Archive

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

More YouTube Views: 20% more video plays from one simple change

February 24th, 2012 No comments

There’s something about putting a video on YouTube and watching the view count climb as more and more people find your message and click play. Think of all that time you wasted hitting the refresh button over and over on your last video.

It’s thrilling because there’s always a chance it will go viral and reach one million views and you’ll finally be able to buy that yacht you’ve always wanted from the bonus you’ll get.

Of course, it never turns out that way. But, according to a recent experiment we ran with a Research Partner, there is one thing you can do to ensure that more people who see your video will actually click the play button.

It’s simple really — almost too simple. But it works. All you need to do is adjust your first frame to something somewhat interesting.

Here’s the test we recently ran on one YouTube video with two different first frames …

 


Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Channel Optimization: 6 quick lessons from shifting to a video-centric format

February 3rd, 2012 No comments

Long-time MarketingExperiments readers will notice that we have shifted to a video-centric format for our Web clinic replays, which aim to deliver actionable marketing advice based on our optimization discoveries …

 

 

And we realize we still have a long way to go to fully optimize this new channel to ensure it provides the most value and most compelling experience to the audience of marketing managers and advertising creatives we seek to help. But we also realize we’ve come a long way from our previous format as well.

Since many marketers are increasingly looking to add more video into their marketing mix, in today’s post, I wanted to share a few basic lessons we’ve learned at this early stage in the process:

  Read more…

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Hidden Friction: The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion

August 15th, 2011 24 comments

Friction is one of the greatest obstacles to your conversion process, and though most marketers currently have some idea of what Friction is, many are only seeing half the picture.

When asking marketers to identify the Friction associated with a conversion process, the response is often very confident. Usually, the number of form fields on a page will be pointed out first, the number of steps in a process next, and occasionally a third comment might focus on the length of the individual pages themselves. The overall consensus from marketers is that if you can eliminate these simple elements, then you can eliminate Friction.

However, our research suggests that most of the Friction in a conversion process goes undetected. Further, this “hidden” Friction often is the most lethal to conversion. So, in this post I wanted to lay out 7 of the most undetected ways that Friction might be threatening your conversion rates. I have dubbed these The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion.

Read more…

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Wishing for marketing inspiration? Follow TED

May 15th, 2009 No comments

Imagine you’re one of those marketing wizards, speaking to a captive audience and receiving deafening applause. Everyone congratulates you on your incredible insights and groundbreaking (not to mention insanely profitable) work in the complex field of marketing.

Who hasn’t wished to be a guru? Move one step closer to making it a reality by practicing vicariously while listening to the speakers at TED.

If you haven’t heard of TED, understand that TED’s not a single person but a conglomeration of many people, working in the fields of Technology, Entertainment, or Design. TED’s annual conference started in 1984 and its growing library includes (free!) video presentations by some of the most creative minds in those three industries.

One of the best features of the site is the way each talk comes with a recommendation for another talk on a similar topic or theme. The practice of following up on these recommendations is what I call heading out on “the TED trail,” a practice that might lead you to some substantial insights of your own.

Be careful what you wish for, you may get it

I stumbled onto a TED trail analyzing the nature of desire as it relates to marketing success by clicking on a three-minute presentation by Renny Gleeson, Global Strategies Director for advertising giant Wieden and Kennedy (and stealer of my potential blog’s potential name: ouroborous), about antisocial phone tricks.

Gleeson’s brief talk comes with a slide show featuring a series of Kodak non-moments: pics catching people texting with varying degrees of disregard for their surroundings and loved ones, culminating in some seriously reckless multitasking.

But with the jokes come a serious question: as portable, speedy technology makes us ever more available to one another, what are the expectations and obligations that come with availability?

For marketers, this question is relevant both for our interactions with prospects and our interactions with each other. Gleeson cautions that we become not only the stories we tell but the way we tell them. Before marketers dive into the strange seas of new technology, they might consider the adage of medieval map-makers, who indicated uncharted territory by writing, “Here be dragons.”

Dragons aren’t necessarily bad, but before you brought one home you’d want to do some research on its care and feeding. The same applies with any new technological initiative. Before lining up for the next cool thing, consider whether you’ll use it, how you’ll use it, how you’ll troubleshoot your use, and how to bow out gracefully in the case of user failure (known in the Urban Dictionary as PICNIC: problem in chair, not in computer).

When you wish upon a star…

Renny Gleeson’s talk came with a recommendation for me to check out a presentation by writer and consultant Joseph Pine author of Mass Customization, Experience Economy, and Authenticity, three books analyzing the evolution of consumer desires.

Pine argues that as our desires evolve, so do markets to serve them. Back in the day, we wanted things (food, shelter, clothes) and we had a commodoties-based economy. Today, now that we’re pretty full in the things department, we want … drumroll, please … authenticity.

According to Pine, there are two ways to be authentic: you can be true to yourself and you can be true to others. In addition, a large part of authenticity, whether with people or companies, comes from understanding your heritage. Pine believes that for a business to be perceived as authentic, the actions of that business cannot deviate too widely from that company’s previously established persona.

For examples, he cites the latest disastrous media acquisitions of the Disney corporation and takes on the national self image of the Netherlands.

