B2B companies have 42%-82% customer churn. As our world begins to return to “normal,” we can take customer retention tactics used during the worst of the pandemic and leverage them for growth.
The cancelation of live in-person events—including trade shows, sales demos and conferences—spurred a new era of live-streaming. This episode explores how B2B companies can use that technology to retain customers and build client relationships that are stronger than ever before.
Brian Lee, from live-streaming platform BoxCast, joins us to discuss how B2B companies can build community and improve customer retention through live video experiences.
Highlights From This Episode:
- How live-streaming services work
- The value streaming video offers B2B companies
- Creating interactive experiences for remote viewers
- Paid live-streaming service vs. free social media streaming
- Live-streaming features that create the most engagement
- Audience engagement metrics
- Tracking & measuring KPIs
- Getting started with live-streaming
Watch the Live Recording
Full Episode Transcripts
Tessa Burg: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Lead Generation brought to you by Tenlo Radio. I’m your host, Tessa Burg. And today, I have Brian Lee, the VP of Sales and Customer Success at BoxCast. Thank you, Brian, for joining us today.
Brian Lee: Yeah, hey, Tessa, how are you today? It’s great to be here.
Tessa Burg: I am wonderful. It is April Fools’ Day-
Brian Lee: Yeah.
Tessa Burg: When we’re recording this and we were 60 degrees yesterday and now it’s snowing.
Brian Lee: Yes, yes, it’s always mother nature’s way of reminding us that we live in Northeast Ohio and that it can still snow in April, right, correct
Tessa Burg: Yes, so today we’re gonna be talking about the services your business provides and the opportunity it affords B2B marketing leaders and really marketing leaders across a lot of industries to increase engagement with their audience. We’re really excited to jump into this conversation.
Tessa Burg: As we know, the pandemic changed the way that we go to market, especially in B2B. We were really used to going to trade shows, being in-person for product demos, and getting a lot more of that physical contact. And since then, we’ve been forced into this very virtual world.
Tessa Burg: But what we wanna explore today is how services like live streaming are not just a great replacement for those types of physical touches as a result of the pandemic but can really help you amplify and get more visibility on your product demos, on your people, on your thought leadership all year round and even when we return back to what might be normal.
Tessa Burg: So, Brian, to kick us off, tell us a little bit about yourself and BoxCast.
Brian Lee: Yeah, great. That’s a great intro. So first off, yeah, Brian Lee, I’m here in Cleveland as well, Cleveland, Ohio and just a quick background on me. My wife and I live here in the village. We’ve got three young daughters, 10, eight, and five. So it’s likely I may be interrupted by one of them at some point during this episode but it’ll be great. That’s why live video is awesome because anything can happen.
Brian Lee: But yeah, working for BoxCast for four years now. I’ve had a couple of different roles, mostly on the sales and customer success side. And now leading both of those teams, all of those departments together combined under one roof. BoxCast has been around since 2013, and like Tessa said, it’s a live video streaming company. We make it really easy and available for anybody to become professional life streamers.
Brian Lee: Back in 2013, you used to have really convince people why live streaming was important. People really didn’t know what it was, how it could be accomplished. It was really difficult and technology wasn’t as accessible maybe back then and today things have really changed and the world we know, live streaming is a part of our every day existence it seems like. Open up your phone and you’re seeing some sort of live broadcast or live announcement of some sort or ability to find something live at your fingertips. So it’s really exciting to be working for a company that’s making it easy for people to share experiences with people all across the world. So yeah. So other than, I think that’s a good intro.
Tessa Burg: Yeah, so this episode is actually coming on the heels of an interview we did with Fred Andersky from Bendix and they hosted and live-streamed a virtual event. But really live streaming should be a bigger part of our overall content strategy now and post pandemic. Tell us a little bit about the value that live streaming brings to an overall sort of communication plan.
Brian Lee: Yeah, so yeah, live streaming can definitely be a huge value add to any marketing team’s plan. A lot of marketing teams today already have some sort of focus on video, whether it’s content creation or what have you, there’s aspects of your marketing team that’s already focusing on that. So why not take it a step further and think about adding live video as another tool in your tool belt?
