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Blog posts tagged YouTube

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Lights, camera and cut: How Vine and Instagram are changing online video

May 14, 2014 by Guest Blogger

Lights, camera and cut: How Vine and Instagram are changing online video/ Movie production clapper board{{}}You may or may not know (or even care) that the average YouTube video is 4 minutes and 12 seconds long. Taken in isolation, this figure is pretty meaningless and perhaps not that surprising.

But what if we take that average YouTube video length and compare it to two of the newest video platforms on the block — Instagram and Vine? With their compulsory video lengths of just 15 and 6 seconds respectively, the average YouTube video looks like a feature-length film in comparison.

Let’s put this into perspective. Placed alongside Vine’s 6-second limit, the average YouTube’s video is a whopping 42 times longer. Think about it this way — Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings film, at 178 minutes, is 42 times longer than the average YouTube clip. So the difference between a Vine video and a YouTube video is epic.

The rise of omni-screening

The death of the linear brand narrative and the rise of omni-screening (watching TV whilst browsing content on a tablet or smartphone) is redefining how advertisers and marketers are interacting with their target audiences.

So what is driving this trend towards ever-shorter pieces of visual content? And how can these different marketing platforms work together?

The beat generation

Jon Mowat, managing director at Hurricane Media, spoke about this at his recent presentation at the SES conference: “If YouTube marketing is all about creating minutes, then Vine and Instagram marketing must be about creating moments.”

Just as the narrative in a film or television series follows a series of beats in which character and plot develop towards a conclusion, now marketing narratives have beats that are usually in the form of a question and answer or an emotional connection.

If the linear brand narrative is dead, then the key challenge to marketers in the new multi-platform age is developing strategies that respond to the beats of different narrative drums. In other words, you must get your moments to compliment your minutes.

This means engaging with consumers and the wider online communities at a level never seen before. It involves knocking down barriers that have traditionally existed between corporates and the consumers, with new kinds of video content produced on-the-fly.

Understanding what’s funny and what’s not, what’s on-topic and what’s yesterday’s news, has become more important than ever before on Vine and Instagram.

The three Rs

There’s no doubt that keeping it short and sweet is key to video marketing on Vine and Instagram, as is injecting brand personality. Involving your community is also essential, as well as planning and reacting. In fact, marketing on Vine and Instagram can be condensed into three stages:

React

Effective marketing on Vine is about reacting and responding. The ability to plan your video marketing around key events or opportunities in your sector is one thing; using quick thinking to create potentially viral content that plays off the unpredictable at these events is quite another.

Reduce

You have to understand the condensed nature of the micro-movie format. Content needs to get to the point and be uncluttered. Comic content, using techniques such as animation and montage, call for precision and timing.

Respond

Many firms make the mistake of producing detached and irrelevant content that doesn’t engage their targeted viewers at all. Vine and Instagram isn’t just about content marketing but communication. Use video to open up a dialogue with your community or to respond or offer up commentary on something trending within your target communities.

There’s a completely different raft of considerations that go into creating content that is 6 or 15 seconds in length. Vine and Instagram movie-making demands marketers adapt to short narrative beats and rise to the challenges of building brand awareness on these platforms.

Joe Cox is head of content at Bespoke Digital.

Why YouTube is an essential marketing tool for small businesses - and how to take advantage of it

July 18, 2013 by Luke Clum

Why YouTube is an essential marketing tool for small businesses - and how to take advantage of it/directors' chair{{}}If you're a small business owner and you're not on YouTube, you're missing out on one of the most powerful marketing platforms out there.

Not only do YouTube videos drive traffic and produce excellent search results, but they also provide a much more accessible medium for accessing your customer base, building relationships, establishing your expertise and really branding your business’ unique personality.

Who, after all, would prefer reading a dense white paper over watching what feels like a personal conversation with a business owner?

Still, filming a shaky video on your iPhone and pushing upload won't do much to help you stand out from the (very dense) crowd. Our guide to using YouTube can give a much deeper understanding of just how YouTube can fold into your marketing campaigns and how you can really master the medium.

Use video to appeal to your niche

The biggest mistake most business owners — big and small — make when they begin with YouTube is approaching with a "make it viral" mentality. This focus is unfortunate, because YouTube really provides a unique opportunity for appealing directly to your most ardent and loyal customers.

What's more, few people have the perfect formula for virality, and the more you make this goal your soul focus, the less authentic and compelling your videos will be.

A few tips for making the most of your niche:

  • Watch a lot of YouTube videos. Take a look at similar companies within your field to see how commenters are reacting in order to get a better grasp of what they find appealing — and what they don't.
  • Make good use of the Google Keyword Tool. The Google Keyword tool is great for determining just what your target demographic is searching for, and it can provide inspiration for new content. You might, for example, type the term, "hairdressers in London" into the tool, and find a number of hairdressing questions you can then address in a video, confident that your target market is searching for your production.

Master the Medium

Video and YouTube are very specific mediums, and it's important to learn the craft behind them both. You'll want to consider:

  • Variety. Variety is key for keeping your viewers glued to your channel. But don't let that intimidate you. There's plenty you can do with the format, whether that's how-to and thought leadership videos, ads or even creative and funny videos that just make customers laugh. The Air New Zealand video below, an "Unexpected Briefing," is a perfect example of a brand getting creative, without losing relevancy to the brand. The company re-envisions those boring safety videos, establishing their personable nature and sense of humour while also communicating valuable information.
     

  • Consistency. That said, varying your video types shouldn't equate to a loss of consistency. Make sure your company logo is prominent throughout your videos or on your YouTube page, and that you're emphasising a similar message throughout all of your videos. is a great example for this, as you can clearly see the speaker's logo and website displayed at various points throughout the videos, as well as the company's website listed prominently in the description. This establishes branding, and also makes it easy for interested customers to find you online.
     

