vzaar - The professional video platform blog Min vzaar site
vzaar is an online video hosting service with fantastic features that are designed for business. Deliver to mobile or the web straight from your site.
 

Archive for Video Inspiration

Climbing the metaphorical hillWhen it comes to making video work for your publishing business, a lot is often written about how to produce the video. And yes, of course, creating a compelling video which resonates with your particular target audience is really, really important.

But if video success were a hill, you’d only be about halfway to the summit. A successful video campaign needs more than just a great video. How do you climb the last half of that metaphorical hill? Hang tight, we’ll get you there.

So, in the spirit of reaching loftier heights, today I want to focus on what you should do when you have your finished video. To be clear, we’re not talking creating the content here. I’m working on the assumption that you’ve already done that part (but, if you haven’t check out our video interview with the video PR experts at TNR News for some tips & inspiration).

Before you even think about setting your video loose, be sure you’ve considered the following:

1. Does Your Video Playback on Mobile, Tablet & Desktop

Did you know that video is expected to account for 72% of all mobile data traffic by 2019? (CISCO)

If your video doesn’t play on mobile devices you’re missing out on a lot (like a lot, a lot) of views. You can’t really afford to let this audience pass you by.

The solution is to use a video hosting platform which includes an HTML5 player. That way if Flash isn’t present (i.e. on mobiles and tablets), the video will still play via the mobile compatible H5.

2. How Will You Drive Traffic To Your Videos?

No matter how awesome your video is, it can only start to work it’s magic if people watch it. And for that you need to make sure your driving lots of relevant traffic to it. There’s a few different ways you can do that:

Video SEO

Create and submit a video sitemap to tell the search engines what your video is about. That way Google will know that when somebody queries “insert your golden keyword” they should display your video.

Video search result example

In fact, Moneyweek grew their traffic by 136% once they started following these video SEO best practices.

Social Sharing

Share your videos on social media. Video posts tend to see more engagement than text alone, so depending on how big your following you could rack up a pretty healthy number of views.

Even better, encourage those viewers to share with their own networks, too. For this, you’ll need to include social sharing buttons directly in the player. This removes any friction from the process. It’s no harder for your audience to share than simply clicking a mouse button.

3. Have You Branded Your Video Player?

Once you’ve got all that lovely traffic hitting your video pages, it’s a good idea to be sure that your video is reflecting your brand image.

After all, why spend time attracting visitors only to have them wind up landing on a video that’s peppered with another company’s branding (YouTube I’m looking at you).

Be sure that the video player you use can be customized with your own branding. Change the colours so that they match your current web design, and overlay your logo so that when the video does get shared, everyone knows where it came from.

4. How Will You Monetize Your Videos?

OK, so you’ve made sure your videos play back reliably, in great quality, and that lots of people are viewing them.

Crunch time – how do you translate that into revenue for your business? Well, there’s plenty of ways you can do this, but I’ve pulled out a few examples from our own client base. Here’s what some of the publishers we work with tend to use…

Video Advertising

In a nutshell, adding pre, mid and post roll video ads means that you can generate an extra revenue stream from your videos. In the same way that you (may) sell advertising space on your website, you can also sell advertising space on your videos.

If you have a lot of traffic to your videos (which you will if you use the techniques outlined above), you can really bring in some healthy revenues.

As an online publisher advertising is critical as it’s a main source of revenue. Running vzaar allows us to further monetize our videos – Mike Lepore, Spine-health.com

Email Capture

Perhaps your model is more like that of Moneyweek (the UK’s largest financial magazine).

Our ultimate aim is to build a large audience of highly engaged readers. To that end, we produce informational videos on the hot financial topics of the day as a way of encouraging people to sign up to our biweekly newsletters. – Andrew Williams, Moneyweek

Adding an email capture form into your videos is perfect, here. It allows viewers to subscribe, straight from the video player. Once again removing any friction. The fewer number of clicks your viewer has to make to complete a goal – the better!

Video Security

CISI is the largest professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK. Members benefit from video seminars, which aim to support members in their professional development.

CISITV is an exclusive member benefit so we really need to be sure that non-members cannot access the video content- Jade Clarke, CISI

If you’re doing something similar you’ll need a platform with:

  • Domain Control: so the videos won’t play on any unauthorized domains
  • RTMPe Streaming: so that the video stream is encrypted and much more difficult to download
  • In Summary…

    Before you set out on any video campaign be sure you’ve thought about how you’ll distribute it. Be sure to have a promotional plan in place so that you get plenty of video views, and don’t forget the mobile audience.

