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Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Other People’s Platforms

June 17, 2016 Leave a comment

mashable

Mashable posted an article about an attempt by the Australian government to hold a live political debate via Facebook. Sadly for anyone interested in watching the debate, the quality of the livestream was terrible, largely due it seems to the low overall quality of connectivity in Australia (the article lists them as 48th in terms of global internet speeds).

There are some lessons to be learned from this exercise for the enterprise user. First, it’s important to consider the likely end user experience, and be extremely aware of the outside factors that can influence it. They cannot be controlled, but they must be accounted for. If you’re going to deliver a live event, are you prepared for the possibility that end users might have a terrible experience? What steps can you take, perhaps with your CDN provider, to provide extra capacity to ease the loads? Are you set up to field complaints properly, both by phone and social & email outlets?

Second, are you prepared to put yourself at the mercy of someone else’s infrastructure? Not everyone can or should build or buy livestreaming capacity, especially if it’s not something you intend to do very often. But are you prepared to risk a major (or even minor) live event on Facebook’s or YouTube’s live delivery options? These are wonderful platforms to be on, and your audiences are certainly there to be reached, but there are risks involved in depending on these tools as your sole delivery mechanism. You have to trust that in the midst of everything else these platforms are doing, your event will receive the attention it deserves.

Finally, think about the level of support you want to have when something goes bad. As the Mashable article indicates, even a Buzzfeed chat with President Obama went sour and they had to shift away to a YouTube feed. If a major media source and the President of the United States couldn’t get their problems sorted by the provider, how much better service will your organization get? Companies like Ustream and Livestream do this as a sole function (and I’m not shilling for either) for large-scale events; they can provide one-off services if these are only needed occasionally; and as part of an arrangement with them it’s reasonable to expect a high level of service in the event of a failure.

By all means leverage every tool at your disposal, and go where the audiences are. But be sure to understand the potential for problems is high, and in the end you get what you pay for.

Image courtesy of Mashable from the article Australia’s first online leadership debate marred by buffering complaints

53% of all Traffic is Video! Now What?

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

There’s some buzz going around, especially on Twitter, that video now makes up over 50% of all traffic on the web. Here’s one story from the Hollywood Reporter:

Video Accounts for 53 Percent of Internet Traffic

Broadly speaking I think this is a Good Thing as video continues to play a larger role in people’s lives and online experiences. But the underlying question for producers remains Now What? What do we as the creators of content, particularly in the enterprise space, do with that information? More importantly, what do we do about it?

It’s wonderful if you’re Netflix or YouTube – you’ve got a large share of a growing market and as long as you continue to make key content acquisitions you’re likely to remain in good shape for the near term. But as I’ve written regarding Cisco’s predictions on the impact of video, more data is not necessarily more important data. From the enterprise perspective, you still need to direct resources and effort towards what drives the organization’s bottom line. You are facing more competition from many more sources, and it can make getting heard a lot harder.

Fortunately, the goals of the enterprise are often a lot narrower than reaching billions of potential viewers. I’ve mentioned before that you want the right viewers – those in a position to make a purchase, offer a donation or any of the other reasons your organization is in business. The additional competition means you will have to work harder to develop a message that resonates with your audience, and keeping that audience central in your production process is more critical than ever.

The “Now What?” question is answered by reviewing every production carefully in light of the greater challenges to attracting viewers. Have I made my point clearly enough? Are the first 10 seconds of the video deeply engaging so I keep viewers attention? Are my calls to action clear and obvious? Am I sharing the video in the places where my key decision makers can be found? Have I enabled social tools around the piece to allow conversations to happen? Is anyone monitoring and interacting with those social spaces?

You should ask these questions in any event, but they become a lot more important as the level of noise increases. We all want to make great video, and this kind of strategic thinking is a big part of it. We can create award-winning pieces, but if our key constituents don’t see them, it’s impossible to see them as successful efforts.

Monetization for Corporate Video

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

An enormous amount of discussion takes place across the web on the issue of monetization of video. The concern is that producers are putting a lot of effort and at least some money into developing their video content and getting their creative vision down in pixels – now how do you make money off that effort? The answers can vary, but for the most part they focus on the video community – create your story, find a way to sell it or advertising around it so that you can profit.

As important as this topic is, for the enterprise producer the calculus is noticeably different. Generally speaking you’re not looking to sell a series of corporate pieces to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu; you probably are not interested in selling advertising for other products as a pre- or mid-roll to your product demo. In fact, the video itself is unlikely to be a moneymaker on its own, and it’s probably not intended to do so.

