6 Live Streaming Video Platforms Discussed

Video streaming services are becoming an increasingly important part of most small businesses today. They offer a way of interacting with customers, clients, vendors, and even employees working remotely.

Video streaming is everywhere, from your office PC to your smartphone or tablet, to the conference room. Choosing the right video streaming service is an important decision for any company because so much potentially is depending upon the quality of services it provides.

You don’t want to annoy clients or even lose business because you relied on a free service that didn’t give you the quality or bandwidth your business needed. At the same time, most small businesses can’t afford to pay for the top of the line video streaming services that they might only use once in a while.

The best approach is to find some happy medium: A video streaming service that provides you with the dependability and quality you need but doesn’t break the bank.

Here then are six live streaming video platforms for you to choose from. Read more

9 Tools You Can Use to Kick Start Your Video Marketing

This year, online video is a huge phenomenon, accounting for 50% of all mobile traffic according to an infographic from HighQ. Obviously, video is quickly becoming one of the primary ways for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs. Correspondingly, brands are developing content strategies that will resonate with consumers with ads in the form of content that people choose to watch.

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Translation: In an age of information overload, online videos are naturally engaging and offer brands and businesses tons of opportunities to add value. Whether you’re running a small, local business or heading a global operation, if you ignore online video as a channel of content marketing, you do so at your own peril. Your customers are online, searching for information, recommendations and entertainment in a form that’s easy to digest and if your company is not around to answer, a competitor will be.

In short, for any social media campaign or SEO effort, video is a powerful tool effective for brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement. The challenge is to create compelling videos to bring in new viewers, introduce them to the rest of your content and build a loyal fan base.

9 Awesome Tools You Can Use to Jumpstart Your Video Marketing Strategy

1. iMovie

apple-imovie

iMovie for Mac is perhaps one of the easiest ways to create HD-quality and Hollywood style videos. Just create a movie project and choose the clips you want to use. You can then rearrange, shorten or lengthen the clips and add titles, effects and a soundtrack. And that’s it. It’s a wrap! Send your movie to iMovie Theater to view it.

2. VideoMakerFX

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VideoMakerFX is an all-in-one video creator that you can use to make awesome videos in minutes. The software is easy to master and creates all of the top video styles including Whiteboard Style, Explainer Video, Kinetic Typography, Presentations, Photo Slideshows, Logo Opener and so on. It also offers a range of customization options such as text fonts and effects, background customization and animation effects.

3. Screenr

screenr

Screenr is a web-based screen recorder that makes it incredibly easy to record and share a screencast. You have nothing to install or download and it is completely free. For businesses that can demonstrate a product or service on a computer, Screenr is a great option.

4. Camtasia

camtasia

Camtasia by TechSmith is yet another easy-to-use screen recorder that lets you create professional videos without having to be a video pro. With a host of editing tools, it can be used for everything from quick video demos to extensive video projects. Standout features of Camtasia include multi-track timeline, visual effects, green screen effect and animate content. Read more

How to Promote Your YouTube Videos for Maximum Reach & Impact

As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.

  • Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
  • Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
  • Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
  • The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries

With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.

YouTube-logo

After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.

The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:

1. Upload

This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.

2. Publish

Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.

3. Engage & Outreach

To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.

Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact

So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:

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YouTube Advertising Crash Course

YouTube videos get more than 1 billion views per day. Undeniably, more and more people are turning to YouTube everyday; whether it’s for entertainment, news or even makeup tips. Smart Internet marketers identified this opportunity some time back and now even Fortune 500 companies, who earlier would have stuck to conventional modes of advertising, have started taking YouTube ads seriously.

guide-to-youtube-advertising

People aren’t going to stop watching YouTube videos anytime soon and any marketer that ignores this medium of advertising is doing himself and his clients a huge disfavor in the long run. Starting to panic that you’re still not in that game? Worry not, we’ll smooth out your initiation and discuss virtually everything you need to know about starting a YouTube advertising campaign.

To start with there are 2 kind of ad campaigns that you can run on YouTube. Regular ads and Video ads.

