Getting Noticed Online With Video

INTRODUCTION

Using Video To Get Listed Quicker on Search Engines

There’s a lot of talk about “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) these days. Even though all this does need to be done to get the most out of an online campaign, just one video will get you noticed quicker—and it will be much easier with the introduction of the new iPhone 4 (you can shoot, edit, and share HD video right on the phone!).

Combining images and audio is very powerful and very effective in getting your message across—and a great percentage of people will actually remember it.

Someone once said that we retain 10% of what we hear; 20% of what we read; 30% of what we see; 50% of what we hear and see; 70% of what we discuss; and 90% of what we do or teach.

So, as this shows, video is the most effective form of ‘presentation’ we have now—and after one experiences a video presentation, if you can get them to do something, that will almost ‘cinch’ an action related to your message. That is why advertisers still use TV commercials, since they know it still is a very effective method in communicating their client’s message.

A “permissionTV” (now VisibleGains) study stated that 2/3 of senior marketing executives focused on web video campaigns in 2009—and more will do so in 2010.

Just look at how popular YouTube has become (and that Google paid $1.56B for it a few years ago). Video, combined with the distribution to the mobile phone, is going to be the next wave in marketing.

As high-speed Internet becomes more prevalent via “broadband” (computers) and “wireless” (phones)—which has been estimated to be installed in about 75-80% of the homes and business in the U.S. by 2012—videos will be available to more people, the costs to distribute them will go down, and it will ‘suddenly’ become an expected part of doing business. So, do it now, and be ahead of the curve!

WAYS TO USE INTERNET VIDEO

Reduces Costs and Increases Customer Service

There are many different ways to use video in your marketing ‘mix’—company overviews, executive summaries, product reviews, and talking-head welcomes. You can even combine the video with a presentation for a more effective online meeting, or develop a stand-alone interactive presentation that allows the user to focus on what they want at their own pace.

But, since people don’t like to be ‘sold’, it is much more effective to show someone how to ‘do’ something—like fixing or putting something together, training someone on specific actions, or showing the details of something physical. Examples include adding memory to your computer, new employee training, and real estate walk-thrus—and things like PodCasts are a great way to distribute these in many different venues.

This reduces your costs and allows the customer to do it when they want to, rather than when your company customer service is available.

Your potential customer is searching for someone they can trust, and you’re an unknown entity. Using video is the closest thing to actually being there, and one of the most effective methods in garnering that trust.

TYPES OF VIDEO

Different Types for Different Uses

Motion graphics is usually totally computer generated content like a ‘slide show’ or animation that usually has some sort of music or voice-over to give it interest and better explain the message. This allows you to create things that don’t exist, or would be cost prohibitive to shoot video of.

Probably the most popular software package for this is Apple’s Final Cut Studio, and it has an industry-leading component called “Motion” that is used by most leading-edge production facilities around the world, and most, if not all, of the Hollywood studios.

A more ‘traditional’ video would be called a “movie.” This usually combines ‘clips’ from a video camera with graphics and music. Again, most high-end producers use Final Cut Pro for this, allowing them non-linear editing capabilities using a variety of different video formats, and then ‘modularize’ the presentation so it can be used in many different ways, and distributed via many different formats.

WHY USE INTERNET VIDEO?

Levels ‘Playing Field’ for Small Business

One of the things video does is ‘level the playing field’ for small business—you can be perceived as an expert and ‘look’ like you are a much larger company than you really are. It also reduces the cost of ‘sales-per-appointment’ drastically.

Since video is multi-sensory, it engages the viewer to absorb more information quicker, and the user can review specifics by replaying it. It also presents a ‘consistent’ message, something hard to do with the ‘personalities’ of a sales force.

In addition to this, video accounts for over 50% of all web traffic—with more than 20% of all web traffic going to just one site (YouTube). With the introduction of the Facebook “Page,” businesses will have another ‘outlet’ for their videos.

Even though video is still in its ‘infancy’, it’s becoming very popular (especially with the increased capabilities of “Smart Phones”). It will also give you a lot better chance of getting ‘noticed’ in comparison to having just a web site—search engines are looking for new video content, and Google’s “live news feed” in their search results features videos related to the request.

Just remember, today web surfers know what they want, and they want it quickly. So, present your video as one of the first things they see, and tell them they can find out within 2 minutes, whether or not you can help them.

You need to convince them what makes you different from other companies. So, definitely check out what your competition is doing—and do it better and quicker!

THREE IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE

Cost Effective; Quickly Changed; 24×7

First off, it’s very cost effective to distribute information, since your prospects and customers can easily download it. This saves you money.

Secondly, it can be changed quickly to respond to market changes and product updates. This keeps you ahead of your competition, in more ways than one—a video actually ranks you higher in search results. Not only are video results becoming more common in search engine results, but your video stands a much better chance of being shown on the first page than your text pages do. (Surveys have shown that a video has about an 11,000-to-1 chance of being listed on the first page, whereas a text page has a 500,000-to-1 chance!).

Thirdly, it’s worldwide. You can expand your ‘reach’ and grow your business. Since it’s available 24×7, so it doesn’t matter where your customers are located—you can be selling and supporting your products and services while you sleep.

