October 10, 2015
People often refer to the term ‘viral video’. However, without video seeding and organic growth all you have is a video – it is the seeding and sharing that make a video ‘go viral’ / reach its potential.
This means that ‘video seeding’ should be an integral part of an online video campaign. A successful seeding campaign, which is fully integrated across your entire brand’s marketing activity, will get your content seen on social channels and plant it across the web, ensuring it gets in front of as many of the (right) people as possible.
A critical element of any online video campaign is, of course, creating a great piece of content; one that is as ‘watchable’ as possible. There are a number of key considerations. Think about the length of the video (ideally it shouldn’t be over 2 minutes) and understand the intended aim of your video and set out clearly defined KPIs so that you can measure its success. Most importantly, make sure you have created a video that is compelling enough for your fans to want to watch and share with their friends. By completing this check list of online video best practice you’ll be the ideal position to launch your seeding campaign.
Here are our top 5 essential steps to give your video the very best chance of success:
1. Optimise the videos for search
Whether you’re hosting your video on YouTube, Vimeo, MetaCafe or another video site it is crucial to optimise it for search in order to maximise the number of video views.
YouTube, for example relies on three key signals when ranking your videos within the YouTube search results:
- Keywords in your title and description
- Number of video views
- Video ratings
It is crucial to think about what keywords you use in the titles and descriptions when uploading your video. At the outset you must carry out keyword research in order to uncover niches in the targeted terms. Use your brand insights to decide upon your keywords in your title, description and tags and ensure each is fully optimised. Here’s a checklist to ensure your videos are fully optimised:
Title: The title is very important to SEO. Make sure it grabs the attention of your target audience and use high volume keywords. You have 99 characters to optimise your title text so search engines can easily categorise it and your audience can find it. Think carefully about your target keywords, as well as any other keywords you may want to rank for, and choose a title that is popular enough to drive viewer numbers. Another important factor to remember is that before you even upload the video you need to optimise the file name of the video using your keywords.
Description: The video description should explain exactly what is being shown in the video. You have 5,000 characters in which to describe your video (though keep in mind only about 25-30 characters will be visible in your YouTube search results) and optimise it for key terms. The YouTube Creator Playbook advises putting the most “compelling” information at the beginning. It’s important to avoid key word stuffing, however you must also make it as easy as possible for search engines to find your content – getting this balance right is crucial.
Tags: Tagging your videos allows you to choose a range of words or phrases that will help search engines and your audience to find your video. The key to using tags effectively is to choose unique keyword phrases that you think people would use to search for your video. As a rule of thumb around 5-10 tags for each video is best practice. One tip that may also prove useful is to include any misspellings of your brand name.
2. Use social bookmarking tools
Submitting your videos to social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon is an extremely useful way to set in motion your video seeding campaign. During the initial launch of the campaign these sites can help to drive increased traffic to your videos.
Submitting to these sites will also help your video get indexed faster and will help to optimise your video by providing additional inbound links and improving video search engine ranking.
However, as a brand you must be extremely careful how you promote your video. If the audience think that you are simply pushing out a video while offering no value this may be seen as spamming and could result in a backlash from online users. One way of avoiding this is to use Reddit’s sponsored links, which allows brands to upload content while avoiding accusations of spamming.
3. Maximise organic growth
For brands social media is all about creating compelling content that has great viral potential, content that fans want to talk about and share. The more creative and innovative you can be the more inclined your audience will be to share your content and engage with the brand.
Make use of the viral nature of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, as well as leveraging your other marketing channels such as your website and newsletters. By creating an integrated strategic marketing approach and optimising all of your channels will greatly increase the exposure of your video.
This will also bring with it optimisation benefits. Google use the number of links to your video to determine its position in the search rankings, so by encouraging people to share your videos across the social web you will also boost your SEO results.
4. Use advertising
While organic growth and manual seeding are powerful ways to boost the number of views your video receives social advertising is also an extremely effective way to reach specific audience groups.
