Having done a lot of research ahead of a video competition last year, I was interested to see what this session would hold. It was a great session run by Phil Nottingham from Distilled and Greg Jarboe from SEO PR.
Phil Nottingham, Distilled
Nottingham established a great principle up front. Replace B2B with B2CC (business to commercial consumer) when you think about video. It’s a great principle across all social media and communications.
He also proposed a strategic rather than tactical (we need video) approach, suggesting four broad goals for video usage: rich snippets, conversions, brand awareness, links, and social shares. In each instance the objective will dictate the platform, and if you’re trying to achieve all four your video is likely to be too watered down to succeed.
For rich snippets, earning traffic to your own site, YouTube isn’t great. It’s too strong a domain and will always rank above your own content. Securely host where credit will be given to the owner, he advises, citing platforms like Ooyala, Amazon Cloudfront, Vimeo, Brightcove, Viddler, Vzaar and Wistia. Wistia appealed to me as it automates the whole process. Include a transcript, he contends. Distilled has tested and recommend Speechpad as one of the best value for money for transcriptions, but others are available.) And a video sitemap.
Doesn’t YouTube send traffic to sites? The stats aren’t great. YouTube is great for brand exposure, contends Nottingham, but not for conversions.
He sees the future of YouTube as great as a community building channel – regular broadcasts to an attentive audience. It’s great for thought leadership, informational content, ads, and creative stories attached to a brand – even for posting videos of hangouts. It’s also great for finding out what people are looking for. And for integrating with social.
So when do people link to video? They’ll embed only when it’s of relevance to their audience; and link to the page when it’s entertaining or informational. Nottingham emphasised repeatedly – make sure the links come back to you, not YouTube or Vimeo or any other platform! The easiest way to stop this is to ensure that the video is invisible on the host site, and visible on yours!
If your content’s already on YouTube, all is not lost! Nottingham suggests going to anyone who’s embedded or linked your video and asking them for a link. This information is available inside YouTube analytics.
YouTube can earn links back for curated video sets as well, suggests Nottingham. And Distilled have very kindly created and shared a playlists tool: http://dis.tl/youtube?playlists?tool
So how do measure the success of a B2B video campaign? Views are a poor measure, suggests Nottingham. Look at something of value, like organic traffic, conversions, or, if the objective is brand awareness, branded search traffic and engagement.
All in all, Nothingham gave a convincing and valuable overview of some of the key considerations in using video as part of B2B Campaigns, and the nice chaps at Distilled have also made available their Guide to Online Video Marketing.
View the Slides Here
Greg Jarboe, SEO PR
Greg Jarboe of Search Engine Watch and the President and co-founder of SEO PR, complemented the talk by Phil Nottingham by a more indepth look at YouTube. He began with a warning. His book on online video is less than 18 months old, but is now almost totally obsolete, such is the speed of change in the field.
Echoing Nottingham, he suggested that YouTube is good for creating brand advocates (my term, not his) who will share your story. And whilst it rarely ‘converts’ is certainly helps purchasers along their purchasing journey.
And advertising (per keyword) is cheaper on YouTube than Google.
Views are no longer part of the YouTube algorithm, suggests Jarboe. The amount of time that someone watches for has become a far more important metric. So keeping content compelling is vital.
Four point s from Q A’s – Jarboe and Nottingham
The old lengthy myth – keep it short – no longer applies. Some of last year’s most successful videos were almost 30 minutes long. The myth probably harks back to a time when video gobbled bandwidth which unable to cope. Better quality broadband has changed that dynamic.
Wistia came highly recommended for hosting video where YouTube might be ‘firewalled’ out, including certain countries and corporate firewalls.
Because of the pace of change, review your video strategies three times a year against original objectives. Learn from what works and what people are searching for and continuously improve.
And last, but far from least, both experts have an eye on Google Hangouts as a way of generating easily shared and interesting content.