This is a guest blog post by Benjamin Wayne. He is the founder, president, and CEO of Fliqz, a B2B provider of plug-and-play video solutions.
Can you share your thoughts on online videos going viral?
Online video is a powerful viral tool for marketers. In the video context, “viral” distribution typically means that sites will allow end users to repost videos via an embed code, or link to them via some form of permalink. More sophisticated marketers may use “sticky” permalinking to direct specific traffic and buy-flow.
Within the Fliqz customer base, which comprises over 30,000 publishers of varying sizes, we consistently observe that sites that allow viral reposting will see up to 40% of their video viewership occurring via players that have been reposted outside of the publisher’s domain. Not only does this offer considerable opportunity for viewership lift, it enables marketers to get their branding and messaging into venues which have been typically impossible to penetrate, such as Facebook pages, personal web sites, and blogs.
When viral videos are properly delivered with specific calls to action and links in the video stage, watermark, start- and end-screen, marketers can drive significant and specific traffic, increasing site visitation, new audience creation, and overall engagement.
How do you determine the return on investment of online video?
This is a good question, and one that typically doesn’t get enough thought from publishers deploying video solutions. With customers, we like to start with ROI and work backwards. Although some publishers can measure ROI through media monetization, for the majority of sites implementing video, advertising is not truly a viable option for reasons of inventory, volume, content type, or logistics.
For most of our customers, ROI is measured in terms of cost of acquisition, or new revenue generated through product sales or services subscriptions.
In evaluating ROI on cost of acquisition, the typical yardstick is a cost-per-lead, as measured against other forms of SEO, SEM, advertising, email marketing, and demand generation. With products and services, it’s typically a cost-per-sale calculation. When sites are using search engine submission, and tracking new visitors through an analytics package such as Quantcast or Google Analytics, this is a fairly straightforward exercise. With viral initiatives, most marketers will need the assistance of their video provider to understand new traffic generated through click-through.
Are organizations successful converting video viewers into leads?
We see numerous examples of lead generation success through the use of video.
- Independent real estate agents using Fliqz for property listings report a 4X increase in rentals for properties with video as opposed to listings with text and images alone.
- Geo-destination sites like Visit Maine have seen significant lift in travel planning leads through the use of video.
- Print publishers have seen significant uptake on trial subscriptions through user-generated video contests and the introduction of video content within their editorial.
What are the obstacles when launching a video marketing campaign?
Here are three tips to ensure you’re getting the most from your video implementation:
- Location, location, location.Many publishers make an investment in video, and then fail to make it an integrated part of the overall site experience. Gallery pages are fine, but visitors are geared to respond to what they find on your home page.If one is available, 50% of all visitors click on a video before taking any other actio; make sure your video assets are front and center.On other pages, make sure that videos are placed contextually so that they correspond with and compliment the surrounding content. Getting this right will boost your video interaction and maximize your viewership.
- Get viral.Sites that allow for viral dissemination can see up to a third of their traffic from videos reposted on other sites, blogs, social networks and wikis.Letting your users repost videos to other sites helps increase viewership by reaching new audiences, drives additional site visits, and helps put your brand in places that would be impossible to reach through any other means.Sharing and linking are other ways to help increase propagation and interactivity.
- Syndicate.Very few videos are indexed by search engines today, creating a golden opportunity for sites with video assets to get found. Unfortunately, search engines can’t read Flash tags, so getting into them requires a special approach. Have your video provider create a MRSS feed for your video assets, and submit it to the major search engines. This will guarantee that your results, including thumbnails, appear, and help you stand out from the crowd in search results.
Once someone has a camera, then what? How to achieve technical success?
Capturing digital video is easy, but it requires a few simple steps to ensure success:
- Shoot with lots of light. Video is much more sensitive to light than still images, and the more light you have when shooting, the clearer, smoother, and crisper your final video will be. Daylight is best, but if you have to shoot in artificial light, make sure that work in conditions that are as brightly lit as possible.
- Don’t zoom or pan. Zooming-in or panning (moving the camera from side to side) tend to be very hard on the eye. If a horizontal pan is important to your shot, move very slowly and keep the camera as still as possible.
- Keep the camera steady. Whenever possible, use a tripod or set the camera on a desk or counter. If you must hold the camera, lean against a doorway or brace your elbows to keep shake to a minimum.
- Fill the frame. Try to fill the entire frame with the subject. Online video tends to be shown at sizes that are much smaller than the average television, so for maximum impact, get as close as possible to the subject matter.
- Keep it short. Videos with duration of two minutes or less tend to have much higher viewership and completion rates and tend to be more impactful than videos with longer durations.
How is Fliqz using social media?
Although it’s early days for social media as a true business tool, we’ve seen significant success with a variety of social media. In addition to the Fliqz blog, we are on Twitter regularly, as well as maintaining a profile on both Facebook and Friendster (a Fliqz customer).
From a lead generation perspective, Twitter has been the most prolific source of new business, contributing up to 5% of our overall new business in some months. Small Business Technology recently profiled our use of Twitter.
How can interested readers sign up with you?
I’m happy to offer 2 months free on a 12-month subscription to any AriWriter reader. Just call one of our video specialists at 1-888-323-5479 and mention this article.
In January 2009, Fliqz received an increase of venture funding to continue offering services to over 35,000 video publishers, including Monster.com, Friendster, Major League Baseball, and Movable Type.