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Funny videos get shared — the humorous clip is most apt to go viral. But creating a funny video that doesn’t stray over the line of what viewers think is offensive is a difficult task. Lisa Lacy just gave us Creating Funny Videos: A How-To for Brands on Mashable. In the article, Caleb Hanson(vice president of product for interactive video firm Rapt Media) says that humor is based on a harmless violation but,  “A joke can be too benign, and come off as lame, or be too much of a violation and come off as offensive. Either way, the brand suffers, and with video being so shareable, a misstep can have immense reach.”

The Challenge of Humor For Branded Videos

So the challenge to a business is creating videos that don’t violate topics that people consider important but still have that “humorous” poke at the world as we know it — and we recognize ourselves in the video without being offended. Here is the list of best practices:

  • make it relatable
  • don’t rely entirely on big names
  • don’t be long-winded
  • don’t focus on a single product
  • create a distribution strategy
  • reinforce the brand benefit

The Value of Humor in Branded Videos

Humor can increase the engagement a viewer has with a brand IF a key brand benefit or value is reinforced. To quote Caleb Hanson:

 “…something interactive that pulls the user in and engages them has better results than something that’s a passive experience. In a sense, the interactions can work as minor conversions. Once the viewer has invested in the video experience, they’re already a user, and you’ve broken down the barrier between the video and the website. Going a little further to convert the user into a lead or a customer is easier once they’ve already gone over the first hurdle.”

Funny videos are a tricky endeavor since they must be done with a thorough understanding of your audience. But they can become memorable assets for a business if done right. There’s a lot more about video production at


“The bulk of online video advertising today is simply repurposed television spots, yet the devices where consumers spend the most time are completely interactive with just a swipe or tap,” said Doron Wesly, Head of Market Strategy at Tremor Video. “We want to help marketers realize the opportunity in front of them: the potential for a consumer to spend nearly a minute with a 15 second ad.”

A recent study of mobile video advertising has identified areas that can definitely be improved in this growing field. “Crème de la Crème: A Guide to Creating Successful Mobile Video Advertising Units” takes a look at over 300 interactive video campaigns, examines the results of 20 outliers and identifies trends. Here is a quick look at the foundational suggestions researchers have made:

  1. Entice and Intrigue by giving a taste of your brand and encouraging interaction to get more.
  2. Bring Them In with visual appeal that aligns design, technology, and medium instead of encouraging “tap-out”.
  3. Symphony Not Noise means the ad should sing and flow like a story, simple to follow and consistent.
  4. Make Them Feel _______ enhance the emotional connections already present with mobile devices.
  5. Catch the Moment reminds marketers that mobile is a first-screen experience for most users so plan for it.

The overall message is that video and mobile devices blend in a far more interactive way than television ads ever could. This potential has not been fully explored and savvy marketers are already looking for ways to create video that builds on these five suggestions and open up new frontiers.

For more information on video production, see

Recently, the YouMoz Blog had a post called Seven Videos To Kickstart Your Video Strategy. Their seven examples are grouped into three categories of intent: conversion, authority & social proof, and acquisition. It’s a good idea to look at your intent when making videos, because the purpose of a video may determine the best production formats for that clip.


Is the purpose of the video to motivate an immediate response, like clicking on a link or buying a product?

Explain exactly what the benefits are with a video showing a product’s attributes, or how to use it to accomplish a benefit.

Short product demos, answering common questions, can be hugely effective in convincing a viewer that this is the product they are looking for. A well-made video that clearly answers questions is like an expert salesman always on call.

Authority & Social Proof

Both authority and social proof are commonly needed for respect in our society. Videos that showcase a company profile, for instance, build authority for your company by providing the background information that show why you have experience and knowledge in an area.

Social proof, in the form of testimonials, are witnesses to the authority you are claiming. In both cases, a well-made video will communicate without distractions from your message.


The information you have gathered to present on your site or online are representative of your message. Videos that are helpful to your customers, interviews with experts on related subjects, and ads placed elsewhere to link back to your site all come under this category.

Much of the population prefers getting their information from a short, clear video. Take advantage of the fact and enhance your site with this form of communication, and watch what happens. It’s important that the words are easy to understand and that the quality of your videos be high so that your message is not hindered by distractions like awkward pauses, static, or camera angles.

For help with video production, visit

People today are bombarded with far more information than they can handle. Any message that catches their attention has to engage them long enough to get a message across, and for many folks, that means a video.

