Are You Missing the Boat on Online Video Advertising?

[A Quick Catch Up on Online Video’s Reinvention of Advertising]
As most of my readers know, I’ve been an “evangelist” for the digital video revolution, especially as it applies to the democratization of media, for many years. By now, the explosion and importance of online video via YouTube and other hosting platforms (from Wistia and Vimeo to Brightcove and Ooyala, among others) should be obvious to everyone. What is not so apparent to many people is the opportunity to use online video advertising as a highly-targeted attraction engine.

The game changer over the past few years has been the move to online, streaming video for virtually every kind of communication and entertainment. Advancements in video technology mean huge benefits for society as the power of video is now in everyone’s hands—quite literally due to smart phones, on both the video creation and video consumption side of things. These advancements combined with mobile video’s remarkable reach means even bigger benefits for advertisers. 

In fact, the shift from desktop online video advertising to mobile advertising has been nothing short of astonishing. To give you a sense of how big this shift is, consider this: In the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of ads showing on tablets was almost tripled from the previous quarter, according to a FreeWheel TV report in USA Today. Plus, that leap in growth was ten times (10x!) faster than the consumption of video ads on desktops.

Bottom line, this is just the beginning. Mobile is still in its infancy. The original iPad was just introduced four years ago.

Multiple Types of Video Content and Placements

Vine growth statsOne of the more fascinating aspects of online video advertising is the wide variety of video types that advertisers are starting to use. The traditional broadcast video advertisement, which is served up in 30-second segments and interrupts consumers’ viewing to blatantly peddle a product or service (in a format that is frequently skipped via DVRs), is not what is working in the same ways any longer. In fact, the exact opposite is what is thriving online. YouTube, for example, is full of informative, how-to videos that are less “commercial” and more informative. This approach connects with my marketing philosophy of attracting and engaging, rather than straight sales pitches.

The way video and entertainment is consumed has also driven the adoption of new types of videos that are working in other ways. Skyword reports that a Mobile Marketing Association study showed that video ads of 15 seconds or less and non-skippable were viewed in their entirety 92 percent of the time. If the ads are skippable, only 9 percent were completed. Whether the ad is virtually embedded within an informative clip that “leads with value”( as I like to say), or is delivered in an non-skippable format, these advertising options, again, are just the beginning of a new world that, in my considered opinion, any serious online marketer needs to consider.

In addition, the shorter video formats are getting more popular on stand-alone social video platforms. Between Instagram video and Vine (just to name two), the public is getting more and more accustomed to digesting their video in shorter formats. Few people who are not active on social media realize the reach of these platforms. Some even call Vine “the fastest growing app in the world.”

More Bandwidth Means Higher Quality Video

Another advancement that has made online video an ever increasing opportunity to be considered as part of your advertising budget is the increased broadband data access speeds that consumers are now able to afford. With faster speeds comes better quality video. With mobile comes any where, any time access. Without the distractions of constant buffering, viewers are able to watch longer videos, and companies are willing to invest in better production quality. For example, a large company like LifeLock invested wisely to produce higher quality online exclusive, more informative videos for its target audience to let them know how they can protect themselves and their identity online.

Jacking into Untapped Potential

In many instances, little difference in quality exists between what you would see on television and what is being shown on the Web. And, frequently what’s online is more interesting, more personal, and certainly more highly targeted than what’s on TV. And, in terms of variety, the Internet offers so much more. But perhaps even more significant is online video’s interface options.

According to streamingmedia.com, interactivity is the main function that makes online video consumption different from television. However, many advertisers are still missing the boat on this opportunity. Right now, 85 percent of online video advertisements are simply the same content that could have also run on traditional television, where the audience simply sits back and takes it in. By allowing the consumer to get more involved in the ad or the original content, and by being able to place advertising videos (whether ads or informative content marketing clips) in MUCH more relevant contexts, viewers naturally become more involved and connected to the product or service, and thus, more willing to make a purchase.

