March 15, 2018

Reach consumers who searched on Google…on YouTube

It sounds like a no brainer but now Google has provided a direct relationship between search on Google and video delivery on YouTube for advertisers. At the recent Search Marketing Expo - SMX, Google announced a number of updates to YouTube which provide greater evidence of their focus on video at the heart of internet search as a way to connect brands, products and services to audiences (and that means customers).

Allowing advertisers to reach (and if done correctly, engage) people on YouTube who have recently searched on Google, the new innovation called "custom intent audiences" harnesses Google's vast amount of search information and is currently only available within the AdWords experience. By fusing the data collected in search with audience information and search terms on YouTube, custom intent audiences can be "an effective way to move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video." according to the Google annaouncement. 

This presents a really interesting opportunity for brands to develop an integrated digital strategy using the power of video to build brand and/or product awareness, brand affinity and product features and benefits in an engaging way. Used in the right way it is clear that this can compliment and increase the performance of SEM and digital marketing campaigns. Particularly in hyper competitive categories such as travel, finance, auto, ecommerce and beyond, a well thought-out strategy to connect with audiences based on historical search behaviour across Google to deliver relevant and timely video content could significantly drive enhanced outcomes for not only awareness and brand building but also customer acquisition.

Google highlights a case study of online investment company Betterment who used custom intent audiences to reach YouTube viewers who recently searched for financial keywords on Google. The brand increased its return on ad spend 6X compared to previous YouTube campaigns, and saw a 245% increase in searches on Google.com, including their brand term: "Betterment". Of course Google would like everything to stay within their ecosystem but in reality the power of social media content to also assist with SEO, customer engagement and acquisition means that a multi-channel social video content strategy would also contribute significantly to overall results and maximise the ROI of video content. This also provides a way for savvy marketers to prove direct results of an integrated digital marketing strategy with video at the heart. 

One issue this also highlights is the need for specialist video content experts with a deeper knowledge and understanding of not only the different platforms available but also how video and content creative needs to be optimised for these platforms and the different opportunities to maximise ROI within them. It also highlights the need for multi-disciplinary teams to work collaboratively, in this case the SEM specialists working alongside video & content strategy and creative as part of a wider digital content strategy. It will be interesting to see which brands take full advantage of this new feature as Google starts to roll it out globally.

March 5, 2018

Vimeo Offers ‘Video Everywhere’

Video sharing website Vimeo this week launched some new functionality offering creators, brands and publishers the ability to upload and instantly share 'natively' to social (video) platforms, YouTube and Facebook. 

Vimeo was founded in 2004 and has always had a focus on the more artistic, creative and storytelling aspects of video content. Vimeo was the first to offer HD video sharing and now offers 4k Ultra HD as part of a commitment to 'Host videos in the highest quality possible'. With more than 70 million members in 150 countries, the Vimeo CEO recently announced a target of 1 million paid subscribers and $100 million in revenue in the next 12 months.

Part of this push for more revenue is offering tools and features which appeals to a wider audience. The new sharing feature is pretty nifty too - once a video is uploaded to your channel, within the 'Basic Video' settings simply click on the 'Share' button and hit 'Publish To Social'. You are then able to share to any of your connected social media accounts in the respective platform's native video form. As Vimeo themselves say "we want to do everything we can to help your videos get seen by the masses. That's why you can now publish videos natively to Facebook and YouTube (with more on the way), right from Vimeo. It's not just a time saver, it helps your videos rank higher on those platforms and reach more people". Happy sharing...

September 4, 2017

Generation V

Video has rapidly become the most powerful way that we have available for connecting with audiences.

It demands and attracts more consumer attention than any other medium with unrivalled ability to evoke emotion, communicate information and tell stories.

And whilst the "golden age of video" is in full swing - it still represents the biggest growth opportunity for brands to build audiences and harness them to build brands and sell products. 

Scientifically we know that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. And that visuals are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. Given people spend one third of their time online watching videos there is huge potential here. Between Snapchat (10 billion), Facebook (8 billion), and YouTube alone (4 billion), there are 22 billion daily video views.

Of all the video platforms available, YouTube is the most regularly used platform for Gen Z cited by 84% of respondents in a recent Accenture study.