Strategic advertising can be run on video sharing channels themselves such as YouTube who offer a range of options, such as promoted videos as well as ‘InVideo Ads’.
Facebook’s advertising platform also offers a powerful and highly targeted way to promote your video. With the ability to target by age, sex, location and also by interests it provides an invaluable way to promote and drive traffic to your video channel.
5. Blogger outreach
Blogger outreach is another extremely effective strategy when running an online video campaign. Working with prominent bloggers you can connect with targeted groups of consumers who you know are interested in your offering and are receptive to your messages – this will guarantee your brand word of mouth recommendations across key communities.
With access to influential, relevant and trusted influencers you will be able to successfully drive traffic to your video and leverage the passion and enthusiasm of the target audience and amplify the reach of your video.
Optimisation + great content
‘Optimisation’ is key when it comes to video seeding. When you have uploaded your video you must optimise the key words so that search engines can easily find it. Then, in order to optimise the reach of your video, you must use social advertising and social bookmarks. Finally you must optimise the power of your message by leveraging trusted influencers on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
It is worth exploring YouTubes showcase ideas to inspire new ways to engage within video apps. https://www.youtube.com/yt/dev/en-GB/showcase.html
These tactics will help to maximise the chances of your video being seen by as many people as possible – and are key to helping videos reach their potential. However, it’s also vital to keep in mind campaign effectiveness will be limited unless you have a great piece of video content which people want to share and engage with in the first place.
So, when launching your video, remember that it requires the perfect combination of great content, measurable objectives, a comprehensive seeding strategy together with continuous optimisation. Only then are you giving it the very best chance to go ‘viral’.
September 11, 2015
Social media week, September 14-18, is coming up and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Joel Davis will be talking about new technologies and advancements in social insight tools which can transform social media marketing from traditional to extraordinary.
We will take marketers on a journey from relying on gut-feel to trusting the insights and utilising them strategically. Using these innovative tools can transform ROI and elevate its priority level. With new usable platforms and a view into next gen social technologies, marketers can shape their 2016/2017 social strategies and contribute to an evolving landscape.
This event is now sold out. Follow us on @agency2 and take part in the conversation about #smartersocial. Thursday 17 September, 9:45 – 10:35 am.
September 4, 2015
We all know social media usage continues to rise, but did we realise how much of our leisure time it accounts for?
Out of all online activity, social media usage has grown in popularity to take up the highest percentage of our time. We are on our devices more than ever and increasingly engaging with a wide variety of social media networks. Not really breaking news, although the figures are quite staggering.
From research undertaken by UKOM and Comscore, The Guardian reports: “Time spent on sites including Facebook, Gawker Media and Reddit account for 17% of all time people in the UK spend online” (See here for full article.)
With brands able to reach consumers at virtually every turn, it is more important than ever for their strategies to be fully aligned with clear targets in place. The opportunity to utilise social as part of a wider marketing strategy has never been this great.
July 16, 2015
Social media trends are continuously changing. Reactive content is on fire, videos are taking the lead and Instagram is the new black.
Brands are constantly trying to maintain their social currency, by creating strong communities of like-minded fans who engage with their content.
In some scenarios, we need to consider what’s more powerful…content or community?
Communities move on
Think about new mums. Early motherhood is lonely and mums often find support in the mummy community. But, babies are small for a very short time. What happens when they move on from their current stage? They need something new to engage them, something new to talk about other than nappies and baby food. A mum engaged may leave the community to find something else.
Contrast this with book lovers. They will always be book lovers. A passion doesn’t usually fade; in contrast, it may grow over time. These fans are likely to stay part of a community that they engage with. Unless, the content grows stale and doesn’t keep them there.
How to keep fans engaged for longer
So where does this leave a brand’s marketing strategy? Is it better to focus on building the community or producing high quality content? The answer is balancing the business objectives with the audience’s needs – strategies that encompass the proper use of social media and are aligned with business goals, will be more successful towards building communities and keeping them.
