Video Marketing

Video Marketing FAIL – You Can Too!

Shawn 02.12.2014

Man, I love Wisita.

They create fun, helpful video about how to create fun helpful video marketing. Did I already mention they’re, fun and helpful? I look forward to opening Wistia emails.

Even when it’s a fail.

On Feb 11th, they announced the conclusion of their weekly video series “Top Hat Tuesdays” after 22 weeks of bringing us the hits. They decided to abandon – or at least adapt – the series because it wasn’t achieving the goals they’d set for it. Hey, it happens to the best.

However, what’s sets Wistia apart from other content creators is that they don’t just discontinue the series because it isn’t working; they investigate why it isn’t working.

Then they share the results with us:

  1. Content Suffered Under the Weekly Schedule
  2. Script Disorganization lead to Production Nightmares
  3. Inadequate Marketing Limited Results


1) Scheduling Woes

The need to keep Top Hat Tuesday Tips posting every week was their self-proclaimed biggest mistake, and it’s an easy to understand one. A lot of blogs, video producers, marketing teams, and creatives feel the invisible whip crack hanging above their heads if they don’t create content on a consistent schedule.

Generating daily, thrice weekly (“thrice is a great word), weekly, and monthly content is hard. I use the word “generate” on purpose because it can become a mechanical chore. You’re not “creating” you’re “manipulating.” Writers and marketers are no longer creative entities, but slaves to the content machine, and if you’re not up to the task, the act of creation will become a drudgery, even with the best intentions and executions.

Don’t get me wrong. Schedules are essential. But so are realistic expectations.

It’s easy to forget the sole purpose of content marketing is to create great content…that markets your brand or product well. If that happens on a tight, regular schedule – awesome. I’m jealous.

If not, don’t worry. It’s much better to adopt a more relaxed schedule that creates higher quality results. Thanks for the reminder, Wistia.

2) Too Many Cooks in the Scriptchen

Script organization for any project – explainer videos, marketing spots, commercials, or internal videos – is tricky. Multiple inputs, from creative teams and clients, can clash with initial concept resulting in muddled, unfocused results.

The screenshot of Wistia’s excel spreadsheet of script notes is hilarious.

Wistia Script Hell

I’ve worked with Trello and I agree that using the right tools to manage your editorial calendar, especially amongst diverse teams, is essential. If you’re a nerd like me, editorial calendars are awesome but I’m aware not everyone digs the sweet high of multi-tasking on a plotted timeline. Go figure.
3) Get the Frat-Sized Marketing Funnel

Finally, Wistia identified that the audience for their product – video – just wasn’t there. They’d culled Top Hat Tuesday from the larger Wistia email outreach so as not to come across as spammy (a noble gesture) but at the expense of generating a large enough audience to justify the weekly video production.

They addressed this market share dilution by rejoining the larger Wistia email outreach strategy. Redefining your target is often times the most effective way to fix broken content.

This one move resolved a lot of the issues with the series, namely:

  • Removing the pressure of a weekly schedule (so they aren’t spammy)
  • Streamlining the script with constraints and Trello (input is a bonus now)
  • Redefining their engaged, loyal audience (aka me and the thousands of other “Wistia-ites”)

I’ll say it again – I love Wistia. Even when they screw up video marketing, they somehow manage to do it right. Thanks for the candor and analysis, guys. I’m looking forward to your next failure.


Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at

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