Posts Tagged ‘online video’

YouTube, SEO & Other Video Data

May 15, 2013

My email and LinkedIn group inboxes are constantly flooded with the latest information concerning every aspect of video. While often the information falls into the common sense category, sometimes I see data that piques my interest. Two such summaries came across my screen this week, one focused on YouTube’s algorithm for ranking video and the other containing an infographic with more off-beat statistics concerning the use of video by marketers and advertisers.

Several months ago the Official Youtube Content Partners and Creators blog announced that it would rank videos based on the extent to which viewers actually watch them rather than simply the number of clicks any given video receives. The blog noted that the company wants to “reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching.” This approach is consistent with the SEO focus of Google (which owns Youtube) on substantive content on websites.

This information interlaces with the infographic, posted by Larry Thomas on the Latergy Social Video Channel. According to a recent study by videoexplainers published by visual.ly, videos that are over one minute in length produce more click-through rates than shorter videos, except for videos that are 15 seconds or less. Videos that fall into the category of 16 to 60 seconds in length are 41% less effective than videos that are over a minute.

So putting these pieces of information together: Though it is commonplace today to lament the lack of attention span across wide swathes of the population, it seems that many folks out there are actually interested in more substantive content and are watching it in video form — and Google/Youtube is rewarding those producers.

My advice: Short sound bite videos (particularly those under 15 seconds) containing clear, articulated information are impactful (153% more effective in terms of click-through rates than videos between 16-60 seconds, according to the infographic) and should be included – in multiples – as part of an online video strategy. But they should be anchored to longer, content-filled videos. Of course, “longer” is a relative word, and it does not have the same meaning as “long.” An examination last year of Youtube codes seeking the length of the top 950 viewed videos on Youtube determined that the ideal length in terms of audience engagement (other than for music videos) is 2.5 minutes. That sounds about right to me. If the content is interesting, I think it is okay to stretch the timeline a bit. If there is more to say after that, it is, in my opinion, time for another video.

Two other interesting statistics that came out of the infographic:

  1. 4 in 10 social videos are humorous and viewers of those videos are more than three times as likely to click to a brand’s Facebook page than viewers of non-humorous videos.
  2. Celebrity videos drive 12% fewer visits to brands’ Facebook pages than non-celebrity videos.

My takeaways? Comedy over celebrities, and make sure your video budgets reflect the outcomes you are seeking.

Corporate Video Production Group on LinkedIn

April 17, 2013

Two months ago V&V, through an initiative spearheaded by our Director of Marketing, Lea Spencer, launched a new professional group on LinkedIn designed to address topics related to video in the corporate world. Already having attracted more than 200 members and growing by a number of additional people each day, the Corporate Video Production group has become an active platform for sharing advice and starting discussions on a wide range of relevant issues. Examples include:

Please join the LinkedIn Corporate Video Production group to gain insight into the most current trends in video from our dedicated community of industry professionals.

Using an In-House Video Studio to Respond to Industry Current Events

February 20, 2013

Outside of the news industry, corporations are not broadcasting stations with staff positioned in key locations or contracts with international wire services, set up to report on current events as they unfold. Yet unending waves of news events are filled with stories that affect different companies in myriad ways, and responses by those entities have potential public relations value. How can a corporation ensure it is a valued commentator of relevant news as it happens?

For many companies, press releases or other textual documents are the fastest way to respond. Say, for instance, the Supreme Court issues an opinion about tax law. A large law firm with a tax department might want to post information explaining the impact of the decision. Time would be of the essence, since the case is fresh on the minds of folks in the target audience and because it is always better to beat competitors to the information landscape. The speediest approach might involve an expert in the department writing some text responding to the decision, then posting it on the website immediately.

Yet this is the era when more folks watch than read. Yet again, producing a video response generally entails hiring a corporate video production company, finding a mutually agreed upon date for the shoot, then waiting for post-production to be completed, approved, and electronically sent to the folks who will be posting it. ZZZZZZzzzzzz…. (That’s the time window sizzling out.)

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Model of a Video Studio V&V is designing for EisnerAmper

An in-house corporate video production studio is the perfect solution for this challenge. The type of studio envisioned would be designed and set up by a video professional, who would help the company purchase and place the lights, camera(s), microphones, backdrops, and other equipment in stationery spots that have been pre-tested to generate the best quality video. In the hypothetical example cited above, the tax lawyer charged with responding to the consequences of the Supreme Court decision would go into the studio and sit on a chair around which the gear has been pre-arranged by the video professional. Someone on staff, perhaps in the IT department, would be trained on usage of the equipment, so he or she could simply turn on the lights, clip on the microphone then put it in the “on” position, and start the camera(s) rolling.