The stats are compelling:

Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.

Mobile video traffic expected to increase at a 50% compound annual growth rate through to 2021.

Between Snapchat (10 billion), Facebook (8 billion), and YouTube alone (4 billion), there are 22 billion daily video views.

A third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos. 

64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

87% of online marketers  are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategies and 65% of marketers plan to increase their mobile ad budgets to account for video.

7 out 10 Millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online.

With access to the tools of production and distribution now almost ubiquitous many brands, big and small, are taking advantage with great results. However, it is the rigour and around content strategy, creative strategy, selecting the right tools of production and distribution which separates the ok from the great.

To get more information on how the best brands are using video led campaigns and content to achieve results based business outcomes, why not drop us a line.

July 18, 2017

How Social Video Platforms Are Evolving In 2017

With the pace of change continuing across key video platforms, the shift in audience viewing habits across all demographics and particularly the shift to mobile, we are now truely seeing the rise of Gen V - the Video Generation. This has already hugely impacted the way media companies and brands attract and communicate with audiences with more change to come over the next few years. Here are some the main developments currently taking place, to get more detail on the key points simply hit the links:

YouTube

  • 1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube every single month globally.
  • On average, YouTube viewers spend over an hour a day watching videos on mobile devices alone. 
  • YouTube is now the number 1 'social network' for Gen Z.
  • In a few weeks, an update to the the YouTube mobile app will mean video will dynamically adapt to whatever size users choose to watch it in. That means if they’re watching a vertical, square, or horizontal video, the YouTube player will seamlessly adapt itself, filling the screen exactly the way it should. If this works well it will only increase YouTube's dominance.
  • YouTube and Daydream have worked together to develop a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easier and more affordable to make VR videos. This new format delivers 3-D video while capturing a 180-degree view. 
  • Recently launched social video app uptime - currently available in the US only but shows YouTube's intent to provide a direct answer to Snapchat and Instagram.

Facebook

  • Now officially 2 billion people on Facebook globally.
  • Video on Facebook now plays with sound on automatically OR users can turn off sound in their app settings.
  • Messenger video chats have received a Snapchat-esque update with new features like animated reactions, filters, masks and effects, and the ability to take screenshots—available for one-on-one and group video chats. You can now share your emotions with a reaction, add a filter and even take pictures of your time together.
  • An update is coming to the Facebook Mentions creators app but there is no sign Facebook will start sharing revenue with their community of creators (unlike YouTube for example).

Instagram

Snapchat

  • Snapchat daily active users grew from 122 million in 12 months to Q1 2017, an increase of 36% year-over-year. 
  • 3 billion snaps are created every day by Snapchat users, up from 2.5 billion in Q3 2016.
  • Introduced Snap Map which lets Snapchatters share their current location and updates with friends on a map when they open the app, but also displays a heat map of snaps from around the world.
  • Snapchat also introduced what it called it's biggest update yet in March 2017 - Limitless Snaps which allows snaps to play on a friends’ screens until users skip to the next snap by tapping on the right side of the screen or by closing the app. The time limit was lifted both from the snaps posted to a story and shared with friends directly via Snapchat. After a friend finishes viewing the Snap and taps to close it, Snapchat will delete as usual.

Twitter

  • It's all been fairly quiet from Twitter on the video front having recently released a "new look" which included some navigations and icon updates plus the functionality that links to articles and websites now open in Safari’s viewer in the Twitter app so you can access accounts on websites you’re already signed into on IOS.
  • In late 2016 Twitter introduced live 360 video - when users see a video marked with a LIVE 360 badge, they can interact with it to change what they see by moving their phone or swiping the screen – all while watching live.

musical.ly

  • Sneaking up almost un-noticed, musical.ly is an app for video creation, messaging, and live broadcasting. Launched in August 2014, musical.ly lets users create 15-second to 1 minute videos and choose sound tracks to accompany them, use different speed options (time-lapse, slow, normal, fast, and epic), and add pre-set filters and effects. The app also allows users to browse popular “musers,” content, trending songs and sounds and hashtags.
  • Now has over 200 million users globally. 

