So, did you read the title and wonder what the heck is a pillar video?
In this article, I am going to break down what a pillar
video is and why it might just be an amazing strategy for your companies business videos.
You are creating full funnel videos for your prospects, leads and customers right?
If not, you should check out this article we wrote on The Ultimate Video Funnel For Sales, Marketing, and Service.
Let’s dive in and explain pillar videos at a deeper level.
First, where did the idea come from.
It actually started to brew as I was teaching one of our clients how to build a pillar page for one of their service pages.
We were talking about the strategy of what to have on the page vs just what buttons to press in HubSpot.
This conversation took us through the human why’s, who’s, what’s, and even traveled into products, services, employees, how-to’s and should I’s.
Let’s just say it was chalked full of strategy and content ideas.
After the call I started to think about if this strategy was able to be duplicated in video.
I immediately started to discredit the idea.
As I dove into this new idea, I kept thinking it would be a long video for sure.
I started to think from the brain of the typical consumer. I kept coming back to wondering if someone would watch a super long video? This all because as marketers we’ve been conditioned with the perception of short video has rules supreme for the past couple years.
I kept coming back to things like:
- How could you make it useful for the viewer?
- How do you keep their attention?
- How do you make it so it could also be short busts ov videos?
- How do you break past the playlist mentality?
Then one day as I was learning about a topic that i am super passionate about, it happen. I saw a video that made me say “Hell No!”. Then I stopped, thought, and said wait… maybe.
As I pressed the play button, I was nervous, curious, and a the back of my mind wondered what I was doing.
You see, the Youtube video I clicked on was 3 hours long.
Who watches a 3 hour YouTube video?
What Is a Pillar Video?
A Pillar Video is an informative piece of video content on a specific topic that combines multiple thoughts/strategies into one cohesive viewing experience. It may be anywhere from 45 minutes to even 4 hours in length.
Yep, you read that right!
I am going to show you some examples further down in this article.
A pillar video should be broken up into sections so that a viewer can easily click and watch the entire video or the jump to the part of the video that peeks their interest, this can be done by adding timestamps in your video descriptions.
How to add Timestamps to a Pillar Video on Youtube?
My buddy Nick Nimmin did a great video on how to do this for YouTube.
Pro tip: On YouTube, you just need to put the actual time so for instance, 0:36 would be 36 seconds into the video. You can see what we have done here on our video.
How to add TimeStamps to a Pillar Video on Facebook?
In theory, it is really easy to achieve.
All you need to do is find your sections in your video, left click the video and click “copy video url of current time”.
It is literally one right click away and you should be able to build out your timestamps by using this url.
WARNING: IN THEORY!
As hard as we tried, Facebook was fickle at best! It looks like facebook has a bit of work to do yet on making time stamping work well as the links themselves didn’t reliably work.
We went through a round of incognito windows, non-admin users, and multiple other tests to try and make it work and we couldn’t find anything reliable.
So, as an alternative we went with the strategy of linking the sections of the video back to our main video resource area on our core site.
In the post, you will see links like:
While this is fine, If you want to be really slick, you can make these links look better/shorter with something like a Bitly url shortener link.
Or, if you want to let the marketer in you go nuts, add them to a UTM link shortener in something like HubSpot and report on what gets click most at a micro level.
Instead of them seeing this:
You can make their experience better with something like these:
Why Pillar Video TimeStamping Is Important!
If we compare Pillar Pages to Pillar VIdeos, it is the table of contents section of the page. TimeStamping becomes the table of contents of the video.
You want to make sure the viewer can easily scan the information they will be learning in the video and understand how it all ties in in the grand scheme of things.
In the case of our Pillar Video, “5 HubSpot Sales Hub Pro Tools That Will Dramatically Impact Your Process” you quickly see that over the next 50-minutes you will be learning about:
- HubSpot Meetings Tool
- HubSpot Snippets Tool
- HubSpot Templates Tool
- HubSpot Documents Tool
- HubSpot Sequences Tool
- HubSpot Communication & Integration
Plus, you immediately know more about what the video is going to be explaining and allows for you to understand the details of the content.
