Optimized Video Hosting with Better Analytics for Your WordPress LMS with Patrick Stiles of Vidalytics

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This episode of LMScast with Chris Badgett of LifterLMS is about optimized video hosting with better analytics for your WordPress LMS with Patrick Stiles of Vidalytics. Chris and Patrick talk about Vidalytics and how it can vastly improve the quality of the videos and analytics you have for your online course or membership site.

Vidalytics is a video hosting platform that differentiates itself by having an intelligent analytical backend. Vidalytics gathers data on how your videos are performing. You can see where in the videos people are skipping and rewinding and when they are dropping off of the video. You can have autoplay for mobile devices, have a custom thumbnail show when they pause the video, and whitelist videos so course creators can control what website their course videos can be played on.

Patrick shares the story of how he entered the world of software development. He was told to get a job at a company for 40 years, get a golden watch, and retire. Since Patrick was a child he had wanted to go into sales. He dropped out of high school and tested into college where he wanted to study sales. Sales was not a degree, so Patrick tried a lot of different commission-only sales jobs. He hit his stride when he got into contingency recruiting, because he was able to build relationships, see inside people’s careers and check out the internal workings of companies.

Patrick got fired twice in a six-month period, and that is when he decided to go out on his own and become an entrepreneur. He was doing contingency recruiting on his own, and he did not have to give away 60% of the profit like he previously had. Once he didn’t have to worry about money he started traveling, and internet marketing caught his interest. He worked on multiple businesses after being inspired by the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

People often don’t finish online courses, so it is important to keep them engaged. Chris and Patrick talk about how Vidalytics allows you to see where you are losing most of your audience. If you were teaching a class in person and during the class 75% of the people left before the end, you would be asking yourself and your audience what you could do better as a teacher. Vidalytics allows you to do this with your videos.

After a long day of working, it can be hard to incentivize your audience to pick up your course and keep pushing through the content. Vidalytics has you covered on that front as well. You can use drop down banners on the top of videos to suggest the next video when your customer is disengaging. You can send out emails to your students to engage them on that front as well.

It’s important to never forget that the best marketing is a good product. Chris and Patrick talk about how collecting analytics is important for your sales approach and for online marketing for your courses and membership sites. What makes a customer purchase your product and what makes them stick with it are two separate things, so collecting analytics on your videos is vital.

Challenging your assumptions is key to long term success, because the world of online marketing is always changing. Chris and Patrick also talk about selling results, which is important for online course creators.

To learn more about Patrick Stiles and optimized video hosting with better analytics, check out Vidalytics here. They have a pre-plan so you can use it for free up to 500 plays per month.

You can post comments and subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us.

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and today I’m joined by a special guest, Patrick Stiles from Vidalytics. You can find Vidalytics at Vidalytics.com. And, what it is, is it’s a video hosting platform that has a serious analytical backend and really differentiates itself in terms of giving intelligent data around how those videos are performing among other cool benefits like the Mobile-Only play.
Patrick Stiles: Mobile autoplay.
Chris Badgett: Mobile autoplay. And, we’re going to get into all that stuff. But, Patrick has a really interesting journey and I really love some of the problems he’s solving for marketing and sales, but it’s also super relevant for course creators in terms of video content, video lessons, video sales letters of the course, and those types of things. First, Patrick, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Patrick Stiles: Absolutely, man. So happy to be here.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s good to hang out with you. I interview a lot of different people, but you’re another software CEO type like myself, so it’s fun to interact with someone like that and also with somebody who is even more passionate than I am about video.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Before we go there though, for the listener out there, can you tell us a little about your background? ‘Cause, I see you’ve done a lot of different things and it’s evolved. And, so have I. I ended up in the software world. I used to run sled dogs in Alaska for a while. I used to carry my video camera everywhere and I never knew it would all come together in online education, but what’s been your journey?
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, so. I remember being like 20 years old and going to my dad and being like, “What should I do with my life?” And, he was like, “Go work at a company for 40 years, get a gold watch, and retire.” So, obviously, I was pretty much on my own. But, from a very young age I was told I should go into sales. So, when I went to college, I was like, “I want to major in sales” and they were like, “That’s not a degree”. And, I was like, okay. So, I really kind of [inaudible 00:02:07] around school. I dropped out of high school, I tested into college when I should have been a junior in high school. College level all around. And, it took me nine years to get my degree.
During that time, I just tried a lot of things. It was mostly commission only sales jobs. I was always kind of chasing the big paycheck and stuff like that. So, I had a wild ride there. But, I really kind of hit my stride when I got into recruiting. It was funny, because I was always trying to get my friends’ jobs and it always was a disaster, because all my friends were idiots. And, if they did get the job, they would quit after a week or something like that. But, contingency recruiting is something where you can make a lot of money. It’s not high pressure. It’s built on relationships. It’s kind of consultative and I got to see inside people’s careers, their progression. And, then of course, inside companies and stuff like that.
So, in 2008/2009, I got fired twice within a six month period. And, in recruiting, you go and work for a company, they take 60% of the revenue, and all they give you is a telephone, a desk, and a computer. Maybe you can do some cross deals with somebody else in the office, but that’s only if you’re in the same area, in the same region. When I got fired for the second time, I was like, I’m going out on my own. And, as I walked out of the building, I was calling my top client and I was just like, “Hey, I just left my company, I’m going to be with a new one on Monday. I’ll give you a call when I’m there.” And, I was like, “Alright, so what am I going to name this company?” And, that’s how I became an entrepreneur for the very first time, eight years ago.
I was terrified when I went out on my own, but then I started closing deals and it was great when I didn’t have to give up 60% to the house, because these deals were worth at least $20,000 or up. After a deal or two, I wasn’t really worried about money, but I got very, very bored. I realized that I wanted to do something that was analytical and creative, and gave me the freedom to travel. And, long story short, I fell into internet marketing and I didn’t know anything. But, I started a supplement company with a co-founder of mine, Elizabeth Thompson, and I spent $5,000 on inventory and I didn’t know how to build websites. I didn’t know anything about marketing or about traffic or anything like that. I really just stuck with it until that business became successful. It was a lot of failure and a lot of trial and error and stuff like that. But, once I finally got that business going, I wound down the recruiting firm and I started traveling around.