Video combines many levels of communication into one quick presentation. Eyes, ears, and emotional response integrate to send a message to the brain in more than words. This doesn’t mean that video is better than words alone, but it does mean that a message targeting a visceral response might be best presented in video form, but the type of video matters.

For instance, written content scrolling across the screen may have movement and music, but most people are not going to be reading it unless they are already engaged. Who reads the credits at the end of the movie? The people who know somebody who worked on the movie and are looking for their friend’s name.

That same content presented as a short film clip telling a story or a friendly  speaker explaining a process is far more effective because it will connect on more levels. In addition, there’s more for SEO purposes. Rich snippets, video search engines, and link building all add to the increased conversions seen when a good video element is added to a page.

Perhaps the biggest reason videos maximize marketing is that they work the way most of the population operates. We see, we hear, we move in our real world– so we respond to content that is visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

There’s a lot more on video marketing at

Firmology just came out with 3 Common Misconceptions About Online Video Marketing:

  1. it’s too expensive
  2. it won’t resonate with my target audience
  3. it won’t increase sales

That’s three statements said in quite a few business meetings, by any number of executives. How can so many people be making one of these mistakes about video marketing?

If you do the research, you can see the numbers showing how the addition of video to online marketing is making a difference. In March 2014, 187.8 million Americans watched 46.6 billion online content videos, while the number of video ad views totaled 28.7 billion, according to comScore.

It is possible that these three misconceptions just need to be researched to see if they hold true for your own business. If you know your customers, you should know what they’d be interested in, right? If you make a video that is easy to understand when someone tries to watch it (because it is about something they are interested in), it doesn’t need to be expensive, just well-made.

And if you have made videos that are easy to watch and understand, you will get viewers because those videos are about stuff they are interested in, right? The videos might even be shared because they are helpful or entertaining. That means they are resonating with your target audience.

The end result of helpful or entertaining videos will be increased sales because people are coming to your site and they stay to see what else you offer. That’s pretty good marketing, and that’s why video should be part of your internet marketing plans.

For more insight on internet video marketing and production, see



YouTube has announced that they’re going to audit views and crack down on view spam. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been marketing online with videos for any time.

As with any type of online marketing, it is very important that advertisers be able to trust the stats. It’s also important that other YouTube users be able to trust the metrics. If no one can trust the data, then the ultimate price to be paid is lower CTRs and lower advertising rates. That will cut into legitimate video marketing revenues.

But what constitutes a “legitimate” view on YouTube?

Here’s what’s not legitimate: Buying views.

We’ve seen it with paid advertising, with social media of all kinds, and now with video marketing. Eventually, some people are going to get the idea that they can buy short-term success which will translate into long-term profits. It rarely happens, but when it does, there is almost always a backlash and what is gained is quickly lost.

If you are considering buying YouTube views, don’t. You are much better building an audience slowly that will come to appreciate your videos and like and share them, maybe even comment on them.

Don’t get sucked into bad video marketing practices. Do it the right way.

Every now and then an idea comes along that seems hokie on the surface but actually turns into a big deal. Twitter comes to mind.

Flipagram promises to be to video as Twitter is to blogging. Call it microvideo production, but it could catch on.

The name makes you think instantly of Instagram. That’s understandable. It is integrated with Instagram. But it’s also integrated with Facebook and Twitter, which means that it could see a lot of users checking it out.

It’s actually a smartphone app – with downloads for iOS and Android.

The essence is Flipagram allows users to create short videos (15 to 30 seconds) using their own photos and music dubbed over them. One question that comes to mind is this, Can users use their own music? If so, then it could catch on with independent music artists, and the marketing value for small businesses will go up immediately, as well.

That’s not to say that you can’t use Flipagram for marketing if you are forced to use music from a pre-established library, but my guess is there will be commercial restrictions on copyrighted material.

I can’t wait to see how users put Flipagram to use and begin to share their videos across their social networks.

All Facebook says it won’t have the same marketing usability as Vine, but I do wonder. What do you think? Will Flipagram become useful to social media marketers?

Is your video marketing plan written out or does it consist mainly of you throwing paint against the wall?

This is not a question in a vacuum. It’s a question that deserves an answer. With all the video marketing options available to online marketers today, there’s no reason not to write out your plan and follow your plan as you implement it.

That doesn’t mean your plan won’t ever change. Businesses go through evolutions. That’s expected.

Think of it as like a business plan for your video production team. Your goal is to drive traffic and increase conversions through video distribution. Your plan should address, at a minimum, the following methods and strategies.

