B2B Video Marketing on the iPad

iPad video

Whether you’re considering managing your B2B video marketing campaigns on your iPad or catering to an audience that watches B2B marketing videos on one, you’ll need a solid plan and a few good apps. With its awesome display and extreme portability, the iPad makes managing and viewing any corporate video a real pleasure.

Apps for Managing Business Video

As a B2B video marketer, you’ll appreciate having your videos within easy reach. Not only that, the new iPad features a much better camera than earlier versions making it possible to shoot impromptu videos in HD. What’s more, with a video editing app, you can even edit your videos. Here’s a look at the best apps for managing your B2B marketing and business video efforts:

  • iMovie – This app is available for about $5 from iTunes and allows you to edit soundtracks, add titles and graphics, and more.
  • Avid Studio – If you’ve been involved in corporate video for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of Avid video editing software. The Avid Studio, again about $5, scales down Avid for the tablet, giving you quick and easy access to professional transitions, effects, and more.
  • Vimeo App – Vimeo is a popular video sharing site. Whether you want to upload a recently edited (on your iPad, of course) corporate video to Vimeo or quickly launch one of your B2B marketing videos in order to quickly show a prospect your business video, having an app with easy access to your video sharing account makes doing so a matter of just a few taps.
  • Constant Contact App – If you use Constant Contact to manage your email-based B2B marketing campaigns, you’ll want to download the Constant Contact app. This little app allows you to manage contacts and lists, view reports, post links to Facebook and Twitter, and write, edit and send email campaigns. If you use a different email B2B marketing service provider, check to see if that provider has a similar app.

Using the iPad for B2B Video Marketing

In addition to apps, the iPad makes it easy to share your corporate video with prospects. Imagine stopping by a prospect’s office and having everything you need at your fingertips. The days of dragging along laptop, DVD, video projector, and a screen are long gone. When the conversation lends itself to sharing your business video, simply whip out your iPad, tap on the video, and hand it over for your prospect’s viewing pleasure.

If you plan on using the iPad to shoot your B2B video marketing footage, keep in mind that while it is capable of recording high definition video, it’s not the best choice for professional business videos. Use the iPad to capture those moments and places that happen on the fly but understand its limitations.

How Users May View your B2B Marketing Videos

Business users use their iPads to watch videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and individual websites. Some may access your video after clicking a link in one of your B2B marketing emails while others may watch it directly on your website. The new iPad continues Apple’s tradition of not supporting Flash, making it smart to present your videos in formats the iPad can handle.

With the iPad’s impressive new “retina” display, you’ll want to make sure that each corporate video you produce is shot and packaged in full HD. Take advantage of the iPad’s visual capabilities by using professional-grade video and lighting equipment. As with online B2B video marketing, your videos should be edited down so that they quickly get to the point and have relatively short run times.

B2B video marketing continues to evolve, especially with so many business users embracing the iPad. While most of your B2B marketing strategies will remain the same, it’s smart to consider how you can manage and share your corporate video marketing on the iPad and how your prospects may be using their iPads to view a business video.

How have you used your iPad for B2B video marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Website Video Spokesperson: Things to Avoid

Web video spokespersonTechnology has made it possible to place a website video spokesperson on your website. When done correctly, your virtual spokesperson can serve as a tour guide and sales agent. When done incorrectly, your Web video spokesperson can drive visitors away. Avoid these common mistakes and enhance the user experience.

