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Think Strategically When Video Marketing

I heard something this week. Something that got me more than a little frustrated. A friend asked me for some video hosting advice, “Our agency told us the best way to get video on our website was to use YouTube”

Hmm, well, maybe. But I dived a little deeper.

My first question was to ask what the business was aiming to achieve with the video. The response? Lead generation. Cue the frustration. Not at my friend. At the agency. It just bamboozles me to hear advice like this. Stick with me, I’ll explain why…

A lot of people hear the words “online video” and immediately jump to YouTube. This is a knee jerk reaction. It isn’t a video marketing strategy. And your video marketing efforts will amount to nothing if you haven’t gotten your strategy straight first.

I want to make this very clear: every decision you make when you’re creating a video is determined by your goal. The content, the distribution, the various different tools your use. Everything.

Goal 1: Leads/ Conversions

Video Content: You need to create a video that matches the content on your page. Are you trying to sell a product? Include a product review video. Are you pushing a new online course? Show how amazing your subject matter experts are with a teaser trailer.

Video Hosting Platform: Embed on your website using a secure video hosting platform.

Why not just upload to YouTube and embed that video on site? Well, a few reasons.

  • Traffic. Embedding video on site is good for your search rankings. Google likes quality content, and video is an important ranking factor here (SearchMetrics). But, if you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube you’ll actually find that the video drives traffic to YouTube, instead of your site. And once your customer hits YouTube you’ve basically lost them to the black hole that is cute cat videos. In fact, click through rates from YouTube are just 0.72% ( Optimizing Videos For Engines)

  • Control. In order to convert a viewer you need them to visit your site, and stay on it. You need to reduce the leaking points on your page, that is links that take visitors away from you. And the youTube player has a very big one – just hit the logo and off you go back to those cat videos.

Video Tools:

  • Video Sitemap: Yes, there’s been some changes recently to how Google shows videos in the search results. Gone are the heydays of beautiful rich snippet content (sob). But video SEO is still important. Be sure to tell Google there’s a video on your page, and what it’s about, so that your pages start to rank for a given search query.

  • Speechpad: Including a video transcript on your page will mean you’ve got lots of keyword rich copy. Hello search results :) Speechpad is an inexpensive way to do this.

  • End Screen Text: Use a call to action and link to a page of your choice (could be an add to basket, for example) and you could increase conversions by 144% (Quick Sprout)

Goal 2: Links & Social Shares

Video Content: For people to share something they need to feel something. Emotions that work particularly well here are hilarity, exhilaration and personal triumph (The Science of Video Sharing)

Video Hosting Platform: Embed on your website using a secure video hosting platform.

When someone shares your video you want them to be sharing the link to your specific site – not YouTube. You’ve put time and effort into creating shareable content so make sure it’s your site that’s getting the lovely linky goodness.

Video Tools:

  • Social Sharing: Make sure you’ve got social sharing buttons within the video player itself. This will act as a prompt for your viewers to share, and also just makes it super easy for them to do so.

  • Branded Video: It’s also a good idea to overlay a brand logo or text onto your video. This means that every time the content gets shared everyone knows which business lies behind that fantastic content.

Goal 3: Brand Awareness

Video Content: Think about the business videos that have gotten the most views in recent years. Dollar Shave Club and BlendTec’s “Will It Blend” Series instantly jump to mind. They were humorous, they took an interesting angle. They weren’t your regular corporate videos. Entertainment is key here.

Video Hosting Platform: YouTube really comes into its own here.

YouTube has a huge global audience. If the aim of your business game is to get as many eyeballs on your video as possible, it’s a great choice. Just make sure you’ve produced the aforementioned entertaining content, of course. Uploading a very dry client testimonial (for instance) isn’t likely to get you the huge viewing figures that YouTube is capable of.

Video Tools:

Optimize for YouTube. Make sure your video gets found among the countless others. Using keywords in titles and tags is key.

