4 Tips on Better Video SEO

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Companies that use video enjoy 41% more web traffic than those that do not. The most efficient drivers of traffic to any given site are search engines. Even if you flunked out of Algebra II, it’s easy to do the math. If you want to find something, the first line of attack is usually Google, followed closely by asking your mom where you put that thing you need. A report by Brightcove found that video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. It fits into the equation: reaching higher up on Google’s rankings is fifty times more likely with a video than with a web page. And since increasing traffic is one of the primary ways to promote and monetize your video content online, ensuring that it can be found on search engines is pretty darn important.

Major Key

Search engine optimization doesn’t happen in a vacuum, unless that vacuum happens to be a web bot which crawls and indexes websites. You need to “feed” these bots good information and strong, relevant keywords in order for your video to rank well. If you’re looking for a pair of jeans, what do you search for? If it’s for price and fit, you might look up “high rise jeans under $100” or, if you’re into it, “mom jeans”. Because who doesn’t want pants that go up to your chest, am I right, Jan? If it’s for utility and you’re a fisherman in Northern Oregon (because nothing else explains why one needs that many pockets), you might search for “cargo pants fishing”. Keep this search methodology in mind when inputting title, description, and meta keywords for your video or landing page. What are some common keywords used in your industry? How do they rank? The relevancy of the metadata you input has a direct impact on rankings.

The Host

Using a dedicated platform is almost as key to this whole operation as which keywords you use. Using a platform such as YouTube to host and embed your videos is the equivalent of giving away your content (and the rights to your content) for free. You want to drive video searches to your own domain. You can do so by using a platform which will create video sitemaps for you. Sitemaps are text files containing relevant data about your video content, which is more “food” for our friends like Google bot. By hosting your content on a platform designed to suit the needs of your brand or organization, you control every aspect of what a user gets when searching for videos like yours. You can create a unique landing page for your video without the clutter of advertising that YouTube and other free video hosting platforms come with, so that users remain in your domain for longer without all the added noise.

The First 48

According to Stone Ward, the first 48 hours after your video goes live are critical (similarly to solving homicides or declaring missing persons but perhaps without the added drama). The same paper found that engagement metrics such as views, searches, and shares create search virility. Video increases time spent on pages: not only does it drive traffic to your page, it’s more likely to keep it there. Perhaps this is an indicator of the times—not so much that we have shorter attention spans and have lost our ability to appreciate words, but that we have made great strides in using video as a medium for storytelling. Whichever you choose to believe, it has been proven that video engages more viewers for longer. Longer visits via highly engaging video content increase conversion rates, which positively impact search engine analytics.

I, Robot

While feeding our search engine overlords is critical to search engine optimization, you have to remember that people are part of the equation, as well. You may have the top rank for a given search term, but if the second highest rank has a catchier title and description, you can still be left in the dust. Be honest: would you rather click on something called “male bonobo exhibits territorial behavior” or “funny monkey throws poop”? Human beings are the ones behind the screen, after all—and they are the ones sharing content on social media for others to interact with, share, and like. Bots can’t do that.

The Fundamental Guide to Internet Radio Software

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The options for an internet radio solution are vast and varied, but there are few that cater to all your needs, which are as unique as you. So whether you are a beginner or seasoned radio veteran, on a Mac or a PC, an up and coming SoundCloud DJ or the next Ira Glass, there is software out there for you.

Making the right choice of broadcasting software can make or break a station. Ensure you have weighed up the pros and cons of each application and how you will utilise the functionality offered before committing. Research by visiting the product sales pages, forums and review sites. Choosing the first free broadcaster you come across and expecting it to do everything can be a bad move which can waste your time, money and patience.

From basic to all inclusive, these are some of the best.

MIXXX

This is an advanced, open-source DJing software used by beginners and pros alike. It works with everything from Windows and Mac to Linux and UBUNTU (if you’re into that). It can be used to take live calls as you broadcast, as it is compatible with Skype. It comes with input multiple microphones for guests. It’s ideal if you have lots of tracks and shows because it comes with an advanced library management system, as well as a built-in ID3 tag editor to update track information like titles, artists, and albums. When broadcasting with MIXXX your track’s details are displayed to the viewer through the player. It is also a neat little solution for mixing as you can beat sync with up to 4 decks.