He also sets out three cardinal rules for companies looking to capitalize on the public’s desire for authenticity:

  1. Don’t say you are authentic. With apologies to Margaret Thatcher’s theory of power, being authentic is like being a lady. If you have to say you are, you aren’t.
  2. Do not advertise what you are not. Try not to create an ad that creates a disconnect.
  3. Provide places—not just ads—for people to experience who you really are.

The tastiest wish in the world

Finally, TED’s database recommended that I move from Joseph Pine to one of the most popular speeches in the system: Malcolm Gladwell’s ode to Howard Moscowitz and the development of spaghetti sauce as we know it.

In this speech, Gladwell takes on some fundamental assumptions about the nature of desire. Whether or not his conclusion is fundamentally sound is besides the point. Moscowitz — a psychophysicist and consultant to whom we owe zesty pickles and extra chunky tomato sauce — is an inspiration. His journey to discover the most satisfying sauce “changed the way the food industry thinks about happiness” and should change the way product development is approached in every industry.

Instead of looking for the perfect sauce, Moscowitz searched out the perfect sauces (plural intentional). In food land, this multiplicity of choices led to forty-three varieties and six hundred million dollars in revenue for Prego. For marketers, Moscowitz’s insights might lead you to look at the choices your company currently offers. In what ways are those offerings only imitations of what your competitors offer? In what ways might you be able to refine the choices you offer or create new ones?

(Hint: Cable companies who only offer three packages and don’t allow viewers to customize their channel selection, I’m talking to you…)

Click your mouse three times…

And go visit TED. I recommend it as an antidote to mind-numbing meetings and wallowing in whitepapers. Whether or not it gives you ideas that you can apply directly, TED features people who are thinking deeply about what people want and how people work. And that’s what you, future gurus, marketing scouts and trailblazers, are doing too.

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

Do videos need a value proposition?

May 7th, 2009 No comments

This post is the first in a new series about using video effectively on your landing pages.

Many marketers assume that putting a video on a landing page is going to automatically lift conversions. As much as I wish that were true, results have shown otherwise.

Your video can have the best production value, best talent, best message, etc. — but if you don’t deliver the video in a certain way, you can actually hurt conversions.

There are many things I want to say about online videos. However, I’d like to start where your visitors start.

Your visitors need a reason to watch

The truth is none of your visitors start with a reason to watch your video.

Whether it is an email capture form or a registration page, as we have discussed in recent web clinics, your site must give a reason for every action you ask your visitor to take. The same applies to video.

video-value-proposition1You should not assume that viewers will automatically be drawn to your video. For visitors, there are many potential annoyance and risk factors associated with videos: How much time will this take? Will this have any good information? Will I have any technical difficulties?

Another way to say this is that watching a video has a value proposition associated with it. You must make sure that you are communicating this value to your visitors just to get them to watch the video.

For instance, maybe the value of the video is that visitors can get all the information of a page in less than a minute and they don’t have to read the full page. Maybe the value is that you can see and hear the CEO of the company speak about the product. Or maybe it’s a demo of the product or testimonials from other people who have used it. Whatever it is, there must to be some value that is expressed to the viewers up front.

How you communicate that value will vary. Video headlines, subheads, descriptive tags, thumbnails, and play buttons can all be used for this for this (see illustration). If you do this part right, you will see significantly better results from using videos on your landing pages.

For my next post, we will look at the relationship of the content of a landing page to the video, drilling down on what kinds of pages most effectively utilize videos.

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg

What do great viral videos have in common?

April 29th, 2009 7 comments

It’s always fascinating to see smart, unique, and occasionally crazy concepts come to life. Most interesting are those that somehow connect with a brand and really support brand awareness.

Just a couple weeks ago, Ad Age released its Viral Video Chart for the week of April 6, 2009. Here a few of my personal favorites from the complete list:

Besides being funny and eye-catching, what have these videos done right?

They connect in a personal way with our minds and more than grabbing our attention, they create a rush to share them with friends.

However, we can share videos all day long and enjoy happy feelings, but still be left with no connection to any brand in particular. Here is where, I think, great videos differentiate themselves.

The power to make connections

What really makes some of these videos stand out in terms of their marketing objective is how they help viewers intuitively connect the message with the product or brand.

For example, E-Trade jokes that babies could master their product but, within the joke, manages to plant the idea that their product is seriously easy to use. In other words, E-trade’s video overtly displays their product strengths and subtly addresses the anxieties prospective customers might feel about getting involved in the online stock market.

By showing shepherds developing a sheep-borne light show, Samsung engages the “can-do” energies of creative and scientific professionals who will watch the video and simultaneously be amazed and think, “I can top that.” ( Doubt me? I forwarded the email to two performance artist friends and within a day received their email proposals for mobile LED displays based on four-legged, two-legged, and wheeled choreography.)

Furthermore, Samsung’s video showcases the same energy and teamwork that goes into any performance and also points out that their product is tough, versatile, and will perform in difficult conditions.

Engaging viewers is merely the beginning

It is important to have an engaging concept for your viral video. That’s what makes people watch, and more importantly, forward or, even better, stick that link on the ol’ Facebook page.

But it is vital for the success of your campaign to choose a creative concept that makes an intuitive connection with the benefits and advantages of your product, service or offer. Then you’re not only making a video people will pass along, but spreading a brand that viewers will want to remember and reengage with.

Share and Enjoy:
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg