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Archive for video marketing

This week I flipped through my copy of Internet Retailing and happened upon this article on how brands can build relationships with customers, inspire trust and engender loyalty.

As I read, it struck me how well video plays into many of the strategies outlined in the article. If you’re looking to connect with your consumer, it’s the perfect thing to add into the mix. So, I thought I’d pull out a few of the ideas the article mentioned and explain how video can be used to achieve them.

1. Marry Content With Commerce

“The latest thinking suggests that putting content alongside commerce is key in giving shoppers reasons to return to a website. David Walmsley, director of M&S.com, says it was crucial for its new site to weave content and commerce together. ‘For us it was critical that we didn’t create something that could feel like a content ghetto: turn left to shop and right to read,’ he told InternetRetailing Conference 2014.”


Often, when brands use video they immediately think: YouTube. And, of course, there’s many good reasons to upload your videos to YouTube. The mistake occurs, however, when this becomes the entire video strategy.

If your content exists in isolation – how can you expert it to convert? Your content should sit right alongside your product. It’s vital that you embed videos directly on your website – don’t just leave them gathering dust on YouTube. Only then do your visitors have a reason to keep coming back to you (not YouTube).

Cosmetic retailer Illamasqua, provides online video tutorials so that visitors learn how to use the make up properly. The videos are embedded on site (rather than uploaded to YouTube), so that the audience can then go on to buy whatever products are featured in the video. Plus, by creating an online video hub right on the website they attract more visitors straight to site, and keep them coming back for more.

David Walmsley sums it up pretty nicely, so I think it’s worth repeating: don’t direct visitors one way to access your content, and the other to buy your product.

Sound good to you? You can learn more about how Illamasqua use video as part of their marketing strategy here.

2. Find New Ways To Communicate The Brand

“‘Our objective is to be a destination of choice,’ says David Kohn, head of multichannel at Snow + Rock. “What we stand for is being the ultimate authority on products and advice.”… In store, that means giving helpful and expert advice. Online, that means finding new ways to advise.”

Video is a fantastic way to bring the expertise of your in store staff, online. The key is to provide helpful information that’s of real value to your visitor. They’re more likely to trust an honest, personal review than an overt sales pitch.

It’s something that baseball bat store Justbats.com have pretty much nailed. On each product page the team provides bat reviews and information so that the visitor can be sure that they’re buying exactly what they need.

Justbats.com example video

Interested in learning more? Check out our full case study to learn how Justbats.com use video to improve the customer experience.

3. Do the unexpected with social media

“[Mulberry], best known for its handbags, came up with a tongue-in-cheek video in which relatives vie to outdo each other in giving Christmas Day presents to one particularly lucky young woman….’our tongue-in-cheek Christmas video #WinChristmas has been viewed well over one million times,’ said Mulberry chairman Godfrey Davis in the company’s interim results, published in December.”

Remember that YouTube is a social platform. So be social. The YouTube audience is there to be entertained, so the videos you upload here should be top of the funnel content only. The “tongue in cheek” Mulberry campaign is the perfect example of a brand using YouTube, and using it well.

But YouTube isn’t the only social network on which you can use video to great effect. Add video into your Twitter and Facebook feeds and you’ll see a lot more engagement. For example, we see around a 4 times the amount of engagement when we post video tweets, compared to text only.

Bonus: Use The Right Tools

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of where and how to add video to your website, the last step is to use the proper tools so that the video will achieve it’s ultimate goal: to convert.

Use a call to action

We always recommend using a call to action o so that the viewer knows what action they should take. It’s important to display this call to action prominently on the page – you don’t want them to miss it. The very best place to do this is within the video player itself – the very place their attention is already focused.

Use a reliable video host

If your videos don’t play, they can’t convert. Your videos should work on every device (mobile, tablet desktop), and should load quickly – even if viewers have slow Internet connections.

Secure your videos

Your videos should attract people to your your website – and not somewhere else. Be sure you have the proper video security in place so that your valuable videos are safeguarded against unauthorized downloads. Make sure your content works for you – and only you.

ecommerce video hosting solution

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 :)


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?


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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