We're excited to announce our latest venture, veeseo North America, which will change the face of publishing—really! veeseo is the first video relevance engine, matching publisher videos to editorial stories based on the relevance of the content—without any effort.
Here's how it works: Imagine you're reading an article and the video is perfectly aligned to the story—it's timely, topical, relevant, not just a "top video of the day." As an editor, you didn't have to do a thing to add highly relevant video to your story, so you place it mid article. As a publisher, you've unleashed your video archive to give your content more visibility, and greater clicks ($) that stay on your site, not out to others. As a reader, you're happy to see video that interests you now, not about something you were researching online last week. There are so many wins we stopped counting.
Watch our latest video that tells the story of veeseo, and see what MediaPost and Adotas have to say. If you're a publisher or editor and you'd like to try veeseo on your site, please contact us and we'll get it going.
Veeseo - How it Works from Touchstorm Videos on Vimeo.
There's a new YouTube analytics engine in the world and it's about to change the way you look at your online video strategy.
For the first time, brands can see where they stand against nearly every competitor on YouTube -- large and small, which is important because some of the smaller YouTube channels are eating many of the big brands' lunch. That's right, we're not talking about Coke vs. Pepsi, we're talking Blendtec, which is beating both of them.
Competition on YouTube is not about traditional competitors, it's about conversations. It's not about the size of the company, it's about the share of the voice. Our new Touchstorm Video Index: Top Brands Edition outlines exactly who owns that share of voice on the largest online video stage, and guess what? It's mostly not brands.
For the first time, any YouTube channel owner can see who else is sharing content, having conversations and building audiences around similar topics. Finally, a recipe vlogger can see where she stands against other recipe vloggers in views and subscribers. A big brand can discover a host of new competitors it never new existed, find out what they're doing well and why their share of voice is rising.
Here are some of the questions the Touchstorm Video Index: Top Brands Edition will answer:
What are the Top 500 videos in my category, and what do they have in common that I can mimic?
What's the average number of subscribers converted per every million views in my category, and why is my channel below the average?
Are my competitors spending money winning views, and if so, how much?
What are the top channels in Japan for my category, and how do I compete there?
What is the overall growth rate of YouTube itself, so we can determine if we are keeping up or falling behind?
What is the average “like-ability” for content in my category, and does our content perform better or worse than that?
Alison Provost, our analytics-maven CEO, breaks down the Index and what it means for brands specifically. Watch and learn, and then check back for more because we're about to release another cog in the wheel here that will just keep strengthening the index and the value it provides.
See Adweek's article on the Video Index here.
See MediaPost's article on the Video Index here.
Some music stands the test of time and finds an audience of new listeners in every generation. Online video carries the same power.
Recently, Shutterstock and Sony teamed up to re-imagine a video for the Sly and the Family Stone classic, "Everyday People." Exclusively using stock footage from the Shutterstock collection and some animated vintage photos to shape the narrative of the video, producers rediscovered not only how relevant the song remains today, but also how meaningful its message remains. (Read more about the making of the video, and watch the final product below.)
The combination of an iconic tune and compelling imagery makes it so sensational. "Using clips of everyday people doing what they do, being who they are, and living life across cultures really drives home the essence of Sly's lyrics," said Adam Farber, Project Director for Legacy Recordings.
For companies searching for new ways to incorporate video into their overall marketing strategy, yet might not be in line to partner with a music company to attain rights to reproduce a song, there are other more far-reaching lessons to take away. Once you come up with the right approach to put your brand on the map, here are some suggestions of how to proceed:
1. Hire the right producers. Find people who have both the experience and passion to make your vision come alive. That passion will be reflected in both the first cut and the final cut.
2. Storyboard everything. It can be time-consuming and expensive to make a video. You can eliminate unnecessary hurdles by outlining the approach and process ahead of time. This will make for swifter turnaround times, too.
3. Get experimental. Just because you have a process in place doesn't mean you should entirely dismiss improvisation. Some of the best ideas come to you while making edits or putting the finishing touches on. Check out some of the more exotic clips in the "Everyday People" video, below.
Guest post by Danny Groner. Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock.
You may be wondering what kind of video you should make; what type of video is right for your brand. Types of videos? Yes, types. All the talk about online video needs to become more nuanced to reflect the various ways that you can communicate with video online. Saying "we have online videos" is akin to saying "there is weather going on outside". It is accurate, but neither descriptive nor helpful.
Types of online videos are not overly complex. It's as easy as your freshman communications class, really. Remember the three types of communication? You can persuade, entertain or inform. Remember developing those speeches? Well, online videos fall into one of these three categories as well: Persuasive, Entertaining and Informative.
First things first; here's what you need to do to gauge your type.
Take an Inventory of Your Videos
You'll need this to help you develop your strategy, but for now, just put them all in one of these three buckets. As you do this, a couple of things will emerge: first, you'll start to see that you are preferring one kind of video over the others, and second, you'll also see that your video content doesn't fall neatly into these categories. That's the point of this exercise, to highlight where you are off-strategy with your content. If you don't know what bucket it goes in, then just put it where you wished it fit well. If your information has too much competitive language, then don't worry, just put it in there anyway.
Take an Inventory of Your Competitors' Videos
Again, don't over think it. Just find as many as you can and start to list them in their respective categories. Don't worry about too much analysis either. The goal is to get you thinking about and seeing Online Video in these three categories of content.
Look at Your Other Marketing Communication Activities
What bucket does most of your other content fit into? It is typical for it to be primarily Persuasion since this is the primary mode of marketing. But the landscape is changing and brand content is changing with it. We want to make sure that you are prepared to meet and engage your audience the way they want to be engaged, and that your competition doesn't beat you to the punch.
1. They Have Experience in the Type of Content You Need
(We'll assume everyone knows to look for an ad agency to make online video ads for them.) If you need Editorial Videos then find a company that understands what works in this kind of video. Not just any old production company will do. Same for Entertainment--whether one-off or series)--you need someone with a track record of success here.
2. They Understand Online Video Content Production
Those that have worked in television for years and years tend to think about digital in a certain way. The same holds true for companies that have worked in film or large commercial projects. You want a partner who understands the uniqueness of the online medium--and how it is evolving from the desktop/laptop world to the tablet/smartphone one.
3. They Are Sound in Strategy and Execution
What you are looking for is a thought-partner in addition to an execution partner. Can they help you think through your strategy for your online video mix, and then can they help you get those videos produced? Or if you feel like your strategy is all shored up, then you'll need someone who gets and can work within the parameters of that strategy.
4. They Pre-Wire Your Content to Perform in Search
We've said that Google is the homepage of the web, so getting your content high in rankings is key. You want a partner who knows the right topics and can develop scripts that will perform well for you. Not all topics are searched equally. So, ask about their topic and script development process.
5. They Get Talent in Front of and Behind the Camera
Creating content is talent plus craft. Make sure your partner is putting talented people in front of the camera for you--real experts who know their material or talented performers. But you also want talent behind the camera writing great scripts, directing, shooting, producing, etc. It is not easy making good video and having a great camera doesn't make a great video.
It is easier than ever to produce and distribute online video. The challenge today is what to produce and where to distribute it. We see companies struggle with this all the time. They have a YouTube channel with a dozen videos and somewhere between 200-2,000 views per video; or they created a series of videos that are too branded to get earned media. It’s not just little guys struggling with this, big brands are faced with both the opportunity and the challenge of being a publisher.
There is one simple problem with most brands’ approach to online video. It’s very simple to remedy, and once a brand does this, they see their results improve. Once you understand how the system works it seems very obvious, but if you are on the front end of developing content for your brand, it can be very frustrating.
The problem? Not matching your video content with your distribution method.
Granted, it doesn’t sound very revolutionary, but let’s unpack this idea a little bit. The acronym POEM has been around for a few years now, and it has caused much of this problem. It stands for Paid, Owned and Earned Media. This represents the Distribution method for your content online. The thing that’s not discussed in this acronym is that certain types of content fit better for certain types of distribution.
For example, ads are great for paid media, but they have to be amazing to get any earned media. Think about the last ad you shared on Facebook. What was it? What was the last ad you saw as content on your favorite website or blog? Ads have certain places that they run on a site: pre-roll or over in the margins, and you pay for these placements. So, if you are creating advertising and hoping to get earned media or to rack up lots of views on your owned media properties, it probably is not going to happen.
But I didn’t create an ad, I made a—viral video/online video/how to video/other kind of video—to run everywhere online. Yeah, we hear this one a lot, but when we watch the video, the brand has sneaked in features and benefits and competitive language – basically, doing what a good ad does, which is sell. And the first rule of editorial is, No Selling! If you are hoping for earned media, then you need to create a different kind of video.
There are 3 kinds of videos that work online: Advertising, Entertainment, and Information. The problem is that most brands create some kind of hybrid of these, and then they are stuck because publishers don’t know what to do with it, and audiences don’t really get what they are watching. Remember, people have been watching video their entire lives on TV and in movie theatres. They are very sharp about it, and understand the genres. You violate this rule at your own expense.
So, first decide the right mix of online video for you (more on this in our next post): advertising, entertainment and information – you need all three for a robust online video strategy.