  • Quality.If your video is shaking, has very rough edits and is overstuffed with annotations, you won't wind up looking very professional. Consider hiring a production agency for the most important videos, or keep your videos simple. It's much better to film a screenshot tutorial on your computer than it is to create a complicated masterpiece that exceeds your mastery. A video production course can also be useful.

YouTube: an essential tool

Whether you're running entire video campaigns or your video will be just one part of a wider campaign, YouTube is an essential marketing tool for any business. Master the medium, provide great content have a little fun, and enjoy all that YouTube can do for you.

Luke Clum is a digital marketer with Distilled.

Posted in Internet marketing | Tagged YouTube | 1 comment

Using social media to target your customers

September 20, 2010 by Howard Scott

Targeting customers through social media has become more and more prolific over recent years. Household brands through to much smaller start-up companies are using tools such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

However, it is vital that when selecting the social media tools you intend to use to target your audience, you are selected the correct ones. For example, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn users all have very different demographic profiles, so there is no point using a tool like Facebook to reach a target audience of professionals aged 40+, when statistics show that around over 80 per cent of UK Facebook users are under 40. 

Once you’ve decided which social media tool or tools you are going to use, decide how you’re going to approach it carefully. What are you saying and to whom? 

There have been numerous examples of major brands attempting to conduct social media campaigns or stunts, which have badly backfired and resulted in a consumer backlash, and ridicule aplenty. 

No brand can afford that kind of damage, no matter how large or small.

Always have the consumer at the centre of any social media activity, and think as they would. Add value for your consumer, and always think of how they will gain from your activity. For example, a Facebook page that offers discounts and information about your product or service is innovative and is likely to increase brand awareness virally.

Be different and try to make sure that your social media campaign is one that will get people talking and one they will remember. No matter how simple.

And last, but by no means least, encourage your consumers to engage with you through social media activity. Simply talking at them by posting regular updates sends out the wrong message entirely. 

Social media is all about engagement and interaction, and is not a passive process.

If you can actively encourage consumers to get involved in these campaigns, for example by posting suggestions for new products ideas as part of a competition, they will feel that they have some ownership of the brand, and this is vital.

Consumers engaging with each other through social media and sharing brand opinion has a favourable reaction, not only because these consumers feel they have ownership of the process, but also because they are more likely to relate to others’ opinions about the brand as they seem more ‘real’ than direct marketing messages.

Finally, don’t forget that many mobile phones today have powerful interactivity and will be linked to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can take advantage of this by developing a downloadable application, which can be done on a relatively low budget and connects you directly with your consumer. Just remember that an app needs to add value for your consumer. That way it will make their life easier and cement their relationship with your brand.

 

Howard Scott is digital marketing director at Sequence Digital. The digital marketing agency’s clients include the BBC, S4C, The Welsh Assembly Government, Storm Model Management and Rachel's Organic.

Our favourite things - An election special II

April 28, 2010 by James Ainsworth

The low-down on the blogs, tweets, books, podcasts, videos, websites and events that are keeping us inspired, entertained and informed during the election.

Reading

Woman carrying a pile of books

 
  • The Westminster Blog
    Insights into the election from Jim Pickard and Alex Barker of the Financial Times  (Rachel)
  • Enterprise, the Economy and Society -  the NFEA Manifesto (pdf)
    The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies outlines its policies for the UK’s small businesses (Simon)
     

Browsing

Man with red glasses and red braces at keyboard

 
     
     

Watching
 
Woman holding her hands up to her eyes like glasses

 
   

Listening
 
Woman with red hair and headphones

 
     
     

Doing
 
Group of people jumping up

 
  • Election seat calculator
    The BBC’s seat calculator is a rough way of converting percentage support for political parties into numbers of seats in parliament (Rachel)
   

Enjoying
 
Smiling man in a red hat

 
     

Sponsor offer

Getting British Business Online logo

 
  • Create a website for your business in 20 minutes - for free
    Using Getting British Business Online’s simple online tool you can create a basic website for your business with no technical knowledge whatsoever.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

What inspires, educates or informs you? Send your recommendations to us: editor@marketingdonut.co.uk

And now, a Christmas message from the Marketing Donut…

December 23, 2009 by James Ainsworth

What a year it has been for the Marketing Donut! We have had such a busy time with bringing small businesses the best resources to help them with their marketing that we are having a well earned break over Christmas and into the New Year.

The website and all its resources will be fully available but this will be the last blog post and there will be no Twitter activity from @MarketingDonut until Monday 4 January when we will be back with a renewed vigour and determination to help your small business take on the challenges of 2010.

If your craving for small business donuts is so insatiable, why not gorge yourself on our Facebook Fan page? Start a discussion with fellow small businesses or ask the community a question. If you can’t stomach any more Christmas television or you have lost your Radio Times, head over to the Marketing Donut YouTube channel.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped make the Marketing Donut all that it is so far, be that our experts, sponsors and you, our readers. We wish you all a restful Christmas period and a Happy New Year.

James, Simon, Rachel and Kasia - the Marketing Donut team.

Get crazy on camera – but maybe not too crazy

December 02, 2009 by Mark Sinclair

One of the biggest topics in online business over the past few years has been viral video. For most people in business, “viral video” is not a viable option as a way to market their product or service, as it doesn’t match the brand or marketing strategy.

Despite some unpredictable elements being needed to get the wild-fire effect that occurs within a successful viral campaign, there are a few key things which you can do to ensure that your business videos are watchable and maybe even a tad “crazy”.

As a business owner, do you have concerns about using humour in professional business videos? If so, what’s your biggest concern?

 

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