In Summary…

Stop thinking of YouTube as the one stop shop for business video marketing. Instead use your video content intelligently. Create content suitable for different stages of the funnel, and then host it in the place that makes sense for your goals:

  • Top of funnel content aimed at raising awareness of your brand – YouTube.

  • Bottom of the funnel content aimed at conversion – secure video hosting platform.

Happy video-ing :)

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Categories Video Marketing
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We’re really excited for Thursday October 2nd. No, not because it’s it’s National Name Your Car day. But because iiiit’s…

Video Marketing and Production Meetup, day (cheers)

We’re hosting our very first meetup and we’d love you to come join us :)

When: Thursday October 2nd, 6:00pm

Where: RMP, 22 – 26 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TJ (map)

What: How to make the most of your budget

Corrina Stegner casual films

Update: We’ll be joined by Corrina Stegner from Casual Films. In her 4 years at Casual Films, Corrina has produced hundreds of films with budgets ranging from £2,500 to £250,000. So whether it be a 2D animation, stop frame, talking heads or something more creative, she believes there’s always a way to make your budget work.

Corrina’s clients include EY, Bloomberg, Tesco, HSF, Roche, Rolls-Royce and Breakthrough Breast Cancer to name but a few.

Don’t miss out – RSVP now.

Can’t make it?

Not to worry, we’ll be filming all the action on the night and we’ll post a video following the meetup. Sign up to our email newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss it.

Andrew Williams Headshot

Andrew Williams, Digital Marketing Manager at MoneyWeek fills us in on the video SEO tactics the team used to grow websites visits by 136%…  

  MoneyWeek Video SEO Traffic Growth

That line you’re looking at? That’s the increase in organic video visits we’ve seen at MoneyWeek in the past 5 months.

And that’s not all. We’ve also been enjoying a surge in overall visits, increased time on site AND an ever growing number of newsletter subscriptions.

How have we done it? By following a few video SEO best practices.

But, before I dive into all that. First, a little context (it’ll come in handy later). What is Moneyweek?

MoneyWeek is the UK’s biggest financial magazine. Our ultimate aim is to build a large audience of highly engaged readers. To that end, we produce informational videos on the hot financial topics of the day as a way of encouraging people to sign up to our biweekly newsletters.

Ok, back to the matter in hand. When I first set foot in the world of video SEO I read over and over again how video search results see higher click through rates than plain text ones.

“Yes,” I thought. “But how do you get your videos into those search results in the first place?”

After all, you have to be in to win it, right. And therein lies the challenge.

So I’ve put together this been-there-done-it guide to video SEO to fill you in on what worked for us:

Step 1: Create a video sitemap

For Google to display a video search result linking to your site it needs to know two things.

    1. What the video is about 2. Where the video lives

Once it has that information it can determine whether to return your video as a result for a given search query. As so:

MoneyWeek Video Rich Snippet

That’s precisely what a video sitemap is for. It looks something like this:

Video Sitemap xml

To build our video sitemap I use vzaar. It just makes it quicker all the fields are laid out for me, I just fill them in and vzaar produces the code.

vzaar Video SEO feature screenshot

Trust me. When you’ve got more than a few videos in your catalogue you don’t want to deal with creating the sitemap from scratch yourself.

The really neat thing is that if I miss something (hey nobody’s perfect!) rather than submitting an incomplete video sitemap, which can actually be damaging for your SEO, vzaar automatically excludes it. Then I just go in and fix whatever’s wrong, without needing to search through the sitemap and find the error myself – again a really nice timesaver.

MoneyWeek Video Sitemap Statistics

Once you have your video sitemap you just need to paste the code into your site’s robots.txt file. And then it’s a bit of a waiting game. You’ve done your bit. Now Google needs to index your videos. For us, Google started to index our videos pretty much instantly.

Step 2: Video Transcripts

A quick video SEO win for us has been incorporating video transcripts underneath our videos.

