Last week at ClickZ Live New York, Larry Markovitz, the organic search director at Catalyst, and I spoke at the session on “Unlocking the Secrets to Mobile Video: YouTube Capture, Instagram & Vine.” We agreed that success with micro-videos requires many of the same elements as any good desktop-content program: good content, social marketing, community management, and outreach/PR. But, we also described the differences between desktop and mobile video, discussed common mistakes made by traditional marketers, cited a couple of case studies, and provided some emerging best practices.
I spoke first and said the audience for mobile video is huge. YouTube has 1 billion users worldwide and 158 million in the U.S. And mobile makes up almost 40 percent of YouTube’s global watch time. Instagram has 200 million users worldwide and 70 million in the U.S. And there’s an increasing shift on Instagram from photos over to videos. Finally, Vine has 40 million users worldwide and 25 million in the U.S.
Then, I unlocked six secrets to mobile video success.
How to Create Video Content That Speaks Directly to the Audience
A new Animoto Online and Mobile Video Study found that 96 percent of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online, 93 percent find video helpful in comparison shopping, 93 percent find video helpful for instructions post-purchase, and 87 percent find video helpful for researching additional items from the same brand.
In fact, 73 percent of all consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand. That’s why 67 percent watch instructional videos and 64 percent watch product and service videos. By comparison, 64 percent watch humorous videos.
In addition, people want to watch more business video: 57 percent wanted more videos for electronics, 39 percent wanted more video about restaurants, 34 percent wanted more video about travel, 33 percent wanted more video about exercise or fitness, 31 percent wanted more video about automotive, and 30 percent wanted more video about events and conferences.
How to Determine Which Platform to Use and Where to Share Videos
The first mobile video app that I covered was YouTube Capture 2.0 for iPhone and iPad. It enables digital marketers to:
- Start recording instantly.
- Stitch together an unlimited number of clips.
- Trim and rearrange clips right from your phone.
- Add a soundtrack from YouTube’s audio library.
- Touch up videos with color correction and stabilization.
- Upload to YouTube and share on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
Next, I looked at Instagram for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It provides:
- Free custom-designed filters.
- Video recording with cinematic stabilization.
- Linear and Radial Tilt-Shift blur effects for extra depth of field.
- Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare.
- Unlimited uploads.
Finally, I touched on Vine for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. It lets digital marketers:
- Upload unlimited Vines for free.
- Instantly post videos on Vine, then share to Twitter and Facebook (more coming soon!).
- Find, follow, and interact with people close to you.
- Explore trending posts, featured hashtags, and editor’s picks.
How to Boost the Visibility of Your Videos in the Search Results
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and its algorithm looks at relevance, upload date, watch time, and rating. So, to optimize YouTube videos, digital marketers need to conduct keyword research and optimize their video’s title, tags, description, annotations, and captions. They also need to upload a minimum of one video per week, make videos worth watching, and create content worth sharing.
Search on Instagram is mostly limited to hashtags. Still, there are ways to optimize a video:
- Username: Use your brand name.
- Profile picture: 180-by-180 pixels.
- Name: Don’t just repeat your brand name.
- URL: Include a link to your website.
- Settings: Connect to social accounts and save original photos.
- Bio: 150 characters.
Twitter search results include the most relevant mix of tweets, photos, videos, news, and accounts all in one stream. Clicking on a hashtag in someone’s tweet will perform a search for tweets containing that exact hashtag. To search for tweets mentioning a user, enter his or her username, preceded by the @ symbol, into the search box at the top of the page.
The Importance of Quality Social Network Connections Over Quantity
Who has quality social network connections? According to a recent article on Google’s Think Insights, a psychographic group called Gen C is 1.8 times more likely to be influencers, saying that “people often come to me for advice before making a purchase.” Gen C spends a significant amount of time on YouTube: worldwide, 76 percent of Gen C visit YouTube weekly, and 36 percent visit daily. Three-quarters of Gen C across the globe agree that “YouTube is the first place I go to when looking for online videos.”
Gen C thrives on creation and curation. Gen C sees creation as a way of life; whether it’s shooting videos, writing blog posts, or posting reviews, more than nine in 10 create online content at least once a month. This psychographic group also adds value and drives engagement in their communities by sharing links, building playlists, and updating their status. And three-quarters of Gen C curate online content at least once a week.
Gen C is also likely to be your best customers. From electronics to live events, fitness to travel, clothes to cosmetics, Gen C buy products and services with far greater regularity than do their non-Gen C counterparts; they’re up to 3.6 times more likely to purchase. And two-thirds of Gen C around the world says that “If there is a brand I love, I tend to tell everyone about it.”
Tactics to Connect With Influencers With Social Properties
I shared three tactics to help digital marketers connect with influencers using video.
First, I cited the example of Orabrush, which sent Rob Beschizza, the managing editor of Boing Boing, an unlisted video.
Next, I showed how the Bounty Rimini Adventure Club, the most famous disco/pub/restaurant/pizzeria in Italy, shot an Instagram video of speakers at the recent Be-Wizard! 2014 conference.
Then, I told the story of how Alex Kornfeind, a journalist and “social media racing driver” in Italy, had used Vine to first create a #PanoramicSelfie and then created @PanoramicSelfie accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to “spread the world when you travel!”
