For several years, LinkedIn has made it possible for companies to include videos on their main profile pages and on individual product or service pages. Adding videos can encourage your LinkedIn profile viewers to interact with your page and learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. However, despite the amazing opportunities that LinkedIn videos can provide, some companies still have not figured out how to market their videos on the social media service.
Videos are one of the most efficient ways to receive an organic first page ranking on Google. However, creating a video that your existing and potential customers will actually watch, enjoy, and share is a bit more difficult than just using your phone to record something you slap online. Our Atlanta video production team recommends that you follow four simple tips to create a truly effective online video marketing campaign.
The Shifting Trend from “Apple White” to Motion Graphics in Business Video by Atlanta Business Video
Google said it has seen a noticeable increase in activity on its vaunted Web-search in the two weeks since the company began one of the biggest search transformations in its history.
People doing Web searches now see a big box of information and photos related to search queries such as sports teams (try typing “San Francisco Giants”), geography (try “Matterhorn”), attractions (try “Matterhorn Bobsleds”), celebrities (try “Pink”), and science (try “Jupiter” or “Einstein”) located prominently on the right of the search results page. Before the change, Google users might have seen relevant search ads, content boxes with information from Google+, the company’s social network, or nothing at all.
The new feature currently draws upon information from sites like Wikipedia, as well as music and movie catalogs that Google has licensed, among other things.
“Early indications are that people are interacting with it more, learning about more things…and doing more [search] queries,” said Amit Singhal, a top Google search executive, in an interview Friday. “It’s stoking people’s curiosity.”
On Tuesday Google spokesman Jason Freidenfelds said the company’s internal data continues to show people are “doing more searches as a result” of the revamp, though he and Singhal declined to share specific figures.
Perhaps more importantly, Singhal said that an increase in searches means there also will be an increase in visits to non-Google sites whose links appear in search results and in the new boxes of information that are appearing as part of the change.
Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs online encyclopedia Wikipedia, said Google’s use of Wikipedia information for the new feature was “suitable” and “ultimately we believe that this increases the visibility of free knowledge to more users.” He didn’t have data on whether the site had seen an increase of usage since the Google change went into effect.
Singhal declined to say what percentage of searches were affected by the change, though one person briefed on Google’s plans previously said the shift could directly impact the search results for 10% to 20% of all search queries, or tens of billions per month.
Currently the feature is only available in the English-language version of Google search. Google isn’t sharing its timetable for rollouts to other languages, the company spokesman said.
The change relies on technology called “semantic search” in which the search engine begins to understand the actual meaning of words and shows the key attributes of people, places and things that Google users are searching for. To do this, the company is drawing upon an ever-expanding database of information of about 500 million people, places and things and how they’re connected to one another, also known as a “knowledge graph.”
“For the first time, the search engine understands real-world things,” Singhal said.
Interestingly, the knowledge graph displays data that Google users have generally searched for in the past, Singhal said. For example, a search for “Michael Bloomberg,” the New York City mayor who also is a billionaire, will bring up a box of data including his estimated net worth—something many Google users have searched for previously. By contrast, a search for the less-wealthy former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, does not include a net-worth statistic.
In other words, the search engine can show the “topical zeitgeist” of a particular query, Singhal said. “That’s something that’s never been available to Google users before.”
Singhal said the new feature has had some miscues, such as not being completely up-to-date. For example, initially a Google search for “New York Knicks” gave an incorrect information about the team’s coach, who had been replaced in recent months. And he said Google’s knowledge graph is still “weak in many areas”—namely products.
He said the revamp was a “baby step” toward building the “search system of tomorrow.”
When asked how the new feature was affecting advertisements that also appear on the right side of search results, Singhal said that first and foremost, his team launches new features for the benefit of Google users, not advertisers. But he said the company is “experimenting as to what would be the right page design for cases in which there are numerous ads” that were sold for a particular query.
For example, a search for “Lake Tahoe” brings up many ads on the right side of search results. But users can push down those ads and see an information box about the lake by clicking an arrow button located below a partial map of the lake.
A Wall Street Journal Article: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/05/29/google-search-engine-surging-following-revamp/
Google is introducing a new tool designed to make its search engine smarter. The new feature is called the “Knowledge Graph.” It draws from a Google-built database of more than 500 million people, places and other commonly requested things to provide a summary of vital information alongside the main search results. Google Inc. created the Knowledge Graph in an attempt to provide answers as quickly and concisely as possible so users don’t have to sift through a hodgepodge of Web links displayed on the main results page.
