Choosing the Right Video Platform

As video is becoming more and more essential to how businesses communicate with their audiences—whether potential customers, current customers, or employees—a video platform has become a necessary and useful tool to manage, optimize, measure content, and learn about different audiences.

Outline Your Needs First

There are many platforms from which to choose: Wistia, Vimeo, Kaltura, Brightcove, Limelight to name a few. But before you commit to one you’ve got to consider what’s important to YOU and YOUR team. Let’s consider shoes for a moment. If you’re looking for a running shoe you are going to place value on certain features that someone looking for a dress shoe won’t. Video is no different. For marketers, a few features on a Video Platform may be key, while another team may need their own unique features.

Things to Consider:

Of course there is a laundry list of things you should consider, but for brevity’s (and sanity’s) sake we’ve taken some of the bigger attributes you’re going to want to evaluate your Video Platform short list on:

▪ Content Management: If this is a BIG priority, look for things like the ease with which you can upload and manage new video content. Do you have to involve IT every time? Can you upload directly from your YouTube channel? As your library grows in size and complexity of topics for different audiences, is it searchable and taggable?

▪ Optimization: How high does this rank for your team? You’re always looking for ways to improve your video content so how will this Video Platform help you do that? Does it have built in optimization features like A/B split testing and insights on actual audience engagement?

▪ Content Distribution: If you’re in charge of this one, ask yourself: is it a simple task to share your videos to multiple channels from within your Video Platform? And even more importantly: if changes are made to your video in the Video Platform, are they automatically updated in all locations where the video has previously been shared.

▪ Reporting, Analytics & ROI: Video Platforms should be more than a place to keep all of your videos. Investigate the detailed metrics offered by a Video Platform. More than video views, look for a platform that will provide you insight on viewing behavior. What portions are people re-watching? What are they skipping? How is this viewer engagement information gathered? And as a whole, how is video contributing to new business? Can you track how a specific video may have played a roll all the way to a closed deal?

▪ Scale: Sproutvideo, Oculu, Brightcove, Limelight, Wista, Vzaar, Kaltura, and Ooyala are known for their large storage space, specialized video uploading and high-bandwidth packages.  Most of these services can be great for larger companies.  You can customize the player to suit your branding, logo, and styles as well as access great tools for development and customer support.  Vidyard offers a Pay as you Go Plan at $5 a video per month with certain viewing limitations along with more structured professional plans ranging up to $499 per month.  They offer basic social media integration as well as some simple customization. However, the more uploads you have the more it’s going to cost.Vimeo Pro is a staple in offering businesses an affordable account at $199 a year.If you don’t require extra features like the customization of a player and your only goals are embedding your video on your own website, or reaching a wide and often undefined demographic, there are options for your business that don’t require monthly fees. YouTube is the most widely known free option.  YouTube allows for basic metrics such as what led your customers to your video and overall plays as well as allowing you to set up a channel and background wallpaper for collections of videos. Other popular free alternatives include Facebook Video, and Flickr.

▪ Sales Enablement: The ability to privately send videos and track whether a prospect viewed it, how much they consumed, and when they did so can make a big impact on the next sales call with that lead, so look into whether or not your shortlisted Video Platforms can do that. As well, can your sales team take advantage of your video marketing content? The easier it is for them to access and send it (like directly from their email!) the easier it will be for your sales team to engage prospects with accurate and creative content, and close more deals.

Don’t forget to define success for the adoption of this new technology. If you’re embarking on this investment, you’ll want to make sure you’ve defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) beforehand so you can evaluate its success for your business even after you’ve made your selection.

Don’t forget to define success for the adoption of this new technology. If you’re embarking on this investment, you’ll want to make sure you’ve defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) beforehand so you can evaluate its success for your business even after you’ve made your selection.


Got a question about something you’ve read? We would love to hear from you! Just hit reply and ask us.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.
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Video Strategy Part 2 — Distribution

So you have this incredible video. You sent it out to your internal teams, encouraged everyone to share, uploaded it to YouTube and now you wait. You wait for the marketing fame to roll in. You wait some more. Unfortunately, each time you obsessively check, your view count wasn’t nearly as impressive as you’d hoped and no one is sharing it. Don’t stress!
qtq80-JKQvGMAfter you’ve spent time, energy, and money to create this awesome video, it’s all about making sure your video(s) get in front of YOUR target audience (not just your mom). You need a  distribution strategy to ensure everyone sees your masterpiece. One of the first spots you’ll immediately think about to is YouTube. As the second largest search engine (behind Google — which also owns YouTube), it’s imperative for your brand to use YouTube strategically to showcase your videos far and wide.

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We could write a book about the different ways to use YouTube to distribute your video, but it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. So here are three:

1) A common approach is to use the channel to gain attention and drive viewers back to your website where they can consume more content free from distraction. (As a bonus, once they’re back on your website you’ll also be able to track their behavior with video engagement data.)

2) You can also use YouTube to build an audience and then use it for its true social media power (i.e. comments, shares, etc..)

3) Get your videos monetized and start earning revenue off of those YouTube ads by enabling them on your content.

