GMT NewYork London Moscow Tokyo Sydney

Aug

4

2017

Marketers Weigh In: Which Live Video Platform Should You Use, and When?

Published by in category Daily, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

Do you like to argue?

I do. I come from a long line of debaters, negotiators, and general question-askers — and now, it turns out, sparking these discussions has become part of my job.

That often manifests itself during our team’s lively Slack discussions 

around everything between what’s for lunch and the latest marketing news — the latter of which often includes a healthy amount of debate around which tools and channels we prefer to use, both as marketers and consumers of technology.

So when my colleague, Marketing Blog Staff Writer Sophia Bernazzani, recently covered an entire discussion around which is better — Snapchat, or Instagram — I thought, “That’s a great idea. What else can we debate?” Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

This time, the contenders were some of the major live video platforms out there: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. I opened up the discussion on Slack …

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 2.31.09 PM.png

… and, a la Bernazzani’s approach to her debate, decided to open it up to our inbound.org community members.

We asked marketers the following:

  1. Which is your preferred platform for live video?
  2. Do you use different platforms for different purposes?
  3. Why do you prefer this/these platform(s)?
  4. Do you particularly dislike the non-preferred platforms, and if so, why?

And now, we’re sharing some of marketers’ biggest reasons why they prefer each platform — read on for some of the highlights of the debate below.

Why Use Facebook Live?

1) There’s more engagement.

According to Facebook Head of Video Fidji Simo, about 20% of all videos on the channel are live, with the time spent watching them having grown 4X over the past year.

Video already makes for a popular content format on Facebook, with roughly 100 million hours of it consumed on the channel each day. So when you consider that 20 million hours of that is comprised of live video, the data speaks for itself — people are engaged with this kind of content. It’s no wonder that HubSpot marketers agreed:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.32.36 PM-1.png

2) There’s greater reach.

Notice that, in his quote above, HubSpot Academy Senior Growth Marketing Manager Eric Peters also spoke to Facebook Live’s reach.

To date, Facebook has 1.28 billion daily active users. On top of that, it continues to rank as Pew Research Center’s most popular social media channel. In other words — when content is shared on Facebook, it’s done so with a bit of a built-in audience.

With so many people already using Facebook, users often come across content from creators that they don’t already follow because it’s recommended by the platform’s algorithm, or one of their friends engaged with it or shared it, which shows up as activity on their feeds.

Therefore, when marketers share content on Facebook, viewership isn’t necessarily limited to the people who already like their Pages — it also has the potential to reach new audiences in the ways we mentioned above. HubSpot Social Media Marketer Nick Carney agrees:

NickCFBLive.png

3) It’s easy to use.

Carney also spoke to the fact that, when it comes to broadcasting live video with convenience, Facebook emerges as a leader once again.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.03.58 PM.png

As he points out, Facebook Live not only seamlessly integrates with a number of other platforms, but it’s also responsive across more than one viewing or recording medium — like desktop or mobile. And when you’re a marketer trying to capture an event unfolding, or provide a spontaneous look at what your brand is doing, that sort of translatable use is important.

Maybe that’s why social media strategist Christine Gritmon had the following responses to our questions:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.08.29 PM.png

4) The actual content outlives the live broadcast.

Gritmon also mentioned the somewhat evergreen nature of Facebook Live video content. Unlike other ephemeral content platforms, she explains, viewers can continue to consume her live video content long after the broadcast has ended.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.10.25 PM.png

Notice how she addressed the idea of repurposing Facebook Live content elsewhere. While non-live Instagram posts, for example, can be shared and embedded elsewhere — Stories and live video cannot. Using Facebook, Gritmon explains, allows this specific video content to continue existing elsewhere, long-term, so that it can still reach those who didn’t catch the live broadcast.

Why Use Instagram?

1) It’s good for short-form content.

When it comes to streaming live video on mobile, Fresh Egg’s Social Media Manager Mark Longhurst says that Instagram Live is his go-to platform:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.24.38 PM.png

Here’s where discoverability comes into play. Instagram, similar to Facebook, is a platform where users are scrolling through a feed of multiple pieces of consumable content. They’re not looking for anything in particular, and haven’t arrived at this destination as a result of searching for something. Rather, they’re here just to see what’s new and what might be interesting.

That’s especially true of Instagram’s “Videos You Might Like” feature, which includes hand-picked Stories, live, and pre-recorded videos that it’s determined a given user might like, based on her viewing behavior on the platform — and which, personally, has led to following more than one previously undiscovered profile.

IMG_0379.png

That said, people aren’t necessarily looking to consume a long piece of content while they’re scrolling, even if it does come in a live video format. About two-thirds of viewers prefer video that’s under one minute, and in a crowded feed of content, it’s likely to be even less. So as Longhurst says — when it comes to this platform, keep it short.

2) Sometimes, the content seems a bit more natural.

Pre-produced and formal live videos are great — in a certain context. If you’re hosting a webinar, for example, or a longer sit-down interview that you’ve teased or promoted in advance, viewers have a better idea of what they’re in for — in fact, they’ve probably already registered for or planned to watch it before the broadcast begins.

But there’s a time and a place for that, says Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors Director of Marketing Angela M. McMillan — and Instagram Live isn’t it.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.43.38 PM.png

When it comes to Instagram Live, focus on short, helpful videos with aesthetic appeal — and content that doesn’t need to stick around after its initial live broadcast has passed.

These criteria make Instagram an ideal platform for live videos that are update-like in nature — a way to say “hello” to viewers and show them what your brand and its people are up to. For example, maybe there’s a trendy industry event where you might have a presence — Instagram Live provides a great avenue for letting your audience know that you’re there and that you’ll be bringing them a glimpse of all the cool action that’s taking place. Later on, if you want to do a compiled review of the event that’s a bit less spontaneous in nature, find a different platform for it.

Why Use YouTube?

1) It’s valuable to those who already have an audience there.

When Gritmon was weighing in on live video platforms, she noted that “YouTube Live is wonderful for those who have an audience there,” but that it’s simply “not where my audience is.” For that reason, if you’re just starting out on YouTube, it might not be the best venue for your live videos.

However, if you already have an established YouTube presence and typically use it for pre-recorded content, it can be a valuable platform for a “special edition” of something, or an event that your audience should “tune in for” — which you can promote and tease with a non-live video prior to the broadcast.

Here’s an example of how Sony Pictures Entertainment did just that to tease its live Hangout with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 cast:

2) It’s better for long-form content.

As we noted above, YouTube is a better platform for longer live videos — especially when you’ve promoted them in some of the ways we’ve discussed above. That’s especially true on mobile, says Longhurst — in fact, check out the latest edition to the platform’s listing in the iTunes store:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 5.04.51 PM.png

That wasn’t always the case — according to TechCrunch, the listing previously read, “YouTube – Watch, Upload and Share Videos” — with no mention of live content. But from a consumption standpoint, we haven’t noticed anything remarkably different about the live viewing experience on here than on the other channels we’ve discussed. While it does allow users to minimize the video into a corner for continuous play while browsing elsewhere within the app, Facebook offers the same feature.

It seems, then, that the platform may be making an attempt to catch up with other platforms in the realm of live mobile viewership. And from a marketing standpoint, recording and streaming live video via mobile is currently only available to verified accounts with at least 100 subscribers — making it less than ideal for short-form, spontaneous content.

Why Use Snapchat?

Truth time: We didn’t hear from a ton of marketers who are too crazy about using SnapChat for live video.

For her part, Gritmon says she uses Snapchat for the sake of “staying in the game” as a social media strategist, and that she doesn’t believe it’s used by the demographic that she or her clients are trying to reach. She also noted that it appears to largely be used for sharing private content with a select group of friends — not for reaching new audiences with live content.

In sum, it seems the verdict is in:

  • Facebook = Good for engagement and reach, especially with longer-form live videos.
  • Instagram = Good for discoverability, with spontaneous, shorter-form live videos.
  • YouTube = Good for marketers with a pre-established audience on this platform already, who can upload pre-recorded videos on their channels to tease live broadcasts.
  • Snapchat = Good for sharing among friends — not new audiences.

Many thanks to the HubSpot and inbound.org community marketers who participated in this discussion. Where do you stand on the debate over the best live video platform? Let us know in the comments.

free guide: how to use facebook live

 

Powered by WPeMatico

Aug

3

2017

Marketers Weigh In: Which Live Video Platform Should You Use, and When?

Do you like to argue?

I do. I come from a long line of debaters, negotiators, and general question-askers — and now, it turns out, sparking these discussions has become part of my job.

That often manifests itself during our team’s lively Slack discussions 

around everything between what’s for lunch and the latest marketing news — the latter of which often includes a healthy amount of debate around which tools and channels we prefer to use, both as marketers and consumers of technology.

So when my colleague, Marketing Blog Staff Writer Sophia Bernazzani, recently covered an entire discussion around which is better — Snapchat, or Instagram — I thought, “That’s a great idea. What else can we debate?” New Call-to-action

This time, the contenders were some of the major live video platforms out there: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. I opened up the discussion on Slack …

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 2.31.09 PM.png

… and, a la Bernazzani’s approach to her debate, decided to open it up to our inbound.org community members.

We asked marketers the following:

  1. Which is your preferred platform for live video?
  2. Do you use different platforms for different purposes?
  3. Why do you prefer this/these platform(s)?
  4. Do you particularly dislike the non-preferred platforms, and if so, why?

And now, we’re sharing some of marketers’ biggest reasons why they prefer each platform — read on for some of the highlights of the debate below.

Why Use Facebook Live?

1) There’s more engagement.

According to Facebook Head of Video Fidji Simo, about 20% of all videos on the channel are live, with the time spent watching them having grown 4X over the past year.

Video already makes for a popular content format on Facebook, with roughly 100 million hours of it consumed on the channel each day. So when you consider that 20 million hours of that is comprised of live video, the data speaks for itself — people are engaged with this kind of content. It’s no wonder that HubSpot marketers agreed:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 3.32.36 PM-1.png

2) There’s greater reach.

Notice that, in his quote above, HubSpot Academy Senior Growth Marketing Manager Eric Peters also spoke to Facebook Live’s reach.

To date, Facebook has 1.28 billion daily active users. On top of that, it continues to rank as Pew Research Center’s most popular social media channel. In other words — when content is shared on Facebook, it’s done so with a bit of a built-in audience.

With so many people already using Facebook, users often come across content from creators that they don’t already follow because it’s recommended by the platform’s algorithm, or one of their friends engaged with it or shared it, which shows up as activity on their feeds.

Therefore, when marketers share content on Facebook, viewership isn’t necessarily limited to the people who already like their Pages — it also has the potential to reach new audiences in the ways we mentioned above. HubSpot Social Media Marketer Nick Carney agrees:

NickCFBLive.png

3) It’s easy to use.

Carney also spoke to the fact that, when it comes to broadcasting live video with convenience, Facebook emerges as a leader once again.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.03.58 PM.png

As he points out, Facebook Live not only seamlessly integrates with a number of other platforms, but it’s also responsive across more than one viewing or recording medium — like desktop or mobile. And when you’re a marketer trying to capture an event unfolding, or provide a spontaneous look at what your brand is doing, that sort of translatable use is important.

Maybe that’s why social media strategist Christine Gritmon had the following responses to our questions:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.08.29 PM.png

4) The actual content outlives the live broadcast.

Gritmon also mentioned the somewhat evergreen nature of Facebook Live video content. Unlike other ephemeral content platforms, she explains, viewers can continue to consume her live video content long after the broadcast has ended.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.10.25 PM.png

Notice how she addressed the idea of repurposing Facebook Live content elsewhere. While non-live Instagram posts, for example, can be shared and embedded elsewhere — Stories and live video cannot. Using Facebook, Gritmon explains, allows this specific video content to continue existing elsewhere, long-term, so that it can still reach those who didn’t catch the live broadcast.

Why Use Instagram?

1) It’s good for short-form content.

When it comes to streaming live video on mobile, Fresh Egg’s Social Media Manager Mark Longhurst says that Instagram Live is his go-to platform:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.24.38 PM.png

Here’s where discoverability comes into play. Instagram, similar to Facebook, is a platform where users are scrolling through a feed of multiple pieces of consumable content. They’re not looking for anything in particular, and haven’t arrived at this destination as a result of searching for something. Rather, they’re here just to see what’s new and what might be interesting.

That’s especially true of Instagram’s “Videos You Might Like” feature, which includes hand-picked Stories, live, and pre-recorded videos that it’s determined a given user might like, based on her viewing behavior on the platform — and which, personally, has led to following more than one previously undiscovered profile.

IMG_0379.png

That said, people aren’t necessarily looking to consume a long piece of content while they’re scrolling, even if it does come in a live video format. About two-thirds of viewers prefer video that’s under one minute, and in a crowded feed of content, it’s likely to be even less. So as Longhurst says — when it comes to this platform, keep it short.

2) Sometimes, the content seems a bit more natural.

Pre-produced and formal live videos are great — in a certain context. If you’re hosting a webinar, for example, or a longer sit-down interview that you’ve teased or promoted in advance, viewers have a better idea of what they’re in for — in fact, they’ve probably already registered for or planned to watch it before the broadcast begins.

But there’s a time and a place for that, says Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors Director of Marketing Angela M. McMillan — and Instagram Live isn’t it.

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 4.43.38 PM.png

When it comes to Instagram Live, focus on short, helpful videos with aesthetic appeal — and content that doesn’t need to stick around after its initial live broadcast has passed.

These criteria make Instagram an ideal platform for live videos that are update-like in nature — a way to say “hello” to viewers and show them what your brand and its people are up to. For example, maybe there’s a trendy industry event where you might have a presence — Instagram Live provides a great avenue for letting your audience know that you’re there and that you’ll be bringing them a glimpse of all the cool action that’s taking place. Later on, if you want to do a compiled review of the event that’s a bit less spontaneous in nature, find a different platform for it.

Why Use YouTube?

1) It’s valuable to those who already have an audience there.

When Gritmon was weighing in on live video platforms, she noted that “YouTube Live is wonderful for those who have an audience there,” but that it’s simply “not where my audience is.” For that reason, if you’re just starting out on YouTube, it might not be the best venue for your live videos.

However, if you already have an established YouTube presence and typically use it for pre-recorded content, it can be a valuable platform for a “special edition” of something, or an event that your audience should “tune in for” — which you can promote and tease with a non-live video prior to the broadcast.

Here’s an example of how Sony Pictures Entertainment did just that to tease its live Hangout with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 cast:

2) It’s better for long-form content.

As we noted above, YouTube is a better platform for longer live videos — especially when you’ve promoted them in some of the ways we’ve discussed above. That’s especially true on mobile, says Longhurst — in fact, check out the latest edition to the platform’s listing in the iTunes store:

Screen Shot 2017-07-23 at 5.04.51 PM.png

That wasn’t always the case — according to TechCrunch, the listing previously read, “YouTube – Watch, Upload and Share Videos” — with no mention of live content. But from a consumption standpoint, we haven’t noticed anything remarkably different about the live viewing experience on here than on the other channels we’ve discussed. While it does allow users to minimize the video into a corner for continuous play while browsing elsewhere within the app, Facebook offers the same feature.

It seems, then, that the platform may be making an attempt to catch up with other platforms in the realm of live mobile viewership. And from a marketing standpoint, recording and streaming live video via mobile is currently only available to verified accounts with at least 100 subscribers — making it less than ideal for short-form, spontaneous content.

Why Use Snapchat?

Truth time: We didn’t hear from a ton of marketers who are too crazy about using SnapChat for live video.

For her part, Gritmon says she uses Snapchat for the sake of “staying in the game” as a social media strategist, and that she doesn’t believe it’s used by the demographic that she or her clients are trying to reach. She also noted that it appears to largely be used for sharing private content with a select group of friends — not for reaching new audiences with live content.

In sum, it seems the verdict is in:

  • Facebook = Good for engagement and reach, especially with longer-form live videos.
  • Instagram = Good for discoverability, with spontaneous, shorter-form live videos.
  • YouTube = Good for marketers with a pre-established audience on this platform already, who can upload pre-recorded videos on their channels to tease live broadcasts.
  • Snapchat = Good for sharing among friends — not new audiences.

Many thanks to the HubSpot and inbound.org community marketers who participated in this discussion. Where do you stand on the debate over the best live video platform? Let us know in the comments.

free guide: how to use facebook live

 

Jul

19

2017

Marketers: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Published by in category Inbound Marketing, Video | Comments are closed

nice-things.jpg

The next evolution of marketing is upon us.

The sharp uptake in consumer use of messaging apps, the shift in content consumption from text to video and audio, and the finally consumer-ready advancements in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and voice recognition all signal that marketers and consumers alike are in radically new times. Everytime consumer behavior evolves, marketers have new opportunities that were never before available.

I was talking to a colleague the other day about these changes, and she noted how endlessly marketing channels shift. “There aren’t many other fields where the game reinvents itself so often,” she said.

“That’s because we fuck everything up,” I told her.

Let me explain.

Scorched Earth Marketing AKA “Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

There is a desperation at play in most marketing organizations. A low grade panic to solve for short-term needs  —  the lead goal that month, for example, or a choice media placement. Attention is as fleeting as Snapchat videos, and for many companies, grabbing a moment of it can feel like gasping for oxygen. I get it. I have been there myself, so I’m not passing judgement.

The enemy of remarkable marketing is impatience.

There is so much competition for attention these days that the moment a blue ocean channel or new marketing strategy opens up, marketers flock to make the most of it. At the root of the problem is the channel-based mentality that causes us to obsess over hacks and mechanics more than a great message and engaging experience.

Early adoption is a good thing. It can be the breath of fresh air marketers and consumers alike are looking for. And typically the early days leveraging a new channel or format in your marketing strategy are as pure and innovative as they should be.

But then something happens. We cross the line into a sort of scorched earth marketing mentality where we forget the reason consumers were drawn to that channel to begin with — and we beat the living daylights out of it.  We start to solve for our own goals, instead of our customers’.

New channels emerge in part because we marketers ruin old ones.

Our earnest exploration of emerging channels all too often turns into rabid gaming of the system if we aren’t careful. And consumers, exhausted by our antics, are forced to move on to find new communication and content channels free of spam and brands. It happened with email. It’s happening with content. And if we think messaging and video are any different, we’re kidding ourselves.

How We’re Messing Up Content

Remember when content first emerged as the antidote to disruptive advertising and direct marketing? It was eye-opening.

Before content, if you were a marketer you were primarily using email and advertising to gain prospective customers. Those were the channels and, oh, did marketers use them. They so overplayed them that consumers began to adopt technology to filter them out. They blocked ads. They set up inbox filters. They reduced the noise and took control of their own purchase process. Much of that process began not with the company but on Google, where a buyer would do all the independent research they needed before making a decision.

So instead of pummeling buyers with ads or email, smart marketers started to create useful content designed help the consumer rather than sell them. If good and relevant, this content would find its way to the top of the search results page and, without costing the company anything in ad spend, deliver a compounding stream of incoming traffic.

The world of ebooks and webinars took shape in earnest. Let’s offer something of true value that consumers would otherwise pay for in exchange for nothing but their contact details and permission to reach out.

It sounds silly today because of how commonplace ebooks and lead forms have become, but it was genuine and mutually beneficial at the start. It was a new way of interacting with online consumers when quality, trustworthy information was scarce.

But then we (marketers) scorched the earth.

The volume of content went up, the quality often went down. Content farms popped up. And brands started to fund the spread of bad content through paid channels. As content offers increased, they became less valuable, and then they crossed the line into utter noise.

image5-1.jpg

Good content still exists, but you have to sift through an awful lot of cheap content to get to it. So where did we go wrong?

We over-solved for the long tail.

The long-tail of search was what initially made content so exciting. You may not have had enough authority to win a top spot in the search results for highly competitive keywords, but there were any number of keyword variations you could shoot for.

It was field-leveling. I get it. I pitched it. But the problem with solving for keyword variations is there are thousands of them out there, which means you have to make thousands of attempts to capture that traffic. All of that has lead to high volumes of mediocre content.

We’re guilty of this too. In the past, we created hundreds of individual blog posts mapped to long-tail keyword variations that got repetitive. We didn’t realize how much it would all add up and clutter the internet.  Since then, we’ve implemented a strategy to update old posts with higher quality and updated information instead of launching into a new post and to redirect repetitive or irrelevant content.

On our Sales Blog, we’re focusing on topics over keywords, mapping each new post to a larger topic or pillar page. This creates a more organized site architecture that’s easier for Google to crawl and index and signals our authority on a subject, rather than a bunch of long-tail keyword variations.

While marketers were busy filling the web with content, Google also got smarter about how it handled search queries. Updates to the algorithm enabled Google to start serving up content that better matched searchers’ intent — not just their keywords. With this in mind, exact keyword optimized content only addresses a sliver of the question and isn’t going to help you get found in the same way it once would have back in 2012.

SEO has changed. It doesn’t reward content for the sake of keywords anymore. SEO in today’s world comes down to architecture and quality content more than it does keywords. And this is a very good thing for readers. It means that instead of writing mountains of content, our new goals should be about creating more value out of less content.

How We Risk Messing Up Messaging

Facebook Messenger will be the next great marketing channel, and it is arguably the best way to engage with the Facebook community as a marketer. My first reaction when I started to see messaging rise as a communication channel was, “Thank god you can’t buy Messenger accounts like you can buy email lists.”

This is an important point: You can’t buy and sell lists of Messenger addresses. You can’t be spammy or impatient in the same way that is possible via email.

That said, marketers are inventive. We can still mess up messaging.

We have to resist the urge to treat messaging like email. This is not a mass communication channel. It’s not a high-volume communication channel. Messaging should be reserved for short, on-demand, personalized exchanges. They should be triggered, whenever possible by the customer, not the company.

Email is company driven. Messaging is customer driven.

Even with behavior-triggered marketing automation, email is still pretty much a guessing game of what the recipient will find interesting. Messaging apps and the bots that live within them allow the recipient to pull the content they want from your repository. It can be completely custom. You can and should have endlessly differing content subscriptions with endlessly differing cadences based uniquely on the person at the other end. That is the promise of messaging: A frictionless exchange that gives the user exactly what they’re seeking and nothing more.

As marketers we need to respect Facebook’s ecosystem and the experience of the conversational UI that is a messaging interface. Let’s have bots help us deliver rich, personal, and helpful experiences. Let’s use Facebook Instant Articles to load web experiences within Facebook instantly. Let’s give our prospects and customer exactly what they need and nothing more.

Ok, so lets say we all agree with that in concept, here’s where our resolve will be tested. Messaging conversion rates are incredibly high right now. Like … gold rush high. In early experiments we’ve run at HubSpot, we’ve seen 4X the conversion rate on Facebook messenger versus email.

image1-10.png

HubSpot’s Messenger bot allows prospects to book a meeting with a sales rep.

There’s a reason those conversions are so high right now. It’s because marketers haven’t yet eroded the trust of consumers on messaging. For the sake of everyone, let’s keep it that way.

If appeals for a better customer experience aren’t enough, consider this. At this time there is one company that largely controls messaging. Facebook has the keys to the castle on more than 1.2 billion users. Its primary incentive is aligned with the happiness of those users. So if Messenger gets abused, Facebook could turn around and remove this option for marketers. And they’d be right to do so.

image4-1.png

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report outlines the potential of messaging for businesses.

How We Risk Messing Up Video

Remember when infographics first became popular? There were infographics on everything.  Infographics on account based marketing. Infographics on geo-political conflicts. Infographics on world octopus day and shades of poop. Some were interactive and meticulously researched. Others were little more than powerpoint slides and poorly sourced. The internet was absolutely littered with them.

image2-22.png

Source: Google Image Search

Infographics became so prevalent over the past 10 years it prompted Megan McCardle, former senior editor of The Atlantic, to call the whole practice a plague, writing:

The reservoir of this disease of erroneous infographics is internet marketers who don’t care whether the information in their graphics is right … just so long as you link it.

We can be better than this. And we have a chance to be. Today, we are on the verge of the same reckless abandon happening with video.

Video, once a resource-intensive format has become vastly simpler to create. Marketers can stream video at the touch of a button, and pre-produced videos can now benefit from everything from free b-roll sources to voice over marketplaces. This democratization of video production has come just in time for a mobile- and social-led surge in video consumption. The combination of the two creates the perfect conditions for marketers to run amok.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but, let’s make video responsibly.

A responsible video strategy starts with being specific about why you’re making a video in the first place.  How does this video fit into your marketing strategy?

image6.png

Is it designed for top-of-the-funnel awareness? Build it to be native to Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram (Pick one — don’t one-size-fits-all it). Solve for time spent watching. Don’t try to drive conversions — drive interactions.

Is it designed to inform buyers on their way to a decision? Incorporate it into your sales process. Wistia, Viewedit, and Loom all offer quick video recording solutions to create custom explainer videos for your buyers. Use it as a way to save your prospects time with the basics before hopping on a call. Record a recap video after a demo. Solve for personalization over anything else. These videos should feel like a direct portal into the customer’s sales rep or account manager.

Don’t know? Don’t make a video.

Want it to solve for all of the above? Really don’t make a video.

image3-1.png

HubSpot’s Marlon De Assis-Fernandez puts his cartoonist skills to work in a prospect video.

Just because a format has gotten easier doesn’t mean we should run it into the ground. Videos should be an integral part of our strategy rather than an add-on or afterthought.

In the past, we’ve made videos just because someone said, “We need a video!” It felt flashy and impressive to have a video for a campaign launch. But because we didn’t consider if video was really the right format for a particular story or how someone would actually discover the video, we saw disappointing results and ultimately, decided it was a waste of time.

The problem isn’t that video isn’t effective or valuable. We just didn’t ask the right questions before pressing the record button.

Let’s Save Ourselves From Ourselves

Every time people flee from overcrowded channels into new untouched ones, companies crop up to build on them. But evolving with customers is less about predicting the next big marketing channel and more about seeing through it to the customers on the other side.

It’s time we stop obsessing over channels, and start focusing on the people within them. Because if history has demonstrated anything, it’s that what’s new now may be scorched earth tomorrow. So yes, dive in. Explore every new channel that comes our way. But more importantly, look at the bigger picture of what the adoption of a channel says about how people want to interact with each other and brands.

Let’s make our mark on marketing by doing it the right way.

 

Free Guide Influencer in Industry

 
Free Guide Influencer in Industry

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

19

2017

Just Getting Started With Video Marketing? Here’s the First Video You Should Make

Published by in category Content Marketing, Video | Comments are closed

first-marketing-video.jpg

One of the most controversial phrases in the marketing today is, “pivot to video.”

It strikes fear into the hearts and minds of writers, as we worry that our skills will be replaced by the looming popularity of videos.

Luckily, our research has shown that audiences still want to read blog and news content.

Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

But the fact remains: People want more video content, too. So how can marketers get started creating videos that help spread the message of their brands just as effectively as the written word?

We’ve created a framework to help you figure out where you should focus your efforts when creating your first marketing video, and which type of video to start with. All quiet on set? Let’s dive in.

How to Get Started With Marketing Videos

Before you start filming your first marketing video, you first have to determine what the goal of the video will be. Ask yourself these questions to start narrowing down how to get started on video marketing:

1) What resources do you have?

Let’s evaluate what resources you’ll have to create with.

  • Do you have an audio/visual production team that can film and edit the video, or will you be doing it yourself?
  • Do you have enough budget to hire a freelance video producer? Or to purchase equipment and software to create and edit the video yourself?
  • How much time do you have to devote to filming, editing, and promoting your video?
  • If you don’t know the first thing about producing videos, do you have the time (and patience) to take courses, or teach yourself how to use filming equipment and editing software?

The headcount, budget, skill level, and time you have at your disposal will determine if you’re able to invest in creating a high-tech, animated video, or if you should produce a more lightweight video of a talking head to start out.

I asked HubSpot Multimedia Content Strategist Megan Conley what she recommends for marketers just starting out, and she noted the importance of allotting resources to make your first marketing video as comprehensive as it can be.

“The last thing I want is for someone just starting out to create one of those slideshow-style videos with photos accompanied by text and a soundtrack,” she explains. “The world needs far, far fewer of those.”

It’s possible to create exceptional video content with a smartphone and limited skills — you just need to make sure you’re creating one for the right purposes and media. More on that later.

2) Where does your marketing funnel need the most help?

If you’re not sure what your first marketing video should contain, take a look at your marketing funnel, and evaluate where a video could be of the greatest help.

“Company explainer videos are good options, but too often people put a lot of time and resources into that and then don’t create anything afterward, because they didn’t have a comprehensive plan,” says Conley. “Or, they create that first — before they have any real experience — and it’s not as great as it could be … and will probably have to be redone later.”

In case you need a refresher, here’s the Inbound Methodology:

Inbound Methodology

Ideally, you’ll have videos at each stage. But if you’re time or resource-strapped, choose the stage that needs the biggest boost.

Take inventory of your inbound funnel and identify where it needs the biggest boost. Here are some ideas for videos you could make to help each stage achieve its respective goal:

Attract Stage

If you’re having trouble generating leads at the very top of your funnel (TOFU), you might want to make an explainer or animated video to attract visitors to your website via organic search and social media. (Click the links to skip down for examples of each type of video.)

An eye-catching animated video, or a comprehensive breakdown of a trending topic in your industry will draw people to your social media platforms and blog pages. Conduct keyword research and review topics that are trending to choose a subject that’s captivating to your audience, and create a video that answers a question for potential leads. Then, if your video satisfies their queries, they will keep watching (or reading) to learn more about you, and — hopefully — convert.

Here’s an example of a TOFU explainer video we created to drive traffic from our YouTube channel to a new research report on a topic we want our audience to learn more about from us: topic clusters.

Convert Stage

If you’re having trouble moving leads along your funnel to get them to try a product demo, free trial, or download a free tool, you might want to make a demo video first.

During the convert stage, leads have provided their contact information, but they might not be ready to get on the phone with a salesperson to talk about buying a product. So if you want leads to take steps closer to the bottom of the funnel, consider creating a video demonstrating how to use one of your products or services to achieve good outcomes. Then, leads might be more interested in trying out one of your free products or requesting a demo — moving them further down the funnel towards your sales team.

Here’s a demo video we produced showcasing a new tool available in our free CRM. The video shows, rather than tells, the benefit of using the tool, and it might make people want to download it and check it out.

Close Stage

If your sales team is having trouble closing leads and making the sale, you might want to make a customer case study or testimonial video.

Your brand advocates are the best form of advertising for your business, because people trust other people’s recommendations — it’s the principle behind social proof. By showing a real person and a real business that have been positively impacted by your product or services, leads might be more interested in signing a sales contract — because the video has proven your company’s value.

Here’s a testimonial video featuring happy, successful customers — talking specifically about why they chose our product. This is helpful for generating awareness of HubSpot, but it helps make a case for why people should choose us over another product, too.

Delight Stage

If your customer success team is having trouble retaining and delighting customers, you might want to make a how-to video first.

Most customers today want to quickly and easily find answers to their questions by searching for the information online. If they can help it, they want to avoid getting on a call — they want to save time and solve the problem themselves, with help from a comprehensive knowledge base on how to use your product or service.

A how-to video showing how to do something helps customers succeed on their own time. It doesn’t have to be about how to use your product — it can focus on a widely useful topic that’s helpful to your customer and sows good faith with them.

Here’s a how-to video that breaks down how to create a Snapchat geofilter. It’s not HubSpot software-specific, but it’s important to always be helping, and this video helps anyone — including our customers — get to the next level with their marketing efforts.

3) Where are you posting?

Based on the answer to the question above — where does your funnel need the most help? — you should be able to determine where your first marketing video should live once you’ve filmed and edited it.

Attract Stage

If you’re trying to attract people to learn about your brand — possibly for the first time — publish your first marketing video in a blog post, on YouTube, or on social media. That way, visitors will come across your content — and your brand — while conducting online searches or while checking social media news feeds.

Convert Stage

If you’re trying to convert prospects and move them down your marketing funnel, include your first marketing video in email campaigns, on your brand webpages, or on a landing page that prompts leads to download software or request a demo.

Close Stage

If you’re trying to help your sales team close prospects, share your first marketing video in two places: on YouTube and other social media channels to increase general awareness and word-of-mouth recognition, and on your website wherever you discuss your customers’ success stories, or why customers should choose your brand to achieve their goals. Videos can show — rather than tell — potential customers about your value proposition.

Delight Stage

If you’re trying to help customers succeed using your product or service, share your first marketing video within your knowledge base for customers so they can quickly and easily access the information they need to get the job done.

8 Types of Marketing Videos to Create

Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of marketing videos you can start creating to achieve results anywhere in your marketing funnel.

1) Demo Videos

A demo video can — you guessed it — demonstrate how your product or service works by taking viewers on a tour of your software, unboxing and testing a product, or showing a user setting up a product. Here’s one of my favorite examples — an unboxing video from Casper:

2) Brand Videos

Brand videos bring your company’s vision, mission, or products and services to life. Brand videos attract your target audience and help establish your brand as a thought leader and influencer in your industry. Here’s an eye-catching example from Slack that’s all about its philosophy and product:

3) Explainer Videos

Explainer videos tell stories by breaking down a topic or problem for easier understanding. These can be used at the top of your funnel to explain concepts in your industry, or you can make a brand-specific explainer video all about your products and services.

Vox nails explainer videos — here’s one I loved:

4) How-to Videos

How-to videos teach your audience something new to help them achieve their goals and solve their problems — hopefully, with help from your products or services.

Here’s a how-to video from Adobe Creative Cloud about how to use its products to make fun, shareable GIFs:

5) Animated Videos

Animated videos can be a great format for tricky concepts that need visuals, graphics, and captions to be properly digested. Here’s an incredible video from Tech Insider that animates the depth of the ocean:

6) Case Studies and Testimonial Videos

One of the best ways build trust (and convince prospects to close) is by creating videos featuring your happy customers. Customers can talk about their challenges and how your company helped them meet their goals to convince future customers to do the same.

Here’s a supercut of happy Evernote customers in one of its videos:

7) Live Videos

Live videos can give your viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. Broadcast interviews, events, and presentations live in real-time and encourage people watching to comment with questions to start a conversation — and prompt them to share.

Here’s a live video we streamed here at HubSpot with a behind-the-scenes look at — what else? — our team filming a video.

8) Ephemeral Videos

Ephemeral, or disappearing, videos can live on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Like live videos, they can show a more authentic, behind-the-scenes look at your brand, and you can use them to promote time-specific campaigns and events with your audience through different channels. Follow HubSpot on Instagram or Snapchat to check out our latest stories.

What was the first marketing video you ever produced? Let us know in the comments.

free HubSpot certification

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

14

2017

How to Write a Video Script [Template + Video]

Published by in category Content Marketing, Daily, Video | Comments are closed

how-to-write-a-video-scipt.jpg

Movie producers and inbound marketers aren’t that different when it comes to creating and editing video content.

We’re both telling a story, and whether that story is about a protagonist or a product, we’re both trying to captive our audiences and make them believe in the story we tell.

What happens at the end of the story is a little different, though.

Download our free guide here to learn how to create high-quality videos for social media.

While movie directors might want viewers to come away from their work feeling or thinking something, inbound marketers want viewers to come away from it planning to do something — whether that’s subscribing to a blog, filling out a lead form, or signing up for a product trial.

Most marketers wear a lot of hats and let’s just say, out of all the hats worn, the videographer one isn’t always their favorite. That’s because creating videos can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to it. 

And if you’re more of a copywriter than a videographer, as I am, you might overlook how important the planning stage of video production is — the part where you really solidify your video concept, goals, and script. Contrary to what I previously thought, you can’t just rewrite a blog post and call it a day — there’s a specific way to write a script so that it shapes an effective video.

So that’s what we’re going to tackle in this blog post: how to write an effective video script to ensure the best possible product emerges from your editing software, and lives wherever you’re publishing.

How To Write a Video Script

1) Start with a brief.

Although it might seem like this is an easy step to skip, it’s not worth it.

Starting with a brief allows you and your team to document the answers to the most important project questions so everyone involved in creating the video can get on the same page. When you’re three-quarters of the way through the editing process, and your boss or colleague wants to completely redo that whole shot where you demonstrate how your product solves a problem, that’s a huge problem — for you.

When pesky predicaments like this one stand in the way of progress, you can just refer back to the brief that documents the goals and project plan your team mapped out together, and say, “Actually, that’s not what we agreed to.” 

Then, you can move forward.

Focus on your goals, topic, and takeaways when developing your brief.

A brief doesn’t have to be fancy, nor does it have to follow a specific formula, but there are several key questions it should include to craft an effective video script. 

  • What’s the goal of this video? Why are we making the video in the first place?

  • Who is the audience of this video?

  • What’s our video topic? (The more specific, the better. For example, if you’re in the house painting business, you might choose a topic like, “buying the right paint brush”).

  • What are the key takeaways of the video? What should viewers learn from watching it?

  • What’s our call-to-action? What do we want viewers to do after they’ve finished watching the video?

You can easily create a brief in Google Docs to serve as a living, breathing template that you revise over time — and that your team can collaborate on.

2) Write your script.

Once you’ve picked a topic, it’s time to write the script.

Just like the brief, the video script doesn’t have to be fancy. You’re not trying to submit this script for any awards — its purpose is strictly functional. A good script makes it easy for the people on camera to get their messages across while sounding and acting naturally.

Write conversationally.

Writing a script is not the same as writing a college paper or marketing research report. You want to write the script how you want the video subject to speak. Saying, “I’m gonna create a video after reading this blog post” on camera will read much better than, “I am going to create a video after reading this blog post.” Keep sentences short and crisp — I recommend avoiding compound sentences, if possible.

Make it thorough.

A script doesn’t just include dialogue. If your video will require multiple shots, characters, or scenes, include these details. Be sure to include any necessary information about the set or stage actions, such as a wardrobe change.

Basically, you want the script to be thorough enough that you could hand it off to someone else to shoot, and they’d understand it.

Write for the audience and the platform.

Is your audience made up of young teens, middle-aged professionals, or older retirees? Will your video live on Instagram, YouTube, or your website? Make sure you’re keeping it conversational for the people you’re trying to connect with — and infuse humor, tone, and inflection accordingly. Furthermore, if you’re writing a short-form video for Facebook, you might want to consider keeping your script choppier with sentence fragments — but if you’re producing a long-form explainer video for your website, make sure you’re as thorough as possible.

Differentiate the main narrative from B-Roll, text overlays, and voiceovers by using different formatting or callouts.

If your video will transition from the subject speaking the primary narrative to a close-up shot of your product with a text overlay, you’ll want to call these things out in your script so anyone who reads it knows what’s supposed to be read on-screen — versus incorporated into the editing process.

Take a look at how the folks over at Wistia did that in the video script for Wistia’s scripting tips below. Text overlay is called out with a big, bold “TEXT,” audio is called out in all caps (REWIND SOUND), and B-roll or additional details are called out in italics (with glasses on). (Note: It might help to watch the video first for the excerpt of this script to make sense).

how_to_write_a_video_script_example_keep_conversational

Source: Wistia

Script every single word.

It’s understandable to think you can just jot down the main bullet points for a script, and then just wing it on camera, especially if you know your subject matter. This approach makes it tough to communicate a message as clearly and concisely as possible (which you should aim to do in every video you create), and it usually results in a lot of re-dos.

So, we suggest scripting every last word. Trust me — doing this will keep you organized during filming and save you loads of time later.

Make it brief.

When it comes to marketing, shorter videos are more compelling than longer videos, and to make short videos, you need a short script. Don’t write a script any longer than two pages. If you can keep it to one page, even better. It’s also worth doing two to three rounds of edits solely focused on cutting all unnecessary fat in your writing. Reading it out loud to listen for opportunities to make the language more conversational, or sentences shorter, can also help.

The result is a video that’s succinct, engaging, and allows for a simple editing process.

Use this script template.

Writing a script from scratch is way harder than starting with an example. To give you a head start, download this Word Doc video script template we used to create this video with Wistia:

Have your script ready? Neat. Now it’s time to …

3) Do a run-through.

Now that you know how to write a script, it’s time for a table read — the part where you practice bringing that script to life on camera.

Why practice? Because some words look great on paper, but once you read them aloud, they just don’t sound right. The table read is where you really get to fine-tune the tone and nix anything that sounds too proper, improper, robotic, or otherwise inappropriate for the message you aim to convey.

Check out the video below on how to do a table read:

Oh, and one last tip …

When it’s time to shoot, use a laptop and a chair as a teleprompter.

Since you don’t need a fancy script, you don’t need a fancy teleprompter to remember your lines. But you do need help remembering your lines. You can actually just use two things you already have — a chair and a laptop — to keep your lines handy as you’re shooting.

For more tips for using the tools at your disposal to make a killer marketing video, check out our video guide to shooting videos with an iPhone.

Are there other tips you have for video marketers when it comes to putting together a great script? Share your advice with us below!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

social media marketing assessment

 
free guide to creating video for social media

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

8

2017

6 Viral Video Marketing Examples That Will Never Get Old

Published by in category Daily, Video | Comments are closed

viral-videos-compressor.jpg

Oh, hi there. Have you heard the news about video? It’s becoming really important for marketers to use. Imperative, even. Perhaps mandatory.

“Sure,” you must be thinking. “And in other news, the sky is blue.”

Okay, we get it. You know how important video is. That much is clear. In fact, 94% of marketers plan to add either YouTube or Facebook video to their content distribution efforts in the next 12 months. And that’s great — but we have a question. What makes a video viral?

According to Dictionary.com, to go viral means to become “very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the internet.” And when executed well, that virality can last for a while — in fact, I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite ways to reminisce about my childhood is to ask my peers, “Remember that old jingle that went like … ?” Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

So not only have we hand-picked our favorite viral marketing videos below — we’ve also explained what we believe makes them so effective. And given the aforementioned ability of viral videos to maintain evergreen popularity, you’ll notice that not all of them are terribly recent. So, let’s get right to it, shall we?

6 Viral Video Marketing Examples

1) Dallas Zoo & Bob Hagh: Breakdancing Gorilla

The Video

We start off with a bit of an unusual example. It all started when Dallas Zoo Primate Supervisor Ashley Orr captured this video of Zola, a footloose and fancy-free gorilla splashing around and dancing in a kiddie pool. Check it out:

But as if that wasn’t already fun enough to watch, Star-Telegram Video Producer Bob Hagh noticed that the gorilla’s “choreography” bore a striking resemblance to a routine from the movie Flashdance, which was performed to the song “Maniac.” Seeing an opportunity for a quick laugh, Hagh dubbed the dancing gorilla video with the same track.

I added some music to this. pic.twitter.com/UwjhTKpaeu

— Bob Hagh (@BobHagh)
June 22, 2017

Within less than a week, the video was picked up by the likes of CNN, Maxim, and ABC, to name a few — just have a look at the search results for “dancing gorilla maniac.”

Why It Works

How many times have you watched a video and thought, “This reminds me of … “? That’s precisely what Hagh did here — took a video that was already cute, and added something simple to make it even more shareable.

After Hagh’s “enhanced” version of the gorilla video went viral, I resolved to start observing those fleeting moments when I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if … ?” And while there’s no guarantee that acting on those thoughts would have viral results — and we wouldn’t recommend investing a ton of time in something that isn’t likely to pay off — Hagh’s experience makes us say, “You never know.”

So start paying attention to what you normally think of as silly ideas, and if there’s a low-effort opportunity to act on them, do so — but don’t just do it once, and pay attention each time, analyzing any metrics that you’re able to pull around performance. See who responds to each experiment and how, and it could inform your video marketing strategy.

2) Dollar Shave Club: “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”

The Video

The video below is over five years old, and yet, out of all of Dollar Shave Club’s YouTube videos — of which there are more than 50 — it remains the brand’s most popular, with over 24 million views.

Why It Works

There’s something to be said for putting a face to a brand — in this case, it’s Dollar Shave Club’s founder, Michael Dubin. Employees can have up to 10X as many followers on social media as the companies they work for, and content shared by them receives as much as 8X the engagement. In other words, viewers like it when the people behind a brand advocate for it.

That’s exactly what this video does — and following its success, Dubin hasn’t disappeared into the shadows, and to this day, continues to personally appear in the vast majority of Dollar Shave Club’s videos.

We get it. Founders and executives are busy. Where the heck are they supposed to find the time to appear in all of these marketing videos? To us, the answer is: They make the time. By publicly making that investment in their respective brands’ content, an executive sends the message that she still believes in her brand, and that she hasn’t let its success change her character. It’s a unique form of thought leadership, but if Dollar Shave Club’s growth and popularity is any indication — it works.

3) IBM: “A Boy And His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie”

The Video

Here’s another video that you can file under: “Oldie, but goodie.” Sure, this marketing video falls within the B2B sector to advertise IBM’s data storage services — but similar to the very B2C brand Dollar Shave Club, the example below remains its most popular video on YouTube, with over six million views.

“Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun,” the video’s description reads, explaining that, to make the video, “IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules … all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.” Today, it holds the Guinness World Records™ title for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.

Why It Works

Re-read the first part of the video’s description. “Even nanophysicists need to have a little fun.” Replace that job title with any other, and depending on your industry, it could apply to your work, as well. All marketers deserve to have a little fun. The question is, “How?”

It presents another opportunity to start paying closer attention to those “Wouldn’t it be cool if … ?” thoughts, and thinking about how you can actually act upon them to create remarkable content. That’s especially important in B2B marketing, where creatively communicating your product or service in an engaging way is a reported challenge.

So, we’ll say it again: Write down your ideas for cool things to do, and present them at your next marketing conversation with a plan for implementing them.

P.S. Want to see how this film was made? Check out that bonus footage here.

4) TrueMoveH: “Giving”

The Video

TrueMoveH, a mobile communication provider in Thailand, triggered leaky eyeballs everywhere when it published this video in 2013. To date, it has over 20 million views and continues to be the brand’s most popular YouTube video.

We’re not crying. You’re crying.

Why It Works

Let’s think about some of the ads that have given us “all the feels,” as the kids would say, like Budweiser’s 2014 “Puppy Love” Super Bowl ad which, in January 2016, Inc. called “the All-Time Most Popular Super Bowl Ad.” They’re popular, and people continue to talk about them long after they’ve aired. That’s because they invoke empathy — and that can highly influence buying decisions, especially when there’s a story involved.

This video tells a story. It follows the tale of a man who was unequivocally generous throughout his life and, in the end, repaid when it mattered most. The best part: Not once throughout the story is the brand mentioned. In fact, it isn’t until the end that TrueMoveH’s general business category — communication — arises.

Start with your industry. Then, think of a story you want to tell — any story at all, as long as it invokes empathy. Then, figure out how that story ties back to what your brand does, and use it to create video content.

5) Tripp and Tyler & Zoom: “A Conference Call in Real Life”

The Video

Then, there’s the flip side of empathy — the kind that takes some of life’s biggest annoyances and applies humor to them. That’s exactly what podcast hosts Tripp and Tyler did in the video below, to illustrate what a conference call would look like if it played out in real life.

Why It Works

This example is an interesting case of co-marketing. Tripp and Tyler made the video in partnership with Zoom, a video conferencing provider — but Zoom isn’t mentioned until the end, when the story being told in the video is largely over. It’s as if the video says, “Ha ha, don’t you hate it when that happens? Here’s a company that can provide a solution,” and then quietly exits.

What are some of the biggest annoyances your customers or personas have to deal with? Do they align with the problems that your product or service is designed to solve? If the answer is “no,” then, well … you have some work to do.

But if the answer is “yes,” find the humor in those problems. They say that “art imitates life,” so don’t be afraid to act it out, and use these common frustrations to create engaging content.

6) Poo~Pourri: “Imagine Where You Can GO”

The Video

Poo~Pourri, the maker of a unique bathroom spray, is known for its vast array of viral videos. And while we’re a bit too bashful to share its most popular one on here, here’s another one — which has earned over 13 million views — that’ll give you a general idea of what the brand is all about.

Why It Works

Let’s face it: Generally, what goes on in the bathroom stays in the bathroom. It’s a taboo topic — but it’s one that everyone experiences, and one that Poo~Pourri approaches and communicates with bravado.

This brand’s products were created to solve a problem that people typically don’t like to discuss publicly, but still needs to be resolved. So Poo~Pourri created video content that says, “Hey, we’ll address and talk about it, so you don’t have to.”

What are some of the discomforts/uncomfortable topics around the problem that your product seeks to resolve? Start a conversation about them — the one that your customer wants to have, but is too embarrassed to do so.

And guess what? It doesn’t have to pertain to bodily functions. It can also be about bigger grievances, like wanting to quit your job. That’s the approach that HubSpot has taken with its Summer Startup Competition, for which we created the video below. The opening line? An unabashed declaration of, “Quit your job.”

So, there you have it. From tear-jerking to hilarious, these viral videos illustrate the endless possibilities of how your brand can create similar content — the kind that could keep people talking about it far down the road.

What are your favorite viral video marketing examples? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2010 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

free guide to video marketing

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

6

2017

14 Video Production Tips to Enhance Quality and Drive Views

Published by in category Content Marketing, Daily, Video | Comments are closed

video-production-tips-update-compressed.jpg

Video content can be a valuable asset in your inbound marketing content mix. In fact, by the end of this year, video content is expected to represent nearly three-quarters of all internet traffic.

But getting people to sit through your videos can be challenging, considering that the longer your video isviewers will consistently drop off and stop watching, in most cases.

Your video is being judged on its content, presentation, production quality, style, and the valuable information it provides. What does this tell us? Your content must be truly remarkable to maintain your audience’s attention. Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

Below are our tips to instantly improve the production quality of your video marketing content to give it a nice little boost.

14 Video Production Tips for Your Next Marketing Video

Video Pre-Production Tips

Be well-prepared and organized for your video shoots. If you show up to your shoot unorganized and decide to “wing it,” your final product will look unprofessional and sloppy. On the other hand, if you’re prepared, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on directing your actors rather than figuring out last-minute logistics.

Time is of the essence, so don’t waste hours trying to figure out which angle you want or what line needs to be delivered next. Know exactly what you want before the day you film by following the steps below.

1. Be original.

The concept for your video project should be original and creative. Don’t take the easy route and copy someone else’s idea. Instead, conduct persona and keyword research, find out which types of video content are popular and successful in your industry, and double-check to make sure another brand hasn’t covered the exact same angle already.

2. Plan it out.

Write a script, draw out a storyboard, and create a shot list before you start filming. Plan your b-roll shots so you have extra footage when it comes time for editing (more on that below). If you think writing a video script is the same as writing a blog post — think again. Here are Column Five’s best tips.

3. Be selective when choosing video subjects.

Set high standards when casting actors for your projects. Pick someone who can deliver dialogue naturally, who can memorize lines, and who isn’t stiff in front of the camera. If possible, plan time for a few run-throughs to work out any mispronunciations or giggles.

4. Carefully consider the set.

Don’t try to fool your audience by “set dressing” your office to simulate another location. Your audience is paying close attention to every detail of your video. Shoot your video projects in locations other than your office — in front of textured and interesting backdrops, but ones that also aren’t too busy.

Video Production Tips

You can always touch up your footage when you edit afterward, but remember that editing takes time. If you can make everything look as close to perfect as possible during filming, you’ll save yourself a lot of valuable time in post-production. If you shoot a scene and it doesn’t come out great, learn from what went wrong the first time, and shoot it again. Here’s how to do it:

5. Be cognizant of sound quality.

Don’t come off as an amateur with poor sound recording quality. Use lapel or lavaliere microphones — both of which are hands-free — when shooting sit-down interviews, or use microphone and boom setups for bigger shots. If you’re filming a video with a smartphone, you can purchase microphones that fit into the phone’s headphone input to quickly and easily improve sound quality.

6. Set up lights.

You don’t want your footage to be under or over-exposed, so set up lights and eliminate any unwanted shadows. We recommend a three-point lighting setup to illuminate video subjects from a variety of angles — here’s Wistia’s guide to setting one up.

7. Use a tripod.

Use a tripod to keep your video stable — and not wobbly, as it most certainly will be if you hold it yourself. Get a standing tripod or a tabletop tripod for tighter shots to keep your video looking professional.

8. Focus.

Make sure the camera is in focus — and then lock the exposure so it stays in focus. Be mindful of keeping shots white balanced to keep lighting neutral and even, too.

9. Obey the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds involves splitting up your shot into thirds, horizontally and vertically, and framing your subject off-center. It creates movement and life in your shot the way a straight-on, centered shot wouldn’t.

Here’s an example — try to film individuals in one of the side panels of the divided frame, like so:

rule of thirds

Video Editing Tips

Make sure your content is remarkable and tailored to your target audience. Edit your video so that it gets to the point, and doesn’t drag on. Remember, you don’t have long to capture (and hold) your viewer’s attention, so make sure that the beginning of your video is engaging, informative, and relevant to the viewer, and that she’ll clearly understand the message.

10. Align the flow of the video with the emotional response you want to evoke in viewers.

The tone, structure, and pacing of your video have a major influence on its effectiveness and the emotional impact on your audience. Tell a story that would be compelling to you — build tension and drama by arranging shots according to your storyboard and script.

11. Leverage b-roll.

Cover up your cuts with b-roll footage that complements the narration. You can find b-roll and other stock footage on sites like Vizeedy if you didn’t film it yourself, but it’s best to keep your shots all in the same setting to maintain the video’s consistency. Take the extra time to go back and film more b-roll if you need it.

12. Use background soundtracks.

Light background music can cover any ambient sound and provide tone and emotion to your video that words and images otherwise can’t. You can find royalty-free stock soundtracks that you’re allowed to use on sites like AudioMicro — make sure you’re not using songs that are licensed, or else it could result in your video getting taken down.

13. Optimize video text.

Keep the style of your text and titles simple, classy, and sharp. Choose a clear and bold font, keep words on your video screen to a minimum, and use text animations to keep the viewer engaged with new additions to the video they watch.

14. Optimize your video for the platform.

Be mindful of where your video will exist while you’re editing. Is it for your website, YouTube, or Facebook? Each platform has different specifications — for example, on Facebook, where 85% of viewers watch videos without the volume turned on, you’ll want to use captions, so people can follow along without the sound. YouTube videos don’t count views until someone watches for 30 seconds or more, so make sure the first 30 seconds are as interesting and eye-catching as possible.

If you’re looking for more ideas for how to get started filming, it’s as easy as pulling an iPhone out of your pocket. Learn how to do it in the video below:

Are you leveraging video as a part of your content mix? What other tips can you share to improve overall video production quality?

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2011 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

get a free inbound marketing assessment

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

1

2017

17 Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos

Published by in category Daily, Video | Comments are closed

ai_hero.jpg

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

Powered by WPeMatico

Jun

29

2017

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

Published by in category Content Marketing, Daily, Video | Comments are closed

video-marketing-statistics-compressor.jpg

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.


BMR_Infographic_10fps.gif

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

free guide to video marketing

Powered by WPeMatico

Jun

17

2017

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

Published by in category Content Marketing, Daily, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

film-videos-iphone-compressed.jpg

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.)Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

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

icloud-storage-plan-2-1.png

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:

exposure-lock-iphone.png

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.

quality-video-cta

Powered by WPeMatico

Jun

6

2017

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

Published by in category Daily, Video | Comments are closed

video-social-media.jpg

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!

landing-page-design-ebook

Powered by WPeMatico

Jun

1

2017

YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

Published by in category Daily, SEO, Tactical, Video | Comments are closed

search-for-youtube-compressor.jpg

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.” New Call-to-action

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:

exact-match-title.pngSource: 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.

keyword-in-description.pngSource: 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.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 6.02.40 PM.pngSource: Google

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

  1. Channel cards that direct viewers to another channel.
  2. Donation cards to encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations.
  3. Fan funding to ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content.
  4. Link cards, which direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
  5. Poll cards, which pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response.
  6. 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:

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 6.09.28 PM.pngSource: 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.

Pre-register for HubSpot Academy's all-new Content Marketing Certification Course

Powered by WPeMatico

May

30

2017

7 of the Coolest YouTube Banners We've Ever Seen

Published by in category Daily, Design, Video | Comments are closed

youtube-banner-compressor.jpg

When someone sends me a really great YouTube video, I always want to know who’s behind it. Was it an ad agency? A small or medium business? A B2B tech company? No matter who it was, if I’m impressed, I want to see more from the content creator. So once the video is done, I click the link to visit their profiles.

And from there, if the brand is really on top of its game, I’ll see its channel art — the horizontal banner displayed across the top of the user’s YouTube channel that, hopefully, shows a combination of good design and brand presence.

But how do they do it? Download our full collection of blog design examples here to inspire your own  blog design.

We’ve all seen design work that inspires us, but can have a bad habit of not taking it any further than that. What makes something like a strong YouTube banner so great? And how can you create your own gorgeous channel art? To answer those questions, we found seven of our favorites that inspire us, and explain why we love them.

What Makes a Good YouTube Banner?

Dimensions

A YouTube channel banner will take on different dimensions, depending on what platform is being used to view it. For example, a banner might have different dimensions when viewed on a TV, desktop, or mobile device.

For the sake of display consistency, then, Google suggests going with an image that’s 2560 x 1440 px. It also sets the following guidelines:

  • Minimum dimension for upload: 2048 x 1152 px
  • Minimum “safe area” where text and logos are ensured not to be cut off : 1546 x 423 px
  • Maximum width: 2560 x 423 px
  • File size: 4MB or smaller

Here’s a helpful visual representation of those dimensions:

unnamed-48.pngSource: Google

Design

Let’s start with a note about where dimensions and design intersect. You might think that 2560 x 1440 px — Google’s suggested dimensions we mentioned earlier — seems like an exorbitantly large file size. But think about how your image would appear on a 30″ smart TV or higher. With a growing number of options to view YouTube videos in this way, you’ll want to make sure your channel art is large enough to display with quality on larger screens.

Also, take note of the “safe area” we alluded to in the first section. Your banner is essentially the biggest branding opportunity for when people land on your channel, so you’ll want to make sure that it’s well-represented in the channel art. That’s why it might be best to make sure your company name and logo are placed in that space — to make sure they don’t get cut off and cause the viewer confusion as to who’s behind the video content on the page.

If you’re not sure how to take up the entirety of a 2560 x 1440 frame, video production company MiniMatters suggests “build[ing] the image from the middle out,” putting the most important assets in the center, and going from there.

Finally, as to what to put in your banner, we like to follow a few basic rules:

  • Use a high-resolution image. A pixelated or blurry banner doesn’t exactly signal that there’s high-quality video to follow.
  • Keep it on-brand. While your channel art doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of your logo or tagline, it should incorporate visual elements that you want associated with your brand, like certain colors, fonts, or keywords.
  • Your banner should represent what your company does in a timely fashion. For example, if you run a bakery and you’re gearing up for summer, an eye-catching banner might be a high-res photo of a brightly-colored work surface covered with flour and a rolling pin, along with accompanying text like, “April showers bring May flours.”

How to Make a YouTube Banner

“That’s just great, Amanda,” you might be thinking about these tips. “But where the heck am I supposed to get these beautiful design assets?”

Well, you’re in luck — it turns out that there are dozens of free resources for creating a great YouTube banner. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Google: Why not start with the hosting platform itself? Google has its very own channel art templates to help you get started with your banner design. (Note: Clicking this link will prompt an automatic download of the zip file containing these templates.)
  • Canva: One of our go-to destinations for DIY design, Canva offers several free YouTube channel art templates that allow you to use your own art, or its library of stock photography.
  • Fotor: Similar to Canva, Fotor also offers a selection of free templates that allow you to use both your own visual assets or its own library of images.

8 Cool YouTube Channel Art Examples

1) Death Wish Coffee Company

Death Wish Coffee Company.png

In 2016, Death Wish Coffee was named the winner of a small business marketing competition held by software company Intuit. The reward? A free 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 50. Since then, the self-proclaimed maker of “the world’s strongest coffee” has capitalized on that momentum by making sure its branding stays just as robust.

Its YouTube banner is no exception. It’s straightforward, but also, bold. The company’s logo is displayed as the channel icon, as well as a tiled watermark that doesn’t interfere with the text display. And that message doesn’t leave any doubt about what the brand does. “World’s strongest coffee?” Okay, I’m watching.

2) Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud.png

Seeing as turquoise is my all-time favorite color, there might be a touch of aesthetic bias in our selection of Adobe Creative Cloud’s YouTube banner. But color can have quite an impact in marketing — shades of blue, for example, have been found to invoke feelings of trust.

This banner doesn’t just make great use of color, though. In a single photo, it connotes creativity and visual quality — two things that the Adobe Creative Cloud promises with its suite products. The person depicted seems to be creating something remarkable — an ocean inside of a balloon — with accompanying text to confirm it: “Make wow.” Plus, to learn more, social buttons are right there within the image.

3) Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit.png

Is anyone else hungry? It only seems right that the channel art for a food magazine like Bon Appétit should be, well, appetizing. And with a phrase that’s used as frequently as “bon appétit” — before a meal or as the title of a pop song — it’s important that folks who land on this YouTube channel know what they’re getting into.

That’s one thing that makes this banner so great. The branding is clear, from the logo icon to the iconic title text in the center of the image. Plus, the photo itself sends a signal of the type of content visitors can expect to consume — no pun intended — when they start watching the channel’s videos: All things food.

4) TauliaInc

TauliaInc.png

One great thing about YouTube banners is that they can be swapped out or modified whenever you want, time permitting. That makes them especially conducive to temporary promotions or campaigns. That’s what tech company Taulia did for “P2P Superheroes”: a campaign that shows how its software can eliminate difficult, time-consuming tasks, helping everyday professionals focus more on the work that matters and turn them into superheroes.

The banner communicates two things: 1) That Taulia is in the business of P2P (“procure to pay”), and 2) the brand really celebrates procurement specialists. And by using original, cartoon-like art, Taulia is turning what could be a dry topic into something fun and engaging.

5) Refinery29

r29.png

We’re big fans of showcasing the people that make your brand great. That’s one thing that Refinery29 does well, by frequently featuring its writers, editors, and content producers in its videos. As it turns out, they’ve all become quite popular personalities — which is why the brand put them front-and-center in its channel art.

Creating a banner of this nature is two-fold. First, you have to find a way to incorporate your company’s talent into video content in a way that’s engaging and appealing to your target audience. Here at HubSpot, we have our blog writers, for example, recount important information from blog posts in video and audio summaries. Then, once you’ve produced enough of that media consistently — and if it’s gaining the right kind of attention — you can use those personalities to promote your channels.

6) TripAdvisor B2B

TripAdvisor B2B.png

TripAdvisor is a resource used by millions of travelers to discover and rate lodgings, restaurants, and much more information about endless destinations. But did you know it also offers B2B services for hotel and other property owners to make the most of their presence on the site?

We like to think of it as a B2B hybrid of review site Yelp and vacation rental site Airbnb. On the one hand, TripAdvisor B2B helps business owners create a profile with photos, descriptions, and other information that’s going to be helpful to travelers. But, like Yelp, it also allows them to monitor and respond to the reviews their businesses receive.

That’s represented in the YouTube banner by portraying what the site is all about — travel — but also depicts the act of visitors giving feedback on their experiences by way of rating symbols.

7) Nuvolari Lenard

nuvolari lenard-1.png

The thing that stands out to us the most about this banner is its simplicity. It represents a Italian yacht design company Nuvolari Lenard, which is known for work that emulates a luxury and chic lifestyle. And while the channel art itself doesn’t portray anything specifically nautical, the use of capital letters and tiered monochrome does connote a brand that’s high-end.

Those kinds of digital aesthetics create what’s often known as aspirational marketing — the kind that symbolizes something that’s unattainable by most, but still has a vast following of people “who covet the look and feel of the brand,” as Mediaboom puts it. Can I afford a yacht? Of course not. But seeing something like this makes me want one anyway, and makes me want to consume the video content pertaining to it.

Channel Your Creativity

It’s important to note that really cool YouTube channel art is just one part of a comprehensive video content strategy. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your banner is, for example, if your channel lacks in quality video, or hasn’t added anything new in several weeks.

So, along with great design must come consistency. And as you begin to create both, you can turn to these examples for inspiration.

What are some of your favorite YouTube banners? Let us know in the comments.

landing-page-design-ebook

Powered by WPeMatico

May

24

2017

Clips 101: How to Use Apple’s New Camera App

Published by in category Daily, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

how-to-use-clips-google.png

Marketers and readers agree — videos and social media make up the next great frontier of content marketing and distribution.

The harder question to answer: How do we quickly and easily make those shareable videos our audiences want to see on social media?

Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

There are a lot of ways to create video content directly within social media apps. Think: Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat Stories. But these videos are live, spontaneous, and unpolished. They’re authentic — but sometimes, you might want to create something more technical and creative.

Here’s where Clips comes in — Apple’s solution to easy social media visual content creation. Read on to learn all about the app, what you can do with it, and how to use it.

What is Clips?

Clips is a mobile photo and video editing app that helps users quickly and easily create shareable visual content for social media and its Messages app.

Its simple interface features a record/capture button, filters, emojis and geotags, and cards. If these features sound familiar, it’s because Clips borrows some of the most popular and engaging features from apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

But Apple isn’t trying to create another photo and video sharing app that would inevitably compete with these other platforms. Instead, it’s created one to easily film, edit, and upload visual content to apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Apple takes Clips a couple steps further with two other cool features: automatic subtitling and a widget to add music from Apple Music. Let’s dive into how to use all of these neat video editing tools to make a highly shareable social media video.

How to Use Clips

Download Clips free of charge in the iOS App Store. As the name of the parent company might suggest, Clips is currently only available on iOS devices.

How to Record

When you open up Clips, you’ll see a big, red recording button. You can toggle between photo and video recording, or you can select a photo or video already recorded on your device. Tap the red button to capture a photo, or hold down the red button to record a video.

clips-step-1.png

You can record Clips up to 30 minutes in length at a time.

How to Add Automatic Subtitles

Tap the bubble text icon on the top of your Clips camera view, and choose the font style the way you’d like your subtitles to appear.

subtitles-clips.jpg

Then, when you start recording, Clips will automatically subtitle the words you’re speaking. I had to record this video several times to get it right — you have to speak very clearly and slower than usual into your device’s microphone. Here’s what a short Clip with automatic subtitles looks like:

How to Add a Filter

Tap the triple Venn-diagram at the top of your Clips camera view and different filtering options will appear. Tap the one you like, then record your photo or video as normal.

clips-filter.jpg

How to Add Emojis & Geotags

Tap the star icon at the top of your Clips camera view and choose a sticker to add to your photo or video. Here’s what one looks like in action:

How to Add a Card

Clips has a few options for static or moving images you can customize with your narration or music (more on that next). Tap the letter T at the top of your Clips camera view and select a card you want to use for your photo or video. Here’s an example I chose to wish someone a happy birthday:

How to Add Music

Clips gives you the ability to add music from your own library, or its library of stock soundtracks, by tapping the music note in the upper right-hand corner of the Clips camera view. Tap a track to download and select it for your Clip

How to Share Clips

Tap the downward-pointing arrow in the upper-left hand corner of your Clips camera view to look at your work. From there, you can create a new video or share the Clips you’ve already created.

clips-share-3.jpg

When you record several Clips in one sitting, they’ll be woven together into one large recording when you go to share. To avoid this, tap the arrow after each recording to create a new video project altogether.

Next, tap the sharing icon in the lower right-hand corner to pull up the screen below:

share-clips-1.png

From here, you can easily share your Clips via Messages, email, or you can save your Clips to your device.

Where to Share Clips

In addition to the channels above, you can easily share Clips where they were designed to be shared — on social media. If you tap the “More” ellipses, you can add other social networks to your sharing options, as shown below:

share-clips-2-1.jpg

Clips is a fun, easy-to-use app that allows you to create highly shareable images and videos. By adding a few embellishments like subtitles, filters, and emojis, content is easier to consume and share on a variety of platforms — without having to film and edit a video with professional equipment and software.

Have you tried creating video content using Clips yet? Share with us in the comments below.

Learn more about HubSpot Classroom Training!

Powered by WPeMatico

May

18

2017

How to Transform Your Blog Content into Compelling Videos

Published by in category Blog, Daily, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

video-blog-content-compressed-1.jpg

Here at HubSpot, we’ve told fellow marketers about the importance of creating compelling video content to engage your busy audience. And for the most part, video content lives on social media channels — like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

But we wondered if video content had a place on our blog as well.

soi-anchor-cta-2017

Marketers are prioritizing visual content, but many marketers don’t know how to start — and others worry that video will disrupt and replace written blog content altogether.

Changing content preferences are an opportunity to innovate, not a reason to be afraid. Read on for our latest data about how content marketing is shifting and for a deep-dive into our first experiment turning blog posts into compelling video content.

The State of Video Content

We surveyed more than 6,000 marketing and sales professionals to learn how they’re changing their strategies to meet the preferences of the modern consumer. And a lot of the chatter was on the subjects of video content and social media.

Almost 50% of marketers are adding YouTube and Facebook channels for video distribution in the next year.

SOI-video-1.png

33% of inbound marketers listed visual content creation, such as videos, as their top priority for the coming year.

Video content fell below the top two priorities — growing SEO presence and creating blog content — but it occupies the minds of a large part of the marketers we surveyed. It was on our minds too, which inspired the experiment. Read on for the details and the results.

Can Blog and Video Work Together? Our Experiment

What

My colleagues Jamee SheehyNick Carney, and I wanted to learn if producing video content would improve traffic to HubSpot Marketing Blog posts and social media channels.

Why

I kept hearing that our audience wanted more video content. In a 2016 HubSpot Research survey, almost 50% of respondents said they wanted to see more video content and social media posts, so I wanted to start there.

When

Between February and May of 2017, I worked with the team to publish video content for seven new blog posts.

How

We published video content on YouTube, Facebook, and on Instagram Stories. For some blog posts, we published videos on both YouTube and Facebook. The YouTube and Facebook videos were then embedded into the blog posts for cross-promotion, and all of the videos on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube linked to the blog posts.

Results of the Experiment

Videos on Facebook and YouTube

1) How to Be Productive After a Long Weekend

What We Published:

We embedded a YouTube video in the blog post and published the same video natively on Facebook.

How It Performed:
  Day 1 Week 1 End of Experiment
Blog Post Views 1,395 1,770 2,196
YouTube Views 267 335 429
Facebook Views 3,900 6,100 6,229
YouTube/Blog Views % 19% 19% 19%
Social Referral Traffic 221 305 372
Social/Total Traffic % 16% 17% 17%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Blog Post Views = # of blog post visits
  2. YouTube Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 30 seconds or more
  3. Facebook Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 3 seconds or more
  4. YouTube/Blog Views % = % of blog post visitors who watched the YouTube video
  5. Social Referral Traffic = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms
  6. Socia/Total Traffic % = % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms
Key Takeaways:
  • The YouTube video achieved a 55% view-through rate: The average watch time was 0:41 of a 1:14-long video.
  • The YouTube video contributed more blog traffic than the Facebook video.
  • The topic choice reflected in the lower-than-typical number of blog post and video views across the board — video topics should be either highly visual or more universally compelling.

2) The Ultimate Social Media Calendar for 2017 [Resource]

What We Published:

We embedded a YouTube video in the blog post and published the same video natively on Facebook.

How It Performed:
  Day 1 Week 1 End of Experiment
Blog Post Views 4,366 16,509 28,882
YouTube Views 409 1,242 1,673
Facebook Views 12,320 16,000 16,456
YouTube/Blog Views % 10% 13% 6%
Social Referral Traffic 262 1,369 2,019
Social/Total Traffic % 6% 9% 7%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Blog Post Views = # of blog post visits
  2. YouTube Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 30 seconds or more
  3. Facebook Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 3 seconds or more
  4. YouTube/Blog Views % = % of blog post visitors who watched the YouTube video
  5. Social Referral Traffic = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms
  6. Socia/Total Traffic % = % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms

Key Takeaways:

  • This was the highest-performing blog post and YouTube video, and the second-highest performing Facebook video in the entire experiment. The topic is interesting whether you’re a marketer or not, and there is a lot of search volume around the topic. The video isn’t highly visual, but the interesting topic helped drive video and blog post views.
  • The YouTube video contributed more blog traffic than the Facebook video.
  • The YouTube video achieved a 72% view-through rate: The average watch time was 0:53 of a 1:14-long video.

Videos on Facebook

3) March Social Media News: Facebook vs. Snapchat, WhatsApp for Business & More

What We Published:

We published a video natively on Facebook and embedded it in the blog post.

How It Performed:
  Day 1 Week 1 End of Experiment
Blog Post Views 1,287 3,124 3,725
Facebook Views 6,066 6,872 7,001
Social Referral Traffic 177 286 340
Social/Total Traffic % 14% 9% 9%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Blog Post Views = # of blog post visits
  2. Facebook Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 3 seconds or more
  3. Social Referral Traffic = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms
  4. Socia/Total Traffic % = % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms
Key Takeaways:
  • Although neither the blog post nor the Facebook video achieved a huge number of views, the Facebook video drove a meaningful portion of views to the blog post on the day it was published.
  • A technical difficulty forced us to re-upload a new version of the Facebook video, which lost us a few thousand views.

4) April Social Media News: AR on Facebook, Ads on Snapchat & More

What We Published:

We published a video natively on Facebook and embedded it in the blog post.

How It Performed:
  Day 1 Week 1 End of Experiment
Blog Post Views 2,278 2,912 3,115
Facebook Views 10,847 12,039 13,214
Social Referral Traffic 123 179 215
Social/Total Traffic % 5% 6% 7%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Blog Post Views = # of blog post visits
  2. Facebook Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 3 seconds or more
  3. Social Referral Traffic = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms
  4. Socia/Total Traffic % = % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms
Key Takeaways:
  • The video featured video b-roll and animations instead of talking heads — and it performed well on Facebook (thanks to Nick Carney‘s video editing skills).
  • The video was published on a Friday, when people might be more willing to browse Facebook and watch videos — this could account for the first-day jump in video views.
  • A cool video doesn’t necessarily mean viewers will click through to read a blog post — this video was so informative, it stood on its own and didn’t impact blog traffic much.

5) Brain Typing & Skin Hearing: Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s 2017 F8 Conference

What We Published:

We published a video natively on Facebook and embedded it in the blog post.

How It Performed:
  Day 1 Week 1 End of Experiment
Blog Post Views 1,107 1,855 2,114
Facebook Views 15,765 16,991 17,401
Social Referral Traffic 83 128 150
Social/Total Traffic % 7% 7% 7%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Blog Post Views = # of blog post visits
  2. Facebook Views = # of times viewers watched a video for 3 seconds or more
  3. Social Referral Traffic = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms
  4. Socia/Total Traffic % = % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms
Key Takeaways:
  • We published this blog post later in the day to cover the conference, so it wasn’t sent out with our daily subscriber email — the likely reason for low traffic on the day it was published.
  • This is another example of a high-performing Facebook video that didn’t translate into high blog post performance.

Instagram Stories

6) February Social Media News: Weather on Facebook, SNL on Snapchat & More

What We Published:

We published an Instagram Story with the option to swipe up to read the blog post. The Instagram Story wasn’t published on the same day the blog post was published, so attribution numbers aren’t as straightforward.

How It Performed:
  Day of Instagram Story End of Experiment
Instagram Story Views 2,372  
Instagram Story Clicks 149  
Blog Post Views (Day of Story) 726  
Blog Post Views Overall 2,031 2,580
Social Referral Traffic (Day of Story) 154  
Social Referral Traffic Overall 199 243
Social/Total Traffic % (Day of Story) 21%  
Social/Total Traffic % Overall 10% 9.5%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Instagram Story Views = # of times people viewed the Instagram Story
  2. Instagram Story Clicks = # of times people swiped up on the Instagram Story to view the blog post
  3. Blog Post Views (Day of Story) = # of blog post visits on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  4. Blog Post Views Overall = Cumulative # of blog post visits since date of publication
  5. Social Referral Traffic (Day of Story) = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  6. Social Referral Traffic Overall = Cumulative # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms total
  7. Social/Total Traffic % (Day of Story) =% of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  8. Socia/Total Traffic % Overall = Cumulative % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms total

Key Takeaways:

  • The Instagram Story generated the vast majority of referral traffic, and it was a big driver of traffic overall.

7) Are Notifications Driving Us Crazy?

What We Published:

We published an Instagram Story with the option to swipe up to read the blog post. The Instagram Story wasn’t published on the same day the blog post was published, so attribution numbers aren’t as straightforward.

How It Performed:
  Day of Instagram Story End of Experiment
Instagram Story Views 2,300  
Instagram Story Clicks ~ 100  
Blog Post Views (Day of Story) 186  
Blog Post Views Overall 1,626 1,979
Social Referral Traffic (Day of Story) 120  
Social Referral Traffic Overall 341 433
Social/Total Traffic % (Day of Story) 65%  
Social/Total Traffic % Overall 21% 22%
What These Metrics Mean:
  1. Instagram Story Views = # of times people viewed the Instagram Story
  2. Instagram Story Clicks = # of times people swiped up on the Instagram Story to view the blog post
  3. Blog Post Views (Day of Story) = # of blog post visits on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  4. Blog Post Views Overall = Cumulative # of blog post visits since date of publication
  5. Social Referral Traffic (Day of Story) = # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  6. Social Referral Traffic Overall = Cumulative # of blog post visits that came from social media platforms total
  7. Social/Total Traffic % (Day of Story) =% of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms on the day the Instagram Story was posted
  8. Socia/Total Traffic % Overall = Cumulative % of total blog post visits that came from social media platforms total
Key Takeaways:
  • Here’s another example of a high level of Instagram Story engagement. The blog post achieved a low number of views overall, but it’s meaningful that Instagram Story viewers clicked through to read the blog post and weren’t just absently scrolling.
  • The Story drove 65% of social traffic on the day of and contributed to the final social referral percentage — which is a higher than other posts in this experiment.

Going Forward: 3 Lessons Learned

We’ve already learned a lot from the experiment — here are the biggest lessons we’ll take into the next phase of turning blog content into videos.

1) High-performing Facebook videos didn’t necessarily result in a lot of blog traffic.

In a few cases, the Facebook video’s performance far outstripped the performance of the blog post — and didn’t drive a lot of traffic to the blog post, either. (Facebook doesn’t share data on the sources of video views, so the blog post embeds could have helped increase the number of views.)

A big part of the videos’ high view numbers on Facebook is undoubtedly thanks to the filming and editing skills of our team. But I think it’s also a reflection on how thorough and engaging the videos were — the viewer might not have needed to click the blog post to read more about a topic they’d already watched a video on.

Facebook videos might better serve as standalone pieces of content rather than traffic drivers to blog posts in our case, but in some cases, both the blog and Facebook worked symbiotically.

2) What goes “viral” can depend on the medium.

The best-performing blog post and YouTube video topic — as well as the second best-performing Facebook video — was the social media holiday calendar. In this case, the blog post views and the Facebook views increased rapidly alongside each other. I chose the topic based on keyword search volume and created a blog post and video that are useful and interesting to anyone on social media — which contributed to the high number of video views and a large amount of organic search traffic — 20% of the total traffic to the post.

Still, there was a relatively low amount of traffic to the blog post from the Facebook video — another reason to believe that Facebook posts might not be the biggest blog traffic driver.

The blog recap about the F8 conference achieved a smaller number of views, but the Facebook video was the best-performing in the entire experiment. Based on this experiment, news coverage and lifestyle content perform best on social media, while keyword-specific content performs better on the blog. For future video blog content experiments, we’ll try to create content that checks off both boxes to get another hit for both media.

3) Instagram Stories drove a high percentage of clickthroughs to the blog posts.

We found that the Instagram Stories we published resulted in a high percentage of clickthroughs to the blog post. In these examples, the blog posts didn’t achieve a high number of views overall, but a huge portion of social traffic the day of posting could be attributed to the Instagram Story. 

This means viewers weren’t just clicking through Instagram — they were watching stories and following the desired call-to-action to read the blog post. We’ll continue using this engaged audience to promote content on Instagram.

Next on the Blog

For the next installment of this experiment, we’re focusing on a keyword-based strategy. We’ll experiment with updating older, high-performing blog posts with new video content on YouTube and optimizing the post and the video for Google and YouTube search, respectively. We’ll publish more tactical, instructional videos for people conducting YouTube searches, and we’ll experiment with a greater variety of video creation and editing skills. And on our social media channels, we’ll cover more breaking news in the technology space and more lifestyle content we’ve seen do so well.

Next on the blog, we’ll cover more resources for how to create video content on your own, and coverage of more interesting experiments we’re doing here at HubSpot to learn more about our audience. In the meantime, download the 2017 State of Inbound Report to learn more about the latest data and insights from marketers around the world.

Have you started experimenting with video content on your blog? Share with us in the comments below.

Software Demo

Powered by WPeMatico

May

11

2017

Is Interactive Video the Next Big Thing? 3 Creative Examples from Brands

Published by in category Content Marketing, Daily, Video | Comments are closed

interactive-video.png

It’s hardly a revelation to say that online video content is phenomenally popular. Millions of words have been written on the subject, and millions more will no doubt follow.

But one of the great things about marketers is that we’re always looking for what’s next. We know that it’s not enough to rest on our laurels, or rely on things that have worked in the past.

And when it comes to what’s next for video — I believe something is happening that we should all be feeling extremely excited about. Because, quite simply, it could enable us all to take video marketing to the next level all over again.

Is Interactive Video the Next Big Thing?

Limited Limitations

Some fairly obvious characteristics have made video the web’s most engaging media type when compared to text, images and combinations thereof. It’s the perfect blend of audio and visual elements, drilled down into bite-sized chunks that appeal to the modern viewers’ desire for immediate understanding.

But that’s not to say it’s quite the perfect storytelling device. It’s close, but falls down in one simple area: when it comes to interacting with video content, users have only really been able to play, pause, rewind and fast-forward.

Interactive video changes that. In a nutshell, this emerging technology combines video content with user input — allowing viewers to take a wide range of actions while watching video content.

They can click areas of the screen to define their own journey, answer questions, complete forms, buy products, download content and more — often without leaving the player window.

Interactive Video In Action

That’s a pretty broad definition and maybe not the easiest concept to visualize — so let’s take a look at some real-world examples.

We created the below example to explain the general idea behind interactive video and demonstrate a few possible use cases:

4 Interactive Video Examples from Brands

Now that we have a general understanding of what interactive video is and what it’s capable of, let’s take a look at some examples used by real brands.

1) Warner Bros | Focus

Ever seen the 2015 movie Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie?  The guys at Warner Bros rolled out  a clever interactive video campaign to build awareness pre-release.

In the movie, Will Smith plays a con-artist — and the video lets the viewer make their own choices to see whether they have what it takes to pull off the perfect con.

Give it a shot and ask yourself: which would you be more likely to share with a friend? This gamified experience, or a traditional movie trailer?

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.47.25 PM.png

2) UK Resuscitation Council | Lifesaver

The next example was produced by the UK Resuscitation Council as an impactful way to educate viewers about safe, effective CPR. These are skills that we all hope we never need, but they could make the difference between life and death. It’s reported that CPR can double the chances of survival in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Take a look at the video and just consider how much more impactful this campaign might be than a pamphlet or even a simple, linear instructional video. As the old proverb goes: “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I’ll understand.”

Involving the viewer in the process of actually performing CPR in this way is much more visceral — and it certainly imprinted the basics of CPR on my own mind, in a way that I can’t imagine would be possible with other media types.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.50.56 PM.png

3) Deloitte | Will You Fit Into Deloitte?

Another, more business-focused example would be this gamified recruitment experience for Deloitte. Broadly speaking, the campaign aims to educate potential recruits about the Deloitte culture while allowing the viewer to evaluate their own suitability to work within that culture.

Recruitment videos can be a little dry and boring, so this is a nice way to infuse things with a little fun without going too far off-message.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.58.37 PM.png

Looking Ahead for Interactive Video

Like all new technology, interactive video might have started as a sort of “fringe” technology that seemed slightly intimidating, inaccessible and, most importantly, unaffordable. Now, that’s slowly changing. Costs are falling, businesses are getting inspired and the technology is increasingly available and accessible, even for SME’s and startups.

With all that said, adoption is far from widespread. Wyzowls state of video marketing survey 2017 suggests that, even among committed video marketers, adoption of interactive video is around the 24% mark. What’s interesting, though, is that 92% of those who’ve tried it, reported that they’ve found interactive video to be an effective tool for their business.

There are lots of exciting things happening in the world of video marketing — short-form, 360 and even VR — but interactive video might just be the most exciting of all. We can’t wait to see more brands serving up unique, interactive experiences to their customers as we all find out more about its potential for success.

New Call-to-action

Powered by WPeMatico

May

10

2017

How to Use Facebook Live: A Step-by-Step Guide

Published by in category Canonical, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

facebook_live_guide_compressed.jpg

In April 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast from their mobile devices straight to their Facebook News Feed.

Since its launch, live streaming video has grown in popularity, with 16% of marketers broadcasting it in 2016. Facebook Live is particularly popular — videos see 3X the engagement of traditional videos shared on the platforms, and millions of users live stream on Facebook around the world.

Why are marketers getting so excited about Facebook Live? Because it’s a fun and simple way for them to use the power of video to communicate their brand stories and build authentic relationships with fans and followers — in real time.

However, for such a simple concept, Facebook Live has a lot of little nuances that marketers will need to learn if they want to get the most out of the platform. This guide will help you learn the best tricks and tricks that can make a big, big difference in how many people see your live broadcast, how they engage with it, and how it performs.

Download our Facebook Live guide to learn how to increase your social  following and brand awareness through live video.  

In this post, we’ll walk through how to broadcast on Facebook Live, how to analyze your live video’s performance, and several tips and tricks for getting the most out of the platform. (Click here to skip down to the tips.)

How to Broadcast on Facebook Live

Facebook Live started as a mobile-only broadcasting feature, but now, Facebook Pages can broadcast from either mobile devices or desktop computers. We’ll go over how to broadcast from mobile and desktop devices in the sections below.

How to Broadcast on Facebook Live via Mobile

To get started, get out your mobile device and open up the Facebook app.

Step 1: Go to the News Feed, and tap the “Live” option denoted by the FB_Live_NewsFeed.png icon.

FB live newsfeed_1.png

You can also go live from your own Facebook profile. Open up the status bar by tapping the text that reads “What’s on your mind?” Then, select the “Live Video” option from the menu.

live_video_status.png

Step 2: Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.

You’ll stop receiving these prompts after the first time you use it.   camera_permission.png

Step 3: Choose your privacy setting.

If you’re posting for a brand, you’ll probably want to make it public. If you’re posting as yourself, you might want to reserve your broadcast for friends. But if you’re new to Facebook Live and want to test it out first, or want to see what something will look like, then switch the privacy setting to “Only Me.” You can find the “Only Me” option by clicking “More” and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

fb privacy settings.pngprivacysettings2.png

Step 4: Write a compelling description.

Give your broadcast a description, which will show up on people’s News Feeds like a status update above the video. To get people to tune in, write an attention-grabbing headline and help them understand what your broadcast is about. Check out the example below from The White House’s live broadcast.

FBlivedescription.pngwhite-house-facebook-live-description.jpg

Image Credit: Facebook

Step 5: Tag friends, choose your location, or add an activity.

Tap the icons at the bottom of your screen to tag people who are in the Facebook Live video, add the location from where you’re shooting, or share what you’re doing in the broadcast. These touches can add more personalization to your video, increase discoverability, and make people want to tune in.

personalizationFBlive.png

Step 6: Set up your camera view.

Before you click “Go Live,” be sure your camera’s pointing in the direction you want it to. The background of your setup screen will show you what your camera sees. If you want to change the camera view to selfie or vice versa, simply click the rotating arrows icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

camera view.png

The video will be a square, so it doesn’t matter whether you hold your mobile device vertically or horizontally.

Pro tip: You can choose if you want the image to be horizontally or vertically mirrored, too. Tap the magic wand icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, then tap the tools icon at the bottom of your screen to film from a different view or to adjust the video’s brightness.

toolbox-1.png

Step 7: Add lenses, filters, or writing and drawing to your video.

Tap the magicwand.png icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, and choose if you want to add lenses to your face, change the filter of the camera, or write or draw to make the video more whimsical.

lenses_FBlive.png

filters_FBlive.png

drawingFBlive.png

Step 8: Click the blue “Go Live” button to start broadcasting.

Once you click it, Facebook will give you a countdown — “3, 2, 1 …” — and then you’ll be live. As soon as you start streaming, your live video will appear in your News Feed — and others’ News Feeds — just like any other post.

Go Live button.png

Your broadcast can be up to 90 minutes long. Keep in mind that the longer you broadcast, the more people who are scrolling through their News Feeds on Facebook will stumble upon your post.

Step 9: Interact with viewers and commenters.

To keep your viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your live video (which will help your ranking in others’ News Feeds). You can also interact with them both by speaking directly to them in your video and, if you want, by having someone else respond to comments from a desktop computer elsewhere.

Where can you see these comments? While you’re broadcasting, you’ll see the time elapsed on the top left along with the number of viewers, and comments will show up live on the bottom of your feed. They’ll appear in reverse chronological order, like on Twitter, so keep in mind that the earlier ones may be farther down.

Facebook_Live_Comments.png

Image Credit: Facebook Newsroom

Note: You can also block viewers during a live broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer’s comment and then tapping “Block.” You can unblock someone you’ve previously blocked, too.

Step 10: Click “Finish” to end the broadcast.

Once you do this, the video will stay on your Timeline or Page like any other video post.

Step 11: Post your reply and save the video to your camera roll.

Once you finish your broadcast, you’ll be met with a screen similar to the one I’ve screenshot below. If you want to post it, that will enable others to view your video once you’ve stopped broadcasting. Then, tap the download button to save the video to your camera roll so you have a copy of the original for safekeeping.

FBlivepostreplay.png

Step 12: You’re done.

You can always go back to the post on your Timeline or Page and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video, just like you would any other post.

FBlive_post.png

How to Broadcast on Facebook Live via Desktop

If you’re an admin or editor of a Facebook Page for your brand, you can also broadcast live from a desktop computer. This isn’t as spontaneous as broadcasting from a mobile device (and, obviously, isn’t as mobile), but this could be a good option for filming more static broadcasts. For example, we recently broadcast a Facebook Live panel in celebration of International Women’s Day. The panelists and interviewer sat in place the entire time, an example of when broadcasting from a steadier device could be more effective.

Step 1: Go to your Page and tap the “Write something” box, as if you’re writing a new post.

FB_live_desktop_see all.png

Tap the menu option to “See All,” and click on “Start a Live Video.”

FB_live_desktop_1.png

Step 2: Write a compelling description of your video that will appear on your Page’s Timeline and in the News Feed.

Choose a descriptive and enticing summary to draw viewers in and make them unmute your Facebook Live to start watching.

FB_live_desktop_2.png

Then, click “Next.”

Step 3: Give Facebook permission to use your computer’s camera and microphone.

You won’t be prompted for this again once you do it for the first time.

fb_live_desktop_3.png

Step 4: Check to make sure your description and video view are final before starting your broadcast.

fb_live_desktop_5.png

From here, you also have the option to share live video from an external device, such as a video camera or other recording device. Tap “click here” to set up that connection.

Step 5: Press “Go Live” to start your broadcast.

Facebook will give you a “3, 2, 1 … ” countdown before going live. Tap “Finish” when you’re ready to end the broadcast.

Step 6: The broadcast will appear in the News Feed and on your Page’s Timeline, where you can edit it by tapping the drop-down arrow in the upper right-hand corner.

From here, you can change the description, change the date of posting, or create a new Facebook post featuring the broadcast. If you want a video to garner more engagement, you can also pin it to the top of your brand’s Page so it’s the first post visitors see when they visit.

hubspot fb live.png

Now that you know how to broadcast from all devices, let’s dive into how to analyze Facebook Live videos.

How to Analyze Your Live Video’s Performance

How to Access Video Analytics on a Facebook Business Page

To get started analyzing your Facebook Live broadcasts, head to the “Insights” tab at the top of your brand’s Facebook Page:

Facebook Insights tab.png

Then, head to the “Videos” section of your analytics on the left-hand side of the screen.

facebook insights video.png

From there, scroll down to the “Top Videos” section, and either choose a video from that menu to look into, or tap “Video Library” to look at all of the videos your Page has ever posted.

hubspot top videos insights.png

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

The performance analytics available for Facebook Live videos are similar to those of normal videos on Facebook, with some neat additions.

  • For Pre-recorded videos: Facebook lets you analyze minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, average % completion, and a breakdown of reactions, comments, and shares.
  • For Facebook Live videos: Facebook lets you analyze all the metrics listed above, plus peak live viewers, total views, average watch time, people reached, and the demographics of who watched your video.

FBLIve_analytics1.png

In addition to all of these static numbers, you can click in to each metric to see how it changed over time when the video was live. For example, if we click into “Peak Live Viewers,” we’ll see this interactive graph of video viewers over time:

FBlive_peakviewers.png

You can even see who your typical viewer was during your broadcast, based on their Facebook profile information:

fblive_demographics.png

Now that you’ve got the steps down, let’s get into some tips and tricks.

14 Tips & Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Facebook Live

There are a lot of little things you can do to squeeze the most out of your Facebook Live videos. Below is an example of one of the earliest Facebook Live videos from Refinery29. This was the first video of a five-part live video series called “Chasing Daylight,” showcasing a typical night out for women in five different cities around the world. My colleague, HubSpot Marketing Manager Lindsay Kolowich, tracked this one down, and we refer to it in some of the tips below.

Warning: Some NSFW language.

1) Test out live video using the “Only Me” privacy setting.

If you want to play around with live broadcasting without actually sharing it with anyone else, you can change the privacy setting so you’re the only one who can see it — just like with any other Facebook post.

To switch the privacy setting to “Only Me,” follow steps 1–4 in the instructions above.

fb privacy settings-1.pngFBliveonlyme.png

2) Space out live videos with other Facebook posts.

Here’s a tip from HubSpot’s Social Video Manager Chelsea Hunersen. Because Facebook ranks Live videos higher than other videos and other types of posts, Hunersen recommends spacing out your Facebook Live videos with other Facebook content you post.

“Wait at least two hours before or after you post a Facebook live video,” she says. “Otherwise, your Facebook Live video may cannibalize additional traffic.”

3) Keep reintroducing yourself.

When you first start the video, take a minute to introduce yourself and what the video’s about. But keep in mind that when you first start live streaming, you may have zero people watching. Even a few seconds in, you could only have a handful of viewers. As people find your video on their News Feeds, they’ll join in — but that means you’ll want to reintroduce yourself a second, third, and even a fourth time to catch people up.

For example, in the Refinery29 video above, the host Lucie Fink introduces herself three times in the first few minutes, and several more times after that.

One second in:

Hello, Facebook Live! Hey! Lucie Fink here. I don’t know if we have anyone on the broadcast yet, so I’m going to wait about one minute to see who joins us.”

One minute in:

Hello to the 309 viewers in here right now. I’m Lucie Fink from Refinery29. Just to recap what’s happening right now, this is Episode One of Refinery29’s new global initiative, ‘Chasing Daylight.'”

A few minutes in:

Just to give a quick recap on who I am, in case you guys don’t know — I’m Lucie Fink. I work at Refinery 29. Today, I’m doing this whole new series, and this is essentially giving you guys a glimpse into the lives of women all over the world.”

15 minutes in:

So now that we have 3.5 thousand people in this broadcast, let me just start from the top because some of you might not know what is happening. I’m Lucie Fink from Refinery29, and you might know me from some videos, you might not. Either way, it is nice to meet you. Today, we are starting a new video series on Refinery’s Facebook Live platform. It’s called ‘Chasing Daylight,’ and it’s gonna be on every night this week.”

25 minutes in:

That’s what I think is so cool about ‘Chasing Daylight.’ For the people who are new and don’t really get why I’m sitting on my toilet, the answer is, I am Lucie Fink, and [this is] Episode One, the New York version of ‘Chasing Daylight,’ which is Refinery29’s new live Facebook series that’s starting right now.”

4) Make the video visually engaging.

Although all videos on Facebook auto-play in people’s News Feeds, they’re on mute until the viewer manually turns the volume on. That means you have to be visually engaging — not just at the very beginning of your broadcast (although that’ll be important for when folks view the video later), but throughout the video as more and more people join in.

The more visually engaging you can be, the more you can entice people to stick around. That means keeping the camera moving and not just sitting in one place — something Lucie did really well in that Refinery29 video.

Not only will you get more viewers this way, but you’ll also get your broadcast ranked higher in other people’s News Feeds. Facebook started monitoring signals of video engagement — like turning on the audio, switching to full-screen mode, or enabling high definition — interpreting that as users enjoying the video. As a result, they’ve tweaked the algorithm so videos that are engaged with in these ways will appear higher up on the feed.

5) Make it spontaneous.

What makes a live video special? The spontaneous, interactive nature of it.

“People love the ability to interact,” says Hunersen. “They love the novelty of viewing someone in a live moment when anything could happen. It’s the new reality TV.”

A big part of what makes Refinery29’s live video so great is how much Lucie and her friends embrace the “live,” spontaneous nature of it. For example, at one point, Lucie calls on her friends to reenact a scene from the Broadway show Hamilton. It was scrappy, unrehearsed, and really funny. Her other friends were laughing at her. It reminded me of a fun night with my own friends. “This is literally what we do at the office,” Lucie said about the performance through laughs.

These moments are what make live video special, and they’re exactly what differentiates it from scripted, edited, or otherwise pre-recorded videos. Embrace the platform. Banter is always, always good.

6) Don’t worry about mistakes or stutters.

Spontaneity works — even if your Facebook Live doesn’t go according to plan.

Let’s face it, we’re all human. And when humans and technology mix, there can sometimes be technical difficulties.

If you’re recording a live video, things might go wrong — your equipment could malfunction, you could lose your train of thought, or you could get photobombed by a random passerby. You can’t call “cut” if things happen — you have to roll with them and keep filming and talking.

The good news? These things help keep your broadcast human and real. If you wobble your phone while filming, laugh and call it out. If you forget what you were saying, make a joke. The key is to keep the broadcast like a fun conversation, so if mistakes happen, keep it light and keep the lines of communication open with your viewers.

For example, if you make a mistake during your Facebook Live, ask viewers to write in the comments if they’ve made the same mistake, too.

7) Encourage viewers to Like and share the video.

One of the primary ways Facebook’s algorithm ranks a post is by how many people Like and share it. The more people who Like and share your live broadcast, the more it’ll show up in people’s News Feeds.

But when people are watching a video, they may be more distracted from Liking and sharing it than they would a text or photo post. (That’s something the folks at Facebook noticed about video content early on, which is why they began monitoring other video engagement signals as well, like turning on the volume.)

In Refinery29’s video, you’ll notice Lucie explicitly asks viewers to Like and share the video many times throughout. Here are a few examples:

  • “If you like this broadcast and share it right now, you guys will be part of this brand new series that’s starting right now on Refinery29.”
  • “If you guys share this broadcast, you’ll be part of history. And what’s better than being part of history?”
  • “Thumbs up if you like Hamilton.”
  • “Thank you guys for all these Likes. My screen is absurdly blue right now because I’m getting tons of thumbs up.”
  • “Share this with your best girlfriend who you think is strong and powerful.”

I like the last example the best because she’s asking viewers to share it with a specific type of person — in this case, a best girlfriend. This might prompt viewers to think, “Hey, she’s right, my friend Stacy might like this” and then share it with that specific friend.

8) Engage with commenters, and call them out by name.

The number of comments on your broadcast is another way to get Facebook to give it a higher relevancy score, making it more likely to show up on people’s News Feeds. So encourage your viewers to comment, and engage with people who are commenting by answering their questions and calling them out by name. Not only will it get more people to comment, but it’s also a fun way to include your viewers in the live experience, which could make them stick around longer.

“Your audience will be thrilled to hear you mention their name and answer their questions when you are live,” says Hunersen.

In the Refinery29 video, Lucie was constantly engaging with viewers and commenters. At one point, for example, she said, “We’re so excited to see you guys! Do you have any questions for someone who lives in New York City?” Then, she read a few of the comments that came in and responded to them — using commenters’ first names.

We do this here at HubSpot with our Facebook Live broadcasts, too. Check out all the chatter in the comments — we used those questions to keep our discussion going.

9) Have someone else watching and responding to comments from a desktop computer.

When you’re the one holding the camera for a Facebook Live video, it’s really hard to see the comments popping up on the mobile screen. If the comments are coming in fast, it’s especially easy to lose sight of them as they disappear below the fold. Plus, you’re probably occupied by recording and entertaining viewers.

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to have an additional person logged into the primary account to monitor the comments on a desktop computer. That way, they can take care of responding so the person recording the video can concentrate on creating a great experience.

10) Subtitle your broadcast in the comments section.

Your viewers may be tuning in and out to watch your video during the work day, or they might simply be watching your video without sound. Either way, periodically subtitling the video in the comments section is a great way to keep people engaged. This also allows people who are tuning in late to catch up on what’s going on.

Take some inspiration from Refinery29 — it captioned the video with some of the most snackable one-liners and quotes from the broadcast in the comments section:

FBliverefinery29comments.png

11) Ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications.

In addition to asking for Likes, shares, and comments, ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications. To do that, all viewers have to do is click the small, downward-facing arrow in the top right-hand corner of the live video post, and choose “Turn On Notifications.”

You can also ask them to Like your brand on Facebook, which will make it more likely that they’ll be notified of your next live broadcast. Lucie does this in the Refinery29 video.

12) Broadcast for at least 10 minutes.

As soon as you begin recording your live video, you’ll start slowly but surely showing up in people’s News Feeds. The longer you broadcast — especially as Likes, comments, and shares start coming in — the more likely people are to discover your video and share it with their friends.

Because timing is such an important factor for engagement in these live videos, we recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes, although you can stay live for up to 90 minutes for a given video.

13) Say goodbye before you wrap up.

Before you end your live broadcast, be sure to finish with a closing line, like “Thanks for watching” or “I’ll be going live again soon.”

Lucie from Refinery29 checked a few other engagement requests off the list at the end of her broadcast:

So, we are about to sign off. It’s been such an amazing first episode of ‘Chasing Daylight.’ . . . Don’t forget to share this to your friends right now so you can always find this series and go back to it. . . . We’re so happy that you tuned into our episode in New York. . . . Goodnight from New York City!”

14) Add a link to the description later.

Once you’ve finished the live broadcast, you can always go back and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video, just like you would any other post.

Here’s where you can add a trackable link to the description in the post, which can direct future viewers to your live video series page, the site of whatever campaign you’re using the video to promote, or somewhere else.

To edit the description of a video: Find the video on your Timeline or Page and click the downward-facing arrow in the top right-hand corner of the post. Choose “Edit Post” from the dropdown menu, and edit the description accordingly.

fb live edit post-1.png

We hope this has been a helpful guide. We’ll keep you posted with any new developments and tips for connecting with your audience in more cool ways.

What strategies have brought you greatest success using Facebook Live? Share with us in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

free facebook marketing assessment


Facebook Live Guide

Powered by WPeMatico

Apr

25

2017

8 How-To Videos We Love (and Why)

Published by in category Daily, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

how-to-videos-compressed.jpg

Have you ever learned how to do something with the help of an internet search?

The answer is most likely a resounding “yes.” Most recently, I taught myself how to fold a fitted sheet with a helpful video from homemaker extraordinaire and friend of Snoop Dogg Martha Stewart.

Videos are an especially compelling way to learn how to do something online because, well, the video shows you exactly how to do it. I’m not alone here, either — 4X as many customers would prefer to watch a video about a product, rather than read about it. So if you’re among the many marketers producing more video content this year, there could be a lot of value in making videos specifically for those in your audience who are trying to learn how to do something, too.

In this post, we’ll explore just how popular these searches are on YouTube and what you can learn from eight how-to videos about how to make great teaching videos of your own.

How-To Video Searches Are Popular

How-to searches are incredibly popular. Think about just in your own life for a moment, and reconsider my question at the beginning of this blog post.

As it turns out, 91% of smartphone users consult their various devices seeking help completing a task. But these searches aren’t all happening on Google. People are searching for videos to learn how to do things on YouTube.

According to Think With Google, how-to searches are increasing 70% year-over-year on YouTube, and more than 100 million hours of how-to videos were watched in North America alone in recent years.

8 How-To Videos on YouTube to Learn From

1) How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

You may recognize the title of this how-to video — it’s the one I mentioned earlier in this very blog post. Are you always gets stymied when putting away fitted sheets on laundry day like me?

What I love about this video is how it showcases personality. It’s a simple how-to video of humans demonstrating how to do something, without any animations or high tech features, but it’s still extremely effective at teaching the viewer. Stewart and her guests make jokes about how hard it is to fold the sheet — Stewart even joking that her inability to do so led to her divorce — and they show the viewer how easy it is to get tripped up in the process. Stewart and her guests also have empathy for the viewer and show exactly how to avoid pitfalls along the way.