March 27, 2015
On Tuesday 31 March, 2015 our director Joel Davis, will chair a presentation at the DMA in central London.
What is the DMA? The biggest marketing body in Europe, the DMA aims “to connect, enable and inspire our members to drive business growth” primarily through digital communications. Their objective includes facilitating a marketing evolution of growth at both a business and industry level.
The presentation is called Social Media: Connecting the dots and will touch on various aspects of social including successful strategy, integrating social media with other channels, current technology and case study based insights.
Joel says “It is a great opportunity to share industry secrets towards building optimal social strategies.”
The talk is now sold out – however, there is a waiting list for those who are interested.
February 6, 2015
A new report by Shareaholic this week highlighted the following: Social media has become the number one driver of ALL website referral traffic. In 2014, the figures rose from 22.71% to 31.24%, a massive increase over this time period.
This is a significant opportunity to consider; although this growth may not be sustainable, it is definitely something for businesses to focus their marketing campaigns on now.
Which channel is the biggest referrer? Unsurprisingly, Facebook is still tops by a wide margin (24.63% in December 2014 vs. next best channel Pinterest at 5.06%). Despite the challenges of decreasing reach resulting in increasing media spend and younger audiences leaving etc., Facebook remains the channel of choice to get the word out about your business. Not to mention, social media traffic referrals grew by 59.58% in this same time period.
What does this mean for marketers? If social media is now the number one referral method where both good and bad feedback can go viral, your business needs to ensure the following is in order:
• Customer satisfaction – expectations of service are high and fans are now posting their grievances on social media pages. If your business is not able to deal with criticism and complaints effectively, it will ultimately affect your sales negatively.
• Moderation – social media trolls are active and can be vicious. Moderation is key towards managing press and ensuring negativity is dealt with appropriately.
• Quick response times – customers are online 24 hours a day. If they can’t reach you immediately, they will move on quickly to the next best seller.
• Community growth – engagement is key towards building your brand, and will contribute to healthy sales. An engaged community will lead to strong brand awareness, driving clicks to your website.
A focused social media strategy will ensure your website will be seen, ultimately leading to increased sales and return on investment
January 23, 2015
“It wasn’t like that in my day….”
“When I was your age…”
These idioms are now applying to social media too. Channels are changing quicker than we can take a selfie. The younger generation is continuously finding new ways of communicating and moving on from previous popular sites whilst the older generation is started to get socially active more than ever before.
An American report entitled “Social Media Update 2014” (see link here) concluded that whilst Facebook remains the most popular social networking site, others are growing at a higher rate. What does all of this data mean? What are the current trends?
Let’s look at social media by age group:
Users of social media are bound by terms and conditions and age restrictions. The youngest user of Facebook is required to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account (and older in some jurisdictions) and Twitter restrictions clearly states that the site is for users over 13. Do these age limitations stop the youngest users from interacting on social media? This guide on how young kids should be in order to join Instagram is viewed over 400 times a day, so this is clearly on the minds of parents and tweens. We shouldn’t assume that all youngsters follow the guidelines and avoid social media; rather the opposite.
An article in the Telegraph (see here) found that “Teenagers are moving away from ‘traditional’ social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in favour of mobile messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.” It would seem that teenagers want something instant and immediate, and don’t have time for Facebook which may now be seen as ‘uncool’. Whilst the jury is not out as to whether teens have abandoned Facebook and Twitter, the trend seems to be moving towards this age group using other apps as well. A common sense media article highlights the sites that teens are most likely to use.
For this group, it’s all about the photos.
Instagram is now more popular than Twitter (source), and this age group is partly responsible. According to the report mentioned above, half of online adults aged 18-29 used Instagram, and more than half use it every day. However, as Business Insider pointed out, Facebook can’t be ignored and is still the most popular social network with 58% of all age groups saying they have a personal profile page.