Check out the video from Google for more information:
Have you seen YouTube lately, staying on the site for longer than the three minutes it takes to watch the video link that a friend emailed? Chances are the answer will be no.
Though YouTube calls itself the third most-visited site in the world (after Google and Facebook), it works like an efficient courier service, playing content for you wherever you are on the Web, including Facebook, Twitter and email instant messages. But while we’ve been busy watching YouTube videos elsewhere, the site itself grew up.
YouTube has things like personalized channels, more editing options for uploading clips and a full-screen mode for sitting back and watching videos. A lot of these extra features are buried on the site and difficult to find.
I took a deep dive into YouTube, compiling a list of handy shortcuts for navigating this video hub and getting more out of it.
Sharing videos with friends is one of the most popular uses for YouTube, but sometimes you want to share just the best part of a video. With two clicks, you can trim videos to begin exactly where you want and then share them. As a video is playing, right click at the point where you’d like your video clip to start and select “Copy video URL at current time” to get a URL for the trimmed video. When others open the link, it will start right at the spot in the video where you right-clicked. No longer will a video clip take too long to reach the best part, like waiting for a model to fall on the runway, and leave you hesitant to share it on Facebook or via emails with friends.
Real Deal Musicians
Searching for music on YouTube can be exasperating since so many people upload videos of themselves singing and tag the video with the name of a well-known musician. So while you’re looking for the latest Coldplay song, you find a high school band covering the song instead. To find artists who do publish on YouTube, look at youtube.com/disco, where users can type in artist names to get a playlist of videos by that artist. In regular YouTube search results, the official stamp from YouTube (and wording) signals that an artist is verified—much like the blue checkmark beside popular Twitter users who are truly who they claim to be.
With Video Editor, users can edit existing videos or upload new ones.
If you’ve ever recorded a video shot in portrait mode that you’d rather share in landscape or vice versa, the video can be switched to the correct viewing angle, saving viewers from tilting their heads to one side to watch. Do this with YouTube’s editor in the cloud, youtube.com/editor. Here, people can edit (including rotate) existing videos or upload new videos. Content can be mixed in with other video clips from the Creative Commons site, soundtracks can be added by choosing from a selection of music, and text slides can be dragged in to display between video clips.
If you’d rather use a third-party company for editing, multiple options are listed at youtube.com/create. A company called Vlix recently announced its integration with the YouTube site, bringing its editing features from the Vlix iPhone app—like artsy designs and text slides—to the site. Magisto automatically skims videos for the best footage and creates short clips with that content, and the Xtranormal Movie Maker lets people add text, such as a personal narration, to an animated video. (Never underestimate the entertainment value of hearing your words come out of an animated bear with a robotic voice.)
If you’re tired of hunting for videos to watch, take a look at clips that YouTube thinks you’ll like. Once signed into your YouTube account, if you’ve used the site to watch at least one video in the past, the homepage will show Suggestions below your username based on that past watching history. These suggestions appear as small thumbnail images of each video and include the reasoning behind why a clip was suggested, like “because you watched Lady Gaga and Sting.”
Videos From Afar
To see all of YouTube in a much more handsome layout, try Leanback, found at YouTube.com/leanback. This opens a page that’s meant to be viewed far from your computer, complete with a black background and white text written in large font.
Sign In, Sign In Again
Recently, it became possible to log into YouTube using your Google account username and password (Google has owned YouTube since 2006). Using their Google account, users may browse YouTube, rent a movie and “like” a video. To upload their own videos, subscribe to a channel, make comments on and “favorite” videos and get recommendations from YouTube on content they may like, people must create a YouTube account and use that in addition to a Google account.
A site called TestTube, found at youtube.com/testtube, holds many in-the-works projects from YouTube engineers. Here, users can kick the tires of some features that aren’t fully baked. One example is YouTube/slam, which pits one video against another and lets viewers vote on the best one.
It’s important to know the sharing settings in YouTube. There are three: public (anyone can search for and view); unlisted (anyone with the link can view); and private (only people who you choose can view). Any video can always be taken down from the site by its original publisher.
Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal
Video Production Rates: Video Production Costs for Marketers
Many marketers are now eager to use web video for business, but when it come to the video production process, they don’t quite know where to start. I’ll outline the main corporate video production cost factors below. This is intended to demonstrate how to make a basic interview much more engaging than just a talking head.
