Google now tells webmasters that the key to improve your rankings in search results, you need to create high quality sites with equally quality content.
There have been some great articles sharing from tactics to raise the value of your content to content creation ideas for businesses. Yet there is one content tactic that is less talked about, but arguably the most important to add to your digital marketing strategy: video.
You can’t argue the value of video these days when 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute. Most importantly, research has shown that video is 53x more likely to show up on Google search.
However, brands are still missing the mark when it comes to creating engaging and shareable video assets.
Pixability, a YouTube-certified marketing and advertising company, recently conducted a YouTube video study. Of the Top 100 brands from Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Brands, Pixability discovered that more than 50 percent of 200,000 business videos across 1,270 YouTube channels had fewer than 1,000 views. The study also mentions brands shell out an aggregate production value of more than $4.3 billion.
So what gives? Consider this:
This is what the internet is all about, people. A killer song, a stupid meme, a nostalgic throwback to 2001 and, most importantly, bites of dumb hilarity that come in 30-second bursts.
- Huffington Post on the Harlem Shake, Feb. 2013
There is a clear disconnect between the kind of content brands create versus what users actually consume on the web. So what do brands have to do to connect with consumers more deeply in the participation age? You’ve guessed it folks; interactive video content.
The good news is brands don’t need to drop big research and production spend to do video well! Google Hangouts on Air can take care of all of that for you.
What is Google Hangouts on Air?
Hangouts on Air (HOA) allows you to connect with up to 10 people on a live broadcast to an unlimited audience. Once your HOA is finished, it automatically becomes a draft in your YouTube account where you can then edit it before publishing and sharing. You can share the URL or embed code anywhere and extend your audience after the Hangout.
How can businesses make use of Hangouts? Because HOA bring companies face-to-face with their customers, there are many ways it can be utilized to generate unique video content for a brand’s YouTube channel and website.
Some examples include:
- Customer service sessions: Troubleshooting problems for your customer has become easier than ever with Google adding the screensharing feature. It’s also a nice change to talk face-to-face with a real person.
- Q&As: Q&As can provide greater customer satisfaction in addition to building rapport and trust. Experts can also be invited to attend and answer questions your customers might have about your products or services.
- Product launches and demonstrations: You can receive immediate feedback and glean valuable insight when a new product is being revealed. Pro tip: do a test run before going live to make sure the demonstration runs smoothly
- Giveaways and contests: You can take interactivity on HOA to another level by creating online contests in the same vein as Tea Silvestre, the host of the online reality show Prosperity’s Kitchen.
- Talent shows: The “talent show hangout” is quite popular on Google+ and presents another great way to build strong ties in your community. Get different sponsors on board to have a variety of prizes.
Not only could HOA be used to generate content ideas from your fans, you can also use the same content generation process internally with creative talents and industry collaborators:
- Meetings: Another variant to company webinars, if you have a team at different locations, it’s an interactive way to collaborate, share ideas and documents and strike up some interesting discussion.
- Trainings: HOA can be used as a powerful tool for education. Because it’s easy and free to use, online educational videos with Google Hangouts can be engaging and interactive.
- Interviews: Inviting an expert to Hangout can be a great way to conduct thought leadership interviews. The ability to host a panel of discussion with up to nine different experts is also a plus.
How Cadbury Sweetened Video Marketing with HOA
Cadbury set specific goals to engage with the 18- to 25-year-old audience using varying approaches. From providing exclusive content on Google+ to hosting Hangouts the live experience kept fans returning for more. They’ve hosted Hangouts with chocolate taste testers and even a live chat session with Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington. The results were tremendous.
- 17 percent uplift in click-through rate (CTR) across all their AdWords campaigns
- 10,000 new Google+ followers per day
- An increase of 7.5% of traffic from Google URLs
Tips for Making SEO-Friendly Video
What good are great stories from our fans, creative talents and industry collaborators if nobody can find them? Ronnie Bincer, the quintessential Hangout Helper has great resources to help set up and optimize your videos.
Nine key best practices to keep in mind:
- Do your keyword research
- Weave these keywords into the conversation
- Make sure the keywords are in your title
- Make sure appear in your description text
- Use tags and say them in the video
- Create a transcript of the video
- Get people to share the video
- Add the video to a playlist in your channel
- Add annotations
The benefit for marketers is obvious as once the Hangout on Air is published online, it becomes a video content resource that remains searchable on YouTube. To create the most effective video marketing programs, keep a consistent branding and make sure your video is well integrated with your web content. But most of all have fun and don’t be nervous or afraid to fail, constantly test your formats and deliver better conversions!
Estelle Ngo of iProspect contributed to this post.