Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Here's a boil-down of what I see as vital (italics are direct quotes):
1. How do you gauge a video's popularity?
The popularity of a video can be gauged by looking at the views count and it is important to see that there are two ways that videos results are returned: By the title of the video and the ‘tags’ used to describe the video. By all appearances, the ‘tags’ are the most important keyword reference to optimize... In fact, these are probably the 2 most important optimization tools (other than making a great video) that you can use to get your video viewed many, many times. Fortunately, most YouTube users are not experts at keyword optimization and only tag their videos with a few related keywords. With a little thought and brainstorming, you can make your videos ‘findable’.
Means that keywords, like the rest of the Internet, are only used by the savvy - and that is where the money/viewers/leads are.
2. Channels, Groups, Playlists
Channels: Basically, channels allow you to search for videos uploaded by a specific user. You can create your own channel
Groups: This feature allows you to search by groups using a keyword. This is important for advanced search because groups attract passionate people.
Playlists: This feature allows you to find playlists or groups of videos organized by a common theme.
After you’ve created a YouTube account and uploaded some videos, take the time to create a custom profile and your own custom channel information. You should also create at least one group, and you may want to create a playlist if you have more than 1 video.
This will give you a big advantage when people sort for ‘Channels’, ‘Groups’, and ‘Playlists’.
If YouTube users are so unsophisticated now that they can barely pick more than 2 or 3 decent keywords to tag their videos with, there is little doubt that few to none are actually taking the time to make customized channels, play lists and groups.
Idea here is the same as keywords. You want to make your video findable. These three are social networking tools within YouTube that facilitate people finding your video when it is associated with words they are looking for. That is really all keywords do - search shortcuts people use within search engines. (If you want a good cross-section of Internet culture, just look at Google's hot trends...) People use common terms to find stuff - and you just have to find what those terms are, plus tag your video and include those terms in your title and descriptions.
3. Characteristics of successful videos
Well, I have found that there are certain characteristics that can help make a video successful, and I’ve listed them below... Funny, Weird, Gross, Shocking, Interesting, Sexy, Inspiring, Demonstrates, Instructional, Personal
For the use of someone trying to develop a trusting relationship with a public that will opt-in to a mailing list and then continue to buy, let's narrow down to these few:
Funny, Interesting, Inspiring, Demonstrates, Instructional, Personal
Anything else is a flash in the pan. What you want is a classic that will be around (and searched for, referred) over and over.
5. Case Studies - Burns does four very clear case studies showing why each was a success as marketing tools. (Get the PDF, which has links to these videos.)
His summary says it all:
4 Important Observations About The Videos In The Case Studies
1. A video does not have to get very many views to be an absolutely amazing financial success. In the case of high-ticket items like real estate, a very simple and amateur video which got only a few hundred hits sold a house. The return on investment was awesome.
2. Video length is very important to note of. Keep in mind that people on the internet have extremely short attention spans, and there maybe much better videos waiting for them to view if your video is boring for even 5 or 10 seconds. Unless you have a very strong professionally produced, or extremely funny or engaging video, there isn’t much reason the video has to be over 2 minutes. Videos as short as 20 seconds that take 10 minutes to produce may be as powerful a professionally created video that is 5 minutes long and cost $5,000 to produce.
3. We also learn that even the most basic demonstrations of a product using YouTube can help to sell a product (unless you are showing a competitor’s product in a bad light). Keep in mind that even if a demonstrational video that doesn’t get many views from people searching YouTube, it can still be a useful marketing device --Just embed the demonstrational video in your website to help convert visitors into buyers. ...
4. If possible, put people in the videos...those people will show their friends those videos and those friends may show other friends and so on. Just be sure that if an actors release is required ... that you have one.
Length, as sales page writers have found, has more to do with maintaining interest than attention span. Trailers are short in movie theaters to take advantage of that short, emotional attention span. Marketers are saying, "Plug this into your subconscious right now and REMEMBER IT." When the video gets longer, you are engaging their analytical side as well.