30-49 year olds
According to Pew Research Internet Project (see here) for adults age 30-49, a whopping 82% of them use social networking sites. This is only marginally less than 18-29 year olds, of which 89% use social networking sites. However, it is important to note that this is the only age group in the Social Media Update report that dropped in Facebook usage – could this mean that as usage is up, maybe this group is looking elsewhere as well?
Although Facebook was originally launched at Harvard for college students, the user demographic has changed and continues to change! By 2014, according to the Social Media Update, more than half of online adults 65 and over are now using Facebook, which is the biggest jump amongst all of the age groups. Online usage of all social networking sites increased but not as significantly as on Facebook.
Interesting trends! Is it worth breaking down the data to see where best to focus your social media marketing in 2015.
December 24, 2014
Exploding onto the scene, making a quiet entrance or growing in popularity?
There is always talk about which new social media platforms are replacing the existing channels. Although it is never as simple as a platform becoming obsolete in a matter of days, new tools and apps and sites are popping up all the time. Whether or not they will grow in popularity and gain cult-like status or disappear into the cloud ether never to be seen again, only time will tell.
WeChat – mobile voice and text messaging service from China, WeChat has now become the largest standalone messaging app by monthly users. More than 100 countries can register their phone numbers and sign up through Facebook. Bye-bye WhatsApp?
eva – a video based social networking site. Describing itself as “the mobile YouTube for the Instagram generation,” eva is set up for people looking to share content and express themselves through video. What do you think: is this innovative or been done before?
Instagram – not new by any stretch, Instagram has now taken over Twitter in monthly users and Citigroup has raised its valuation to $35 billion (see source) from a mere $19 billion. The platform appeals to younger users and has grown significantly in popularity. Is this the dawn when Instagram becomes the new Facebook?
Yik Yak – yakking is what people do best. Sharing content on Yik Yak is private and creates a live feed of what’s going on around town.
tsu – “We believe in quality content, real ownership, and the value of one’s own network.” Tsu claims to be socially responsible, rewarding users for quality content and allowing users to maintain ownership of their content. One million users joined in just over one month, that’s not too shabby!
We can’t complete this post without mentioning Facebook and Twitter. The two most popular social media sites are going to need to change with the times to keep up, stay fresh and resonate with young audiences.
January 7, 2013
What trends in social media are we expecting over the next few years?
We know that it has only just turned 2013, but at agency: 2 we like to always be two steps ahead of the game, so our minds are already drifting to what will be the trends in social media for 2014. We predict that the social networking sites that will be most successful in 2014 will be those which make the most effective use of data, and allow users to get the most targeted and relevant experience.
We believe the most successful social networking sites will use the tri-factors of user behaviour data, user intent data and demographic data to create the most valuable & relevant experiences.
Social networking sites which make the most valuable use of this tri-factor will add the most value for users and ensure that they keep on coming back to that specific site.
By 2014 engaging content will be more important than ever, with everything on social networking sites having a clear intent and purpose. In our last blog article we discussed how we believe that sites such as ‘Newsle’, which cut through the clutter and ‘social noise’ on the web to provide a specific purpose, will increase in popularity. If social networking channels can provide a valuable service which enhances the user’s web experience and generates positive results they will be successful (as seen with LinkedIn).
At agency:2 we are looking forward in the next few years to using our knowledge and experience to ensure that brands can successfully target their messages at the right people, with a focus on the needs and desires of specific individuals.
May 10, 2012
The folks at Flowtown have cut through the data on users of geo-social networking and location-based services to produce this infographic – and guess what? it’s the under 30 year old males that lead the way. Delving a little further into the whos and whats shows us that users with spending power look to location-based services to find out what brands can offer them. And with the data showing that those people most likely in the US to access these services on their smartphones are in the higher – the learning for brands is that location-based services can help you find your target market.