  • Avoid allowing the website video spokesperson to speak before being clicked. It’s fine for your virtual spokesperson to walk onto the screen and wait, but the Web video spokesperson should never begin speaking until the user clicks.
  • Avoid low quality video. Your website video spokesperson should appear in full HD video. Today’s users are accessing websites on screens of all sizes ranging from tiny cell phone screens to massive flat screen TVs.
  • Avoid lengthy speeches. As with most online videos, your virtual spokesperson should respect your viewers’ time. Few Web visitors have the time, attention span, or desire to watch a lengthy video and many will resent been forced to listen to a long pitch.
  • Avoid having the video spokesperson read the website text. This can turn off site visitors, possibly even insult their intelligence. Allow your virtual spokesperson to contribute to the conversation, when clicked, not rehash what already appears on the page.
  • Avoid repeating the same video multiple times. Each Web page featuring your virtual spokesperson should have its own unique script tailored to the page’s content and desired call to action. Having the Web video spokesperson repeat the same information is redundant, boring, and annoying. Just as a real estate agent would point out the benefits of the family room while showing clients the family room and the merits of the master bathroom when showing the master bathroom, the same is true of the website video spokesperson. The script should be relevant to the page.
  • Avoid generic scripts. Your company is unique so make sure that your virtual spokesperson accurately reflects that. While a generic “welcome to our site” might have longevity on its side, it doesn’t communicate what’s unique about your product, service, or brand.
  • Avoid branded video players. Some entry-level Web video spokesperson service providers place their logos and links inside the video player as a means of keeping costs low. However, this is distracting and takes away from your core message.
  • Avoid borders. Today’s video technology allows for borderless video overlays. Your website video spokesperson can literally walk across the screen.
  • Avoid pushing and pull your visitors in. A virtual spokesperson can be used in many ways. You may be tempted to use your Web video spokesperson as a broadcaster who pushes a message to viewers. Put away the bullhorn and put your website video spokesperson to good use as a warm, inviting host. Write the script with user benefits in mind and create engaging copy. Use a soft sales approach and allow your virtual spokesperson to gently guide viewers to a compelling, relevant call to action.
  • Avoid choosing the wrong Web video spokesperson for your site. The website video spokesperson will become the face of your company, so choose wisely. Make sure to select a virtual spokesperson that reflects your company’s values and resonates with your customers.

Clearly, you have a lot of considerations when opting for a Web video spokesperson. Though it may seem like a lot to remember, it all comes down to this: attracting and guiding visitors. Avoid anything that could drive visitors away and embrace techniques that can draw them in. If you can accomplish these two key points with your virtual spokesperson, your campaign is sure to be a success.

What website video spokesperson techniques annoy you? Which ones work well? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Online Video Marketing: Success Factors

Online Video Marketing SuccessWhen it comes to Internet video marketing, there’s more involved than opening a YouTube account and posting the occasional promotional video. In order for your online video marketing efforts to pay off, you need a strategy that incorporates the following success factors:

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #1: Know Your Audience

It’s tempting to create a promotional video that appeals to you. However, will it appeal to your target audience? Before you begin any Internet video marketing campaign, you absolutely need to know who your audience is. It helps to imagine a single individual and then craft the promotional video to engage this individual. For example, an auto insurance company targeting older drivers might imagine an audience member named “Harold.” Once you know who will be watching your promotional video, you can write an engaging script.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #2: Creativity

Many business professionals want their online video marketing campaigns to “go viral” and produce creative videos they hope others will share. Going viral may or may not be your ultimate goal. However, creativity is a definite success factor. This doesn’t mean producing a wacky video or going overboard with special effects. It means developing an interesting Internet video marketing campaign that your audience members will want to watch. People online don’t have long attention spans, nor do they have time to spare to watch irrelevant or boring videos. Use your creativity to create an online video marketing campaign that presents your information in a fresh, but appropriate for your company, manner.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor#3: Benefits

Remember Harold, the older driver mentioned earlier? As you write your script, think about what’s in it for Harold. How will your offer make Harold’s life easier or better? Will your offer save him money on his car insurance? Will his driving skills improve? Will he experience peace of mind knowing that roadside assistance is available? These are all benefits. Focus on benefits and you’ll make a positive impression on viewers like Harold.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #4: Length

Because your audience has little time to spare, it’s crucial that your online video marketing efforts respect that. It’s tough enough to prompt viewers to watch a promotional video and few will watch a lengthy one. Keep your videos short and make every second count. In general, each promotional video should be between 30 and 90 seconds in length. If you have more to say, consider creating an Internet video marketing series with each video focusing on one key topic.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #5: Video Distribution

How will you use your promotional video once it’s produced? Will you post it on your website and optimize it for the search engines or will you upload the video to various video-sharing sites like YouTube – or both? Make sure you understand how you will use the video before you produce it.