I did the digital nomad thing for years. I lived in seven other countries through Europe, Asia, South America. I met my wife in Buenos Aires. And, she works with me now. She’s on her fourth start-up of mine working together. So, she’s kind of like a start-up veteran and she majored in literature. It just kind of goes to show that you never know where your path is going to lead. During that process, I got into video as well, because that was a big tool that I was using online to sell.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s quite the journey and yeah. It’s a windy road, but I’m sure it was a lot of fun. And, it sounds like it takes a lot of self-reflection and knowing what makes you tick and doesn’t make you tick. And, I appreciate that journey. I have to ask in terms of the supplements and Buenos Aires, were you influenced at all by The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss?
Patrick Stiles: Oh, yeah. It’s funny, because I read that book and three weeks later I spent the $5,000 starting my supplement company, my first one, at least. And, I read that book and it just hit me at the right time. What’s funny is when it came out in 2007, I used to go to the bookstore and just grab a bunch of books. I was really into day trading and finance then, because I thought that was going to be my path. And, I saw that book and the headline caught me and I bought it, and it sat on my desk at home for a month. And, then I wanted to buy a really expensive book about security analysis. The one that got Warren Buffett started in investing. So, I decided to return the book. And, then a year or two later I actually got the audio of the book and I read it. One thing I’ve learned is that I’m much better at audio than I am at sitting down and reading.
But, I was kind of pissed that I was like, “Man, I have this book. I could’ve gotten started two years earlier, I’d be so much further along”, but who’s to say that it would’ve spoken to me at the right time or I would’ve gone, “Oh, that’s cute. But, I’m not going to try it.” But, when I heard it, I was recruiting. He was talking about just being really kind of sucked into these things, being busy, not being able to get away. And, he talked about traveling, which was a lifelong dream of me, so it definitely influenced me. But, we came up with 50 ideas. We wrote them on my mirrors. I had all these closets in the place I was living at the time with mirrors on them. And, we wrote all the ideas from ceiling to floor of what we could do. We came up with doing yarn for people in the craft space or doing spicy chocolate. Those were our first two ideas and we priced them out and we tried to go into those industries. We just got a bunch of resistance. We were like, “How is this going to work?”.
Then, me and my partner, we had been taking this supplements based off of the book, The Mood Cure, like gava, [inaudible 00:07:04], linden balms, skullcap, holy basil, those things. And, we knew that they work for calming you down. It was a very immediate effect. I was like, “This is a killer product that we could formulate here”. And, then we looked and there was competition out there. We thought we could beat them and stuff, so competition can be a very good thing. ‘Cause, either you’re going to be a pioneer and pave the way like an Uber. Like, somebody that’s never done something before. Or, there’s a reason there’s nobody doing that and it’s a graveyard. That’s how I wound up into supplements.
Chris Badgett: Super cool. Yeah, that book had a big influence on me. And, I think a lot of people just around 2008 or wherever that was. Early days of the internet and …
Patrick Stiles: It was 2010.
Chris Badgett: Was it 2010? Yeah.
Patrick Stiles: I think it came out in 2007.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. That’s funny. I just think about that. I don’t think Tim Ferriss at the time realized how big of an impact that would have and it really impacted a lot of people in a lot of interesting ways.
Patrick Stiles: I’d never read a book that’d actually changed my life in such a dramatic fashion, in such a short timeframe. And, when I was living overseas and it was just like, “Hey, what are you doing here?” There were so many young guys and gals. But, I’d be like, “Yeah, I read the 4-Hour Workweek and then I got this idea. I started this business, here I am in Bangkok” or, Barcelona, or wherever we were.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, same. I read that book and I actually got into some real estate investing and I was selling some property. I had read about Tim Ferriss selling the puffy pirate shirts on Google Adwords and I started doing … Early days, when it was really cheap. I was getting all kinds of traffic to my Craigslist ads for real estate and stuff. But, it was just an interesting time in the more immature days of the online business world. It just keeps evolving, which brings us to the present day of video, which is so awesome and so cool. I’ve always been surprised when course creators come to me and they’re asking for the video recommendations. Pretty much right now, there’s three things that I see people doing predominantly. Which is, Vimeo Pro, Wistia, or an unlisted Youtube video. And, then I came across you and saw Vidalytics and I was like, “Oh, that’s an interesting angle.”
But, tell us. What is Vidalytics? It’s video hosting, but what else does it do?
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, so. It’s video hosting for you to put a video on any website that you want. So, it’s kind of like a Wistia or a Vimeo. But, beyond that, it gives you bar none the best video analytics anywhere in the world. And, it’s not just for marketers, although that was kind of the idea when we built it, ’cause I used a lot of videos to sell. So, you can things like where people are buying, or where people are taking an action, if that’s even going to the next lesson or something like that. You can see where people are skipping, rewinding, and of course where they’re dropping off in the video. You can bust that out across first-time visitors, repeat visitors, devices, browsers, their location or their traffic source and some things like that. You can change the dates. You can also click a button and have two videographs side by side. That was like a really fast overview of all the analytics. You can slice it nice and get hundreds of different combinations just with those, ’cause they overlap, all those different things I just listed.
Beyond that, we also have auto-play on mobile devices and you have the option to make it full screen when they tap it, or just unmute it when they tap it, ’cause it won’t auto-play with sound, so it doesn’t annoy somebody on a mobile device. Then, you can also have a custom thumbnail that they only see when they pause the video, so a thumbnail that they’ve never seen before, only when it’s paused. You can in-video call to actions and you can also do … This is one that we do for … You and Brad recommended is domain white listing and really big course creators, that they want to control where their content is going to be listed and stuff like that, so somebody doesn’t hijack it.
Chris Badgett: That’s super, super cool. I kind of want to get into those features a little bit, ’cause we talk a lot about the dirty little secret of membership sites. And, we’ve pretty much built most of LMS around the concept of engagement, because traditionally, an online course and membership site world, there’s a lot of focus on the conversion and getting the sale and the paywall. And, locking down the content. Which, is very important. But, what people didn’t talk about much is what happens afterwards, which is where people buy a course and maybe get into a lesson or two and then they abandon the product. That’s a big problem. And, it’s not very sustainable if you’re the course creator or the business owner for that to happen for the long term.