November 22, 2016

Facebook Video Intelligence

This month as part of our regular video intelligence series we're taking a look at Facebook video: the top 5 Facebook Live creators, Facebook 360 video creators and overall Australian Facebook video creators.

It's interesting to see that the Australian Ballet scored over 1 million views with the live video launch of their 2017 season. At first you might assume that they achieved these views during the live event alone but by delving deeper in the data we found that most of the views for the video actually came on day 5 and 6 AFTER the live event - nevertheless whether organic or paid views, this still highlights how live video, when harnessed correctly, can be used to engage audiences.

The data for the Facebook 360 videos is based on global views and it is clear immediately that Travel & Tourism as a category is taking advantage of what 360 video has to offer with LATAM, Visit The USA and Discovery Networks featuring in the Top 5. It's still fairly early days for 360 video and none of the videos featured are particularly inspiring with the Discovery VR Atlas series probably the pick but again this highlights that audiences have a willingness to see something new and explore what 360 video has to offer. We believe there is a real opportunity for publishers and brands to push the boundaries in this area with the potential to really drive audience growth. 

On the Facebook video creators Top 5, Hebbar's Kitchen comes out top of Australian video creators table for September 2016. "Who?" we hear you say, based in Melbourne they are a type of a BuzzFeed Food of Indian cooking with loads of short, shareable recipes and videos and a massive 47 million+ views on Facebook alone in September, spicy!!

November 4, 2016

YouTube’s New End Screen Feature For Brands & Publishers

YouTube recently announced it is looking to faze out annotated end frames on videos and has introduced YouTube End Cards as a feature. Previously reserved for a select number of publishers and creators, the key benefit of End Screens is that they work across both mobile and desktop, whereas predecessor annotations work only on desktop. This is a step YouTube had to take given half of all YouTube users now access YouTube video on mobile.

So what are they? End Screens are overlays appearing at the end of videos which encourage viewers to take an action before the video completes, such as get more information, click to view another video, visit a website, subscribe to the channel and more. End Screens can appear in the last 5-20 seconds of a video, and desktop viewers can hover over them for more information while mobile audiences just need to tap on the thumbnails. YouTube has restricted use to up to four End Screens, as long as the video has a 16:9 aspect ratio. 

This makes End Screens a valuable feature for brands and publishers who take advantage of this important new feature.

If brands and publishers create quality videos that convince viewers to watch more content via the use of compelling End Screens, they can expect to see increased retention and watch time across their channels, thanks to the YouTube algorithm. Over time, this tactic can also increase overall video completion and watch time metrics notwithstanding the fact that the video creative still needs to do the main job of attracting and keeping viewers. 

With viewing across mobile being so high, the ability to encourage channel subscription and additional calls-to-action such as product purchase or visiting a specific (verified) website across both mobile and desktop traffic is significant.

The switch to End Cards does create a potential headache for existing publishers who have annotated end frames and want to switch to End Screens as the formatting is different and the placement restrictions of the thumbnails means previous end frames and calls-to-action are unlikely to match up and will need re-formatting.

Ongoing though, it is clear that any brand or publisher uploading video to their YouTube channel will now need to consider: 

  1.  How videos created can best utilise the updated End Screens format.
  2.  How to time video end frames to make the most use of the 5-20 seconds available on End Screens.
  3.  Check performance and metrics of end screens to see those performing best, be prepared to modify based on audience behaviour.

As the world's second biggest search engine and with the seemingly unstoppable rise of video consumption on mobile, a YouTube strategy is now near essential for most brands and publishers. With End Screens, brands and publishers can improve the experience on YouTube for mobile audiences, increase watch times, and drive specific actions from viewers. As such, brands and publishers should start using End Screens as soon as possible so they can reap the benefits of the feature sooner rather than later.

December 22, 2015

3 Rules For Publishers Embracing The Video Revolution

The power of video to inform, educate, entertain and engage is now well established.

 Some recent statistics highlight this:

1. Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
2. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to a site and doubles their time spent on the site and has a157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
3. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz
4. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)

The availability of video is now almost universal: YouTube alone has over 1 billion users uploading over 300 hours of video every minute. The number of hours per month that people are consuming on their platform is up 50% in 2015 compared to last year. By 2019 90% of all online activity will be related to video consumption – this is truly the video age.

