Category Archives: Video Marketing

Hosting Video for Small Business – What I Learned the Hard Way

A few weeks ago I was at a two-day conference about all things business video, hosted by Wistia (a video hosting platform). I got home with a notebook and head filled with new ideas.

The best part (other than the awesome parties), was to meet so many fellow video marketers and like-minded people, and to realize that I’m not the only nut running around teaching and coaching small businesses on how to create video marketing fitted for their needs!

But: Back on topic.

One big take-away from the conference also fed right into a pain point of mine: Replacing videos, but keeping the same URL/link intact.

The day before I left for the conference, I had to take down two videos from YouTube – where I host all my videos. A client asked me to take them down, despite having a signed agreement (and he had a good reason), and I felt obliged to do so. He had switched job and the videos caused turmoil with his new bosses.

The ramifications were awkward to say the least. Broken links mean SEO penalties and – far worse – potential clients with “oops – this video no longer exists” links.

Not good.

You see, YouTube doesn’t allow for a video replacement under the same URL, or embed-code.

And, this wasn’t a new problem.

I had faced this issue before in a different scenario: A few weeks after writing a guest blog, I created better versions of the explainer videos that I had originally, quickly thrown together.

But, it turns out the host of the guest blog didn’t have the manpower to embed the newer versions.

Had I used a full-featured hosting-service like Vimeo or Wistia, I could have switched out the videos in both scenarios, without having to inconvenience anybody, or creating broken links.

I host my videos on YouTube because it’s such a powerful search engine – and it’s free and easy to use. Turns out these are not good enough reasons if you are using your videos for business.

I will continue to host videos on YouTube, but solely as a social media platform.

For hosting my business’ videos that get embedded on my website or get sent to clients, I will start using a “proper” hosting platform. Vimeo and Wistia are the two most relevant choices:

What I’m looking for is:

  1. The option to exchange video while keeping the URL and embed-code
  2. Awesome analytics
  3. Serious privacy settings
  4. Great integration features into third-party platforms
  5. A growing, active and customer-support centric culture

My choice is Wistia.

Some might prefer Vimeo which is less expensive, but I have had issues with Vimeo videos not playing on my website, especially on mobile phones.

Here is a good article that looks at pros and cons of using YouTube vs. Vimeo vs. Wista if you want to dig deeper.

And, herewith a few links to other blog posts I wrote on the topic of “Hosting Video for Small Business”:

Video Content Within Context, or Why Sleeping with A Helmet Doesn’t Make Sense

We all understand the words on the page, but sometimes SHOWING drives a message home. Here a modest example:

For more words on Video Content and Context read our previous blog: Why It is Completely Irrelevant Which is More Important: Content or Context [updated with Curated Link Pack]

I’m also — for the first time — adding production facts: What I shot with, how long it took me, what it cost me…

Video Production Facts for Above Video:

  • Total Investment Summary: 4 hours, plus a few hours “content think” time, and $0
  • Camera: Shot on an iPhone 6 in selfie mode (lesser quality lens)
  • Audio: “Chair lift” scene: in-phone microphone. “Indoor” scene: Sennheiser mic (~ $200 Amazon)
  • Mount: “Chair lift” = handheld. “Indoor”: Joby mini tripod
  • Total shoot time: ~ 30 mins: Chair lift scene 3 mins (fingers froze ;-)). Indoor scene about 30 mins with prep and shoot.
  • Edit Software: Adobe Premiere CC
  • Graphics: Adobe Photoshop CC (templates I created beforehand)
  • Total edit & finishing time: 2 hours
  • Total upload & distribution time: 1.5 hours upload to YouTube, tagging, transcription, captioning, posting, distributing

Why It Is Completely Irrelevant Which is More Important: Content or Context [updated with Curated Link Pack]

Bill Gates famously quoted “Content is King” in 1996. Since, the quote has been altered so many times it’s hard to keep up: “Content is King and Context is God”, or “Content is King, and Context is Queen”, etc. The world has changed. In what relationship are content and context today?

