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Archive for Video Inspiration

Ah the World Cup. To some just a collection of football (or soccer to those across the pond) matches. But to brands. A huge, no make that HUGE, opportunity to score (geddit?) some extra revenue.

So what happened to video views during the World Cup? And what can we learn from that to inform online video strategy next time there’s a big global shindig?

A couple of headline stats stand out:

Online video views (typically) fell during match times

The most notable of these perhaps not surprisingly being during the World Cup Final. Video views fell by 31% while the match was aired.

Online Video Views During World Cup

Looks like the world’s attention was on the match, with people choosing to watch with friends and family as part of a social event. Taking a break from their online activities – at least for a little while.

Video views soar after each match

Now look what happened immediately following the game, 130% increase in video views – whew!

And we saw this across the board, with peaks in viewing figures swiftly following the majority of World Cup matches.

All of this suggest that rather than using online video during the match, fans turned online only after the whistle blew – choosing to relive the experience that way.

So, what does this tell us?

1. Are you prepared for drama?

Remember those surges in video views after each match? Well, the biggest surges tended to come after matches which saw particularly high drama or shocking outcomes:

  • 89% hike in viewing figures following Cameroon vs Croatia, a match which saw a fight break out between Cameroon team mates Assou-Ekotto and Mkandio.
  • 58% increase post Brazil vs Columbia, during this match Brazilian favorite Neymar sustained a back injury which put him out of the rest of the tournament.
  • 57% after Spain vs Netherlands in which 2010 champions Spain crashed out.

To make the most of these moment you need to respond quickly. With any live event – not just football – there’s sure to be surprises in store (we saw this with Oreo’s speedy response to the SuperBowl blackout).

But, it’s not like you know in advance what’s going to happen during each game. So you need to have systems in place that allow you to react swiftly, which brings us to the first of our three key takeaways:

If you can’t supply your content quickly your audience may go elsewhere. Choose your tools carefully, it shouldn’t take more than a few clicks of a mouse button to get your videos live.

2. Can you handle the load?

So you manage to react to a big shock during whatever event is happening. But can you handle the traffic that brings your way?

Throughout the World Cup 67% of total video views were of sports videos.

In fact, Futbol Sites saw a whopping 300% increase in video views. And this just goes to show how much real world events can impact the online realm.

Futbol Sites is a network of football sites across Latin America so for them the World Cup was always gonna be a big deal.

Are there any real world events that your business is linked to? Perhaps you’re a cycling goods store and it’s Tour De France time, or maybe you’re a purveyor of tennis racquets during the US Open – whatever. Don’t underestimate the potential traffic gains.

Key takeaway: choose a global CDN that can handle a heavy load – you don’t want to crash under the weight of traffic that could come your way.

3. What will you do with all that traffic?

You’ve supplied relevant content, at just the right time. And your videos are streaming smoothly. Now what?

Having lots of video views is great… but what are you doing with those video views? How are you going to use them to help your business?

Let’s take a look at some examples:

1. Raise brand awareness.

Particularly if you’re news jacking some major worldwide event. People are probably looking for the kind of content you’re providing. And you should be seeing your video views rise. Make the most of it by making your video easy to share.

The aim here is to get as many people to watch as possible. By adding social sharing options to your videos you’ll encourage your viewers to spread the word across their social networks.

2. Raise revenue.

There’s tons of statistics about how people are more likely to buy products if they’ve watched a video about that product.

Great if you’re an eCommerce site selling football boots, for example: you’ve got a video covering the World Cup action, you got lots of people viewing that video. Be sure to include a call to action and link to said football boots to really squeeze conversions out of it.

But what if you’re not selling a product per se. What if, like Futbol Sites you’re more of a media or online publishing site?

You can still make money from your video with video advertising.

“Our sites showed the feeling, the atmosphere and the game at its best. With vzaar’s support we were able to capitalise on all of that growth with pre-roll video advertising in Latin America from advertisers such as Ford, Nike, Pringles, Gillette, Gatorade and more” – Emmanuel Serruya, Futbol Sites

You need to think strategically when you’re planning your video content to make sure you achieve whatever it is you’re hoping to – be it awareness, sales or advertising revenues.

Third and final take away: have a plan in place to maximise revenue from your video views and make sure you’ve got the tools you need to make it happen.

In Summary…

With gazillions of people all focused on one tournament it’s bound to have huge effects elsewhere. Next time there’s an event of this kind (Commonwealth Games anyone?) make sure you make the most of it.