MIXXX also includes special audio mixing features (as implicated in the name) such as:

  • Time stretch and vinyl emulation
  • Beat looping
  • Powerful master sync
  • Hotcues
  • Beat rolls and censor
  • Intuitive pitchbend
  • Broad format support
  • EQ and crossfader control

The best part? It’s included free with a host of Primcast radio solutions.

Nicecast

Nicecast is an easy to use live broadcasting software that works quite well with Mac systems. It can hijack audio from most media players available for Mac OS X including iTunes. It will also extract artist and track information then send it to your SHOUTcast server. It can also play audio from an external source be it USB or Line-In. Use it with Skype to do live talks with guests, or take advantage of the variety of audio effects it offers to play around with your tracks. What makes Nicecast stand out are features like control for privacy (password protect your stream) and a server checker to ensure that your stream is available to everyone, globally. It has an easy 3 step setup: select source, play audio, and start your broadcast.

BUTT

BUTT, which stands for “Broadcast Using This Tool, is great for 2 reasons. 1: It’s one of the most simplest software to setup and use. 2: It’s a multi-operating system broadcaster, meaning it works with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, plus it’s free. BUTT works as a middleman, for example you can connect a microphone for your talk shows or use a media player like iTunes to play your music. Audio is encoded and pushed out to your station online. BUTT will broadcast any input source on your computer. Perfect if you have an external mixer or microphone. Butt cannot ‘hijack’ the audio stream of media player and broadcast the audio. It’s an ideal tool for beginners and experienced broadcasters that need something simple, so it’s definitely worth your time.

For beginners or those new to internet radio broadcasting – user friendly, can be up and running quickly for those who want to broadcast live without unnecessary complexities. BUTT is not the most aesthetically appealing—both in looks and in name—but has a simple user interface and is accessible.

Samcast

Samcast is one of the most popular and advanced pieces of broadcasting software. It is a professional radio DJ system that gives you the power and control to stream your unique live audio through SHOUTcast to listeners from all corners of the world. It offers simple broadcasting just like Winamp + DSP but also has powerful radio automation features. It is cloud radio that’s always online even if you aren’t. You can set high rotation playlist, schedule shows and handle external sources . Samcast also features statistic relays which records realtime listener information about your station. Its special features include:

  • Media management (easily manage multiple DJs)
  • Mixes (stream in multiple formats with external relays)
  • listener statistics
  • Free players and widgets for your website
  • Access to multiple mixing decks to control and synchronize your audio
  • Mix your show together with faders, EQ sliders, and improve your vocals with the FX voice feature to alter how you sound
  • Free trial

 

The Perfect Recipe for Viral Videos

 

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Truth be told, there is no single magic recipe for creating a viral video. But that doesn’t mean you should stop reading here—there are certain factors in place that make it much more likely for your content to gain popularity and be shared en-masse across platforms or, in other words, go viral. Video marries audio-visual content—the two best parts of digital media—into one likeable, shareable, tweetable package, which makes it the most likely to go viral. And with viral success comes publicity. Even the most unexpected or most average people (or animals, or things) can turn into viral stars overnight.

According to the Harvard Business Review, these are the two most powerful drivers of viral success:

Psychological response: how does the content make you feel? If it doesn’t evoke something in the viewer, regardless of that is, it’s not going to succeed. Funny videos obviously make viewers laugh. They spread joy. How else would you explain the popularity of videos like the “ain’t nobody got time for that” lady? Humorous video content is the most likely to go viral, with one Harris Poll survey finding that 55% of millennials and 40% of all survey respondents said laughter was the most important factor when sharing a viral video.

But there are clearly other emotions that viral videos can evoke which prompt viewers to like and share. Those can be sadness (“Most Shocking Second a Day”, in which we follow a young girl in London as if it were Syria), cuteness (otters holding hands, self-explanatory), or the “you have to see this” factor–which can mean something is just plain weird or crazy enough to spread like, well, crazy. Sad or shocking videos can garner just as many shares as funny ones, such as the unfortunate video of Arab men being kicked off a plane for speaking Arabic.

The point is to prompt an emotional response. Whether that’s positive or negative is up to you, but the more intense that emotional response is, the more likely your content is to be shared. Keep in mind, however, that the same study suggested that the complexities behind what people find funny enough to share are hard to quantify, as it obviously varies from person to person. It was implied that the most important ingredients in the viral recipe are quite simple: warmth (58%) and happiness (56%). Aww, right?