At the end of the day, a corporate video is designed to sell the products or services of the company. Your video is intended to lead viewers on to a purchasing decision, but it’s unlikely that the video will be the sole driver of that revenue. More often the video will be a form of lead generation for the organization’s sales team – a video view will translate into a sales contact which hopefully becomes a finalized sale. On the plus side, this takes a lot of pressure off the video producer – there’s no expectation that noticeable revenue will be driven by the video itself. You don’t have to get nervous about getting picked up by a large streaming provider, a YouTube syndicator, or draw large numbers of ad impressions.

On the challenge side, this means it can be harder to point to the video as a revenue generator instead of a cost center. If the sale does not depend on the video, how can you demonstrate to management that the video department is driving revenue? It’s not a simple question to answer, but the two most important steps to manage are calls to action and metrics. By adding direct calls to action within the video, you can ensure that the video provides an immediate opportunity to connect with the company and its experts. If you’re doing a piece involving a subject matter expert (SME) from the organization, be sure there’s easy connectivity to reach that SME directly. Metrics always provide understanding of the success of a video, and they can be useful as an indicator that your message is reaching the key audiences.

One critical step here is to be sure to take advantage of URL techniques that can help tell you where your users are coming from. Tagging and tracking codes within URLs can provide very specific feedback on the source of the click – an email campaign, a particular webpage, and of course from within a video page. If you’re not familiar with the coding on the URL, work with your web development teams to create URLs that will help indicate that a user reached out to your organization after watching one of your video pieces.

In the end video for most organizations is a means to an end, but there are still key steps you can take to make sure your efforts are helping drive revenue.

Categories: Distribution Tags: , ,

Video Length

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I posted a while back about a company running a very lengthy video on Facebook, arguing that 11 minutes was just too long for that space.  Turns out I was sort of wrong, at least according to some research done by Unruly Media and reported here at reelSEO:

What’s the Ideal Length for a YouTube Marketing Video? A look into Video Duration vs. Social Sharing

The average length of the top 10 marketing pieces on YouTube is a whopping 4 minutes, 11 seconds. Let me say that again – the most watched marketing pieces were over 4 minutes long. I made the argument that 30 seconds is about all users will give – how is it that these very long videos are drawing viewers by the millions? The research indicated that the best, most popular ads developed an emotional connection to the user. By engaging their emotions users developed a closer connection to the brand and kept them watching long past what one might have expected.

I don’t take this to mean that the emotions brought up have to be tear-jerking sadness or angst, because if it did the fundraising piece I mentioned should have fit that bill.  Clearly there’s more to it – the emotions can run from sadness or other downer emotions, or they can be energetic and vibrant. What I think distinguishes the successful emotion-driven long pieces and the unsuccessful remains a question of understanding your audience and applying the emotions in a way designed to draw the right attention. The 9 minute shoe commercial they reference hits the right notes for their audience – loud cars and music, screeching tires and explosions.

So again, I seem to be partially correct that longer videos will not work for the average audience – UNLESS – you have put a lot of thought into how you will develop and sustain people’s interests over the lengthier video. As the article points out, 30 seconds really isn’t a lot of time to tell a full story, so if you need longer go ahead and do it. The key is to keep your viewers engaged for as long as necessary – the first thirty seconds, the last 30 and as many minutes in between that you need have to maintain the emotional level needed to make sure they stay with you.

Viral Videos

March 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Nice TED talk here from Kevin Allocca, who manages YouTube’s trends:

What struck me most about this is that I was asked once (or told, really) that we had to make a video go viral, as if there’s a setting to place on your video to make it happen. As Kevin indicates, there’s a magic to it that develops organically, which says to me that if you set out specifically to make a video go viral you’re likely going to fail. You’ll either resonate with no one at all, or your fame will become infamy if people decide your video is ripe for parody or insulting responses.

For some that may be valuable – any publicity is good publicity to some people, and infamy fits that bill nicely. But if you’re a corporate organization working to make your voice heard – and create a positive response to your company or product – infamy is really not what you’re after. As my earlier post on the Cisco presentation indicated, you get a lot more out of catching the correct viewers than you do from a wider net of people who don’t proceed to interact with your company. And my last post also noted the difficulties presented by artificially inflated numbers.

At a corporate level there’s a pretty simple calculus – does the success of my video messaging improve business, create more leads, increase our ability to communicate (internally and externally), or otherwise increase the success and efficiency of the organization? From my perspective, if going viral helps accomplish those goals, then more power to your highly successful video. If it doesn’t do any of those things, or doesn’t do it enough, then millions of hits won’t make a difference where it really matters.

Categories: Distribution Tags: ,
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