Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Steps to Making a Viral Video

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

'Hovercat' - The Viral Video ProcessWe came across an article today from ReelSEO talking about the business of video virality. Once a video is produced, then what? How do you start to build an audience? The ReelSEO article links to a couple of videos from ABC News. It seems that ABC had the same question about what makes an online video take off into the mainstream. So, they hired an agency to help. One video is the full report on the process of conceptualizing, producing, and marketing the video. The other is the finished video, now at over 1 million views. It was an interesting experiment. So, what are some lessons that can be learned from this process?

  • Plan – The ad agency spent time with the client, brainstorming all kinds of ideas. They got to know the client on a personal, professional, and philanthropic level. It was only after they learned about the client, were they able to come up with an idea that reflected his interests and values.
  • Find Influencers – The agency did their research and found specific sites with large audiences who write about and discuss topics similar to what’s seen in the Hovercat video. Getting those influencers to share that content with their audiences boosted views. It pays to do the research.

The ReelSEO article also points out that the ABC News piece didn’t even cover the views that can be gained through social media and email. ReelSEO also acknowledges some of the shortcomings of the video itself, and speculates (rightly so, we believe) that the video could have gained much more traction if the content itself had a bit more substance to it. Regardless, it’s a good experiment, and it demonstrates how a brand can gain significant views on their video content with the right amount of planning and research.

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Advice For Those Seeking to Add More Video to Their Website

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Perhaps you have ventured into the online video arena by uploading a little bit of content to your website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page, and now, you’re interested in learning how to make the most of these efforts. I came across some advice from Kelly Wallace (Chief Correspondent and Head of Video for iVillage) while watching an episode of The New Media Minute, hosted by Daisy Whitney. iVillage is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, ranging anywhere from 26-30 million unique visitors per month. Over the past few months they have been increasing the amount of video content they produce for the site. Currently, videos on iVillage generate 4 million views per month. Here’s what Wallace had to say for those interested in adding more video to their site:

  • Start out small. Video is more expensive to produce than written content so don’t try to bite off more than your advertising budget can chew. If you start out small and invest just enough to get you up and running you can easily see what works and what doesn’t work. Then, as you familiarize yourself with the process and you work out the kinks in your format, you can begin to invest more and more into the production and post-production of your videos.
  • If you have a variety of video content than spans different themes, think about organizing this content into playlists or channels, to help viewers find what they’re looking for.
  • Think about creating regularly scheduled programming so your viewers know when to expect newly released content. Much like a TV schedule, you can set up to release videos on theme #1 on Mondays, while Theme #2 is released on Friday. The more familiar your audience becomes with the schedule and with the on-camera talent, the more they will begin to relate to you, your people, your brand, and your topics.
  • Video is an extension of your brand. It’s another way you can reach your potential customer. But remember that the quality, the format, and the value of the content will ultimately reflect back on your brand and will effect how the public perceives you. Think out your video strategy carefully and be diligent to produce the best possible content you can.
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Video Sharing Services

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Image representing Dropbox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

When I first started out in video production, I was still making approval copies for clients on 3/4″ tape or VHS and mailing them to clients. Then I would have to wait for the package to arrive, wait for the client to review the tape, then wait for the client to call with his/her comments and suggestions.

Things have changed dramatically in 10 years. Now, I can instantly share an HD-quality digital file with a client by uploading it to the cloud. Delivery is almost instantaneous. There’s no need to spend the money on physical media, packaging, and postage. Just encode the edit and upload it to an online service. Then, email a link to the client and he/she can preview it in the browser window, or download it to a local hard drive.

