Tag Archives: video marketing

Moving Pictures: Storytelling on the Web

Humans are social beings, and we have an inherent need to connect with others to create a sense of belonging and acceptance. You may have not thought about it in this way, but a large part of Facebook-Videothat connection with others is telling stories – everything from your uncle’s hunting tales, to reminiscing with college [studying] buddies, and even the “I remember” conversations you get by looking at your old family photos.

All of these examples are stories that build history, value and connection between people. Stories are so ingrained into our existence as humans that no matter how far you look back into history, every culture’s beliefs, artistry and writings are really just a collection of stories about hope, fear and knowledge that are passed from one person to another over the course of time. Our need to use stories as a connection and communication tool has not diminished with the onset of technology – not by 35mm’s, or even a pixel. The film industry alone is at $88 billion per year, only rivaled by the essentials of modern existence – power, construction, medicine … and Wal-Mart.

Do you have a story to tell? Video is a format that changes how a story is told. We live in a spectacular time when the tools to create video are more accessible than ever before. You don’t need an $80 million blockbuster budget or a 30-person crew either. Quality cameras are affordable (every phone has one), and powerful graphics and animation software is cheap (or even free!). The audience doesn’t have to imagine what you are trying to say, because you are not just telling your story, you can show them. You can easily have your own web video channel about parenting, how-to series about car repair, watch product demos, or have your own web cartoon – and place it in the palm of anyone’s hand.

As our culture changes, the way we consume information and tell stories will follow suit. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, your story is now only a click or swipe away. The days of text-heavy websites – overflowing with tables, paragraphs and bullet points – are long gone. Everyone is busy and on the go. Statistics say 40% of us are engaging other people on our tiny, handheld portals to the Internet. Since time and accessibility seem to be the issue, I know I would rather experience a story in 30 seconds, with full-screen video and audio, rather than try to absorb the same story across four screens worth of 10-point Helvetica. I certainly do believe in the power of the written word, being a creative writer (and now blogging here on TKGenius!).

Writing in general will always holds its value with expanded explanations, imaginative narrations and abstract thoughts. A novel will always have greater depth and details than its movie counterpart. Unfortunately, I can’t process the novel-version of that same story in the same hour and a half with my fourth-grade reading speed. Video lends itself to the modern web because you can use focused storytelling to rapidly engage audiences with a complete story that can easily be shared on any web page, social media forum, or sent through email.

If you have a very clear message to convey in a short timeframe, consider video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video is worth a thousand words twenty-four times per second – and has its own soundtrack. We all have a little time for a great story. How are you telling yours?

The Best Ways to Optimize Your Videos for YouTube

If you’re thinking about using video content on your site, the next thing you’ll need to do after creating them is market them. We typically recommend publishing your videos on YouTube – after all, it is the biggest search engine after Google and typically the go-to place for anyone who wants to access the world’s largest library of video content. YouTube videos are also very well indexed within Google search results.youtube

But, how do you make your video stand out in a sea of cat montages? You optimize it, just like you do you website’s content.

The YouTube algorithm relies on several signals when ranking videos within YouTube’s search results, including:

  • Text in titles
  • Text in descriptions
  • Tagging
  • Number of views and recent trending
  • Ratings

Titles

While it is tempting to use creative or cute titles, it is actually more difficult for your videos to be found organically in search with titles that convey ideas other than the actual content of the video. Keep it simple, describing only what the video is actually about.

Descriptions

Your video descriptions should be compelling, but should also be simple and true to the topic of the video. Make sure to include links to your site near the front of the copy so that it appears above the “Show More” line.

Tagging

While tags are not visible to the viewer anymore, they are still an important part of optimizing your videos because they are used by search engines to position your video in organic searches, and by YouTube to associate your videos with others containing similar content. Choose relevant tags only, but think bigger than just your company. For example, a local business might want to tag their video with their city or state.

Number of Views

Using the right titles, descriptions and tagging with help boost your views, but you can also do that by sharing your videos with your audience across all of your social networks, embedding in your site where relevant or linking to it via newsletters, etc. Keep in mind that it doesn’t count as a view until it’s played for 8 seconds – so make sure your video is compelling enough to get someone past 8 seconds. (Actually – make it compelling enough that they want to watch the whole thing!)

Ratings

If your content is compelling, ratings are generally pretty easy to get. It’s also OK when you share your videos to ask your audience to give your video a “thumbs up”! Often the best way to get visitors to convert is simply to ask them.

Have you had success with videos on YouTube? Tell me in the comments!

How to Create Engaging Video Content that Gets Results

You’ve probably watched more than your share of video content on the Web. What is it that keeps you coming back for more? We’re not talking about the endless array of cat videos on YouTube, though we’ve laughed at our share of those, too. We’re talking about videos that tell a story, share an experience or explain a new product.Engaging Video Content

Because of the way Google and YouTube measure traffic for video, (the viewer has to watch for eight seconds to be considered as one view); you must grab attention quickly, then continue to deliver compelling, watchable content.

Follow these tips on how to create compelling video content that will have your audience watching and engaging with you and your business.