This type of video would entail very little editing. It would generally consist solely of a fade up from black at the beginning and a fade down at the end, a title card, perhaps a few graphics underscoring key points, and occasional transition devices if the presentation requires a few cuts. An employee at the firm with basic editing skills might be able to do the job. Alternatively, the firm could outsource these minor clips to a corporate video production company, signing an agreement that provides for the need for immediate turnaround. This latter solution would also ensure that adjustments could be made in color correction and audio sweetening for any production missteps (such as a failure to fine-tune lights for a person taller or shorter than the average for which the lights were pre-set).  Since the type of editing involved is basic, the editing costs should be affordable.

As video overshadows other types of communication avenues on the web, embracing this format becomes increasingly advantageous. The key is to find ways to do that while maintaining a commitment to quality reflective of the company that posts the clips. A professionally designed in-house video production studio is a very good mechanism. It has value for many types of videos — among them, responses to current events that put the corporation at the forefront of information and action.

Corporate Video: Endless Stories

January 31, 2013

When I got into the corporate video business over 15 years ago, clients wanted productions that were informational in content. They sought videos that would outline the work of the organization in all – or at least most – of its elements, even when the details required 12 minutes to roll out. Whether the video was to be used for marketing, HR or other purposes, an objective presentation of the nature of the entity was the fashion of the day

That tendency mirrored the appearance projected by news outlets at that time. Remember when the “fourth estate” was all about fair and balanced portrayals of facts based on research and widespread interviews with folks taking a diversity of positions?

Times have changed, and social media has played a critical role in this new world of information presentation. Today news correspondents can take the form of activists on the front lines of a revolt tweeting their eyewitness accounts on their smartphones in 140 characters at a time, reporting from the spots where they stand, unaware of the battle looming around the corner. Subjective by definition, they may nonetheless have more followers than nightly news stations, in large measure because audiences today are attracted to individual stories – real people, real events, real drama, real emotion.  The storytelling methodology resonates.

(One example of such a “story” we told through a video we produced for private equity client, The Riverside Company)

And it has influenced corporate video production. That extensive informational video style is passé. It has been replaced with short stories, endless short stories, each of which can stand on its own in a video or be grouped with others, depending upon a variety of factors including length of time needed to convey its heart. Stories can be about the company, such as the impetus that led to its founding or some cool community event in which its staff participated. They can focus on employees relating personal stories that integrate elements of their characters with aspects of their jobs. They can highlight a company initiative from the perspectives of those charged with implementing it, following the process through from idea conception to presentation. Endless stories.

While each video might max out at two minutes (often less), there may be many to produce, so ultimately far more time will be devoted to this format – and often watched by the viewers — than the single 12-minute piece in which the company invested 15 years ago. Yet unlike its old-fashioned predecessor, each piece will present only a slice of something related to the company. The viewer who watches a series of videos the company provides on its website and/or other social media sites may gain the larger umbrella perspective the company would like to portray. But the person who stops after the first will walk away with neither depth of understanding nor the larger picture perspective of the company.

This is the new communication reality. It is incumbent upon corporations still hesitant to find their video voices within its parameters. That may present some challenges, but a successful initiative will be worthwhile. Individual stories will resonate.

Video Production From The Road: Interviews

October 26, 2012

One of the great upsides to shooting corporate videos at locations around the globe is that we spend our days at facilities with people with whom we have the privilege to become acquainted. After all, we are usually interviewing them on camera, and even when we’re not – such as in the production of a video that uses musical backgrounds without words – we are interviewing them off camera to understand the nature of their work so we can properly capture and present it.  Formal interview time is always bookended by plenty of informal chatter, making the former more comfortable for everyone. And so we learn things like colleges that interviewees’ kids attend or where they went on their recent vacations. Those conversations lead to others, and before we know it, we often all discover how much we are enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes dinner invitations follow, and even when they don’t, recommendations for good dinners (and all the colorful context) are usually a good bet. By the time we are departing, we find that we have collected valuable insiders’ perspectives about the places we have visited even if the trips are only for small amounts of time.

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Of course, we don’t always hit it off as good ol’ buddies with the folks we are interviewing, nor do we have any expectations. But we do maintain an attitude of “work hard, play hard,” so we find fun spots to spend the off-hours, with or without our professional colleagues. A few days ago at a pub in Rouen, France, we met a woman at the next table who had come to have a drink after week. After a few friendly comments, we all found that we had many things to discuss, and we spent quite awhile talking, laughing, taking pictures, and sharing stories. Today, of course, such encounters don’t end with the last drop of distinctive French wine. We have become Facebook friends, and if prior such meetings are an indication, I am confident our knowledge of each other’s lives and cultures will continue to expand over time.