For real marketing, you can't practically emotionalize trust without also delivering some goods for the Analyzer in us all. Emotional appeal only lasts so long - ask any President's PR person. While approval ratings usually go up after they left office, they are mostly in the gutter when they left (I think Truman still beats Bush at this point...). Approval ratings go up when they only have their fond memories left (and the press quits bashing them every day, on the hour, half-hour, and in-between.)
You want a viral affect that lasts. So length is optimal against how good your copy is and how well your production carries the viewer.
6. Movie Quality
Burns goes into a great deal about how to make videos. Suffice to say, the tools are cheap, plentiful, and have short learning curves. I made my first one in an afternoon when I installed the program.
But there are these recommendations:
What's the best format to upload for high quality? YouTube recommends the following settings: * MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format * 320x240 resolution * MP3 audio * 30 frames per second
Movie Length And File Size: Movies must be under 10 minutes, under 100 megabytes in file size. This should not be a problem, as most effective promotional videos are short.
When uploading your videos, it is important to remember that this is the time to optimize your video profile to get the most visitors from YouTube searchers. Here are some screen-shots to explain the basic functions of uploading your videos. After you have created your free YouTube Account, login and go to your account page and find the button that says ‘Upload New Video’.
This step is the most important step so take your time and make sure you get this right.
In the title box, put your best keyword, and make your title exciting if possible. Something that generates curiosity will help. You may also consider putting your website URL in the title (but not absolutely necessary).
In the description box, describe your video and BE SURE to put your website URL! You may want to put some keywords in the description.
The ‘Tags’ box is critical. Here is where you want to put all of the best keywords that you found from your research. These are the keywords that will help YouTube surfers find your videos.
Another key point he covers is to have your web address visible at all times. Like a banner behind your video action if you are recording, part of your template if you are working from a PowerPoint presentation, or as a watermark if some combination of things. The idea is that you get the person to see your web address so they can go there for more information.
As well, make sure you have a final page to that video which has your address - and is the last (and probably also the first) thing they see. "As sponsored by gothunkyourself.com" or something.
7. List Building
Now we'll see how this then ties into what we've already covered in List Building through An Online Millionaire Plan:
How To Build Your List By Offering Free Videos:
List building is a very important part of doing business online. There are a few ways you can build your list using YouTube. The first is to put up videos, and at the end of the video, instruct the users to visit your website. At your website, be sure to have an email sign up form to collect as many subscribers as you can to market to them over an over again. You may also want to use videos as incentives for people to sign up.
For example, in exchange for a name and email address, you can send your subscribers a link to 2 sample videos which offer a sample of your product or some type of demonstration. This is especially effective if you have an information product and you can show one or two techniques to pique the prospects interest. Be sure to describe the videos and the benefits they’ll receive from watching them and you’ll likely increase your email list.
Trust Building: If you have an email list already, you may want to create a few videos of yourself and your product to help build a personal relationship with your subscribers. This may not be appropriate for all types of businesses, but there is always some way you can increase trust with video that shows your subscribers more about what you can offer them.
Educational Videos Educational videos also fall under the category of trust building. Educational videos can be useful if they tell potential buyers more about your product or service. For example, if you were selling a series of cooking videos on DVD, you might find it useful to do a short series of YouTube videos demonstrating a few recipes and then direct watchers to your website where they could purchase complete DVDs. You might also have the educational videos embedded in your website to help show what you do to people who find your site in the search engines.
It helps to build trust when people see a sample and see that what you are offering is good.
Here's where the rubber meets the road. If you are going to generate leads/traffic from videos, you have to generate trust. So sexy, gross (or sexy and gross) videos won't do - unless you are selling porn, but these usually get banned from YouTube quickly.
Simple educational videos, as Burns mentions, will build trust.
As well, the idea that you give away something for people who give you their email address is standard for this industry.
