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Video Marketing Tips From SES London

Posted on Feb 24th, 2011
Written by Lee Odden
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    Jonathan Allen, Paul Carff, Will Crtichlow

    The first session of the day for me here at SES London is a topic I’ve been interested in for a very long time: video marketing and optimization. It’s a great panel featuring Jonathan Allen from Incisive Media, Paul Carff from Google and Will Critchlow from Distilled. All three speakers offered plenty of interesting tips.

    First up is Paul Carff from Google who is a Developer Advocate that helps people learn about and use APIs.

    YouTube is the #1 online video site with 2 billion streams per day. 70% of all online video viewing happens on YouTube. Online video is the fastest growing medium in history. 52% of people took action as a result of watching video online. 77% of Americans online watched a video last month. The amount of time people spend watching online video is growing. Their attention and engagement is higher than traditional broadcast.

    Why add video to your marketing mix? Because that’s were the people are.

    How do you get your content in front of those viewers? One way is through search. Google wants to create the most comprehensive video index. Google videos can show in Universal Search, on YouTube and Google TV.

    To facilitate inclusion in search, marketers can use video sitemaps. The video sitemap can provide information about videos for Google: Location tag, thumbnail location, title and description, content location, player location.

    Other data that can be included in video sitemaps: video duration, expiration date, publication date and restriction tag. After you submit your sitemap, then be paitent because it can take a few days.

    If you have new meta data how do you update? Using additional tags.  Automatically submit sitemaps using plugins – drupal, WordPress.

    Case study (Orabush). They tried an infomercial, retail and AdWords. None of that worked because no one knew what a tongue brush was – there was no awareness.  Orabrush asked a college marketing class how to market it. They made a YouTube video and it went viral: Millions of views and sales exploded.

    Search isn’t going to work for things that have no awareness. People often “discover” video content. Video discovery is more than just search. Related videos are a form that facilitate discovery. Promoted videos (an ad) is another way. YouTube TrueView helps you manage video ads – you don’t pay unless people watch the whole video (i.e. you don’t pay for impressions, just like with AdWords).

    Creative content is always the big winner. Think about who you’re trying to reach and what they’re interested in.

    Case Study: Old Spice. 180 videos in 24 hours. 1 proposal. 151k subscribers. 120m views, +107% increase in body wash sales

    Video inspires engagement: Over 50% of videos are commented on.

    Google Leanback – like Pandora (or StumbleUpon) of video. If your YouTube profile is connected to your Facebook account, there’s a social element to Leanback in what you see.

    Next up is Will Critchlow from Distilled to share an array of tips on video:

    Besides video sitemaps, there are video microformats. Facebook and Yahoo (SearchMonkey).  It makes content more easily discoverable. Microformats and structured data is becoming more common for supplying/formatting content to search engines.

    Tip: – Entrepreneur interviews – great example of video content. Great content attracts attention and supports search discovery

    Tip: Publish transcripts on the same page as the video because it provides search engines with information and it provides users useful information.

    Tip: Use tools other than YouTube. There are things you can do on other services that you can’t do on YouTube. Example, video length and apis. Will recommends vzaar. Gives example of showing a sign-up form at the end of a video that goes directly into MailChimp.

    Also recommends Wistia, that offers great analytics, which is pretty tough with Flash based video players.

    Here’s a great post on YouTube SEO tips. This is also a great example of how speaking at a conference (Will speaking at SES London) can get you a sweet anchor text link from a high traffic blog (me).

    To get links to video hosted / embedded on your site – provide your own embed code that others can copy onto their own site that includes link(s) back to you. Take a step further, and include embed code in the embed code so when others embed your video on their site, it offers embed code for their users to continue the trend – kind of like Inception 🙂

    Videos to attract links don’t need to be your own videos. You can curate others’ videos and include the embed code that links back to your site (instead of YouTube).

    Last up is Jonathan Allen from Incisive Media. Online video is changing how we produce video and what we can make of it. Online video is a “story engine”.

    Video marketing strategy and considerations:
    – Production value
    – Do you want to monetize the content or not
    – What are the elements of your marketing
    – Measure success

    Tips on low/no budget video creation:

    – You can make video out of text via Xtranormal and Moviestorm.
    – Make videos out of photos from Animoto
    – Make a video out of sitemaps. Treepodia will make a video out of your product sitemap.

    Tips on YouTube:

    – To get more video views, upload email forwards (videos people have shared with you). Copyright will sort itself out. (I cannot imagine recommending this for a brand)
    – Report on events – this is evergreen content. Product demos, voxpops?, shoot crazy stuff
    – Video tactics – copy other people’s tags that are already popular, keyword rich titles, descriptions. Use search suggest to modify keywords you optimize for.

    Make a cheap video not look cheap:

    For interviews, have the camera at eye level at 2/3 high on the screen. Pay attention to your backgrounds, they set the stage.
    Use pickup shots – “b-roll” of people, scenery, backgrounds to add a professional look.

    That’s it for now. There were quite a few video tips provided in this session and it went by fast. I think this topic could easily be a half or full day workshop where attendees would bring cameras and a trainer would show how to create basic videos, upload and market them using the tips above. That sounds like an opportunity 🙂

    Is video marketing a big part of your online marketing strategy?  Have you had disapointments or successes you can share?  What are some of your best video marketing tips?


    Paul Carff of Google was good enough to sit down and chat for a few minutes on his role at Google as well as some pitfalls and best practices for video sitemaps. Check it out: