YouTube Videos – Why View Counts aren’t Everything

Are YouTube Views Everything?

When it comes to measuring video success, most use the proverbial public scorecard as the base.

The more views your video gets, the more successful it is, right?

Wrong!

Views are good on a video, but they aren’t and shouldn’t be the only way of tracking if your video campaign is a success.

In this post, I review two key performance indicators (KPIs), in form of questions, that should guide you when unpacking your success rate.

Q 1: What is Your Primary Campaign Marketing Goal?

As a marketer, your target audience will fit into one of these three categories:

  • Unfamiliar with your product
  • On the fence about a product
  • Ready to act

With these 3 categories in mind, your video campaign should aim to either increase awareness and consideration for your product or service, and ultimately influence sales.

Remember that your consumers no longer have a simple, linear experience. They have a variety of touchpoints that include mobile, social, and reviews. With each of these touchpoints, you move them closer to a purchase decision. Video is just one of these touchpoints.

Q 2: What are your KPIs?

Now that you have a marketing goal in mind, the next step is to dig deeper into your campaign KPIs. These KPIs can fall into various categories.

Compare your marketing goal and the following KPIs to determine what you want to achieve with your video.

 

Video KPIs

All of the above KPIs are measurable. You can use Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, and AdWords to determine and measure your campaign success.

When optimizing your KPIs, avoid using competitive or industry benchmarks. The creative choices for each video vary too greatly.

Instead, set your own benchmarks based on your past campaigns, A/B testing, and real-time optimization.

Putting One Brand to the Test

The Infinix brand of smartphones is one of the brands that continues to gain popularity. We executed a campaign on YouTube with the goal of growing awareness of it’s new brand of smartphones.

Here’s an example of what happens when you put the Infinix campaign through the exercise above:

Q 1: What is Your Primary Marketing Campaign Goal? The primary goal was to be discovered through YouTube Search

Q 2: What Are Your KPIs? As we mentioned in the graphic, one good awareness indicator is unique users. We focused on getting discovered for key search terms through YouTube Search. Looking at YouTube Analytics, 55% of the views came from suggested videos by YouTube and 33% from a YouTube Search.

 

 

Infinix Video Stats

On this project we had a clear brand goal. Every brand has specific challenges that need to be solved. In case, it was being discovered on Search.

Hopefully, you now have a better approach and understanding of why YouTube view numbers aren’t everything. Rather, the objective is whether you’re meeting your primary campaign goal and KPIs. This will not only ensure your campaign goals are met, but it’ll enable you to reach your target audience in the most important moments along their journey.

 

By David GitongaVideo and Online Content Creator

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How to Keep Visitors Longer on Your Website

Wondering how to make people stay longer on your website? Read on.

As you’re probably aware by now, the world of Search has changed dramatically from what it was just an year ago. Here’s what has changed so far:

  • Keywords are no longer enough to get you to page one of Google
  • Social signals are increasingly becoming ranking factors
  • A variety of content types is an important ranking factor
  • Guest Posting is more valuable than ever

As you can see, Google is no longer keen on how you leverage keywords on your posts. The shift is now more towards social and variety.

Here are three ways to ensure you keep ranking on top of Google Search results:

 

1. Being Active on Social

Be active on social

Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page? Do you create content specifically for these channels? Do you respond and reply to comments from followers?

Being active on social is all about engagement. It requires activity – liking, commenting, sharing, curating – and much more. The best pages are those that post consistently throughout the day and respond to questions and queries as soon as possible.

Google is noticing how you engage on social. This helps determine if your page is worth ranking or not.

 

2. Create Videos and Images

Almost all major social networks have gone visual. The emphasis on creating quality videos, graphics, and photos is understandable. People are more likely to Like or Share a picture or a video over plain text.

According to a recent statistic, we are watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day with Snapchat users now watching 10 billion videos per day.

If the above stats don’t convince you to start creating videos for social, I don’t know what will.

Try and incorporate a lot of visual content on your social pages and your blog posts. These tend to create more engagement, and in turn, higher Google rankings.