With videos, this can be simply an address to a page with a video that's not commonly available - or a .zip file they can download where that video is embedded into a web page as a Flash file. Or you could simply give away a PDF ebook which has video links in it. (I haven't yet worked with embedding video into PDF's, although I'm sure some one has - stay tuned...)
8. Where to from here...
Now that you have them on your list, realize that this is a visual-oriented, Web 2.0-savvy subscriber. They may not be satisfied with simple emails and PDF ebooks. So you should make special list-only videos from time to time and embed them on your blog.
And of course, all these videos you make can then build into your own funnel products, since videos make great course material. Particularly if you are making educational and how-to videos from the beginning.
Courses built with audio and video, in addition to PDF's, will give a lot greater value than a simple text or HTML-based course. Of course, you want them to buy your hardcopy version that comes with a CD or DVD.
Lulu and others enable you to create CD's and DVD's that the person can buy directly (or you could burn and print them yourself, for a little investment of personal time and money).
You can make access to these projects "direct access only", such that unless you give out the exact address, they would never be able to find it on their own. Perfect for special offers (like the pre-release paperback version of a book - or that link above on List Building where you can get a section of a larger book for a fraction of what the final book costs. But only where the author gives you the exact address - and none of the others can be searched for, since they are all given exact numbers, which are impossible to get sequentially and guess...
And... there is great crossover potential. I've mentioned embedding these in blogs. They also embed well in sales pages (though KISS still applies) and also can be linked from your articles - which will boost your credibility enormously. They also can be enabled through your RSS feed, meaning people should be able to "podcatch" them if you set it up right (More on this later as I research it).
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As a review, Jeremy Burns gives great value in this PDF, and has made it available for many to either sell or give away (as you can see on Google).
It's a great start.
But as I've been blogging lately, this is the way our modern Internet culture is heading. Burns points out that, as usual, really optimizing your videos (as people still don't do with their web pages) is how you can generate quite a bit of traffic and credibility for yourself.
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Brought to you by An Online Millionaire Plan - the book.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
From ZDNet's blog
Top video sites in February 2006
Site Audience, 000 YTY Change
MSN Video 9,279 44%
YouTube 9,045 NA
Google Video 6,246 NA
iFILM 4,336 102%
video.search.yahoo.com 3,774 148%
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From Internet Marketing Watch
1. YouTube (43% video sites market share)
2. MySpace (16% video sites market share)
3. Google Video (11% video sites market share)
4. AOL Video (7% video sites market share)
5. MSN Video (4% video sites market share)
6. StupidVideos (3% video sites market share)
7. Yahoo! Video (3% video sites market share)
8. Break (2% video sites market share)
9. eBaum's World (2% video sites market share)
10. dailymotion (1% video sites market share).(this blog doesn't give a specific source for their data)
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From this we can see that even looking at the top video sites by page rank doesn't equate to real traffic. And - customer service (interactive-ability) tops being first or biggest in another field. Other normal corporate economics laws still hold - Google bought YouTube, giving it 54% of the market share (however, Google's videos are much harder to use and get video's posted, so...).
The point here is to use the Short Head to get your message out broadly, so that the Long Tail you are targeting will be able to get your message. YouTube is on top because of better service - you create, they upload. If there is a problem or complaint, your video comes down later. Google inspects beforehand and stays safe, but unable to take advantage of a rapidly moving market. (So they buy one that can...)
Reminds me that Disney owns some studios who put out non-family oriented films, and they don't get the Disney name on them, but Disney still rakes in any profit.
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How do you put this to use?
0. Do your homework on your niche, your keywords, and your message for all your video's - as well as how this compliments your marketing strategy and plan.
1. Get your video's up on YouTube immediately. The others? Not so much right now.
2. Ensure these videos have a website address included that people can punch in to reach you. Ensure it's titled with keywords and tags for your targeted niche.
