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Archive for Video Marketing

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!

It’s Monday morning. You’ve got a gazillion emails sitting in your inbox, a troublesome promoted Tweets campaign that really isn’t performing as you expected, and you really must get around to writing that copy for your new whitepaper you talked about. And then your boss suggests you make a video.

We often talk about how it’s possible to make video when you’re on a limited budget (if you haven’t done so already, check out How To Build An In-House Video Studio on a Budget, How To Make Your DSLR Punch Above Its Weight and Video On a Shoestring Kit List).

But what about if you’ve got limited time?

This week I thought I’d share a few of the tools that have made us faster – and better – at this whole making videos thing.

Planning

Google Docs

Ever hear the expression “a stitch in time saves nine”? Spending time planning saves time in the long run. Why? Because getting all the kinks ironed out in the first place means you’re not running around fighting fires during the execution stage.

Nowadays, instead of just haphazardly scrawling a script at the last minute, we plan and review before hand. And, I’ll make a little bit of a confession here, it did take us quite some time to reach this point (although it seems fairly obvious now). We had to make a bit of a cognitive shift to get us there. Adding a new tool to our belt (GDocs) helped with that. It gave us a “place” to go to plan our ideas and has now become a vital part of the process.

We put our script down the left hand side and then the visual down the right. It’s basically a storyboard without the pictures (because we can’t draw and we don’t pretend to be able to!). Then we can share it with the relevant stakeholders, invite comments and edits and really hone it to perfection (ok, maybe not perfection – but we try!).

vzaar video planning process

Sometimes on longer shoots we even add in a third column – a fourth when things really liven up – which gives us a list of all the props needed for each visual and the shots needed to capture it.

This saves us so much time when at the shoot – we can just tick off the items on our lists, thereby keeping the stress levels to a minimum.

Making & Editing

Animoto

I’m very pleased to say that we just launched our vzaar/Animoto integration (which means we’re able to offer our customers more of an end to end solution from creating a video to distributing it).

If you’re new to the world of video and looking for something to help you take the plunge Animoto is perfect. You can make a video in about an hour. Seriously.

The process is thus: choose a video style, upload your assets (photos, videos), choose a jaunty number to go with them (all the music on Animoto is commercially licensed so no need to worry about copyright issues), add some text and voila: your video is done.

I particularly like the in app editor which means you can trim down your video clips without ever leaving the safety of your Animoto account – great for those of us who aren’t particularly well versed in editing software like Final Cut Pro (and don’t have the time to learn it!)

ScreenFlow

In the battle to produce crystal clear screencasts, ScreenFlow is my new weapon of choice.

It’s a screen recording and editing tool all in one.

You can zoom in and highlight the important bits, enlarge icons, add audio and so much more. Check out the feature list. It seems there’s nothing this baby can’t do.

Screenflow example

You can try ScreenFlow for free which is great because you need to be sure you’re comfortable with the interface and you can do everything you need to be able to do with it. Note: your exports will be watermarked until you purchase the license (which for me is totally worth it).

Music

Incompetech

We typically head over to Incompetech for all our music needs. Many of the tracks are free to use under Creative Commons licensing (just be sure to credit the source).

Hats off to the Incompetech team: they’ve categorized their library really, really well. And clear categorization makes for less time hunting down your perfect clip.

You’ve got your usual “Rock”, “Electronica”, “Classic” genres but the part I genuinely adore is the categorization by mood.

When you’re looking for music for a video you often know the type of tone you’re after: light and happy, energetic and fast paced – whatever. Incompetech make it easy to find the track that matches, with categories such as “Wonder”, “Tension” and the brilliantly named “Mad Pianist”.

Video Streaming

My number one recommendation? Guess who ;)

I can’t very well write a video tools piece without mentioning vzaar can I!?

Being able to stream to mobile devices, anywhere in the world, at HD quality is surely on the wish list of most video marketers. And one of the very best things about vzaar is that you can adjust your video delivery and encoding settings in about, oh, 3 clicks: settings-delivery/encoding-on/off.

Right, enough of the shameless promotion. Moving on.

How about getting some eyeballs on your video …

SEO

I have to mention here vzaar’s video SEO tools (I know I said no more self promotion but just this one more). Our platform builds a video sitemap for you meaning Google knows that there is a video on your page and what said video is about. And, once again, you can do it very easily – a bit of clicking, a bit of typing and you’re done.

But don’t take my word for it – of course I love it. Instead, MoneyWeek have loads of great video SEO advice which helped grow site traffic by 136%.

Speechpad

It’s also a smart idea to put a transcript of your video on the page along side it. This will give you lots of keyword rich content to ensure you start ranking for the most relevant terms.

But who wants to spend hours listening to the same clip just to work out what on earth George from Sales says at 0.27 seconds in? Instead, Speechpad will do the work for you.

It’s pretty darn cheap too. $1.00 per minute of video (although if you want it in 24 hours you’ll pay $3). As most business videos are under a minute long it’s a very inexpensive route to an SEO win.

Over to you

I’m curious: what tools do you use and why? Sharing is caring…

video marketing tips

Categories Video Marketing, Video Production
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