Hunting With Pixels’ Blog

Top Tips for Video SEO

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Using online video as an SEO tool isn’t complicated. Here are some tips to get you started. – Use relevant keywords and tags. Spreading your tags wide and thin might seem to attract more hits, but to keep people on your site and convert views into customers, you need to have relevant content. Remember that you want your brand to have credibility. – Having said that, put some thought into how you use your tags, keywords and video title. Tags should describe the video and relateded to the subjects; simply copying them over can create links that lead to people clicking away, which will actually hurt your page ranking! – Make quality content. It doesn’t have to win Oscars, but it does have to look professional. If your video will feature a presenter, consider either using an actor or on camera presentation coaching. – Don’t skimp. It’s good to be economical, but if your video looks cheap it says that you are cheap. That’s great if you sell second hand tyres, but it’s unconvincing when you sell something of higher value. Always consider your brand credit. – The thumbnail preview of your video is vital in convincing people to watch. Video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo will often let you select which frame you wish to use as a thumbnail – make it a good one. – Consider adding a transcription of the video, so that Google can pick up the content as text; search engines like video, but they can’t figure out what the content is. There are some great tools online that can take the hard work out of this. – Make sure that you keep engaging the audience. Regular content will keep people coming back to your site, and build up brand recognition and loyalty. Rather than making one long video, consider a series of shorter ones, clearly labelled, that will have people clicking through your website. If you do video well, you’ll be really starting to cook with gas SEO wise!

Using YouTube for Video SEO

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Did you know that YouTube is actually the second most popular search engine, behind its parent company Google? Additionally, YouTube makes SEO child’s play, by allowing you to embed videos with tags and associations that help it appear in more relevant searches. By taking advantage of embedding, you can get two bites at the cherry by having your video show up both on YouTube and your own website in a blended search. While not technically a search engine, it is also important not to discount the importance of Facebook and other social media. A video reference from a friend carries far more weight than results from a search engine, especially in terms of new content discovery. If you are using video on your website, ensure that your video platform has easy to use buttons for social media sharing – Facebook, twitter, digg, everything that you can. It is a small, easy to overlook function, but can net you easy hits with little effort. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming days

Best practice for moderating user-generated content

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Earlier this year, Hunting With Pixels caught up with Shay David from Kaltura on the New York leg of our epic interviewing spree. Kaltura are a leading open-source video platform, helping business and educational clients deliver top quality video solutions. In this video, Shay shares some examples of good practice around user-generated content, giving advice on how business can balance openness and brand safety. In order to best implement consumer feedback and engagement, online video providers need to understand that there are multiple stakeholders in the conversation. Businesses want to be promoted without having consumers degrading their brand, and consumers want to feel engaged and that they are listened to. In terms of moderating any user-feedback section, Shay suggests that any moderation should be as transparent as possible, to allow users and business to see the rules, and to build up trust between the groups. To that end, there are several levels of moderation that are generally found to strike an appropriate balance. It is possible for user-content to be entirely moderated by the business. So for example they can preview user content and feedback before it being released to the wilds of the web. At the other extreme, it could be entirely self-moderated by users, by having a ‘report’ button or other method for consumers to police the conversation. It is also possible to have a more hands off approach, in the form of set rules or pre-moderation, for example swear filters. This has the added benefit of transparency, as the user knows before making a post exactly what will and won’t be accepted. Finally, Shay encourages brands to open up the level of engagement over time, once trust has been established and the brand feels comfortable. A feedback forum might have users who become a trusted source, who can perform the role of moderator from outside of the brand. Above all, it is important that customers feel as though they are legitimately engaging with the brand and with other customers. Customer engagement can be a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal, but it must be genuine. http://www.vimeo.com/25699044

Online Video as an SEO Tool

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When you run a business, the primary goal of all of your online content is to create a connection to your target audience. The problem is that without marketing efforts to bring eyeballs to your page, the greatest content in the world will go to waste. This is where the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in. A solid SEO strategy will see you rank higher on the major search engines, bringing in more viewers with whom to connect. Using video on your website is a great way to improve the SEO performance of your website. Most modern search engines now use a display format called “blended search”, whereby a query will bring back videos, images, news stories, maps, and other types of results alongside their standard search results An engaging video thumbnail is far more likely to draw clicks than a block of equivalent text. And it may surprise you to learn that it is actually about 50% easier to reach that coveted first page ranking as a video than with text alone On top of the SEO advantages, using online video is also a more effective way to engage with your audience once they have been drawn to your website. It offers a personal, visually stimulating, and altogether more human experience than text alone (a subject of many of our other articles and blog posts). This is important to remember, as SEO professionals can sometimes focus too much on getting click-throughs, and forget all about providing worthwhile content once the viewer has landed! Stay tuned for more on this in the coming days

