Category Archives: Video Marketing

How to Easily Create Professional-Looking Videos for 4 Popular Social Media Platforms

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Video is dominating social media marketing. In fact, experts predict video will account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019. So now is the best time to master the medium.

Thanks to easy and free video creation tools, you don’t need a big budget, professional equipment, or a filmmaking degree to make compelling videos for your brand. But since each social network comes with its own guidelines and unique audiences, you’ll need an understanding of what kind of content is effective on each network. 

We’re breaking down what performs best on four of the top networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, so you can easily create videos that truly shine no matter where you share them. 

Creating Video for Your Instagram Newsfeed

Instagram has experienced incredible growth recently — especially in terms of video options — but let’s first talk about your main Instagram page.

These posts, which appear in your followers’ feeds, are the main window into your business or brand. As such, you want to reserve this space for your most polished, on-brand content. Here you might publish a video that explains your brand’s value, or a process video that offers an inside peek into your craft.

Keep these Instagram video rules in mind when creating your video story:

Instagram imposes a one-minute time limit. If you have a longer piece of content that you still want to promote, you can post a portion as a teaser on Instagram and use the link in your bio to drive people to your website to see the whole thing. Note this in your caption and add a tracking code to the link so you know how it performs. 

Keep it inside the box. Videos can play in square, vertical, or landscape mode, but make sure you tap the “expand” button in the bottom left corner if you have a non-square video so it does not appear cropped. 

Video covers are important! Instagram allows you to select a video cover that shows as a thumbnail in the feed. Make sure you select an intriguing frame to compel people to watch. 

The best videos work with sound off. Instagram videos autoplay with the sound off, so make sure your message is clear whether or not the viewer taps for sound. 

The following examples from Persnickety Prints, a photo printing company, show how video can help communicate both your mission and craft, two essential pieces of content for small business video marketing.

 

In the end, we all become stories. Let us help you tell yours. #printyourphotos #persnicketyprints #archival #silverhalide created with @adobespark #adobespark

A post shared by Persnickety Prints (@persnicketyprints) on Feb 1, 2017 at 8:14pm PST

 

 

Are you printing photos at home? Do you know someone who is? Watch Rafus shoot & develop using his Grandfathers pinhole camera from 1900 … it’s the same process we use at Persnickety Prints… because your memories matter ? #noink #silverhalide #wontfade [filmed & edited with @adobespark on iPhone] #adobespark #sparkvideo

A post shared by Persnickety Prints (@persnicketyprints) on Mar 8, 2017 at 4:34pm PST

You can also modify classic Instagram content pieces into video, like this slideshow video that transforms a #motivationmonday post:

 

Tip: turn your #motivationmonday #quotes into videos with @adobespark Video! Example by Spark user @neophyte_v #repost ・・・ #instagram #instagrammers #adobe #adobespark #adobesparkpost #adobesparkvideo #photography #photographer #life #challenge #photographerslife #choices #focus #success #happiness #travel #adventure #cameraman #like4like #likeforlike #art #sacrifice

A post shared by Adobe Spark (@adobespark) on Apr 24, 2017 at 10:10am PDT

Creating Videos for Instagram Stories

Instagram’s new Snapchat-like feature is the latest platform to win marketers’ hearts and time. And for good reason. IG stories have impressive engagement stats: according to Instagram, one in five Stories earn a direct message from viewers and one-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses.

Instagram Stories are cool because they’re fleeting inside looks that allow you to create more of a connection with your followers. Feel free to get a little less polished and little more real with on-the-fly content that use stickers, filters, and emojis. Here are the basic parameters to remember when creating your Instagram Stories videos.

Take the opportunity to get personal. Unlike posts to your Instagram page, Instagram Stories last for 24 hours and users see them by clicking on the avatars at the top of their feed. Live Video disappears once the broadcast is over.

You don’t have to edit everything directly in Instagram. You can shoot photo or video within the app, but if you’d like to use graphics, animations, or video that you’ve created previously, simply swipe up in the Stories view to publish content from your camera roll. 

Keep in mind, the only content available will be videos or photos created within the last 24 hours. Consider using a free graphic design tool, like Adobe Spark, which allows you to resize content for Instagram Stories and animate text.

Keep it short and sweet. Each photo or video that you include in an Instagram Story is limited to 10 seconds. Live broadcasting from inside the app is limited to one hour.  

Don’t be afraid to share multiple stories a day. You can post as much as you’d like without fear of annoying your followers because users have to opt-in to see the content. 

You can tag users within stories. Tag other Instagram users in your video by typing their handle using the text feature in the top right corner. Tagged users will have a notification sent to their Instagram inbox. 

We suggest offering content to your followers they can’t get anywhere else across your channels. This provides incentive to follow you and can act as a great conversion tool for your most active supporters or customers. You might post about a special offer, provide a behind-the-scenes view of your business, or go live to talk directly to your followers, which doesn’t require anything special beyond guts and tapping the button.  

Creating Video for Facebook

Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly users and they watch more than 100 million hours of video each day. Take for example Tasty — Buzzfeed’s food video offshoot — which is hitting 1.8 billion video views each month on the platform. Facebook rewards this video content like crazy in the algorithm, which means hopping on this macro trend will score you more visibility on the network.

Like Instagram, you can go live directly on the platform to talk to your users. However, live video is fleeting — great for boosting engagement on your page, not so great for generating traffic back to your site or creating content that you can use over and over. For that, you still need polished video content that speaks to your value or tells a story.

There are three things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook:

Ask yourself: will my viewers watch this whole video? There’s no time limit, but the algorithm rewards content that viewers watch all the way through and generates interactions (likes, shares, and comments). The best videos capture attention within the first three seconds.