  • How often you will produce videos and what quality they will be (include your budget for production)
  • Where you will distribute your video
  • Will your videos be used on your own website?
  • How will you promote your videos?
  • What purpose will your videos serve for each marketing demographic you target?
  • How do your videos fit into your sales funnel cycle?

Video marketing is not a marketing strategy so much as it is a piece of your overall marketing portfolio. It should work together with other marketing efforts to drive traffic and engagement. If it isn’t doing that, it is likely ineffective.

You’ve got a great video marketing plan and have started working it to your advantage. Good for you. Does it include YouTube? It should, and to make the most of your YouTube video marketing, be sure to include these three easy-to-implement tactics.

  1. Enable video embedding – If you want your videos to get maximum exposure, you’ve got to allow embedding. I’ve seen a lot of businesses shoot themselves in the foot by disabling video embedding. Embedding allows bloggers and other business owners to showcase your videos on their websites, which gives you great exposure and opens you up to more potential customers.
  2. Keep your videos short – Few people want to watch an hour-long video, even on a topic that interests them. Keep your videos under three minutes, if possible. Shorter videos get more views, and they’re more likely to be embedded.
  3. Share your videos – Don’t just upload your video on YouTube and forget about them. Share them. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to give your videos maximum exposure all around. Yes, even Pinterest allows you to pin videos, so put it out there.

These three simple and easy-to-implement video marketing tactics will give you greater impact and exposure beyond the interface of YouTube.

When it comes to video marketing, there aren’t many hard and fast rules. But there is one rule that you should always keep in mind. Before I tell you what that is, here are five principles you should strive for in your video marketing efforts.

  1. Optimize your videos and video channels – Video optimization is all about ensuring that your videos are found by the very people you want to find them. Video optimization means giving your videos the right titles, tags, and descriptions.
  2. Quality doesn’t mean HD with SurroundSound – Make sure your videos have a basic level quality to them, but they don’t have to be professional Hollywood grade. They just have to hold your audience’s attention.
  3. Make your videos engaging – Engage your audience with videos that inform and entertain.
  4. Increase your content – You don’t need to start a new video channel every time you get a bright idea. You can add more video content to the channel you already have.
  5. Give your videos a branding element – Branded videos don’t necessarily mean you add your logo to the beginning and end of your videos. You can brand them with the content, but do brand them.

All of these are important principles for video marketing, but the most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Produce consistent high quality content that engages your audience and brands your company.

If you publish your videos to YouTube, you should tie those videos to your Google Analytics account. Doing so will allow you to track important metrics for your videos and see what’s working and what’s not with regard to your video marketing efforts.

To add YouTube to your Google Analytics account, all you have to do is go to YouTube and click on My Channel in your profile settings area (HINT: Click the down arrow in the upper right corner near your avatar). Next, click on one of your videos. Under the video title you’ll see a small box labeled “Channel settings.” Click on that button. Scroll down to where you see “Google Analytics account ID.” There should be a text box next to that label. Copy and paste your Google Analytics account ID into that box and click the blue Save button.

Adding your YouTube videos to your Google Analytics account allows you to see how many visitors, unique visitors, and page views each of your videos gets on a regular basis. If you perform any marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your YouTube videos, that will be a very important metric for you.

Video marketing is getting better all the time. YouTube and Google Analytics are two reasons why.

We’ve talked about Google+ Hangouts before, and we’ve talked about YouTube marketing too. But did you know you can integrate these two features to make them both more powerful?

Google+ Hangouts is like Skype. You can host a web conference with up to 10 people (with Skype, it’s 25). However, Google+ Hangouts has some additional features that Skype can’t touch.

For instance, you can share documents with the other webinar participants in real time for free. You can share your computer screen and use Google Drive to share your documents. You can also click the “ON-AIR” button once your Google+ Hangout is underway and record your Hangout live. Let’s see you do that with Skype!

But it doesn’t stop there. You can easily share your Google+ Hangout with all your friends on YouTube. That makes your webinar available to your YouTube channel’s followers and the billions of YouTube users who search for videos on a daily basis.

Once your web conference on Google+ Hangouts is shared on YouTube, you can then share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you are a member of.

Google+ Hangouts is a free feature that is a part of Google+. It’s a powerful business tool for video marketing.

Marketing your brand through YouTube is one of the most powerful media for marketing on the Internet, but what is the true value? Is it traffic? Rankings? Brand reputation?

