Even with my recent posts on the social media landscape, said landscape continues to morph at warp speed, and we are seeing more and more videos everywhere; on business sites, corporate news pages, personal websites, video hosting sites, mobile devices, social networks, blogs, cell phones, email and postings to video portals, and posting for clients. The Government even has its very own video channel on YouTube.
I had to post a video very recently and immediately realized there needed to be a strategy for this MarCom element as well to maximize my external outreach efforts. So, I went on a little “virtual research trip.”
According to eMarketer, 63% of Americans currently watch online video, up from 32% in 2007. I am sure this number is much is higher now. Three years hence, is a life time in the social media world.
My focus is always to look at how the changing landscape can benefit communication and marketing professionals with new media strategies and tools. To do more with less and to do it cost effectively. Therefore, I am constantly scanning the social media landscape.
Because many users do not have unlimited web space, either as a paid service, or through an ISP offering, video hosting services are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the explosion in popularity of blogs, forums, and other social media interactive pages.
When posting a video from a business, public relations, marketing and communication perspective it is imperative to understand how to leverage your social presence through online videos by applying Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) strategies.
You do not want to be the needle in the hay stack that nobody ever finds. You want your target audiences to find you! With the rise of our current “Moblution” and Internet hosted Video services, your goal is to ultimately rise to the very top in the top search engines and their respective ranking results. Clearly, Google is giving preferential treatment to multimedia content in search results, and this is an important factor to know! I can’t quantify this just yet, but it’s a personal haunch, which I will try to validate with a little more research (so stay tuned & I will update this blog). But it is my personal opinion that online video is the fastest way to achieve top organic search listings.
Secondly, YouTube alone has more than 52,436,820 unique visitors a day and ranked as the third top Internet site in the US. But it is also important to know that there are more than 30 other video notable video hosting sites. And there are indeed many more!
I guestimate that what you/we/I want to accomplish is channel saturation and depth of penetration through syndication across as many video hosting sites as possible. So, the question begs, how does one syndicate their videos out across various video sharing websites? And, how does one carry out VSEO?
The end goal is to have your video “optimized” to appear highly ranked in Google’s search results. Video Syndication Brings Higher Rankings and More Targeted Traffic. Therefore, the idea is to syndicate your video by sending it out across multiple video sharing websites simultaneously to obtain maximum exposure using specific strategic key words for search term results. Below are a few useful tips. There may be more, but this will get you started an out of the hay stack, so to speak.
Strategic VSEO Tips:
- Place online video presentations on public sites and intranet portals
- Remotely update videos on video portal websites
- Enable viral video sharing
- Integrate comment & rating capabilities
- Allow for approval-based or automatic requests for video distribution
- Capture statistics on syndication, viewership, Search Engine Ranking, redistribution performance
- Create Relevant, Unique, Informative Videos that speak to your target audiences
- Consider Your Video thumbnails – A video thumbnail is what users see first when they make their decision as to whether or not to view your video or another. Video search engines and video sharing websites use different methods to grab and show the thumbnail for your video. Some engines use the first frame of the video while others, like YouTube, will often take the thumbnail from the exact middle of your video.
- Make Your Videos Less Than 5 min. Long – One of the worst things that you can do is to create a long-form video as most users watch videos 3 minutes or less. If you do have a video that is longer than 5 minutes in length, try to break it up into smaller videos and make sure to tag those accordingly.
- Sitemaps – For video that is hosted on your own website use of a video site map on your site will help to filter page rank as well as direct search engines where to index your content. Use relevant keywords within the anchor text of all links to the videos that are featured in your video sitemap.
- Surrounding HTML -In order to get your video to rank well, you clearly will need to provide the search engines with text based content that is relevant for them to index and rank you for. Ssurround your video content with relevant content (on-page) as well as related links. Add a text transcript or external captions as text that you publish on the page with the video.
- Descriptive Meta Data – Use relevant keywords in your meta data to optimize your video. Include a keyword rich description of the video within the meta descriptions.
- Title - Make sure that you use the relevant keywords in your title as this is likely the first thing that the search engines will use to identify your video. Also try using a catchy or unique title that will not only give attention to your video but convey your theme, product, or brand.