Maybe it’s the Swiss in me (we love consensus so much so we have seven ministers run the country), but I think there is no need for a “one over the other” in terms of importance. Neither content nor context survives without the other. Content and context are equally as important.

Think of video marketing as a strategic board game where context drives content, and content excels within proper context.

The most amazing content goes “poof” within the wrong context, and all the context in the world can’t save bad content. Period.

Continue reading

Continuous & Consistent Content: Three Companies Who Get it Done!

In continuing with our blog: The Three Must Have “C’s” Without Which no Video Marketing Campaign Will be Successfulwe set out to see who does continuous and consistent video marketing content well.

Herewith our three top choices (and we’d love to hear from you with more examples!):

Combs & Company, Insurance Broker:

Susan Combs, CEO of Combs & Company, has an extensive video library; from CEO interviews, to white board explainers, and meeting coverage.

What’s interesting is, that she has all her video series bulk-produced. This not only saves time and money, it also gives the videos a look-, tone-, and content continuity that speaks to the commitment she has made to being a likable expert in her field.

It’s sets her apart from her competition, opens doors far beyond pulling in additional leads. Have a look at her different video series and you’ll get the picture.

JacksonFuller Real Estate:

Matt Fuller of JacksonFuller Real Estate and his residential real-estate team of five started blogging in 2006 and video was always on their radar but never used consistently until last fall. But then they went all out. Check out their Vimeo channel.

They produce the videos themselves and they quickly found out that “keep it simple” is the key ingredient. I’m amazed they figured out the green screen over editing!

They have a good mix of funny, light, and seriously informative content, and it’s consistent!

Boutique Accounting Services:

Richard Greco, founder and owner of Boutique Accounting Service does a great job with his videos. I love the clean, white background and the simple but elegant graphics. I’m still not a fan of side-angle shooting for a second camera, but it makes it easier to edit content.

I just wish I could a) embed his videos here and b) he had not announced (scroll all the way down on the link given below) all these other videos to come in 2016… It’s 2017, dude. I hope he continues.

Who do YOU KNOW who does video marketing well? We are looking to interview (for a quick 15 minutes) companies that are engaging in video marketing regularly to help us develop and fine-tune our video marketing services for small businesses. Any help is much appreciated.

The Three Must Have “C’s” Without Which no Video Marketing Campaign Will be Successful [updated with Curated Link Pack]

How convenient: All you need is “Three Cs”, you get videos that attract, engage, and convert like crazy, you make money, retire, sit at the beach sipping Pina Coladas (and you’ll be bored out of your mind after about a week).

Seriously, for video marketing to work – in my opinion – you need three things:

  • Commitment
  • Consistent Content, and
  • Continuous Content

Hold your thought: I will make a clear distinction between “consistent” and “continuous” content. They are two very different things.

It sounds scary, I know. Commitment is scary, period. And, when you pair continuation with commitment, and consistency it gets REALLY scary. But actually the opposite happens: It gets easier. Let’s have a closer look: Continue reading

5 Best Video Marketing Practices for 2017

Five video marketing best practices to adhere… can you tell which I keep repeating? (Accidentally by the way, but it’s so important, I don’t mind!).

Watch the video, find out!

Also read my blog post Why I Stopped Caring About Trend Predictions for more information on best practices and check out our Curated Link Pack and Definition Day.

 

Transcript: Hi, so rather than talking about trends of 2017, as its January I want to continue talking about best practices because I think that just makes much more sense and is more useful. So, here five things that I want you to keep in mind. Number one, keep it short and keep it snackable. Number two, best to schedule continuous and regular content because it’s a much better bang for your buck and return on investment. And on that point: Number three, don’t waste your time, don’t waste your money, get the help where you need it. And number four, make sure that you put captioning into your video and transcription below your video. And number four [should be five] make sure you have access to your analytics and actually use them otherwise the whole exercise is for naught. So, the five things again – Keep it short, keep it snackable. Keep it continuously coming. Don’t waste your time. Use captioning and transcriptions. And number five… Oh, make sure you use your analytics and actually look at them, and learn from them, and use them to schedule your future content. See you in February, bye-bye.