We use Speechpad to create transcripts of our videos. At $1 per minute of video it’s a pretty inexpensive way for us to get a lot of keyword rich copy for the page.

Step 3: Improved Video Page Template

Once people actually click on the result – guess what they’re expecting to see…. a video! It may seem like a no brainer but for a time our videos were fairly hidden on the page.

That way leads to madness – low engagement and high bounce rates.

This is bad for your SEO efforts. If Google sees lots of people bouncing when they hit your page they’ll come to the conclusion that your page isn’t a good result for that given query. Rankings will plummet.

To rectify this we have made our videos much more prominent on the page.

MoneyWeek Video Page

And we’ve reaped the rewards.

Average time on page is up by 40% in the 3 months since we updated to the new video page template.

MoneyWeek Time on Site

The YouTube Conundrum

MoneyWeek videos started life on YouTube. Which was fine, to begin with.

In the early days it was great to be reporting how many video views we were getting. We were really pleased we’d seen some take up.

But, as we became more experienced with online video marketing we noticed a problem.

The trouble is a lot of those views go to waste. After watching our videos a huge chunk of people head off into the rest of YouTube. As our viewing figures mounted we weren’t seeing a difference in our bottom line.

We have been hesitant to completely cut YouTube from our video marketing mix, it is the 2nd biggest search engine after all. But, what we have done is become more intelligent in how we use it.

After a fair amount of head scratching we’ve landed on a solution that works for us:

We still post a lot of our videos to YouTube. But we annotate those videos, advertising one exclusive video on MoneyWeek each week.

Because we have a secure video hosting platform (vzaar), we ensure that the videos we embed on our site cannot be made available anywhere else. This provides an incentive for YouTube viewers to head onto our site. And that’s where we want ‘em.

In summary

To grow traffic to our videos we’ve done 4 things:

    1. Build video sitemaps with vzaar
    2. Created video transcripts with Speechpad
    3. Redesigned our webpages to make video more prominent
    4. Post exclusive content to Moneyweek to drive audience away from the distractions of YouTube.

And we’re seeing some pretty exciting numbers:

    1. Organic visits to our videos up 136%
    2. Time on page up 40%
    3. Overall visits to videos up 160%

So has this helped us achieve our business goals?

Absolutely.

Remember earlier I said: “Our ultimate aim is to build a large audience of highly engaged readers. To that end, we produce informational videos on the hot financial topics of the day as a way of encouraging people to sign up to our biweekly newsletters.”

Have all our video SEO efforts paid off?

Let me answer that question with a statistic: 82%

That’s how much our email subscriptions have grown since we started.

Newsletter Subscription Growth

I rest my case.

Video SEO: it’s where it’s at.

Please note since this post was written Google has made a change to how it displays video results. For more information read our video rich snippets update.

Categories Video Marketing
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We heard tons of clear, actionable insights into video marketing at our Future of Video Marketing event last month.

Here’s what went down:

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Optimizing Your Videos From Search Engines

It’s super important to tie business goals to your video marketing campaigns. Whether your goal is driving traffic & conversions, raising brand awareness or encouraging links and shares, will have a big impact on the content and implementation of your video marketing. Phil Nottingham of Distilled gave us his best practice advice. Read more.

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The Science of Video Sharing

Social video, as we call it, rather than viral video, social video has been around for let say since 2006 and it’s almost as if it’s being delivered apologetically by brands. It could be an amazing piece of content, but at the end, they’re like ooh sorry. That was brand X.The reality of the situation is a lot of brands are missing the opportunity” Barney Worfolk Smith of Unruly shares with us 6 research findings that could get your videos shared. Read More.

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The Future Will Be Televised

Then I’m going to pull it right back down to brass tacks to tell you, as people in business today, what this means to you, and what you can do, practically tomorrow, that would in fact empower you and help you.” Richard Teideman of London Creative on the shift from television to online video. Read more.