The List – Vidyard

This Kitchener-based startup has made a killing by carving out its niche in B2B video marketing

Screen shot 2015-12-09 at 4.43.36 PMVidyard is one of a handful of Canadian startups making big waves in Silicon Valley effectively by filling a niche better than any other tech company: B2B video marketing.

Launched in 2010 in Kitchener, Vidyard provides a comprehensive platform for creating, distributing and tracking marketing and sales videos. That includes studio software for filming and editing marketing messages and product demos, plus the tools to get those videos in front of potential clients via email, on a website or in a webinar. Once campaigns are live, Vidyard provides analytics to track when prospects watch videos, and what makes them engage or tune out.

But what makes Vidyard uniquely suited for B2B marketing is its integrations with CRM and marketing automation platforms like Salesforce and Eloqua. By combining Vidyard with CRM, marketers can automate one-to-one video campaigns at scale, so that a lead that visits their website or opens one of their emails will see a video message tailored to their specific business needs. Marketers can also set up automated campaigns that will, for example, trigger a sales call minutes after a lead finishes watching a product video.

The company’s success is hard to argue with. In the past year, its revenue base has grown 308%, the third consecutive year that its revenue has more than tripled. In the same period it grew its staff from 36 to 85, funded in part by an $18 million Series B funding round in January that valued the company at close to $100 million.

Though there are dozens of companies building CRM add-ons, Vidyard is one of only a handful that’s homed in on video as the best way to convert leads. Vidyard’s come to dominate that particular niche across North America, and is now far and away the most comprehensive solution for video-based B2B marketing.

Vidyard Michael Litt“When we get into a deal where there may be a competitor — which is generally pretty rare still, but is becoming more common — once that organization sees the breadth and depth of our offering, it’s a very easy win,” says co-founder and CEO Michael Litt. “Inevitably with enough time, they will build more competitive platforms if they want to compete directly. But we have such a lead advantage now in terms technology, product, and momentum, that it will be tough for them to catch us.”

Its uniqueness has made Vidyard a common name for a wide range of high-tech businesses, consulting firms and even some consumer-facing clients that rely on one-to-one marketing messages, like airlines and insurers.

Vidyard this year added clients like Lenovo, LinkedIn and Citibank to a roster already including Blackberry, Pitney Bowes, Virgin America and Sun Life. In October, its second annual conference in San Francisco drew 400 marketers (possibly because it was headlined by astronaut Chris Hadfield, who spoke about how he used video to revive public interest in the Canadian and U.S. space programs).

Litt, who in fall 2014 was a Marketing Magazine 30 Under 30 and this year was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young for the Ontario region, says the company’s reached a turning point on its quest to make video marketing easy, scalable and measurable for marketers. “We’ve got a very robust technology offering, and the next step is to make sure the world knows that that technology exists to solve their problems,” he says.

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