Part of understand where people are disengaging is having some analytics and not just going off of assumptions of, “Oh, they weren’t a good fit. But, maybe your content is too long. Maybe a certain video is … Something that’s being said in the video is really causing people to disengage”. You could isolate down to a second frame. What would be an example? What kind of stuff can I see in the analytics?
Patrick Stiles: You bring up a really good point that as a course creator, your goal is engagement, right? Or, to teach them something or to give them reassurance on their purchase, right? To deliver on the goods that you promised before they signed up. And, of course, there’s business needs there to mitigate refunds and to get them to kind of stay in your universe and to buy other courses and stuff like that. But, I mean, there’s so much you can see. Literally, you could see where people are dropping off. We see this in marketing videos, where we maybe introduce the product and it’s like, “Alright, this is how I solved my problem, but you can’t work with Dr. Gregory, but you can buy this in the form of a supplement.” That’s just a hypothetical example. You can say that and people just immediately drop off.
Or, there’s other things, too. And, this is something that you can’t get anywhere else with seeing first time visitors and repeat visitors. Maybe the drop off are people that had already seen the video and they’re like, “Okay. I just wanted to refresh on this section” or, the skipping and rewinding. And, if you don’t have the context of, “Hey, is this somebody that’s seen other videos?” And, you can do that with conversion actions and just place a conversion on each video, ’cause you want them to hit each one. You can create different conversion actions inside of analytics. It’s a script that you drop into somewhere on your website and it just fires.
But, then you can see, “Alright, this person watched all 10 videos or all 10 modules”. But, then maybe they came back and they re-watched one, or they skipped over part of it. Or, they hit something where it’s like, “Alright, now. Typically, this costs $1000 to start building this in your home in a course” And, they’re like, “Oh my god, I don’t have that. I thought this was going to be easier.” Or, they get discouraged, they freak out. They have that self doubt. Something that we all battle with. And, you could see that dropping off in the videos. Or, a course length. So, there’s a lot of different ways that you would be able to kind of see how they’re engaging with it. And, of course, a feature that’s coming down the pipe, hopefully within the next two or so weeks, is going to be a Zapier integration. So, you can tag your email contacts based on how much of a specific video that they watched. You could basically just tag it video one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10.
If they’ve only gone up to video five, “Hey, video six is waiting for you. There’s a ton of awesome secrets there. This is where I explain to you how to the ABC trick that took me six months to figure out on my own.” It allows you to communicate with your audience in a much more personal way and see how they’re consuming that content.
Chris Badgett: That’s super helpful. We talk a lot about the launch of your course is not the finish line. It’s really the starting line. And, that could be your marketing funnel, like how you sell the course. So, you could be looking at your … If you have a multi-step video sequence sales letter, that can always be optimized and to think that your first version, your first shot is one and done is just an immature way of looking at it if you haven’t done a lot of sales online. Everything can be optimized to the enth degree. Even sometimes just a little tweak here and there that you can actually pull data on and you realize that you need to do can have exponential impacts on sales.
But, also on the other side inside the course itself, you may realize that your lesson videos are just entirely too long and you need to break them up or you need to break your course up into multiple mini courses. If you’re losing 75% of the people 25% through your lesson, you’ve got to … It’s not really a problem. I mean, imagine teaching in a classroom for an hour and then three quarters of the people are literally gone before you’re done.
Patrick Stiles: That would be a disaster. And, I’ve done some public speaking and I would be like, “Wait? Let’s Q&A, I want to teach what you guys want to learn” or, “What’s going on here?” Absolutely. Or, if all your modules are kind of free reign, I know a lot of LMS’ kind of go module by module. By the way, that always annoys the hell out of me, ’cause I want to get to the goods.
Chris Badgett: Right.
Patrick Stiles: I don’t know actually if that’s a good idea or a bad idea. But, if they’re all open and somebody could go and watch whatever they want, then you would also be able to say, “Alright, these are the most popular videos”. So, it’s like, you know what you promised them when you were selling them, but then they got into your course and that’s actually what caught their attention, you know? Maybe it’s the easy stuff versus the stuff they think is going to solve their problem, but you know as the expert that they really need to know these other things, the fundamentals or something like that. So, it’s like a lot of people talk about designers maybe when they’re starting marketing. And they’re like, “Oh, I need a good designer”. It’s like, you probably need a good copywriter and then a good traffic person. You know? Those are kind of the fundamental elements of getting something to convert. And, there’s a lot ways to skin that cat, but it just kind of goes to show that people don’t always know. They don’t know what they don’t know and they maybe don’t know what they need. It’s kind of like a tough love thing, as well.
But, the analytics are there to show you. And then, of course, and you were saying this earlier, if they’re going from course to course to course and then it’s like, oh, they got to press play and there’s kind of that resistance on the tech side, you could also have the auto-play features in there so that it automatically starts playing for them and they’re like, “Oh, well it’s starting. I’ll just get into it.”
Chris Badgett: Yeah, like we’ve on LifterLMS, there’s an auto-advance feature you can turn on, so that when they click the mark complete done button, I’m done here, it moves on to the next lesson. They don’t have to navigate to it. Especially, if they’re on the phone and they’re done and they move on, if that could just auto-play up … That’s how everything works now on YouTube or whatever. It just keeps going infinitely and you stop it when you want to.
Patrick Stiles: It reminds me of the gym. So, I have a buddy who is like super fit. He’s older. He’s like, “80% of working out is just showing up at the gym”.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Patrick Stiles: I would do that. I would be really, really tired and I’d drive to the gym. I’d walk and I’d be like, “Alright. Well, I’m here. I’m kind of tired. I’m going to start with some cardio and warm up.” Then, I’d have a great workout once I got into it and I got pumped. But, it’s kind of like that with the online courses. It’s like, “Oh, well the video is starting. I’m already on the next module or I just see it.” That could also be something where you try to rig the beginning of your videos a bit different. Where you almost do it like a VSL, a video sales letter where you kind of do a lead and you kind of preview what you’re going to teach them and kind of tease them a little bit. And, maybe bring them into a story and then lead into the teaching or something like that. But, those are all things that you could try to play with inside of your courses and then see that data in analytics to see if it moves the needle and is it going to really help you build your audience and their affinity.