Online Video Marketing Success Factor #6: Call to Action

No matter how creative, benefits-focused, concise, or properly distributed your Internet video marketing campaign may be, if you forget the call to action, it won’t reach its full potential. Ideally, you’ll know exactly what action you want your viewers to take before you write the script. Identify this action in advance and use your script to guide your promotional video viewers into taking that action at the end. A call to action doesn’t need to be overly complicated, but it does need to be in place.

As you plan your next online video marketing campaign, incorporate these success factors into each promotional video you produce. By doing so, your video will be more likely to: resonate with your target audience, communicate the benefits of your offer, and compel viewers to take the next step.

What do you think about these online video marketing success factors? Did we miss any? Share your experiences in the comments section below:

Online Video Marketing – Are Your Online Videos Ready for Internet TV?

Are Your Online Videos Ready for Internet TV

Technological improvements in bandwidth and speed helped launch online video marketing, an exciting field that allows you to reach business customers and consumers with promotional video over the Internet. Technology continues to evolve, with the potential to deliver Internet video marketing to the larger screens found in living, family, and conference rooms around the world. Is your promotional video ready for streaming Internet TV devices?

What is an Internet TV Device?

The popularity of high-speed Internet access spawned a revolution in online video, and websites such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, soon popped up with libraries of free or low-cost movies and television shows that consumers could watch online. While watching movies and TV shows online has its advantages, watching on a small screen with tiny speakers doesn’t compare to watching on a large screen TV with surround sound. Thus, manufacturers began producing set top devices capable of streaming Internet content directly to the TV. These devices include some Blu-ray players and DVRs, gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360, and standalone boxes such as the Roku or AppleTV. Some television sets now come equipped with Internet streaming capabilities as well.

Though these devices are typically marketed to consumers as a means of watching Internet TV and streaming movies from services such as Netflix, your online video marketing and promotional video productions may find their way to your targeted audience through an Internet TV device.

For example, most streaming TV devices include access to YouTube. If you market your promotional video on YouTube, viewers may watch from their couches instead of their office chairs. In addition, many devices include Web browsers, so it’s possible for viewers to surf your website and view your Internet video marketing clips on their large screen TVs.

What Does Internet TV Mean to Your Online Video Marketing?

While your promotional video may look amazing on a 15-inch laptop, how will it look on a 55-inch HDTV? Video resolution becomes a much more important factor thanks to this possibility. Fortunately, many video production companies specialize in online video marketing and can shoot broadcast quality footage in high definition. If broadcast quality production values and high definition haven’t played a prominent role in your Internet video marketing plan, now’s the time to prioritize them.

Internet Video Marketing – Leveraging Internet TV

While shooting a promotional video with the thought that it could find its way onto the big screen is a good first step, streaming Internet TV brings new possibilities. You could create your own online video marketing channel for many of these Internet streaming devices. For example, a quick look at Roku’s current channel list shows that CNET, Fandango, JTV (Jewelry Television, a company that sells jewelry and jewelry making supplies) each have active Roku channels. If you have an existing catalog of online video marketing messages, tutorials, or lectures suitable for a general audience you could create a public Roku channel. If your material is geared toward a niche such as C-level executives, you could potentially create a “private” Roku channel.

Internet video marketing has changed dramatically in a short time period, and Internet TV could be the next evolution. Today, people may watch your promotional video on any number of devices including smart phones, tablets, e-readers like Kindle’s new Fire, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers, and now, televisions. With screen sizes ranging from mere inches to over 100 inches, the video quality of all of your online video marketing needs to be top-notch. The days of using a low resolution camera and producing a short promotional video without understanding how your viewers will watch it are over.