How animation can help to explain a concept in online video

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We recently partnered with Michael Giannik from Group Security on an animation project. Michael asked us to help communicate how his Lone Worker Solution works: potential clients of Group Security had a hard time understanding the concept of the product and the practical application. The issue is that some concepts are hard to convey through written content, because most of us are visual learners. A clever combination of video, written content and graphics will cater for the various learning styles, so your clients get a better idea of what your product can do for them. At Hunting With Pixels we’re big fans of simple, clean animation because it’s a powerful tool to create an instant overview of a concept. Simple illustrations and colours create visual anchors for viewers and help to provide an overview of a complex step by step product or service. Here is how we used animation to clarify what this product does. http://vimeo.com/29127362

Public Relations and the Changing Media Environment

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We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Rubel, executive VP for Global Strategy and Insights with Edelman. Edelman is a global public relations firm, well known for being on the forefront of technological change. Click here for more info on Steve and Edelman. In these opening clips from our interview with Steve, he talks about what PR is, and how technological change has impacted upon the PR industry, and media as a whole. In a nutshell, Public Relations is about using communications to build a relationship with a target group that is important to your business. That target group is not necessarily consumers; it may be fellow businesspeople, it may be legislators. Once that relationship is in place, it becomes advantageous not just to the business, but also to the target group. In the last five years, however, the PR industry has had to adjust to the great changes in communications technology that have come about. Steve talks about a “dispersion of authority”, where the power to shape the media conversation has moved away from a few big players, to many smaller ones. The net effect of this dispersion is that we now have four different spheres of media, three of which exist on the internet. – The ‘traditional’ media, as Steve phrases it, encompasses the old guard such as newspapers, radio, television etc. These are typically passive mediums, in that the audience does not generally interact. – Using a traditional business model in a totally online space, the “tradigital” media is a bridge between old and new. Tradigital media provides a lower entry level to the media industry, and has led to a proliferation of independent media. – A relatively new phenomenon, social media, such as twitter, facebook and YouTube, allows literally anybody to have their thoughts and opinions broadcast to the entire world – Finally, there is Owned Content, which is typically corporate websites and the like, where every business can act as a media company for the purposes of promoting themselves. The challenge now for PR companies is to navigate this new paradigm of communication, where the target group can finally join in the conversation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc550-IMUyE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_07Jua5dHiY

Byalawa Project – Making a Difference in Indigenous Healthcare

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We do a lot of important work for our clients here at Hunting with Pixels, but we were particularly pleased to be a part of the Byalawa project. Developed in conjunction with academics from several university health departments, we set out to create a series of video scenarios and case studies that show some of the issues in communication between health professionals and indigenous patients. Miscommunication during these interactions can result in serious health issues further down the line. We knew that these videos were going to be used to teach the next generation of health workers, so it was very important that the stories were true. In that respect, we were very lucky to be able to work with some great local indigenous people, who very generously offered not only to share their stories but to act in our scenarios as well. The resulting videos were an honest look at how cultural differences could change a situation we all take for granted. They were uploaded to the Byalawa website, and combined with information from various academic studies, to provide a well rounded and informative learning tool for health students. We’re very proud of these videos, and hope that in the long run they help to make a difference in this very complex but important part of education. www.byalawa.com

HWP on a Global Shoot with Concept Amenities

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We don’t normally choose to harp on about our getting a new client, since it feels a bit self promotional, but we can’t help it this time! We very excited to be working on a new project with the wonderful people at Concept Amenities. Concept Amenities are an Australian business gone global, providing amenities services to the hotel, retail and spa industries. Part of the reason we are so keen to be working with Concept is their particular focus on green and sustainable products. With so much in the hotel industry being geared towards disposability, Concept has developed a range of products made with an organic additive that makes it totally biodegradable. As they service some of the biggest casinos and hotel chains in the US and globally, this makes a huge difference to the state of our planet. We also love the way that they communicate. In formulating our upcoming shoot, Concept was very receptive to some creative and unusual ideas, and showed that they were willing to take a risk in order to stand out from the noise. They bring a uniquely Australian straightforwardness to their media efforts, which we were very keen to expand upon for the coming promo. Starting mid-September, we will be travelling the globe, shooting for Concept in Shanghai, Melbourne, Miami, Las Vegas and London, creating a montage that shows no matter where their business takes them, the core values travel too. Aside from being an opportunity to travel and meet new people (yay!), we think the end result will be a unique and exciting piece that says so much more than words alone. Stay tuned in the coming months, and we will keep you abreast of our travels and progress on this fun and exciting project. http://www.conceptamenities.com/index.php

Short Takes 03 on the 22nd of September: Make a first impression that lasts

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In today’s media saturated world, it’s more important then ever to cut through. The problem is that we are all approached from so many angles that we commit every shorter bits of time to everything just to keep up! This is why getting the first impression right is more important then ever. This Short Takes will look at first impressions from a variety of perspectives. We’d like to thank business coach and guru extraordinaire Hugh Todd for coming up with the brilliant title ‘First Impressions That Last’. Gold.