You need to be able to react quickly, handle large amounts of traffic and have a plan in place to capitalise on that traffic.

Zeeshan Najeeb of multi-million dollar eLearning company Dr Najeeb Lectures tells us how they racked up 11 million video views…

Dr Najeeb At Dr Najeeb Lectures we recently hit a landmark figure: 11 million views of our video lectures. When I think back to the early one-man-and-his-camera days it seems almost unbelievable how far we’ve come.


Because we have such a large global audience (100,000 subscribers – and counting!) it is absolutely essential that we provide them with quality lecture material. Our video lectures are how we make our money, and if they’re not up to scratch we risk losing all of our hard won students.

It’s really, really important that we give our students a quality viewing experience. And this is how we do it…

1. Reliable Video Streaming

Long loading times and lots of video buffering just isn’t an option. Of course, with students all over the world this presents a little bit of challenge since Internet connection speeds vary wildly.

One trick that has worked really well for us has been to use vzaar’s Progressive Download option. This loads the video file ahead of time so streaming is very quick and smooth.

We also find that because vzaar has a global CDN we’re able to reach our students wherever in the world they happen to be. Without a doubt the decision to go with vzaar for our video hosting has been the best we have made for our business.

vzaar global cdn map

2. High Quality Content

We know our videos stream smoothly, but that’s only half the story. The content itself needs to be of the highest standard.

In the education industry content really is king and we refuse to compromise. Our video lectures are our product, and we’re proud of them.

Subject Matter Experts are vital here.

And we are blessed with one of the best. There’s nothing that Dr. Najeeb doesn’t know about the medical sciences (and no wonder – he’s been teaching it for nearly 30 years!).

If you’re just starting out I can’t stress enough the importance of rehearsing before you jump right in. It’s a bit of a cliché but: practice makes perfect!

3. Keep It Fresh

Every video we produce contains different material. We try to add value and new insight in each lecture. We never want to repeat ourselves and have our audience lose interest.

Diversity is the key. And we publish fresh content every week.

Of course working to such a tight schedule can be demanding, but we’ve found a few tricks that really help us churn out the videos quickly.

  • Keep it simple. When it comes to creating videos, often the temptation is to put all sorts of bells and whistles in. But you don’t need Hollywood style special effects to create a video that engages. Ours are just Dr. Najeeb and his whiteboard – and it works!

    Dr Najeeb Lecturing

  • Shoot multiple videos at the same time. Rather than set all our equipment up, shoot the video, then take the equipment down again, we just set up the equipment once and then shoot a bulk load of videos all at the same time. Little things can save a LOT of time.

  • Start small and ramp up. Don’t put an unrealistic schedule in place and then struggle to keep up. You’ll only disappoint your students. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years no so at this point we’ve got the process down to a tee; we know what we’re doing, and we do it.

4. Mobile Video

A lot of our students choose to learn when they’re on the go; accessing our videos from their Smartphones and tablets.

Now, I confess: we aren’t video experts. We don’t spend our time worrying about whether a video works on x, y, z device. We just let vzaar handle that part for us.

They automatically detect and deliver html5 video when its needed meaning our videos are compatible with desktop, tablet and mobile (and if you want more technical info than that you’ll have to ask them ;))

5. Video Comments

We’ve found videos are a very engaging medium to use, but we also wanted to give our students a voice. We use Disqus which allows any of our members to leave comments underneath the video.

This has really helped develop a community atmosphere. Our video lectures teamed with student comments kick start lots of relevant and productive discussions: adding even more value to the course.

6. Be Social

To develop that community sprit even more social media is a must. Facebook in particular has been a winner for us (450,000 fans at last count) We regularly run competitions and events and this really helps us to develop a bond with our students.

This not only keeps them coming back it also helps drive new subscriptions as our current students are huge brand advocates and spread the word among their social networks.

7. Act on Feedback

Feedback is important in any business – not just eLearning. We communicate with our members all the time to find out how they feel about our services and how they can be improved.

If we’re not meeting our students needs we’re not doing our job properly and that would have a massive impact on the success of the business.

Our ultimate goal as educators is to help students learn, their feedback is vital to ensure we’re doing that to the best of our ability.

About Dr. Najeeb Lectures: Dr Najeeb Lectures is the world’s most popular medical eLearning course. With the world’s largest library of online medical lectures Dr. Najeeb Lectures provides students with a solid foundation for their ongoing education and career, enabling them to achieve higher grades and enjoy the learning experience.