    Whichever video hosting platform you use, it’s vital that you make sure it has the features you’ll need to achieve your goals, whether that be monetizing your content via video advertising, growing your mailing list, or providing exclusive content for members. Think carefully about what you want to do with video and evaluate any platform so that you’re confident it can give you whatever tools you’re going to need for success…

    …That’s exactly what we designed our 30 day free trial to do. For 30 days you get access to all features, and 5GB of bandwidth to play with. Plus, we don’t take any credit card details when you sign up for your trial. So there’s no need to worry – you’ll only be charged if and when you decide we have everything you need.

    That’s a full MONTH to test out all the various features, chat with our video experts and start to see the results of your video campaigns. If you’re looking to get kick your video strategy into hyper gear, there’s no better time to get started.

    Categories Video Inspiration
    Comments (0)

    This week I flipped through my copy of Internet Retailing and happened upon this article on how brands can build relationships with customers, inspire trust and engender loyalty.

    As I read, it struck me how well video plays into many of the strategies outlined in the article. If you’re looking to connect with your consumer, it’s the perfect thing to add into the mix. So, I thought I’d pull out a few of the ideas the article mentioned and explain how video can be used to achieve them.

    1. Marry Content With Commerce

    “The latest thinking suggests that putting content alongside commerce is key in giving shoppers reasons to return to a website. David Walmsley, director of M&S.com, says it was crucial for its new site to weave content and commerce together. ‘For us it was critical that we didn’t create something that could feel like a content ghetto: turn left to shop and right to read,’ he told InternetRetailing Conference 2014.”

    Speckled_Eye_Liner_Tutorial_Using_Illamasqua_s_Masquara___Precision_Ink

    Often, when brands use video they immediately think: YouTube. And, of course, there’s many good reasons to upload your videos to YouTube. The mistake occurs, however, when this becomes the entire video strategy.

    If your content exists in isolation – how can you expert it to convert? Your content should sit right alongside your product. It’s vital that you embed videos directly on your website – don’t just leave them gathering dust on YouTube. Only then do your visitors have a reason to keep coming back to you (not YouTube).

    Cosmetic retailer Illamasqua, provides online video tutorials so that visitors learn how to use the make up properly. The videos are embedded on site (rather than uploaded to YouTube), so that the audience can then go on to buy whatever products are featured in the video. Plus, by creating an online video hub right on the website they attract more visitors straight to site, and keep them coming back for more.

    David Walmsley sums it up pretty nicely, so I think it’s worth repeating: don’t direct visitors one way to access your content, and the other to buy your product.

    Sound good to you? You can learn more about how Illamasqua use video as part of their marketing strategy here.

    2. Find New Ways To Communicate The Brand

    “‘Our objective is to be a destination of choice,’ says David Kohn, head of multichannel at Snow + Rock. “What we stand for is being the ultimate authority on products and advice.”… In store, that means giving helpful and expert advice. Online, that means finding new ways to advise.”

    Video is a fantastic way to bring the expertise of your in store staff, online. The key is to provide helpful information that’s of real value to your visitor. They’re more likely to trust an honest, personal review than an overt sales pitch.

    It’s something that baseball bat store Justbats.com have pretty much nailed. On each product page the team provides bat reviews and information so that the visitor can be sure that they’re buying exactly what they need.

    Justbats.com example video

    Interested in learning more? Check out our full case study to learn how Justbats.com use video to improve the customer experience.

    3. Do the unexpected with social media

    “[Mulberry], best known for its handbags, came up with a tongue-in-cheek video in which relatives vie to outdo each other in giving Christmas Day presents to one particularly lucky young woman….’our tongue-in-cheek Christmas video #WinChristmas has been viewed well over one million times,’ said Mulberry chairman Godfrey Davis in the company’s interim results, published in December.”

    Remember that YouTube is a social platform. So be social. The YouTube audience is there to be entertained, so the videos you upload here should be top of the funnel content only. The “tongue in cheek” Mulberry campaign is the perfect example of a brand using YouTube, and using it well.

    But YouTube isn’t the only social network on which you can use video to great effect. Add video into your Twitter and Facebook feeds and you’ll see a lot more engagement. For example, we see around a 4 times the amount of engagement when we post video tweets, compared to text only.

    Bonus: Use The Right Tools

    Now that you’ve got a better understanding of where and how to add video to your website, the last step is to use the proper tools so that the video will achieve it’s ultimate goal: to convert.

