If you don’t know the Funnelholic, you should. Craig Rosenberg is a demand generation marketing thought leader known for bringing fresh ideas to the table and highlighting the hottest trends in online marketing. I caught up with Craig at the Marketo User Summit a few weeks back, we stepped offsite for a cup of coffee and dove deep into video marketing use cases. We both quickly realized that what we were discussing should be shared with marketing world at large. While the focus has always been around production and YouTube (SEO) deployment scenarios, most B2B marketers were not seeing results and ROI. In short, I blew the Funnelholic’s mind, and a few days later he invited me to share these ideas at the Demand Generation Summit happening on May 15th, 2013.
In preparation for the summit, Funnelholic and I hopped on a Google+ Hangout to chat about the Top Tips For Video Marketing Success. Watch the video above to get the highlights.
Register to attend the Demand Generation Summit!
Meetingsbooker.com allows companies or individuals to source conference and meeting venues around the world. You can search thousands of venues in over 100 countries, send them your requirements and they will come back direct to you with competitive offers to hold your event at their venue.
Their tagline is “Spend less time booking and more time meeting!” and it does certainly seem to be a very useful service that addresses a clear problem a lot of business people have.
Recently, Meetingsbooker.com started using Vidcaster.com to power their new website VenueVid.com. Founder, Ciaran Delaney explains the idea behind this new video site, “We set up VenueVid.com to allow any venue or hotel in the world to promote their meeting space. Venues can add their videos for free. In some cases with their permission we may also use the video content on Meetingsbooker.com”
So far in only a couple of weeks a number of venues have already sent in their videos and the sites content is starting to grow. “Vidcaster.com provide the perfect solution for us, it allowed us to create a video portal in a matter of minutes. We are very impressed with backend management system and analytics which allows us to easily add videos and track their performance.”
Learn more about VenueVid and Meetingsbooker in this short video:
Ninety percent of the online population will regularly watch online video by 2017, according to Forrester Research. So, why haven’t more companies embraced video in their marketing? The simple answer is fear. The fear comes from a long list of misconceptions… It’s too expensive. It’s too complicated. It will take too much time. The quality will be poor. It won’t produce results.
The truth is, today’s online video tools and techniques are easier, more affordable and more effective than you may think. Follow these five simple steps to conquer your video fears and make confident first steps into the world of online video.
Step 1. Determine Your Goal
Don’t create an online video without a goal in mind. Do you want to drive leads, share knowledge, make a sale, or conduct a training session? Your online video should align and drive your business goals.
Step 2. Prepare for Setup
With your goals defined, determine where your content will live. What existing marketing channels will benefit from video? (Hint: all of them) Utilize tools that simplify publishing video into a SEO-optimized video gallery on your domain and sharing on external channels like YouTube, Facebook, and partner sites. And don’t forget analytics and video marketing automation. You need to know who is watching your content and how.
Step 3. Develop a Video Content Strategy
Align your video content strategy to the priorities of your overall business. While marketing will usually take up the lion’s share of your video production budget, video will deliver significant benefits across many company functions. Some examples include: training, support, human resources, and investor relations.
Step 4. Produce the Video
There are a number of ways to produce your video. So now you’ll need to determine, based on your goals, which tool is best for your video. You can use your smartphone, your computer, a video camera and editing software, or you can hire a video producer or outsource your video needs to a production company. Naturally, the role and prominence of the video within your site should correspond to the production budget.
Step 5. Try it
Just start. If you have the budget, by all means use professional equipment and experienced producers. But, you can realize video ROI with just a smartphone and a purpose. You can interview product managers about what excites them about the product, or chat with a happy customer. Shoot, edit, and then play it back to see if it clearly conveys your message, has a strong call to action, and aligns with your business goals.
With video phobia thoroughly overcome, you are now free to embrace this medium and realize a competitive advantage over those who are still paralyzed by irrational video fears.
HelpLearn.Asia, a startup offering regional online marketing seminars, has partnered with VidCaster to launch an e-learning video platform to help firms gain a competitive edge with byte-sized expert digital marketing insights.
This new online resource delivers marketing lessons made available anywhere and anytime, including on mobile and tablet devices. Companies and individuals are now able to pick up skills like Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Expertise, Google Analytics and more in the comfort of their homes and offices.