 “Just remember, YouTube loves YouTube. So if you embed a video on a landing page from YouTube. Your landing page is not getting the love, your YouTube channel is…if you want your landing page to get some Google love, consider using another video hosting/sharing platform like Vimeo or Wistia.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Your website or campaign landing pages

Nowadays buyers can go through most of the buying process before ever talking to anyone in sales. So you’ve got to include videos that are going to make a human connection and keep you memorable. The benefit is two-fold. Not only do videos embedded on your site increase the probability of a sale, but Google takes note when a click leads to longer time spent on a page. What this means is when your viewers click and watch a 90 second video, that 90 seconds makes the content on your site more recognizable, and more likely to appear in Google search results. Winning!
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“Create your landing page with a very specific goal in mind and make sure that the content that surrounds the video is very clear and includes button of some kind to make it very easy for your viewers to embrace your call to action… and take action.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Email campaigns

No other marketing medium can communicate as quickly and effectively as video. So it makes a ton of sense to use video in your email marketing to increase brand awareness customer education and, of course, sales.

Approximately half of the marketers who use video in email campaigns experience an uptick in click-through rates, an increase in time spent reading the email, and an increase in sharing and forwarding. (Source: eMarketer)

It’s a common misconception that when you use video in email, that the video will simply play, right from inside the email. That would be a unicorn. Unfortunately, most email clients  don’t support the need to play video right inside the email. While you can drive them directly to the page on which your video is hosted, it’s better to create a landing page specifically for the video. This ensures that your audience won’t be distracted by the other content. Once you do that, take a screenshot of your video WITH the play button. Then add the screenshot to an email, and link it to the landing page with your video. Now, when your audience gets your email, they’ll see a big screenshot of your video, and when they click on it they’ll be taken directly to a page where they can immediately consume your video content.

“One simple way of adding moving video into your email campaign is to utilize an animated GIF. These can be fun and simple. They don’t have any sound but they still can say a lot and inspire action. in your viewer.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

 


Social networks

When distributing your videos, social channels are your best friend. And you have MANY best friends from which to choose.

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We spoke briefly about YouTube, but there are many more options in the social world. Twitter and Facebook allow you to post videos directly to their platforms. This is always the way to go in order to maximize each platform versus linking from YouTube or another video hosting platform.

Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Facebook Live lead the charge with live video streaming platforms and are increasing in popularity for their easy ability to bring your viewers someplace live easily.

You’ll also want to consider a clever use of Instagram, which has a one minute time limit on videos. You can create teaser videos directing viewers to your longer-form content.

“Whether we are talking about the cutesy brand building found on SnapChat or the Live video meets conversation found on Blab, video is clearly at the forefront of Social Media 2.0. But in all cases marketers are seeing the largest leap in video viewership on mobile. So keep this in mind when building and distributing your content.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Remember, always think about the intended audiences. For example, if one of your videos highlights your company’s business services, it may perform better with your LinkedIn networks versus your Facebook page.

And sharing is caring! Consider posting your video to your press releases, company blogs and maybe even contact your partners and ask if they’ll feature your video content on their blog.

We are truly just skimming the surface when it comes to this topic. So if you have a more in-depth question about video distribution just reach out to us!

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Turning Content into Interactive Connectivity

What do we want?

Engagement!

When do you want it?

NOW!

Interactive video is a perfect opportunity to provide customers with a dynamic experience when learning about a product, service, brand, idea, concept, etc… It’s like a custom-tailored suit. By enabling them to shape the way they consume your content, you can offer a more personal interaction with your brand and get them the most relevant information faster. Plus, you get something in the process.

Here are a few ways to make your video more fun, engaging and … interactive.

Interactive Video PicClickable Content: Fundamentally, clickable video is any sort of online video that the user can interact with by clicking on it. That can be in the form of video overlays which allow you to display ads/ text without interrupting the content being watched. Different platforms offer different examples of this. Here is one from Wistia where we encouraged people to learn more about our TEAM:



 Cards and annotations with YouTube are a simple way to get people to click on           additional videos, links to your website, products and merchandise, and more.  Cards have some advantages over annotations, like being optimized for mobile and higher click-through rates, but both can be useful. Cards and Annotations are a way to add interactive commentary, including links to your YouTube videos and beyond. See the use of a “Poll” in the video below.


 

360 Video: 360 video is pretty much just that. Only it’s so much more. It’s created with a camera system that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. Viewers can pan and rotate a 360 video’s perspective to watch it from different angles. The net effect is a deeper level of immersion into the video. When you strap on some virtual reality goggles/headset… the experience goes to the next level, however, 360 video is viewable on computers, iOS devices and Android devices. If you watch on your computer make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser (ex. Chrome, Firefox). Google created Google Cardboard which would give you a Virtual Reality-esque experience.  The Australian Tourism Board created this 360 video of Rottnest Island. Click and experience it for yourself.

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Tourism done right. The Australian Tourism Board gives viewers a 360 video experience. Click and take a tour.


 

Email Opt ins / Call to Action Buttons: These interactive videos contain social buttons and forms inside the video. They can include email opt in forms (like the video below), buttons (including “buy now” buttons), redirect actions, embedded html, hyperlink text, and more.)  While CTAs are great for generating leads, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.

 

Interactive videos give viewers the opportunity to determine how their viewing experience unfolds. In fact, there are some brands that create multiple endings to a video and allow the viewer to select the ending they want to watch. Regardless of your tactics, the more that you can drive engagement, the better the result will be for your brand.

__________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

IMG_9991