Here is a video by Buzzfeed that generated over 92M views and 5 million engagements in just 7 days:

 

3. Guest Post on Authority Sites

Guest Posting is NOT DEAD

For some time now, Google has always given authoritative sites credibility by ranking them high on search results.

This has not changed.

If you want to stand out, you need to guest post on such sites with a link back to your site or social media profiles. When you create valuable content for such sites, they will be willing to add a link back to your website.

Guest posting also gets you in front of larger audiences on social.

When you guest post on such sites, they will usually share your posts on either Facebook or Twitter. Since most of these sites have huge social followings, imagine the number of eye balls that get to notice you.

How people search on the Internet will continue to change. It is how you adapt to these changes that’ll determine your growth.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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HOW TO RANK HIGHLY FOR SEARCH

 

By now, you already know how important SEO is to your business. If not, then read on.

SEO is an important element in helping your website rank highly on Google and other search engines. It is the engine that drives traffic, and in turn, referrals to your website and company.

In other words, without a good SEO strategy, your competitor, who may be less qualified than you, will rank high on Google and get the clientele you deserve.

It doesn’t have to be that way. SEO has become a sought after skill for local companies. However, with a sought-after product, there is always the risk that you may settle for anybody that comes along. SEO is serious business and you should not settle for just anybody who claims they are experts.

Here is why.

1. SEO HAS CHANGED

It used to be that if you wanted to appear on the first page of Google search results, all you had to do was pick a keyword you wanted to rank highly for, and write article after article with that keyword. It was easy. Now times have changed and Google no longer relies on keywords to rank pages.

Let me explain.

Google is increasingly realizing that user intent and experience are important elements to determine if the content on a page is valuable to a reader. In other words, how long they stay on a page has become a ranking factor. Thus, while you may have used the right keywords in your copy, you also need to get people engaged on the page long enough.

Now this is where expertise in writing and content creation comes in.

People are not going to linger on your website or blog for long if the content is not interesting or worth reading. All it takes is a few seconds of reading your title and the first few sentences for them to determine if the content is worth their precious time. This is called the bounce rate and Google is increasingly using this metric to rank your website and web pages.

Because of this, smart websites and blogs realize the value of having a qualified copywriter to craft engaging content that keeps readers glued to their website and blogs. Hence, a good SEO expert needs to be a very good copywriter. He needs to know what ticks with the audience by writing engaging copy. And just like everything else, it takes years of experience to be a good writer.

2. VISUAL CONTENT IS GAME

While good writing skills may get you readers, you also need to create a variety of content to attract new and more readers. A good SEO expert realizes the value of good imagery to complement their blog posts. This includes relevant images, graphics, and videos.

They say variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to your website copy, variety of content can truly bring your website to life.

Here’s why.

How people search today has changed dramatically within the last 2-3 years. Search queries are more specific and people are using longer sentences. In addition, people are using other services like social media and YouTube to search for other types of content. Limiting yourself to just writing blog posts means you cannot be found on other platforms where, increasingly, more and more people are spending time on.

Social networks like Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube are used by millions of people everyday. If you are not engaged on these platforms, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. A good SEO expert realizes that creating a variety of content that includes high-quality imagery, graphics, and videos is key to ranking, not only on Google, but on the aforementioned networks.

Here is an example.

Say, I want to learn how to cook Chapatis. I can simply go onto Google and type in the query. I may decide to click on any of the results that come up. I could read a blog on it and that would be OK.

However, think about a website that not only creates a blog on the topic, but also has a video on how to cook chapatis.

A video in this instance would prove to be more valuable than a blog post. It is no surprise therefore that Google search results for certain queries include a mix of blog posts, images, and videos.

3. DO NOT IGNORE CONTENT FORMATTING

Believe it or not, your grammar and blog post formats are important ranking factors.

The Google Search algorithm is able to determine expertise in a certain field based on words used and the style of formatting and delivery. How you format your content can also help Google determine how search results will be displayed.

Here’s an example.