HelpLearn.Asia launched its inaugural seminar in Singapore in March to tackle digital marketing inefficiencies. Over 200 participants benefited from the vantage points of all-star speaker panel from Facebook, PurpleClick Media, VML Qais (part of WPP), Dropmysite and many more. The spotlight was on online marketing basics and revolutionary frameworks of successful campaigns. The footage of these presentations is among the first to be uploaded on the e-learning platform.
With HelpLearn.Asia’s e-Tutorials, digital marketing is at one’s fingertips. Each topic is compacted into a 5 – 10 minute nutshells for busy learners. With 10 videos updated monthly, content will always be to the point, current and practical.
The current list of e-learning video will feature hands-on digital marketing practices from industry experts. There will be introductions to many effective online marketing tools. HelpLearn.Asia’s detailed tutorials help discover their practical uses and its application to one’s business (do see the existing list of topics covered below).
To get started, attendees of the first HelpLearn.Asia seminar will get a free one-month subscription. For the rest, USD29 per month will allow them access to successful online marketing strategies shared by the experts who make their living with them.
As the online platform is launches, the offline Helplearn.Asia seminars are gaining momentum. The team is currently in discussions with speakers for the next few seminars in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
This new feature has opened up a whole new level of visibility and control when it comes to video marketing. In fact, video without analytics and marketing automation provides very little value in the enterprise.
Marketers that post videos to their corporate YouTube channel and link directly to those videos in their marketing assets (emails, landing pages, website, ect…) have absolutely no visibility into which contacts or leads are viewing which video, leaving video outside of the visibility umbrella.
On the other hand, bringing video to your website can change all this, but only if it is done correctly. Standard analytic solutions (Google Analytics) provide great insight into which urls or web pages are being viewed, but no specific data on the video itself. So embedding YouTube videos will not solve this challenge. The solution is simple, launch a video channel on your domain and plug in your existing analytics and marketing solutions, even your CRM.
Don’t waste time messing around with tracking codes, we have wired our video site solution to work with your existing systems with just a few clicks. Now your videos are measurable marketing assets that will perform 10-50x better than your white papers, case studies and webinars. We call this an instant video strategy.
Search Engine Optimization is a standard practice, but is becoming more of a science these days thanks to the introduction of new content forms such as video.
Unlike written content, video is handled in a completely different manner. Interactive content is weighted more heavily by search engines and can be used to rank high for certain key phrases or keywords — in some cases beating out competitors for first page ranking.
Here at VidCaster we have made it as easy as possible for marketers to get the most from their videos by building in and automating the numerous processes and tasks needed to get your videos seen by the likes of Google. We pride ourselves on having the most simple and powerful video SEO tool available today!
How is VidCaster’s SEO Engine different from other player only solutions out there?
First of all, VidCaster is not competitive with player only solutions that provide simple embeds for placement on a website. VidCaster is a video site solution that works with many different 3rd party player options, so if you are hosting videos with another provider, you can still use your videos with VidCaster.
Player only solutions require you to embed your video players in a specific web site, and to be seen by search engines you are required to produce a video site map and submit it to search engines. You will also will need to get into the code of the page where the video is embedded and insert specific scripts to make it this process work seamlessly.
Since VidCaster provides the entire video site, not just the player, we launch a sitemap and auto-add videos to it as you upload content to your video site. This direct integration with Google allows your videos to stay optimized even as search algorithms change.
Additionally, VidCaster provides a unique video landing page for each video added to your site, increasing the amount of indexible pages on your domain, driving viewers directly from search results to your site, where they can convert to qualified sales opportunities for your team.
There are a number of other features that our Video SEO Engine has, watch the video to learn more or sign up for a Free Trial.
Some helpful and related links:
We constantly get asked how easy is it to create a video site with VidCaster? The answer is simple, it takes only a few clicks.
This is because we have spent the last few years doing all the hard work researching what designs are most effective for businesses using video for sales and marketing. The result is a solid set of templates and themes designed for video marketing and learning strategies of all types.
Today we release our latest theme, The Feed. To take a look at this new theme visit our very own video site here: http://tv.vidcaster.com.
What makes The Feed so special:
One of the most important factors in video engagement is keeping the viewer’s attention. The best way to do this is to reduce the amount of clicking and page loading in the video viewing process. The Feed does just that. This slick new theme features in-page loading, so viewers never leave the page, loading new videos with each scroll down.