INTEGRATED MULTIMEDIA APPROACH

Coordinated Marketing Message

“Multimedia” is a term used to describe the combination of multiple forms of media. A company that is considered a multimedia firm, is one that has expertise in print and graphic design, video production, web site development, advertising, marketing, and sometimes even trade show displays.

Having been around for over 20 years in this industry, I would suggest you look for a firm that understands the strengths of each media, and what needs to be done to make sure the visual look and feel are coordinated between them.

COMMON MISTAKES

Keep It Short and ‘Sweet’

There are many methods for getting prospects to your web site, but it’s only the first ‘step’ in online success. Getting them to take action is what you are doing all this for—to educate, engage, and solve their ‘need’ with what you have to offer.

One thing to remember is that creating an ‘effective’ web video takes more than just a camcorder and iMovie—it’s a highly multi-disciplinary art that combines almost all computer graphics areas of expertise—creative ‘storytelling’; graphics production; illustration; animation; titling; professional camera work; lighting; models and voice-over talent; musical integration; audio ‘sweetening’; high-end editing capabilities; and an understanding of the best formats and compression to use for different distribution methods.

One of the other major mistakes people make is trying to say too much, thereby making the video too long. People are really busy and kind of ‘impatient’, so tell the viewer how long it is up-front. It’s been shown that it should be no longer than two minutes, because there’s even a worse ‘backlash’ when the presentation is either ‘annoying’ or too long.

So, even though in-steam video is much more effective, it can also be much more intrusive—so be judicious with it.

WHERE WE’RE HEADED

Rich Media and Web 2.0

You might have heard of the term, “Rich Media”—it describes the broad range of “dynamic motion” applied to static content that occurs over time. Examples can include things like streaming newscasts or stock ‘ticker’, or pre-recorded webcasts coupled with a synchronized slide that the user controls.

Another term you’ll hear more is “Web 2.0,” which will increase the security, collaboration, functionality, and creativity of the web. Sites like “Wiki,” “Facebook,” “Twitter,” and “Flickr” are showing the first ‘fruits’ of this in the social networking arena. The future will see things like having interactive customer design and personalization of products, reducing material and labor costs, and getting the ‘product’ to the customer quicker.

With cell phones having become pretty much a common item for many people, there will be a larger ‘push’ to deliver content to the user in a more convenient and ‘instantaneous’ manner.

This medium is becoming so popular that there’s a popular “viral video” TV show that shows what’s most popular that particular week. This shows that the web is starting to be the ‘originator’ of content—something that was just recently ‘relegated’ to newspapers and TV exclusively.

There are also specific services available that are offering video-specific services. “Ramp.com”Ć¢EUR^(formerly “EveryZing”), converts video to text, and is ranking them like regular pages (kind of re-inventing Google’s AdSense).

HOW TO START

Seek Expertise

Of course, one can easily record something or someone with a digital video camera or a web cam, and upload it to a sites like YouTube, Yahoo and Google Video, Flickr, Photobucket, and Vimeo.

Maybe I’m being a bit biased, but my strong suggestion is to be sure you deal with an experienced, proven firm. There are many people that can do only certain portions of a project, or are just starting off and will promise much for very little. This usually doesn’t turn out well. Just remember, this is your ‘image’, something that may have taken years to develop—and will take a lot more effort to ‘repair’ a bad image than it takes to create one!

The good thing is, there’s many resources available on the Internet to give you an idea of what you need and how to do an online video.

One we like (that we are not directly associated with), is presented by the “Participatory Culture Foundation” at http://www.MakeInternetTv.org. It’s a step-by-step guide that informs you about the right equipment, some techniques for shooting video, considerations in the editing process, and how to publish and promote your video.

Just be advised that studies have shown that there are three very important factors that consumers have mentioned when viewing online video:

#1- Quality of picture

#2- Smoothness of playback (meaning no ‘skipping’ or ‘dropped’ frames)

#3- Lack of ‘interruptions’ (with sales type info)

Again, with the introduction of the iPhone 4, and the increased popularity of the Android-based smart phones, video will be easier to capture and distribute—just be sure it is coordinated with your marketing message, and upholds the quality of your corporate image.

THE “INFOMERCIAL”

A Proven Selling ‘Formula’

Here’s an acronym I heard a while back that might help in remembering the steps in how to properly ‘sequence’ your selling proposition: A.I.D.A.A.

A = Grab your prospects’ ATTENTION

I = Generate INTEREST with your message

D = Create a DESIRE for your product or service

A A = “AGITATE” to get prospect to take ACTION

Here’s some ‘rules’ that will help you in an approach to web video success:

#1 Get your video seen

#2 Let them know it’s SHORT and inclusive

#3 Make it dynamic and fast-paced

#4 Coordinate visual scheme with your corporate identity

#5 Support the graphics (key points) with a good narrator

#6 Video is more effective with a powerful sound track

[But be sure they can turn it off (consideration for their listening environment), so be sure the key message is also contained in the graphics (text) of the video]

#7 Don’t overload it with slogans and buzzwords

[Just look at some TV commercials for how the ‘very smart’ ad people—that spend a lot of money to try to keep your attention—‘burn’ their message into your brain]

#8 Make it easy to “share” (a link button or sharing site)

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