Takeaway for marketers: If you want to create a how-to video “hosted” by a real, live human, make sure they act like a human. Videos are an easy way for brands to showcase personality, so put yourself in the shoes of your viewer, and infuse humor, sincerity, and empathy into your instructions. If the concept you’re explaining is complicated, tell the viewer that. If you had no idea how to use your product at first, share that. Speaking like a human — instead of reading off a script like a robot — will make your video memorable, effective, and enjoyable, too.

2) How to Cook Perfect Pasta

Tasty on BuzzFeed shares cooking and recipe videos that frequently go viral on YouTube and other social media and reach millions of people every month. But this video isn’t one of Tasty’s trademark recipe videos — it’s one of several how-to videos that break down common or difficult cooking skills step-by-step. 

In this video, Tasty uses hyperlapse to speed up the cooking demonstration and get the viewer the information they need as quickly as possible. This fast-paced filming style is eye-catching if it starts auto-playing in a social media feed, too. Tasty chose a smart how-to search term, too — there’s a ton of search volume around the phrase “how to cook pasta.”

Takeaway for marketers: Viewers prefer YouTube videos on the shorter side, so sped-up hyperlapse filming helps conserve time and creates a neat visual effect. Work backward and conduct keyword research to learn what terms your audience is searching for to find a topic to make your video about.

3) How to Escape Quicksand

Evidently, Princess Buttercup’s tragic fall into quicksand in The Princess Bride wouldn’t have been quite as terrifying in real life.

In this how-to video, Tech Insider uses captions and animations to break down a complicated concept. I wasn’t exactly searching for information on how to escape quicksand when I found this video, but the unique subject matter made me instantly click, intrigued. What’s more, the sound isn’t required — although it does add dramatic effect — which might make people more likely to click and watch all the way through, since many social media videos are watched on mute.

Takeaway for marketers: Your how-to videos don’t necessarily need to be about a dry topic related to your industry. If you create a fascinating piece of content that goes viral, you’ll generate interest in your brand that way. Animations and captions help to show — rather than explain — trickier concepts like quicksand, so consider these visual elements for high-level explanations. And if there’s a way to make your videos volume-agnostic, do so. Some videos will require narration or other sounds, but the visual elements mentioned previously could do the talking for you.

4) How to Blow Out Curly Hair

Anyone who’s ever gotten a blowout knows that it can be expensive and time-consuming to have it professionally done.

So Bustle cleverly made a how-to video that teaches viewers how to DIY and save money — a motivating factor behind many how-to online searches, I suspect. This video is also short, which MiniMatters suggests for enticing viewers to watch videos all the way through. YouTube counts a view as once a video has been watched for approximately 30 seconds, so viewers with short attention spans might be more likely to stick around for that long if they see a video is shorter, like this one.

Takeaway for marketers: Almost everybody wants to save money where they can, so think about ways your how-to video could help viewers do that when brainstorming topics. When filming, try to keep videos as short as possible to attract viewers and keep them watching all the way through to steadily increase your number of YouTube views.

5) How to Add a Friend to a Group

In this short and sweet how-to demonstration video, Facebook infuses humor to provide context for the topic it unpacks. It gives the viewer a chuckle, and research shows that content that elicits strong positive feelings makes the material more memorable and sticky.

Takeaway for marketers: Don’t be afraid to be humorous and silly in your videos — even if it’s a little dorky, like in this example. It helps place the lesson your video teaches in context for your viewer and shows off the more personable side of your brand.

6) How to Asana: Planning with Asana calendar

Asana cleverly brands its how-to video series as “How to Asana,” and all of the videos in the series feature a consistent theme. All of the videos in this series are under two minutes in length, are hosted by the same person, and feature an eye-popping yellow background. The meat of the video consists of a screencast of someone using the Asana calendar tool, but these branding details bring life to what would otherwise be a rather boring video.

Takeaway for marketers: If you’re thinking about creating a how-to video series, take the extra time to make it memorable and recognizable. These efforts will make videos look more professional and will make viewers want to keep tuning in for more helpful videos if they know they can expect more.

7) How to Create an Animated GIF in Photoshop

Who else here loves GIFs? That’s right — everyone loves GIFs.

But before I watched the video above, I had no idea how easy it was to make my own. That’s the ideal reaction to a how-to video, by the way — “that was so easy.”

Adobe’s how-to video is a great example of a software demonstration video because it zooms in on only the necessary information. Instead of confusing the viewer by showing the entire Photoshop interface, the video features magnified animations of only the buttons and tools they need to accomplish the task at hand.

Takeaway for marketers: If you’re making a technology demonstration how-to video, consider how it will appear to any first-time product users watching. Try to minimize any confusion by only filming elements of the technology needed for your video so viewers can follow along on their devices.

8) How to Increase Your Facebook Reach and Outsmart the Algorithm

You might be hesitant to create videos to explain a complicated subject matter, but that could actually be the most effective medium to help your audience understand something.

In this video, my colleague Megan Conley breaks down the many nuances of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm in a clear and concise manner. Then, graphics, animations, and screencasts supplement what she talks about with data visualizations to make the stats and figures more memorable for the viewer. Finally, the video ends with helpful next steps viewers can take to solve the problem outlined in the video. The video isn’t about how to use HubSpot software at all — it’s only in the business of helping people get better results.

Takeaway for marketers: The most compelling how-to video might be one that doesn’t mention your product at all. Think about what questions your audience might be asking and establish your brand as a thought leader with helpful videos that don’t end with a sales pitch.

How to Make How-To Videos

Now that you have inspiration from real-life B2B and B2C brand videos, start thinking about how you could create helpful content for your audience.

Create buyer personas and use these to inform your strategy. What types of questions does your audience ask about your product? What questions do they ask about your industry? What problems does your product solve that you could demonstrate in a video? Use tools like Google Trends and HubSpot’s Keywords tool to learn more about the types of searches your audience is conducting and what content you could create to answer those questions.

What’s the best how-to video you’ve ever seen? Share with us in the comments below.

get a free inbound marketing assessment

Powered by WPeMatico

Mar

28

2017

How Generations X, Y, and Z Consume Video Content [Infographic]

Published by in category Daily, IGSS, Video | Comments are closed

generations_consume_video_compressed.jpg

YouTube has over one billion users worldwide, and they all watch different types of videos every day. What’s your favorite type of video to watch on the platform?

As it turns out, your video preferences may vary depending on your date of birth: Influenster surveyed nearly 8,500 YouTube users of all ages to learn about their viewing habits and interests.

New Call-to-action

Although younger generations spend more time on YouTube than their older counterparts, Generations X, Y, and Z all have specific preferences when it comes to how and where they want to consume video content on different topics. For example, while a significant portion of respondents said they liked watching product reviews, Generation X preferred how-to content, and Generation Z liked unboxing videos.

Check out the full infographic from Adweek below, and learn more about how to create compelling social media videos with help from our guide.

SeeingIsBelieving_Data_2017.png

free HubSpot certification

Powered by WPeMatico

Mar

17

2017

20 YouTube Tricks, Hacks & Features You'll Want to Know About

Published by in category Canonical, Social Media, Video | Comments are closed

youtube_hacks_tricks_compressed.jpg

When people talk about today’s most popular social sharing websites, YouTube often gets left out of the conversation in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter.

But don’t be fooled: YouTube has a lot going for it. Although Facebook might be the largest social networking site, YouTube has the second greatest reach after Facebook in terms of general usage. It’s also the second biggest search engine behind its parent company, Google.

And there are a ton of cool things you can do with YouTube that you might not know about, whether you use YouTube to watch videos, post them, or both. For example, did you know that YouTube automatically creates a written transcript for your videos — and that polishing them can help you get your videos found more easily in search? Or that you can use YouTube to easily create a photo slideshow, and even set it to music using its royalty-free audio library?

New Call-to-action

Mind-blowing stuff, people. To help you make the most out of the still very popular platform, we’ve put together a list of 20 of the lesser-known hacks, tips, and features YouTube has to offer.

20 YouTube Tricks, Hacks & Features You’ll Want to Know About

1) You can create a link that starts a YouTube video at a certain time.

Ever wanted to send someone a YouTube video, but point them to a specific moment? Let’s say, for example, that you’re trying to recruit your friends to learn the dance in Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video with you.

Instead of sending your friends the general YouTube link and instructing them to fast-forward to the 0:50 minute mark, you can actually send them a specific link that starts the video at whatever time you choose. Click here to see what I mean. I’ll wait.

Back? Alright, here’s how to do it.

To create a link that starts a YouTube video at a certain time: Open up the video and click “Share” underneath the video title. Then, under the first tab (also labeled “Share”), check the box next to “Start at:” and type in the time (in hours:minutes:seconds) you want. Alternatively, you can pause the video at the time you want it to start and that field will autofill.

youtube_share_screenshot.png

After a few moments, you’ll see a tag add itself to the end of the generic YouTube link (in this case, ?t=50s). Simply copy that link and paste it wherever you’d like.

It’s worth noting that you can’t embed a video so it starts at a certain time; you can’t only link to it.

2) You can easily see the written transcripts of people’s videos.

Did you know that YouTube automatically generates a written transcript for every single video uploaded to its website? That’s right — and anyone has access to that transcript unless the user manually hides it from viewers.

I can think of a number of different situations where video transcripts can come in handy. For example, maybe you want to write down a quote from a video, but the tedium of pausing-and-typing, pausing-and-typing would drive you up a wall. Or perhaps you need to find a specific section of a video, but don’t want to rewatch the whole thing to find it. With a transcript in hand, you can find information like this without doing it all by hand.

To see a video’s transcript: Open the video in YouTube and press the “More” tab underneath the video title. Choose “Transcript” from the drop-down menu.

youtube_moretab.png

(If you aren’t seeing this option, it’s because the user chose to hide the transcript.)

The transcript will appear as a new module in the same window. In many cases, the user who uploaded the video will not have gone back and manually polished the transcript, so it won’t be perfect. But it’ll certainly save you some time and pain.

youtube_transcript_example.png

3) You can help your video get found in search by editing or uploading a transcript.

Both YouTube and its parent company Google look at a number of factors when ranking videos in search to determine what your video is about, and your transcript is one of them. (An even bigger ranking factor is your video’s description, which is why Digital Marketing Consultant Ryan Stewart suggests that you actually paste your transcript right into the description box, too.)

To add a transcript to your video: Open the video on YouTube, and you’ll see a row of icons just below the play button. Click the icon on the far right for “Subtitles/CC.” (CC stands for “Closed Captions.)

CC_youtube.png

Set your language if you haven’t already. Then, you’ll then be prompted to choose among three different ways to add subtitles or closed captions to your video by …

  1. Uploading a pre-written text transcript or a timed subtitles file. (Learn more about the file types you can upload and more here.)
  2. Pasting in a full transcript of the video, wherein subtitle timings will be set automatically.
  3. Typing them in as you watch the video.

The folks at YouTube have done some great things to make that third option (typing as you watch) as painless as possible. For example, if you check a box next to “Pause video while typing,” it’ll make the whole process a lot faster. Here’s a GIF showing that in action:

youtube-transcribe.gif

4) You can use YouTube to easily get free transcriptions of your videos and audio files.

This is the last one about transcripts, I promise — but I’ll bet you never thought about them this way. As you know from #2, YouTube automatically adds a transcript to every video. But if you’re looking for a one-off transcription of an audio or video file and don’t want to pay for a service, YouTube’s built-in captioning system isn’t a bad place to start. You can always clean it up later.

To get an automated transcription for a video: Simply upload your video to YouTube, open it on YouTube’s website, press the “More” tab underneath the video title, and choose “Transcript” from the drop-down menu. The transcript will appear as a new module in the same window. If you want to clean it up, follow the steps outlined in #3 for a user-friendly experience.

To get an automated transcription for an audio file: You’ll need to upload your audio recording to YouTube using a service like TunesToTube. It’ll take anywhere between 2–30 minutes for YouTube to upload it. Then, follow the instructions for getting an automated transcription for a video, outlined above.

5) You can create, share, and collaborate on video playlists.

Just like on your other favorite media sharing sites like Spotify and iTunes, you can create a “playlist” on YouTube — which is really just a place to store and organize the videos (your own and others’). You can keep playlists private, make them public, or even share them directly with others.

Playlists are useful for a variety of different types of users, from an individual collecting cooking videos for their upcoming dinner party to a brand segmenting its YouTube video content by topic. For example, Tasty’s YouTube playlists break up recipes by meal type, making it easier for people to browse and find what they’re looking for:

tasty playlists example.png

To create a playlist on desktop: Go to your Playlists page by clicking here or clicking your account icon in the top right, choosing “Creator Studio,” clicking “Video Manager” on the left, and choosing “Playlists.” Then, click “New Playlist” on the top right and choose whether you’d like to keep it private or make it public.

youtube-create-new-playlist.png

To create a playlist on mobile: Click here for instructions explaining how to create new playlists using your iOS or Android mobile devices.

To add a video to a playlist: If you’re adding a video to a playlist while you’re watching it, click the “Add to” icon below the video title and check the box next to the playlist you’d like to add it to.

youtube_playlist.png

If you want to add a video to a playlist right from your Playlists page, simply click “Add Video” and either paste in a video URL, choose a video from your uploads, or search for a video on YouTube. Once you find the video you want to add, select the “Add to” menu from that video and add it to the playlist.

Your friends can contribute to your playlists, too. All you have to do is turn on the ability to collaborate on playlists. Once you turn it on, anyone you share a playlist link with can add videos to that playlist. (They can also remove any videos they’ve added, too.)

To add friends to a playlist: Go to your Playlists page again and open the playlist you want to collaborate on. Click “Playlist Settings” and choose the “Collaborate” tag. Toggle on that collaborators can add videos to the playlist, and from there, you can send them a link where they can add videos to the playlist.

youtube-collaborate-playlist.png

Once your friend’s been invited to a playlist, they’ll be able to add new videos to it and remove videos they’ve added in the past. They just have to follow some on-screen instructions first to confirm they want to be a contributor and to save the playlist to their own account.

When you add a video to a playlist you’re collaborating on, your name will appear next to the video in the playlist, and everyone who’s been invited to collaborate on that playlist will get a notification that a new video has been added.

(To learn more about how to manage contributors, stop accepting contributions to a playlist, and so on, read this YouTube Support page.)

6) You can save videos to watch later.

Ever seen YouTube videos you wished you could bookmark for later? Maybe you aren’t able to turn the sound on at the moment, or perhaps you just don’t have time to watch it. Well, YouTube took a page out of Facebook’s … book … by adding something very similar to Facebook’s “Save for Later” feature. On YouTube, you can save videos to a “Watch Later” playlist to access whenever you want.

The “Watch Later” playlist operates just like a normal playlist, so the instructions are identical to the previous step (except you can’t invite others to collaborate on your “Watch Later” playlist).

To add a video to your “Watch Later” playlist: Open the video on YouTube and click the “Add to” icon below the video title and check the box next to the playlist you’d like to add it to, just like you did in the previous step. The steps are very similar on mobile, but click here if you want the full instructions from YouTube’s Support page.

To access those videos: Simply go to your YouTube homepage and choose “Watch Later” from the menu on the upper left-hand side of your screen.

youtubewatchlater-1.png

From there, you can watch the videos you were saving, as well as easily remove videos from that list that you’ve already watched.

7) You can create your own custom YouTube URL.

Want to give people an easy-to-remember web address to get to your YouTube channel? You can actually create a custom URL, which you can base on things like your display name, your YouTube username, any current vanity URLs that you have, or the name of your linked website. HubSpot’s, for example, is https://www.youtube.com/hubspot.

Important Note: Before you do this, make sure you’re positive this is the custom URL you want — because once it’s approved, you can’t request to change it, nor can you transfer it to someone else. Keep in mind that it’ll be linked to both your YouTube channel and your Google+ identity, too.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s eligible for a custom URL. To get one, you have to have 100 or more subscribers, be at least 30 days old, have an uploaded photo as channel icon, and have uploaded channel art. If that sounds like you, keep reading.

To claim your custom URL: Open up your YouTube account settings and click “Advanced” in your name section.

overview_youtube_screenshot.png

If you’re eligible for a custom URL, you’ll be prompted to claim yours by clicking a link.

advanced_youtube_settings.png

Select the box next to “I agree to the Terms of Service.” Then, once you’re absolutely sure it’s the URL you want since you can’t ever change it, click “Change URL” to make it final.

8) You can add clickable links to your videos.

Want people to not only watch your video, but engage with it, too? On YouTube, you can add clickable links YouTube calls “annotations” to your videos. These annotations work kind of like call-to-action buttons, and you can use them to link people to subscribe to your channel, to link to merchandise or a fundraising campaign, to go to another resource to learn more, and so on.

It’s an easy way to encourage people to actually engage and interact with your videos. (For marketers, it might even be a way to send people back to your website.)

What do these clickable links look like? To see one in action, check out the video below. You’ll see it pop up at the 22-second mark — and if you click on it, you’ll see it pauses the video and opens up a new tab in your browser for you to explore.

Pretty cool, huh? Here’s how you add annotations like that to your own videos.

To add a clickable link/annotation to a video: First, make sure your YouTube account is verified and that you have external linking turned on for your account.

Once you’ve got that set up, open up YouTube and go to your Video Manager by clicking here or clicking “My Channel” and then “Video Manager” near the top of your YouTube home page.

youtube_videomanager.png

Then, find the video you want to add links to and click the arrow next to “Edit.” Choose “End screen and Annotations” (more on end screens later) from the drop-down menu.

add annotation youtube.png

Toggle to “Annotations,” click “Add Annotation” to add a new annotation, and choose from the five annotation types in the pull-down menu: Speech bubble, Note, Title, Spotlight, or Label. For this tutorial, we chose the note option, but there are a variety of options you can experiment with.

add-annotation.png

Once you choose an annotation type, you can then add text, choose your font, size, background color, and transparency. Below the video, you can choose exact start time you want your annotations to start and end.

youtube-annotation-dashboard.png

Here’s the key part: To add a link, tick the checkbox next to “Link” and choose what type of page you’ll link to, like an “Associated Website.” (Pro Tip: Use tracking tokens on the URL to track how many people actually click it.)

