Vimeo is probably best known as the place where your HD videos can take on an elevated life. There’s a vibrant community, Staff Picks, Job Boards for the filmmaking community, Stock footage, livestreaming tools and so much more. It’s quickly becoming one of the most reliable video platforms companies are choosing to upload and manages their videos. Starbucks, Amazon, and Wal-mart are a few top names that come to mind.
Vimeo’s enterprise video software tools are amazing (and always growing), but for filmmakers, Vimeo is the gold standard. Review tools, privacy-first hosting, publish-to-social tools and customizable players — makes it a breeze for anyone to upload a video.
Marketing pages and applications
Vimeo was founded in 2004. It was only 4 years later, that Vimeo introduced Vimeo Plus. Since then, there’s been hundreds — if not thousands of landing pages and marketing campaigns to catalyze user growth. My time at Vimeo, I managed many such pages. Some were built on React (and Next.js), WordPress, and others were plain HTML. We employed page builders, and when necessary integrated campaigns directly into product.
Here’s a few notable high-traffic examples that are designed to chorale users into Vimeo’s conversion funnel. In 2018, we began running a highly successful gift with purchase campaign before the holiday season. Vimeo has been running a variant of that original campaign ever since.
Upgrade Page and Seasonal Variants
Vimeo has a large network of blogs, landing pages, marketing pages, applications, and campaigns that all funnel into a singular entry point.
That singular point is referred to as the Pricing page on most applications. But, given Vimeo’s large basic (and unpaid) user base, we call it the Upgrade page.
We ran countless experiments on this page. Stacking wins and tossing code out that revealed weak points in our conversion strategy. Some highlights:
- Over time, we reduced copy and squashed the features grid from an overwhelming marketing behemoth, into a more readable, more comprehensible comparison plan mix.
- Free-trials encouraged users to try plans before committing to a higher tier plan.
- Encouraging users to sign-in or join Vimeo before flowing them into checkout would decrease cart abandonment
- Seasonal variants of the page, offering a Gift-with-purchase of Premium encouraged Premium users to re-subscribe early, and grew our Premium customer base substantially.
- Plus customers (at the time, our largest cohort of paid users), are more likely to upgrade to Pro during a one-time 30-day offer of 25% off upgrade. Vimeo normally refrains from offering such steep discounts, but the annual drive attracts a lot new subscribers as well.
- International pricing and i18n support.
- Exit intent modals, and user context (show different content based on logged-in user-paid tier)
For two years I co-managed the Vimeo Feature Pages. These started out as a marketing design system built by an external agency — they later evolved into an ad hoc marketing system, managed by multiple internal teams.
In their final form, they reside as static Next.js pages. The original design system — full of type errors, and relics of React 15 are long gone. But their legacy and approach to organizing and bucketing Vimeo’s core offerings remain to this this day.
The content on these pages continue to evolve and update every other quarter or so and serve as a springboard for lower-funnel landing pages.
During my tenure at Vimeo, we also built one-off pages for paid search and email campaigns to re-invigorate lower-tier users to upgrade into Premium and Enterprise offerings.
These pages typically were built re-using the marketing system used on Vimeo’s main Feature Pages. But from time-to-time they strayed from the norms and would highlight content in interesting and complex patterns.
We would take learnings from these campaigns and apply them to future projects. Especially useful for targeting Enterprise customers.
This project was born out of a small Vimeo Jam project. Vimeo Jam is an annual internal hack-a-thon that was founded before my time at Vimeo. In the spring of 2018, one of the teams we brainstormed with had the idea of surfacing Vimeo’s product features (such as Vimeo Stock, or Livestreaming tools, etc.) in Vimeo’s search results. Most of the search-trigger logic already existed from years before. For this project we merely just extended what was already built.
Say your search term is directors or animators. Because you’re potentially looking for animators or directors or high quality Inspiration, the hypothesis is, perhaps you would benefit from Vimeo’s job board service. Therefor, this would trigger various banners to display with a relevant message or upsell to navigate to a product feature or marketing material (see screenshots for context).
Overall product discovery metrics point to the Search Triggers project being a success. Initially used for surfacing Vimeo For Hire Marketplace, we saw an uptick in users discovering and using the product after visiting search result pages.
Vimeo has a dedicated, small but nimble team hyper-focused on shipping a lightweight and effective design system library. I didn’t contribute much to the system, but I did on occasion make contributions to improving the library’s icons, element improvements and brand components.