The Future of Online Video

The Globe and Mail claims that big things are on the horizon for online video advertising in 2014. Smaller companies that had been hesitant to hop on board will see the light and start spending on the medium. And, speaking of spending, I don’t think there is any doubt that this will be the year that more companies start shifting their advertising dollars from traditional television to social media and online video. Another shift will be that online video production will become more of a specialty for agencies. With the differences between traditional and online video becoming more apparent, through the inclusion of interactivity and highly-targeted contexts, for example, more production companies and marketing agencies will specialize in online video production and distribution (yes, as ComBridges has been doing for some time).

Obviously, the ComBridges team is here to help if you are interested; but more importantly, I wonder whether it will be you or your competition that will take the lead by leveraging the amazing power of online video and online video advertising.

I’ve seen again and again that it’s those market leaders who stick their necks out to engage with these leading edge trends that grab a significant competitive advantage, especially over time. “A word to the wise” should be sufficient. Yes?

3 Videos That Inspired My Business & My Life Last Week

Jim Carrey QuoteReady for take off? It feels that way to me. Astrologers tell me that when Mercury goes direct on Tuesday, it’s “all systems go!” For me, the latest signs of expansion have come in the form of three videos that showed up in my social streams last week. This clips (all embedded for your viewing pleasure below) inspired and uplifted me by reminding me of what life and business is all about. I feel more hopeful and excited about what I am creating that maybe ever before. No kidding.

As some of you are aware, I am focusing the foundation of my business marketing communications more and more around my values of ease, fun and authenticity. These videos hit home and struck harmonious chords for me along these lines and then, went deeper. All three speakers—comedian, movie star Jim Carrey; successful entrepreneur Tina Roth Eisenberg a.k.a. SwissMiss; and best selling author of “Red, Hot & Holy,” Sera Peak—are willing to “think different.” Each of these shining examples doesn’t even consider “the box” when they think and, more importantly, they consistently act outside of it.

Jim Carrey: Freedom From Concern

This commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management is a joy. And, it speaks to me about the heart of social media marketing as well. For example, he says:

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”

That’s right. It’s not about the money. “The Experience Economy” is based on how people feel, the effect you have on them, when they grant you a bit of their preciously scarce attention. Carrey really walks his talk about “Freedom from Concern” and he implores you to listen to “your joyful heart.” I think what he says is important.

Tina Roth Eisenberg: Don’t Forget to Play

For some people, it’s a stretch to talk about having fun while working. Not for blogger/designer/entrepreneur, SwissMiss (whose real name is above). She tells the story of her amazing journey from graphic designer to owner of five thriving businesses and mother of two far better than I can summarize. Bottom line for me, she seems to be enjoying herself and the learning process every step of the way. Beyond the fun quotient, is the way she has so clearly found her own unique business path and built her businesses on her own terms by making her people a real priority. Thus, Tina exemplifies, for me at least, how enjoyable and rewarding the business journey can really be. I like that. I really like that. 🙂

Sera Peak: Listening to a Power Greater Than Yourself

Rarely do we see an individual willing to expose her own “Truth Bombs on the Soul Path.” We’ve all had major insights and realizations, and rarely do they make us look good. One of the core values of authenticity is telling the truth no matter what. This video exposes this best-selling author’s learning process on her way to ever-deepening spiritual growth, and she does so with a kind of transparency that I believe uplifts us all. That’s what I call inspiration.

 

My New Favorite iPad Video App: Adobe Voice

Riding the Wave

The major trend in social media marketing that I call “The Visual Web” is becoming increasingly important. Fortunately, I’ve found a new iPad app that makes creating animated videos both FUN and EASY. I like that. 😉

If you still haven’t jumped into creating your own videos and visuals, I’ve got one quickie example for you below, and perhaps this quote from a true, social media marketing thought leader will also inspire you?

“From a trend standpoint, the trend towards visuals in inescapable... Everything that people are paying attention to now fundamentally has pictures or video.” — Jay Baer’s video blog post, Why Visuals Are the Most Important Element of Content Marketing

create quick easy videos on iPad with adobe voiceiPad as New Easier Authoring Platform

For me, being able to create on the iPad, without a mouse or trackpad, sitting in my easy chair is more fun and relaxing than sitting in front of a computer, even a light laptop. As an innovator, I also notice the creative juice that flows through the Apple’s iPad eco-system. The fact is that this app as well as others that I use regularly—like Paper from Fiftythree.com—are iPad-only apps… and, by the way, they are also both totally free.

