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How To Make Online Video Work For Your Business

  • Posted On February 4, 2012
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

It’s a digital world. From the web, to TV, to mobile phones, the digital age is here to stay, and businesses are increasingly realising its potential to reach not just a wider audience, but any audience at all. With research showing that over 90% of us use the Internet to research products or services before we commit to buy – with a growing percentage of this from mobile technologies – it’s essential for businesses to make use of the opportunities offered by digital media.
Online marketing spend has tipped the scales and overtaken print. It’s something many experts predicted but not quite so soon, with the rise of online tools to make marketing your company quick, easy, and most importantly, cost effective.

This increase in online advertising brings competition with companies dreaming up new and inventive ways to engage an audience – and with digital media, almost anything is possible.
The YouTube Black Hole
Video is often seen as expensive, time consuming and hard to get right. Many think of huge TV budgets, but it ain’t necessarily so. Video for web is growing at an incredible speed. As many as 150,000 and 200,000 videos are uploaded to YouTube every day, with the UK the second highest uploading nation (6.9% of global uploads – beaten only by the US at 34.5%). It would take you over 400 years to view all the content on YouTube alone, but it proves the popularity of online video. But (and there’s a huge ‘but’) this is not the case for businesses.
Just because you upload a video to YouTube doesn’t necessarily mean it will get viewed, and more importantly by the right audience. Clients often ask us to produce a video for the web, saying they plan to “put it on YouTube”. That’ll be one among 200,000 on any given day – not great odds for getting it seen, unless you’ve really got something worth seeing. But a strong idea, well executed, can rise above the online video mire and reach out to capture an audience for your brand.
Going Viral
Viral video has become a term used loosely for an online video. But here’s the thing, something has to BECOME viral. If somebody passes your content from one computer or mobile phone to another, or talks about your content via the web, your content has become viral. But creating a successful viral campaign relies on a number of factors, most of which tend to be based on ‘hard work’ or ‘big budgets’. Most of you probably have a Facebook or LinkedIn account. You’ll have ‘friends’ or ‘contacts’, and like you’ll be involved in the ever-popular race to see who has the most ‘friends’. We’ve all received an invite from an old school mate that we barely spoke to then, and don’t see why we should now.
Ah, but your 300 or so ‘friends’ may well have another 300 or so ‘friends’, and they may have 300 ‘friends’ more, and so on. Soon you can get into some pretty big numbers. Now, let’s say you get a video produced and you ask your 300 ‘friends’ to pass it on to their 300 ‘friends’. If they like it, they will, and you can start to get a viral message that people will be happy to pass on for you – all for the cost of a single video. Viral video can have a terrific effect if you’re selling consumable goods, but what about ‘business to business’? Well, that’s the really clever bit.
The Seed
There are companies that offer ‘viral seeding’. This basically means that they will guarantee that your video gets a certain amount of views. Basically, there are two types of seeding. Firstly, ‘Natural Seeding’, which is similar to the Facebook ‘tell your friends’ approach. The second is through ‘Media Placement’, which you can do yourself or employ a viral seeding specialist to do it for you. If you decide to do this yourself, you’ll need to identify the media your target audience is most likely to be using, negotiate media buying and drive traffic through to the content that’s to become viral. A viral seeding company will either offer you ‘Natural Seeding’, ‘Media Placement Seeding’ or both. But this is where you need to be careful.
Contracting an agency to do any kind of marketing can have its risks. These are mainly based around an understanding of your offering and its target audience. Viral seeding companies tend not to be industry specific and will therefore take on any job. This can be very costly and sometimes quite damaging to a brand if your marketing isn’t effectively targeted. The third option is to contract a digital/advertising agency and make sure they have an understanding of you and your requirements. They’ll be able to offer you options one and two, but also add to that a myriad of targeted media solutions that are quantifiable and results driven.
Get Your Customers Talking About You
Most companies now have a website, and most use the web to either sell their products and services or promote them. Video is a great way to engage an audience. The single most powerful way of promoting your company is through testimonials, using the opinions of real people that have worked with you before and are happy to tell the world how great you are. Most companies use this form of marketing as soon as they get a happy client. They add a case study and publish both on their site, along with other forms of collateral. To be effective, they need to be well written, short and to the point. However, most are not, meaning the person that reads them turns off after a short while – this is where video takes over.
Video content is engaging. There’s an old saying that ‘people need to talk to people’, and it’s true. What you have written over six pages of A4, you can get across in less than a minute with minimal involvement from your potential customer. This can be hosted on your website and include any number of calls to action. It’s also very useful as a demonstration for your products – just glance through YouTube to find demonstrations of everything from turning on a vacuum cleaner to how to build a nuclear bunker.
Video and Online
Video is also used very effectively in online advertising. How many times have you visited a website to see a video MPU (Multi Positional Unit) running on the page? It grabs your attention almost immediately, and here’s where we start to see how this works for B2B. Most businesses use the web to research information about their industry. Most of these will probably advertise in their print versions, with little knowledge of how many people have seen their advertisement. Sure we have the ABC and PPA audits, but does a publisher know if John Smith has read his free circulated publication? No, but they’ll know if he’s looked at their website and clicked to view a video. Video MPUs on an industry-specific website, where viewers will be from a certain industry and in a work mindset, are perfectly targeted pieces of marketing.