Your video should work with the sound off. Up to 85% of viewers watch their Facebook videos with no sound, according to media publication Digiday. 

Videos that autoplay in the newsfeed garner 186% more engagement than videos shared via posted link. You can use the Adobe Spark Video iOS app to natively share on Facebook with one tap.  

In a single month last year over 3 million small business owners posted a video to Facebook. Here’s an attention-grabbing example made with Adobe Spark that conveys a story regardless of sound:

Creating Video for Twitter

Live video and curated video content are booming on this formerly text-driven platform. Twitter has well over 800 million monthly users, 82% of whom engage with brands on the platform, according to its Video Playbook report.

Video views on Twitter grew 220 times from what they were in 2016 to 2017, and opportunities for advertisers are also growing, with the site offering pre-roll ads for live video and replay for Periscope videos as of March 2017, according to Forbes Tech writer Kathleen Chaykowski. But you don’t necessarily need a large advertising budget to capitalize on this trend.

Create polished video content for your Twitter feed keeping these three rules in mind:

Max video length is currently 140 seconds for imported content.

Grab attention within the first 3 seconds to stop thumbs from scrolling.

Upload videos natively to Twitter to ensure autoplay in the newsfeed.

Whether you animate graphics or use video clips, you’ll engage your audience. Check out a few examples of these techniques in action:

What story will you tell? Join us for a intro to Adobe Spark this Tuesday at 12:30PM. https://t.co/g3q45uUxRj #tutorial #nptech pic.twitter.com/EtrNUU4WgT

— TechSoup (@TechSoup)
May 6, 2017

 

#MayTheFourthBeWithYou #StarWarsDay pic.twitter.com/lwjA08JDyA

— Adobe Spark (@AdobeSpark)
May 4, 2017

Creating Video for YouTube

Youtube has over 1 billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube per day. Unlike the other social platforms on this list, YouTube comes with Google’s massive search power and metadata tools, too.

Your content strategy for YouTube should support your overall SEO stratgey. One way to go about this is to figure out which keywords you want your brand to rank for and craft compelling and entertaining video content that uses those keywords in your video, titles, images, and video descriptions.

The key to is to think about what the ideal path for your customer is who is coming through Google search. Say your company is a photo printing company. You might be interesting to people who are searching for things such as “engagement photos” “scrapbooks” etc. If you want to capture those interested folks, your best bet is to create content for what they’re already searching for.  

There are also certain types of videos that people eat up on the platform. According to marketing agency Mediakix, product reviews and how-to videos rank as the top two types of videos on YouTube, with vlogs (video blogs) coming in at number three.

This is great news for small businesses because the platform comes primed with a huge audience looking to learn more about products or how to do something. You could ask influencers or customers to post a video review of your business to marry your influencer marketing with your content strategy or you could create a series of how-to videos that relate to your product or service. 

When crafting and publishing video content to Youtube, keep these tips in mind:

Short videos still rule the day, but long form content is gaining traction. if you’re just starting out on YouTube or have an unverified account, your videos will be limited to 15 minutes. However, once verified, you can surely publish your hour-long webinars, trainings, or courses and of all the social networks and YouTube is the best place for those content pieces. 

Skip the long intro and instead jump right in with your hook to improve viewer retention.

Use YouTube’s built-in caption generator to create subtitles for dialogue. 

Don’t neglect your metadata fields. Your title, description, keyword — even channel art — are all meta data that tell search engines how to index your content and make sure it surfaces in front of interested searchers. Craft keyword-rich titles and descriptions and use YouTube’s keyword fields to improve search ranking. Add your bio, tagline, and website link to the description field of every video you publish so it’s easy for viewers to learn more about you. 

Add a YouTube channel art. Just as your video and metadata tell search engines that your content is relevant, your YouTube channel art and video thumbnails tell people browsing through search results that they should click and watch.

Your YouTube video cover and thumbnail are additional branding opportunities to communicate your content’s value and compel clicks. Plus, it makes your channel look more professional, which is important when competing on this massive platform.

Video Isn’t Optional

The moral of the story? Your business belongs on video across all platforms. Regardless of the platform, there are three overarching points to keep in mind when creating your social video content:

1) The best videos grab attention within the first 3 seconds and inspire emotion in viewers.

2) Text on screen is a crucial ingredient to social video marketing,

3) A clear call-to-action is essential to seeing results.

Now go create something!

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YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

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When I was just a wee lass and HubSpot was first starting to make a name for itself, inbound marketing was a brand new idea. Marketers were learning that they couldn’t just publish a high volume of content — it also had to be high-quality and optimized in ways that made it as discoverable as possible through search engines.

And once upon a time, that content was largely limited to the written word. Eleven years later, that’s no longer the case — a comprehensive content strategy includes written work like blogs and ebooks, as well as media like podcasts, visual assets, and videos.

That last part — video — continues to be on the rise. According to the 2017 State of Inbound, marketers named video as a huge disruptor. “I mostly write content right now,” one respondent said, “but I’m afraid it may begin to diminish more and more with video.” Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

And with the rise of other content formats comes the need to optimize them for search. One increasingly important place to do that is on YouTube, which is a video distribution website used by the masses (HubSpot included).

But how does that work? What are the steps you need to take to optimize your YouTube channel for search? We’ve outlined some major tips below. And if you’re short on time, no problem — check out the video summary here.

7 YouTube Search Optimization Tips
1) Title

When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling, but also, clear and concise.

It also helps if the title closely matches what the viewer is searching for. Research conducted by Backlinko found that videos with an exact keyword match in the title have a slight advantage over those that don’t. Here’s a linear representation of those findings:

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Source: Backlinko

So while “using your target keyword in your title may help you rank for that term,” report author Brian Dean explains, “the relationship between keyword-rich video titles and rankings is” weak, at best.

Finally, make sure to keep your title fairly short — HubSpot Content Strategist Alicia Collins recommends limiting it to 60 characters to help keep it from getting cut off in results pages.

2) Description

First things first: According to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters. And while it’s okay to use all of that space, remember that your viewer most likely came here to watch a video, not to read a story.

If you do choose to write a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text — that amounts to about 100 characters. After that point, viewers have to click “show more” to see the full description. That’s why we suggest front-loading the description with the most important information, like CTAs or crucial links.

As for optimizing the video itself, it doesn’t hurt to add a transcript of the video, especially for those who have to watch it without volume. That said, Backlinko’s research also found no correlation between descriptions that were optimized for a certain keyword and the rankings for that term.

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Source: Backlinko

Dean is careful not to encourage ditching an optimized description altogether, though. “An optimized description helps you show up in the suggested videos sidebar,” he writes, “which is a significant source of views for most channels.”

3) Tags

YouTube’s official Creator Academy suggests using tags to let viewers know what your video is about. But you’re not just informing your viewers — you’re also informing YouTube itself. Dean explains that the platform uses tags “to understand the content and context of your video.”

That way, YouTube figures out how to associate your video with similar videos, which can broaden your content’s reach. But choose your tags widely. Don’t use an irrelevant tag because you think it’ll get you more views — in fact, Google might penalize you for that. And similar to your description, lead with the most important keywords, including a good mix of those that are common and more long-tail (as in, those that answer a question like “how do I?”).

4) Category

Once you upload a video, you can categorize it under “Advanced settings.” Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube.

It might not be as simple as it looks. In fact, YouTube’s Creator Academy suggests that marketers go through a comprehensive process to determine which category each video belongs in. It’s helpful, the guide writes, “to think about what is working well for each category” you’re considering by answering questions like:

Who are the top creators within the category? What are they known for, and what do they do well?
Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
Do the videos within a similar category have share qualities like production value, length, or format?

5) Thumbnail

Your video thumbnail is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results. Along with the video’s title, that thumbnail sends a signal to the viewer about the video’s content, so it can impact the number of clicks and views your video receives.

While you can always pick one of the thumbnail options auto-generated by YouTube, we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. The Creator Academy reports that “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails,” recommending the use of images that are 1280×720 pixels — representing a 16:9 ratio — that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files. If you follow those parameters, it can help to ensure that your thumbnail appears with equally high quality across multiple viewing platforms.

It’s important to note that your YouTube account has to be verified in order to upload a custom thumbnail image. To do that, visit youtube.com/verify and follow the instructions listed there.

6) SRT Files (Subtitles & Closed Captions)

Like much of the other text we’ve discussed here, subtitles and closed captions can boost YouTube search optimization by highlighting important keywords.

In order to add subtitles or closed captions to your video, you’ll have to upload a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file. For the former, you can also directly enter transcript text for a video so that it auto-syncs with the video.

Adding subtitles follows a similar process, however, you can limit the amount of text you want displayed. For either, head to your video manager then click on “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Find the video you want to add subtitles or closed captioning to, and click the drop-down arrow next to the edit button. Then, choose “Subtitles/CC.” You can then select how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.

Google has provided great instructions on how to do that here, as well as in the video below.

7) Cards and End Screens
Cards

When you’re watching a video, have you ever seen a small white, circular icon with an “i” in the center appear in the corner, or a translucent bar of text asking you to subscribe? Those are Cards, which Creator Academy describes as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”

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Source: Google

You can add up to five cards to a single video, and there are six types:

Channel cards that direct viewers to another channel.
Donation cards to encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations.
Fan funding to ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content.
Link cards, which direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
Poll cards, which pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response.
Video or playlist cards, which link to other YouTube content of this kind.

For detailed steps on adding a card to your video, follow these official steps from Google, or check out the video below.

End Screens

End screens display similar information as cards, but as you may have guessed, they don’t display until a video is over, and are a bit more visually detailed in nature. A good example is the overlay with a book image and a visual link to view more on the video below:

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Source: Jamie Oliver on YouTube

There are a number of detailed instructions for adding end screens depending on what kind of platform you want to design them for, as well as different types of content allowed for them by YouTube. Google outlines the details for how to optimize for all of those considerations here.

It’s important to note that YouTube is always testing end screens to try to optimize the viewer experience, so there are times when “your end screen, as designated by you, may not appear.” Take these factors into account as you decide between using either cards or end screens.

It’s Worth It to Optimize

These factors may seem a bit complicated and time-consuming, but remember: The time people spend watching YouTube on their TV has more than doubled year over year. There’s an audience to be discovered there, and when you optimize for YouTube, your chances of being discovered increase.

Of course, it all begins with good content, so make sure your viewers have something high-quality and relevant to watch when they find you.

How have you optimized for YouTube search? Let us know in the comments.

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17 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos

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Feel intimidated by the notion of creating an explainer video? There’s no need to be — they just represent another excellent way to get your content out to your target audience.

Besides the really big brands that we are all familiar with, a lot of lesser-known companies and even small startups are using them.

Even if you believe your product isn’t “cool” enough to become a fancy, interesting explainer video, there’s probably someone out there with a problem that can be solved by what you have to offer.

Sometimes a quick, easy, explanation is just what someone needs to help clearly understand how your product solves a problem.

Download this free ebook for more examples of effective product videos.

Think you need a professional production team to create a worthwhile explainer video? Think again. Compiling an explainer video doesn’t have to be more complicated than putting together a slide deck in a Powerpoint presentation. You decide what to say, find some relevant graphics to jazz things up, and record a voiceover. 