Social motivation was said to be the other most important aspect of video virality. Why would someone want to share your videos with others, giving you free advertising? What does it do for them? Unsurprisingly, this goes hand-in-hand with psychological response. Is your video content strong enough to make someone say, “this made me feel (emotion), and I want my social circles to see it and feel (emotion) too?” A survey by Unruly found that opinion-seeking was the strongest motivator for social sharing, followed by conversation starting. Social utility, self-expression, and shared passion were top contenders, as well.

As with anything, timing is an important factor to consider. This goes for the length of the video as well as the time of release. Engaging viewers in the first 30 seconds is crucial as attention spans are short and your audience has already significantly dropped off by then. Launch day and time also matters! Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to see most engagement as people are checking their emails and feeds in the morning before their day starts, as they commute to school or work or back home, and/or as they unwind after the day. Keep in mind that the shares generated in the first two days after a video is released dictates its overall volume of shares.

Once you’ve taken these basic steps of “planting” your viral seeds, just wait and watch for growth. As for brands and organizations, some promotional videos do make it as viral videos, but these are few and far between. This requires a great deal of social media marketing, pop culture intel, creativity, and a good deal of research into how and why people share videos. And we hope this article has been useful to you in your ventures!

Why You Need To Expand Video Beyond Facebook and YouTube

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It’s hard to believe, but it has only been just over a year since Facebook rolled out its Live feature to all its users. YouTube Live saw an earlier release as a beta platform in 2011, which eventually rolled out en-masse not to soon after. Obviously, on-demand video has been a long-standing feature on both platforms, and one used by countless businesses, brands, and organizations to share their video content. But these platforms, while innovative and perhaps most important to many—free, come with many pitfalls that can’t measure up to the video streaming powerhouses that so many organizations pay for.

Free only gets one so far when one considers the potential video advertising revenue from independent platforms compared to the ad revenue Facebook and YouTube monopolize on. Facebook doesn’t support monetization for the user at all, nor does it support security restrictions such as a paywall, simultaneous streams, digital rights management, or analytics. Live videos are limited to 90 minutes, there is zero technical support, and streams are not optimized for higher quality output or large screens, quality being the most important factor for 67% of viewers watching a live broadcast. Content on Facebook is also not indexable. Search engines like Google don’t ever find Facebook posts, including live and archived videos, which is a fatal drawback when it comes to SEO.

YouTube also has fatal flaws, but to a lesser degree. While it supports some level of security restrictions, analytics, and ad revenue, functionality is limited. Customization and branding is also limited. The revenue through AdWords is dismal unless one has millions of viewers or subscribers. Even popular broadcasters struggle to grow ad revenue, and even then, the uploader has zero control over which ads are displayed pre-roll. They can include spammy or offensive content, which reflects poorly on one’s brand. Embedding functionality is poor, there is no technical support, and users must give up distribution rights to their own content.

Clearly, relying on YouTube or Facebook alone to publish and distribute video content can reflect poorly on a brand’s image and, more pressingly, its bank account. Instead of remaining exclusive to platforms that take your hard work and do little in return—like in any bad relationship—you’re better off looking elsewhere. Consider how ad revenue works: user data which is generated from your content is used by ad buyers to pay for spots on your videos. With these platforms, data is collected by them via your video content and sold to buyers at little or no return to you. One can see how the video uploader ends up with light pockets and on the losing end.

Pockets aside, free platforms on which users lack control over ads and other content like spam, offensive content, and negative social engagement can seriously hurt a brand’s image, which can hurt business. Think of your videos as value content. Knowingly or unknowingly, you wouldn’t want to diminish the value of something by putting it into the wrong hands, which can set it down next to questionable content. On dedicated streaming platforms, ad content as well as everything in and around your video is in your hands. This includes design features that maintain brand equity.

6 Tips on Video Broadcasting from Your Phone

Back in the day, equipment for producing high quality video would have cost you a pretty penny. Equipment that weighed hundreds of pounds cost thousands of dollars. But it’s 2017, and you possess the power to produce and broadcast a feature film at the palm of your hands if you so wish—you can also just live stream your pet doing something cute and hope it goes viral. Mobile phone broadcasting isn’t new or necessarily even exciting news. Consider the news itself. Reporters using their phones live shutterstock_450162028on the scene to broadcast to an audience watching online is pretty common. Any internet-enabled, H.264 compatible mobile device with a camera can broadcast video, but some ways of doing it can produce a better end result than others.