How to Measure the Success of Mobile Video Campaigns
Finally, I asked the packed room of attendees, “How do you measure mobile video success?” There was a time when the only metric that mattered to a marketer was seeing the YouTube view count ticking up, but those days are long gone. Increasingly, marketers are questioning the value of a view and are focusing instead on creating content and distribution strategies, which drive deeper levels of engagement, such as sharing, data capture, or online purchases.
I urged digital marketers to use shares as a key performance indicator (KPI) for mobile video success. In content marketing, shares are a must-have KPI for any authentically social campaign. According to Unruly, 40 percent of the 1,000 most shared Instagram videos come from brands. For example, Peanuts’ Snoopygram (26,962) was the most shared branded video on Instagram, followed by EA Sport’s FIFA 14 real-time spot (16,499), and a promo for HBO’s popular TV show Girls (15,376).
However, I ended on a cautionary note. One of the most popular tools on Google’s Think Insights is called The Customer Journey to Online Purchase. It illustrates eight different marketing channels: Display click, social, email, paid search, other paid, referral, organic search, and direct. I asked the audience, “Where’s mobile video in the customer journey?” It appears to be missing from the tool.
U.S. Smartphone Video Viewers
Markovitz spoke next. He said, “This year there will be 89 million U.S. smartphone video viewers and by 2018 there will be 125 million. That said, video is an area of immense, yet relatively untapped potential.”
He added, “Online video viewers are almost three times more likely to click through to a brand’s website from their smartphone or tablet than their laptop or desktop computer.” That makes mobile video a significant opportunity.
He continued, “The three main platforms for mobile video are Vine, Instagram, and YouTube. Vine and Instagram are newer on the scene, but they’re gaining a lot of traction.” Vine launched in January of 2013 and video on Instagram launched in June 2013. “So, in a brief amount of time, these two newer platforms are gaining momentum.”
How They Stack Up
According to Markovitz, this is how the three platforms stack up. “Vine is all about adding content to the appropriate channel category, Instagram is all about #hashtags, and YouTube is great for SEO as your videos maybe displayed in the universal search – all platforms have one main thing in common, which is engaging with the community and being authentic.”
Small Businesses Aren’t Seeing Value?
However, Markovitz said, “U.S. small businesses are not seeing value in mobile video. They are not using YouTube to promote their business. They are not using Instagram to promote their business. They are not using Vine to promote their business. On average, 66 percent of small businesses are not seeing the value in mobile video. Why? Let’s look at some businesses that are doing right.”
He said, “Let’s first look at a real success story on YouTube. During the past week, the fashion industry was abuzz [with the release of] the video, First Kiss. Created on a shoestring budget of $1,300, this three-and-a-half-minute video was made for a small clothing company, Wren.
In four days it went viral with about 42 million YouTube views. Industry experts are suggesting that it could force major designers to think more expansively about how to advertise future collections. Wren received better exposure in the video than an actual show at Fashion Week. Why did it work? It felt real and sincere – it resonated with people. Wren’s online sales were up and the song track used sold 10,000 copies. This is a true testament to why businesses can’t ignore this new form of marketing. While this was not done on YouTube capture, it shows the real business power of an engaging video.”
Markovitz shared another real business case study of a T-shirt company that is using video on Instagram. He said, “The Hundreds, a California clothing company, is producing 15-second teasers called ‘Behind the Shirt,’ where they entice you to go to their blog to hear the full story on how the artist creates a design for their T-shirt collection. This is a creative way of using Instagram micro-video to send traffic to your business.”
Then, he looked at a business that is capitalizing on Vine – the first exclusive mobile micro-video site. He said, “Urban Outfitters, an early adopter of Twitter’s Vine app, teamed up with Converse for a contest offering a cross-country trip for the best Vine that documents ‘a day in the life of your Converse sneakers.’ Customers created six-second videos on where they go with their Converse All Stars. This is a great example for how to successfully generate user-generated content for your brand.”
Video Analytics Tools
Markovitz wrapped up his presentation by looking at a few tools that you can use to track your video analytics.
The first was YouTube Analytics. He said, “YouTube Analytics lets you monitor the performance of your channel and videos with up-to-date metrics and reports. There’s a ton of data available in different reports (e.g. Views, Traffic sources, Demographics).” He added this tip: “If you want your videos to rank well, make things that people spend a lot of time watching. Make playlists, do series of related videos, interlink between your videos with annotations, and do whatever you can to keep them watching.”
Next, he looked at Instagram Analytics. “[Use] Instagram Analytics and Engagement Platform for Brands, where [you] can discover, monitor, and boost your Instagram community,” he advised.
And he looked at Vine, saying, “Actively Northwest, a daily resource for healthy eating, fitness tips, motivational stories, and local events to inspire you to live actively in the Pacific Northwest, has garnered upward of 42,000 views across all social channels.”
How Can You Capitalize on the Mobile Video Opportunity?
Markovitz concluded his presentation by saying, “The first step toward a successful content marketing strategy is to understand who your visitors are and to know who your customers are. Work on this critical stage before you jump into micro-video.”
He added, “Brands should always remember that the existence of a platform does not necessitate a presence. Rather, marketers must make fundamental decisions about where they should be active and how appropriate these formats are to their target consumers before embarking on a micro-video strategy.”
YouTube is said to be preparing new non-video features that will allow content creators to interact with their viewers through photos, text posts, links and polls.
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