- Tags – tag your videos with key phrases that are reflective of the content.
- Keyword “video” - Eric Papczun pointed out at the Search Engine Strategies conference in NY this past April, that a lot of people add the word “video” to their search query keyword phrase. As a result, make sure that you add the word “video” to your title, description, meta data, etc.
- Optimize your video for Important Key Phrases – You might want to optimize your video for terms users are likely to be searching for. Tag your video with these terms, consider naming the file name of the video with these terms in mind.
- Optimize URLs - In the same way that you do this for other web pages, you will want to optimize your URLs so that they to contain information about the video. Also, make sure you only have one video per URL.
- Branding – Many of us have found that video marketing is a great tool to help generate brand awareness with your potential customers. Use a watermark throughout your video to help incorporate your brand. This will help to drive users back to your main site if the video is hosted elsewhere.
- Inbound Linking – Link to videos using important keywords in anchor text.
- Upload to Video Sharing. Simultaniously upload to video portals (tubemogul & here as a paid service called Hey!Spread) and provide links back to related content and other videos on your Internet site. Here is a list of ways to get your Videos On Video Search & Sharing Sites
- Miro – Miro converts any media RSS feed into a channel.
- Video Upload Pro – Software to submit your videos to multiple video sites including Atom Films, Blip.tv, BoFunk, Bolt, ClipShack, EvideoShare, Flurl, Google Video, Guba, Jumpcut, Live Video, Myspace Video, PutFile, Veoh, Vimeo, Yahoo Video, Youtube, and more.
- HeySpread – Free online tool to send videos to multiple sites
- TubeMogul TubeMogul is the hands down the best free tool to submit videos to multiple video sharing sites in one go. Currently supporting Metacafe, MySpace, Yahoo, Revver, AOL Video, DailyMotion, Blip, and BrightCove, TubeMogul does a great job at syndicating your videos out to these video sharing sites with full support for Titles, Tags, and Descriptions and provides analytics for you to track your video views across all of these websites. I highly recommend this free tool. More about TubeMogel: TubeMogul’s free beta service has been live since November of 2006, and in January 2008, TubeMogul announced the launch of its Premium Products, which include a host of new professional features. Through its acquisition of Illumenix in October 2008, TubeMogul is also able to offer rich engagement and performance metrics to video sharing sites, content creators and advertisers. Brett Wilson, Co-founder and CEO, Brett leads the strategic direction for TubeMogul. He spent the first three years of his career as a consultant for Accenture. Next, he founded and led YouCanSave.com, a profitable e-commerce company that obtained over $69 million in revenue and was successfully acquired.
16. Allow Embed Code – Definitely enable sharing and allow users to embed your video code into their own blogs and websites. This will help to create backlinks to your video which can help increase the video search optimization as well as make your video go viral.
17. Encourage Ratings and Reviews - When you encourage users to rate your video, search engines will pay attention to videos that have higher ratings. In addition, videos which get high ratings from users tend to be the same videos that users often mark as favorites and share with other users.
18. Submit each video sharing site destination URL to Onlywire for social bookmarking
19. Check for your video across listings within specific video search engines and video search sites.
20. Syndicate – Submit your video RSS or MRSS. Here is a list of where to submit to Video RSS and MRSS Feeds
- Search For Video -http://www.searchforvideo.com
- Blinkx -http://www.blinkx.com
- ClipBlast -http://www.clipblast.com
- Pure Video– http://www.purevideo.com
- Truveo– http://www.truveo.com
- You have to sign up for a free Director account in order to submit your video feed
- AltaVista Video Search -http://www.altavista.com/video/default
- You can submit your site to AltaVista and be included in the video directory
- Yahoo Video– http://video.search.yahoo.com/
- Grind TV-http://www.grindtv.com/
- Astrasearch– http://www.astrasearch.com
The Future: Mobile Video Hosting
A more recent application of the video hosting services is in the mobile web 2.0 arena, where video and other mobile content can be delivered to, and easily accessed by mobile devices. While Internet based video-hosting services such as YouTube ( and many others) have developed means by which video can be watched on mobile devices, mobile-oriented video hosting services is an evolving component of the new Mobilution to come, in rapid succession. So, if I had a crystal ball, I would suggest learning all I could about VSEO strategies inside and out, and then strategize how your futre video productions/hosting and distribution will fit into Mobile Video for Mobile Devices (MVMD) will be developed, deployed and optimized for VSEO…because…..