Prep

Some phones (ahem, particularly mine) are notoriously bad in regards to battery life. Do you have enough juice? Did all those mirror selfies use up your storage space? Are all your dating apps running in the background and eating up CPU and otherwise slowing down your processor? These factors are imperative to ensuring that you have a smooth broadcast. Close open apps and charge up. Obviously, there are certain features you might want to consider first in the kind of mobile phone you choose to use for recording, like camera quality.

Rock steady, ready

There is a lot of equipment out there which can make your broadcast look professionally done. Tripods, and stabilizers, for example, will eliminate shakiness by keeping your device completely still as you shoot. You can, however, just try resting the phone in question on an even, stable surface such as a stack of books or a bookend. Basically, shooting in a library would be ideal for still shots, but if you have late fees on your library card from ten years ago, anything steady and level which can support your phone will do. The possibilities are endless, so be a real director and don’t be afraid to get creative with your shots. At the same time, if it’s within your budget, a few accessories might make sense if you’re not spending on big dough on big clunky cameras and hardware encoders.

Lighting

Another quality control aspect to watch out for is lighting. Assessing and correcting lighting on a mobile phone can be iffy, indoors and out. If possible, aim for natural light. Be aware of the lighting conditions where you plan to shoot, and position your subjects and yourself so that shadows aren’t getting in the way. Ideally, your phone’s camera should have a touch focus feature so that your lens automatically centers on what you choose.

Orientation

While we should be accepting of all orientations in other contexts, avoid vertical video at all costs. Not only can portrait orientation be inaccessible to some screens, it is just plain annoying to watch on the majority of social media platforms, where the sharing happens. Bottom line: just shoot in landscape mode. Oh, and don’t zoom—move closer to the subject to get a close-up. Utilizing your phone camera’s zoom feature sacrifices quality. It just looks bad.

Can you hear me now? Good

Unless you’re shooting in the style of The Artist and have a cute enough jack shepherd to excuse it, you shouldn’t generally expect people to stick around for a video with poor audio quality. But there’s a quick fix for that, even with a phone mic—get as up close and personal as you can with the apple of your phone camera’s eye. Sometimes this doesn’t account for disruptive background noises, such as wind or traffic. If your video stream is live, ensure that your location is free of ambient noise in excess. A more complete solution would be an external mic, which can easily be hooked up to any audio jack. Also consider whether your phone case effects the quality of your mic. In most cases, you’re likely better off without the extra baggage.

There’s an app for that

You don’t need to be an editing mogul to add professional-looking effects such as overlay banners, transitions, color correction, and more to your stream. There are a number of third-party apps available which offer easy-to-use editing features to add oomph to your video content. Just because you’re on a phone doesn’t mean you should limit yourself!

Regardless of whether you’re using an iPhone 7 or a classic Nokia (good luck with that), make sure your video content can hold its own. After all, content is king.

How to broadcast on a mobile device with Primcast and Wowza:

  1. Launch the Wowza GoCoder app on your iOS device. An instructional overlay image is displayed on top of the application after it launches.
  2. The overlay provides a brief description of each of the app’s buttons. To dismiss it, tap anywhere on the screen. To dismiss the overlay image permanently, tap the Xcharacter.
  3. Note: For devices that don’t have an LED flash for the rear-facing (iSight) camera, only the Switch camera button is available in the upper-left corner of the app. The camera button isn’t displayed on iPhone (3GS and later) devices, which have only a front-facing (FaceTime) camera. Specify the Wowza server information. Tap the Server button in the upper-right corner of the app to display the Server page.
  4. Tap Host, enter Server and Port information, and then tap Back.
  5. In Server, enter the Wowza server IP address or hostname. In Port, enter the port used for streaming. By default, a Wowza server binds to TCP port 1935 for all forms of streaming. Tap Application, enter Application and Stream Name information, and then tap Back.
  6. Tap Publisher Login, enter Publisher Name and Password information, and then tap Done
  7. Specify encoding settings for video and audio. Tap the Options button in the upper-right corner of the app to display the Options page.
  8. Video For video streams, do the following: Tap Stream, tap either Video + Audio or Video Only, and then tap Back.
  9. Tap Video Settings, specify the Frame Rate, Key Frame Interval (number of frames between key frames), and Transport protocol, and then tapBack.
  10. Tap Video Size, select a video size, and then tap Back.
  11. To apply a filter to the video output, select one of the following video filters at the bottom of the Options page: No Filter, B/W (black-and-white), Blur,B/W Blur. Then tap Done.
  12. Audio For audio-only streams, do the following: Tap Stream, tap Audio Only, and then tap Back.
  13. This setting removes any video that’s present from the encoded stream, meaning that only the audio portion is delivered to the Wowza server. If everything is configured correctly, you’ll see the following message displayed in the app: Audio-only To specify the transport protocol for the audio-only stream, tap Video Settings, tap either TCP or UDP, and then tap Done.
  14. Auto Restart To specify that the GoCoder app should start streaming to the Wowza server after the connection is lost and then re-established, slide the Auto Restart button to ON.
  15. Specify the encoded bitrate for the stream. Tap the bitrate button in the lower-left corner of the app to show the available bitrates.
  16. In the bitrate bar, select the highest bitrate value that you want to stream.
  17. To broadcast to the Wowza server, tap the Encode button.
  18. You’re done.