Brian Lee: So live video can add a bunch of different value. Preparing for this broadcast, I was reading up on some studies and one of them did mention that like 60, upwards of 67, 70% of the digital marketing teams, you anticipate using video marketing as a top level priority. So it was, as Tessa mentioned, it’s very important. And I think what we’re seeing, especially over the past year with the pandemic is that remote viewers and your audience, wherever they come from, they demand access to video now more than ever.
Brian Lee: The access to live video is increasing. There’s just billions of hours of content watched live every month on YouTube and whatnot. The access to video is increasing at such high rates. It’s definitely gotta be an important part of any marketing tool.
Brian Lee: But why live streaming, right? Well, it’s really more accessible and easier than ever. A company like BoxCast makes it really easy to go live and to host your content and to make it available in different areas across your social media platforms, in YouTube, in Facebook, in Twitter, in LinkedIn. They’ve all made it really easy to go live and to share video at any point you wanna go live. And so while it’s really good to have that accessibility to go live in the moment and to maybe share quick videos here and there, there’s also services like BoxCast where you can use it to do more things like trade shows and conferences and trainings and demos and webinars, just all that stuff that maybe in the past we would take it for granted and do in-person.
Brian Lee: Well, when you do a live stream as well combined with in-person, you’re really expanding your audience, you’re touching more people. You’re getting your message out to more viewers. And so it’s really just increasing your impact on your overall viewership. And so that’s why we think it’s really important. We’ve seen a really large increase in B2B type companies looking for services like BoxCast or even production companies who service B2B companies who may not have large marketing teams.
Brian Lee: And so maybe they can’t produce their own event or they need help bringing a live stream of their product demo to their viewers. They just don’t have that expertise in-house. There’s a lot of companies out there that will use a service like BoxCast as well to help you get that video out to your viewers. So that’s something to think about too if you don’t have the team internally.
Tessa Burg: Yeah, I agree with all of your points. And I think one of the questions that kind of comes top of mind for me is what exactly does BoxCast as a tool do? Because you said people are more familiar with live streaming. And I think the way I became familiar with it was actually seeing those alerts from LinkedIn, like, “Oh so-and-so was going live now.” Or Facebook like, “This person is videoing right now.” And I’ve clicked into a few and they have been really good, but what’s the difference between if I were to do a live stream on LinkedIn or Facebook versus using a service like BoxCast?
Brian Lee: Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s one we get a lot lately actually. And so we did just write a blog about it, which is great. But anyways, it is, there’s a little bit of a difference. And so I think utilizing both is key, actually. So I think I kind of mentioned earlier, like you should be utilizing both. If you’re utilizing video and your audience is on those platforms where they wanna engage and that’s how they wanna get their information, then you can use LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram to go live in the moment and do fun things like that.
Brian Lee: But it’s also good to incorporate your bigger events or maybe your longer live streams. You’re using a platform like BoxCast when you need something that’s maybe a little bit more reliable. You’re looking for the quality to be a little bit better perhaps, maybe you’re looking for some features that we make available like graphic overlays and captions or the ability to charge a ticket price to enter the events or you wanna share your live stream to multiple destinations, not just going live on Facebook through their app. You can go to Facebook, to YouTube, to Twitter, to your website all at the same time, really extending your reach to wherever your viewers are most comfortable getting their video from.
Brian Lee: So there’s a lot of benefits from looking for a provider like BoxCast to help manage your live stream events. You can categorize different videos. So like if you’ve got a bunch of training videos, you can create a playlist of videos that are suited for that purpose or if they’re webinars or if they’re podcasts, you can create a podcast channel and you can take some of our invite codes and plug those into the different podcast tools. And now you’re live streaming a podcast. And there’s just a lot of different things that allow a platform like BoxCast that allows you to get even greater value out of the live streaming.