What do you think about the future of online video marketing? Will the Internet and television finally combine? If so, how will that affect your Internet video marketing plan? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Online Video Marketing: Strategies for Getting Seen

watching online videoOnline video marketing is a complex process involving far more than the actual production of the promotional video. Not only must you plan, produce, and polish your video, you need solid Internet video marketing strategies to ensure that your message is seen, heard, and ready to deliver results. Put the following two strategies to work and make sure your promotional video finds its audience.

Online Video Marketing Strategy #1 – Optimize
One of the reasons that Internet video marketing has become increasingly popular is because an optimized promotional video can rank well on Google for competitive keywords. While a page loaded with informative content may struggle to rank well due to extreme competition, a page featuring a promotional video could appear on the first page of Google in the video listings section because there’s less competition.

However, this doesn’t happen by accident. On-page online video marketing requires that you “optimize” certain elements so that Google can understand that your promotional video is relevant for a given keyword phrase. Just as you use keywords and alt tags in traditional Internet marketing pages, you need to do the same with Internet video marketing pages. Optimizations steps include:

  • Giving your promotional video file a descriptive filename containing your keyword phrase
  • Giving your video a keyword-rich title
  • Using alt text to describe the promotional video, again using your keyword phrase
  • Including supporting text on the page, optimized with the same keyword phrase

Online Video Marketing Strategy #2 – Socialize
Social media has changed the way many people use the Internet, and successful Internet video marketing campaigns address this. In the past, searchers came to your website after conducting a search, following a link, or entering your URL; Today’s users are spending more time on Facebook and other social media sites interacting with a stream of content that they’ve previously subscribed to. Your promotional video has the potential to be pushed to users – if you get social with your online video marketing efforts.

With a subtle push, your Internet video marketing campaign could get in front of a much larger audience than if you simply posted your promotional video on your site and waited for users to find you.

How does social online video marketing work? It starts by encouraging sharing. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, an important Internet video marketing step to take involves putting a “like” button alongside your promotional video. Below are several easy steps that encourage sharing:

  • Include a “Like” button next to your promotional video. Facebook has a special “developers” section where you can grab the code to generate this button.
  • Include other social sharing buttons – Numerous plugins are available that automatically place a variety of social bookmarking buttons below your posts.
  • Make sure that your video has an embed code so users can embed it on their own sites and blogs.

While including sharing buttons and embed codes is good, your Internet video marketing should go further. For example, did you know that if a Facebook user likes, shares, or comments on a video, that original Facebook user’s friends can see the conversation? If a Facebook user watches your promotional video and makes a comment about it via Facebook, then that user’s friends will see the comment and may be inspired to watch the video. By encouraging comments, your online video marketing campaign can reach vast networks and sub-networks of viewers.

Optimize and socialize and your next online video marketing campaign is sure to find its audience! What do you think? Which online video marketing strategies work well for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Website Video Production: The Pros and Cons of Online Video Players

video players

Your website video production has been shot, edited, and is now ready for the Web. However, before you call it a wrap, you need to upload the video to your website. Depending on the services you’ve contracted with your video production company, this may or may not be part of the actual Web video production. In order for the video to appear on your website, you’ll need to upload the files and install a video player on your site.

If your video production company offers comprehensive Web video production services, it will likely handle this as part of the package. If not, you’ll need to research the various options and choose the player that makes the most sense for your needs. In some cases, it makes sense to upload your website video production files to YouTube and then embed the code into your website. In other cases, you may want greater control over your video or want to do away with the YouTube branding. You may even want clickable links embedded into the final Web video production. In these cases, you’ll need to install a video player on your website.

Start by asking your video production company for a recommendation. Which video players do they use for their own website video production files? Why? Is the player affordable?

Next, use the Internet to research various players. Free and commercial players are available. For example, FlowPlayer offers a free version (with FlowPlayer branding) as well as several commercial versions (without the branding). Another popular, and free, player for your website video production files is JW Player. This video player can easily be extended with additional features thanks to numerous plugins, modules, and skins. For example, if you want to run your own advertisements within the player, you can add this function with a plugin.