When you’re done, click “Apply changes” — and you’re all set. You can always edit your annotations after publishing by going back into the “Edit Annotation” tool and click “Edit existing annotation.”

You can read this article for more thorough instructions on adding annotations to videos.

Note: Annotations appear on standard YouTube players and embedded players, but they don’t appear on YouTube chromeless players, or on mobile, tablet, and TV devices.

9) You can also add an end screen or cards to promote content.

How to Add an End Screen

Do your favorite YouTube creators have a fancy closing screen that encourages you to keep watching their videos? For example, here’s one from Saturday Night Live:

SNL_youtube_end screen.png

You can create a customized end screen, too. They help keep viewers on your channel by suggesting other videos and sites they can check out. Here’s how to do it:

Navigate to your Video Manager, tap “Edit,” and select “End screen & Annotations” from the drop-down menu:

endscreen_youtube.png

From there, you’re taken to the End screen creator studio, where you can play around with different templates and background to determine how you want your end screen to appear. Then, click the “Add element” menu to decide where you want to send viewers from your end screen.

addelement_youtube.png

Any YouTube creators can add an end screen to customize their channels. Here’s an explainer article with more details and inspiration ideas.

How to Add a Card

You can use YouTube cards to advertise products used in your videos or links on your website you want to promote. If viewers tap the “i” in the upper-right hand corner of a video, the cards expand, as in the example below:

To add a card to a YouTube video, head to your Video Manager, tap “Edit,” and select “Cards” from the drop-down menu.

Then, choose where in the video you want cards to appear, and tap the “Add card” drop-down menu to choose what you want the card to promote. From there, customize the content that will appear to viewers when they tap the “i” while viewing your video:

add_card_youtube.png

10) YouTube has a big library of high-quality, royalty-free sound effects and music you can browse and download.

Want to add some cool sound effects or music to your YouTube video (or any video)? YouTube is there for you. It has a whole library of high-quality, 320kbps audio tracks and sound effects that you can download royalty-free and add to your videos. (Or listen to in your free time. We won’t judge.)

To add music or sound effects to your video: Open YouTube’s Audio Library by clicking here or opening your Creator Studio, clicking “Create” in the menu on the left-hand side, and choosing “Audio Library.”

Now, the fun begins. By default, it’ll start you on the “Sound effects” tab. Here, you can search sounds using the search bar, like I did in the screenshot below for motorcycle sounds.

youtube-audio-library.png

You can also toggle by category (everything from human voices to weather sounds) or scroll through favorites that you’ve starred in the past. For easy access in the future, select the star to add the track to your Favorites. The bars next to the songs show how popular a track is.

If you switch over to the “Music” bar, you can browse through all of its royalty-free music. You won’t find the Beatles in here, but you will find some good stuff — like suspenseful music, uplifting music, holiday music, jazz, and more. Instead of toggling by category, you can toggle by genre, mood, instrument, duration, and so on.

(Note: Some of the music files in there may have additional attribution requirements you have to follow, but those are pretty clearly laid out on a song-by-song-basis. You can learn more on YouTube’s Support page here.)

Once you’ve found a track you like, click the arrow to download it and it’ll download directly to your computer as an MP3 file. Then, you can do whatever you want with it.

If you want to source sounds for your videos outside of YouTube, you’ll just have to make sure to you’re following all the rules for sourcing them. Refer to this YouTube Support page for best practices for sourcing audio, and this one to learn YouTube’s music policies.

11) You can easily create photo slideshows and set them to music.

Ever wanted to make one of those cheesy photo slideshows for a birthday or a baby shower or a team party? There’s no need to download software or use an unfamiliar platform — YouTube has a special feature designed just for creating photo slideshows. And it’s really easy to use.

You can upload as many photos and videos as you’d like, and choose from hundreds of movie styles, transitions, and effects to make it look awesome.

Plus, remember YouTube’s Audio Library we just talked about in #10? You can totally source music or sound effects from that and add it to these videos without a hassle.

Here’s how you do it. (Pro Tip: I’d recommend gathering all the photos you want into a single folder on your computer before you start making the slideshow to save time selecting them.)

To create a photo slideshow: Log in to YouTube and click the “Upload” button at the top right of your screen. Normally, this is where you’d upload a pre-existing video — but instead, you’ll want to find the “Create Videos” module on the right-hand side of your screen. Find “Photo slideshow” in that module and click “Create”.

create_slideshow.png

At this point, you’ll be able to choose your photos — either ones you’ve already uploaded to Google+, or photos on your computer. If you followed my advice above and created a folder for the photos you want, then choose the tab “Upload Photos” and add the folder either by searching for it manually, or by dragging-and-dropping like I did below.

youtube-add-photos-1.gif

From there, you’ll be able to rearrange the photos and add more photos if you’d like.

Press “Next” on the bottom right, and it’ll open up the video preview, where YouTube has created the transitions for you based on what’s most popular. The default option actually looks pretty good — but you can always change the slide duration, the slide effect, and the transition. You can still press “Back” if you decide you want to rearrange the photos or add more.

On the right, you’ll see a list of suggested the top ad-free songs from the audio library. Pick from this list, search the library for different ones, or check the box next to “No Audio” to keep it silent.

When you’re all set, click “Upload” on the bottom right and wait for the video to process. This could take a few minutes. While you’re waiting, you can fill out the description, add tags, choose to make it public or private, add it to a playlist, and so on.

Here’s the end result of mine, which took me a total of maybe three minutes after choosing the photos:

12) Play YouTube videos in the background on mobile devices.

Sometimes, your own music playlist just isn’t cutting it. Or maybe you want to listen to your favorite artist’s performance at an awards show.

Either way, if you’ve tried listening to music on YouTube via your mobile device, you may have noticed one thing: You can’t navigate out of the app. You have to keep YouTube open, and you can’t use your phone for anything else, in order to listen to something on YouTube. Kind of frustrating if you’re trying to multitask on your commute home, right?

Now, there are hacks so you can listen to YouTube content in the background while still using your mobile device. Here’s what you do:

How to Watch YouTube Videos in the Background: iOS

Open Safari on your mobile device, and navigate to a video you want to watch on https://www.youtube.com. Start playing the video you want to listen to, then tap the Home button to close out of Safari. (I chose Katy Perry.)

youtube_katy1.png

Then, swipe up on your home screen to reveal the Action Center.

Then, swipe left to reveal the second screen on your Action Center. The details of the video you selected on YouTube should appear, and from there, simply tap Play to keep jamming.

youtube_katy2.0.png

youtube_katy2.png

How to Watch YouTube Videos in the Background: Android

Launch Firefox or Chrome on your mobile device, and navigate to a video you want to play on https://www.youtube.com. Then, tap the “Settings” menu in the upper right-hand corner (the ellipses) and select “Request Desktop Site.”

turn-to-desktop-android1-1200x800-c.jpg

Source: DigitalTrends

Then, start playing the video on YouTube, and tap the Home button to return to your home screen. The audio will keep playing in the background as you use other apps.

13) You can live stream videos to YouTube.

Live streaming video has been a big topic of conversation for the past few years. It’s seen massive growth, especially in the past few years with the advent of Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live, and Instagram live videos.

Live streaming on YouTube is a little more complex (and confusing) than live streaming using these other platforms, though. On YouTube’s easier streaming option, there’s no simple “start” button; instead, you actually have to download encoding software and set it up to use live streaming at all. Luckily, YouTube has easy-to-follow instructions for how to do just that.

If you’re streaming a live event, though, all you need is a webcam. We’ll get to that in a second.

Live Stream From Your Desktop Computer

Log in to YouTube and click the “Upload” button at the top right of your screen. Normally, this is where you’d upload a pre-existing video — but instead, you’ll want to find the “Live Streaming” module on the right-hand side of your screen. Click “Get Started” in that module.

youtube_live stream.png

Before you go live, YouTube will first confirm that your channel is verified and that you have no live stream restrictions in the last 90 days. Once that’s all set, you have two options for streaming: “Stream now” and “Live Events.”

Stream Now

Stream Now is the simpler, quicker option for live streaming, which is why it’s YouTube’s default for live streaming. You’ll see a fancy dashboard like the one below when you choose “Live Streaming” on the left-hand Creator Studio menu:

youtube_livestream dashboard.png

Again, you’ll notice there’s no “start” button on the dashboard. This is where you’ll need to open your encoder and start and stop your streaming from there. Here’s YouTube’s Live Streaming FAQ page for more detailed information.

Live Events

Live Events gives you a lot more control over the live stream. You can preview it before it goes live, it’ll give you backup redundancy streams, and you can start and stop the stream when you want.

Choose “Live Events” from your live streaming dashboard once you’ve enabled it. Here’s what the events dashboard looks like, and you can learn more about it here.

youtube-live-event.png

When you stop streaming, we’ll automatically upload an archive of your live stream to your channel. Note that your completed live stream videos are automatically made public on your channel by default as soon as you’re done recording. To make them disappear from the public eye once you’re done, you can select “Make archive private when complete” in the “Stream Options” section of your live dashboard.

Live Stream From Your Mobile Device

YouTube has also rolled out live streaming from mobile devices for YouTube creators with 10,000 or more subscribers (as of the date of this posting — that will be available to all creators soon, according to YouTube’s blog post).

Live streaming is more intuitive from mobile devices than on desktop computers. Qualified creators can simply open their YouTube app on mobile, tap the camera icon at the top of the screen, and choose “Go Live”.

From there, creators can enter details about the broadcast before immediately recording live for their subscribers, as shown below:

CameoFlow-1.gif

Source: YouTube

For more instruction on how to go live on YouTube across devices, YouTube published a Help article here. Want to see what live videos others are recording on YouTube? You can browse popular YouTube videos that are live right now by clicking here.

14) You can upload and watch 360-degree videos (live and pre-recorded).

YouTube first announced its support for 360-degree videos back in March 2015, and it was a total novelty — not to mention a game changer. Since then, brands, athletes, and other users have created some awesome 360-degree content, like this video from Samsung:

As you can see, the experience as a viewer is really, really cool. On desktop, you can click around the video to see all the different angles while the video plays. On mobile, it’s even cooler: You can move your camera around to change the angle. You can browse the trending 360-degree and virtual reality (VR) videos here.

To actually create a 360-degree video on YouTube yourself, though, you need some serious equipment. Cameras with 360-degree capability that are compatible with YouTube are listed here on YouTube’s Support page, along with how to create and upload a 360-degree video file.

What about live video in 360 degrees? That announcement would come a year after the first one, in April 2016 — the very same week Facebook announced its own design for a 360-degree camera. Luckily for the folks at YouTube, it beat out Facebook by supporting both live video and 360-degree footage all at once.

The Verge called 360 live-streamed videos “the gateway drug to virtual reality” for YouTube. Other than the YouTube website or app, you don’t need any fancy equipment to be able to watch a 360-degree live video and feel like you’re basically there.

15) YouTube ads target you based on an algorithm similar to Google and Facebook.

How does the YouTube algorithm decide which ads play on the videos you watch?

Turns out it works a lot like Google and Facebook ads do. Like on other free sites, the advertisers help fund the YouTube experience in return for exposure to ads. You’ll see certain ads over others because of your demographic groups, your interests (which is judged in part by what you search on Google and YouTube) and the content you’ve viewed before, including whether or not you’ve interacted with the advertiser’s videos, ads, or YouTube channel.

YouTube’s algorithms also try to make sure that people aren’t overloaded with ads while watching videos — so it actually sometimes won’t show ads on monetizable videos, even when there’s a demographic match.

Here are the five ad formats you can expect to see on YouTube, and how they work:

a) Display ads, which show up next to the video and only appear only on desktop and laptop computers. The advertiser gets paid when you see or click on the ad, depending on their selection.

youtube-display-ads.png

Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy

b) Overlay ads, which appear across the bottom 20% of the video window and currently only appears only on desktop and laptop computers. You can X out of the ad at any time.

youtube-overlay-ads.png

Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy

c) TrueView in-stream, skippable video ads, which are most common ads. These are the ones you can skip after watching for five seconds. Advertisers can put it before, during (yikes!), or after the video plays, and they get paid only if you watch at least 30 seconds of the clip or to the end of the video ad — whichever comes first.

youtube-in-stream-skippable-video-ads.png

Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy

d) Non-skippable video ads, which are those longer, 15-or-more-second ads you see before plays and can’t skip after any period of time, no matter how much you shout at your screen.

youtube-non-skippable-video-ads-2.png

Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy

e) Midroll ads, which are ads that are only available for videos over 15 minutes long that are spaced within the video like TV commercials. You need to watch the ad before continuing through the video. How the advertiser gets paid depends on the type of ad: If the midroll is a TrueView ad, then you’d have to watch 30 seconds of the end or the entire ad — whichever is shorter. If it’s a CPM-based ad, then you have to watch the entire ad no matter how long it is.

youtube-midroll-ads-1.png

Image Credit: YouTube’s Creator Academy

f) Bumper ads, which are short- non-skippable ads up to six seconds long that play before the video the viewer has selected. Bumper ads are optimized for mobile devices and must be watched in their entirety before viewers can progress to the video they want to view.

bumperad_youtube.png

16) You can remove ads from YouTube videos (and watch videos offline) for 10 bucks a month.

Video ads are the reason you can watch videos for free on YouTube. It’s a fact many of us have come to accept. But with YouTube’s subscription service YouTube Red, that doesn’t necessarily have to be true anymore.

For $9.99 a month, you can watch YouTube videos … without any ads. And, in addition to ad-free videos, you can save videos on your mobile device and watch them in the background and/or offline, and you can use YouTube’s Music App (on iOS and Android) in the background, offline, and/or on audio mode. This is not a drill.

You’d think the lure of ad-free videos would have caused more of an uproar since its launch in late 2015, especially given YouTube’s domination in the music space. Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much noise about it. But YouTube hasn’t disclosed subscriber numbers (the service reportedly has around 1.5 million subscribers) so it’s hard to tell how well it’s doing. Either way, it’s good to know about — especially if you like collecting songs and music videos like I do, but don’t like when they get broken up by ads.

17) You can use Google Trends to explore and compare popular YouTube search terms over time.

You might already use Google Trends to look at the popularity of specific search terms over time. (It can be a great marketing tool for making smarter keyword choices, for instance.) But did you know you can use it to compare the popularity of YouTube search queries, specifically?

All you have to do is open Google Trends and type a search term into the “Explore topics” search bar at the top. Once that page opens up, click on “Web Search” to open a drop-down menu, and choose “YouTube Search” so it filters by YouTube searches specifically.

youtube_googletrends.png

You might find that, for some search terms, the search trends are very different on Google (above) than on YouTube (below).

youtube_googletrends_2.png

18) There’s a “safer” version of YouTube available for your kids.

Any parent will tell you how scary it is for their kids to theoretically have access to everything public on the internet. But for your younger kids, there are ways to curb that access and have more control of what they’re watching and finding — including a kids’ version of YouTube called YouTube Kids.

The folks at YouTube call YouTube Kids “a safer version of YouTube.” It’s not a wide-open library of online videos like YouTube is; instead, it uses filters powered by algorithms to select videos from YouTube that are safe for kids to watch. It’s also totally free, thanks to ads (which are regulated as carefully as possible).

You can either turn the search feature on or off, depending on whether you’re cool with your kids searching for videos themselves, or if you’d rather they’re limited to a certain set of videos selected by the app, along with those the app recommends based on what they’ve watched already. You can set a timer to limit how much time a child spends on the app, which I imagine is music to many parents’ ears.

The algorithm is darn good — remember, Google is YouTube’s parent company — but, as it warns in its parents’ guide, “no algorithm is perfect.”

19) You can now clear your YouTube History.

For whatever reason, you might want to delete items from your YouTube search or watch history. YouTube lets you completely clear your history, pause your history so it stops recording what you search for and watch from that point forward, or go through your history and delete certain videos.

Here’s how:

On your desktop or mobile device, navigate to the “Watch History” menu. Here’s where it lives on your desktop browser homepage and in your mobile app, respectively:

youtube_history.png

youtube_library.pngyoutube_history_mobile.png

From there, you can “Clear watch history” (permanently delete the record of everything you’ve watched), “Pause watch history” (stop recording the videos you watch going forward), or individually remove videos from your history by tapping the X or ellipses next to videos. Here’s what it looks like on desktop and on mobile below:

youtube_history_delete.png

youtube_delete_history_mobile.png

YouTube published a Help article if you need more instruction for deleting items from your YouTube watch history, too.

20) You can learn about YouTube’s copyrights terms from a cast of ridiculous puppets.

Made it this far? Here’s a little reward: YouTube’s “Copyrights Basics” FAQ page, which is, fittingly a YouTube video — and features a pretty colorful cast of characters. It’s actually super informative, and it looks like YouTube’s video team had a lot of fun making it.

My favorite line is probably, “You know there are links on this webpage, right? You don’t have to watch this.” Although the chorus of gorilla puppets was pretty great, too.

Enjoy.

We hope we’ve opened your eyes to some of the more awesome YouTube hacks, tips, and features out there that you may not have known about. Now log on to YouTube and do some exploring yourself. The platform certainly isn’t going anywhere.

Which YouTube features can you add to the list? Share with us in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

social media marketing assessment


free guide to creating video for social media

Powered by WPeMatico