Vimeo Blog CMS Migration to WordPress
Originally, the Vimeo Blog was a custom-built CMS that lived inside the monolithic PHP platform that powers Vimeo’s product services. Which, by the way, PHP still powers Vimeo to this day. As of writing, the application structure has largely moved away from its original monolithic approach to a more microservice-based structure. During this restructuring effort around early 2018, the CMS was on its last legs — for context the original CMS was constructed sometime around 2005.
The original blog CMS was wild to behold. Image assets had to be manually uploaded to a CDN, and content was written in Markdown. Not exactly ideal for editors and newcomers.
We searched for viable migration options. A headless architecture was researched, but at the time, it looked like a daunting task for a team that had limited technical resources. Self-hosting looked appetizing and cost-efficient, but technical oversight still remained a lurking problem. Enter WordPress VIP. Fully managed, secure, and developer-first support. This was it. The posts migration went off without a hitch, and the whole installation sits behind a reverse-proxy setup powered by Fastly.
We partnered up with Progress Labs to build out the main Vimeo Blog theme based on designs our Brand Team put together. I became the de facto maintainer of the Vimeo Network while WordPress VIP continues to handle the hosting. Code deploys go out via successful CI builds on CircleCI and Github. It’s a pretty decent modern setup for web publishing and couldn’t have been done without the collaboration of multiple teams and engineers across Vimeo, WP VIP, and Progress Labs.
I later helped oversee its expansion over the next few years into a multi-site network. The Vimeo Festival & Awards, Vimeo Experts, Streameo, and Vimeo Create marketing pages (and more!) are all powered by this network of sub-sites.
The main site features a curated homepage, and sub-sections of buckets of recently published posts in selected categories.
Over time, we added tons of editorial do-dads, widgets and tools for web publishing. Multiple post types support, several post templates, custom Gutenberg blocks and SEO-rich features. We scaled up a custom library of house ads linking users to Upgrade or product features, and built a library of custom forms that integrate with Salesforce and Vimeo’s CRM data pipeline. Editors have full control of the content they author within a set of guided templates and custom fields.
I built a small cookie-parser script, so we can author logged-in and logged-out content. Very handy for who find their way to the blog but need to get back to the product-side of Vimeo.
We tries to author as much content around Vimeo embeds as possible, so we built a bunch of internal tools around embedding as well. This was a great way to circumvent using GIFs as a featured image in posts. Since Vimeo has an excellent feature to play videos like GIFs as a Background Video (also known as chromless playback).
The Vimeo Festival & Awards has been happening (in one incarnation or another) since 2012. The VFAs (as it has been called) essentially grows larger, and larger each year.
One small snag — the pandemic made the 2020 season a bit tough to scale without in-person festivities. So we took a playbook from our Streameo, and decided to do a live event instead. Vimeo’s in-house production teams really did most of the work. The website merely served as a portal to view the collection of nominees and live event.
Core pieces of the site included: a homepage, a nominees index, nominee clip pages and a gated watch page (for the day of the event). Post-festival, the site went into a sort of read-only mode where content was archived for all to see.
This project was wholly completed by Progress Labs. I only served as a technical advisor to Vimeo’s Marketing Checkout and newly founded Partnerships teams to get this Enterprise-level referral program off the ground.
The Create Marketing project was somewhat unique to Vimeo. As Vimeo’s growth efforts outpaced our ability to develop certain Marketing/SEO pages, we hired a contractor to build out a small, but nimble theme specifically around marketing Vimeo Create templates. In this example, it highlights Vimeo Create’s potential in creating Instagram story content .
I only served as a technical lead one this project — guiding our contractor to build a maintainable and extendable theme. I helped organize a Gutenberg Block that highlights Create Templates through a private Vimeo API that automatically pulls in template content based on the categories editors select.
Vimeo’s in-house production and content teams spent months writing, interviewing and producing three shorts that captured how Vimeo’s newest and most interesting cohort — the small business owners, use Vimeo’ tools such as Vimeo Create.
From a teen beauty boss to a real estate agent on a mission — Vimeo is sharing the stories of small businesses doing big things with video.
This project won a Webby Award in 2021. Stories in Place was a grant project funded by Vimeo. We awarded cash directly to black filmmakers to share their stories amid a year of heightened racial injustices, the pandemic and economic collapse.