Vimeo is yet another player to take a look at. The Plus and Pro versions eliminate the banner ads that come with the free version as well as add additional features such as high definition capabilities, the ability to fully customize the player itself, and analytics.

These are but a few of the many options your video production company may recommend for your Web video production. Which one is right for your website video production? That will depend on what’s important to you. Some priorities might revolve around:

  • Whether or not your Web video production was shot in high definition
  • You want to brand the player with your own logo
  • You need bundled video hosting
  • You want to analyze the Web video production’s performance
  • You need HTML5 support
  • You’re concerned about bandwidth
  • You want your video to look more professional
  • You don’t want your video on YouTube
  • You want the ultimate control over your video and its distribution
  • You want to host your website video production files on Amazon

While YouTube has a huge viewing audience and offers numerous capabilities, your video production company may recommend an alternative player for several important reasons including:

  • Video length restrictions. If your Web video production is over 15 minutes long, you can’t host it on YouTube.
  • Some companies block YouTube. If you’re targeting B2B customers, they may not be able to access your YouTube videos while they’re at work.
  • Related videos. Your competitors’ videos might be featured alongside yours.
  • Your account can be closed at any time by Google.

Which video player do you use? Share your thoughts about website video production and online video players in the comment section below:

Online Video Marketing Tips: Hosting Online Video

If your online video marketing plan calls for including videos on your website, you have several options available as for as placing a promotional video goes. For example, you could upload your video to YouTube and then embed the video into one of your Web pages. You could also store your videos on your own website or use an online storage service such as Amazon S3 and then host your own videos.

Hosting Videos on YouTube

Using YouTube for Internet video marketing is almost a no-brainer. After all, YouTube is wildly popular – and it’s free. All you need is a YouTube account, a series of short videos to upload, and the ability to copy and paste an embed code into your website. There are a few downsides though from an online video marketing perspective. For starters, even if you embed the videos on your website, they will play in the YouTube player and will bear the YouTube logo. If you’d rather use an unbranded player and want the ability to insert clickable links into your player, consider hosting your video on your own website and using an alternative video player for your Internet video marketing videos.

YouTube may also display ads, which can dilute your online video marketing message. In addition, some Internet video marketing professionals have had their YouTube accounts closed by Google for a variety of reasons. If you want more control over your online video marketing, self-hosting your promotional video files may be the better choice.

Hosting Videos on Your Own Website

If you have just one promotional video or a few video testimonials, hosting online video marketing videos on your own website shouldn’t take up too much bandwidth or server space. However, if you have numerous promotional video clips or plan on creating an extensive Internet video marketing program, be aware that you may need to upgrade your hosting account to accommodate these large promotional video files.

With hosted online video marketing videos, you’ll also need to install a video player onto your website. This can be as simple as installing a Flash video player plugin on WordPress sites or can involve ordering and installing a commercial video player loaded with features. An advantage to using a commercial player for online video marketing is that you can set up clickable links within your promotional video. As people embed your promotional video into their own sites, when their visitors click the video links, they’ll be directed back to whichever website you linked to.

Using a Video Hosting Service such as Amazon S3

If you plan on extensive Internet video marketing, consider getting an Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) account. This service is low cost and easy to use. You can use either free or commercial video players in conjunction with your Amazon S3 hosted videos.

Other Online Video Marketing Hosting Options

Other services are available for Internet video marketing. For example, Viddler.com offers branded video players, analytics, embeddable widgets, and other features. Another service, Fliqz.com offers several different plans both branded and unbranded players available. Numerous open source Internet video marketing players exist as well.

Whether you invest in a commercial player and video hosting or not, consider hosting your promotional video on your site as well as on popular video sharing platforms such as YouTube.

What are your thoughts about hosting online video marketing files? Share your thoughts in the comment section below: