5 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Video Strategy

Not a day goes by do I not get an alert, on either Facebook or YouTube of a live event happening. 5 years ago, it used to be that if you wanted to watch a live event, you had to turn on the television, and hope CNN or BBC is live on the ground.

Not anymore.

Livestreaming events are becoming so common now on Facebook that I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more platforms offering live video. Facebook and YouTube are just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg, on what to expect. Marketers and agency executives are also very optimistic about online digital video with two-thirds of them saying original digital video will become as important as original TV programming in the next three to five years.

The event livestreaming space is also getting crowded. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are just some of the other players now enabling users to either livestream events or curate video content around events.

Now that I have convinced you enough about the continued rise and domination of online video, here are some 5 reasons to take home on why online video marketing should be an important part of your marketing arsenal:

1. Video is More Engaging than Text

The human brain can process visual information 60,000x faster than text.  We seek out visual content as opposed to text. It is no surprise therefore that we are 13% more like to open an email or click on a link that includes the word “video.”

2. Video Creates an Emotional Connection


There is value in forming deep and personal relationships with your consumers. A well-crafted video can pull the right audiences and get you noticed. A Harvard Business Review study showed that connecting emotionally with your audiences can boost revenue and video is well-positioned to stir those emotions.

3. Good Video has Gotten Cheaper

Once the domain of huge companies and studios with big budgets, high-quality video is not within reach on small budgets, thanks to advancing technology. You can now take dazzling skyline and stable handheld shots, thanks to new innovative tech that enables all of this.

4. Video Boosts Conversion Rates

Did you know that visitors will stay on your site 2 minutes longer, on average, if it includes a video? Furthermore, these visitors are 64% more like to purchase a product. Online video draws customers in and tends to be more persuasive over any other media.

5. Numbers Don’t Lie

The future of the Internet can be summed up into one word – video.

You don’t believe me? Check out these stats:

  • 52% of marketers point to video content as having the best ROI
  • 73% of marketers confirm video has having positively impacted marketing results
  • YouTube reaches more 18-49-year olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • Top five most popular celebrities among teens in the U.S. were a YouTube star

So, are you ready to start creating videos?

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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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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SnapChat Video Views Now Rival Facebook

Snapchat caption

As you are probably aware, SnapChat is the new social media kid on the block compared to veterans like Facebook and Twitter. The new network has particular appeal to 18-34-year olds, but like any other social network, the usage eventually converts to an older audience. This is the magic of social media and why any serious brand should be doing social.

Vertical Video vs. Horizontal Video

According to recent reports, Snapchat now has over 8B video views. What is even more interesting is the fact that SnapChat videos are vertical as opposed to horizontal which seem to fit most social media timelines like Facebook and Twitter.

Research has shown that users are more likely to watch vertical video over horizontal video. In some instances, vertical videos have a completion rate of up to nine times over their horizontal counterpart.

Vertical videos have more appeal

An Engaged Audience

While Facebook boasts photo uploads of between 300-350M per day, this is less than 35% of its 1.59B users. SnapChat on the other hand has over 65% of its users uploading pictures daily. SnapChat’s frequency of use is clearly a selling point that any marketer should consider.

Time spent on popular social networks

Engagement is an important metric when it comes to measuring online success since the more engaged audiences are with a brand, the higher the chances they are going to talk up posts, share products, and offers. SnapChat clearly delivers on the engagement front.

Skewing Towards a Younger Audience

Millennials love SnapChat

SnapChat has the 6th-highest concentration of millennials with 76 percent of them being on SnapChat. With most younger generations using several social networks, it is good to note that SnapChat is not as saturated with ads and brands as Facebook and Instagram. This makes it a better platform to gain visibility quickly and get the attention of this young generation.

Apps on SnapChat

Are you on SnapChat? Are you looking to connect with a more engaged audience? Are you looking to test out a variety of media like video and images to grow your brand? Consider getting onto SnapChat before it gets saturated. It’s working for big brands and it can do the same for you.