They can even be placed in a dedicated ‘channel’ – so your accountancy software is placed in the ‘accountancy’ tab on a business website, for example – ensuring that your audience is most likely thinking about researching, upgrading or buying what you’re selling. Now imagine if your video MPU greeted your potential customers as they hit that page – a person talking to a person. Clever video marketing is always about engagement. How do I engage my audience as quickly as possible and make them listen to what I have to say? What would make me watch and take notice? What would make me click on the video for more information? These are questions that a specialist marketing consultancy should talk through with you for any form of marketing, and it’s the same with video.
The PowerPoint Presentation
Video also replaces presentations. How many meetings have you been to, where you have either endured or had to present a 30-page PowerPoint presentation? Ever switched off or noticed your client slowly die of boredom before your very eyes? Video can enliven any presentation and help get your point across in an engaging and entertainimg way. It can run through any part of the offering, in stages, and even be interacted with by the sales person.
And it’s so flexible – it’s easy to view, it can be left with the client on a USB key, and also hosted on your site. It can even be used at exhibitions and conferences. Mix this format with some intelligent digital marketing and you have a marketing medium that not only delivers results, but is trackable, controllable and engaging.
Choosing A Video Production Company
With a sharp increase in video for web comes a sharp increase in video production companies. Type ‘video for web’ into a search bar and see just how many companies are available. Three years ago there were just a few of us, now every Tom, Dick and Hitchcock who knows how to point a camera and use a cheap editing suite will try to convince you of their ‘creativity’ and what’s more, just how little you need to spend. Now here’s the thing. You have different spectra: the expensive, the competitive and the super competitive. If you care about your brand, you should certainly avoid a company that offers you a video for the price of a chocolate bar and a can of pop. We have often been called in to reshoot work for companies who have fallen foul of the ‘too good to be true’ trap.
At the other end of the scale are the expensive video production companies. They can produce something close to Hollywood standard, but will leave you very little budget to help market it. Or you go straight down the middle and get TV and film trained crews, directors and editors, who know all the tricks of the trade to get you a TV quality video for a snip of the price. The key here is to do your research and vet the company. All of which should have a showreel to display their work, but take a look at the individual pieces, as a cleverly put together showreel can mask a whole heap of bad work with quick edits and foot tapping music. Listen to sound and framing. Look to see if the production makes sense or whether the messaging has been blurred by the director’s ‘creative vision’!
Actors
To save on costs, most companies will offer their staff’s services for the video shoot rather than have the production company pay for talent. Normally there’s a budding actor or two flying around the office and normally he or she is the MD. “I’ll be fine” they say, “I’ve presented to hundreds at seminars and conferences”. But the fact is that most melt once we turn on the lights, cameras and prompt them to ‘act’. Not only does this waste the crew’s time and the client’s money, it also results in a poor product.
But, if you are to use staff, brief them well in advance. We have turned up to a shoot and the ‘actors’ have been told that same morning that they were starring in a video and had two hours to learn 40 lines of text! The client then wonders why the production looks a little false! For the sake of a few hundred pounds, you really should consider actors when shooting anything that involves people.
High Definition and Web Quality Video
HD (high definition) sounds like a great idea. But most people do not have the capability to view High Definition footage at work. So why pay more to have your production filmed in this format? Yes, it means you are effectively future proofing your video, but in most cases if you have a video produced for a product, service or even as a corporate message, these will soon become obsolete as your products and services develop.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that if somebody does have the capability to view your content in HD, they will be more likely to respond. The fact is that the only thing they will think about is ‘what’s in it for them’ and your offering. HD is a great format for TV, but have you noticed that High Definition picks up even more information, and how it can exaggerate mistakes? While most people associate video with TV budgets, many think if a video is produced for the web, it should be cheap as chips. Unfortunately, it’s not. Shooting a video for web uses the same processes as a TV commercial, with a few different elements to consider, that can sometimes make the production even more difficult than a standard TV production. For example, let’s say you produce a video that carries drama or suspense, the footage is normally mixed with a soundscape.
Let’s take a heartbeat for example. This will not be heard through a laptop or PC speaker, because of its low frequency, hence sapping the video of its effect straight away. Most work PCs don’t even have sound, so most videos for web should be treated as a silent movie. And if you do add sound, back it up with subtitles or at least make the storyline understandable in a silent context, so that you get maximum impact from your investment.
Free Advice and Great ROI
These are just a few things to consider when we talk about video marketing and video for web. Blue Chew Digital offers free advice to those wishing to take a leap of faith and market their company through video. From creative ideas to production and marketing, Blue Chew Digital makes the process simple, enjoyable and offers a great return on investment.

Source: How To Make Online Video Work For Your Business http://www.reelseo.com/make-online-video-work-for-your-business/#ixzz1lNGlpsNu
©2008-2011 ReelSEO.com Online Video Guide

Future of Television and Internet TV

  • Posted On November 23, 2011
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

Mark Suster is a technology entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He’s started and sold two companies, worked at Accenture, founded Launchpad LA and is a part at GRP Partners, the SoCal venture capital firm. So he has his finger on the pulse and recently spoke at the Future of Television (which I missed) about his ten signs that Internet TV is ready to disrupt things in 2012.

I write a lot about Internet TV as it has become one of my main areas here at ReelSEO so his talk was of interest to me. You can watch the ten-minute video below or hang out and read the text summary I’ve put together below with my own thoughts (perhaps more interesting in the long run).

An Internet TV Boom?

For some reason, he starts off with a negative point stating that we’ve been hearing talk of interactive digital video since the early 90’s. Yes, and now we’ve got it. Netflix, Hulu and others all offer some social interaction that allows you to connect to others while watching shows. The world of social TV is also rapidly expanding with new second screen apps and places like GetGlue (where are my stickers!) tying the online world to the broadcast TV world.

Then he takes a quick look at several factors he sees as being key to it, like the decrease in capturing and processing of video (which we all know can be done for a fistful of dollars these days though for a higher quality professional setup it might be $1000), broadband penetration and Wi-Fi increases, compression advances, a distributed advertising market, decreasing paychecks for creative talent (that’s news to me), consumer behavior that is welcoming Internet video.

You may or may not agree with those factors being relevant or even accurate. Personally I think back in 2005 when YouTube started, there was no Internet video behavior and they built it by making it insanely easy for everyone to both upload and watch video online. So that behavior was built on technology being available. Kudos to YouTube.

YouTube Is The New Comcast

Mark cites YouTube as “the new Comcast” in that they are a massive video distributor. This is true, we know that some YouTube Stars are pulling six figures and that the cost to generate that content is far lower than what the big studios pay for their productions (which means they need to adapt or face extinction I think). Hey Phil, how much does it cost to make one of your show per minute? Maybe Jim from Revision 3 will chime in on that as well. I’m sure it’s far lower than TV just like Mark says. There are some series that have gone from being online to on TV. I wonder what kind of massive jump in production costs there was for something like Sanctuary.

How much does it cost you the average ReelSEO reader to make a minute of video?

One of the last things he says is that the digi-kids are watching 33% of their video online and that will only continue to grow. I agree, they will grow up, eventually have salaries and money to spend on entertainment and they will do it online because they are the on-demand digital generation. They know they can get the majority of their content online and not pay for cable. Sports at times will still require a pay TV package, but not always. The NFL is on major broadcast networks. MLB is sometimes but not every day. So cable operators will eventually have to unbundle their channels (YEA!) and rebundle them into smaller packs. I would pay a monthly fee to be able to have channels for my favorite baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer teams. But I won’t pay for all the teams because it’s a waste of money when I only want to watch a single team.

In regards to regular cable packages, I just spoke about it in another article. The broadcasters have massive license fees to keep the cable operators from unbundling but both of them need to sit down and observe the sifting video landscape because their audiences are washing out to the digital sea and we don’t need nor want bundles of 100 channels anymore, we can get it all online for free.

Ad Networks Are The Key

He then goes on to say that there could be no online video industry without the distributed ad network. I have to call bullshit because long before there were interactive overlays, massive ad networks, exchanges, real-time bidding and all that, many of you were already out there doing it. Kudos to you guys and gals. Go into the ReelSEO archives and see how many times we talked about “when will YouTube turn a profit,” and yet, they are still with us, and certainly doing so now. So there was a lot of online video going on before the big video ad networks came round. I’m sure there was advertising going on, just not in the distributed ad network format.