Say we want to rank for the term ‘how to cook chapatis.’ We can write a blog post and create a video on the above and simply post it on our blog. Which is all good.

However, we can approach the formatting in a different style that tells Google that we’re experts and we need to be highlighted on search results.

By creating a step-by-step blog post, Google will determine if it needs to display our blog post in form of an answer box. This is a great way to stand out from the competition and be noticed right on Google Search results.

Formatting your content based on user intent is a great way to rank highly.

Google now displays queries in a variety of ways as shown below:

  • Answer boxes

Answers right on Google Search page results

  • Questions ‘people also ask’

Questions and answers right on Google page results

  •  ‘In the news’ sections

News updates get special attention on search results

  • Google+ Profiles

You can rank using your Google+ Profiles

As you can see, how you format your content will determine if you get featured in any of the above styles, which can dramatically boost your ranking.

Bottom line?

Your goal, as a blog or website, is to always try and rank on as many different content varieties and in different formats as possible. You never know where your next batch of customers will come from. Approaching SEO from this direction gives you a better shot of being noticed and ranking highly on Google.

I hope this post helps you choose your SEO expert wisely. As you’ve seen, it can make or break your website and blog rankings.

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5 Video Marketing Mistakes Most Businesses Make

Many people have a love-hate relationship with video. They realize that video is a great way of connecting with audiences and impacting their businesses. However, they also know that it is not easy to create engaging videos. Framing, lighting, and sound are just some of the challenges of creating great video products. Other concerns include the script, editing, and how to push it on the Internet. However, even if you do not have a video marketing budget, it is possible to improve the quality of your videos.

Today, I am going to highlight 5 video marketing mistakes that most businesses make and how to overcome them. Just like a good friend would point out if you have something on your teeth, I am going to point out those mistakes that you might be making in your videos:

#1. Shoddy Camera Work

Nothing irritates viewers more than watching a poorly-shot video clip that makes it difficult to concentrate on what the speaker is saying. Here are some shoddy camera mistakes and how to avoid them:

– Without a stable stand, your video is going to look like you are in the middle of an earthquake. This makes it (and you) look amateurish. A tripod can help you stabilize your shots effectively.

– Your video framing is important to ensure viewers focus on what you want them to focus. Most people frame the subject smack dab in the middle of the frame, and that does not look good. Employing the rule of thirds as shown below will help your videos look a little cooler.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds Explained

Notice how your eye focusses on the top middle third. This is where you want to position your subject.

– If you are using a DSLR, focus is an important aspect of your camera work. Using the autofocus mode is important to ensure the subject is sharp with the background being a little blurry. This gives your video a cinematic look and feel.

#2. Bad Lighting

Bad lighting is a big problem for most videos. I see videos that either have too little lighting or too much lighting. Again, this makes you look amateurish and cheap. Regardless of how advanced your camera and camera work is, you can greatly improve your video quality by adding some light onto your subject. Investing in video lighting equipment can help you light up those dark areas and also control such things as focus and depth of field much more effectively, especially when shooting video with DSLRs.

#3. Bad Audio

This is very likely the most important aspect of your video. People may forgive you for bad video quality, but they are not going to stick around and listen to bad audio. Crisp, loud audio can save a bad video. Avoid using your onboard camera microphone and invest in a lapel mic.

#4. Being Boring

Most people are afraid that they will look shy or sound boring in front of the camera. Being boring does not mean you should be funny or comical. Instead, it means coming out as actionable, informative, and energetic.

Passion and enthusiasm are great at countering boredom. When you are passionate or enthused about your topic, people will want to take that drug. It is contagious, which is the opposite of boring. If you are fueled by what you do, you will be willing to share and teach others what you know. This is the drive needed to make interesting videos. Everytime you have something new and interesting to say, bring out that passion in your videos. Rinse and repeat and you will always have interesting videos that are far from boring.