Quick, Easy Animated Videos with Adobe’s New Voice App

Last weekend, I heard about Adobe’s new free iPad app called Voice. It uses your voice as a sound track. You record the audio one scene at a time. Lots of templates, clip art and royalty free photos are included. I found it to be a positive experience and intend to put it to further use.

Below is my first test video created with Adobe Voice in about 20 minutes. Not bad for my first time out.

One lesson that I learned in the process is that next time I will keep all of the individual scene audio snippets shorter. It would also be nice for the app to enable you to post your videos to YouTube and other video hosting services. Right now, you can share a link, post to social media, or use an HTML embed code as I have done below; but I’d have to re-record it with a screen capture program in order to post it to my YouTube Channel.

Otherwise, I liked the user experience a lot and once I really get the hang of this production time will be even faster. Overall, using Voice was fun and I think it’s a great new option for communicating on The Visual Web.

Video Rant Reveals the Surprising ROI of Leading with Values

I’m turning a corner in my business. I’ve realized that my values are the more important than my (so called) value proposition. And the real eye opener for me was the way that my business coach explained that this approach can actually open up new revenues. Values = $$? Really?

This blog post explains the fortuitous way that I experienced this strategy directly, and how you can use it as an inspiration for your own online marketing communications…

Values Trump Values Proposition

Why Our Values ARE Our Value

The foundation for this story is the way that I’m discovering that my core values of ease, fun and authenticity have become even more important than our company’s skills and talents with Internet marketing strategy, website design, video production, social media marketing, SEO and the rest. 

Radical, eh?

Sometimes this kind of branding/positioning is as simple as adding a line about these values to an email of introduction (and, yes, just last week a prospective client made a point of telling me that she appreciated the fact that these values were included in my email. There was an added element of rapport created even before we spoke on the phone).

This values-based approach really gets juicy when it’s applied to a new breed of video that I’m calling a “rant.” Rant videos are further explained and illustrated below.

Another unexpected result of this awakening for me is that my long-established axiom of “Leading with Value” (Key Concept #8 in my book) is causing me to choose to position myself and my company’s work more clearly around our own core values.

How Audacious Authenticity Can Attract New Revenues

“When you reveal your passion for being of service through your business in the boldest, most transparent and vulnerable way possible—for example, in a series of online video rants about things you care most about—this does more now for opening up revenue flow than almost anything else, particularly if other things have failed and you find yourself extremely stuck. Video is THE medium that carries genuine emotion the very best, online. Use video to allow money to find you, as a reflection of the full expression of your heart.” — Andrea J. Lee, WealthyThoughtLeader.com

The video above is my latest experience with both real time marketing and the art of the video rant.

My friend and client, veteran executive coach and management consultant, Nancy Monson and I were having a marketing consulting session. The day before I had been on a group coaching call with Andrea J. Lee where she had said what’s quoted above about the power of the video rant to both reveal passion and open revenue flows. As I directed Nancy to speak her truth about why most executive coaching doesn’t produce the desired results, she lit up. Recognizing that we were getting to the heart of her values and her commitment to make a meaningful difference, I said, “Let’s capture this, so we don’t have to write it down.” At first she thought I was going to make an audio note. But, after a slight hesitation, she agreed to let me record this video with my iPhone.

The video rant above is the result. I salute Nancy for her courage to swing out in this way and I’m pleased with how her knowledge and commitment to results have been made visible.

The Zen of the Real Time Rant

rant quote“The art and science of marketing is now about focusing on real-time connections and social exchanges.” 
Vocus blog post

It’s widely recognized that because of the explosion of social media and mobile communications, real time communications are the leading edge of what I call New Marketing. What better way to leverage these trends along side the New Marketing requirements for authenticity and engagement than with a video that is spoken with passion, from the heart? (And, it’s easy to see why formal production values are not required.)

More to come. I look forward to your feedback; and by all means, if you like what you’ve read and seen here, please share in every way possible (links below). Thank you! 🙂

PS. If you are interested in bringing more of your authentic passion and core values to your online marketing, please contact us. We’d love to help.

An Online Video Project That Makes a Difference by Addressing the Crisis in Our Family Courts

There are online video projects… and then there are online video projects that pull at your heart strings because they are so important that they take your work to a more meaningful level. As our new client, Kathleen Russell and I have been saying, “We are not just selling widgets.” 😉

Becca screen grab

Rebecca, a survivor of Family Court abuse and corruption.

ComBridges’ recent last minute video shoot, quick turn around video edit, and posting to YouTube project, reflected in the three video clips embedded below, (for Kathleen Russell Consulting, KRC, a social advocate and political PR firm and her non-profit Center for Judicial Excellence, CJE) was just that kind of project. 

The video shoot followed Friday night, January 10th’s premiere of a revealing new documentary called “Divorce Corp.” The title kind of tells you what it’s about. I’ll add that as bad as our healthcare system is, the mercenary way that lawyers and courts have turned divorce into a $50 Billion business makes the healthcare system look, well, almost healthy (but not quite.) 😉 (HuffPo review here)

KRC’s tag line is “Telling Stories, Moving Mountains.” In this case, the story is the shocking corruption and dysfunctionality in the US Family Courts, an almost entirely “untold story” that really NEEDS to be told. The tragic fact is that the lives of children and their families are being absolutely ruined by a Family Court system that (sad but true) has absolutely no independent oversight. I find this to be shocking and hard to believe, but it is clearly true.

I won’t try to tell that whole story here. Hopefully, the three video clips below will inspire you to want to learn and do more. And there’s more information here on the CJE website.

However, I must say as a video professional, this is the kind of project that I LOVE. Video is not just a technology. It’s a communication platform. “Eye candy” is like sugar. No nutritional value. But when we use online video to tell important stories that really do need to be told, then we get an opportunity to make a real difference. I am very grateful for that.

For me at least, this kind of work is what having my own business is all about. Many thanks to Kathleen Russell and the Center for Judicial Excellence for the opportunity to be of service! And BRAVO to the three courageous people shown below. I know that it takes remarkable courage and commitment to speak up and speak out.

Please share and spread the word if you are so moved. Thanks.

UPDATE: A directly-related international news story is breaking here via Australian TV. Savannah Todd is yet another survivor of the US Family Court abuse, although her mother may end up in one of our prisons for protecting her daughter from another example of family court legal-style evil. 🙁

Facebook Marketing Meets Google Hangouts: How to Expand Your Video Audience

Our live Google Hangouts On Air webcast as it appeared live via our Facebook Page

Our live Google Hangouts On Air webcast as it appeared live via our Facebook Page

Sometimes I learn best by just going for it and trying new things. In this case, not only did I learn a new capability with Facebook Pages, but I also learned a new way to expand a video’s reach. In the hope that this trick is useful to you, I’ll explain how and what I did.

The day before our last 3 Geeky Amigos Takes on Facebook Marketing live webcast via Google Hangouts On Air (please find this video embedded below), I happened to see a local Internet marketing “guru” pitching the ability to create a “simulcast” of a live video Google Hangout via a Facebook Page. Sadly, this dude and his presumably “JV partners” were pitching their ability to create this functionality like it was a breakthrough so that you would buy their app for building Facebook pages with video embeds. 

I liked the idea, but I suspected it wasn’t that hard to do. Given that my pals and I do 3 Geeky Amigos as kind of informal R&D sharing event… as well as because it’s fun for us to learn and share how to use tech stuff like Google Hangouts On Air (and this IS a great platform for producing and recording live video conversations because they instantly publish to YouTube)… about a half-hour before the semi-regular (Tuesdays at 3pm PT) start time of our webcast, I started trying to figure out how to do this kind of “simulcast.” 

As someone who does know how to create custom, interactive Facebook Pages for clients, I use an online app called GroSocial. So I wasn’t starting from scratch. However, I checked with my contact at GroSocial and he hadn’t heard of anyone doing this before; and he encouraged me by saying, “cool idea!” 