Emma Mc Dermott: You Are The Brand: how Personal Brand and Reputation Management can transform your business.

“Personal Brand” is a term that has become widely used with the rise of social media, but it is often misunderstood. Your physical appearance is just one aspect of your personal brand, but it is critical to your reputation and the scope of your influence. Understanding the non-verbal messages your appearance is sending to your clients and prospects allows you to present yourself appropriately and authentically for any situation – work or play. Stylist and Personal Brand Adviser, Emma McDermott will give us some tips and techniques for becoming memorable for the right reasons.     Emma has a background in marketing and brand management in the corporate sector and now runs her own business My Personal Stylist, helping professionals and small business owners make a lasting impression. http://mypersonalstylist.com.au

Lis Faenza: The human element of business

When we meet someone who is authentic at every level we are drawn to them and open to what they have to offer. In any business everyone involved needs believe and literally digest the company’s mission and vision, or the mismatch will be picked up, and your business will come across as a business that has no focus or integrity. Lis will share some key principles you can use to get clarity about your own values and principles, and align your actions to those – and then work to find alignment with the mission and vision of your business.       Lis is a keynote speaker and mentor. She has designed her current suite of presentations to address the void that exists in evidence based approaches to managing performance and productivity. http://thebucketrevolution.com

 

Nigel Collin: First impressions on camera; having the right state of mind and starting smoothly.

One camera presenting guru Nigel Collin will share share some more practical tips on how to make that great first impression when presenting to camera.     Nigel Collin is a creative facilitator, speaker and mentor who has worked with and hung out with creative people, innovative thinkers and thought leaders most of his life. He understands the importance of inspiring people to be more creative and giving them the skills, confidence and resources to do so. http://presentingoncamera.com/  

Mandi Bateson: make a first impression or social media will make it for you.

“Is the Google search the sworn enemy of the first impression? Is bad Facebook etiquette the new social faux pas? Before you get a chance to make an impression your social media presence may be making it for you. Find out how social media can help – rather than hinder – your personal and professional reputation right from the start”.     Mandi Bateson is Digital Director at Hill & Knowlton, and a keynote speaker and expert on social media, Community management; Social CRM; Content seeding and Influencer outreach among others! http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mandibateson/   So what is Short Takes like? Here’s a video of our previous Short Takes: http://www.vimeo.com/25950043/

Let’s connect!

The next Short Takes will take place on the 22nd of September 2011 at the Hunting With Pixels HQ on level 1, 270 King Street in Newtown. Doors open at 18.00, we start at 19.00! It’s only $ 60,- early birds rate for four awesome speakers, free quality food and drinks, great networking and simply a cheekiest way to combine business with pleasure. We’d love to see you there! Book your place here: Our Event

Openness in business; Trends in video and user generated content.

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Earlier this year, Hunting With Pixels caught up with Shay David from Kaltura on the New York leg of our epic interviewing spree. Kaltura are a leading open-source video platform, helping business and educational clients deliver top quality video solutions. In this video, Shay David goes into the benefits and drawbacks of businesses employing consumer engagement and feedback in their online marketing strategies. Generally speaking, having your online marketing videos open to consumer feedback and engagement is a great thing, and can really help build your brand. This is increasingly becoming a part of many marketing strategies in several ways. First, as video production costs have gone down, businesses can now be more generous with content. Not only can marketers afford to show more, they can show a product from all angles, show people using it, and show it being used on-location. This leads to greater engagement and association with the audience. Also, with the proliferation of the internet and consumer video options, it is increasingly possible for customers to create user generated content, such as crowdsourcing. Businesses such as Amazon have found that user reviews are the best sales tools ever. Often the fact that a business is willing to be open to consumer feedback shows that they are confident about their product, which like user reviews are a great selling point. However the flip-side of that is that if the product sucks, people are going to know, and they will tell others. To counter the possible negative side effects, consumer interaction needs to be carefully managed. Businesses that keep control of their content, and moderate any user feedback, have a far better chance of managing any damage to their brand. You want to encourage frank conversation, but also keep the lid on hate speech or degrading of your brand. It is a fine line to tread. In a controlled environment, like Amazon’s user reviews, customer engagement can be a powerful part of a complete marketing strategy, especially if you are confident in your brand/product. It can occasionally be risky, but the reward is increased engagement with the customer. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/25698600 width=”100%”]