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Archive for Video Management

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 :)

Whenever content is delivered online; be it a video, a picture, a blog or something else entirely, you’ll always need to consider how that material is secured. Security allows you to manage who can access your content, providing a potential means of keeping sensitive information out of the public domain, monetising your content, or ensuring that it isn’t distributed elsewhere.

However, whenever something is made more secure, it also becomes less accessible. Imagine you have a simple login system, which controls who accesses your page. The benefit is you can now sell subscriptions, but you’re undoubtedly going to encounter a situation where a member of your audience cannot login.

This trade-off also carries over into the world of video delivery, where video piracy and playback performance are hot issues. The trick is to make things as secure as possible, without hindering your audience….but how?

Well, at vzaar we give you as much control and choice as possible – it’s up to you which you prefer; greater security, or more accessible content. The decision often depends on how you are using video within your business.

Video Delivery Options

RTMPe video streaming

Our secure video delivery method is called RTMPe. It is an encrypted variant of Adobe’s RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) protocol. RTMPe works by breaking your video up into many smaller fragments, each of which is only sent to the viewer as playback requires it. This is commonly referred to as video streaming.

The advantage of streaming is that your viewers never have that whole video file. This makes it much harder for the video to be copied, because the whole file’s never present on the viewer’s computer.

Here’s a quick video from Terry, which illustrates

Now, remember that trade-off I mentioned earlier? By making the video more secure, we have made it less accessible. As the file is secured by fragmenting it and delivering it at the point of use, the viewer’s connection needs to maintain a constant reliable speed. Most of the time that won’t be much of an issue but (just like some people forget passwords) some viewer’s connections will be more problematic than others.

HTTP Progressive Download

The more accessible alternative, which vzaar offers, is delivering video content via HTTP. HTTP is the standard delivery method for the majority of content on the web. Whenever you view a picture, open an article, or view your Facebook feed, it’s delivered via HTTP.

What HTTP does really well is downloading as much information, as quickly as possible. That can be really great for online video because the video downloads ahead of playback, so the content’s ready before you are. If your connection slows down, or drops entirely, the next few minutes of your video are already ready and waiting.

Also, because HTTP is the standard protocol for web content, it operates over a port which is almost always open (port 80). If you’re working on a secure network, you may find your company has blocked off some ports for security purpose (yet another instance of our trade-off). However, because port 80 is so universally required, it is very rarely closed.

So Which Video Delivery Method Should You Choose?

Horses for courses: the right tools for the right job

Let’s imagine for a second that you’re a marketer, whose prime objective is getting your content out to as many people as possible. In this situation your principal concern will be ensuring that everyone hears your message. There’s nothing worse than a willing viewer with technical difficulties.

Accessibility is key here and HTTP delivery is the perfect tool for the job.

By contrast, let’s say you’re running a course of lectures and charging students a fee to sign up. The last thing you want is someone downloading the video and sending it to all their friends. After all, those people are your potential customers.

In this scenario, use RTMPe streaming. It ensures that your content cannot be downloaded and is only accessible from one source. You.

Wrapping Up…

These two scenarios highlight something important. Whilst there is, and will always be, a trade-off between security and accessibility, there’s no correct balance. You’ll always find some methods more secure and others more open.

The solution is dependant upon your own objective. Our goal here is to be flexible and give you two of the best tools. One that’s very secure and another, which is open as things get.

Thanks for reading and a happy new year!

Download How To Secure Video Content

Categories Video Management, vzaar FAQ
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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.

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