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 Management

Help With Video ConversionDid you ever launch your video only not to see the same conversion rates that you were expecting? You may conclude “well, video just doesn’t work for us” but it may be that you haven’t implemented it properly. Sometimes when something isn’t working, it’s hard to understand why. Online video is still something a lot of businesses are grappling with; best practices are still emerging and it can be tough to do video well.

As a video hosting company we see all sorts of companies doing all sorts of things with their videos. So we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what works, and what doesn’t.

One of the most common video goals is conversion. And in general there’s 3 traps that can catch people out. If you’re finding your video isn’t converting, don’t immediately write it off. Spending time working at video, researching and experiementing can pay dividends. When done right, video can really pack a punch (all the stats here).

To help you troubleshoot what’s going wrong with your video strategy, ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Where is your video hosted?

First things first, since your goal here is conversions, do not upload your video to YouTube. YouTube is great if you want to raise brand awareness, but it’s not great at sending traffic to your site. Phil Nottingham of Distilled actually did some research into this and found that the average CTR from YouTube is a measly 0.72% (check out his deck on optimizing video for search engines for more.)

Think about it: the YouTube audience is there to be entertained. As soon as a viewer is done watching your video they’re much more likely to click on to the next video, and the next and so on and so forth. Uploading your video to YouTube and you’ll lose your viewers to cute cats.

Instead, embed your video on your site. Only then will you have complete control over the viewer experience.

2. How long is your video?

You need people to stick around long enough to process your message and get excited about buying your product or signing up to your course. Take another look at your video content. Or, ask a friend or two who won’t mind giving you an honest, critical appraisal. To maximise your video conversions, make sure that you:

Get the the point.

Most people switch off after the first 8 seconds (National Center for Biotechnology Information) you really only have a short time frame to hook your viewer.

Tell a story.

The good news is that once you have successfully hooked your viewer, it is possible to maintain their interest. Simply by telling them a story. We as humans are hard wired to appreciate stories – they were central to our evolution. In fact, telling a good story can increase levels of Oxytocin in the brain. And it’s this chemical that makes people motivated to cooperate (Harvard Business Review). Hello extra video conversions!

Keep it snappy.

Our research shows that the average length of a promotional video is less than 60 seconds. Of course, for different types of videos different lengths may be more appropriate. But as a general rule of thumb make sure you convey your key message within that 60 second window.

Average Video Length

3. Have you used a call to action?

What happens at the end of your video? If your answer here is “nothing”, you need to fix that. It’s important to tell your viewer what they should do next. If your content has been successful at motivating them to buy, provide the “add to cart button” there and then – don’t make them hunt for it.

In fact, using a call to action can increase conversions by 144% (Quick Sprout)

It’s such a simple trick to add some end screen text to your video (check out the demo below), and yet it’s one that is very often overlooked.

Of course there’s TONS more you can do with your videos. And loads more tools you have at your disposal. To find out how vzaar can help your videos meet their business goals, sign up to a free trial or get in touch – always happy to help.

Until next time, bye for now :)

Your videos are valuable. It’s important that you protect them. Let’s say, for example, you’re an eLearning company sharing video lectures with course subscribers. What would happen if your valuable course content became freely available online?

You’d probably find that less people signed up to your course and you made less money from it. Bad times.

But what if there was a way you could keep your videos secure and charge people to access them? Well, people would have to sign up to the course to get their hands on your tasty video content. Plus, you’d make money from that extra demand. Good times.

Introducing vzaar Tinypass integration

That’s pretty much exactly what Tinypass does. Adding a Tinypass paywall to your video will mean only people who pay to watch it, can watch it.

Integrating your vzaar account with Tinypass is a great way for you to make more money from your video content. And it’s super easy to get started – no coding or lots of dev work required. A few mouse clicks and you’re pretty much done (check out the demo video here for more details).

We’re really excited to team up with Tinypass because it adds another tool to our video security kit. A lot of our features are designed to protect the video stream itself – so that people can’t download it and re-embed it elsewhere. Teamed with Tinypass, we’re now able to bring you end to end video security which will safeguard your assets (and make you more money!).

Here’s what we recommend:

Step 1: Add Tinypass Paywall to your videos

First and foremost you need to secure your video behind a paywall. This is where Tinypass comes in. Once you sync up your vzaar and Tinypass account you’ll be able to charge viewers to access and collect extra cash from your video views. Check out the video demo here.

Step 2: Prevent Unauthorized Downloads

Now that you’ve started collecting money from your videos it’s vital that you keep control of the content. The last thing you want is for students to start downloading them and making them freely available. RTMPe streaming is ideal here. It breaks your video stream down into encrypted chunks, so it’s much harder to download the entire video file. them you need to be sure that they won’t crop up elsewhere.