Tessa Burg: Yeah, so it sounds like there’s really a spectrum of use cases and a spectrum of ways to engage your audience using live streaming. On the simplest end, you can do that sort of real time, emulate what’s happening on Facebook or LinkedIn. And what I loved about your tool is that it connects to those. So I could do it through BoxCast and then distribute through multiple channels. And then on that middle side, it could be for things that are regular and really elevate and expand the audience of thought leadership. And then on sort of the fine look picture, I’m picturing this in my mind and realizing that only Brian can see me wave my hands around, but on the far right, this is really a tool that could be used in subscription membership businesses to monetize their content and to start giving more added value to their members, whether it’s through selling tickets or even giving them exclusive access and selling to external non-members. So those are three really powerful use cases that are not pandemic-specific. I know you guys had quite a boom when the pandemic happened but those are things that feel like they could keep going.
Brian Lee: Yeah, it is. And I think it just gave people the encouragement to find another avenue to continue to communicate and reach people, their audience when they couldn’t. And now that people have taken that step into live video, I don’t see that trend going away.
Brian Lee: You’re right, the different use cases that we see on a daily basis is incredible. So it’s fun to see people taking live video and different use cases in creative ways and making it their own to continue to communicate with their community. ‘Cause in the end, that’s what this is about. It’s engaging with your community. It’s live video. I think we all have that, “Could I know that difference “when we’re watching something live “and it’s raw “versus something that’s prepared and produced?” And both can be that mix and that’s a good mix too. Live video often just has that different aspect to it. It feels different to the viewer. It makes you feel more involved in the experience and a part of the action.
Tessa Burg: Yes, I really like how, when you’re in a live stream or viewing live video, even though people are scattered all across the country, it feels like you’re all in the same place physically. I’m starting to feel that same way about Clubhouse. I love just to go in and because we’re all in that moment together, but video even elevates it up another level because when you can see people, when you can see their expression, I feel like it just adds to the experience.
Brian Lee: Yeah, yeah for sure. I agree. And with BoxCast too, it’s a great tool to integrate with Zoom. A lot of people have been turning to Zoom over the pandemic. And one of the things you can do with BoxCast and Zoom is if you wanna host a webinar, maybe there’s, it’s like Tessa and I here talking but we want everybody else to watch through BoxCast or through YouTube or Facebook, we can use something like BoxCast and then take this feed and push it out to the viewers so that we can still communicate this way, have some two-way communication, but then also people can watch live without having to all join one Zoom and have 100 people on here and everybody watching it at the same time. So a lot of different use cases. It’s been fun to see kind of where we started a year ago I think when we went home and where we are today with how people are using the service.
Tessa Burg: Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about that. What are some of the features in BoxCast that allow the livestream host to interact with the audience before and during or even after the livestream event?
Brian Lee: Yeah, great question. I think it’s, again, one of those things that BoxCast provides additional value in to what maybe some of the things you’re already doing. One of the things I think you touched on earlier was the ability to, if you have an event that’s coming up, I can create that event in BoxCast, I can push that event out to YouTube and Facebook and create that event there so that my viewers can then go in and subscribe to it or get notifications about it when it goes live. So that’s a great tool that creates some awareness to upcoming events, that’s great.
Brian Lee: If you’re trying to use BoxCast to monetize something that fits a, maybe if you’re an instructor of some sort or to some, it’s a fundraiser or whatnot, you could use our ticketing feature and drive ticket sales ahead of time and promote that through your social media channels and other things, driving people to your site, to either get more information about the video or to purchase tickets at a time.
Brian Lee: You can do things like a pre-roll video or a countdown timer so that people, when they go see the video, they can have a message that they’re greeted with, that you can welcome them and let them know what they’re about to see. You can upload documents so that when I go watch the video I can download a PDF or if you’re handing something out to somebody in-person, that person watching on video should also get that same handout, let’s say. So if you’re passing something out at an event, so you can make it available for the live streamer.
Brian Lee: During the broadcast, a lot of the same things, you can make close captioning available. So accessibility is a huge thing with live streaming, so then making live streaming accessible for those who are hearing impaired is a big topic these days. So we make that available.
Brian Lee: Viewers can share the broadcast, their social media while they’re watching or if they’re really enjoying something that they wanna share to their network, they can share that during the broadcast, which is great. We allow you to watch it most on any device. So if you’re watching it on your phone or your computer or if you wanna utilize our ability to stream to BoxCast or to smart TV channels, you can do that. So a lot of different engagement there.