6 Reasons No One is Watching Your Videos

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  • Title, description, and keywords:
    • Don’t overlook the little things. A catchy title alone can generate new leads. As for your video description, hook them in the first 160 characters. Keep it relatively short and sweet. Consider a copywriter, or at least do your research into writing a relevant, memorable description that draws viewers into your video. Look into video content within the same category, and see which ones have the most views and\or engagement. Alternatively, using a platform with analytics, find out which of your own videos had the most engagement and construct a similar, if not better, model.
  • SEO Ranking
    • SEO is about helping people find your video. You don’t want to look like Boo Boo the Fool, waiting for people to watch your video when it can’t be found. It’s all about SEO optimization. Basically, search engines use your keywords to index your videos. If people are not searching for the keywords you use to list your video and nobody can find it, nobody is going to watch it. This is almost so obvious that it’s too obvious—being entirely absorbed in perfecting the content, although important, and leaving much to be desired in terms of video optimization can leave you hearing crickets when it comes to actually receiving the views you desire. The goal should be to boost the page higher up search engine rankings by using the right keywords that will direct traffic to your site.
  • Ambiguous content
    • People want to know what they are in for, just like me at the beginning of any relationship, although I hold myself back from asking, “what are we?” Don’t leave any ambiguity as to what your video is about. This goes hand-in-hand with titles and descriptions. If your videos are mostly on-demand, put some thought into what the thumbnail says about the video, as well. You wouldn’t commit to someone before knowing what you’re in for, right? Right?! Focus on creating what Jim Toben, president of Ignite Social Media, calls “trust content”, or video as a method of brands having face-to-face time with their audience. This allows viewers to connect to your content in a personal way.
  • Low engagement
    • Ask yourself: what am I offering my viewers? What does my video content do for them when they could be watching literally anything else? Give them a reason to engage with your content in a way that feels fulfilling and not like a waste of their precious time.WHY should they watch it? It is up to you to give them a reason. Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Consider this your competition.
    • Along with trust content, your video must be value content. Though your instincts may tell you otherwise, let viewers know what they are in for right off the bat. Video engagement doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Who really knows what happens in a vacuum? Well, vacuum manufacturers, I guess. All I know is that if my dog is terrified of it, I don’t want to be involved. But I digress.
  • Little to no promotion
    • How many well-known brands do you know which do not have a social media presence? The majority of successful campaigns have some form of promotion on social media. This is the best way to catch the attention of your existing audience–it’s good and free exposure. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, share the landing page, share, share, share. Embed your video, embed your landing page, you can even try to embed yourself wherever possible. Sometimes—and I stress the word sometimes—paid promotion pays off. That is, if you have the budget for it and if you think this can contribute to your success.
  • Timing and audience retention
    • According to a study by Microsoft, the average person has an attention span of eight seconds, falling just short of that of a goldfish. For video content specifically, the first fifteen seconds are perhaps the most important to capture your audience. Despite this sad revelation, average viewership actually drops off at 60 seconds or so. This is truer for longer videos—if a viewer knows they are about to (or expected to) watch a significant amount of content, they are more likely to drop off. With shorter videos, viewers will stick around for longer. Excluding seminars or conferences in which people know what they are signing up for, keep it short.