the future is not for the Internet viewership but with Mobile Devices, where we will be decoupled from the desktop. A mobile live streaming software called Qik allows the users to upload videos from their cell phones to the internet. Currently videos are stored online and can be shared to various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and others. Videos will be stored on the servers and can be watched from both the mobile devices and the website.
I suggest that the future is in the mobile device. Start strategizing now and begin formating your videos to meet those screen/size/distribution requirements.
Also, a final note, please dont forget to continuoulsy build upon some of what I have previously posted in my other blog topics. For example, create a Bit.ly link of your video and submit it through Ping.fm and track it through both Bit.ly and strategically distribute through the Twitter Universe as well. Then send your bit.ly linked video through Mobile Marketing Services for distribution via cell phones.
Stay Tuned, as I will next talk about strategically Revamping Your Business Internet Press Rooms and Press Releases! All the previous posts build upon the Changing Media Landscape, Social Media Landscape and Ultimately Web 2.0 enabling and maximizing your communication and marketing efforts into a creshendo of internal and external reciprocity with continuous communcations, or Now PR.
Like many, we all have our profiles set up in more than a few social networking sites. It could become a time consuming and complex task to keep up and in touch with all your friends and contacts from all these different networks. In my last post, I hinted at how fragmented communications has become. There are now tools that allow you to either post or connect across all the popular networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, GovLoop, Flickr, Friendster, Twitter, AIM, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, just to name a few.
Are you a media, marketing, social marketing, public affairs or communications strategist looking for ways to streamline your external communications outreach and increase the depth of your Internet penetration? You can accomplish a more mature communications model that mirrors near ”continuous communications” out to your target audiences. And, you can do it across multiple online media channels. There are a few ways in which you can carry out this multi-tasking function.
You can either do it one by one with each individual channel with a single cut and peck-peck-peck method (no please don’t do that) or you can do it simultaneously across all of your media channels posting from anywhere to everywhere.
So, tonight, I want to mention a few tools which I personally like using, from an external communications perspective. These do not require any IT investment except your time in learning how to use them. Really, it’s quiet simple. They all are free. Yep, no cost. Nada. I am sure there are similar tools out there and others are sprouting up through the Internet perma-frost even as I am typing this up (copycats, are a nice complement in adding to an already good thing).
I also personally believe these tools can help with more consistency in an organizations external messaging and driving increased awareness in a tough and highly competitive economy.
The first tool I mention is for pushing/micro-blogging your messages out simultaneously. The second is for shortening your URL links (and making them trackable) to save space pointing people where you want to drive your target audience in a 140 character world. And, finally, the third tool is for generally zooming down to a geographic area and ”listening” to the buzz on the street, real-time. Remember, we have to listen to know what to say in order to resonate with our target audiences ( this is just one tool).
1) Ping.fm. Often it’s the (seemingly) simple applications that turn out to be the most powerful, and the most popular. Simplicity is beautiful. Ping.fm is a service that allows you to easily update a host of social networking and social media profiles all at once, seeks to resolve the headache of needing to log into multiple accounts to send the same message to different groups of friends and contacts all over the Internet. Ping.fm also has a decent help Wiki for more information.
Additionally, I like the fact that I can Ping right from my browser toolbar so simply that it makes my just giddy. While for some, Ping.fm may just be a nice little time-saving utility, for social media and communication professionals, this service may well be THE killer app of our time. Over the last few years communication patterns have shifted primarily from face-to-face communication to more online communication in email, IM, and other tools. As more collaboration is being done remotely through technology, there are relatively fewer opportunities for face to face informal conversations. In addition to time constraints or human resource limitations at work due to employee downsizing, drilled down efficiencies can be useful. To learn a bit more about Ping.fm read what’s on Wikipedia for some general information.