#5. Not Doing Video at All

It is not true that he or she that does more videos wins. Instead, a combination of written copy and visual content can go a long way in transforming an otherwise average copy into a great piece of marketing material. Video is a great selling tool. In some cases, it doesn’t even require you to appear in the picture. You can create videos that include graphics and images with a voice over. The truth is, video is still at its infancy on the web and using it now makes you stand out from your competition.

Now that you have what it takes to make great-looking videos, you have no excuse not to use videos as a conversion tool for your business. So, go out there and start creating.

David Gitonga

David Gitonga is a visual content creator / marketer who helps businesses market their brand, products, and services on the Internet using video, images, and graphics.  He can be reached via email at davgit@gmail.com or on phone at 0721 783 420.

 

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The Truth About Graphics on Your Web Pages

I have always enjoyed the work of David Ogilvy, the offline marketing legend credited with many of today’s successful marketing strategies. What he discovered about advertising and marketing has been replicated by many successful companies across the web.

Below is a breakdown of some of his proven tactics in the world of visual media that can help you know how to better use images in your content for maximum engagement.

1. Placement Matters and it Matters A Lot

Have you ever wondered where an image ought to be placed in an article? It is very interesting that the natural sequence of reading usually involves a specific order. When you see an article, we begin by first looking at an image, then we scan the headline and then we read the body copy if the headline is interesting enough.

Therefore, an image placed below a headline will have less readers than one placed above a headline. 

2. Captions Get Read a lot More than Body Copy

Did you know that captions under images are read on average 300 percent more than the body copy itself? Therefore, using or not using captions could mean losing or engaging a huge number of potential readers.

Shooting a CloseUp Event at Eldoret

To make the best use of captions, include your brand name and your promise. Encapsulate the central purpose of the page itself in your caption to make the most use of this brief attention.

3. Watch Out for the Left Margin

When you read an article, you rely on the left margin as an anchor to give your eyes a place to return. It has been shown that it would be exceptionally difficult to follow text when with a broken left margin.

As a result, never place images to your left margin. This will break your reader’s flow and force them to readjust. Instead, always align the images on the right margin. If you are clever enough, you can let copy flow around images in an arty way.

 

 

Every image must be worth its page weight in gold. Don’t force images into context simply because they look good or because you cannot afford to hire a photographer to take unique shots. You are better off not using images at all. Try to use images with a story appeal above your headlines and that demonstrate in your copy. Anything less will simply distract from your website or blog copy.

 

For photography and video services unique to your business needs, call: 0721 783 420

 

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Training Video for T-Shirt Branding

I had an opportunity to work on a training video that would be shot during a training event. Nadhifu Mums Power helps women gain valuable business skills at a low cost and they wanted to document one of their training events and convert the contents into a training video.

I document and edited the entire training session and below is the results of my work.

Enjoy!

By David Gitonga

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Everything You Need to Know About Film Noir

Film Noir is a style of filmmaking that was very popular in the days past. However, we have seen its emergence with the likes of Spirit and Sin City taking this old style and giving it some fresh approach, making it popular once again. What though constitutes a Film Noir look?

Here is an infographic that breaks down this art and style of filmmaking helping you better understand how you can use it to create drama and unrealism to your shots.

Enjoy!

 

By David Gitonga

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How Can You Use Visual Content?

 

There is no doubt by now that visual content is becoming necessary in order to create high engagement among fans and potential customers. Everywhere you look, from Facebook, Instagram, to Twitter, images and videos are taking over these mediums that once started out as text-based networks. Even hashtags were, not too long ago, text only, are now largely accompanied by visual content.

If you are looking to grow your online presence and increase engagement on your channel, you have to incorporate some level of visual content into your digital marketing campaign.

Here are three ways on how you can incorporate visual content to drive sales, engagement, and improve the overall brand identity.

1. Show Off Brand Culture

Transparency is an important aspect of any brand and this can be leveraged to humanize your brand. One to do this is to create behind-the-scenes videos and photographs that show a sense of community and togetherness within the organization. This can be anything, from an office lunch, a process into what goes into creating a product you offer, or simply a tour of our facility while the staff is working. These visual displays can go a long way in creating a bonding effect with your customers and fans.