    Use a call to action

    We always recommend using a call to action o so that the viewer knows what action they should take. It’s important to display this call to action prominently on the page – you don’t want them to miss it. The very best place to do this is within the video player itself – the very place their attention is already focused.

    Use a reliable video host

    If your videos don’t play, they can’t convert. Your videos should work on every device (mobile, tablet desktop), and should load quickly – even if viewers have slow Internet connections.

    Secure your videos

    Your videos should attract people to your your website – and not somewhere else. Be sure you have the proper video security in place so that your valuable videos are safeguarded against unauthorized downloads. Make sure your content works for you – and only you.

    ecommerce video hosting solution

    There’s a lot to be said for video advertising, done successfully your videos can start to bring in a lot of extra revenue.

    But, did you spot the key phrase? Done successfully. Our video advertising tool is a very simple way to get started with video advertising – but it’s not enough to just slap an ad tag into your video and expect the pennies to come rolling in.

    The more views your video gets, the more you’ll earn. And there’s a few smart ways to maximise your video traffic…

    1. Create A Calendar of Key Dates

    Who are you targeting? Once you know this you can start to think about the dates that are relevant to them, and plan advertising campaigns around that.

    Take Futbol Sites for instance, Latin America’s largest network of football websites. Pretty clear audience here: football fans. And what was one of the key dates in every football fans diary last year? The World Cup of course.

    During the World Cup, Futbol Sites saw its traffic increase by a pretty humungous 300%. This huge growth, teamed with the team’s ability to add advertising tags to their videos, made them a very attractive option to advertisers like Ford, Gatorade, Pringles and more. The video adverts added an extra revenue stream for the business and meant that all of those extra views didn’t go to waste (full story).

    2. Drive Traffic With Video SEO

    Ok, ok not every industry will have massive global events that they can use to their advantage. But, you can still nudge up your video views with video SEO.

    By submitting a video sitemap to Google you will ensure that your pages are returned whenever anyone types in a relevant search term. Try including the word “video” in your titles and descriptions. This will act as a sort of pre-qualifier of your traffic. People searching for videos should be actually interested in watching them. You’ll not only drive up traffic, you’ll also drive up view counts too.

    3. Use An Attractive Poster Frame

    Before your video adverts can start bringing in the advertising revenue, they first need to be seen. And for that to happen you have to get your audience to hit the play button. The poster frame image is crucial, it needs to be attractive and compelling.

    • Human faces or graphics?
    • Bright & colorful or black and white?
    • Lots of copy or none at all?

    Our usual preference is to use a title so that the visitor has a rough idea of what the videos about. We team this with a…let’s say… “quirky” image. The familiar title with an unusual image piques the curiosity. For instance, in the video above. How does the poster frame relate to the title “Video Advertising”? It just tempts you to click play and find out how the two fit together.

    Here’s some more examples so you can see what I mean.

    Video Poster Frame Example 1

    Video Poster Frame Example 2

    Video Poster Frame Example 3

    Typically, you should make sure your video play button is always visible, so that your visitor knows there’s some video goodness waiting to be unlocked (instead of just an image).

    4. Hold Viewers Interest

    This tip is more relevant if you’re using mid or post roll video advertising. The challenge here is to keep the viewer watching long enough for them to hit the ad.

    I strongly recommend cutting down any “blank space” in your video. Keep introductions to a minimum and make sure your visual varies. What you don’t want is a long static shot while your presenter rambles: “hello I’m Jane and today I’m going to go into the various problems, but also look at the solutions, of the three types of ways you can use….yada yada yada”

    See? I even got bored typing that.

    5. Stream Video Reliably

    The video hosting platform you use is really pretty critical to your success with video advertising. If the platform isn’t fit for purpose you’ll run into trouble. Here’s a checklist of things you should check:

    Encoding Control

    You need to make sure that your videos load quickly with minimal buffering. You can do this in one of two ways. Either, reduce your videos bitrate. This will keep the file size down. The lower the file size the faster it will load.

    Or, you could use dual encoding. This basically gives you two versions of the same file. One in standard definition which is smaller and will load quickly for viewers on slow internet connections. One in HD which looks great and keeps viewers with high speed internet connections happy.

    More on that here.

    Features___Content_Delivery_Network

    Global CDN

    Your videos should be accessible to a global audience. For this, you need a global CDN with points of presence all over the world. This means that wherever your viewer is located, the video is streamed from the server which is closest to them.