Regular ads are simply banner and rich media ads, something like AdWords. These are the ads that you see towards the right of a video or in the form of an overlay banner on top of the video. This form of advertising is very prevalent but not so effective. No one likes banners on top of their video and YouTube gives the viewer an option to close the overlay ad whenever they want. As for the sidebar ad, unless your rich-media content is really interesting, the ad is very likely to go un-noticed. Let’s not forget that the viewer’s prime intention is to watch their video and they are less likely to focus on any other elements of the page.

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In-video ad and banner ad to the right

The second kind of ads and by far the more popular ones are the video ads. As a YouTube advertiser you have the option of four kinds of video ads.

– TrueView In-stream

These are very much like TV ads that play before a show starts. YouTube shows the visitor 5 seconds of your ad after which they have an option to skip it. You only pay for it if the viewer watches your whole ad or at least 30 seconds of it, whichever is less. If they skip the video after 5 seconds then you don’t pay a dime.

YouTube-TrueView-ads

– TrueView In-Slate

In Slate ads appear only on videos that are 10 minutes or longer. YouTube gives the visitors 2 options- Either watch one of three ads in the beginning or go through regular commercial breaks during their video. You only pay for this when the viewer chooses to watch your video ad.

youtube-in-slate-ads

– TrueView In-Search

They are exactly like AdWords ads that we see on Google search result pages and appear above or towards the right of YouTube search results. Much like AdWords, you only pay for this if the viewer clicks on your ad.

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Branding For Small Businesses | What The Branding Giants Do And How You Can Copy Off Them

If you run a small-scale business, you may not have the following or fan base like a company such as Coca-Cola but there is no much you can learn about branding from the way the big players do it. To help you get started, below is a list of companies that have built their brands through engagement efforts.

small-business

Each of these companies have done something special with their social media marketing and as a small business, you have something to learn from each one of them. So buckle up people and pay attention because you are about to enthralled.

How the Branding Giants Do it

1. Ask Users for Content

Everyone’s heard of Expedia, the online travel company. What you might not know about is the ruse used by this company to get people to share content. Expedia encourages users to share their travel experiences via Expedia’s social media apps including videos, photos and content. For example, one video might be of a father and son at Disneyland Paris with the caption “The best trip ever” Another might be a narration of a trip to Phuket. “ Just got back from a trip to Phuket, Thailand and we’ve had the most wonderful experience ever. Everything was booked and paid for via Expedia including our car rental. Expedia is no doubt the best online travel company.”

The take-away: In addition to the content you create for your fans and followers on the social sites, you can also ask them for content including photos, videos and written content. You do not need a following like Expedia’s to be able to do that. Just ask for photos, videos or short stories relating a certain subject. This will promote your brand and simultaneously motivate people to pay attention to your company.

2. Hold Contests

When RadioShack, the undisputed authority in the wireless market, held a contest via social media to promote a new product, Verizon phones, the result was spectacular with Twitter users. Tweets were sent using the hashtag #itskindofabigdeal. The tweets were sent directly to one of several Verizon phones. These phones were placed on a table and set to vibrate. Whenever a tweet was received, the phone would vibrate and move. The person responsible for making the phone drop would then win the phone.

The take-away: To promote engagement with your brand on the social sites, you can try to make a game out of your product or service. This can be easily achieved by adding a competitive element to your request. This will promote engagement and perhaps benefit you two-fold if people start following you or liking you on the social sites because word-of-mouth is, you are offering an incentive. Whether your end goal is to attract new fans and followers or to promote engagement for your brand, contests always work great.

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Why Gangnam Style Became So Popular – The Reasons Behind Its’ Horse-Riding Success!

PSY Gangnam Style“Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s jump up and down – Gangnam Style!” This has been the theme of many parties recently and this song & dance sequence has been replayed at so many events and so many occasions in the last few months, that its’ reached out to people in the remotest of regions who may have even had no access to the Internet! Such has been its success!