The truth is, most of the benefit you get from marketing your videos through YouTube is with brand management, not traffic or rankings.

The Truth About YouTube Traffic

In the FAQ section of this lengthy blog post, the author gives an example of a YouTube video marketer who showed over 400,000 views on their YouTube videos in December 2012 but received only 19 referrals to their website as a result of those videos.

If that doesn’t shock you, it should.

The amount of traffic you can expect from your YouTube videos is relatively low. Why? Because people don’t go to YouTube to find videos that promote websites. They go there to find a video to watch for entertainment or informational purposes.

YouTube And Search Rankings

If you upload videos to YouTube hoping to increase your website’s search engine rankings, you’ll be disappointed. You could see a rise in your brand’s search rankings, but it will likely be your YouTube channel – especially if you upload a lot of videos and if you share them on your social media accounts or embed them on your website.

Video embeds from YouTube help YouTube’s rankings, not the site on which videos are embedded.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want more rankings for your brand name, YouTube could be a place for you to make that happen. Just know that you’ll be ranking your YouTube channel, not your website.

YouTube And Branding

Your best bet for using YouTube for marketing purposes is to upload videos that have a strong branding message to them. Try to make your videos informative and entertaining. If you can do both and still get your brand in front of your audience, then you’ll be golden. That’s what YouTube is all about.

YouTube has opened up One Channel to the entire world. So what is it?

In a word, One Channel is YouTube’s new design platform that allows you to make your YouTube channel more accessible to more people. The prime feature of One Channel is that it makes your YouTube channel easier to experience on any digital device. No matter what kind of screen your video viewers are using, they can experience your videos.

That includes desktop machines, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, or any type of device with a digital display.

Check out this example of a YouTube One Channel design.

YouTube Is More Accessible Than Ever Before

YouTube One Channel isn’t just for independent movie makers. It’s for anyone who has a YouTube channel and makes videos for an audience. That includes online marketers.

No matter what niche you serve, if you have your own YouTube channel, then you should switch to the new YouTube One Channel design. If you aren’t producing your own videos on YouTube but you’ve considered it, then you should definitely put your eye on this new product because this is the future of video marketing.

I’m proud to see video marketing improving, especially on YouTube. This is one area where technology just keeps improving. It’s good to see it.

We haven’t heard much from Yahoo! in recent months, but new CEO Marissa Mayer, who had lived at Google for a long time before moving to take over Yahoo!, has high hopes:

Mayer said that the biggest opportunities for Yahoo lie in “search, display, mobile and video,” and, in search, especially, Mayer still sees “a lot of headroom.” On top of that, Yahoo’s focus going forward will be to improve engagement, with the key being personalization.

The interesting thing about this is, I believe Yahoo! could actually pull it off. Acquisitions in these areas in the last few months gives Yahoo! at least a fighting chance. Two of those acquisitions include OnTheAir and Stamped.

Mobile And Video: Will They Save Yahoo!?

OnTheAir is a video app that allows users to set up their own webinar. If Yahoo! can capitalize on this technology, they could give Google a run for their money in competition with Google Hangouts.

Stamped is a mobile app, and I think this is where the real opportunity lies for Yahoo! Nobody dominates mobile search, but if Yahoo! can take Stamped and turn it into a competitive product or service, along with decent revenues, then they can establish a big foot in the door. All they need is a profitable service to give them enough financial clout to carry on with other endeavors – like video.

In order to compete well with Google Hangouts, Yahoo! will need to integrate its video live streaming with a video sharing component. Most likely, that will be Flickr, who already has a huge base of users in the photo sharing space.

It will be interesting to see if Yahoo! can build a search product that competes with Google. I’m rooting for them.

Google+ Hangouts just keeps getting better. Did you know you can livestream your hangouts over YouTube, and even on your own website?

It’s true. All you need is a computer, a Google+ account, and a webcam. Then you can plan, schedule, and broadcast your very own Hangout. You can use your Hangout for anything you want. Here are a few ways you can use Google+ Hangouts:

  • Hold a series of classes or workshops
  • Host a webinar
  • Answer customer service questions in realtime
  • Take care of customer service issues with multiple people having the same problem at the same time
  • Make an important announcement about your business
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Conduct private business meetings
  • Present awards, promotions or other honors across great distances

I’m sure you can think of other uses for Google+ Hangouts. The cool thing about Hangouts is that they are free. Instead of paying for meeting or webinar meetings, you can have them on Google+ for free. And you can livestream them over YouTube or your own website – again, for free.