Then match your content to your distribution. We mentioned that paid is best for ads even though there are a lot of social video companies in the news [link to the adweek article] running entertainment or informational video in paid space – some of these placements are a bit dubious despite their well-branded names. For entertainment videos, you are best running it on your owned media or in partnership with a publisher who has existing traffic. Finally, your information video—evergreen, non-selling, editorial videos—are perfect for earned media distribution.
There are exceptions to this approach, but they are the rare, 1 in 500 cases, and who wants to base their entire strategy on capturing lightning in a bottle?
We recently ran across this Forbes/Google report which highlights ways that online video has invaded the C-Suite. The key findings in the report included:
- Video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives. More than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.
- Senior executives are also turning to video more frequently. Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly; more than half (52%) watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.
- Work-related video can drive senior executives to take action. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video. Younger executives, however, may be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad.
- Executives can be receptive to video advertising. Overall, executives notice ads that run alongside videos, and many are comfortable watching in-stream ads. Video-friendly younger executives are more comfortable with these ad formats.
- The social element of online video is strong in the executive suite. More than half of senior executives share videos with colleagues at least weekly, and receive work-related videos as often. Younger executives appear very willing to share and view videos using social media.
While much of the focus of the online video conversation centers around the consumer-facing end, this trend is one that should be encouraging for the B2B community. Additionally, it means that more and more executives in companies with significant TV budgets are using and understanding the value of online video. Perhaps this will accelerate the growth in budgets that are desperately needed to see the needed growth (and growing up) in the industry. The scale and sophistication differential is still heavily weighted for TV-based video, but trends like these bode well for the futures of all those working to grow the space.
We syndicate videos as editorial content on some of the most popular publisher sites on the web. Many of these videos feature brands as experts in their category. These videos consistently beat industry averages on engagement. Engagement is measured as “the percentage of the entire video that is watched.” Averages in the industry hover around 50%, ours consistently perform right around 80%. That’s true engagement: someone searched for content, found our video and then watched 2:30 of the 3:00 video. It’s happened more than 20 million times for Betty Crocker videos alone. It turns out a lot of people are looking for information about baking cakes online.
So, you’d think we’d be happy with the data about all the videos we distribute. But we aren’t.
When we syndicate videos to the dozens of sites, they leave our tightly measured ecosystem and enter a measurement black hole. Right now, the way that video is measured favors the exhibitor over the distributor. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.
A publisher decides if and then how it is going to have its video views measured. The standard right now is comScore. Publishers allow comScore tags to run on their players and every time a video fires, a view is counted. Okay, there are some more technical details and rules, but that is the gist of it. This is great for a publisher who wants to charge advertisers for pre/mid/post roll because they can tell how many times a video fired. The challenge comes when your video is content and not advertising.
The individual publisher knows how many videos they serve. You can see it on their rankings. YouTube dominates this space followed by Facebook as a distant second. But what about a video that is distributed across multiple sites NOT on an ad platform, but in the editorial well of the site. See, the video ad networks run their own players and can count views. But the distributed video runs on the publisher’s player, and the view counts for them and not for the video. So, we can know how many times it runs on YouTube and our own sites, but no one can tell you how many times a distributed video runs. Not comScore. Not anyone.
The question is why not? Two guesses here…
First, is that no one distributes this way. There are plenty of views to be had on YouTube–even though it accounts for only 40% of all views on the web–and the other video syndication sites. In fact, AdAge’s recent article about the success of YouTube celebrities lists the amount of views garnered for brand programs these celebs have run. Their success stories range from 1-10MM views on average. Not bad for a single channel, but well shy of the 20MM-plus that can be achieved through a multi-publisher syndication model. Even AOL’s latest acquisition, 5min, barely garners any views for an individual video. Their average view per video is around 50. We are seeing 5,000 view averages from a syndication model, but it is a chore to cobble together the measurements and no reliable third party source for it.
Second reason is that perhaps someone (probably comScore) is already working on a solution and soon will start measuring content that is distributed across multiple publishers and players. This is a technical challenge that we don’t need to belabor here, but enough smart minds see this need that it will come about eventually. Although we have worked with enough of the big video analytics groups to know that this is still a developing space with far too much of it dominated by TV-ish thinking about video advertising running in conjunction with low budget comedy. As the market–as in the consumer audience–continues searching for and viewing video content over video ads, the marketers will follow and true video measurement will exist. None too soon in our book.
Because as much as Web 2.0 dominates the conversation in most marketing circles, it is still the Mad Men era for Online Video measurement. Which means it is a great time to be pioneering.
This was originally published as part of an iMedia cover story on Online Video.
The branded editorial video model is about creating relevant content for targeted consumers. However, it is not just about the content creation itself. Marketers must also be diligent about optimizing search and identifying targeted distribution channels.