Explainer videos should generally be 30-90 seconds in length, which translates into a written script of around 200 words or less in most cases. To get a good feel for crafting your own video, start by gathering some inspiration from brands doing it right. You’re bound to find something that resonates with you as a good example for brainstorming your own.

Here are 17 fabulous explainer videos across a wide variety of industries, media outlets, and publications to jumpstart your own project. You should have no trouble getting inspired to make an explainer video part of your marketing strategy.

17 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos
1) Unroll.Me

 

2) What is AI? (HubSpot)

 

3) PandaDoc

 

4) Yum Yum Videos

 

5) Dollar Shave Club

 

6) What is an API? (MuleSoft)

 

7) Mint.com

Mint.com “Financial Life” from Nate Whitson on Vimeo.

 

8) Spotify

SPOTIFY Promo U.S. Launch from Magnus Östergren on Vimeo.

 

9) How Deep is the Ocean? (Tech Insider)

 

10) SafeDrive

 

11) Final

 

12) Ethical Coffee Chain

 

13) Pinterest

 

14) BriefMe

 

15) Munzit

 

16) Stitch Fix

 

17) Water Mark

 

Seen any great explainer videos lately? Let us know in the comments.

HubSp

16 Video Marketing Statistics to Inform Your Q4 Strategy [Infographic]

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As marketers find more innovative ways to attract audiences, video has become a meaningful part of the strategic conversation.

Video is long past the status of an “up-and-coming” marketing tactic. It’s here, and it’s an increasingly powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects. 

The most recent statistics show that video content isn’t just effective — the demand for it is growing at an impressively rapid pace. Did you know, for example, that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers? Or that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI?

To learn more about how video marketing can help convert customers and increase engagement with your brand, check out the infographic below from Vidyard (and for even more information, check out its Video in Business Benchmark Report). It breaks down 16 compelling video marketing statistics in the context of viewing platforms, distribution channels, business video consumption habits, and more.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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3 Tips For Your Video Content Marketing Path


You have this Content Marketing thing down, right? Or, at the least, you have a plan. You have that strategy and have an idea of where you are going with that content marketing plan. BTW – if you need some help, here are a couple of articles that can get you going: The Best Content […]

The post 3 Tips For Your Video Content Marketing Path appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

10 YouTube Pre-Roll Ads You’ll Actually Enjoy

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You technically can’t skip these ads. But you wouldn’t want to anyway.

Last year at Sundance, YouTube unveiled a new ad format to brands: the unskippable, six second “bumper” ad. To prove it was possible to cram a compelling story into such a short window, they recruited a handful of creative agencies to test drive the format — and the results were pretty convincing. 

After that, huge brands like Under Armour and Anheuser-Busch adopted the new six second ad format to tell quick but gripping stories that actually stuck with audiences.

In fact, according to Google, 90% of bumper ad campaigns boosted global ad recall by an average of 30%. That’s pretty impressive for taking up only six seconds of someone’s day.

It might seem like you can’t accomplish much in that amount of time, but with a little creativity, brands can use it to forge an emotional connection with their audience and implant a vivid memory of those feelings in their minds.

Why Six Second Pre-Roll Ads Work

Suffering through 15, 30, or even 60 second pre-roll ads prompted so many head shakes and back button clicks that eventually YouTube added a skip button to their ads in 2009. In theory, though, an ad’s first five seconds are enough to hook viewers and hold their attention for the rest of its duration.

But we all know this rarely happens. Whenever a YouTube ad pops up and shields you from your favorite video, what do you usually do? You immediately glue your eyes to the skip button’s countdown clock and wait … until those lingering seconds finally slug by.

Fortunately, the six second pre-roll ad better engages viewers. When YouTube plays such a short ad for them, it’s not as annoying as a full length ad. And when brands craft these ads into fast, captivating stories, they can resonate well with audiences.

This lets YouTube sustain their ad business while helping brands create a more enjoyable and memorable user experience for its viewers.

So if you’re leveraging YouTube’s six second pre-roll ads right now, then hats off to you. If you’re not, here are 10 examples you can reference to inspire YouTube viewers faster than a Vine could in 2013.

10 Exceptional Examples of Six Second Pre-Roll Ads on YouTube
1) YouTube

To further promote their new ad format’s creative potential, YouTube challenged filmmakers and ad agencies to retell classic pieces of literature in just six seconds.

These are some of the most complex novels ever written. So creatives needed to convey each story’s core in a simple yet spellbinding way.

Rethink, a Canadian agency, did just that. Their rendition of Hamlet is clear and concise (we all know that everyone dies when modern day Claudius spams the buy button). But it’s also unexpected and funny because it gives us a glimpse of how Hamlet could’ve transpired in today’s digital age.

2) Old Spice

You’re probably not surprised that this is an Old Spice ad. But you’re also probably laughing so hard you’re crying like that guy’s armpit.

When you watch this ad, you’re so amused that you forget Old Spice is trying to sell you deodorant. And while you’re still mid-chuckle, your favorite video begins. It’s a seamless transition. And viewers crave that. All advertisers should strive to satisfy their audience, and Wieden & Kennedy, Old Spice’s agency, know exactly how to indulge theirs.

3) Chipsmore

I know you fell for it too.

When I first saw the red face of doom, disappointment started spilling over me. But, luckily for us, the Chipsmore’s Cookie Guy saved the day.

The thing is, we just wanted to watch the ad. Imagine how someone who wanted to watch a video after it must’ve felt.

They were probably frustrated at the initial sight of the “broken” video link, then surprised when the Cookie Guy appears, which grabbed their attention. And, finally, delighted when their favorite video starts.

This ad takes its viewers on an emotional roller coaster. And, honestly, who doesn’t have fun on those?

4) Road Lodge

This is a prime example of insanely honest marketing.

Road Lodge sets the expectation that their hotel is best suited for relaxation. And not so much for partying.

You might think they’re deterring potential customers from their hotel — and you’re right — they are. But it’s actually a good thing because these people would never stay at their hotel in the first place. 

And since their honesty signals confidence, builds trust, and shows that they value their customers’ experience more than short-term profits, their target market becomes more attracted to them.

Road Lodge knows that if you’re brutally honest about your product or service, then you won’t disappoint your customers. This makes it a lot easier to maintain their loyalty.

5) Under Armour

When you play baseball, nothing matters more than your stats. They’re a direct measurement of your performance and can even define your value as a person.

Under Armour sought to uproot this belief.

In six short seconds, Droga5, Under Armour’s agency, injects purpose into ball players everywhere, motivating them to place their value in their character instead of their numbers.

6) Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes uses swift video cuts and a roaring engine to engage their viewers’ senses. This way, their audience can actually see and hear the intensity of reaching 60 MPH in only 3.8 seconds.

7) Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures used this pre-roll ad to promote the full Jason Bourne trailer, which garnered over 14 million views.

And since the ad is chock full of non-stop action, it piqued viewers’ interest and generated tremendous hype around its trailer release.

8) Burn

Burn’s pre-roll ad is so effective because it’s snappy and visually engaging. And since you can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, a flaming fist across the face will definitely catch your eye.

The slow-mo effect also makes the ad seem longer, intensifying your viewing experience.

9) Airbnb

Family vacations are the best.

You get to explore incredible places and create timeless memories with your loved ones. Is there any other way you would want to bond with your family?

Airbnb agrees too. So their agency, TWBA, produced a charming ad that showcases the benefits of a family vacation: loads of fun and connection.

10) Geico

The Martin Agency, Geico’s creative partner, deserves a lifetime supply of car insurance for this masterpiece.

“Unskippable” was so refreshingly original, it won AdAge’s 2016 Campaign of the Year. And for good reason too. It sympathizes with your annoyance of pre-roll ads, so it ends before you can skip it. But it’s also so unique and witty that you’ll actually watch the entire ad.

Geico says this ad is impossible to skip because it’s already over. But really, this ad is impossible to skip because it’s so clever.

Seen any ads that top these? Share them in the comments below!

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How to Make an iPhone Video: A Step-by-Step Guide

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You might know that video is important, that your audience wants to see it, and you might even want to make it a part of your strategy. But you’re still asking the big question:

“How?”

If you aren’t producing video content because you don’t think you have the ability, time, or resources to do it, we have some good news: Your answer to the video content question could be sitting in your pants pocket. (Hint: It’s your iPhone.)New Call-to-action

You or a member of your team most likely already owns a great video camera — one that’s easier to use than a traditional, high-tech setup. In this post, we’ll walk you through our tips and best practices for filming high-quality marketing and social media videos with your handy iPhone and a just a few other tools. And if you don’t have time to read them all, we’ve demonstrated how to do it in the video below.

P.S. We filmed it with an iPhone.

How to Shoot Videos with an iPhone
1) Find a quiet place to film.

This might seem obvious, but if you’re filming at work or out in public, the sight of a phone might not tip people off to keep the volume down if they’re nearby. If possible, book a conference space, hang signs telling people to steer clear of where you’re shooting, or bring a coworker with you to block off the area where you plan to film.

2) Make sure your iPhone has enough storage space.

Have you ever experienced the dreaded moment when you were unable to capture a video because you got this pop-up notification?

cannot-record-video.png

If this notification pops up while you’re filming a video, your phone will stop recording, and you’ll have to start over. To prevent this, make sure you have enough space before pressing “record.” Delete as many unnecessary files and apps as you can, and if needed, purchase iCloud storage for files to free up more space on your device itself.

To do this, navigate to “Settings,” select “General,” “Storage & iCloud Usage,” and tap “Manage Storage” to buy more space for as little as $0.99 per month.

icloud-manage-storage-1-1.png

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3) Turn off notifications.

Another distracting iPhone feature that could interrupt your filming is how frequently your device receives notifications. Before you start filming, set your iPhone to Do Not Disturb mode to keep notifications going in the background so you can film uninterrupted.

Swipe up on your phone and tap the crescent moon icon to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode, and tap it again when you’re done to return your phone to normal settings.

DND-2.pngDND-1.png

Pro tip: Do Not Disturb is a great way to watch YouTube videos, play games, and sleep uninterrupted, too.

4) Use a tripod.

I don’t care how steady you think your hands are — they probably aren’t steady enough to film a video. 

Now, it’s one thing if you’re scrappily putting together a Snapchat Story, but if you’re filming a video for your brand — especially one that will live permanently on your blog, YouTube channel, or other social media assets — you’ll need the help of a tripod to keep the video steady and clear.

You can purchase full tripods, or smaller versions for your desk on Amazon, at Best Buy, or other vendors.

5) Light your video.

This point is especially important if you’re filming in an office building with lots of overhead lighting. You don’t need to buy anything fancy for this step — in fact, our friends at Wistia put together this guide to a DIY lighting setup. You need enough light to give the impression of natural light, which means it’s coming from a variety of different light sources, and not just directly overhead. 

If you don’t have the time or budget to purchase a lighting setup, find a room or location with plenty of natural light — and remember to turn off the overhead lights — to keep your video subject looking good.

6) Use a microphone.

Make sure you use some sort of microphone to minimize the impact of distracting ambient noise. The expression “the silence is deafening” is real — especially when it comes to video production. 

You don’t need a fancy microphone and boom setup like in the movies, although those would be a great investment to make if you plan to film a lot of videos. You can use something as simple as a microphone that plugs into your iPhone’s headphone input to get great audio for your videos — and you can buy one here.