Brian Lee: You can do things like adding third party chat or maybe the bulk of your audience is in Facebook and they’re watching there, you can utilize Facebook or YouTube for their chat features to engage with your audience live during the video as well again, after the video. So additional, I guess, engagement opportunities would be like sharing the highlights from the live stream. So there was something that really awesome happened or a great idea that came out of it, or whatever it might’ve been, you can grab highlights and continue to share those. You can create different video on demand channels so that if it’s a continuation of a series of educational events or a series of webinars, you can group those all together and create quick access to those for your viewers.
Brian Lee: So I hope that answered some of the features you were looking for there.
Tessa Burg: I think it definitely answered the question and it really demonstrated the point that live stream events are not just for that moment. Like they have legs and sort of give you momentum to keep that visibility going. So I have the livestream event, now I’ve produced this content, and now I have a platform and tools to distribute out and to continue to get people to increase my audience either for the next live stream or drive them deeper into our communities.
Brian Lee: Yeah, yeah, one other thing, Tessa, that came out over the past year was our feature Simulated Live, which allows you, so not everything necessarily has to be live either, right? You could always create content, upload it to BoxCast, and then present it to your viewers as if it’s live too. So that’s another way you can go about presenting content too. Maybe you do wanna pre produce something but then show it to your community at a certain time all at the same moment, we can do that with the Simulated-Live feature. And so that’s also a fun way to maybe take it up a notch and provide a little bit more produced content as well or reuse content over and over.
Tessa Burg: Yeah, I think that balance would really resonate with a lot of our clients and a lot of enterprise clients because you always want control over some part of it that it’s produced, that we went through a creative director, there’s still creative direction and direction in general and production that happens with a live stream event and professionals make everything better. But I do like that it limits the amount of time you have to overthink and send through like a bazillion edits to the same thing. You get it, you shoot it, it’s done, and then you can edit it after. And I like that post editing gives you an opportunity to maybe then personalize it a little. But no, that’s a really cool feature I did not know that existed, giving people a little bit more opportunity to produce something upfront.
Brian Lee: Yeah.
Tessa Burg: So I’m really interested in some of the clients you have and what their experiences have been. When you get feedback about hosting a livestream event, how do they define success?
Brian Lee: Yeah, I think there’s a number of ways and it depends who it is as well, right? ‘Cause the person filming or responsible for the production versus the marketing person might have two different KPIs or different data that they’re looking at. So I guess I’ll review a couple of things.
Brian Lee: From a technical perspective, it’s like, “Did the stream go live? “Did it not crash? “Did it buffer at all? “Was there any loss of video?” Those are very critical moments and important, but maybe not to the marketing person. But when we look at it, we initially see, for users the first time they go live with BoxCast, their first moment is, first time going live and seeing themselves, like maybe they’re just, it’s just a camera that’s turned around or their phone or their camera from their computer, whatever it is, and it’s going live and it’s like, “Oh, wow,” like, “Okay, that was easy. “I clicked like five buttons and I’m live “and I can see this. “Okay, cool.” Like, “I did it. “Wow, that’s great.”
Brian Lee: And then as you continue to go, you start connecting your social media platforms and you start scheduling your first live streams and you start seeing viewers, you really start to see the value build up and you get more and more excited.
Brian Lee: So I think for our viewers, what’s most, I’m sorry, for our users, what’s most important to them in terms of viewership is just seeing the different analytics that we provide in the software. So live versus recorded views. How long people are viewing versus average duration of views? What states and countries are they getting viewers from? So we provide you a nice map and it shows you different areas of the world people are viewing from and you can kind of zoom in and see how many views there were from different places. You can track your ticket purchasing. We also have a donation feature. So you can track different things like that.
Brian Lee: You do have the ability to look at unique versus total views. So if you’re interested in how many unique devices we’re looking versus the total number of views, that’s another thing that we kind of give you to dissect on. And so a lot of them, it just depends. It just depends on what type of broadcast it is. And sometimes more people could be looking for total number of view.
Brian Lee: Sometimes other people would be actually looking for a longer duration of view. It’s great if I’ve got 1000 viewers, but if they’re only watching for a minute of my hour broadcast, is that as valuable as having half the number of views, but they’re watching for 45 minutes?
