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Archive for Video Marketing

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.

Over the past few days it seems there’s been a change to how Google shows video results. There’s been a significant drop in the number of rich snippets shown in the SERPS. Just take a look at the numbers from MozCast:

MozCast_Feature_Graph

Whereas we used to see videos coming up in the main web search like so:

Old Video Rich Snippet

The video thumbnails have now been removed:

New Video Search Result

So what’s going on?

It’s difficult to say right now exactly what’s happened and what the future holds for video search results. The SEM Post did manage to get a quote from a Google spokesperson saying, “We’ll continue to show video snippets where it’s most relevant.”

A few different theories are doing the rounds…

1. User Experience Improvement?

Google recently removed authorship photos from the search results. Google’s John Mueller explained this as Google trying to clean up the visual design of search results and create a more consistent look across devices.

And now it seems like video thumbnails are going the same way too.

Could this be Google trying to de-clutter the search results? Maybe.

2. White Listed Domains?

SEER Interactive have pointed out that SOME domains are still showing video rich snippets. These include YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo and NYTimes (full list here.)

Most of these sites are media and video destination sites. It may be that Google has white listed these kind of sites and those that are on this list will have video snippets in the future.

Some have suggested that the preferential treatment of the Google owned YouTube is a move to drive more traffic and thus ad revenues. But before we jump to conclusions on that one let’s remember that there are others on this list here that aren’t Google owned.

So what now?

Well, the picture is still murky – how exactly is Google determining what is the “most relevant”? The truth is, it’s early days and we simply don’t know – yet. But rest assured we’re trying to find out.

In the meantime – don’t panic!

And definitely DON’T stop sending your video sitemap…

Video pages are still ranking highly

The disappearance of the video rich snippet may be only a cosmetic change. From what we’ve seen, pages with video on them are still ranking highly. The thumbnail may be gone, but the result is still there so it’s important to keep telling Google that there’s a video on the page and what it’s about. Now that searchers don’t have the visual cue that there’s a video on the page, it may be worth trying out some new titles and descriptions that explicitly tell the searcher this is a video result instead.

Video rich snippets now in video search tab

Video Rich Snippet in Video Results Tab

We’re all in the same boat here so make sure you don’t put yourself at a disadvantage and stop with your video seo efforts – you still need to be visible in that tab.

Is this the end for video rich snippets?

Only time will tell. We’re keeping an eye on things (but if you do have any additional information do let us know). Whatever the future holds we’ll respond appropriately.

Categories Video Marketing, Wider World
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There’s all sorts of stats floating around that tell us that product videos work: they engage consumers and websites that add videos to their product pages typically sell more than those that don’t.

But, just like with any piece of content, you need to give your product videos the tools they need to perform. Here’s what I recommend.

1. Video SEO

You first need to make sure that people can find your product video. This is where good video SEO comes in. Videos have a much higher click through rate in the search results than their plain text counterparts. But how do you make sure your videos appear for a given query?

A video sitemap.

Google (currently!) has no way of watching your video. So it doesn’t know that when someone types “how do I apply foundation” (for instance), that your video provides the perfect answer to this.

A video sitemap is how you tell Google what your video is about. Once Google has this information, it then knows whether to display your video for a given search term.

Let’s work through an example of how to do this with vzaar.

1. Turn on video sitemaps:

By default all of your videos will be included in your sitemap. If you wish to exclude any of them you can, just head to their individual settings page.

It’s also a good idea to turn on auto sitemap generation. This just means that instead of you having to manually regenerate your sitemap every time you make a change, we will do it for you (one thing worth noting here: we regenerate the sitemaps once per day if you want your change to go live immediately you will still need to manually regenerate).

vzaar video sitemap options

2. Copy & paste into robots.txt

You’ll then notice we’ve generated a line of code for you, copy and paste this into your robots.txt file on your site. Check you’ve done everything properly at this stage, you can verify your robots.txt file:

how to verify your video sitemap in vzaar

3. Check your sitemap statistics

Now, you’ll notice just below all this there’s a sitemap statistics section. This tells you which videos will be indexed by Google. It will also flag any errors. It’s really, really important that your sitemap doesn’t contain errors as these will actually harm your SEO.

Don’t worry though, we automatically detect errors and exclude those videos, until you fix them.

An error usually occurs when you are missing some of the information the sitemap needs: the video title, description and URL it’s embedded on. Fixing these errors is easy. Just hit edit and enter all the information.

vzaar sitemap statistics

You can also enter this information on each individual’s video page.

If you want to find out more about this take a look at our video demos or read through the help document. Oh, and don’t forget to check out these tips from Moneyweek which saw them grow site traffic 136%.

2. Playback Control

Once you’ve started to drive traffic to your product videos you need to make sure they’re performing properly. To make your videos a buffer-free zone be sure that you’ve got progressive download turned on. This will mean your video loads ahead of time so it streams nice and smoothly.

You should also test out different bitrates. If you encode your video at too high a bitrate you’ll wind up with a huge file size that has difficulty getting through to slower Internet connections. We typically suggest you encode at 2,000 or smaller, this is the speed of the average Internet connection so this should work for the vast majority of people.

vzaar account encoding options

If you still want to give those with fast Internet connections HD quality – you can. Just enable dual encoding. As the name suggests this will render two versions of your video. The fast Internet connections get the high quality, while the slow Internet connections get a smaller file size and less buffering.

Find this whole bitrate thing confusing? Help is at hand check out this blog post or get in touch and we’ll walk you through it.

3. Customize Your Video Player

You should also be sure to give your product video that professional touch with your own customized video player. Use the color picker in your account, or enter the HEX code of your existing brand colors and hey presto – a video player that looks like you made it in house :)

4. Include a call to action

How do you get your viewers to buy your product?

Ask them to!

You should make it really, really clear what action you want your viewers to take after they’ve watched your product video. Using end screen text you can craft a compelling call to action at the end of your video to encourage conversions.

And again, it’s really just a matter of a few clicks to get going with this. Under the branding tab you’ll see an option for end screen text. Just fill in the copy you want to appear and the page you want to link it to (the shopping cart for example).

Add video call to action in vzaar account

Check out the video demo here for a quick walk through.

Happy selling!