It was on the 15th of July, 2012 that the world was first witness to PSY’s Gangnam Style. From then on, the video has spread its wings far and wide to reach out to close to a billion viewers (845,851,259 as of 29 November, 2012)! The success of Gangnam Style showcases just how powerful the Internet can be in being able to “virally” spread your content across the globe.

How did it become so wildly successful? Why was it shared and liked so much? What did it do to reach out to so many people across the globe? These are questions that we want answers to so that we could also try and create our own unique Gangnam style success story in what we do. Here are 7 reasons why we feel the Gangnam Style video became such a resounding success:

1. Rocking Content – The content you have has got to be outstandingly good and stir people in some way for them to react. The Gangnam Style video had many such elements going in its favour:

             a. PSY the Personality – Who’d have expected a middle-aged plump faced guy to be the lead of a music video? And who’d have expected him to carry off such moves and such expressions (in the manner he did)? The video was made keeping his personality in mind – he could carry it off and he did it with flair! People love Psy and for him being who he is has had a large part in the video’s success.

PSY

             b. The Trademark Horse-Galloping Dance – The video wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the unique horse-galloping dance that PSY so perfectly rendered in this video. It was unique yet simple enough for people to catch on to and emulate on their own. It was funny given the contexts in which he presented the dance. It was what no one would expect to see in a music video. The dance gave the video its unique theme and identity and it caught the fancy of many viewers.

PSY Horse Galloping Dance

             c. The Catchy Tune – The music had dance worthy beats and was catchy enough to warrant the attention of many viewers. It is in spite of the language barrier that the song has been so widely appreciated, and that speaks volume of how much people have liked the song for all its beats.

              d. Multiple Backgrounds, Multiple Costumes & Multiple Personalities – There were as many as 19 different background settings in the 4 m 13 s video! That’s plenty of setting changes to keep the viewer hooked on to the video. Also the video was cleverly edited to ensure that there was never too much of the same setting for more than a few seconds! Then there were the costumes – bright colors, multiple costume changes by PSY, the constant eyewear which has now become his trademark, the contrasting costume colors in some settings – all of it gave the video an extended visual appeal. Then there were the multiple personalities, some of whom were noted Korean personalities – a kid from Korea’s Got Talent, a couple of really famous Korean comedians, … – of course, to the unfamiliar viewer these were just multiple different characters that lent a different dimension to the video. All in all, it was the continual element of “change” that kept the viewer engaged. It takes a lot to keep our distracting minds engaged these days and the video was smartly designed to cater to our limited attention spans.

PSY Gangnam Style

2. The Intention was to be Outrageous & do the Unexpected – In this interview here, PSY gives a breakdown analysis of why he chose each locale and setting for his music video. The underlying reasoning was to Read more

The New Video Marketing: Using Social Tools with Video

social-video-marketing

The world of video marketing has changed many times – And now, it’s changing again. When video marketing first hit the scene as TV marketing, it completely changed the marketing sphere. When internet video hit the web, it changed the landscape of the web entirely. Then user generated videos grew in popularity and spawned YouTube, again drastically altering the texture of the web.

Today, we’re seeing a new change: The social video marketing change. Instead of videos just being published from one person and being syndicated out, the video sphere is getting more and more social.

Business owners still haven’t entirely caught on to this new trend. For marketers who’re willing to pioneer new frontiers, social video marketing is an incredible new horizon that can allow you to get a real edge over your competitors.

Videos as Co-Creations, Rather Than Productions video-button

Companies like Zappos, Google and other Fortune 500 companies, as well as hundreds of startups and medium sized businesses are catching on. The name of the game is co-creation rather than production. Instead of having the video experience be created only by the parent company, participants are now part of the video creation process.

Here’s how it works.

Usually, you start off with one key concept. For example, you ask people to send in their videos as part of a contest. All the videos sent in can be seen by everyone. People are able to comment and share each video. At the end of the contest, all the top videos are put together in a montage and published for all to see.

That’s how Google created their Gmail video. The result? Tons of viral press.

The basic formula is to come up with an idea, then let people add videos or put their own spin to the video concept. They then share the video(s) with their own social network, which then perpetuates the video sharing.

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