Innovative online marketers are always trying something new and always testing the latest technology available to them. Google+ Hangouts is still new enough that you can be on the ground floor.

Video marketing is becoming more and more powerful, and competitive. It’s also one of the best ways to SEO your website. And I mean beyond building inbound links.

Here are 5 SE0 tactics to ensure you employ when conducting your ongoing video marketing:

  1. Submit to more than just YouTube – There are at least 50 video sharing websites online. You should upload every video to YouTube and at least 10 of the more popular video sites in addition to YouTube.
  2. Optimize your video titles – Make sure the title on each video you upload to the various sites mentioned above is unique. If you share one video to ten sites, then you should have ten unique titles. Each of them should use your primary keyword. Also, optimize your description and tags for each video on each site.
  3. Embed your video on your website and/or blog – Google is now indexing embedded videos on websites and sending traffic directly to those sites.
  4. Add a niche-related video section on your website – This will encourage other people in your niche to share their videos on your website. More content equals more SEO.
  5. Create a video sitemap – Sitemaps help search engines find pages to index. If you have a lot of videos on your website, then you should create a video sitemap.

Video optimization is one of the most important activities you can perform if you use videos in your marketing – and you should!

If you’re looking for a new opportunity in video marketing, YouTube has it. But this opportunity requires that you put an educational twist on your videos, not a self-promotional angle.

I hope you don’t see that as a bad thing.

The Internet has always been a place where people have gone to search for information. Therefore, informational-driven content typically does well. In times past, that has existed primarily in text-based content such as articles and blogs. But today, it is just as likely to be in the format of videos, infographics, or multimedia presentations.

Khan Academy is a YouTube channel that is education-focused. If you have a topic that is easily digested and perfect as an educational venue, and you believe you are the right person to deliver educational content on that topic, then here’s your opportunity.

Educational videos are very popular right now – on YouTube and elsewhere. So this opportunity comes at just the right time.

The YouTube opportunity – termed EDU Gurus – will only be open to 10 people, each of whom will receive $1,000 to allow them to purchase educational equipment. But you have to apply for the program. If you’re accepted, then you could be the next YouTube sensation. Here’s your opportunity, all of you who are interested in being video superstars.

It’s getting harder and harder to convert video viewers to customers. It could be because videos are a lot more popular online right now than they’ve ever been, but it’s also because there are so many ways to view videos. People aren’t necessarily watching them on your website. And not necessarily on YouTube either.

People watch videos on social networks and on their mobile phones and tablets too. They may be at home, at work, or standing in line at the movie theater. You have to grab their attention fast and close them.

Here are 4 ways to ensure you get closer to converting video viewers to customers the first time they watch your video:

  1. Keep it short – Few people have time to watch a ten minute video, especially if they feel like they will be sold to. Make it short and hold their interest.
  2. Entertain them – Be entertaining even as you inform. People will sit through two minutes of entertainment more than a 30-second infomercial that is nothing more than a conduit for information.
  3. Add calls to action – If you want people to respond, give them a call to action. Tell them what to do because it may not be obvious.
  4. Close them on the spot – Put your call to action in the video itself rather than having your viewer go to your website and fill out a form. If you can get the click right in the video, then you put your customer one step closer to the conversion. That means you are more likely to get the sale.

Video marketing is becoming more sophisticated every day. Leave nothing to chance.

I like this post at Constant Contact that shares ways you can make a video without it costing you money. One common misconception about video marketing is that it must cost a fortune. It doesn’t have to.

What typically costs the most in video marketinga is the production. It’s especially expensive if you use paid actors in your videos. But you don’t have to do that. You can often make great videos using your staff.

Constant Contact shared 6 ways to make no-cost or low-cost videos. I’m going to talk about 3 ways that are no-cost and super-powerful:

  1. Showcase your work – If you run a business where the product is some sort of creativity, or even if there is a final visible outcome such as fixing a car, then you can videotape that process. All you need is someone to control the video while you do your work.
  2. Interview an expert – One way to get the word out about yourself is to conduct an interview on video. Either have someone ask you questions as if you are the expert (because you are), or you can interview an expert on camera. Since you are the producer of the video, you get the credit and it’s powerful marketing.
  3. Make an announcement – Another way to make a great low-cost video is to announce a fundraiser or an event. If you pick a great charity to support and you hold a fundraiser for that event, you can announce it through video and drive traffic to your event. Plus, it’s great marketing.

In each of these cases, your staff can be the on-camera talent. That will save you a bundle in video production.