|Search for any random topic on Google these days, and you’ll most likely find at least two videos on the first page.
Optimising videos for the web is essentially the same as SEO. Flash videos can now embed metadata, meaning that interviews with your CEO can contain all of the key search terms within his/her interview.
But how does a marketing director ensure the videos he/she creates will generate the right leads?
Manifesto spoke to Angela Cheung from Kinetic, a production company specialising in video media, on her views.
Q: What factors should clients consider when producing videos for new media platforms?
“It’s all about engaging your audience, so getting the creative right is vital.
- Quality of content. People are bored of sales pitches, so try to connect with your audience on a personal level, and make your video as relevant, genuine and entertaining as possible.
- Context #1: Think about your method of viewing and thus the environment in which your video will be viewed. As mentioned before, if the video is to appear on a phone you need to consider the visibility of your key images and any text.
- Context #2: Internet and TV are completely different viewing experiences. As they say, TV is ‘lean back’ ~ a passive experience; internet is ‘lean forward’ i.e. pro-active.
- Trim the scripts. Less is more. Viewers have limited attention spans, so get to the point. If you have made a video longer than, let us say 8 minutes, then think about splitting it into parts.
- Video title: make it compelling. You might want to include a key search phrase.
- Call-To-Action 1: you should place your call-to-action on screen for longer than you think
- Call-To-Action 2: don’t be afraid to spell out your call-to-action, making clear to the viewer what to do next. For example: “Thanks for watching, now go ahead and click on the link below to enter our competition”
- Search Engine Optimisation: optimise your video as you would any webpage: key phrase tags, anchor links, meta data etc.
- Word of mouth is HUGE. Make it easy to share: add ‘forward to friend’, Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook buttons, provide an embed-code and put the url link. Allow comments too. And comment back from time-to-time.
- Allow viewers to rate your video so it ranks more highly.
And then the other essential consideration are all the potential channels of distribution, beyond using popular tools such as Twitter, Facebook, widgets and iPhone apps.
For example, we recently distributed The Peninsula’s video resource to a broadcast site called www.thenewsmarket.com. This site delivers content to TV stations all around the world helping to create free PR for the hotel.”
Q: What’s your advice for clients who want to increase their digital content?
“There are many ways of creating digital content such as video… and it doesn’t need to be expensive. The amazing thing now is that any business big or small, can now deliver compelling and engaging content.
New innovations such as the Flash Video server allows you to broadcast across the globe, which effectively means you could have your own online TV channel. For more info check out: www.openscreenproject.org
WebTV is about to boom ~ the computer will become your TV. Brands will be able to connect with customers through exciting new ways… check out this video for the latest trends in WebTV: www.thinkbox.tv/server/show/nav.1095
One feature I liked is the ‘Live Buy’ option… the video is ‘clickable’ so you can buy anything you see onscreen just by clicking on it.”
Q: What about podcasting?
“Podcasts are gaining in popularity too.
- It’s another method of getting your message and content out there. For example, we’re finding that a lot of companies are releasing their annual reports, quarterly earnings, investment newsletters, analyst reports etc as a web video/podcast with great success.
- It’s on-demand. It’s content when you want it, where you want it. You don’t need to be at a computer, you can be driving a car, at the gym etc. These days you don’t even need to go through your computer; often you can download straight from your phone.
- You can build loyalty and habitual consumption through subscription and aggregation.
- They are easier arguably to produce and get off the ground, particularly audio podcasts. You don’t need to agonise over great copy, graphics, lighting, location etc. You can simply record a conference call, film a Q&A interview…you name it. By the way, Kinetic provides presenter workshops: from voice-over techniques, interview style…you name it.
- Audio podcasts usually cost a lot less to produce than video.
- You can monetise it: via subscription, ads, sponsorship. It IS possible!”
Q: Finally, what are your top 5 web videos and your top 5 podcasts?
“I go through phases, but currently:
- TED conference talks: they’re all good, but the one I forward the most is “How Benjamin Button Got His Face.”
- Any video that shows Manchester United lifting a trophy.
- Movie trailers for romantic comedies: I like them cheesy and cliched.
- Little Boots. Brit musician performs from her bedroom. My ideal job.
- Robert Hoffman freestyle dancing. This is my secret indulgence…don’t tell anyone.
- Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo Film reviews
- Football Weekly on Guardian.co.uk
- Dr Karl on Triple J
- Friday Night Comedy On BBC Radio 4
- 43 Folders. I downloaded this series on productivity when I was procrastinating.”