7) Film horizontally.

When people view videos on mobile devices, the video automatically rotates according to the orientation of the device it’s being viewed on. So, it makes more sense to film horizontally so your video can be viewed if the user rotates his or her phone, or is watching on a large tablet or computer screen. If you film vertically and the viewer’s screen is rotated, the video will appear more constricted.

There are exceptions to this, of course — if you’re filming a video specifically for Snapchat or Instagram, for example, you should film your video vertically on your iPhone, because that’s how the videos will be consumed. But if you’re filming for Facebook, YouTube, or another video hosting site, film horizontally to help viewers get the best possible viewing experience, no matter what device they press play on.

8) Don’t use the iPhone’s zoom capability.

Simply put, iPhone’s zoom will most likely make your video look bad.

We’ll elaborate: Unless you have the ultra-fancy iPhone 7 Plus camera, zooming in on an iPhone will simply enlarge the image — it won’t get you closer to what you’re filming — so it’ll make your final video pixellated and blurry-looking.

Instead, physically move your filming setup closer to your subject to eliminate the need to zoom in.

9) Lock your exposure.

The iPhone does a fantastic job of finding the subject to focus your camera’s exposure — which is great for taking a photo. But when it comes to filming a video, its super-powered exposure will continue adjusting and readjusting according to movement — leaving your final video occasionally blurry and out of focus.

You can solve this problem by locking the exposure while you’re filming. Before you press record, hold down your finger on the subject of your video until a yellow box appears around the person or object and the words “AE/AF Lock” appear:

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10) Edit on a computer.

Once you’ve filmed your video, you need to edit it and get it ready for publication. And although the iPhone offers a lot of visual editing tools within its interface, it’s best to use editing software on your computer to fine-tune the images. Software like iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro let you add sound, captions, and adjust filtering to make your video look (and sound) as professional as possible. 

Lights, Camera, Action

You don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to film and edit engaging videos — you just need to follow the steps above to film something that looks professional with the help of your handy iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone, never fear — we’ll create some guidance for Android devices soon. In the meantime, download our guides to creating videos for social media to get started distributing your content today.

What are your tips for filming videos on the iPhone? Share with us in the comments below.

social media marketing assessment

How to Incorporate Video into Your Content Marketing

For many of us in the online marketing industry, each year we wait with bated breath for Mary Meeker to release her annual Internet Trends report. We can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon, what new trends we need to be aware of, and of course, what’s old news. And each year, the report grows larger and new stats arise to surprise us. One of the most important trends concerns video content marketing.

This year, one of the other areas that stood out to me was around user-generated content and specifically, how big brands are finally figuring out how to utilize images and videos to drive engagement. As a big believer in the customer experience, it’s cool to see some of these brands jumping in:

The report also looked at interactive video, image recognition, path to purchase tracking, and much more. I highly suggest taking a look at the full deck.

Anyway, what I really wanted to see was where video stood in this year’s report following the 2015 takeaway that by 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all online traffic. Did we do it? Are we there yet?

I’ll be honest—I couldn’t find an update in the report. But a more recent Cisco report puts it at 82 percent of all traffic by 2020, so it seems we are on our way.

For marketers, these gigantic numbers mean it’s time to step up our own efforts around video and take advantage of this channel. Let’s look at how.

Start With Product Videos

According to Wyzowl’s 2017 State of Video Marketing report, 97 percent of businesses using explainer videos say it helps users understand their business better. And 73 percent of consumers say they’ve bought a product after watching a video.

Explainer video for Curata’s content marketing software

It makes sense. With the continued evolution of technology and new acronyms like IoT (the Internet of Things) taking over our lives, it can be hard for consumers to really understand what a product does, especially if that product is software. On top of that, we often to want to see how something works versus just read about it.

What’s important to note here is product videos don’t have to be boring. And you don’t have to become the next BlendTec or Dollar Shave Club to make it interesting. Take Coleman for example. They make things like grills, coolers, campaign equipment, and of course, tents.

Tent buying isn’t something many people do often. If you’re in the market, you just want to figure out which tent best fits your needs, budget, and style. Coleman does a nice job showcasing videos of tents—particularly their pop-up tents, which are much cooler to see on video.

Whether you sell tents or software, product videos help show potential customers what your product actually does. This helps them to take the next step in the buyer journey. (Read The Secret Behind Content That Attracts, Converts, and Nurtures at Each Stage of the Sales Funnel for more.)

Take Your Webinars Further

For anyone who’s ever attended a webinar, you know how it usually goes. You receive 10+ emails leading up to the webinar, and then you never hear about it again. What a waste! Especially when you consider how much time and effort goes into organization and promotion. (Check out Content Promotion, Distribution, and You: A Marketer’s Guide.)

As a company, don’t just set it and forget it. Take your webinars a step further.

Evariant, a leading healthcare CRM solution, runs webinars on a monthly basis. Their webinars are then cut up into clips and added into YouTube playlists, turned into blog posts, and added to emails and social.

One video asset allows the company to create a unified campaign across multiple channels and gives customers another way to get information about the company.

Does your company offer webinars? Don’t let them fall to the wayside. Turn them into snackable video content marketing your audience can enjoy elsewhere.

Capitalize on Social Trends

I like to tell people I’m “Not very hip to what the kids are doing these days.” So when the whole mannequin challenge came about, I thought it was pretty pointless. But sure enough, star after star and brand after brand hopped on board, and now there are over 4.5 million YouTube results. My employer KoMarketing’s mannequin challenge also happens to be one of their top Facebook posts of all time. Who would’ve thought?