 

 

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VIDEO: AITEC Africa ICT Summit

I got an invite to attend the AITEC Africa ICT Summit held at Visa Oshwal Center, Nairobi, Kenya, on the 24th & 25 February 2016. The event attracted ICT professionals and industry leaders who showcased their products and services, as well as give talks on currents trends and technologies in their respective fields.

Take a look at the video trailer below from the event:

By David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Huawei Mate 8 Launch

We got an invite to attend and highlight the launch of the Huawei Mate 8 smartphone. Check out the video highlight of the event, courtesy of CIO East Africa:

 

By David Gitonga

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VIDEO: Joe Mucheru Talks Netflix

We got to talk to CS for ICT, Joe Mucheru, on Netflix and here is what he had to say about it:

By David Gitonga

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Netflix is Now Available in Kenya

Neflix coming to a screen near you

It used to be that if you wanted to watch a movie or a TV show, you either had to purchase a DVD or simply get what was being aired on TV.

Not anymore!

With the rise of broadband Internet and with most preferring to create their own entertainment and pay for it, we have seen the rise of streaming services take over the movie industry with recent nominations and awards at the Emmy’s going to online shows like House of Cards.

Netflix has been at the forefront of streaming movies and TV shows, but it was only limited to the United States, until now. The company recently announced that is now available in 130 countries making it easy to access and stream its award-winning shows and movies on a monthly-subscription.

Neflix now in Kenya

Kenya is one of the countries where Netflix is now available and can be accessed on a monthly subscription. You can now get to enjoy all House of Cards, Arrested Development, DareDevil, Orange is the New Black, Marco Polo among other popular shows.

Speaking at the CES 2016, The Chief Content Office at Netflix, Ted Sarandos, announced the company’s goal to go global with the intention of localization some shows. According to Sarandos, some of the shows are not engineered to be global but organically become global like House of Cards and Suits, which further amplifies the need for a global television platform. Thanks to the Internet, all the constraints of traditional television are falling away, one by one, and Netflix is at the forefront in changing how entertainment is distributed.

Monthly plans start from US$7.99 with a free month when you sign up to get a feel of what’s in store.

Streaming services like Netflix and their move to target global audiences is just one of the many reasons why multimedia content on the Web is going to define the next decade in how we consume content online.

 

By David Gitonga

David Gitonga is an online marketing and video expert helping brands and businesses leverage the Internet  and Internet video to grow their business and build brand authority. 

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Here is Why You are Not Winning on Social Media

How consistent is your social media marketing strategy?

A lot of people ask me what it takes to be successful on such online platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. They want to know what they are doing wrong on social media and how they can be more successful on these platforms.

My answer is always the same – Consistency.

Why?

Because social media never sleeps. Think about it, how long do you take before you talk to somebody? 2 days? 3 days? 4 days? Of course not! You talk to people EVERYDAY and you do it throughout the day as well, right?

Social media is just like that.

It requires constant conversation with your community, consistent engagement with your fans, and never-ending discussions with your followers. All these are social communities and they all need to know that you are there and available to help out wherever needed.

If you are creating videos on YouTube, then you need to be doing a lot more than just creating a video every month, or in worst-case scenarios, once a year. You need to be consistent. Don’t worry too much about quality otherwise you will never be consistent. If you are not able to do this regularly, then hire someone who can do this for you.

Is your brand human?

On Facebook, you need to create pictures, blog posts, quote cards, and videos to keep your community engagement. Don’t try to sell your product every time you post. Respect the platform. People are not there to be sold to but to engage with your brand. Do that.

On Twitter, offer value by re-tweeting what industry followers are doing. Create interesting quotes, get into conversations, and show your followers that you are plugged into current trends.

On Instagram, post beautiful and well-shot images every day. Use the common hashtags to plug into conversations and get discovered. Follow your followers and show some love to what they are doing.

As you can see, all of the above requires consistency.

The potential of the Internet has been grossly underestimated. It’s impact is only growing and the earlier you realize that this thing called the Web is here to stay, then you will understand why consistency is crucial to winning in this new media.

 

By David Gitonga

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