2) I am sure many of you have heard of or used Tinyurl.com. I believe it has the longest shelf life and was the first, dating back to about 2001/2002. URL shortening is a technique where an individual can make a web page available under a very short URL in addition to the original address. Since the launch of Tinyurl.com about 100 or similar sorts of URL shorteners have been born. As of Spring 2009, Bit.ly over took Tinyurl’s usage on Twitter. So I think it is safe to say, it has leading edge staying power. I personally like Bit.ly because it also allows me to quasi track the results of my link click through rates in real-time. It has some other good features as well. I came across an article that talks about some of the others, of course each one has its pros anc cons. For example, tr.im is another one which uses your Twitter account as your login, making it a sure-fire hit if it keeps up the rest of its services as well. A great one to try, it might surprise you. And then you have U.nu which creates the smallest URLs of any shortener, with only about 8 characters for each new URL created(not including the “http://”). That’s mighty tiny. The point is, that you have some choices with regards to shortening your long Webpage URLs for all your external communications so you can drive people exactly where you want them to go with a compelling message and then track that link’s click results. Anyone still hand typing paper press releases anymore and faxing them? Really, you can do it all with in the blink or wink of an eye, well almost. Now, that’s affordable and near continuous communications.
3) Visual Trends Map on Twitter topics being discussed or micro-blogged about in real-time. You really can get a pulse of what’s hot and what’s being talked about in specific geographic areas. Just incredible. And, then you can formulate and message and respond using the tools mentioned.
If one thing communications has taught me is that it is a constantly evolving medium. Never static, either in the evolution of the language we use or the medium in which we communicate through. We started with fire and smoke signals, sticks drawing in the dirt, painting on cave walls, pen and ink, the Gutenberg Press, newspapers, the telegraph, the LinoType, telephone, Radio, TV, Internet, Cellphones and so on to name just a few media landmarks (not necessarily in exact chrono order).
Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type in 1452, was deemed ”the most influential man of the millennium.” The first book printed in the colonies was in 1640. The first publisher was Lipincott. And, Thomas Jefferson was a radical for his defense of Free Speech. That old press release written in AP style? And, Ivy Lee, a PR genius. It was created to fit into the evolution of communication by using a new tool with the advent of electronic transmissions across telegraph wires, dating back to the early 1900′s. And, YES indeedy here we are in 2009 and we are still formatting our press releases the very same way we did 103 years ago. Why? Much has changed. Some things have not.
Your organization’s lead news ‘graph of 21 words or less in a 350 word press release should be considered a historical dinosaur (forgive me, being a PR professional, I should know better than to even whisper such). It begs a few content related communication and distribution upgrades. No, an extreme makeover.
Is that press release formatted for continuous instant consumption to fit in a 140 character Tweet? Is it formatted for today’s “telegraph wire” in 2009? And, is that press release just sitting on your Website with a hyperlink to it sitting there percolating on your server going no where, with scads and scads of other press releases from years and years and years ago?
There are, of course, still some resonating repeating themes from the original press release objective. And, I encourage you to read the article to see if you can pick out a few? I will wait, go check that link right there just above this line.
Open, transparent communication? Hmmmm. As this post draws to a close highlighting three useful online tools, it leads me to yet another area for exploration. Web 2.o enabled social media press rooms and social media press releases, can they still accomplish the Who, What, When, Where and Why in an inverted pyramid format? Should we? We we are to achieve open and transparent communications, we may well need to recraft out media relations is formatted, tactically accomplished and transmitted.
Stay tuned for more. Are you ready? Are your Website media “rooms” Web 2.0 enabled? Are your press releases Web 2.0 enabled?
Have we come full circle? Are we not still saying and wanting the very same things today that were echoed in 1906?
What is your idea of the best Social Media Press Release for a main stream best practice? There are some samples out there already floating around and being test driven, talked about and even used. What do you think?
Well, until Web 2.0 enabled press releases become mainstream, I hope you will see the potential value at least in the three tools I mentioned tonight to help with some of your organization’s external communication efforts. We may not be able to physically integrate all the media channels, but we can closer to streamlining our external communication efforts using these tools.
Have a good day everyone!
Alice M. Fisher
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