    Mobile Video

    CISCO predict that nearly 3/4 of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019.

    Takeaway? If your videos don’t play on mobile you’re missing out on a massive audience. Your video hosting platform should be compatible with all devices; that’s desktop, mobile and tablet.

    You should also check that the html5 player comes with video advertising – it’s not always a given. You’ll need to be sure that your ad tags are compatible.

    In Summary

    Making money from video advertising basically involves two things.

    First, you need to have enough video views to generate significant revenues:

    • Key campaign dates
    • Video SEO
    • Attractive poster frames
    • Engaging videos

    Second, you need to choose the right video hosting platform, to ensure your videos (and their adverts) play back reliably. Be sure that it gives you:

    • Mobile compatibility
    • Global CDN
    • Control over encoding

    And, the number one thing you need: an easy way to add your ad tags.

    We all have busy working lives, it really doesn’t need to take hours and hours to get started with this. Just grab your ad tag, paste it into the interface and adjust one or two settings. If it’s harder than that – you’re doing it wrong.

    Video Advertising Tools For Publishers

    Real People On VideoFor a long time now, we’ve been big fans of showing the real people behind our company. In fact, I think pretty much every member of our team has made some sort of appearance on camera. Not only in our videos, but right the way through our site. We want to show the personality behind our brand.

    And in the January issue of Figaro Digital I was pleased to see that the experts agree…

    “People still respond best to people” – Georgia Marshall-Brown, Origin.

    “Nobody likes a faceless brand – employees have a vital role to play, whether in the physical retail environment or within your digital spaces.” – Alex Murray, Waitrose.

    Hear hear.

    If you’re looking to bring the personal touch to your own website, video makes the perfect medium. Why? Well, it’s very good for connecting on an emotional level with your consumer. And neuroscience can back me up on this. Dr. Susan Weinschenk gives 4 key reasons we’re programmed to respond to video on an emotional level:

      1. Our brains pay attention to faces
      2. Voices convey rich information
      3. Emotions are contagious
      4. Movement is attention grabbing

    (I won’t go into all the science she mentions here, but if that kind of thing is your bag you can read (and watch!) more here.)

    So I thought this week I’d take a page out of Figaro Digital’s book magazine, and discuss this whole “being human” thing. How can you maximise it’s potential?

    What Do You Want To Say?

    Before you rush into making your video stop and take a step back. It’s important to be sure that you’re making the video for the right reasons. Not just because it’s the latest buzzword. But because you’ve got a message for your audience and this is the best medium in which to tell it (which it probably is if you’re going for that emotional connection I mentioned above). Skip Fedura of Dotmailer has some sage advice,

    “Imagine your customer was right there in the room and ask yourself, ‘What should I say to this customer?’”

    You’re really looking to identify those situations where the online consumer would normally be helped along by someone on the shop floor.

    Form Follows Function

    It can be quite tempting to produce a very glossy, over produced video. And that’s fine – if it aligns with your video goals (I’m thinking for instance, if you’re going for raising brand awareness). If, however, your goal is to connect on that emotional level, you don’t have to spend mega bucks. The value of your video does not lie in how many special effects you cram in there.

    Instead, a friendly face and a compelling message can pay dividends. Of course, it isn’t always easy for people who have never been on camera to relax and act natural. And it’s an issue we’ve faced ourselves. If this is something you’re also struggling with, here are a few tips that have really worked for us.

    Get Video Delivery Right

    The real area you have to invest in is making sure the streaming experience is smooth. Consumers may be forgiving if you haven’t got high production values. They won’t forgive long loading times and buffering. Be sure your videos will play anywhere in the world, on any device (and yes vzaar can help with this). Shameless plug over.

    Seriously, though, the viewing experience is all important. A study by Conviva found that videos with long buffering times can have a catastrophic impact on engagement. In most cases viewers will abandon the video before the one minute mark (ReelSEO). So if you haven’t got a reliable video host you may find that the content you spent time and effort creating, just isn’t reaching its potential.

    Final Thoughts…

    “Humans are designed to have interpersonal relationships. In a socially connected world that values conversation over one-way marketing messages, bringing the personality of your brand to life through your people is increasingly important.” – Alex Murray, Waitrose.

    Thanks Alex, couldn’t have said it better myself :)

    vzaar connect video integrations and plugins

    Are you using a whole host of different platforms to make your business work? Whether it’s a CMS to run your website, an LMS to manage your course materials, CRM software to keep track of your leads, email providers to reach out to your user base… the list goes on and on (and on and on and on).