Corporate Video on the Road

October 3, 2012

The end of the calendar year brings corporate meetings of all kinds. In today’s visual world, a constant flow of intermittent video throughout the course of these lengthy gatherings ensures more interest and participation, which ultimately translates to greater success for hosting firms.

Enjoying fish soup in the Traveler’s Lounge in HKG Airport (Hong Kong).

As a full-service corporate video production company working in this world, autumn ushers in a heavy travel schedule for us at Voices & Visions Productions as we work this year in Australia, Hong Kong, France, Finland, and various cities in the US – all in a single month.

Success with a schedule as hectic as this requires a deep-seated knowledge of how to travel as lightly but completely as possible to ensure the video captured looks as beautiful as it does when we shoot in our home territory.  Another important factor in preventing plane and road burn out is knowing how to plan the travel experience on a limited budget, to ensure comfort and even playtime in the after-work hours (when they happen). Over the coming few weeks, I will write blogs that address a bunch of video tips on the heavily traversed road.

Video Production Tip: Proper Lighting

August 21, 2012
curt, photography, video production, lighting, voices and visions, corporate video production, professional video productionThis week’s video production tip comes from our Director of Photography, Curt:

Proper lighting is an often-overlooked aspect of production because cameras can be forgiving, but this separates home movies from professional videos. You need a location that’s correctly lit. Poor lighting techniques will result in a longer time in post-production and even then may not yield the appearance you are seeking. Occasionally I keep the cameras rolling as I’m setting up so I can see the interplay between the lighting and the images I’m creating as they develop. There are many books and other reference sources about lighting techniques. Do your homework!

Tune in later this week for an in-depth discussion on some key differences between amateur video and those produced by professional video companies.

See last week’s tip on business travel.

How To Optimize YouTube Videos For SEO

July 30, 2012

According to studies conducted by the marketing research firm Forrester, sites with video are over 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a Google search results page than those with text alone. Recognition of the value placed on video by Google probably accounts for the popularity of this form of media; a survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers found that 80% of marketers are using video this year. Yet equally important to the proliferation of professional video is optimizing the productions  for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

Above is an example of a YouTube video we uploaded and optimized.

There are several key elements to optimizing marketing videos on YouTube which begin with the file name and description. The title should not only reflect the nature of the video, but it should have keywords that cause Google to pay attention. Additionally, posted videos should contain an accurate description of the content. to ensure that folks searching for this type of information find them.The reason keywords are so important is because Google can’t actually read the content of videos (yet!). Rather, the title and description of the video tell the search engines what it is about. The more accurate, content-rich and keyword-filled, the more information Google will be able to use in its optimization formula. Ever a step ahead, descriptions that are bombarded with random keywords put the videos with which they are associated in jeopardy.Another SEO clue is to provide a URL to a website – preferably the page where the video lives on the website – in the video description, creating a link between two respected sites. Significantly, when there is an increase in the number of locations to which content is uploaded, Google views the video as having more authority and ranks it higher.

The Tags section of the uploading process is where all the keywords that don’t weave smoothly into the description can be highlighted. Prospective clients and customers will search for products or services using specific words, which can be tagged. The tags should be separated with commas, and each should not be more than one or two words.

Finally, the video should be accurately categorized, and the visibility option should be set to “public.” These details may seem obvious, but they are often overlooked and can affect the reach of a video (or lack thereof)..

In addition to Youtube and website postings, videos should be posted across a wide range of social networks. Online communities should be encouraged to share them. Repostings on separate sites increase the authority of the material in the eyes of Google and Bing.

Video SEO Tip

July 25, 2012

This week’s tip comes from our Marketing Director, Lea:lea spencer, voices and visions, new jersey video production, new york video production, video sep, video marketing

In addition to Youtube and website postings, videos should be posted across a wide range of social networks. Online communities should be encouraged to share them. Repostings on separate sites increase the authority of the material in the eyes of Google and Bing.

Tune in Monday for a full discussion on how to properly optimize videos for Search Engine Optimization.

 

See last week’s tip.

Tip of the Week

July 19, 2012
This week’s tip comes from our writer and producer, Ellen:
ellen friedland, voices and visions, new jersey video production, new york video production
When traveling to other cultures, learn about the culture to which you’re traveling:
Back in 1995, when we were doing a lot of work in Poland, I went to the store and bought a Polish language audio cassette. I decided if I was going to be in Poland, I needed to know certain words and expressions: Thank you, please, where is the bathroom, right, left, straight. After many rewinds, I learned some of the basics, which made it so much easier to get around. People also responded more helpfully and enthusiastically because they realized I was trying to take part in their culture.