I know that I’ve bought tons and tons of courses in all different areas. And, it’s like, I buy them. I have the best of intentions and then I never watch them. And I’m like, ugh. And, that’s the worst thing, ’cause I’m like, “Ugh, I wasted that money. I don’t want to go back to the guy and ask for a refund. I let myself down. I need to be trying harder.” And, it’s like all this stuff starts churning around in the head, but it’s like … If somebody has those feelings associated with your course, do you think they want to buy the next one? I would think probably not. You know better than I do, but …
Chris Badgett: I mean, that’s the sustainability factor that people don’t talk about. It’s like, yeah you might sell a lot of units, but you want a repeat customer. You want them to refer your course to their friends, that’s sustainability. But, if they’re not finishing, you may be good at launching and stuff, but it’s not really sustainable and you’re just launch dependent.
Patrick Stiles: Exactly. That’s a great point, too. And then, they’re on that treadmill or that hamster wheel of never ending launching and trying to get new people in, ’cause people are just piling out of it in droves. You know?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, the best marketing is a good product. It’s important to never forget that.
Patrick Stiles: A lot of people do.
Chris Badgett: I want to touch on reporting a little bit. In the WordPress space where we are, it’s kind of like a build it yourself. It’s completely extendable. You own the platform as opposed to renting space on a Teachable or a Udemy type of marketplace environment. It’s like, it’s your website. But, one of the things that makes WordPress powerful and owning your own website, is you’ve got plugins and themes and these different things that you configure. And, when you own your platform, you do not want to get into the video hosting business. You want to let smart people like Patrick and his team get into the video hosting business. But, we end up doing is we end up embedding the video into our lesson content with other content or even just the video. The video is the most popular form of lesson content these days.
But, what happens in LifterLMS and one of the things that makes a learning management system different from a traditional membership site or online course, is there’s more structure to it. And, there’s a lot of emphasis on reporting. So, you can go into the backend of your LifterLMS site and look at reports. And, people do need to click a mark complete button. They do need to advance to the next quiz question and things like that if they’re taking a quiz. But, in terms of the video content, there are ways of making it so the mark complete button doesn’t show up until a video finishes. But, all things being what they are in terms of in WordPress, you bring all these pieces together to create your platform, there’s not really a unified analytics point. If I was using Vidalytics as an online course entrepreneur, I would want my LifterLMS analytics, I would then go to my Vidalytics which would be awesome. And, then I would go to my Google analytics. I would get all the business intelligence and teacher/instructor intelligence, what’s working/what’s not working.
By adding in that layer of analytics at this video level, I think is super powerful and it fills in a big gap in terms of the teachers that really care about engagement and continuous improvement. It’s a really powerful tool.
Patrick Stiles: And, especially if you’re just getting started out there. You don’t necessarily know what people want or … Just knowing what they respond to and how they’re connecting, because video is incredibly powerful. And, everybody knows that. Gary Vaynerchuk says if you’re not using it, you’re going to lose. You know, YouTube, Google, these big tech giants, Facebook. They’re all going heavy, heavy duty video. And, it’s like so video is really effective. But, the problem with it is that you don’t really … It’s kind of a black box. You don’t know what’s happening inside of it. That’s kind of why Vidalytics was created. And, when you’re talking about your courses, it reminds of me of my friend that’s an author. She’s a great writer. She’s created movies, as well. And, it’s like … She’s like, “All you really need is 1,000 people in your audience”, which may sound like a lot, but as far as conversions, I saw tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people supplements over the years.
It can come really fast, but she was saying if you have just 1,000 people, raving fans … Maybe it’s 100, but anyways, in your tribe, that’s all you need. And, you can keep launching things to them, build a relationship with them. Listen to them, to what they want. If you’re not connecting with them, then they’re never going to have that opportunity, even if you have the goods to deliver, they don’t know that. And, people are in an info overload mode most of the time, so they’re just looking for an excuse to screen you out. That’s how the human brain works with the reptile brain like back close to our brain stem. We’re just like, “Is this a threat? Can I mate with it? Can I eat it?” You know, next. We’re kind of like scavengers just wandering around, that’s where a lot of our screening process happens. Especially on the internet with banners and popups and new ads and emails and alerts and noises. And, all this stuff. Our brains are not really designed to handle the internet of what a crazy, complex environment it is. The only thing that would probably stimulate it is if we were getting stampeded by a bunch of animals in the jungle and trying to get our kids out of there or something.
So, really connecting with somebody, that’s the hard thing in 2017 and beyond. A lot of people know that it’s video, but if you’re starting out and you’re trying to find your tribe, you’ve gotta know what talks to them and I know for myself, I ran a lot of split tests, that’s actually how I got into software. I built my own split testing software. It’s in it’s server side and it’s hooked up to this Bayesian statistics engine and stuff like that. So, it’s really cool if you’re a nerd, apparently. But, we’ve done tests. It’s just like, I’m wrong so much of the time, even as an experienced marketer in a specific niche, it’s like I still get things wrong and I don’t know necessarily what people are going to respond to.
Chris Badgett: I think that’s a very mature thing. It just comes with time and sales or teaching or whatever. You hear adults say it, I guess I’m an adult now. I’m almost 40, but …
Patrick Stiles: Oh, okay.
Chris Badgett: But, the older you get, older people say they realize how much they didn’t know. So, having an open mind about and challenging your assumptions are really critical when it comes to sales and teaching.
Patrick Stiles: For sure. We’ve had this experience in Vidalytics where I do a webinar with somebody and I’m just like, “Hey, we’ve got this awesome platform. We’re going to do this.” And, then I threw in all these bonuses on my background like, copywriting traffic, or like some things like that. And, people sign up and they’re like, “Hey, I want the bonus.” And, we’re like, “Hey, do you got any videos to put on Vidalytics?” And, they’re like, “No, I want the bonus. This bonus sounds awesome.” And, it’s like okay. Got it. But, that’s what I communicated to that person. So, anyway.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, that’s super good stuff. I want to go to another feature you were talking about. Let’s make it, bring it to the course creator.