Brian Lee: I guess it depends on what you’re doing. So it just depends who you are, what’s your streaming, what’s important to you, and what you’re trying to drive. But those are some of the, I guess, some of the more important things that people initially look out for. And then again, you also have those technical things, is the platform reliable? Is it working? We give you diagnostics as well. So like during the stream, you can see like, “Okay, data’s passing through, “everything’s working like it should.” And so it gives you some in broadcast information so that you can see that everything’s working well.
Tessa Burg: Yeah, when you were describing it, I got a visual of an episode from Silicon Valley where they win their first big sponsor and they’re gonna do a livestream. And they were just making sure that the picture quality is good and doesn’t crash.
Brian Lee: Yeah, classic.
Tessa Burg: Yes, I love that series. But one of the things that you were describing the metrics of success, it feels like it’s very similar to like Google analytics, but for live streaming. Have you found that there’s like an ideal livestream duration amount? Is an hour too long? How’s 15 minutes? I feel like in our world of webinars, it’s sort of all across the board, but we’ve seen a lot of success in sort of these shorter webinars like 15 to 25 minutes keeps a higher quality engagement. Is there anything similar like that in live streaming?
Brian Lee: Yeah, you do start to see specific to the different types of streams in the industries we serve. Yeah, I’ve looked at it before. I wanna say like all of our customers, thousands of customers we have, I think the average duration is probably lower than you expect, actually maybe it’s not, it’s probably around 10 to 15 minutes, maybe probably closer to 10. And I would say the average duration of a broadcast is probably about an hour, total duration. So you have your events that are longer.
Brian Lee: What you also have is you have people who watch specific pieces of a broadcast. And so maybe they were actually there live but they wanna go back and watch it recorded because it’s something really caught their eye or they need to go back and refer to something. And so they go back and they find that very specific piece of the video. So that give those viewers and the people who are watching the full duration or people who come and go, right? Maybe they started, they stopped, they come back later that evening, they complete it.
Brian Lee: So like the duration is tough because it’s an average of all those different types of views. But it’s fun. You can try to segment it based on live and recording as well and give you some more information but it’s yeah, I would say, I think most people on social media, if I’m flopping through Facebook, average duration there for a view is maybe 10 to 30 seconds is probably average, which would make sense based on that versus something that’s more produced like a live event, you’d expect maybe a little bit longer of a view time.
Tessa Burg: You’ve hit on a really important point that setting expectation ahead of the livestream may increase engagement. So I know when I need to be there or when I can drop off, or what I might wanna see later. So almost by giving people a rundown of, “Hey, here’s what we’re gonna cover,” they’ll be engaged during that time but then may also come back and again, increasing that amplification and engagement post livestream.
Brian Lee: Yeah, yeah.
Tessa Burg: So I know that you guys had a very big 2020. What most excites you heading in to 2021? You had this boom, you’re getting new clients, new data, you recently made an acquisition, what’s coming up for BoxCast?
Brian Lee: Yeah, I think the things that excite us the most is that we feel like the industry is really expanding and there’s a lot of opportunity in it. And so we wanna continue building this amazing product that helps people stay connected and to engage with their communities and continues to make people a part of the experience wherever they are.
Brian Lee: And I think that that obsession and the fact that technology is making it easier and easier for people to start live streaming or to be able to pick up a phone and to create a livestream or whatever it is, it’s so accessible now that really anybody can do it.
Brian Lee: And so I think what excites me is that people have started to take that leap and they’re not afraid to get started or it’s not as hard as it used to be. And so I think that just vastly opens our target market of who our customers might be.
Brian Lee: In the past, we have targeted a lot of organizations because livestream was mostly for recurrent events or large scale productions. And that’s not necessarily the case anymore. And social media and things like Clubhouse and TikTok shows us that, right? Anybody can pick up a device and really just kind of go live whenever they want to. And so how can someone like BoxCast really provide anybody additional value when it comes to live streaming?
Brian Lee: So I think that’s, in 2021 how do we really expand, not just in organizations, but just for the common everyday person who wants to livestream? And the opportunities are really endless there. So it’s really exciting.