Consumers have led the video revolution - the fact is people want to consume information via video more and more. Publishers need to develop a video content strategy which provides insights into how video can positively impact both their existing print and digital content platform and enhance their audience experience whilst also providing additional opportunities for their commercial partners to associate with the wealth of content available.
Advertisers will follow consumers and their behavior has definitely shifted towards video viewing, participation and sharing.

Recent changes by FacebookInstagramSnapchat and Twitter have introduced new video based viewing and social sharing features bringing social video into the mainstream and into our hands via mobile.

With access to numerous platforms offering video content solutions and the ability to create their own branded video content destination on the web, advertisers and agencies have more options than ever to connect with audiences through video.

This change will only continue at an even faster pace, as technology becomes an enabler and consumer habits change.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PUBLISHERS?

Whilst video is not the be-all-and-end-all for publishers, they must now have a plan for how to integrate and use video for the benefit of their subscribers, audiences and commercial partners.
Creating video content to support and enhance a publishers' core assets and capabilities is now seen as essential in a world where the digital social web and technology have made access to video content ubiquitous. 
Combining in-house publishing capabilities with a specialist video agency partner to provide new skills, expertise and on-going support is one way that publishers can utilize existing resources to quickly establish meaningful video content. For others, new working environments, management and compensation structures may be needed to attract and retain this new kind of talent. Here are 3 things publishers embarking on integrating video content as part of their overall strategy need to get right:

1. VIDEO CONTENT STRATEGY

First define how, when and why you are creating content. What are the KPI’s and how will success be measured. The video content strategy is a plan to provide a clear understanding of your current situation, revealing your goals, monitoring your progress, measuring your success and outlining the rewards.

It is also very important that the strategy informs the creative approach to video production values to ensure consistency with the publisher’s brand, tone of voice, positioning and values. This seems like a given but there are numerous examples of videos being incompatible with a corresponding publisher assets, magazine and/or digital publication. This relies on publishers, editors, writers, marketers and external partners working as a team to ensure the video produced integrates seamlessly with the written word and visuals of the publication.


Assessing how the video content strategy aligns with overall business objectives is key to success. Is the objective to build brand awareness or affinity? To increase readership or get subscribers? What media types and channels are most appropriate to achieve the prescribed goals?  All subsequent decisions—about tools, partners, and technologies—will flow subsequently from this essential content strategy.


For traditional publishers to effectively incorporate video content publishing as part of their brand ecosytem, measurement also needs to be considered. Traditional metrics such as impressions and click through rates matter less, while publishing metrics such as views, unique visitors, repeat visitors, video completions and time spent begin to matter more. Social metrics, such as likes, shares, comments, volume of traffic from social media channels, and share of voice also take on increased importance.

2. VIDEO CONTENT PILLARS

The are opportunities to produce video around the existing publisher content genres and ‘tent-pole’ articles or initiatives that are generating interest, online traffic, comments or views. Magazine and print publishers are in the enviable position that they have a wealth of written and visual content and an existing and connected audience. The key is to produce regularly and consistently.

Within existing content pillars for publishers, say food or motoring or finance, it is possible to develop a consistent approach to a video content calendar – providing consumer based video of a regular tactical nature based on relevant ‘news-worthy’ events or stories – this can include content such as filming regular seasonal recipes, new car reviews or journalistic video that reports and/or highlights relevant topical stories, seasonal recipes.

This can be interwoven with or used to supplement and support pre-defined content themes or arcs in-line with published articles. This content is likely to be longer form with more in-depth story led, informative or entertaining content and more thoroughly planned and produced. This is where audiences engage and connect with the brand and it’s values at a deeper level.

3. OPTIMIZATION – NEW WORKFLOWS

Video content can add tangible value to an organization but it needs regular maintenance and care. Flexibility in this environment is as important as streamlining production and approval workflows. Online video content creation, like other digital endeavors, requires optimization. Rapid testing, learning and publishing on a continuous basis are all signs of success. Creating an infrastructure that supports and produces video content on an ongoing basis means that publishers need to strive for a flexible, adaptable content culture which embraces new ways to entice audiences to interact with content.