Bottom line, Google Hangouts On Air provides an iFrame embed code so that you can post your live video “event” inside any web page. GroSocial has an iFrame module so that you can embed any iFrame inside a Facebook Page. Once I aligned those pieces in my mind, linking them together was a piece of cake.

Thus, voila! In just a few minutes, our webcast was live on Google+, YouTube and Facebook all at the same time (and of course it lives on via YouTube and anywhere else that we choose to place this embed code and could have been live simultaneously on any number of webpages. Thank you, Google.) In other words, it could have been live on our website as well. All I would have needed to do is to create a blog post or new page and use that same embed code. Pretty cool, eh?

I explain and show more via the recording of this webcast below. Enjoy and let me know if I can help you to expand your video, social media, or any other form of Internet marketing reach… anytime, anywhere.

What is certainly clear is that what I started calling “The Video Web” years ago is really gaining fresh momentum. 🙂

Webinar Video: Internet Marketing Success in 4 Easy “Booster Rockets”

Webinar via YouTube: Internet marketing... success

Last week, we recorded a live webinar as part of the re-launch of New Marketing University (NewMarU.com). I entitled it, “The 4 Booster Rockets of Internet Marketing Success” and we covered four key areas that are high leverage for any small business that wants to expand the effectiveness of its online marketing, including why these strategies are important and an overview of how we approach them.

The good news, if you are just passing by, is that I felt that this webinar was such a valuable introduction to how ComBridges approaches these kinds of innovations in Internet marketing as well as a taste of the kinds of useful information that will be available more and more via NewMarU.com, I decided to post this recording free and open to all on YouTube with no email registration required. In fact, this 45-minute video webinar is embedded below on this page so you can just click and enjoy it right now. 😉

In case you want to know what’s covered without watching anything, we discuss the following four strategic Internet marketing tactics:

  • Lead capture and lead nurturing along with the need to design a sales funnel process
  • Truly interactive Facebook Pages that go “beyond the Like”
  • Authentic engagement and what makes video content marketing more effective
  • Cost effective small business mobile apps to reach the rapidly increasing number of website visitors using smartphones and other mobile devices

All this and more in only about 40 minutes plus Q&A. Please check it out and comment, here or on YouTube. And if you want more, click on the “YouTube” logo to subscribe to our YouTube channel or register at NewMarU.com. Thanks! We look forward to hearing from YOU.

New Experiment: Weekly Tech Talk Google Hangout with “3 Geeky Amigos”

3geekyamigos-logoOf course, we are all always learning; and another “always” is that I’m always telling myself (and others) that I need to do video on a much more regular basis.

I’ve also been attracted to the streamlined production efficiencies offered by Google’s Hangouts On-Air which not only provides a nifty and unique interface for group video chats, but a seamless integration with YouTube so that when you choose to record your Hangout, the “On-Air” part auto-magically posts the recorded video conversation to YouTube.

I’m also lucky to have some wonderful, knowledgable (OK, fellow “geeky”) friends who are excited to join my in this high tech video playpen (or I guess the tech term is “sandbox”). In this case, my co-hosts are Taylor Fogelquist of Active Ingredients and Peter Klein of Empower Your Brilliance.

The result is a new weekly tech talk show that we’ve dubbed, “3 Geeky Amigos.” You can join us live at 3pm PT every Tuesday afternoon (except June 18th). We’d love your feedback. Please tell us what you’d like us to explore. What would be most useful or interesting to you?

Here’s the first episode embedded below. It’s more of a “rehearsal” than a “premiere.” I’m confident we will keep getting better and better as we find the flow of this new media environment and get YOU involved. 🙂 And, we hope you will also join us this Tuesday at 3pm PT.

The Visual Web Demands New Video Presentation Tools & Techniques

One of my ‘mantras’ is that “It’s not about the technology. It’s about the communication.” 

Quick infographic, presentation image

This image took about 5 minutes to create

Both the good news and the bad news is that online communication is becoming more and more visual. So much so that I’ve begun calling it “The Visual Web” and wrote this blog post about the trend.

The first is about the style of visual communications and the continuing “epidemic” of bullet-point list laden presentations, such as those created in PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote programs. (And given the increasing value of sharing presentations via SlideShare, presentation style is more important than ever.)

