Seohighly Guide: Online Video Marketing- Part-1

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What is video?
Websites are typically constructed with up to three aesthetic elements, used to communicate messages to an audience:

  • Visual – created with images & CSS styling.
  • Aural – created with music and voice-over.
  • Conceptual – created with text.

This presentational format is no accident, as it mirrors the building blocks of artistic and creative expression that have been a constant for thousands of years:

  • Visual Art – expressed in painting & sculpture.
  • Aural Art – expressed in dance and song.
  • Conceptual Art – expressed in literature and poetry.

In its most basic form, video is the integration of these aesthetic concepts — an abstraction of the aforementioned primary art forms into a secondary integrated whole, an artistic work experienced conceptually and perceptually simultaneously. It is image (visual), music (aural) and story (conceptual) all rolled into one. If sculpture could be surmised as three dimensional painting, then film/video is two-dimensional theatre.

This is how video should be approached when we begin thinking about the web — not as a type of content which is an interchangeable format to text and image, but an integration of these elements, demanding full time-bound attention from an audience.

Over the past few years, faster connection speeds have allowed the smooth streaming of HD web video on both desktop and mobile devices, making video instantly accessible to web users and a necessary form of engagement for brands and small businesses alike.

Why is video valuable?
  • Improved User Engagement
  • Brand Awareness
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets
  • Improving conversions
  • Building links
  • Having a presence on video search engines
Video offers user engagemnt
Reading is an active experience. As you are reading this guide now, you are choosing the speed at which you take in the words, the moments where you pause to consider the statements and in which order you view the sections. Your journey through the content is very much self-determined and follows the following cognitive process:

  • Perception
  • Appraisal of meaning
  • Evaluation of meaning
  • Emotional response

This might look like…

  • I am reading about online Video Marketing
  • Video Marketing is the process of promoting an entity online through video
  • This could be useful for my company
  • I am excited to learn more

However, video as a medium, allows a user very little freedom in terms of consumption — it’s easy for users to skim read text and decide which sections are most relevant to them. Video offers no ‘skim-read’ option — you either watch the video in its entirety, or it fails to hold your attention and you stop watching. Additionally watching a video is a somewhat passive experience. When users decide to press ‘play’, they are asking to be shown something — asking to be given the content in an integrated, multi-disciplinary form — rather than digging through the content and exploring the meaning themselves.
Video is therefore a different method of engaging audiences than image and text. With video, the experience of comprehension is more immediate, driven by the trio of story-telling elements available and the deterministic nature of the restricted timescale. The amount of information that can be displayed through one second of video vastly outnumbers the amount of information that can be read. This means the emotional response – the kneejerk reaction – often comes before the full appraisal of the content or the comprehension of the meaning.

Text-vs-video

Example:

Text-Vs.-Video-example

Consequently, video allows you to generate instant emotional connection with an audience, helping you to build influencers quickly and efficiently from agnostic parties; but conversely can also earn you detractors just as quickly. As such, the video you create must achieve that instant emotional engagement, otherwise you risk turning off potential influencers and customers.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then a video is worth a 1000 words, 25 times a second.

Video assists with branding
Through video, one is able to recreate the experience of being face to face with someone much better than through audio, image or text. Through moving likeness and recorded image, we can display much of who we are, as people, through physical and verbal expression. For branding, this is extremely important – as it allows companies to display a “human” side considerably more efficiently than through image, audio and text.
Due to the relative low uptake, online video can also indicate professionalism and brand quality – If a company has enough time, money and skills to create high quality video, they are often perceived as a legitimate business with a genuine interest in providing a great service.
Video offers positive signals to search engines

Generating more traffic through rich snippets

In the Google search engine results pages (SERPs), thumbnail images are sometimes attached to the results to indicate that the web page contains a video.
These image augmented results typically have higher click through rates (more people click on them) than standard results, meaning getting “video rich snippets” can be a fantastic way of increasing traffic for a website.
By including video on your site and implementing the correct technical mark-up, It’s possible to get these augmented search results.

Improving conversions

Through increasing engagement and trust, video content can be a great way of driving greater conversions, particularly on commercial pages. This is the main reason why product videos have become popular in the E-commerce world – as a method of improving the rate at which users click “add to basket” and complete a full purchase.

Link Building

Links continue to be an important metric with which search engines determine the authority of a piece of content, seeing referring links as akin to “votes” for various pages around the web. Search result rankings are then based on a combination of relevancy (determined by the content and terms used on the page) and authority (determined by the number of referring links and social shares).
Casey Henry from SEOmoz ran a study in October 2009 which calculated the number of inbound links pointing to SEOmoz blog posts based on media type – discovering that pages with a mixture of media types and form, particularly those containing video, generated more inbound links than plain
pages with only images and text.

Presence on Video Search Engines

YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine (after Google). The only way to get a presence on YouTube (and Vimeo) is to have video content and a channel, which you can use to rank in both YouTube and Google search, which will drive brand awareness, referrals and sales.

When does video work?
The most common mistake made by individuals and companies creating video is to view video as content akin to blog posts or interactive graphics – rather than as a form and media type.
Video is an integration of text, image and music towards a unified goal, functioning effectively when these elements are symbiotic rather than disintegrated.
Therefore, video is not necessarily an appropriate form for every kind of idea or story. If you ever find yourself trying to “convert” content into a video, rather than developing the video idea organically, then it’s often an indicator that things have gone awry in the creative process.
Luckily, there are two easy ways of determining whether or not an idea will work well as a video. The first is to ask:

Would this content lose something if it were just text and image?

It’s quite clear that simply displaying images of an iPad being put into a blender along with accompanying text would not have the same appeal or visual punch as the physical demonstration of blending an iPad.
The second question which should give an indicator of appropriate content type is:
Does the idea or content require aesthetic as well as conceptual engagement?
If an idea requires a visual or aural element in order to be interesting – this is a clear indicator that it could work well as a video. Conversely, if you find yourself adding in the visuals as an afterthought – this is a clear indicator that the idea will not work well as a video.
This is the case with the GAIQ videos(http://www.google.com/intl/en/analytics/iq.html?&rd=1) created by Google for those practicing for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification.
The content here is ultimately not appropriate for the form. It’s text heavy, conceptual and poorly paced to aid the primary purpose of the content – comprehension and learning. The visual display adds nothing to the experience, being just a list of text. The GAIQ videos (sorry Google) are prime examples of videos that would work better as text blog posts with accompanying images.