If you are looking for online solutions to share and collaborate on video production projects, allow me to suggest the following:

  1. YouTube – You can easily upload videos and then share them with your clients. However, if you don’t want your rough cuts to be available in the public domain, be sure to make them private, so that only the intended recipients can watch it.
  2. Dropbox – This is a free online storage solution that allows you to sort your content into folders, then share those folders with your clients and others on your team. You can upload various edits of a project into a designated folder so that everything stays organized. A free account provides 2GB of storage, but if you sign up for a free account by clicking the link provided, you can get extra space free.
  3. YouSendIt – This service is simple. Upload your file (50MB per file max for a free account) and then YouSendIt will provide you with a link that you can send to your clients. This isn’t a streaming service. The client will have to download the file on their end before watching it. They now also offer cloud storage (2GB for a free account).
  4. SendUIt – This is a stripped-down version of YouSendIt. You don’t have to sign up for anything. You don’t have to create an account and password. You don’t have to pay for anything. Just upload your file (100 MB max), get a link, and send that link to your client.
  5. Portal Video – This online solution generates transcripts from footage uploaded to its server. From there, video editors can quickly start to piece together a rough cut by simply selecting and moving pieces of text from the transcript. Portal Video changes the corresponding video accordingly. Once a rough cut is complete, it can be shared with the client through a designated Portal Video player.



There are a number of services available for sharing videos back and forth. Some will be free and others will have some kind of pricing structure. Dropbox is the service I use most often, but if you have any suggestions for cloud storage/sharing services that you have found useful, please let me know in the comments section.

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Videos Must Provide Viewers With an Experience

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Now, more than ever, consumers want advertisers to speak WITH them, not AT them. A disconnect has formed between advertisers and consumers, because…

  • consumers feel as though brands aren’t really listening to them
  • that brands don’t really understand them
  • that brands aren’t willing to adapt their products/services based on consumer feedback



So, the way in which companies approach commercials and marketing videos has to shift. This is illustrated well in a short video that we posted to this blog last year, entitled The Break Up. Based on this change in attitude and behaviors, marketers and video producers have to be more focused on providing viewers with an experience. Tell them a story. The old marketing strategy (shove your product front-and-center and brag about how awesome it is) isn’t effective in drawing viewers in. Don’t misunderstand: There’s still a place for showcasing all that a product or service can do for a consumer, but companies have to be a bit more creative in how that message is communicated.

Even before YouTube, BMW was already buying into this strategy by creating a series of short films, starring Clive Owen as The Driver. Each episode featured Clive Owen driving a BMW vehicle, but the car wasn’t the focus of the story. The car was simply IN the story. If you had taken the BMW out and put any other car in, each episode still would have worked. There’s a reason why ancient philosophers, prophets, and teachers used parables to instruct; it’s because people learn and retain information best through stories. Think about how you can utilize storytelling techniques in your own videos to market your company, products, and services.

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Your Videos May Rank Higher Than Your Website

Friday, September 2nd, 2011
Image representing Google Search as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

SEO firms and marketers agree that placing videos on your website will not only encourage visitors to stay longer and interact more with your website, but it will help boost your site’s SEO. And if you also upload those same videos to various video hosting sites (and optimize those videos by naming and tagging them appropriately), you can drastically increase your content’s search rankings. Consider this quote from SEO guru Bruce Clay, of Bruce Clay, Inc.

…In the case of video, we believe that as one of the more important engagement objects, google has actually started to build it into the algorithm.  To us, that means if your website has engagement objects on it,  video or mp3…  it is going to be received by the algorithm better and your site will actually have an opportunity to rank better.

*Source: Engagement Objects – Without Video, Your Website will NOT Rank in Google http://www.reelseo.com/engagement-objects-seo/#ixzz1WcQ54nuo

©2008-2011 ReelSEO Video Marketing

And this quote was taken from an article written in 2009, so consider the advancements Google made in their search algorithms over the past two years. Each day, those algorithms are more capable of crawling and indexing video content. Videos are now showing up more and more prominently in search results. In fact, videos may rank higher than your actual website. And you can take advantage of that by linking back to your website on every video you upload.

So, if you are interested in distilling information about yourself, your company, your team, your products, or your services, and you want to rank higher in Google search results, consider using video to increase your online visibility. You may want to start off with something simple, like a testimonial video from your clients/customers, or a stand-up, elevator-pitch-style video that introduces yourself to viewers. From there you can continue to build your video collection.

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