Step 3: Lock Your Video Embed Code

The last step is to make sure that your video only plays on the domains you want it to. Domain control locks your video embed code so that if somebody tries to embed your video on a domain which you haven’t okay-ed it won’t play.

Video security is vital for business – it’s only by keeping control of video content that you can make money from it. The vzaar Tinypass integration means you can now protect your videos from every angle, make more money and ultimately grow your business – what’s not to love!?

Want to give it a go? Check out the video demo and help document to get started.

Download How To Secure Video Content

Props to Incompetech for another batch of superb music clips: “Local Forecast – Elevator” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Volatile Reaction” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

5 Ways To Increase Video Views

Hayley
article by:

You did everything right. You followed all the advice. You researched your audience, you understood their needs, wants, desires. You created a video that answered one of their typical questions. It was all about them and less about you.

And then you put your video live. And it was crickets out there.

All the hard work you put into creating the content just isn’t paying off because nobody is watching it. You know that if you can just get the eyeballs up this video can’t fail to engage and convert. But how?

What if I told you there are 5 practical steps you can take to increase video views. No, not 6 magic bullets that will fire your content into the stratosphere, but 5 tools that if used correctly can steadily build an engaged audience….

1. Embed Video In Plain Sight

Take a look at the page on which you’ve embedded your video. I mean realllllly look at it. Where’s the video? Is it tiny and pushed into a corner? Is it lost because there’s just SO much else on the page you can no longer see it?

If people can’t find your video they can’t watch it. One of the simplest ways to increase video views is just to make the video more noticeable.

MediaPost have put the percentage of people who watch a video when it is available on a page at 12%. If your play count is less than 12% of your page views, go do the following:

    1. Move your video up the page and make it larger
    2. Change your poster frame. It needs to compel the visitor to hit play. Try an image that generates curiosity or posits a question
    3. Make your play button stand out. The play button is a strong call to action – willing the visitor to hit play. Be sure it’s present and isn’t obscured by the poster frame image. You could also further draw the eye to it with arrows or animation.

Making the video more prominent on the page will also improve your SEO. But we’ll get to that…

2. Follow Video SEO Best Practices

If you can get your video pages into the top search positions you’ll be rewarded with extra video views. The good news is that Google likes videos. It may have removed video rich snippets from search but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your video SEO efforts. All the evidence we’ve seen thus far is that the removal of video rich snippets is a cosmetic change only. Pages that include video are still ranking highly.

The first thing you you need to do is build a video sitemap. This will tell Google what the video is about so it knows it’s a relevant result for a given search query. If all this has you scratching your head in confusion I recommend you go check out this video from SEO pros Distilled which goes into more detail on this whole video sitemap thing.

Once you’ve created your video sitemap I recommend:

    1. Use the word “video” in your meta titles and descriptions. With video thumbnails no longer appearing in search results you now need to tell searchers there’s a video on this page, rather than relying on the visual cue.
    2. Include a video transcript on the page. Chances are this will contain plenty of lovely keywords that will indicate to Google that this is a super relevant result.
    3. Keep an eye on your bounce rate. Google loves sites that deliver great user experience and a high bounce rate is a sign that your content delivers anything but. Making your video more obvious on the page will help. Searchers who click on a video result will expect to see said video, so don’t make it hard to find. Video is also a very engaging piece of content and will keep visitors on your page longer – a very good sign for Google. In fact, when Moneyweek changed their page design so that the video features more heavily time on page shot up by 40% AND they saw an increase in organic traffic by 136 per cent overall!

3. Send Video To Mailing List

What’s your mailing list for? Isn’t it to tell people about all your latest news and offers? Doesn’t that include when you’ve posted a new video? If you’ve got a mailing list and you AREN’T telling them about it, you’re missing an easy way you can increase your video views.

  • Email can drive 24 times as much traffic as social media (DIYthemes)

  • Video is particularly engaging content for newsletter subscribers and can increase click through rate by 96% (GetResponse)

To maximise the amount of traffic you get through from this channel you need to:

    1. Add video poster frames to your emails and make sure the play button is visible. This will act as a strong visual on which to click.
    2. Include the word “video” in your email subject line – the research shows that this will increase email open rates.

If you’re reading this thinking “but I haven’t got a mailing list”. It’s time to grow one. There’s an old saying that pretty much sums it up, “The best time to plant a seed was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” There’s no time like the present. Create valuable content, gate it with email capture forms, get the SEO ship shape and promote it socially. Those subscribers will come – steadily and over time.

