The first two parts of our Small Business Lab on Web video provided insights into the research,
planning, development and production processes involved in launching a successful online
video campaign. In this, the third and final installment, we will address the different methods for
marketing your videos and measuring their impact on the overall goals of your business.
It would probably be redundant, then, to mention that
video is the fastest growing medium in the history of the
Web, and that both consumers and marketers are embracing
it at unprecedented rates of adoption. Neither, then, is
it necessary to point out the fact that small and mediumsized
businesses in virtually every industry are currently
building their brands, engaging new customers and selling
their products and services through the use of online video.
Instead, let’s take a look at the multitude of marketing
channels and analytics solutions available to online businesses
that are considering implementing video. According
to the recent Online Video and Media Industry Report from
BrightCove and TubeMogul, Facebook now accounts for
nearly 12 percent of all referred online video traffic, surpassing
Yahoo to place it a distant second behind Google
search results — which accounts for 60 percent of all video
What’s more, while Twitter produces only about 2 percent
of the current referral traffic for video, engagement
rates among viewers are higher for Twitter than they are
for Google. Viewers referred by Yahoo, meanwhile, had
the highest engagement times for brand-produced videos,
averaging nearly two-and-a-half minutes apiece.
And we haven’t even mentioned by name the Googleowned
property known as YouTube, where 70 percent of
all online video viewing takes place.
What all this data tells us is that video is a medium
that truly blurs the lines between search and social. In
order to be successful, businesses have to ensure that their
videos are as accessible through standard SEO practices
as they are compelling for users to share on social networks.
While that may require a delicate touch at times, it
is also exactly why video is such a powerful tool for small
businesses on the Web.
A properly optimized video marketed to the right
channels can change a company’s fortunes literally
overnight. So, let’s look more closely at the three phases of
video marketing and measurement.
As we discussed in last month’s article on video production,
the best course of action is to create videos that
are extremely relevant to your products, business or industry
and to keep them between 30 seconds and five
minutes long. This will not only help your SEO efforts but
also provide the most value for viewers.
Once production on a video has been completed, however,
there are several methods with which you can further
optimize the content for search engines. Similar to SEO
for text-based content, the process for video begins by targeting
relevant keywords. Identify those keywords and use
them to create titles, tags, filenames for the videos and the
channels on which they reside, meta data, descriptions
and anchor text to use when linking videos from sites
other than your own.
A video sitemap will create additional opportunities
for keyword optimization, and the use of rich snippets and
structured data makes all Web content more easily found
in searches. Additional data that can be included for
videos includes the film’s running time, publication date,
expiration date, geographic location — any information
that will help users not just find your videos but also
connect them with your business or brand.
Including the actual HTML transcripts when you post
your videos is another form of optimization. Using a shortened
transcript on channels other than your own, and
adding a link back to your site to read the full transcript is
one more useful strategy. Following these guidelines will help your videos rank higher
in searches and allow you to
move to the next phase of
online video marketing.
Analytics solutions from video platforms
and providers such as TubeMogul
give detailed information about the
performance of campaigns, including
impressions, views, completion rates,
social actions and more.
While search is a critical element to the marketing of any
type of Web content, video is an inherently social medium
that must navigate the social Web to achieve its business
goals. That requires that videos be distributed to the channels
where the most relevant viewers will find them, and
constructed in a manner that compels users to engage in
and share them with their friends.
The conversation about video-sharing sites most definitely
starts with YouTube, where some 2 billion streams
are viewed every day. It is a virtual given that any business
getting started in video should take advantage of a YouTube
channel, and there are several options. User channels are
the free accounts available to anyone who wants to post
videos, while YouTube partner channels and brand channels
offer deeper functionality and a share of the advertising
revenues. The impressions gained by businesses
accepted into these channels not only generate revenue but
also improve the search rankings of each video on Google.
But YouTube is only the start of the conversation, and
businesses should also be sharing their videos on Facebook,
Twitter and other sites like Vimeo and Dailymotion
— in addition to their own sites, of course. Services such
as TubeMogul provide an excellent way of distributing
your videos to the most popular sites and in front of the
most relevant users, but it will do little good if the videos
are not built to last on the social Web.
It is important that each video includes social features
such as sections for users to provide comments, ratings and
reviews and simple methods for sharing them across their
favorite social networks. In addition to being shared and
made for others to share, videos should be syndicated and
submitted to RSS feeds for maximum exposure, attention
from the search engines and potential linking opportunities.
No one knows exactly why or how a seemingly ordinary
business video such as the recent A Day Made of Glass
from Corning Glass goes viral, generating millions of
views on YouTube and spreading like wildfire across the
social Web. The far more important question for marketers
is, “Now what?”
As in everything else in Web business, analytics holds
the key to creating success out of a successful execution
— or building toward success from a poor execution.
Behind every video campaign should be a quantifiable end
goal, whether that goal is to build brand awareness,
generate advertising revenue, create discussion or sell a
product. Only through analytics can a business determine
if that goal has been met, and the answer will not always
be found in the number of page views a video receives.
Most of the leading online video platforms such as
Invodo, BrightCove, TubeMogul, SundaySky and Ooyala
offer rich analytics solutions as part of their services, which
can be tied in with or separate from their offerings in development
and production. YouTube Insights has undergone
several recent upgrades to provide deeper analytics
for users of its free and partner channels, as has most every
other video-sharing site, social network and social media
management tool in the past few months alone.
One of the advantages to online video is that because
of its unprecedented rise in popularity, the Web is full of
companies competing to provide the latest technologies to
help brands, marketers and small businesses succeed in
the space. It is a category so filled with opportunity today
that it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, and that
opportunity should not be missed.