Yes, video advertising is definitely driving things like online video publishing and certainly is a force behind original web series‘ production, branded content and even just getting quick, interesting videos up on the web now. So yes, video advertising is a major facet, and is now pushing things along quite nicely, but there were many of you out there blazing the trails to where we are now. Look at all you Marco Polos, Amerigo Vespuccis and Lewis and Clark types! You should all be wearing coon-skin caps and handmade leather shirts!

He totally agrees with me on cable and satellite and likens that industry to the music industry. For years we have been shoveled bundles of crap we don’t want, now the music industry allows us to pick and choose and is recovering. Cable and satellite need to unpack their “albums” as he calls them, and allow consumers more flexibility. HEAR! HEAR!

He wraps up his talk with a plug for his own company and work. I don’t really see how that is going to drive the Internet TV push, but who am I to bad mouth shameless self-promotion when I do it all the time, right?

Source: Future Of Television: Internet TV To Explode In 2012 http://www.reelseo.com/internet-tv-to-explode-in-2012/#ixzz1eU4OnmNo
©2008-2011 ReelSEO.com Online Video Guide

How Transmedia Storytelling Is Changing TV

  • Posted On November 18, 2011
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

Lisa Hsia is Executive Vice President of Bravo Digital Media.

Until now, media companies have focused on getting audiences to watch shows “live” via a TV set, where the bulk of advertising dollars are.

But transmedia storytelling — which is defined as telling a story that extends across multiple media platforms (for television, it’s going beyond the on-air show) — has the ability to upend that. “Transmedia” is one of those hot buzz words du jour, with conferences, articles and trend reports devoted to it. Yet it’s not a new concept. Star WarsThe MatrixDr. Who and Pokeman all expanded beyond their core franchise decades ago — to games, books and alternative realities.

 

SEE ALSO: The Future of Social TV [VIDEO] 
 

 

In today’s digital era, there are new factors at play that make transmedia a potentially potent game-changer for how TV content is created. Think about it:

Social TV has made television a richer two-way experience with fan participation. Nielsen’s own researchshows how social TV amplifies the conversation and impacts ratings. Technology has created tools that allow the user to interact and gamify content as never before (location-based, virtual goods, augmented reality, QR codes, etc). Fans’ familiarity with and desire to experience TV content across devices other than TV has exploded.

The ability to efficiently create affordable, participatory storytelling vehicles that go beyond being “bonus extras” and spreading it through different circulation channels is changing the rules and creating a potential value proposition too big to ignore. As the forefather of transmedia storytelling, USC Professor Henry Jenkins, likes to say, “If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead.”


Beyond the Second Screen


Taking advantage of this new reality is imperative for my network, both from an engagement and value perspective. We see transmedia storytelling as our next must-do in the evolution of TV, and have recently delved into our first campaign with the show Top Chef.

As contestants are eliminated, they discover their journey isn’t over. Instead of going home, they will have a chance to compete in a companion digital series that will roll out each week after the on-air episode premieres. These online shows will give the eliminated contestants a chance to earn their way back into the broadcast finale. The digital series will directly impact the outcome of the on-air show.

To experience the full dynamic of the competition, fans will be enticed to watch both TV and digital platforms. Our aim is to appeal to the Top Chef enthusiast with the deeper, more meaningful content they crave, as well as create discoverable online content that will pull casual fans into the fold.

The goal is to flow content from platform to platform and to bring in the fans along the way — both the diehard and the casual. This is something that has not been possible until the scaled adoption of smartphones, tablets, social networks and gamification tools like Bunchball and GetGlue.

By unifying elements with the common goal of driving engagement around this transmedia centerpiece, we’re setting out to prove that all metrics — ratings, traffic, and social buzz — will lift. We are not only trying to increase the value of the proposition in terms of engagement, but also in terms of ROI for our long-term sponsors.

If we can prove that engagement and value is increased exponentially by integrating storytelling seamlessly across media platforms, we all win — fans, content creators, advertisers. My department at Bravo will no longer be “digital,” but official “multiplatform enablers” that are seamlessly porting storytelling content wherever it best fits and wherever the best value proposition is derived from.


More Innovation Ahead


TV is on the cusp of a transmedia revolution, and there are many interesting experiments in the works.

Syfy has a show coming out called Defiance where a story is told on TV and in a video game: different cities with shared characters and events.

Tim Kring, one of the modern day pioneers of transmedia with his work on Heroes and Conspiracy for Good, is producing Touch for 2012. Here’s hoping that Fox embraces his rabble-rousing transmedia tendencies.