The mannequin challenge in itself was nothing groundbreaking. But like the Harlem Shake that preceded it, these social trends allow brands to show a different side of themselves. It’s an easy way to make a video that can be shared across a variety of channels.

The other thing to consider? It’s cheap! This type of video content marketing is typically made on phones and therefore doesn’t require a budget. It simply requires buy-in from key stakeholders and a few employees willing to look silly.

Give Your Email a Voice

I attend a number of conferences throughout the year and as a result, I get a lot of email. (Read The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Conferences for the top conferences to attend.) From the conference organizers, from the sponsors, from the exhibitors, and even from people I didn’t meet but who still want to “connect.” It can be overwhelming. And do you know where 99 percent of those emails go? The trash. Don’t be the trash email.

According to Syndacast, using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent. Even better, eMarketer says half of the marketers who used video in email campaigns saw increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding.

When I returned from the SMX Advanced conference in June, I was greeted by an email thanking me for attending. It featured a video from one of the company’s Senior VPs.

video content marketing in an email

The video isn’t long but it stood out among the rest of the emails. I not only read the email but also watched the video.

Is your brand engaging in email marketing? Think about how you can integrate video content marketing into your efforts and better capture your audience’s attention.

Answer Questions Your Customers Are Asking

When I moved out of my parents’ house I had to learn a whole lot about life, including where to take my car to get fixed and have the oil changed. Growing up, my dad took care of the car when issues occurred. So the idea of taking it somewhere to have the oil changed was preposterous. Imagine my surprise when he told me a few months ago he had to take his RV in to get the oil changed. His explanation—an RV is different. And more importantly, he couldn’t find out how to do it on YouTube.

Like my dad, many of us turn to YouTube to learn how to do things. In 2015, according to Google, searches related to “how to” on YouTube grew at 70 percent year over year. More than 100 million hours of how-to content had been watched in North America alone. That number has only grown as people continually turn to the web, and YouTube in particular, to give them answers.

Give your customers the answers to the questions they are asking. Not sure where to find those questions? Check out tools like Answer the Public, Keywordtool.io, and Bloomberry. Each of these tools scour the web to find the most common questions around specific keyword themes. (Read Content Marketing Tools: The Ultimate List for all the tools you’ll ever need.) Identify top questions related to your business, and instead of answering in writing, make a video.

Lowes does a really nice job of video content marketing. They’ve created a series of videos to answer questions like “How To Build a Deck” or “How to Build a Christmas Tree Stand.”

Example of Lowe's video content marketing: How to build a Christmas tree stand

These videos not only address the needs of buyers, but also help them make their home a better place. The next time someone needs a tool, gardening equipment, paint, or anything else, they’ll likely think of Lowes.

Video Content Marketing: Final Thoughts

Video isn’t new and isn’t going away. As Mary Meeker’s report showed, more brands than ever are engaging with video content marketing, and buyers are consuming it at a significant rate.

Not sure your brand is ready? The good news is you don’t have to jump in head first, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Start small and go from there. There are plenty of free tools that make video editing easy. And if you can prove success with one video, you open the door to company buy-in and increased budgets. You might even become (or create) a video star.

Once you’ve started with video, measure how well your efforts are working. Download The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics and Metrics eBook for everything you need to assess the effectiveness of all your content marketing efforts.

The post How to Incorporate Video into Your Content Marketing appeared first on Curata Blog.

The Undeniable Power Of Video Content On Social Media [Infographic]

The Undeniable Power Of Video Content On Social Media [Infographic]

A new Animoto survey reveals how marketers are keeping up with today’s rising consumption of video content on the social web, also known as the golden age of online video.

And that is, by finding ways to be resourceful. A whopping 92% of marketers say that they repurpose existing content and assets to create videos, meaning that very few marketers need to pick up a camera to shoot photos or footage, or to create new stories from scratch when it comes to making videos.

Of the 500 marketers surveyed who work at companies that have created at least two videos in the last year, 47% are publishing four or more marketing videos in an average month and 27% report creating more than six.

Why are marketers creating more video content?

The frequency at which marketers are publishing video content online is not surprising when you consider another finding of the survey, which is that 60 percent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed say they watch branded videos on Facebook every day. Moreover, 64% of consumers say watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchase decision in the last month.

In addition to marketers seeing results on Facebook, YouTube is a close second. On the consumer side, Facebook and YouTube also led the engagement category. And while Facebook holds the top spot when it comes to where consumers are watching videos daily, Instagram Stories took the second spot followed by Snapchat.

Interestingly, when it comes to live video, 52% of consumers reported preferring edited video compared to 48% for live video.

To illustrate the results like these, and more, Animoto has published an infographic detailing the findings, that you can see below:

2016

Wrapping up

In conclusion, you’ve likely heard the quote, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” As these survey results demonstrate, a majority of marketers seem to have no trouble finding ways to be resourceful with their content when it comes to making videos.

How are you creating marketing videos? Have you and your team repurposed existing content into video form?

Share your tips in the comments below.

Guest Author:  Cyndi Knapic is the head of Animoto for Business. Animoto’s award-winning online video builder makes it easy for anyone to create powerful and professional videos. Millions of consumers, businesses, marketers, and photographers around the world use Animoto to turn content they already have into videos that stand out in a video-first world. Founded in 2006, Animoto has offices in New York City and San Francisco. For more information, visit http://animoto.com.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Animoto, but as always I am dedicated to providing content that is helpful and valuable to the reading audience.

The post The Undeniable Power Of Video Content On Social Media [Infographic] appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.


The Help-Hub-Hero Approach to Video Content Strategy

The Help-Hub-Hero Approach to Video Content Strategy

Today’s digitally savvy new media consumers are voracious consumers of content.

But this voracity has evolved over the years to become more refined and discerning in appetite.