4. Share Video On Social Media

How can you expect people to know you’ve got a video waiting to be watched unless you tell them about it? You’ve got to post it in the places that your audience hang out. Be that Twitter, Facebook – wherever.

Of course, everyone is doing it. 350,000 tweets are sent in a single minute (Internet Live Stats). So how on earth will your single, solitary tweet get a look in?

The trick is to draw attention to it. And the best way to do that is to make it bigger. Make it take up more real estate on that twitter feed.

Enter Twitter cards.

Let’s focus on the player card (this being a post about how to get video views up, after all). Twitter player cards let you post your video directly into the news feed. There’s no need for people to click off to your site to view the content.

And it can be pretty powerful. When we ourselves tweet using player cards we see about 4 times the amount of engagement (that is retweeting, favouriting and post clicking) than when we tweet without ‘em.

A step by step on how to enable player cards for yourself is here.

5. Make Your Video Easy To Share

People are far more likely to watch a video when it has been recommended to them by a friend. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, rather than you having to promote your video, your audience did it for you?

Well, the first thing you need to do is actually create content that’s worth sharing. And for this, you need to make your viewers feel something. According to the great minds at Unruly Media you should:

    1. Make it emotional
    2. Be positive
    3. Focus on personal triumph
    4. Brand it
    5. Exhilarate the viewer

Once you’ve got your content in tip top shape for sharing be sure you’ve got the technical implementation down, too. You need to make your video easy to share. Add social sharing buttons into the video player itself to kick your audience into action.

Remember: There’s More To Life Than Increasing Video Views

Yes, it’s important that your videos are getting viewed. But don’t make this the only metric that you track. Views in themselves don’t bring you money (unless of course you add adverts into your videos). You should be playing close attention to how well your video is converting, too. A lot of views aren’t worth anything if those viewers don’t eventually become customers.

That being said, the first step to a conversion is a view. Your videos don’t get the chance to convert if they never get viewed. Work on increasing video views with these 5 steps and then make sure you’re making the most of that extra traffic with video tools designed to convert viewers to customers.

Video Hosting For Marketing

“What are those things at the bottom of my video management page?”

Advanced Video Links

Beyond uploading & embedding it into your website there’s TONS more ways you can use your video throughout your business. There’s lots of really quite cool applications for it and the key to using many of these lies in your advanced video links.

You’ll find these links under each of your videos in your vzaar account. Let’s walk through what they are and what you can do with ‘em…

Thumbnail
Animated Thumbnail
Poster Frame
Video
HD Video
Download Video
Download Source File

   

1. Thumbnail

What is looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/thumb

What is does: Provides a teeny, tiny thumbnail image; 120px by 90px.

How to use it: Organising videos into a collection or gallery. Adding a large number of video players onto one page can mean it takes a long time to load. Instead, create a gallery of clickable thumbnails linking to the videos.

Why it’s useful: Well, aside from the benefit of shorter page loading times there links are particularly handy for two reasons…

    1. Saves time: you don’t need to wait for images to upload to your CMS, all you need to do is input the thumbnail link inside some image tags and hey presto, your video will appear.

    2. Dynamically updates: let’s say you decide to change your video’s poster frame, provided you’ve used this link in your CMS (as opposed to uploading a static image), your video gallery will update to match. No fuss, no muss.

The code: All you need to do is put this image link inside some some html image tags and then link this to your video. It’s that easy. For example, using this code:

<a href="http://vzaar.com/videos/1380051">
<img src="http://view.vzaar.com/1380051/thumb" alt="" /></a>

Will give you this result:

   

2. Animated Thumbnail

What is looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/athumb

What it does: Like the standard thumbnail but funkier. This is a link to a GIF image, which shows a collection of frames from your video.

How to use it: Pretty much like the regular thumbnail image. The difference is that this thumbnail also provides a little preview of the video itself.

Why it’s useful: As with the regular thumbnail you’ll again save time and your video gallery will dynamically update, but the real benefit of using the animation is that it will help to attract attention to your video and should result in lots of lovely video views.

   

3. Poster Frame

What is looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/image

What it does: Provides a larger image, either matched to the video’s frame size or 768px across (whichever is bigger). Unlike the thumbnail images, this asset matches the video’s aspect ratio.

How to use it: As a clickable image. Rather than embedding the video, just use the image to fill a decent space on your page. Then, when the image is clicked upon, you can either link to a separate video page, or use Javascript to open a lightbox.