  1. Understand your key message(s) before filming. Break up information into bite size pieces and deliver it in a fresh and relatable way. Whether you’re delivering straight to camera in a “video diary” format, or creating something more complex, the audience should walk away knowing exactly what you were trying to say or show.
  2. Add music for enhanced impact. Music can be an engaging addition to your video, and can help add an emotional appeal to your message. Websites like audiojungle.com allow users to search and purchase music affordably for video.
  3. Vary the view. Secondary footage, B-roll or even photos can really help keep your audience’s attention. Software like iMovie or Celtx allows even those with basic editing skills to storyboard a script ahead of time, so that it’s easy to “drop” images or footage into your video.
  4. Tell a story. Storytelling is a powerful tool in video. Know your audience well, and tell them a story that specifically relates to their interests and needs.
  5. Categorize information. Think in terms of main categories or “buckets” when planning your overall content strategy for video. Categories might include:
    • About videos, which convey who you are as a company or as individuals (e.g. a profile on an employee who has been with the company for over 25 years)
    • Demonstration videos, which showcase a product or service (e.g. a 30 second overview of how a new machine works)
    • Education videos, which teach viewers a new skill related to your industry or niche (e.g. a garden center would explain how to get a perfect lawn)
    • Testimonial videos, which would highlight great reviews or stories about your business from actual customers or clients (e.g. a happy family who has benefitted from your services)
  6. Include a promise or a benefit for your viewers, and then show how you deliver. For example, in a short video about excellent customer service, show how one of your agents went the extra mile for a customer.
  7. Keep it short! 15-30 seconds is plenty of time to deliver short information or snippets, 60-90 seconds can show a product in a new and interesting way, and three minutes is the perfect length to tell a story in a “mini-documentary” style. This is the Web, after all, so think in terms of easy-to-view, shareable content that anyone could watch during a lunch break or quick free moment.
  8. Create a series. If viewers liked the first video, they will come back for more. A series is a great way to create repeat traffic, as well as unique traffic from sources that have linked to your original video. Blendtec has been remarkably successful on YouTube for their “Will it Blend” series, which is widely considered one of the first uses of video content marketing on the Web.
  9. Use strong Calls to Action. Your content is great…but make sure it compels viewers to act. Whether you simply want them to view a unique landing page on your site, ask them to do so, both at the end of your video and in the description below (if hosting the video on YouTube).

So there you have it, folks…your recipe to video content greatness. We’d love to see your examples of your favorite videos…send us a link in the comments!

Why Aren’t You Using Videos in Your Business?

Chances are, in the last week you’ve viewed a video online. Maybe it was simply a baby laughing or a kitten having its first bowl of milk.

You’ve also very likely viewed at least one video recently created by a business to either tell you more about themselves, let you know more about a product, or sell you a story about their brand.

youtubeThat’s because these businesses know that using video is an incredibly smart and savvy way to engage consumers at every step of the sales process. They know and understand the numbers and facts, like that YouTube is the number two search platform (right after Google) or that data shows that humans can’t resist looking at things in motion.

But even deeper than the statistics is the fact that video can be an incredibly powerful–and even affordable–way to add yet another poignant touchpoint to your customers’ experience with your business and brand online.

Here are a few reasons to consider video for your business.

1. Easily Consumable Information

Many people report preferring to watch video rather than reading text, and data shows that when video is present, visitors spend more time on page than if there’s simply copy. Even more importantly, businesses can give a lot of information in a very short amount of time, which can:

  • Save time overall
  • Shorten a learning curve
  • Make better use of your staff’s time

For example, using video as a part of the sales process to demo a product or service not only saves time in verbally explaining a process, it allows your sales team to spend more time on building relationships.

2. Content Over “Quality”

Truly, there is no medium that favors the right kind of content over the quality of the production like video. Most YouTube videos, in fact, are taken with phones or point and shoot cameras. Even more interestingly, the top 100 YouTube channels feature mostly individual users–not brands–who typically don’t have huge budgets to produce video.

But they “win” by producing great content that’s relatable. The lesson? Even if you don’t have a Red Bull sized budget for video content marketing, you can do video content marketing.

3. Easy Multiple Device Viewing

We throw around the term “responsive design” a lot, to mean that websites need to be able to be viewed easily on multiple devices. Video is a great responsive tool that is consumable on mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops. Plus, with consumers using mobile devices more than ever to access the Web, forget them scrolling through endless amounts of text on a page to learn more about you.

4. Multiple Touchpoints for Conversion

Each video is an opportunity to extend a conversation with a viewer or customer, either through a Call to Action at the end of the video, links to landing pages a video’s description, or annotations in the video itself on YouTube. Other e-commerce video platforms, like Cinematique, allow viewers to buy a product directly from the video in which its being demonstrated.

Videos can be linked to or embedded in multiple places on multiple platforms, allowing you to reach your consumers where they are, and when they want to consume information. Each view is a touchpoint about your brand, service or product, and helps to build the overall experience with your company.

5. Enhanced Search Opportunities

Google really likes video, and makes it easier than ever for companies to rank higher in search with well-optimized titles, tags and descriptions. Video appears in around 70% of the top Google listings, and provides a more visual search experience for your customers when you choose compelling thumbnail images.

Video isn’t going anywhere, and, in fact, is being adopted more and more by companies as consumers demand more easily consumable custom content. And with studies showing numbers like a 70% bump in email click through rates when video is used, or a 44% increase in conversions when a product is demonstrated on video, it is a savvy investment for small to mid-sized businesses.

And the investment is really the main reason to use video in your business; it’s one of the most effective ways to easily “play with the big boys.” Everyone has a decent video camera these days, and even without a giant budget, businesses can use a little creativity and a little time to create a better overall experience for customers.

So…why aren’t you using videos in your business?