Patrick Stiles: Boom.
Chris Badgett: In a video call to action, if I’m in a lesson, I’ve already bought the course and I’m in lesson three or whatever, what kind of things can I do with an in video call to action?
Patrick Stiles: So, an in video call to action is kind of like a banner that sits on top of your video, right? Kind of like a YouTube in stream banner thing that you see sometimes. You set the time that you want it to show up, the time that you want it to stop showing, you write the text that you want to be inside of it, and the link that you want. You can either have it open in a new tab. If it’s kind of like, “Hey, if you don’t remember this from lesson number one, it’s right here.” Or, “Click this button”. Or, you don’t even need to say that in a course, ’cause maybe that’s hard for you to remember or later you’re like, “Oh”. ‘Cause, if you get a lot of support tickets and people are like, “Hey, you were talking about the X, Y, Z. Where was the X, Y, Z?” You go, “Oh, that’s in lesson two.” And, then you add a little call to action, it’s a refresh on the X, Y, Z, go to lesson two. Then, they can click it. It opens in a new tab or something like that.
Or, its like, “Hey, the video is over, go to the next lesson”. Or, go get started now. Or, it’s like, “Hey, I got this bonus” or “I’m doing a webinar this weekend” or whatever it is.
Chris Badgett: Sign up for your coaching call now, click this link.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, it is. And, it takes them to another page. There’s a lot of stuff that you can do there kind of dynamically and stuff. And, it kind of reminds me of SEO. You see it a lot on a site like TechCrunch, where they’ll be talking and they’ll be like, “Mark Zuckerberg said this last year” and they have aa link to that article and they have all this complex linking on their site to past articles or sometimes outside articles and stuff like that. But, to really create something kind of dynamic, you can do that with in video call to actions for your course.
‘Cause, when you think about a classroom, people … It’s never linear. And, there’s always questions. And, there’s always some guy that’s zoned out or he asks a bunch of questions that he forgot last week, or whatever it is. You can really kind of like add that personal touch and that more dynamism into your courses with stuff like that.
Chris Badgett: That’s super cool. And, you can put any link you want there? So, that could be a download link. You could be giving people worksheets and all kinds of stuff from Dropbox or whatever. That’s really interesting. Some people in the online course or the instructional design world, they use authoring tools to create video lessons that have these things on top, but what if you could just do it with Vidalytics and now you don’t need to learn another tool. You just upload it to your video host and layer it on top. And, I love how you say, because I’m a big believer in constantly making things better, that if you get a bunch of questions, instead of having to remake the whole video, perhaps a little like … You could be like, “Okay”.
It also reminds me of kind of like the blogging world as it matures and blogging and deep linking and all these things. If I write an article, I’ll link to all kinds of stuff and past articles and stuff, but videos is just one thing, just moving. But, this is like … It’s behaving more like the internet or the hyperlink, if you will.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah. Say you see a big drop off in your video at a certain point, you know?
Chris Badgett: Yeah, you’d be like, “Before you go”.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, exactly. “Hey, before you go, go to the …” Or, “Hey, to skip this lesson, go to the next one” or something like that. And, it’s like you can also see these people that completed an action of going to the next video and if they’re not, you’re like, “Geeze, they’re like dropping off here, they need to go to the next video. I know they’re not, ’cause Vidalytics tells me this.” You can just pop in a call to action right there and send them to it.
And then, another thing that we talked about earlier was the custom pause screen. So, you have your thumbnail of what’s on your video when you show up, and that’s just the plain old thumbnail, if you don’t have auto-play. But, then you click it and it starts playing. And, if you suspect that they’re dropping off for a certain reason, you could upload a thumbnail that just says, “Hey, don’t quit now.” Or, “Listen to this in your car with audio”. Or, whatever it may be, just [inaudible 00:30:14]. Or, just like, “Skip ahead to the next lesson” or, “Don’t worry, this is something [inaudible 00:30:18]” or something like, “Don’t worry, this is as hard as it gets. This is the worst part. It only gets better from here.” Whatever you want there in that video. Or, it’s just like, you made a commitment to yourself. I don’t know if it has to be so much motivational, but those are what’s coming to me right now.
That’s another opportunity that nobody ever utilizes, because that feature doesn’t exist in the wild. I’ve seen it on some hardcore VSL’s that people hacked it in, but they had a developer hand code it. But, it’s a lost opportunity. If somebody pauses your video, what are they saying to you? They’re saying, “No more. Not now.” Or, like, “I’m bored” or “I’m overwhelmed”. You know? Or, something like that. So, it’s like, what message do you want to say to them when they’re pausing?
Chris Badgett: I think that is a huge opportunity. That is really neat that you picked up on that and built something that.
Patrick Stiles: ‘Cause, normally the video pauses and it’s like … What are you going to do? It just pauses mid-frame and it’s just like, okay. And, they pause it and it doesn’t interrupt their thought cycle of what they’re doing. You can add something black with red lettering or something that really grabs their attention or something like that. In the future, we’re going to have links to that, as well. So, you could actually say, “Hey, go to the next lesson” or “Have a refresh” or whatever it may be.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Super cool. Well, if you’re out there listening or getting excited about this, head on over to Vidalytics.com. We’re not done yet, I just wanted to say I’m getting pumped learning about all these things and talking about video for courses in new ways. But, if you want to check it out, head on over to Vidalytics.com. And, we’ll talk about that more in just a little bit. But, I want to ask you, Patrick. What are some … When someone has a course, they do have a via sell or a video sales letter, or if they’re not necessary a “advanced marketer”, they may not have this funnel. They’re just going to have a course description page on their learning management system with a video on it. And, all your AV testing and video analytics just in general terms, if you could provide general advice to an expert out there, what are some best practices about a sales video?
Patrick Stiles: I would say if you’re just starting out, what you probably should be doing is boiling down the biggest benefit that your people get from your course. Could you give me an example of a course? That’s like common, a space that a lot of people are in.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. We had mentioned in the pre-chat something about detox. So, healthy living. Let’s say a detox course as an example.
