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Archive for Video Inspiration

Adding video to your site has the potential to send conversions soaring. You may be familiar with some of these statistics…

  • Videos increase conversion by 64 – 85% (Kissmetrics)
  • 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online (Animoto)
  • 174% increased conversion rate for Step2 when they started using product videos (Retail Touchpoints)

But, it’s important to remember that a successful video marketing campaign doesn’t just mean pointing your camera, hitting record and then embedding the finished product in your website. Hold your horses! Before all that there’s an important planning step – skip this at your peril!

You need to be thinking about why you are creating video and who it is for. It’s important to think about what stage in the sales funnel your audience are in. And create the appropriate content to support them through that stage. Let’s take a look at the type of videos that work well in the various stages.

1. Awareness

Here you’re targeting an audience who are unfamiliar with your brand. You want to make them sit up and take notice of what you’ve got to say, and – crucially – they need to remember you.

The best way to do this is to connect emotionally with the viewer. Try to attach a creative story to your brand one that makes the audience really feel something. The best emotions to instil in your viewers? Well, Unruly Media found..

  • Exhilaration most successful at getting people to remember something. Videos which incorporated this had 65% recall.
  • Hilarity came in a close second with 51% recall

If you haven’t already I’d encourage you to check out Unruly’s excellent Science of Video Sharing video for more details.

2. Consideration & Evaluation

Here your potential customers have identified they have a problem and they’re actively seeking a solution. Your job is to make them confident that that solution is you.

Your video content here should be telling viewers who you are, how you’re different and what your product does.

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos, as the name suggests, explain what the product or service you’re offering. These work particularly well if you’ve got a fairly novel product that your audience aren’t going to be immediately familiar with.

They present sometimes complex information in a simple manner, often using animation to bring the visual to life (by the way check out GoAnimate for a really easy drag & drop way to create these.)

About Us Videos

If your customer has a short list of say, 3 brands, and you’re all selling the same – or very similar – products, an about us video can work wonders. People like to buy from people, not from a faceless company. About us videos are one way to help connect and identify with your consumer. And could just make you stand out from the crowd.

Bow and Drape about us video

Bow and Drape connect with likeminded consumers with the story behind the brand.

Product Videos

Product videos should be embedded on your product page and provide additional information about said product. Often when shopping online it’s difficult for consumers to know exactly what’s going to arrive on their doorstep in a few days time.

Product videos help increase confidence that your customer is buying what they think they’re buying. They should show the product from all angles, explain how it works, and show where it can be used.

Just bats product video

Justbats.com explain which type of bat is best suited for your needs.

Client Testimonials

These are a form of social proof. Letting your customers know that other people have bought your product/service and are happy with it can be a powerful influencer. In fact, consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from the brand itself (Ambitious Marketer).

If you want to incorporate video testimonials on your own site, Bravo is a nifty piece of software which will allow you to capture them using your customers own webcam.

Post Conversion

Congratulations the customer converted (and here a conversion could mean buying a product, submitting a form or signing up to a free trial)! But don’t stop there. Now is the time to delight your customer and keep them coming back for more.

How To and Training Videos can work really well here – they’ll ensure that your customer is using your product properly and really benefitting from choosing you. In fact, we use these a lot ourselves, creating video screencasts that show our clients where they should click in their account to achieve a particular goal.


Ready to convert customers with your own videos? Check out how vzaar can help your business here.

Fire Up Video Marketing

It’s been a long week. Your to do list has been never-ending. And you still haven’t summoned the energy to put together that video script your boss wanted. Never mind plan a storyboard that really pops. So you sit at your desk and wait for the blank page to magically fill with some juicy copy.

Sound familiar?

Now, we can’t write your script and plan your storyboard for you. What we can do though is try to provide you with that little spark of inspiration from which beautiful videos grow. So here goes…

    1. “Authenticity, honesty and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the web” – Rick Levine, Cluetrain Manifesto

    2. “Effective engagement is inspired by the empathy that develops simply by being human.” – Brian Solis, Altimeter Group

    3. “Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.” – Doug Kessler, Velocity Partners

    4. “If your marketing connects with them emotionally, they are going to remember it, share it and buy it. Figuratively, and literally.” – Christine Perkett, PerkettPR

    5. “If you sell something, you make a customer today. If you help someone, you may create a customer for life. The key to success – the key to marketing that people love – is to stop being a salesman, and start becoming a Youtility.” – Jay Baer

    6. “Marketers must now give buyers what they want – information that answers their questions and needs. The best way to do that in 2014 is through high quality content. Content that engages and satisfies what a buyer is looking for will be listened to and will be much more effective.” – Jon Whiting, Three Motion

    7. “Less is more. Keeping it simple takes time and effort.” – Jeff Bullas

Hope it helps!


Categories Video Inspiration, Video Marketing
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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…