Why it’s useful: There’s a few different benefits depending on how you are using the poster frame link. Two common use cases are:

  • For a video lightbox

    Since you’re only adding an image to your web page, instead of the entire video you can speed up loading times (and this is great both for your user experience and to aid your SEO endeavours). Many people also find lightboxed videos really help to focus the viewer’s attention so they come in handy if you’ve got a particularly important message and you need to make sure it isn’t missed!
  • Adding video to email

    Including a video in your email can increase click through rates by 96% (GetResponse). The problem is that many email providers don’t support video because they simply make the email file size too big. Adding the poster frame link into the email and linking to wherever your video is embedded means you can get the extra clicks without running into difficulties.

   

4. Video

What is looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/video

What it does: Links to the asset’s MP4 file, with an ‘inline’ content disposition.

How to use it: We’ve seen customers use this link for a lot of things in the past. These have included….

  • Playing a vzaar video in a third party player
  • Creating augmented reality applications
  • Media based applications in iOS and Android
  • To use within HTML5 video tags

Why it’s useful: Put simply, a lot of applications ask for it! To get them to work (and reap the benefits of each) this is the link to use. Let’s go through three of the most popular ones…

Layar: If you’re business that produces a lot of print materials you can add a “Layar” of interactivity (see what I did there :P). Customers scan the print on their mobile and up pops your video. Layar report that customers are 165% more likely to buy a product when it contains an augmented reality component of this kind.

Twitter Player Cards: Twitter have a nifty little feature that lets you add video to your tweets so that the content plays in your audience Twitter feeds (rather than having to click the link to view elsewhere). By enabling Twitter Player Cards your tweet will take up much more space, attracting attention and driving extra engagement. The blog post here will teach you how to enable this.

Slider Revolution: This is a WordPress plugin which lets you create a revolving banner for your website so you can display different messages. By selecting HTML5 from the video options and entering this link you can add your video to one of the banner slides.

   

5. HD Video

What is looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/video/hd

What it does: Added bonus! If you’re using dual-encoding, we’ll give you separate HD and SD video links. Giving you just that little bit of extra choice.

How to use it: This link can be used in the exact same way as the video link. You could even write a little JavaScript to switch between the two.

   

6. Download Video

What it looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/download

What it does: Links to the asset’s MP4 file, with an ‘attachment’ content disposition.

How to use it: This links to exactly the same file as the /video link. The difference is the content-disposition header we’ve given it. Opening this link will automatically download the video’s MP4 file.

Why it’s useful: It’s great for quickly sharing project files at work, or giving users the option to save a video for later.

   

7. Download Source File

What it looks like: http://view.vzaar.com/xxxxxxx/source

What it does: This is another MP4 file link, which becomes available if you’re using source storage. Like the other download links, it has the ‘attachment’ content disposition.

How to use it: These links will let you and your team access those original files quickly, whenever you need them.

Why it’s useful: Source storage let’s you keep a backup of all your video’s original files. If you can’t find your video file locally you don’t need to panic – so long as you’ve got Source Storage enabled you can just go to your vzaar account and download the source file.

Get Started

So there we go! A few ideas to whet your appetite. As always we’re on hand to walk you through any of this stuff so give us a call or drop us a line.

Login to your vzaar account or sign up for a 30 day free trial (no credit card needed!) to give it a go. Let us know how you get on :)

   

If your aim is to drive LOTS of traffic to your lovely videos you should be making growing your mailing list a priority. In fact, sending your content out to an engaged email list can bring you up to 24 times as much traffic as pushing out through your social media channels (DIYthemes).

The best way to grow your mailing list? Umm, well… just ask your audience for their emails. Sending out your emails to an audience who’ve actually opted in (rather than buying a list, for example) will mean you can be sure the recipients have at least some kind of interest in who you are and what you do. And there’s no time like the present – you can start to collect your viewers email addresses today.

Good news, then, we’ve just launched our Mail Catcher feature which makes this process super easy. Add a mail capture form before, during or after your video and when a viewer enters their email address we’ll automatically sync this to your existing email list (MailChimp, Aweber or Google Drive).

Step 1: Integrate your email provider

First you’ll need to sync up your vzaar account with your email account, so we can input the emails onto the list for you (say goodbye to manual imports – hooray!). This is simple. So simple, in fact we can tell you how in about…ohhh ten seconds.

Step 2: Manage Mail Catcher settings

It’s then just a case of choosing which lists you want to use as default and whether you want to have your Mail Catcher form appear at the beginning, middle, or end of your video.

Next Steps

Over to you – give it a go! Login to your vzaar account, or sign up for 30 day free trial, to get started.

The help document here has more details, or of course you can always get in touch with any questions.

Happy Mail Catching :)