To look closer at what’s involved, lets go over some of the main video production cost factors:
Market price: Lets face it, Atlanta is more expensive than Arkansas! You might be able to hire a cameraman in a small town for a sandwich but in Atlanta and other major markets, you can expect to pay somewhere between $600-$2,000 a day depending on experience, talent, etc.
Quality level: There are wide variations in quality and competence. I see three levels of quality that can be applied to each of the below aspects of video production costs. To illustrate, here are the 3 levels of manpower quality:
- Basic: The most basic fulfillment: a warm body that shows up.
- Pro: Competence: someone who can do the job to industry standards
- Premium: (AKA: Experienced and Talented): These people are actually really good at their job. If you want to make stand out content, you probably need this level of resources.
Manpower costs: Depending on the basic, pro and premium considerations can be anywhere between minimum wage all the way to thousands per day for a well known actor/director, etc. You can save money by finding part-time freelancers who can do some of these themselves, but beware, if they are doing too much, quality will always suffer and since it’s a part-time job, their priorities may not e the same a yours. For example, I hear stories all the time of part-timers that offer a low price then fail to finish a project and disappear when they realize they under quoted.
Here are a few of the roles involved in the video production process:
- Concept Creator/Writer
- Camera Operator (Director of Photography – or D.P.)
- Sound Operator
- Wardrobe and MUP (Make Up Person)
- Production/Set Designer, etc.
- Production Assistant (P.A)
- Graphic Designer
- Motion Graphics Animator
Video Production Equipment: Cameras, lights, sound equipment, monitors, tripods, dolly, etc. There are wide ranges in quality but even a decent basic camera kit costs thousands of dollars.
Video Production (shooting): How many days and where/what are you shooting? Customer testimonials shot all around the world or a CEO interview in a conference room? The video production costs are going to vary widely!
Video Post-Production (editing): Need just need a quick 1-day edit? Or a 10-day marathon? That could be the difference between boring and amazing! I firmly believe that the more you put into editing, the more you get out. Give me boring footage and some editing time and I’ll give you amazing!
Graphics and Animation: One of the biggest misconceptions is the talent, time and cost that is required to make many of the stand out graphics and animation examples that clients send along as a reference for what they want to produce. That animated video you love? There’s a reason you love it: it was made by talented pros ad takes time to create.
The wild cards: Of course there are other factors at work that will be specific to each project like the complexity of the material, the speed at which the team can work due to weather, location, crowds, field noise, etc.
Approvals: Don’t forget your time cost! On many occasions I’ve sent a review video to a client and they don’t have time to get me feedback for days. With a deadline looming, even if an editor works round the clock to make up last time, the final product quality ends up suffering.
Distribution: Once you have a video, how are you planning on getting people to watch it?! The art of promotion via social networks is a fast changing and complex craft, taking far more time that most professionals have available. I estimate that one must spend 20% of their time to be successful with social networking; can you spare 2 days a week? Or maybe I should ask: can you afford not to?
The key take-aways: The key point I’d hope you’d take away is that quality matters and it applies to all the parameters mentioned above. In any complex sale, it’s only natural to want to ‘commoditize’ the solution, but not all video production is equal. If you want to earn views, you have to give your audience something worth their time, worth sharing and commenting on. Respect your audience and you may earn their respect too.
Feel smarter? Please do me a big favor and share this post! I encourage comments, and please re-Tweet away!
I’m also available for free consultations so contact me with any questions regarding video production costs, video production process or corporate video production projects.
Good luck out there in video production land!
Courtesy of Dane Frederiksen
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:
By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO and EMILY STEEL
Ousted Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Carol Bartz faced a plight all too familiar to many of her peers: Making money off digital content isn’t easy and it’s getting harder.
As Web traffic explodes, Internet companies are struggling to profit off ads shown next to the articles, videos and other content offered to viewers.
It’s a simple rule of any market. The more information that is created, the more the value is reduced. And despite attempts to woo spending with bigger, bolder and more targeted ads, services that help consumers navigate that content, namely search, remain the big money makers online.
“People tell me that content is king, but that is not true at all,” says Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer at Vivaki, the digital-media unit of Publicis Groupe SA. “Most people make money pointing to content, not creating, curating or collecting content.”