2. Create a Visual Timeline

One of the most effective way of engaging your loyal fans is by taking them on a visual journey of your brand products and services. You can do this by creating a visual representation of your product where you can show the idea creation, how it got started, out as well as timelines since the brand inception. You can even allow fans to take part in celebrating your anniversaries or when you hit a milestone, the way Volkswagen have done it.

3. Highlight Customers Using 

We are all hard-wired to believe that something will work for us if it has worked for someone else in the same circumstance and situation as us. This idea has been used successfully to sell just about anything and it can work for you as well……. when implemented right. Rather than tell your customers what your product or service can do, why not show them by highlighting pictures and videos of someone actually using your product or service?

Visual content is here to stay and it’s expected to grow faster than any other type of content on the Web. The above three approaches will go a long way in ensuring such content offers real value to your customers and business.

 

By David Gitonga

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How to Make Great YouTube Videos

 

If you are creating YouTube videos, chances are that you are either selling a product or trying to position yourself as an expert or thought leader.

Here is how to structure your videos so that they get the most engagement and give you a return on your investment.

The Structure:

  1. Open with a Strong Hook

YouTube visitors are very trigger and you need to get them right at the beginning of the video. Usually, you got only about 15 seconds to do that otherwise they will just click away.

Here is an example of a good hook:

“So, today guys, we are going talk to you about how to grow your YouTube community. We got 5 tips coming right up after this.”

Within that 15-second window, you should pitch the value that the viewers are going to get. The quicker you can say what value your viewers are going to get out this, the longer they are going to stick around.

  1. Make A Really Short Intro

Avoid a really long intro, and a long intro is like 10-seconds. 3 seconds is just the optimum time you need to spend on an intro. It is also just about the time it takes for someone to move their hand to the mouse and click away.

You will notice that if your intro drags on for 5 seconds, your audience retention drops. Anything longer is just not recommended.

  1. Introduce Yourself

Remember that not everyone has been watching your previous videos, and potentially any new video you make could be the first encounter with a new viewer or subscriber. At the same time you don’t want to bore your existing viewers, so make it short and snappy.

Use a lower third to visually introduce some aspects about you rather than spend a lot of time doing so verbally. You could say list down your name, your Twitter handle, Facebook page etc.

  1. Get into the Content

Take as much time as you need to deliver the value that you want d to deliver and not a second more. If you got a 5-minute idea, don’t use 2 minutes and don’t use 6 minutes.

Its not about trying to optimize your content for robots, but about optimizing the content for people, and this will always work in your favor.

  1. Final Steps

Give your call to action, never more than two, and make them clear. Also, give a complement to your subscribers on screen and request for subscribes.

Here is a typical call to action:

“The best part of this happens in the comments section below, so be sure to leave a comment. Also, be sure to subscribe to our channel to get updates when we publish a new video every week.”

How to Develop a Community

Let’s make one thing clear. YouTube is very different from TV. YouTube is a social network and building the strongest communities, whether on YouTube or elsewhere, is based on common beliefs, and not on common interests.

If you want to build a community online, then you need to bring out what you belief and stand for. Common interests don’t develop into deep connections, but beliefs do.

When you share stories about why you do what you do, and why it matters, it touches all who watch and subscribe. It is only when you start caring that a community starts to develop.

If you don’t stand for something, you are not going to have advocates and in turn, your community will just be mediocre.

Video is more likely to appear higher on a search result page than a lot of other content online. It is also much easier to grow get a deeper, human connection with video than other types of content. You need it and most definitely, your business needs video.

 

David Gitonga

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

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How to be Successful on YouTube – 5 Case Studies

Digital marketing may be a hard nut to crack for some, but once you learn the fundamentals, you will quickly be amazed by how everything seems to fit in just right. You will enjoy playing on this huge and growing platform. The true judge of any idea online is, not the source, but if the idea works. Everything else is irrelevant.

YouTube is one of these platforms where if you can get it right, you are bound to win big time!