    Trying to make all those different platforms work together can be a real pain. You can wind up doing an awful lot of manual adminy type stuff to achieve your desired results. Wouldn’t you much rather be spending your time doing your actual job, rather than rushing around doing lots of leg work?

    Implementing a joined up video strategy is no different. Whether it’s publishing your videos to different platforms, collecting payments for video views, adding viewers to mailing lists…you’ll likely have a few different systems in place. Imagine if, with just a handful of button clicks, you could banish those mind numbing copy & paste jobs?

    That’s where vzaar Connect comes in. Our various video integrations and plugins mean that all those different platforms you’re using can communicate with one another. They turn all the various systems that you’re using into an end to end video solution. So you can spend less time doing the grunt work and more time getting s*** done. Let’s look at a few use cases so you can see what I mean…

    You want to add video to your website, but you have zero time and a modest budget

    You get that video has huuuuuge potential – it drives conversions, engages customers, builds brand loyalty…. You know you need to start using it on your site. The problem is how?

    You need: Animoto & vzaar

    Getting started with video can seem a little daunting. I get it, we’ve been there. The solution is Animoto.

    Animoto have a really nice, easy to use platform which basically lets you create videos using your photos & video clips. You add a background track and voila – you just made your first video my friend.

    One click export those videos to vzaar and you’ll then be able to take advantage of our secure & reliable video streaming. Plus lots of tools which will help you generate plenty of revenue from your new videos. Before you know it they’ll have paid for themselves!

    You use video to generate leads. You need to capture viewers details so you can send them follow up emails

    Sick of manually importing email addresses into your mailing list? It’s an unnecessary hassle and your time could be much better spent elsewhere.

    You need: vzaar Mail Catcher

    Mail Catcher adds an email capture form to your video. Sync this with either Aweber or MailChimp and all those viewer emails will go direct into your mailing list. Hurrah!

    Of course, if you’re not using either Aweber or MailChimp as your email provider you’ll still need some place to push your viewer data to. Here, you can integrate your vzaar account with Google Drive. We’ll create a spreadsheet for your viewer’s email addresses and then you’ve got that bit of extra flexibility to do whatever you want to with that spreadsheet.

    You use video right the way through your marketing funnel, from brand awareness to conversion

    Different video platforms suit different business goals. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness you’ll need to get as many video views as you can. For this, YouTube is ideal. On the other hand, if you’ve got more informational content designed to encourage conversion, you’ll need vzaar to securely host and brand your videos.

    The best video strategies do both. The problem is, once you start uploading x video to YouTube and y video to vzaar it can get pretty hairy. You need to keep track of which videos you’ve got hosted where, upload and re-upload to the different platforms and so on and so forth. Who has the time?

    You need: YouTube Syndication

    When you upload your videos to vzaar you can choose to automatically push them into your YouTube account. This means all your videos will now live in one place and you can use them as you see fit to reach your various business goals.

    You sell video lectures online and want to charge people to access them

    Welcome to the world of video pay per view. What you need is a video pay wall. And again this might seem like it’s going to be complicated to set up. Lots of coding required, right?

    Wrong!

    You need: vzaar & Tinypass integration

    Before you add your video paywall it’s important to make sure that the video stream itself is secure. We recommend enabling domain control and RTMPe streaming on your videos. This will make sure that your videos only play on your domains, and encrypts the stream making it harder for people to download.

    Then, you just need to add the video pay per view. Push your videos over to Tinypass and they’ll handle the paywall and payment collection. Sorted.

    Plus loads more…

    We’ve only really just tipped the iceberg in this blog post. These are just a few of the video plugins and integrations you have available when you sign up to vzaar. Hopefully we’ve shed a bit of light about how to get started creating your own end to end video solution. There’s plenty more integrations for you to try:

    • vzaar Magento Plugin: Automatically send vzaar videos to your Magento CMS to easily add them to your product pages. No fuss, no muss.

    • Google Analytics: Already using GA to measure your website data? By integrating with vzaar you’ll be able to see your video data in the same place. Handy.

    • Dropbox Uploader: This one’s particularly useful if you’re in a rush. Just add your videos into Dropbox and we’ll pull them into your vzaar account & email you when they’re ready.

    And we’re looking forward to adding more!

    Now go check out vzaar Connect and build the video strategy of your dreams :)