Internet pioneers Yahoo and AOL Inc. are losing out to Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., both of which are adept at helping point the way to pertinent or interesting material. As a result, Yahoo and AOL are getting left behind in the fast-growing U.S. market for online advertising, which ballooned 20% to $31.3 billion from 2010 to 2011, according to eMarketer.
Yahoo and AOL’s shares of the overall U.S. online advertising market will drop to 11% and 2.7% in 2011, respectively, according to the research from, down from 16.1% and 4.4% in 2009.
Their businesses have been plagued by a range of missteps that extend far beyond their current regimes. Both were slow to recognize the appeal of social-networking and to update their once dominant email services to compete with new rivals.
Excessive turnover and extensive bureaucracies have strained their relations with Madison Avenue, say advertising executives. Ms. Bartz recently attributed Yahoo’s weaker-than-expected ad sales to heavy turnover among advertising executives.
Yahoo said in a statement that the company has been meeting with advertisers and agencies who say they excited by the advertising opportunities at the company. A spokesman for AOL declined to comment.
A few years ago, scale virtually guaranteed profits if Internet companies had relationships with marketers, as there were few sites that could deliver large audiences to advertisers. But advertisers now can turn to a wide range of competitors to reach a similar number of people, and that has pushed down the amount of money they spend on those sites and the price for ad rates on the portals.
“What do Yahoo and AOL bring? In fact, they don’t bring all that much,” said Rob Norman, chief executive of WPP PLC’s GroupM North America, who says marketers view them as large quantities of mostly commoditized inventory. “Just because you have a lot doesn’t mean that you have something that is of distinct value.”
Pricing trends across both properties vary depending on where the ads appear, advertisers say, but overall rates aren’t rising fast enough to compensate for meager to flat traffic growth. In the second quarter, AOL’s revenue fell 8.4% from the year earlier to $542.2 million.
Yahoo’s revenue fell 23% to $1.3 billion.
The average cost to reach one thousand views across both Yahoo and AOL sites has fallen steadily in the past year, ad executives say. At Yahoo, that rate dropped to an average $6.50 in July 2011 from $7.65 in July 2010, while at AOL, that rate dropped to an average of $7 in July 2011 from $9.45 in July 2010, according to SQAD WebCosts. Back in July of 1998, Yahoo was fetching about $25 per thousand. A Yahoo spokeswoman said their internal data isn’t consistent with WebCosts’ data.
Some companies have responded by cutting back the number of ads to boost their value. AOL stripped ads off several of its marquee sites in recent years, including AOL.com, its fashion site Stylelist and movie site Moviefone to make room for more premium advertising.
Both AOL and Yahoo are under pressure from “advertising exchanges,” the lingo for services that allows advertisers to bid for ad space across a multitude of properties that reach a particular type of user. Increasingly, marketers will turn to the advertising exchanges directly to buy high volumes of cheap online ads instead of negotiating with big publishers like Yahoo and AOL for more expensive ads.
In addition, marketers can target those ads bought via exchanges directly to people who are likely to be interested in their product or service, regardless of the context of the site where they appear. That gives the big portals less bargaining power, advertisers say. Yahoo runs a major exchange but the business isn’t growing fast enough to restore overall revenue growth.
While it’s a juggernaut, Facebook isn’t immune from the problem of expanding inventory. Advertisers say most ad rates on the social network remain low, as its growing traffic leads to a proliferating number of pages it can show ads on.
“Sometimes there is an irrational desire to be involved with things that are just on upswings,” says Mr. Norman. “The value of (marketing on Facebook) may be open to some questions.”
Smaller publishers are also feeling the changing economics acutely. News sites such as Salon and Slate aren’t consistently profitable. Upstarts like the Daily Beast have yet to reach profitability though executives say the three-year-old site is ahead of its pace. Slate last month laid off a handful of editorial staffers, citing unexpected “head winds” in advertising.
—Amir Efrati and Russell Adams contributed
to this article.
For all companies, success hinges greatly on the ability to continuously identify new clients and keep customers happy—a task often delegated to marketers.
But depending on company type, marketers may be more responsible for one than the other. Findings from Focus Research indicate business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are more likely to direct their attention to improving client understanding and retention this year than their business-to-business (B2B) counterparts, who are placing a higher emphasis on filling the sales pipeline.
Among B2B marketers, lead acquisition was the top priority for 55% of respondents, followed by lead conversion (45%). Both B2B and B2C marketers were equally focused on building brand awareness.