Here are five tips for how you can begin riding the branded editorial video wave in order to start increasing customer conversions now:
1. It’s All About Search
The key is to make video content that is relevant to what consumers are already searching for online and optimize it accordingly. The above Betty Crocker video series is a good example of how to do this successfully. Another example of a brand that is getting it right is Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. To ensure Autodesk stands out in the home design/remodeling industry, the company researched what people look for online before they start a home renovation project and found that people often search for questions such as “What do I need to do before I call a contractor” and “How to refresh my kitchen with paint.” To answer these burning questions, Autodesk developed the searchable “HomeStyler” video series, a library of TV-quality videos that provide ideas and inspiration from TLC’s “While You Were Out!” designer, Nadia Geller, in a journalistic style that is familiar and engaging to audiences.
2. Adopt a Different Attitude About Creative
Consumers want information-rich video. Through video, they want to learn about your brand’s features and benefits; however, advertising-style copy is not going to resonate. Brands are legitimate experts in their field and have a right to act this way. A brand can and should share its expertise in a way that is useful to consumers. For example, who knows more about baking than Betty Crocker? The Betty Crocker test kitchen videos referenced above use the brand’s expertise in way that provides value to the consumer. This series just surpassed 20M consumer views. Another good example of a brand that is using its industry insight to engage consumers in a meaningful way is Sony.
When marketing their digital cameras to consumers, Sony was able to identify that people want to know how to take good photos, not hear about the technical specs on Sony camera lenses. Sony quickly realized that if it could teach people how to take better photos of their family and friends, they would become trusted advisors and, in turn, sell more digital cameras. To accomplish this goal, the brand partnered with respected fashion photographer Nigel Barker to create a searchable, branded video series that provides consumers with tips for how to take the best baby photos, holiday pictures and outdoor images.
3. Go for TV-like Reach!
Once you have developed the right content for consumers, it’s important not to adopt the “build it and they will come” mentality. In other words, don’t confine the content to your own website. Targeted distribution is critical and it’s important to tap into the editorial and feature wells of content-driven sites. This approach increases consumer engagement and it allows for targeting into topic-focused publishers. For example, videos created on the consumer how-to video website Howdini.com that are related to food topics are also shared via iFood.tv. Additionally, Howdini videos on topics such as “How to get a celebrity hairdo,” and other fashion and lifestyle-related trends, are strategically available on many of Glam Media’s network of women’s blogs and online sites.
4. Harness the Power of YouTube
Let’s face it: YouTube is the king of online video. However, makers of some of the best YouTube videos don’t know how to optimize their content in order to drive the content to the top of the search column. It’s important to understand that video can be optimized for search in the same manner in which we ensure websites are searchable. The truth is, you need video SEO, just like you need site SEO, and just tagging is not enough. Brands can channel the power of YouTube by optimizing online videos for search and creating channels on the popular video sharing site. For example, Howdini.com launched a Howdini Guru channel on YouTube in order to create another means for sharing its how-to video content with consumers. The Howdini Guru channel on YouTube now has more than 32,000 subscribers.
5. Realize the Power of Social Media
For marketers, social media strategies are everywhere we look these days. When used strategically social media is a powerful content distribution vehicle. Distributing content on publishers’ sites is a great way to target the content, but to drive SEO for your content marketers must also distribute content via social media channels. Video sharing sites are a great start, but it’s important to also remember tactics like tagging, bookmarking and news sharing sites.
Follow these five steps for developing editorial video for your brand and you can start meeting your consumer’s unmet and growing need for information-rich online video. Consumers are hungry for this kind of relevant and substantial content and marketers will reap the benefits of deep consumer engagement with their brands.
Video content comes in many different forms but brands can achieve sales and get a great return on investment with branded content provided it serves the needs of the consumer. Brands who have a robust e-commerce offering have many options for serving up video and there are a few guidelines that will help move the consumer from interest in a topic to interest in the product.
1. Create content on the benefits of the product and steer away from touting the product features directly. If you’re selling digital cameras, demonstrate how the zoom feature provides beautiful candid photographs because you don’t have to get so close to the subject. Make it about the photograph (exciting) instead of a demonstration of the zoom (boring).
2. Showcase lifestyle applicability of the product. Use real life scenarios where the product feature becomes a must have for the consumer. For the digital photography example, show the product being used at a wedding, which demonstrates a real application for wanting to catch beautiful candid moments with the zoom.
3. Provide an engagement tool that connects with the e-commerce site. If you’ve got that consumer hooked on needing that exact camera that has the zoom they want, give them a good reason to engage with the product and then use all the great assets on the site to drive the purchase of the product.
These guidelines will help drive consumers with a need to your product.