Once the viewer dives into one section, they may dive into a second or third. The idea behind the TimeStamping and useful links is to build in the ease of more watch time on your videos / content.
You are giving the viewer an optional step that they do not have with normal videos.
Normal video: Play or not play aka leave the video.
Pillar video: Play, Play a section, Play another section, or leave the video.
These additional options can increase your engagement & watch time. If your watch time rises, it helps platforms understand the true value viewers are receiving from your video content.
Therefore, the platforms will favor your content, showing your content in all the right spots!
What else makes up a pillar video?
- A pillar video should be built in mind of the long haul.
- This may mean, that you may want to limit music only to certain sections if at all.
- It means you will want to leverage disruption sections to keep the viewer watching.
- It means you want to map out where they are heading next in the video.
As you think about creating your own pillar video, I would implore you to not just use your normal video process and simply extend it’s length. Your pillar videos have to have their own unique strategy applied to them.
Examples of Pillar Videos
Of course, we can use our own video 5 HubSpot Sales Hub Pro Tools That Will Dramatically Impact Your Process as an example. You can watch it and check out the description here on Youtube.
However, I think it might be a great idea to share the video that really pushed me over the edge when it came to pillar video for your business videos.
Have you been curious since I mentioned it above?
The video that amazed me, that had me watching for three hours plus, that has pulled me into their brand, that made me subscribe, that has now made me share with my community…
What is the ROI of a pillar video?
Maybe re-read that last couple sentences. :)
Without further adieu, let me introduce Ferdy Korpershoek!
The video that caught my eye was, How To Make A Wordpress Website 2019 | Beginners.
The video has 134,542 views and Ferdy has over 69,000 subscribers.
Three plus hour video, with 134,542 views! Come on!
Now I know, what you are thinking but George, you are not even a beginner.
Why would you watch this video?
You are right, I am not a beginner when it comes to Wordpress and or web design.
But, I did click and watch.
First, it said 2019, that made me wonder what was new this year that I might not know? #AlwaysBelearning
Second, he had an amazing thumbnail that i could not resist.
Nice use of color, topic focused, as well as a human! #winwinwin
So, as I started to watch the video, what happened that made this a mind blowing example?
First, He introduces himself and makes a promise!
Hi, I am Ferdy and in this video I am going to show you how to make “Beautiful” and “Free” a Wordpress website from Scratch.
Then he shows you what you are about to learn!
He does this verbally as well as visually in the video.
You can watch an example of it starting here:
He even shares at this point, how you can jump around in the video using the description section.
Boom! YouTube TimeStamping!
Remember why this is important?
I covered it briefly above but, here is what Darrell Eves had to say about this strategy as well.
Ferdy kept making this experience amazing!
How you ask.
He even shows you how to slow down the speed of the tutorial in the YouTube settings if he goes to fast.
Why is that important? Because you immediately feel like he is focused on you as the viewer and your experience over the next couple hours.
He even dives deeper into the caring of the viewer by letting us know who this video is a good fit for as well as what they are going to learn if they are a good fit!
Pro tip, these graphics with the checkmarks continue to come back into the video as you completed the sections. This helped with a sense of completion as Ferdy moved on to the next lesson.
After that, he gets into the training. No fluff, no promotion, no extra unneeded elements.
Just simply the stuff you want!
Great job Ferdy!
So based on this information, we should build a Pillar Video Intro template.
Pillar Video Intro Template
Here are all the major focus points you should have in the first 2 to 3-minutes of your pillar video.
- Welcome the viewer
- Introduce yourself
- Introduce the topic
- Show them who a right fit is
- Show them what they will be able to do
- Educate them how to navigate the video sections.
- Show them any YouTube settings they may want to use.
- Invite them to like, subscribe, and share.
- Teach them what they need to learn.
The only part that needs to be done after that is the main parts of your actual content.
Wrapping Up The Pillar Video Conversation
If you need to learn more about video, video culture, and incorporating it in your sales and marketing process, check out our video fundamentals masterclass.
Go create your own pillar page. Once you do, make sure you share with us as I would love to watch what you have created and who knows, I may even add your video as an example.
I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts on pillar video moving forward. If you have questions about this topic or other video topics, make sure you reach out.