The second is a new tool that can be applied to both online videos (which I now consider a “must have”) as well as to the increasingly important content marketing strategy of creating infographics.

1. Presentations Done Right

Authenticity in online communications is an important key, and that means you have to walk your talk. Here’s a presentation that does just that. It illustrates what I agree are some of the most important techniques and style points about presentations using PowerPoint or Keynote, and it does so without bullet point lists. In fact, it not only makes a good case against all that text and bullet lists that we all see in far too many presentations, but it also offers some valuable resources. (New to me were Pictalicious for color palettes and PowToon, see below. I already love and recommend the iPad app, Haiku Deck.)

 

2. The Best and Easiest Online Video & Infographic Tool I’ve Seen (ever?)

 I will have to return to the subject of PowToon with a more complete review. For now, I’ll give it one of my highest recommendations which is, “I want to learn this app.”

It’s an online application designed for the creation of all kinds of online videos with an impressive array of built-in animation effects. Their site is full of examples, so I’ll just embed their excellent introductory video. If you are interested in this kind of production, ComBridges can do it for you, and more cost effectively than ever thanks to this tool. Check it out!

 

What do you think?

 

Is Vine, Twitter’s Video App, Useful for Social Media Marketing? Expert Reviews & Luscious Links

The face of online video, or what I like to call The Video Web, has just grown a new “nose.” In other words, there is now a new dimension to the online video world. In case you haven’t heard yet, the latest mobile and social video sensation is called Vine and it’s a free download app for all major mobile smartphone platforms.

Like Twitter, Vine uses #Hashtags as a way to find things and connect to stuff

Like Twitter, Vine uses #Hashtags as a way to find things and connect to stuff

Vine videos take the form of some pretty neat (and of course sometimes boring) little six-second video clips that are tightly integrated with Twitter, who recently bought the company. (FYI, Vine videos are also post-able to Facebook.)

While Vine is getting some mixed reviews—ranging from raves that it’s “the next big thing” to distain that there’s too much porn—I think the truth is that it’s got potential. While we wait to see if its buzz will last, in my opinion, Vine is fun and worth checking out.

As you will see from the aggregated “luscious links” below—all of which are from what I consider to be a solid selection of social media authorities—many major brands as well as smaller businesses are already experimenting with Vine videos. Even Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles (or a member of his team?) is starting to run contests via Vine (see below). So, as Dylan sang, “Something is happening here…” even if we don’t know exactly what it is…

 

(FYI, Sir Paul’s next tweet said that the answer was ‘Mamunia’ from ‘Band On The Run.’)

On a more personal note—beyond my own app-aholic fascination—my litmus test proving Vine’s viability was sharing the app with a couple of 21 year old women who I met at a party. We had already established that these extremely charming social-media-active individuals were way into Instagram. But Facebook, not so much. Even as a very active Facebook user, I could appreciate their point of view, “There are too many people on Facebook posting opinions that we don’t care about.” I found this point of view to be refreshing! 🙂

When I showed them Vine and how easy it is to create multi-scene six-second mini-movie clips, they literally took to it like fish to water. Fun! Here’s one of my first Vine videos, shot (which in this case is the same as produced) at that party:

Reinforcing the “mixed reviews” theme, MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley says, “Vine: Stupid, Simple and Brilliant.” In fact, it was also Handley who tweeted the first clearly commercial Vine video that I saw. Specifically, this little ditty by the LA Dodgers in support of a new baseball star bobble-head promotion:

More Luscious Links

And last but not least, one of my favorite “social media gurus,” Jay Baer not only offers valuable insights with The 2 Ways Most People Are Misusing Vine but in this 4-minute video interview (embedded below), he tells us the bottom line of all the hype, i.e. Vine will not usher in a “new era of content marketing,” but it is an interesting new tool for serious social media marketers who are being strategic about their use of content marketing:

Bottom line, as Jay says, content marketing without a coherent strategy is not going to have a bottom line impact, no matter how nifty a tool Vine may be. And it is nifty, IMHO. After all, making video this easy to create and post is not a no-brainer.

Any comments?