3. Ensure you also have a matching landing page which has the same keywords in the title and links at that website address. Landing page also has links to relevant other sites, no-follow to those who you don't want to send your pagerank to.
4. Make sure you have an opt-in link so that they can subscribe to your future videos, podcasts, articles, blog entries, etc. Here's a good time to give away a video-related freebie for signing up.
5. Check into these other, lower ranked sites to see if they are worth expanding your message into. (You want 80-98% of the viewing publish to see your message - then 20% should be able to find your site.) Post your video to these as they pan out.
6. Social bookmark your video.
7. Blog about your video and include the script if you want. Link your to your landing page and vice-versa - and of course, embed the video in your blog post.
8. Add these links to your Squidoo page - or create a new Squidoo page just for that video.
9. Catch up on all your social bookmarking to this point (blog, Squidoo page), so everyone can "Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit," or otherwise contribute to your message.
10. Now post an article reviewing that video and the subject it covers. Social bookmark that article when they publish it.
11. Take that article and add another page to your video mini-site. Social bookmark that page as well.
12. Finally, review what you did, see how you could improve on it, and take your next source of inspiration - find the keywords, etc. for it and then create a new video, starting over from step one.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Essentially, you create a landing page for each video which has a link to that video and is keyword optimized to take advantage of what you are talking about in that video.
You could put a transcript or summary of what you say in that video so that the organic SEO will work its wonders, and your page is themed properly.
Of course, all your links are monetized - they either go to another product of yours, through one of your affiliate links, or to sign up for your mailing list (preferably to buy something in order to get onto your mailing list).
Just make sure you tag and title your video to make the best use of it.
And as well, figure how this could not just be a one-shot deal, but would also then become part of a later online course or seminar. All of your output should be able to be published in many different formats, many times.
Another point is that while you create a new page for every video - and this seems to take time at first - you are also adding to your web sites, which will then increase your page rank over time.
The links from this page are also appropriately no-follow except where you are giving your PR over to another page. (See Michael Cambell's books on this subject.)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Video and Podcast SEO at SES London: "I know I am not in London now, but Liana “Li” Evans is and she has sent over a session from SES London for me to post.
Video has grown explosively
Video presents optimization problems – there is no clear cut winner when it comes to video players
Most users do not know where to look for video – there is a lot of niche market video
Professionally done videos compete with user gen videos
Tip & Tactics – take advantage of major outlest such as YouTube, use rss feeds to distribute your video – create separate fee
Develop your tags as carefully as site keywords
Create video site maps and landing pages for video content
Put the branding in the video within it
Write clear descriptions,
On demand audio cultural distribution
Don’t finalize the name of your show, make sure that show name isn’t in use already
Podshow names are not as easy to check as domain names
Show name is in the Title you will use for the feed, or in RSS_ speak it’s the channel
Note each episode of your show will also have a title, in RSS speak this is at the item levl
Develop a key world list for the show and determine how your brand it
Write the audio tag information carefully in advance
Optimize id3 tags, web page, monitor distribution after you submit it
ID3 tags are very important ="
Far more at the above. I have to do a search of IT Conversations (or whatever they call it now) to see if I can find a podcast (or video) on this...
Monday, January 14, 2008
But you have on this single page more stuff to find out stuff with/for keywords and SEO than one could shake their proverbial stick at.
RedAlkemi : Web Developer Tools : Search Engine Ranking Tools : Link Management Tools
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This is a new experiment as I tell you how all this new stuff is now revolutionizing your using search engines to get people to your mailing lists and sales pages.
Web 2.0 features are highlighted by Google and get priority - because people are flocking to them and clicking on these more and more as broadband increases its reach.
What are these?
Even picture sharing with tags.
Social bookmarking and networking.
I've mentioned before that this is really where the Internet starts to really evolve into tools people want to use to amplify and evolve their lives. You see, humankind is a bunch of groups of social people.
And our longest traditions are social ones - our oldest histories were passed down in the verbal tradition centuries before writing became popular.