Patrick Stiles: Okay, sure. Detox is tricky, too. ‘Cause, detox can effect energy levels and it can effect weight loss, ’cause your body actually stores toxins in fat, if they’re fat soluble. Especially if your body is overwhelmed with toxins and are eating a bunch of crap. It’s just going to push those toxins into the fat to deal with later. It’s almost like credit card debt. They’re like, “Eh, I can’t do this right now. I’m going to put it off for another day.” Right? So then, if you start losing that weight, you get a bunch of toxins released into your system. Maybe that’s something that people don’t know. Or, it’s like you’ve got to go with how mature the market is, too. It could be like, “Well, a lot of people think detoxes are BS”, because maybe they’ve tried one or it just doesn’t make sense. So, it’s like you’ve got to come out then with something like, what is the biggest benefit? Is it going to be weight loss? Is it energy levels? Is it going to be feeling better? Is it going to clear up their skin? Is it going to make other things go away, like maybe rashes. Or, aches and pains. Or, trouble sleeping.
All these different things, but it’s like you’ve got to come to decide is what type of detox person are you. What’s your story and what does your detox specifically target. Maybe it’s like, “Hey, all the other detoxes out there are BS unless you attack the three different cycles of your body’s natural detox system and I learned this the hard way from being 350lbs. And, I learned once I was able to turn my detox switch off, or my detox switch on, then the pounds on my body melted away”. What I’m doing there is kind of calling out what this is, what this isn’t, the major benefits, and then introducing a unique mechanism. Right? Which, is the detox switch. And, you need to switch it on so your body can actually power through these detoxes.
So, this one’s a bit complicated. So, it’s kind of hard.
Chris Badgett: You’re doing a lot of teaching while you’re selling there. So, you’re making someone problem aware or whatever. Or, solution aware. There’s that whole buyer’s journey thing. And, you’re teaching them in the actual sale. And, you’re weaving in your own personal story, which answers the question of, “Why should I listen to you?”
Patrick Stiles: Yeah. So, in the beginning of a video, I like to kind of boil it down to an even more simplistic model. I would just say you need to hit them between the eyes with the biggest benefits. If it’s a mature marketplace and you need to differentiate yourself, you could do that. Something that we used to do is like how to reduce your anxiety, fear, panic, and insomnia in as little as 15 minutes without prescription drugs. Right?
Chris Badgett: That’s a great offer.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, well that one works. So, it was a bit easy for me to do. It’s giving them the benefits, because someone who has anxiety, they don’t really care. You don’t need to go into it deep, they know what anxiety is. They’re suffering. You can get into that with the story or the benefits and talk about that, but it’s just like, “Hey, this is going to reduce it. It’s going to work fast. And, you don’t have to go on prescription drugs.” Or, like another one that I’ve done is how to fall asleep fast, stay asleep all night, and wake up refreshed and energized with no sleeping pill hangover. Something like that. So, it’s kind of saying, “Hey, you’re going to fall asleep fast” and those are kind of the major symptoms of insomnia, those are the ones I hit. Falling asleep fast, staying asleep, and waking up refreshed with no sleeping pill hangover. And, that sleeping pill hangover is important.
‘Cause, normally, if something is strong enough to knock you out, it’s strong enough to make you feel like crap in the morning. So, people want that happy medium. For the course creator out there, I would list the biggest benefits and I would maybe, if you need to be doing any manuvering as far as the mature marketplace or what you’re selling against whether it’s prescription drugs, or insomnia or sleeping pill hangovers and stuff like that. Then you do it and then you go into the story. And, you should have a story. Especially if you’re an expert and you’re selling courses. You should be like, “Hey, I didn’t know how to be an Alaskan dogsled champion until I dropped out of high school back in 2003.” Or, something like that. And, people are like, “What?”
But, then you bring them into that story. And, in that story there’s the humorous journey and it’s just like the call to adventure. And, the moment of decision. Of either I could become an Alaskan dogsled champion or I could go back to high school and be a year behind or whatever it may be. People resonate with that. And then, also you’re providing them a shortcut and it’s like … The expert market is really interesting, because it’s like you’re teaching people how to learn something. People do not want to learn. That’s actually something that everybody should write down. If you are selling a course and you’re selling information, the information is not the product. The end result is the product.
Say you’re teaching a language course. They don’t want to study Spanish. It’s not that you have 17 modules or this is endorsed by a Princeton professor. It’s that they’re going to be able to talk to their mother-in-law, right? Or, they’re going to be able to travel to foreign countries and speak like a native. Or, be able to find the local spots and not have to be stuck in the tourist traps or get ripped off with high prices and things like that. Or, it’s like they are going to finally be able to speak a second language even though that they have failed before and they feel bad about that. And, they had all that self-doubt and it was kind of like a dream that they had to nix or something like that.
People are really kind of driven intrinsically for those types of things. That’s what you would be selling. And, of course, your story should be that. I flew to Buenos Aires. I didn’t know any Spanish and I was forced to learn, because my hotel was booked and I slept on the streets and I made a friend named Padro. Is that a word? No, Pedro. Or, something like that. But, that’s a story that brings them into it. And, I’m not advocating making up stories or lies or selling something that it’s not. But, it’s like, you need to sell the sizzle of your course. And, John Carlton has a saying, “Sell them what they want and give them what they need”. So, what do they want? They want to speak Spanish in 30 days or less. They want to speak Spanish fluently without an accent and then they want the benefits that go along with Spanish, whether it’s travel or family or relationships, those types of things. It’s definitely a relationship kind of category as far as health, wealth, and relationships. They’re the big three categories that really humans are primed to go into.
And, then what do you give them? You give them a course that teaches them Spanish. And, then that’s a really good example for the course [inaudible 00:39:26], ’cause I’ve tried to learn foreign languages. I don’t speak any. I know a few hundred words in Spanish. I spent 15 months in Latin countries. My wife is Venezuelan. So, I’m an abject failure in the area of languages. So, then you get into the course and it’s just like, you’ve got to teach them a little bit. And, how are they going to learn through a course to make sure that their pronunciation is easy and stuff.