Interested in learning more about using video in eLearning? Check out vzaar’s video hosting for education platform for more information.

Categories eLearning, Video Inspiration
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Terry Shares Video Production Tips

Over the last few years we’ve experimented with talking heads, screencasts, location shoots and full on narrative pieces. Juggling props, working with different kit and getting to grips with audio.

There’s been trials. There’s been errors. There’s been a LOT of bloopers.

Putting all of that learning to good use, our in house video producer extraordinaire Terry went along to the BBC Media Village to join videophiles from all over London.

He shared some of the lessons we’ve learned (more often that not the hard way!) from our own video making experience…

Making beautiful videos from the humble DSLR

For anyone holding a DSLR in their hand and thinking about dipping a toe into video, there’s a multitude of things to consider.

Stringing hundreds of frames together to tell a coherent and effective story requires a new mindset and approach, but with a bit of technical know-how and a few production hacks it really is possible to get extraordinary results from some strictly ordinary kit.

And last night Terry shared how.

We’ll be bringing you a video and slides from the night soon. So you’ll be able to skip all those painful bits and go straight to making awesome videos. Subscribe using the form below and we’ll let you know when we post ‘em.

But, if you can’t wait that long (and frankly who can blame ya!) here’s a sneak preview…

And, just to show you that Terry does know what he’s talking about…

Who is Terry?

With a background in interactive applications and over 10 years development experience, Terry is equal parts technician and creative. He currently acts as vzaar’s one man video making machine, spending his time filming, editing – and sometimes acting in – our marketing and support videos.

If you’re making your own videos and have any questions let him know in the comments below…


We all need a little inspiration sometimes…

Video Marketing Ideas

I’ll admit it. Some of our earlier video marketing efforts weren’t great. But, after a lot of reading, of chatting with the people in the know, of attending events and seminars, we’ve come to a point where we know what tone we’re shooting for.

Our mission with our videos is to be helpful, humorous and human. Sounds simple right? But we didn’t reach that point over night.

Over the past few years we’ve been learning more and more about using video for marketing. Here’s a few quotes that really struck a chord with us.

It’s advice we try to live by in our own video marketing. Hopefully you’ll find it useful too:

    1. “Marketing that educates and informs is always more persuasive in the end than marketing that boasts or sells too hard.” – David Carpenter, Connection Model
    2. “Make the customer the hero of your story” – Ann Handley, MarketingProfs
    3. “Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one” – Robert Rose
    4. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to share your unique perspective on why the wheel is important” – Jon Ball, Page One Power
    5. “How can you build a house without a blueprint? The answer is: you can’t. In the same way, a video without a storyboard is like a house without a foundation.” – Han Lung, Vidaao (The Secrets of Successful Storyboarding)
    6. “By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships” – Jonathon Lister, LinkedIn
    7. “Smart brands don’t use their ads to interrupt the conversation. They become the conversation” – Barney Worfolk-Smith, Unruly Media (Video Marketing: The Science of Video Sharing with Unruly)

I’m sure there’s plenty more learning we have left to do. Plenty more tips to try out and advice to heed. What do you find particularly inspiring for your own video marketing campaigns? We’d love to hear more – share in the comments below.

Categories Video Inspiration, Video Marketing
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We heard tons of clear, actionable insights into video marketing at our Future of Video Marketing event last month.

Here’s what went down:

Optimizing Your Videos From Search Engines

It’s super important to tie business goals to your video marketing campaigns. Whether your goal is driving traffic & conversions, raising brand awareness or encouraging links and shares, will have a big impact on the content and implementation of your video marketing. Phil Nottingham of Distilled gave us his best practice advice. Read more.

The Science of Video Sharing

Social video, as we call it, rather than viral video, social video has been around for let say since 2006 and it’s almost as if it’s being delivered apologetically by brands. It could be an amazing piece of content, but at the end, they’re like ooh sorry. That was brand X.The reality of the situation is a lot of brands are missing the opportunity” Barney Worfolk Smith of Unruly shares with us 6 research findings that could get your videos shared. Read More.

The Future Will Be Televised

Then I’m going to pull it right back down to brass tacks to tell you, as people in business today, what this means to you, and what you can do, practically tomorrow, that would in fact empower you and help you.” Richard Teideman of London Creative on the shift from television to online video. Read more.