Now, today, we come full circle. We are now videoing and recording our thoughts, opinions, music, jokes, stories, and what-not. The most popular ones get viewed over and over. The two top Internet videos (that I know of at this writing) have been viewed over 45 million times.
Even second tier copies and "also-rans" have been viewed millions of times themselves.
How does this play into your marketing and all that work you've done on getting your top search engine rankings so that people will find your web pages and buy your stuff?
If you haven't noticed, a really optimized page with a video will take over your rankings within hours (per some reports). Michael Campbell says Google is working at being able to index sites at near-instantaneous speed for the near future. For years, they've given priority to Web 2.0 sites, indexing them as much as a week before static sites.
Organic SEO types got around this by pinging search engines when they had an update. (And several dishonest types nearly wrecked this system by attempting to spam-ping and so artificially inflate their standings, but smarter and more ethical minds prevailed.)
But now-a-days, you only have to post your video and/or blog about it and you are nearly instantly on Google's index.
So here's the experiment:
- Start with your blog. Make sure that outgoing links use your keywords and that your blog entries are themed properly.
- Sequence is blog, podcast, video. Write the blog, turn it into a podcast, turn that audio with a powerpoint into a video. Post these all on the original blog. Then turn around and upload that same video to YouTube.
- Tag it properly with all the appropriate keywords.
- Social bookmark the permalink for that blog. Again, make sure you tag it.
- Turn the blog post into an article and post this to the top few excellent article directories.
- Social bookmark your article.
- As you do the above, add links to the permalinks to your Squidoo page(s) on this subject.
- Combine the best articles (complete with links) into a special report which you give away to existing mail list subscribers and to new subscribers. Such a special report also has ads for your product line, which have live links to existing sales pages.
Notes and comments on the above:
a. This doesn't replace your organic SEO work, especially in searching for keywords.
b. Of the above, you can see many different social networking tools at work: blogs, social bookmarks, Squidoo, YouTube.
c. I use a powerpoint presentation instead of a video, as its both faster and higher quality. And I don't have to get dressed up and build a backdrop to show my handsome face around...
d. The podcast is Text-To-Speech, as it requires less editing. The trick is in getting your voice to pronounce it right to begin with.
e. If it's done right as you go, the whole thing shouldn't add more than an hour to how long you currently take to blog.
f. This combines the advantages and speed of blogging with the pervasiveness of videos and the effectiveness of article marketing.
So: there's your recipe. Now for the hard work. I'm posting this as a blog entry first.
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Get your own copy of An Online Millionaire Plan, where I go into great detail on the 8 key ways to make money online working from home in Internet Marketing. Visit Lulu.com today and get your copy.
Brought to you by Dr. Robert C. Worstell and his successful Go Thunk Yourself book series.
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Update 1/14/08 (about 6 hrs later - got some sleep):
You can see I linked in the podcast above.
However, I had some trouble uploading the video straight to Blogger, so I uploaded it to YouTube and embedded it below:
Feel free to comment either here or there...
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Update: 080114 (not part of above podcast or video)
Occurred to me that by creating one video/podcast/etc. for each product line per week, this would have the accumulative effect of posting that many articles. Only difference is that articles currently have built in hot-links. BUT... since you post your blog as an article as well, then you have those hot links in your resource section.
Essentially, this is article marketing on steroids, since you get both the advantages of writing one article per week per product line, and also the blog, podcast and video - which reach different publics.
Obviously, in your bio box, you'd mention these different forms for this message. And your blog would enable people to subscribe to the RSS feed, as well as social bookmark that blog page themselves. And you would enable them downloading your special reports based on subcribing to your mail list. (I've seen recently some ebooks built with video links - it's worth a try...).
Another application is that you would be able to create course materials this way - or at least accents. Building your video in Camtasia (at least their 3.x version) enables you to add this to a menu of options, as you were going to put it on a CD or webpage... And a course on the material you write up would then be another product to sell through your product-funnel!