhardt, and they wrote a book and that book sold a lot, and that was a quasi marketing. So, that’s a cool way of using… But in that case, the content production quality has to be higher because you’re not dealing with customers, you’re dealing with prospects. And they judge you. They judge you by how your brochures look, they judge you by how your websites look and how your social media looks. So, if you’re trying to focus on your educational content for the top of the funnel, I think make sure the production quality is really high.

Video’s Impact: Higher Conversions, Personal Branding Success and Versatile Applications

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. So, I like that thought a lot, and I like what you said about getting some of your CAC paid back before you’ve even landed your customer, because everybody’s goal is to lower the acquisition costs of acquiring a customer and that payback period and how long it takes to actually get your money back. And so, I like that. Rish, we know that video increases the attention span that you have. It increases adoption, it increases conversion throughout the funnel. But how do you address attribution challenges? Because it’s still with video, it can be challenging understanding and providing the attribution to the particular medium.

Rish Bhandari: So, I think attribution is difficult. I think of video as a quasi-dark funnel kind of concept, where you could see the success, but you can’t perfectly attribute it. But depending upon the stage of the funnel, I think one could look at the success. So, if I’m at the top of the funnel, and if my video has let’s say 10,000 views, and if your competitor has 2,000 views, you could say that your video has done a far better job at the top of the funnel in reaching out to the audience. Now, I can’t expect that video will… I can’t expect that that piece of content will drive me conversions, or can I measure the number of signups using that kind of video, I can’t. Because that piece of content were designed for the top of the funnel. But if you’re really creating content for the middle and bottom of the funnel, I think there is, I would say, a gray… Not black and white, but frankly, the gray way of measuring this is… Let’s say if you’re doing for the middle and bottom of the funnel, you say what’s the conversion ratio. And you could attribute part of it to the sales and development content or the content which you use to set the customers in the pipeline or in the funnel. In the post-conversion kind, I think a lot of customer education product marketers do is they measure the success, they measure the retention ratio of the customer or what’s the churn rate or even what’s the consumption of the course content, of the consumption of the video content. I’ll still say there’s no black-and-white way to measure or attribute the success accurately for a video, but in different stages of funnel and different types of content, you could do that.

Jeff Tomlin: Rish, we’ve had a lot of success here through different projects, increasing the effectiveness of those using video. And I think a lot of people are using video in a lot of interesting ways right now. But for the people out there that are not doubling down on their usage of video, sometimes it’s helpful to hear a practical example. Do you have a real-life example of somebody that’s taken video? Either they weren’t using it before and they really increased their conversions or the effectiveness of a particular program at the end of the day, or they either weren’t using it or they just doubled down on video and had a function change in their results.

Rish Bhandari: So, I think one of our customers, we helped them with the video course, they were into no-code automation. And we helped them create a video course. And they initially wanted it, “hey, I wanted something for my customers, partners and vendors.” And then we said, “sure, we could do that.” And then slowly because the content was so good, the marketing team thought, “hey, can I use this for the top of the funnel, and let’s see how it works?” They priced that video at say, $500 ticket price, and probably cheaper if you do it for a team. And they could see people signing up. And those kinds of audience, they had a lower CAC because they had paid some money to get into the course. And they actually bought the course and bought into the products or the company’s philosophy of how to do automation in your organization. So, I think that’s one success. Another cool way to start with video marketing, and it might seem a bit odd, is, I think, personal branding. In this age of social media, everybody wants to be a thought leader on LinkedIn, everybody wants to want to listen to your thought leaders on Twitter. I think sometimes it’s easier to just research on the topics which is creating a buzz in your domain and start recording content. You don’t need a fancy studio. You could just order a 1080p camera and a good condenser microphone at your home and you can start recording. And what you could basically do with these new tools like Canva and Kapwing, online editors, you don’t even have to be an expert at editing the video. Just record on the topic which you want to put on there, there are templates you could put down, sub-captions based on your knowledge, and just push it online. Probably the first 10 videos might be difficult. But believe me, the next 50 videos will be way too easier. Somebody who hasn’t explored videos, just start using videos even for your personal brand. Everybody who’s doing something would have some background experience or some experience which is reputable to the product you’re selling or the service you’re selling. Try to create some thought leadership content around this. It’s okay if you think it is not that thought leadership content, just start speaking. And probably from the feedback that you get from the initial post, you’ll start creating more awesome content.

Video’s Power and Embracing Short-Form Content

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. So, I think that that’s some great advice for people that are looking to take the video game to the next level. Do you have any final takeaways for our audience?

Rish Bhandari: So, I think two things. One is to focus on short forms of content. The audience for TikTok today is probably up to age 30 and 35, and you might think that, “my decision-makers probably are not 35, and why would I want to be there?” But believe me, I think within five years they’ll be, your audience would be decision makers, within five to 10 years. And if you start to create content after 10 years, you’ll have a tough train to catch. Look at blogging 10 years ago. What blogging was 10 years ago, short-form videos is today. It’s not easy to rank on page one today by writing blogs. You got to do a lot of hard work, a lot of internal links, a lot of backlinks, and a lot of scientific evaluation of your content strategy. But to get views on TikTok today is relatively easier. And if you could build that network, that community or your own audience, I think you could do a lot. And creators are normally doing it. It’s really doing well in the B2C world. But the B2B world is I think it’s a lot to catch up. And I think if you do it… Think of it as what blogs were 10 years ago and start investing it today, and you’ll see the benefits in the near future.

Connect with Rish Bhandari

Jeff Tomlin: If you want to get results in today’s world on online marketing, you have to become a wizard and in the content game, and you have to focus on video. Rish, it was an absolute pleasure chatting with you. And I thank you for taking some time out of your busy day to sit down with us here on the Conquer Local podcast. If people want to continue the conversation, they want to reach out to you, how do they get ahold of you?

Rish Bhandari: I think best is LinkedIn. Just search Rishabh Bhandari on LinkedIn. And content beta, you’ll find me there. I’m happy to talk to if even if you have doubts not related to the business.

Jeff Tomlin: Rish, I hope you have a fantastic day. It was a pleasure getting to know you and chat with you. Love to have you back on at sometime in the future here to continue talking about video. Have a fantastic week and a fantastic summer.

Rish Bhandari: Thank you, Jeff. Have a lovely day. Bye-bye.


Jeff Tomlin: It was a pleasure speaking to Rish Bhandari, CEO & Founder of Content Beta, who shares valuable insights with us on the Conquer Local Podcast. Two key takeaways from his discussion include adapting to the decreasing attention span of viewers and the importance of repurposing content. To capture audience attention, marketers need to create short-form content that serves the diminishing attention span influenced by platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts. Rish emphasizes the need for concise and real product marketing content, avoiding stock images and videos. Instead, showcasing the actual product and its benefits is crucial. Simplifying complex products through a user-friendly UI demonstrations is rather recommended.

Content repurposing is a powerful strategy to reach new audiences. By reusing existing content and transforming it into different formats, such as shorter clips, marketers can increase engagement. Rish also highlights the importance of maintaining high production quality and monetizing educational content for SaaS companies. While measuring the direct impact of video content on conversions can be challenging, retention rates and customer engagement provide valuable insights.

If you’ve enjoyed Rish’s episode discussing Engaging Customers through Compelling Content Keep the conversation going and revisit some of our older episodes from the archives: Check out Episode 616: The Evolution of B2B Content Marketing with Edward Purmalis or Episode 339 Leveraging Branded Content, with Jared Merves

Until the next time, I’m Jeff Tomlin. Get out there and be awesome!

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