I took time to review what and how five non-marketers are leveraging YouTube with remarkable success and what we can learn from their approaches.

#1. Cross-Promotion of Facebook and YouTube Video

Michelle Phan, who runs a beauty channel, has over 7 million subscribers, the last time I checked. She’s not only creates high-quality content with expertise, but also has a fair amount of marketing and web savvy instincts that has helped her become a YouTube sensation.

She leverages her sizable Facebook fan base using the new Facebook video platform. Rather than simply drop a link of her new YouTube video or publish a post, she creates a small 15-second trailer to promote her YouTube video and uploads it to Facebook.

The uploaded video in Facebook’s newsfeed will autoplay and is the ideal length for the Facebook audience. To cap off this cross promotion, she also adds a link back to her Facebook page on her videos description section.

Key Takeaway:

Michelle understands that in order to reach her audience, who may not necessarily be in YouTube, she has to tailor her messaging to the platform where her potential audience is, in this case, Facebook. She thus creates Facebook video micro-content which nudges her audience towards her core content centered around YouTube.

 

#2. Complimenting a Video with a Long-Form Blog Post

John Mitzewich, who runs Food Wishes, a chef teaching channel, has over 1 million YouTube subscribers. John has been able to consistently create recipe videos that have been wildly successful because of the synergy that exists between his blog and his videos.

The two types of content compliment each other so well that if you consume one, chances are high that you will consume the other. This, in turn, results in cross-pollination that works very well.

Key Takeaway

To truly have a cohesive content strategy, your content needs to be inter-related. The synergies between your content needs to be very real if you aim to pursue a similar content mix. John seems to have stumbled upon this strategy early on and discovered it works perfectly for him.

#3. Make Commenting a Part of the Content

Mike Rugnetta uses philosophy and critical theory to analyze modern-day trends on the PBS Idea channel. With over half a million subscribers, the channel is bustling with activity primarily because the channel encourages it.

Since the channel is often on topics people feel strongly about, Mike poses more questions and less answers. Instead of simply letting the audience participate on in the background, the PBS team actively encourages debates through open questions. It even dedicates the last third of each episode to discussing and addressing the top comments from the previous episode.

This feedback mechanism fosters constructive discussions and encourages viewers to explore the rest of the channel.

Key Takeaway

By specifically tailoring their content to feature the comments, PBS has been able to redirect and tame a particularly difficult part of YouTube – the comments section – to their advantage. This in turn enhances the channel’s content and provides a value all of it’s own.

 #4. Maintain Graphical Consistency to Build Your Brand

Even while covering a broad scope of topics or even unrelated variety of topics, which may confuse a regular audience in most cases, it is possible to implement a strong and coherent visual style. The School of Life YouTube channel does this beautifully using  various elements and ideas that bring out a consistent style and design.

Despite the varied topics and the depth and breadth of what is covered, you get the sense of consistent pattern even from the video list in grid form below:

Key Takeaway

The School of Life understands that in order to keep their branded messaging coherent, it is necessary to tie certain elements together. In their case, it’s how the videos look and feel. By maintaining their consistent look and feel, they can discuss a wide variety of topics without diluting their brand or confusing their audience.

 

#5. Use Humor to Communicate Complex Ideas

In order to tackle difficult subjects, Glove and Boots have come up with entertaining and enjoyable approach that makes their videos noteworthy and catchy. By use of puppets, the channel is able to create supremely entertaining and universally accepted video content, making uncomfortable subject matters worth watching.

Dry subjects are brought to life using humor and wit which has proven to be very effective for the channel.

Key Takeaway

Even the most unlikely and unremarkable topics can be discussed and brought to life by utilizing humor and wit in your explanation. No matter how serious the clientelle or subject matter, injecting a little cleverness or levity is always welcome and make for more effective and enjoyable content.

 

If you would like to implement a content strategy on YouTube, give us a call or send us an email:

0721 783 420 

or

Email: david@e-labz.info 

or

davgit@gmail.com

 

David Gitonga

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

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