Just as the proliferation of coffee shops has seen us become coffee connoisseurs, so too has the proliferation of online video content seen consumers’ patience with crude brand messaging grow thin.

Trying to keep pace with this demand for content means marketers can easily fall into the trap of taking a scattergun approach to maintaining their YouTube presence, firing off random status updates or uploading videos in a bid to appear ‘always on’ and ‘always available.’

Sadly, bombarding prospects with shallow sales pitches rarely pays dividends, and the customers already following your brand expect value-adding content in return for their loyalty.

If you’re willing to go to the effort of creating it in the first place, it makes sense to take a more considered approach when the time comes to release it into the wild.

Activating your video marketing content requires just as much thought as it does creation, and a useful starting point for your planning is the Help Hub Hero model of content planning and market activation.

What is Help Hub Hero?

When we think about the different types of video marketing populating the online universe, we can broadly divide content from brands into one of three camps.

There is grand spectacle advertising, usually highly produced, grand in scope and with a budget to match. This is the kind of content that you might see on a TV commercial, announcing the arrival of a brand or new product. This is Hero video.
Then we have more bite-sized and regularly updated video offerings that are less showy, more focused, often serialised and aimed at a very specific target market. This is Hub video.
Finally, we have the useful content, such as FAQs, tutorials, product demos and how-to’s that responds directly to consumer needs and questions, often expressed through search engine queries. Here we have the Help video.

The Help Hub Hero model gained popularity thanks to online video giant YouTube giving it a platform-specific spin, but the concept has been around as long as media itself. In print magazines covering everything from cycling to crochet, you can see this format with a content split between big headline features, news items and letters to the editor.

We could be Heroes

Hero content screams ‘look at me!’ It’s your chance to show off and get people talking. It casts the net wide, beyond your existing followers, and seeks to attract new prospects.

This is where you spend the big money on glossy production. Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking and hugely publicized supersonic free fall from 128 km above the earth’s surface is a prime example of Hero material; cementing Red Bull’s position as the dominant brand presence in the sphere of extreme sports and jaw-dropping stunts.

 

Truly great hero content transcends blunt, product-led self promotion and instead uses storytelling to create an emotional connection with the viewer.

The lauded and hugely successful Nationwide ‘lost scarf’ ad, that Aspect helped produce, didn’t feature the brand at all until two-thirds of the way through. What’s more it had nothing to do with banking or financial services; instead focusing on humanizing the bank. It told a poignant story which, at its heart, represented the company’s core values.

 

Nationwide’s ‘Lost Scarf’ TV advert, which attracted over 3 million YouTube views after it was aired in the commercial break of the final of Britain’s Got Talent.

Of course, hero content will often provoke discussion and comment, along with an inevitable spike in brand awareness, but no one can create a sustainable online presence with endless Red Bull-style stunts and large budget TV commercials (or afford it).

Online video marketing requires a multi-tiered approach, where you need to act not just as a traditional advertiser but also as a YouTuber. This is where Hub and Help content comes in.

Building a community Hub

Hub content is where you look after your existing followers and draw in casual browsers with easily-digestible and value-adding video content. This is where you act like a YouTuber and take off your advertiser’s hat.

The plain fact is that, however much they enjoy it, most viewers who see your grandstanding Hero videos won’t stick around and make a long-term connection with your brand. For those that do, Hub content is your chance to serve them something more targeted and tailored to their interests. By doing this you will encourage those prime prospects who have come across your brand (often via your hero content) to follow or subscribe; thereby joining your expanding community of followers and brand advocates.

 

Alongside their huge spectacles, Red Bull use their Red Bulletin to provide YouTube followers with regular magazine style content.

While Hero video generally goes wide, Hub video takes a more surgical, targeted approach which taps in directly to your viewers’ interests, consolidating the disparate pockets of appeal you’ve garnered in raising awareness for your brand.

A little Help from your friends

Where Hub videos can be seen as ‘push’ content, Help videos by contrast are ‘pull’ content. In other words, they are designed to solve existing problems and address existing issues, and they do this by being discoverable via online search.

Help videos are aimed at people who might not have even heard of your brand but are looking for information relevant to the sector in which you operate. Like Hub content then, it is aimed at your prime prospects.

Common search engine queries and keyword research can quickly provide a clue to the kinds of content your Help video content could cover. For example, instructional videos can address ‘how to…’ questions and establish yours as a voice of authority in your market sector, reaping rewards in the form of high search rankings and garnering new followers.

 

There are a lot of Photoshop tutorials on YouTube and Adobe knows this. That’s why providing help videos on Photoshop and all their other products, helps establish them as authoritative experts and educators, as well providers of a product.

This kind of content is extremely popular on YouTube with Google reporting a 70% year on year growth in this kind of content in 2015. If skilfully produced and properly optimized for your target audience, Help videos are hugely shareable and one of the most powerful weapons in your armoury at promoting brand advocacy through content sharing.

Final words

YouTube boasts a staggering one billion users – a third of everyone on the internet – which represents a colossal marketing opportunity for business, from small startups to big multinational brands.

The flip side is that YouTube has fostered an army of independent video creators who are uploading their own homemade videos, often to huge audiences. With 400 hours worth of content landing on YouTube servers every minute, marketers must work very hard to get noticed.

Help Hub Hero is no guarantee of success, but it is a framework for a joined up video marketing strategy that combines maximum brand exposure with growing a targeted and loyal subscriber base.

Guest Author: Evelyn Timson is Managing Director at UK-based video marketing company Aspect Film and Video and has worked with well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Samsung, Microsoft and the British Library and National Trust in the UK. You can connect with Aspect via Facebook or Twitter. To see a selection of their award-winning work check out their YouTube Channel.

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