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by Mike Essex on 10th April 2013
Hi. I’m Mike Essex, and today I’m going to look at the whys, the whens, the hows, the whats and the thens of video marketing. Why should you do video marketing? Well over the last few years people have spent so much time saying, “You’ve got to do content. You’ve got to make as much content as you can. You need a blog. You need to write content. Do it.” That’s been really interesting. and it’s allowed businesses to expand the amount of information they put out there and the way they interact with people.
Text is not the only medium as has been seen through the increase in infographics. Having design and visual elements can really help build your brand and build awareness.
Video is kind of the next step to that. Video is what you use to help show the human side of your business, I like to say. The reason we do videos at Koozai is every member of our digital marketing team has made a video, and each new employee usually makes a video within a couple of months. That allows us to show people that these are our team. They’re real people. We don’t outsource to somewhere else. These are our guys, who come in and use the same board as everyone else and make a video and they’re knowledgeable on topics.
We don’t try to have just one face talking about every single topic. If someone’s an expert on PPC, they will do the best video on PPC. Then we can send that to existing clients to show them that “this is the person you work with and here’s what they’re talking about. They’re knowledgeable people.” Also in the sales process we can use that just to show, “These are our team and who they are.”
Of course, with blog posts, you can have people’s faces and you can still have that human element. But the good thing about video is that there’s this constant image of that person talking to you as I am now. If you ever meet them at a conference or you see them somewhere else, you’ve got more recognition of who they are, what they do, and the company they represent.
That’s one really good benefit of video. The other benefit is that video allows you to present information that you couldn’t necessarily do in a blog post. So when Anna does her video walkthroughs of how to use Analytics, yes, we could get her in [front of] the board talking about how to do things. Yes, she could make a video of screenshots, but a video that walks you through a live demonstration is far more useful because it’s realtime and the user can pause it and check that their screen is the same at every point in that process. That’s something we couldn’t do in a blog post. So that’s another advantage of video.
Likewise you can do product demonstrations. So you can take a product out of the packaging, which is very popular now, show people how to use it and the main features, which is more visual than just writing about them with images.
You can also do industry interviews, and really the sky is the limit. Anywhere you can take a video camera and put [something] in front of it could be a video.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to think that just because video is a different medium that you should never repeat blog post content in a video. We’ve certainly done that before. We’ve written blog posts and then a month later gone, “Okay, we want to do a video on that topic,” and pretty much done the blog post as a video. But the video still gets the same number of hits as a new video that’s original a lot of the time, which kind of goes to show that there are two separate audiences and you should never assume because you’ve made a blog post you can’t make a video. Bear that in mind.
That’s why you should do video. What should you film? We’ve also just discussed. Who should do a video? Like I say, at Koozai every employee does a video, and a lot of them were really scared at first. I was scared. If you go back and see some early videos of the team and compare them to now, you’ve got Sam who went from her first video, where she was really nervous, to speaking to 1000 people at Brighton SEO within the space of about 6 months. She was really confident at Brighton SEO. That just kind of shows how video is really helpful to take people from being afraid of talking to audiences and cameras into building them up into someone who’s far more confident.
Yes, your first video may not be great, and it may be that you never air it, that you never put it online if you really don’t like it. But with our team, every single video they’ve done, there’s usually a few takes at first, but we will always get a video in that day and when they’ve made their first one we put it online. We very rarely had people criticise videos that they didn’t like. Even the videos by really experienced presenters rarely get criticism. So you don’t have to be afraid, really, about people saying nasty things. You can always moderate them if they do.
On YouTube, for example, there’s quite a lot of sexist, derogatory comments. So we don’t have any of that on there. Otherwise, you usually find there’s a nice, natural discussion. It’s quite good to put your face and your name out there.
The other thing you should consider in your case is getting your CEO to do a video. That’s always really powerful to have someone extremely high up in the company to come on camera and do a personal interview about the business, where it’s heading, what new products you’ve got launching. That really helps put a human face on the brand, which is very, very helpful.
I read a book recently. I can’t remember which one. But it essentially said that people are less interested in the products you make and more interested in how you make it. Video is another way of showing that there’s real people making this product. It’s a chance to see who’s a human person, not just a faceless business that’s just taking your money.
How should you film? Actually filming a video is relatively simple. In our case, we’ve got five lights, which are around me now, a whiteboard wall, which is painted on but a standard whiteboard is fine or obviously if you’re doing a product demonstration, you don’t even need a wall. You can just be showing stuff on a table or in just your CEO’s office if you’re filming him or her. Then we’ve got a camera on a tripod. In our case, it’s not exactly a fancy camera. It’s just a consumer camera worth about 400 pounds. Most of those cameras have got really good HD quality feeds now. There’s a microphone pack, so I’ve got that here and that goes wirelessly to a receiver.
That’s probably the most expensive piece of kit out of everything, although I can’t emphasise the importance of having really clear audio. If you turn your volume all the way up on a video and you still can’t make out what they’re saying, then you’re not going to watch all the way through. So definitely consider your audio. Consider your visual elements. You need a lot of lighting. Even if you’re not doing it with a whiteboard, you do need lighting. Natural lighting is awful on videos.
The whole thing would probably cost you under a grand if you want to do it cheap. You can always test it, do a test video on a camera an employee’s already got to get internal buy-in to then get the budget. That’s something I’d recommend if you just heard me say a thousand pound and you were thinking, “Whoa, that’s too much to get started.” Fundamentally you can do them on the cheap, but I’d say you need to spend at least 1000 to 2000 pounds to get a setup that you could be proud of and put out videos that you are proud of.
Where should you put your videos when you film them? We always put our videos on YouTube. What we do with our videos is we have Koozai.com/tv, which is the Koozai TV Channel on our site. Every video goes on there exclusively for a period of a month. The reason we do that is because we want to get any links and discussions around the video on our website and direct it to Koozai.com to build up our business and the association with us. I would recommend that.
If you want a video that’s about brand building, showing off who you are, put it on your website first. Then after a month we put it out on YouTube, and then it gets the wider audience, the people who aren’t necessarily already aware of us. Then at the end of those videos, we try and encourage people to visit Koozai.com and sign up for our newsletter. Then they’ll come to that entry point rather than YouTube. If you’re watching this on YouTube and you want to get videos a month ahead of this, go to Koozai.com/tv. Anyway, enough marketing spiel.
That’s a really good way to do it, and there doesn’t seem to be any issues at the moment with duplicate content, at least in this case because we put the video on our site first for a month. If there was any issue, the YouTube video would be the one that wouldn’t rank as well because that obviously appeared a month after the origin date of the original video. Rather than our site getting hit, the YouTube one would get hit. That doesn’t seem to happen. For example, Sam’s video ranks number one on YouTube for PPC, and that was on Koozai.com a month before YouTube. So it can work really well.
In terms of putting them on our website, we use software called Wistia. It’s about $99 a month. So it’s not cheap, certainly not cheap compared to free options, but at the same time it’s not ridiculously expensive to spend that much on having a reliable hosted solution. That allows us to embed them on our site without any adverts so people can come and absorb our content, and we know we’re the only brand they’re going to see when they watch it.
Then what do you do? When you’ve made your video, what do you do after that? What’s the next step? What we do when we’ve made a video is we always make a transcript. We use Speechpad.com, but there are plenty of other providers. The reason that we use them is because they’re really quick and pretty cheap. They’re a good price for what we use, and SEOmoz use them as well, so we were inspired to use them also.
That means not only do you have your video, we can put it on a transcript. If you watch it on YouTube as well, we upload the transcript so you can actually see live text at the bottom of the screen whilst I’m talking, which helps our YouTube ranking improve because we’ve gone to the extra effort of making a transcript so YouTube can index that content and apply it to the video rather than just trying to guess what we’re saying.
If you’ve never seen YouTube guess what people are saying, you can do it on the machine transcripts. It’s way, way off. They’re a long way off understanding human speech perfectly. [Making] a transcript allows YouTube to see exactly what the video’s about. Also, if you put it on your site, then Google crawlers can see what the video’s about as well. You should never just put a video on a page without any other text because that’s crappy content. That’s [thin] content. So you will always need a bit of text with your video. Even if it’s just an introduction and a summary of what’s said, you need something on there.
It also helps you comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, meaning that anyone can understand your videos. Even if they can’t physically watch them, they can still read a transcript, have a transcript read to them from the computer. It’s another tick in the box for ensuring you’re compliant with the DDA, which is always a good thing.
Then you can also use sitemaps, video sitemaps, to help your content get found. Wistia has one built into it which is fantastic. That’s another benefit of using them. But you can also use generators out there, video sitemap generators that you can use, and essentially it’s just the same as a normal sitemap. There’s just a few extra commands. Do a search for how to make a video sitemap, and you’ll find lots of great ways to do that.
You can also wrap schema around your video. Again, Wistia does it for you, another reason to use them. That will allow you to say how many comments the video’s had, how long it is, who made the video. Don’t forget to put rel=”author” on your videos as well. If you put them on your website, just add rel=”author” to the actual page content, which we do. When that actually works in the results, it means that you get a video snippet and a snippet of the person’s face and your text. You have a super big listing in the rankings, which means it’s really, really useful.
Also, as well, you don’t have to just put videos on blog posts on your site. You can put videos on your service pages as well. For example, Confused.com have videos on their service pages, and that means they’ve got a more multimedia rich page when you search for car insurance, which if Google is considering factors, such as the type of elements on your page and the mixture of elements, it may help you rank better as well. So it’s a win-win to have the video on there. You’ll potentially rank better, and if you don’t rank better, you might have a bigger snippet in the listings for your company, which also helps you stand out. Video’s awesome.
When should you start filming videos? Well, fundamentally, I would say as soon as you can. As I suggested, there’s got to be someone in your company who’s got a video camera, unless you’re really small, in which case do a video on your smartphone and just test it out. Just stand in front of a board or just stand anywhere, get your camera out, film yourself talking about a topic that’s relevant to your industry, relevant to your business or your products or services, and just try to put across what’s unique about you so that people want to watch you, learn more about your business, learn more about you as well. It’s great for a personal brand to go out there and do videos as well as being good for the company. Just give it a go.
We talk a lot more about video marketing on Koozai.com, so please visit our website for more information or check out any of the social media profiles at the end of this video. Thanks for watching.