Video Marketing Best Practices for 2017: Curated Link Pack

What are the prevailing video marketing trends for 2017?  Here a few curated picks, not only for video marketing, but for digital and visual marketing in general:

7 Video Marketing Trends for 2017 (and What They Mean for You) the only thing that interested me here was the mention of ‘temporary’ content (i.e. Snapchat). Any content, video included, has a shorter and shorter lifespan which will have budget and quality consequences. Nothing new, but the trend – for now – is solidifying itself with every passing year.

10 Video Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2017: A solid list, with nothing too new, or too exciting. Less a piece on trends than taking stock of the current situation – like the integration of video into emails (amazingly enough that’s still a challenge – although there are some very good workarounds).

PRO TIP: What I do is, I post a thumbnail photo of the video in the email and then link the photo to the video hosted on YouTube (or whichever hosting service I’m using). It’s a few extra steps, but has the advantage of sending viewers to a place where your stats accumulate.

9 New Visual Content Marketing Trends for 2017: Also solid surprising list with a very relevant focus on visual content – be it (stock) photos or video content.

Top 10 Trends That Will Transform Digital Marketing In 2017: Some interesting thoughts. I would latch on to the keywords: Mobile, curated, and Influencer Marketing.

Curious what our best practices are for 2017? Read our blog post Why I stopped Caring About Trend Predictions and watch my vlog post on 5 Best Video Marketing Practices for 2017.

Why I Stopped Caring About Trend Predictions

We all want to make sure that our precious resources are applied and spent in the most efficient way possible, so it’s only natural to want to keep an eye on trends to make sure you’re not missing out, me included.

I’ve written about trends every so often since I started blogging six years ago and – looking back – I have come to the conclusion that they are nothing more than observations of the obvious. Rather than trends I would prefer to talk about best practices.

  • More important than following trends is to figure out what video marketing best practices work for YOU and your customers, clients, and partners.

Continue reading

Your Videos Can be a Search Engine’s Best Friend

Here another infographic I liked (There’s a pattern, I know: I just love those infographics). This one with permission from Jessica Morgan at Take1 Transcription.

I like their take on captioning and transcription (sic!); after all that’s their expertise and I second their take on how important both are.

For captioning because you might be in an environment watching a video where you can’t play sound (or have forgotten your earbuds). And for transcription, because it allows for search engines to capture your content and make your videos more relevant to searches.

how-your-videos-can-become-a-search-engines-best-friend-1

 

 

Link to original infographic.

Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make With Their First Video

Infusionsoft, a sales and marketing automation software expert exclusively for small businesses, asked me to write an expert blog about typical video marketing beginner mistakes. Below the first few paragraphs… click here to read the entire article with great video examples. 

Video Marketing touches on many areas of expertise, way beyond marketing and communications, ranging from creative disciplines (like writing, and visual design), to the technical, digital, and analytical aspects (like shooting, animation, and search engine optimization), to lastly logistical skills (like shoot planning, and distribution). And with that, the list of mistakes to be made is quite impressive.

However, when it comes to creating a video for your small business things can be kept simple without sacrificing impact.

As small business owners we always try to find a balance between quality, price, and reasonable turnaround. We’re told, that we can only have two out of three, but I think we can “beat the system” if we pay attention to detail and manage (mostly our own) expectations.

  • Video marketing for small business is about paying attention to the right details at the right time.

So, what are the most common mistakes small business owners make with their first video? Here a list of the 10 most common mistakes I come across time and again: Continue to the full article.