The simple layout include a light-box search module and categories drop down, giving your video library a slick “app” look and feel.
Just like the 14 other themes in the VidCaster arsenal, you can configure The Feed very easily to match your branding and corporate identity.
The Vidwall Preview Feature gives you the ability to provide a short preview clip to viewers before the call-to-action gate, Leadwall or Paywall.
Increase engagement by creating a preview clip that highlights a certain portion of the video used to entice the viewer. Once the viewer is engaged, the video gate will appear prompting contact information or subscription to continue.
Read detailed information on how to use the new preview feature here.
One of the main motivations for our team to create VidCaster was to bring together the best video technology tools into one place for our customers. Prior to VidCaster, startups that offered groundbreaking video technology had a significant barrier to entry — often the use of their technologies required technical integration by customers.
One of our favorite new video tech partners is Switchcam which lets anyone make interactive videos with multiple camera angles. Here’s how it works: you start by recording 2 or more videos simultaneously, using any type of camera. Then you upload to Switchcam, which then automatically syncs your videos. When a viewer plays back the event on the Switchcam enabled player, you can see or switch video playback from any angle. You can even invite the audience to add their footage using their iPhones, effectively crowd-sourcing video coverage.
We were really excited to work with the Switchcam team to integrate their multi-camera player with the VidCaster platform on a recent pilot project in February. 500 Startups is a Silicon Valley based incubator and held its fifth demo day at Twitter’s HQ in San Francisco last February — a perfect use case for Switchcam’s tech.
The result has been stunning — both in terms of the product (it’s really just plain cool to be able to switch angles playing back), but also in terms of the significant boost in metrics that our customers value: time on site (engagement) and bounce rate. Seriously these are off the charts:
The Switchcam integration took place on the 500 Startup’s VidCaster powered video site. tv.500.co already uses the YouTube player that automatically syncs with their YouTube account — the ability to add a third-party player like Switchcam is particularly powerful and a feature simply not available on mainstream social video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo as they prefer to use their own player objects.
Check out the awesomeness for yourself:
Since we have a number of customers that have developed iPhone and iPad apps using their VidCaster video site (as the main hub of content feeding native and web apps), I figured I would create my own to see if I could accomplish the same without any programming skills.
But first, here are a few ways that businesses can use a mobile video app.
—> Video Training Portal: Give your customers a way to engage with your training content from anywhere. Sometimes its when people are commuting that they have the time to watch video content, and their mobile device is how they do it.
—> Video Sales Portal: Highlight customers, product, and company. Make video content available for use in outside sales scenarios.
—> Branding Portal: Increase brand and awareness by centralizing and branding video content.
Putting myself in the shoes of a non-technical marketer I set out on my journey, proving to myself and the world that it could be done in a few super simple steps. Here’s how I did it.
1) Launch a VidCaster video site
Since we already have a video site, there was no need to launch a new one, but for the people that don’t have one, you can create one here for free to try this out.
Upload or sync your videos with your account and then configure the design and theme to match your brand.
2) Launch the Mobile App Studio with Widgetbox
Configure the look of your mobile app using the editor tool. You want to add RSS menu items to the app. These will be place holders for the feeds we will grab from your VidCaster account in the next step.
3) MRSS Feeds
Next you will need to grab the MRSS feeds from your VidCaster Site and plug them into your video app for the appropriate category. To grab the main feed, click on the feed icon on the index or home page of your video site. To grab feeds for each category, simply navigate to that category page and click the feed button. This will allow you to create different categories in your video app.
What do these feeds do? The MRSS feeds give the app a link and video thumbnail linking to an optimized version of your video that will playback seamlessly on any device.
Now paste the feed URL into RSS menu option in Widgetbox Mobile App studio and click save. Choose an icon if necessary.
4) Configure Your App For Distribution
Using the powerful tools of Widgetbox you can configure your app for distribution by connecting it to your website the same way you would point your VidCaster site at your domain.
We’ll that’s it! It should take you no longer than 10 minutes once you have your VidCaster video site setup. Once you get your video mobile app built, share it with us here in the comments section.
To try this out launch a trial of VidCaster and Widgetbox here.