I hope this is valuable and I’m not going off on too much of a tangent as far as selling their videos.
Chris Badgett: It’s a big question. I mean, video sale letters is a big question. I appreciate what you’re saying and really focusing on the results and the storytelling. I love that quote, “Sell them what they want, give them what they need”. For example, in the detox space. People don’t necessarily want to do all the stuff that’s required to … The diet changes, the lifestyle changes, or whatever. But, you know you still have to sell them what they need or what they want, which is the better life or the anxiety or the sleeping better and all that.
Patrick Stiles: A good thing to keep in mind is that people want it fast, easy, cheap, simple. They don’t want to struggle for their Spanish lessons. You know? If you’re selling a language course, I’ll tell you right now, the ideal situation is that it would be The Matrix and somebody just zaps the information into their brain and they’re like, “I speak Spanish”. That’s what people are going for. So, you’ve got to make it seem that easy or that fun or that smooth and stuff. That’s actually where an engaging lesson comes into play.
That could be a really interesting thing as far as a mechanism inside of a language course where it’s like, “I failed for years trying to learn Spanish and I did one on one lessons, I did Spanish in high school, my brother’s fluent, my wife’s fluent. And, I did the online courses. I did Skype lessons and nothing worked until I realized that I was too amped up and I was in my English brain, instead of my natural Spanish brain. And, I had to breakdown into that level with meditation and micro-hyper learning or something like that to quickly learn it. And, once I realized that I had to slow down and take little chunks, I was able to do it in 30 days.” That would be a pretty good life lesson. After all that talking, we got to something halfway decent.
Chris Badgett: That’s good. There’s actually a lot of language learning people in the LifterLMS community and you had an insight that went off for me, which is like I always wondered why I could only roll my r’s, I lived sometime in Latin America, when I’ve been drinking. I think it must have to do with …
Patrick Stiles: Spanish brain.
Chris Badgett: I think it’s what you said, I’m too amped up. I’m trying too hard. If I’m just relaxed and all the sudden I have the Spanish brain comes on and I’m just not overthinking it. So, this is cool.
Patrick Stiles: That’s really good. When you think about it, you don’t think about English. It just comes out. It’s almost like the operating system of your mind, if that’s your native language. That’s a really good example, rolling the r’s. I love it. And, another is it’s kind of similar to the golf swing. People are like … You can try to give it to somebody that’s failing in golf, you can try to give them one or two pointers, but then beyond that you’re just going to overwhelm them, they’re going to think too much. They’re going to be like, “Alright, now I need to like … ” I’m not a great golfer, but it’s like, “I need to cock this back. I need to keep my arms straight. I need to twist my wrist. I need to follow through.” And, they’re thinking too much. And, it needs to be natural. My best golf hits were when I relaxed and I just kind of let my body intuitively do what I was trying to really overthink and stuff. So, yeah. Those are some of things.
And again, it’s not the golf lessons. It’s hitting that hole in one or destroying your buddies on the golf course, or winning bets. Or, the look on their face when you come in under par, whatever it may be. I got something else for you. You want something else in creating videos?
Chris Badgett: Sure.
Patrick Stiles: Okay. This is really cool. My buddy Andrew Contreras taught this to me. He’s probably a top 100 copywriters in the world, he’s created offers that sold $125,000 a day. He’s a really good guy. And, one of things he’ll do is list all the objections. I think he learned this from Agora, I’m not sure. So, maybe we need to give them credit. But, list all the objections. And then, you order them in the order that they will feel them when they come to your page. And, it’s like, where am I? What is this? Who are you? Why should I listen to you? What is this about? So, those are the first ones that happen all instantly. It’s like, “Hey, I’m Patrick Stiles. I’m a Spanish expert.” And, then you dive into it. And, in the next 15 minutes, I’m going to teach you more Spanish than you’ve learned in the last 15 years. Or, something like that. Like, a big promise. But, then it’s going to be like, “Well, I failed at Spanish before” or, “I took Spanish in high school” or “I’m well into adulthood and I don’t have that childlike brain to absorb information”. Those are the objections that they’re going to be feeling as they go through this.
How much does this cost? Is this a lot work? I don’t have time for this. I don’t want to learn online. I want to interact with somebody one on one or how am I going to know if my pronunciation is right? How can I learn in an isolated bubble. These are the things that they’re going to be going through as you kind of bring them through your story and introducing them to your course, and selling the sizzle. And, then making an offer. Maybe doing a price drop, doing a guarantee, doing testimonials, removing risk, asking for the order and taking the close. And, it’s just all those things. It’s like, “You know what? My wife is going to be pissed.” Or, “I don’t have $500” or whatever the course costs. It’s like, “Hey, well we have payment plans”. Or, it’s like, “Hey, we’ve got a 90 day refund period” or “We have a guarantee, fluent in Spanish in 90 days or all your money back”.
Guarantees sell like crazy. Or, that social proof. It’s like, well how do I know this works or who else has done this? Has somebody done this that’s in their 60’s. So, those are kind of some of the things that … That can really help mostly with the outline of where you’re going. Sometimes, I would write a script for a video and I would just get off on these tangents, as you can probably tell from the way I talk. You know? I’m prone to that. But, it’s like you write and I just have all this writing and it’s like, how do all these pieces fit together and stuff. It’s just like I try to build a house without a blueprint. If you tighten it up and it’s just like, this is where we’re going.
Chris Badgett: I love that. Working backwards from the objections. Most course creators or experts or service providers, they know what those objections are, ’cause they’ve heard them many times. Sometimes one of the benefits, that almost sounds harder than, “Well, what do people who are concerned about buying your product?” I’d be like, “Oh, it’s this and this.”
Patrick Stiles: What do they really want? Well, they want to speak Spanish. No, no. Why? ‘Cause, they have a mother-in-law that they can’t communicate with or their grandmother, you know? Like a personal story an emotional story. They can’t communicate with their grandmother. She’s old, she’s not going to be around much longer and they really want to get those stories from her childhood and stuff so that they can pass them on into their own family. That’s something much more powerful than like, “You’re going to know 3,017 words in the next 90 days.” “You’re going to learn the vocab of this.” “You’re going to be able to roll your r’s”. Nobody cares about that when you think about it. Unless, it’s like, “I want to be so fluent that people think I’m native” or something like that. Then they fit into a different kind of motivation.
