US consumers are spending more time on social networks, according to the market research firm eMarketer. Due to a significant growth in usage of social networks and digital video, the overall average daily time spent online rose again in 2012, while old school media, like radio and newspapers, continued to lose share.
eMarketer reports that US consumers spent an average of 37 minutes daily on social networks in 2012, compared to 30 minutes daily in 2011.
The only other digital activity that gained as many minutes as social is online video, which rose from 17 minutes in 2011 to 24 minutes in 2012. This is largely due to a sharp increase in digital TV and movie content available online.
Social media and digital video seem to be closely correlated: the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that, for one-quarter of online video viewers 18 and older, the third preferred way (after word or mouth and ads) to discover TV shows that they could watch on the web was through social sites.
In conclusion, the multi-media driven online social networks are here to stay and continue to evolve creating huge business opportunities for savvy marketers. Leveraging the power of social networks can represent a key opportunity to build a viable, valuable, and long lasting connection with your customers and prospects.
Videos, if optimized, can be a useful tool to market your products, services and business. Videos often rank well in the search results pages and can provide another way for your audience to engage with your brand. If videos are an integral part of your online marketing strategy, there are a few video optimization tips that you should take into consideration.
First, do you know where your videos will be hosted? If you are not sure or haven’t decided, think about why you are creating videos in the first place. Is it to increase views of the video or to bring traffic to your website? If your goal is to attract more visitors to your website, it will make the most sense to have the video hosted on your website. When videos are hosted on your website, you create an opportunity for your site to position in the search results for that video. On the other hand, if you want to have as many viewers as possible, it will certainly be in your best interest to upload your videos to YouTube and possibly other video sharing sites as well.
Utilize keyword-rich titles, descriptions and tags for your videos. This will help your video to not only be found more easily on video sharing sites, but it will also create the opportunity for your video to appear in the universal search results for those keywords.
To make your videos more enticing, especially amongst thousands of other videos on sites such as YouTube, use catchy titles that viewers will want to click on. Keywords in the titles can also help with search engine rankings, but be sure that they are descriptive in nature. Also utilize the thumbnail to attract more viewers.
Remember your audience. Keep in mind that most people will watch videos for only a few minutes, if that. If you have a lot content that you want to cover, consider breaking the information into a few shorter, condensed videos or playlists.
There are also ranking factors that can play a role with your videos’ visibility on video sharing sites. We have found that YouTube, for instance, places importance on engagement and community factors when determining video rankings (i.e. views, ratings, comments, etc.). Interact with other videos by posting comments, and when comments are posted on your videos, reply where appropriate. Also take a look at your competitors. Are they doing anything in particular to have more views, ratings, and comments on their videos?
Another factor that can provide a boost to your video optimization efforts is the quantity and quality of links from external sites. If you are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this should not be surprising. Creating videos that are interesting and the type that others will want to link to can make acquiring external links to your videos much easier.
Lastly, think about the goals for your video. What are the next steps that your audience should take? Maybe you want them to remember your brand, your URL, your phone number, or even simply view another video. Whatever it is that you want them to do, make sure that the call to action is prominent.
With the popularity of online video increasing everyday, it is not surprising to see people utilizing online video sites to promote their products or services. More than 14 billion people watched online videos in December of 2008 which was a 13 percent increase over November as reported by comScore Video Metrix service. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is the clear leader in online video. While you should be promoting your videos on YouTube, there are a few other channels that seem to be doing the right things and could eventually be contenders for the valuable video market. Some favorites include:
Vimeo — Like YouTube, you can upload videos, join groups and comment on other videos. Vimeo does allow you to pay for a pro subscription which enables you to upload more videos per month, and offer your viewers high definition .
VideoSurf — This site is a little different in that you must have your videos hosted on your site and then submit a video feed. The unique patent pending feature of VideoSurf is that they claim to have technology that can “see” inside your video to index content about videos. The idea behind this is to ensure that the video that people click on contain the information they were actually looking for. Many times a user will click on the video thumbnail expecting one thing and before they know it, they have been “Rick-Rolled”.
Blinx — Unlike other multimedia search engines that attempt to re-purpose technology built for the Text Web, Blinkx uses a unique combination of patented conceptual search, speech recognition and video analysis software to efficiently, automatically and accurately find and qualify online video. Unlike other sites, you don’t actually upload a video, but if you have video on your site, there is a chance that Blinkx can crawl it and index it for their engine.
By utilizing many different video formats and channels, you have a better opportunity to reach those who are already watching video online. Videos can also be used and embedded into your other marketing initiatives such as press releases, social media channels (Facebook and MySpace) and email blasts. Video is very easy to use and can help you to deliver your marketing message in a new and interesting way.