Tessa Burg: It is. So you can serve from personal to professional and it’s easy to get started. If I were a marketing leader and I’m thinking about this within my budget, how much should I invest in live streaming, if I’m balancing it out with other ways of creating video or creating really any type of content?
Brian Lee: Yeah, good question. I think it could vary depending on if you already have investments in the video already. So if you already have a lot of the technology needed to computers or equipment, the cameras, the video switches, a lot of that stuff, then that’s great. Live streaming is not much more of an investment on top of that. A service like BoxCast will range anywhere from $1,200 a year to maybe 23, $2,400 a year depending on what you’re needing to do. And so it’s probably a very low portion of that budget, to be honest with you.
Brian Lee: So I’d say it’s not that much to really kind of jump in and it doesn’t take … We offer a free trial, so you can get in, you can get started, see if it’s right for you, if it’s the right fit, and then if so, you continue on with it or if it’s not the right fit, then that’s okay too. But at least you tried.
Brian Lee: It’s one of those things that it’s like it’s really accessible. Your competitors are probably testing it or doing it. People are seeing a lot of value with it. Video is certainly helping sales growth. Over the past year, video’s becoming very influential and different email tactics, right, and sales tactics and all that good stuff.
Brian Lee: So video’s everywhere. So why not see how live video can help you engage with your community and stay connected?
Tessa Burg: It’s interesting that you said it’s really not that expensive to layer it on. So if I already have the content or even if I already have an event or a frequent reason to engage like product demos or sales demos, then having a service like BoxCast helps me get the most out of that engagement. So you set up a live stream, it allows me to interact with the audience. It also creates a regular cadence so that people know what to expect. So maybe they don’t tune in every time but they watch recording. I really love the value from both the data and content calendar management perspective.
Brian Lee: Yeah, if you’re already recording it for you, so we’re not just streaming live, right? If you’re doing the recording, you have the ability to do it, stream it live, give it a shot, engage your audience more, I’m guessing they will appreciate it and get great reviews, live versus recorded. So it’s definitely worth a shot.
Tessa Burg: That is awesome. So we are going to be doing our own livestream event with Brian and BoxCast. If you have ideas or questions that you wanna see in that event, go to tenlo.com, our chat bot is there, just submit the questions directly to us or shoot me an email at [email protected]. And, Brian, if people wanna follow up with you or follow you, how can they get in touch with you?
Brian Lee: Yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn or email me at [email protected]. It’s B-R-I-A-N. And yeah, feel free to reach out and happy to answer any questions you have about live streaming.
Tessa Burg: Well, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been really interesting and has really opened up, I think, a lot of opportunity for marketing leaders and content managers to think about how do they extend the content they’re already doing or how do they add the sales demos and trade show activity they’re already doing with a really high engaging live stream tool?
Tessa Burg: We will, oh, last thing, almost forgot. We will post about our live stream event probably on the podcast page. You can go to tenlo.com for that and hopefully we, at Tenlo, will also start doing live stream more regularly ’cause this is definitely between this and the last podcast on virtual events. We’re really excited about this as a trend for our clients, but also for us. So thanks so much for all the knowledge.
Brian Lee: Yeah, no, thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure and I’m really in the podcast myself. And so this is my first time coming on one. So it’s like one of those, I don’t know if it’s like a dream come true, but it’s like, yeah, it was pretty fun. And thanks for having me, Tessa. It’s been great.
Tessa Burg: You’re welcome. I’m so glad we were the first. All right, Brian, we’ll be talking to you again soon.
Brian Lee: Okay, bye.
Tessa Burg: Bye.
VP of Sales & Customer Success at BoxCast
Brian has 10+ years of experience in the SaaS industry. As the VP of Sales & Customer Success at BoxCast, Brian leads the teams responsible for all aspects of user acquisition, expansion, retention and customer support.
Over the past 4 years, Brian has seen the BoxCast user base more than double and the staff triple thanks to two acquisitions and $20M funding in late 2020.
In the past year, Brian helped implement product-led growth and digital marketing strategies. This enabled BoxCast to create a more efficient sales pipeline while maintaining successful onboarding and retention metrics during rapid growth.