Chris Badgett: That’s super cool. Well, Patrick Stiles, ladies and gentleman. Vidalytics. That’s V-I-D-A-L-Y-T-I-C-S.com. It’s actually pretty easy to spell. It spells like it sounds. But, before we go, I wanted to hear from you. I’m super stoked in talking to you, especially as another software entrepreneur. I’m a course creator. I scratch my own itch and it’s how I ended up in this place where I am. I wasn’t just trying to create a software product. I eat my own dog food, basically. And, hearing your story and doing your video sales letters and being an entrepreneur across multiple industries and needing data on your videos that drove the inspiration for this product, I think that means a lot. It means you’re really in touch with the core problems that your product works on and solves.
If somebody wants to get started with it, what do you recommend? How does it work?
Patrick Stiles: So, there’s a preplan. It’s totally free to use. The preplan comes with 500 plays a month, which can be a whole lot if you’re a course creator. And, plays, a lot of people charge a bandwidth and I always found that super confusing. Even if I knew how long my video was and the average engagement, I’ve got to build a spreadsheet and then it’s going to be inaccurate. But, you probably know from your Google analytics or your LifterLMS analytics that how many people are going to come through and watch this stuff. So, 500 plays right now is free with Vidalytics, it just has our logo on it. If you want to remove that logo, it’s just $10/a month.
Chris Badgett: That’s a great way, I really commend you on that. Just giving people are free entry point to try it out, test it out, it makes a lot of sense.
Patrick Stiles: And, then if you go over those 500 plays, you can just buy some more and stuff like that. So, it’s not like you’ve got to upgrade to a $100 dollar plan or anything like that if you have 501 plays in a month. I wanted it to be transparent and easy to understand and stuff like that. That’s definitely it. We’re actually thinking about jumping into the expert space with a YouTube channel and Facebook group and stuff like that. I’m curious what you would think of us doing that, Chris? Since you’re like kind of on the other side of this industry.
Chris Badgett: In terms of teaching people how to sell a video? Or?
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, and all the different kinds of bells and whistles of Vidalytics and how you trick it out to make more dough.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, I’m a big fan of software with a service with community. If you could add that layer of you have this … You’re talking about building a community of people who are getting really into video analytics and …
Patrick Stiles: Or, just to be [inaudible 00:49:48] that it makes money. And, then they’re like, “Hey great. The video is done, let me go work on my passions or another area of my business. Or, until I need another video.”
Chris Badgett: I’m a huge fan of the expert space. People need help, as the world gets so noisy, whatever your angle is to help, especially with all your varied experience and different entrepreneurial journeys and everything like that, I think it’s a great idea. Building community is a huge part of what we focus on and we really listen to our community. Our core product is also free at LifterLMS. We have a ton of free users. We talk to them, we engage with them. We’ve got a Facebook group. The number one thing that people look at before they buy our software or download the free plugin or buy one of our add-on bundles, is our free demo course. Where we’re actually teaching them about how this works and how you use this. These are all the different parts. It’s kind of meta. A course about building courses, but it’s software with community and courses. It’s a neat mix.
Patrick Stiles: I hope you don’t mind me diving into this, but …I wish I kind of planned to do it, so it’s a bit smoother, but it is something that’s been on my mind. I was going to do a YouTube channel. YouTube’s good for social media or as a search engine to go out and put content on, but that’s a different tool than say when you need to sell on your website, when you need something inside of a course, or something like that. Do you think YouTube’s a good place or do you find better results with a Facebook group?
Chris Badgett: Well, Facebook for community, YouTube for SEO value. This is actually one of my favorite topics.
Patrick Stiles: It is?
Chris Badgett: As a video marketer person, I’ve been a YouTube power user for a long time. Not just in selling LifterLMS, but in real estate and some other things. But, for us, I think we have almost 400 videos on our YouTube channel. They don’t necessarily get a lot of views. Some of them do, some of them don’t. But, I know the people that watch a video about quiz engagement in a WordPress learning management system, if there’s 200 of them, I know those are 200 people that care about exactly what we offer. And, it just creates an incredible long tale. When I do surveys of people, they’re like … I’m like, “How’d you first hear about us?” It’s either YouTube or Podcasts. And, you’re going to be in both places with this video.
Patrick Stiles: This podcast or podcasts that you go on? Like, other peoples?
Chris Badgett: Both. I do both.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, cool.
Chris Badgett: I do a lot of guest … People invite me to talk about courses and other things on their podcasts. This is somewhere around episode 160 on ours.
Patrick Stiles: Wow.
Chris Badgett: For me, I just find personally that podcasts and YouTube videos are much easier than blogging. But, I do that too. I’m a fundamentalist guy, so I always try to do the best practices. But, for me, video is kind of my thing. And, I really enjoy the community piece, too. I’ve been experimenting a lot lately with the Live, Facebook live, YouTube live.
Patrick Stiles: This is live, right?
Chris Badgett: This one’s not live.
Patrick Stiles: I thought it was live.
Chris Badgett: But, it does increase the engagement even more. All you’re doing really is I think … It is nice when the audience is there and that actually changes the course of the conversation. It’s just like having analytics, because you’re actually adapting to what they’re saying in real-time, which is cool.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, crazy.
Chris Badgett: So, that’s a big part of the future, as well.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, that’s super cool. Awesome.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. Well, thanks so much for coming on. For those of you listening to this, Patrick and I are going to do a webinar, which even if you miss it, we always have the replays on the bottom of our site, there’s a webinars link. But, I really want to get into Vitalytics more and see what it does. I think it holds a lot potential for course creators, especially those of you out there who are in that Kaison or continuous improvement mindset. It’s kind of like a critical missing piece. I’m really glad our paths have crossed. But, go ahead and head on over to Vitalytics.com and see what Patrick and his team are up to. And, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.
Patrick Stiles: Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s been great. Thank you.

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