The next, as yet unachieved milestone in transmedia is collaborative social storytelling, where fans themselves can further the plot in a pervasive, meaningful way. Smart media companies will look for ways to go beyond the “walled garden” model and turn their fans into ultimate brand ambassadors.

Whether transmedia is the new norm is still to be determined, but one can easily make the case that in today’s fragmented media landscape, it will be a must for TV to survive. Perhaps the future of TV isn’t either traditional television or digital platforms, but in collective intelligence — the feedback loop of the in-between.

Source: http://mashable.com/2011/11/17/transmedia-tv/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29
©2005-2011 Mashable, Inc

 

How Much Money Do YouTube Partners Make?

  • Posted On October 31, 2011
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

We’ve always asked ourselves this question at OOTB. It seems that a clever bunch at REELSeo was able to find the answer to this question…Read below!

“David After Dentist” has a little over 100 million views.  That means, per 1000 views, the video has made a dollar.  That’s a fraction of a penny per view, for partners.  Remember, these people become partners when YouTube discovers that a video is going viral and they ask the creators if they want to share the revenue.  The easiest way to see how much a viral video has earned, using this formula, is to simply remove the last three numbers from the total amount of views.  So, 100 million becomes 100,000.

According to the mom who shot The “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise!” video, they’ve earned $3,000 since the video went viral.  The video has over 5 million views, so the equation’s math is just a little bit off here (although in the time NYT interviewed her to today, it might have increased to $5,000), unless the revenue doesn’t officially kick in until later.  The equation still gives you a close, rough estimate, and it’s still a fraction of a penny no matter how you look at it.  There have been guesses that $2.50 per 1,000 views was a close estimation, but some people might get different rates according to different factors.  It looks like the norm is a buck per thousand.

And that isn’t the only way these videos make money.  Merchandise can be sold, like in the case of “David After Dentist” and its famous line, “Is This Real Life?” became T-shirts and stickers.  In the case of “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise!” it’s actually no surprise that the family in that video may make more money since Disney might use the video for their own Disneyland ad.

Sites like Will Video For Food, which has its own hits on YouTube, have hinted at what a YouTube partner makes on the site, and everything in that article pretty much points to videos making that fraction of a penny per view, and a third of a penny looks like the closest estimate.

Fractions of a Penny Mean Your Videos Need All the Help It Can Get to Earn Big Dollars

This is why making lots of content every week, sharing your video with numerous sites and blogs, making your video a social activity, means so much in earning money on YouTube.  Your typical “star” YouTube partner, those with millions of views per video, is likely making a few thousand dollars per video.  If they make 52 videos a year, that’s earnings of $52,000 and up.  It’s always a long shot to be able to make that kind of money uploading videos, so the best thing you can do is be dedicated, be social, and most importantly, have great content.  And then cross your fingers.

Source: How Much Money Do YouTube Partners Make? We Might Be Able To Do The Math http://www.reelseo.com/how-much-money-do-youtube-partners-make/#ixzz1cJulmlrS
©2008-2011 ReelSEO.com Online Video Guide

Should All Small Businesses Get Involved With Online Video?

  • Posted On October 24, 2011
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

So what about small business sites in general?
I think that many small businesses are in the position where they have a website that tells the world what they do, they paid a web designer to make it look pretty, they have a handsome looking photo of themselves on there but they struggle to get much traffic to the site. You have a homepage, an About Us page, a Services page and a Contact Us page but that is about it. It’s flat and it’s pretty boring to all except the owner and his most supportive of friends. So you decide that what you need is to create some interesting content on your site to add value to the few visitors that do come so that they may then recommend you to others through social sharing or whatever; good idea. Is Video relevant and useful to you?
Here the answer is a resounding yes, I have always found that behind almost every business that I deal with there is a passionate person with good ideas that is adding value to the world. Video is the perfect medium to be able to communicate your ideas in a compelling manner. Of course it needs to be done well, but a human being explaining something often beats a textual explanation and video gives you the opportunity to display visually what you mean.
The point is that every website has been created for a reason and if you can verbalise that reasoning then you can also communicate it visually.

Source: Small Business Video – Can All Websites Benefit From Video Content? http://www.reelseo.com/small-business-video/#ixzz1becllxQt
©2008-2011 ReelSEO.com Online Video Guide

Web Series Viewership Continues To Rise, While Cable TV Drops

  • Posted On October 12, 2011
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

Blip.tv and Dynamic Logic got together for some research into web series viewing habits, and did some number crunching to see when where and how people are consuming original web series offered at Blip.tv. It also gleaned some information on how the viewers feel about the advertising they encounter.