Content Marketing All-Stars Q&A: Ben Dally of Evite

By NativeAI / December 16, 2016

Video content
is a struggle for many brands, but not for Evite.

The event
planning and invitation platform consistently creates superb pieces that are
distinctive, entertaining, and engaging.

Moreover, the
company is producing video at scale and is steadily publishing pieces across
multiple channels, including its website and various social accounts.

How is the
brand developing so much high-quality video? What are the goals of its video
creation? How is success measured?

Recently we
chatted with Ben Dally,
Director of Video at Evite, to find out.

Check out the
All-Star Q&A below:

Q: Starting
broadly, what is the difference between good content and bad content?

A:  I’ve developed a framework over
the years that I use to evaluate all the pieces of video content that I’m
thinking about creating. I ask myself, “Will this video inspire, educate or
entertain the viewer?” If it does one or any combination of those three things,
then you have the necessary ingredients for it to be a good video. The sweet spot,
of course, is when you hit all three of those buckets. In that case, you’re set
up to hit a home run and have a video that reaches the widest possible

For example, we
recently produced a video for a client that taught users how to create a DIY
holiday ice bucket. It was certainly educational, but even if you didn’t end up
making the ice bucket, the video was still aesthetically pleasing and
entertaining, which is exactly what we were going for.

Q:  What role does video content play for Evite?  What are your goals?

A: Our mission at Evite is to use technology to bring people together
face-to-face and create amazing shared memories and new or strengthened
connections, especially in an age where technology can be increasingly
isolating. The role of video content is to support Evite’s mission. Simply put,
we create videos that bring people together. We really value that – the act of
getting together, connecting with people, going to parties.

At the same
time, we also know it can be stressful to throw a party. So, with our content,
we want to take away some of that stress and we want to inspire people to be
better hosts. We want to encourage people to throw more parties and we want
people to get out of their comfort zones and try making something new, whether
that’s a piece of decor or a new recipe. We want people to throw more events
parties and celebrate together. That, at the most basic level, is the role that
video content plays for us. 

Q: How do
you measure the success of your video pieces?

A: The number of views on a video is obviously important, but what I value
even more than views is engagement.

What I focus on
is the rate at which people are completing the videos, whether they are
watching multiple videos back-to-back in a playlist and then, beyond that,
whether they are sharing the videos, commenting on them, and generally showing
enthusiasm for the content.

If someone
watches your video and then feels compelled to share it with their peers on
social media, you know you’ve created a piece of content that is compelling and
relevant that has resonated strongly with the viewer.


Q: How do
people find your content? What channels do you use to reach your intended

A: We’re quite fortunate because we have a built-in audience that comes to
Evite every day to create events and manage their invitations. The average host
revisits their invitation 20-30 times before their event.  So, we partnered with a fantastic video
company, JW Player, to integrate video players thoughtfully and organically
throughout the Evite environment. Users are exposed to video content at key
points during the event planning process and those videos can be highly
targeted. So, for example, if a user is managing a birthday party invitation,
there is a video player on the page where we can serve specific
birthday-related videos to that user.

we amplify all of our content across Evite’s social channels  — such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest —
and are in the process of creating videos specifically for each platform,
including a slate of Snapchat shows coming in 2017.

Q: How are
you creating the videos? Do you have a team in-house?

A: Yes, all of
our videos are currently produced in house. We have a small but dedicated and
enthusiastic video team of six right now, with a wide range of different skill
sets and backgrounds. I created a process when I joined Evite in which every
person on my team has the opportunity to be the director of a video that they
pitched. That way, they can understand all of the different roles and
everything that goes into producing a successful video, from pitching an idea
to writing the script, shooting and then editing the video. I act as the
executive producer to give notes and to encourage and support the director, but
not to micro-manage the creative process. It’s been extremely rewarding to see
the bulk of the creativity come from the team members themselves.  

Q: Final
question, are there some pieces of Evite video content that you’re especially
proud of? Any favorites?

A: I joined Evite only a few months ago and I’m seriously proud of every
piece of content that we’ve created. We’ve got an excellent team and there’s
not a day that goes by that we’re not in the process of doing something

That said,
there are two videos that I want to call out specifically right now.

The first was
the brainchild of a team member who asked me in a pitch meeting whether she
could create a DIY dinorah video, to which I asked: “What’s the heck is a

She told me
that it was a menorah made from a dinosaur toy. It was one of the most creative
things I’d heard in a while and I green-lit it immediately. She teamed up with
one of our videographers and turned around the video in less than a week. We
then posted it on our site and it quickly became one of our most popular

Another one of
my favorites was also Evite’s very first original narrative video. We create a
lot of DIY and recipe videos, and so I challenged the team to come up with some
video ideas that were comedic in nature, would tell a relatable story and
featured actors. One of my team members came to me with this hilarious idea,
which became a video called “Parenthood.” The video answers the question about
how you know whether you’re prepared to become a parent, and the answer is that
if you have ever thrown a party in your 20’s and have had to babysit your drunk
friends, then you are more than prepared.

on the success of this video, I’ve green-lit an entire slate of comedy and
narrative videos that are currently in various phases of production, so look
out for those in 2017. It’s the sort of content that people don’t expect from
Evite, and that’s what excites me about it.

Written by NativeAI / December 16, 2016