Archive for ‘Case Studies’

July 28th, 2014

Four Reasons to Start Content Marketing

by Joe Fleischmann

Tried and Tested Advice from Four Content Marketing Leaders

“Content Marketing Matters.”  Michal Tsur, Kaltura’s President and CMO said this in her introduction to the Panel Discussion about Content Marketing at Kaltura Connect 2014.  A niche of marketing once overlooked by the masses, content marketing has gradually become a part of many organizations’ marketing mixes.  Still there are organizations everywhere struggling for reason to allocate budget, staff, and time into incorporating it into their own mix.  The reality is, content marketing is something every organization in this decade must start practicing if they want to stay relevant in their user’s eyes—and it’s easier to start than you might think.

1: Content Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty 

All too often, organizations undervalue and neglect to address their customers as what they really are—people.  Scott Salik, VP of Video at Visalus—a direct selling company, illustrates how he was able to connect with his customer base.

My goal is to drive an emotional response so that people will connect with the product.  So that they feel they will have success with weight loss, or so that they feel they will have success in business. 

With this in mind, Scott and his team created a campaign to challenge his customers in achieving their weight loss goals.  If their customers could lose the first ten pounds, they would be more likely to reach their end goal.  With that in mind, Visalus launched Project 10 where customers would submit two videos—an “I want it” and an “I lost it” video showing their results.  Then, every week Visalus would select 10 people who submitted both videos to win $10,000.

 After four months, they’ve received over 100,000 clips, and noticed a 670% increase in the long term value of a customer who submitted both clips.  As Scott says, “Often they become promoters for us and help sell our product because they are true advocates for the success of our product.”

With just a bit of research and a simple internal campaign Visalus was able to increase their overall value, engage their customers, and generate hundreds of hours of user generated content they can freely use however they want.

2: Content Marketing Creates Brand Awareness  

Typically an organization creates brand awareness through advertising.  While it works, potential consumers can sometimes get frustrated and it is almost always an expensive endeavor.  Cornell University has launched a website dedicated to telling its stories called CornellCast.  As Carrie Sanzone, Web Product Manager at Cornell says:

It’s about getting that word of mouth, getting people talking about Cornell.

Carrie illustrates this with an example about 3D printing during her presentation.  Cornell can invest little into producing a story in-house and by keeping it on a central location (CornellCast), media outlets can report on it and increase the videos reach greatly.

“We’re not trying to get people to come necessarily to CornellCast.  But, we want to be where you are.  We’re trying to find the intersection of what people’s questions and problems [are], and where that intersects with our talent and expertise.”  With this methodology, spending what they typically would on advertising, they can create great content that appears to their potential students when they want to see it allowing Cornell to naturally become a part of the conversation.

3: Content Marketing Can be Measured

A struggle organizations often have in beginning content marketing is their belief that it can be difficult to see a clear return on investment.  In reality, too many organizations are focused on the wrong metrics.  Raymond Attipa, CEO of Shandy Media, a Compulsive Digital Media Company, has his own ideas of what make for quality metrics—and it’s not the number of clicks or views a video has.  For Raymond, it’s about how engaged viewers are with his content.

We have videos which are extremely successful because they have an extremely high engagement rate, an extremely high share rate and that’s really what our advertisers are looking for.  

Depending on what your goal is, in the case of Shandy Media—advertisement revenue, if you set the right goals, you can find methods to track it.  Things like duration of video watching and which countries and devices viewers are coming from, can go a long way in deciding which content to produce and promote, and where.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you only ever want at most 2-3 things for the viewer to take away—the basic marketing principles still apply when you want a viewer to act on a call to action.

4: Content Marketing Should be Applied to a B2B Space

Typically, content marketing is only referenced when talking about companies selling directly to a consumer.  The reality is that through refocusing and offering something else, it’s possible to use content marketing to effectively reach businesses.  Linda Crowe, Director of Content Marketing Programs at Oracle faces this challenge head on.  What she’s discovered is that that nature of who Oracle is selling to is changing and it’s not just those in technical positions making purchases.

Audiences don’t want to hear Speeds & Feeds

Like the first point we addressed, you’re always marketing to people.  People are who make up the businesses and it’s crucial to realize that.  Linda says it best: “They don’t want to hear about the technical attributes of our product, initially.  What they want to hear is, what are the business solutions and how are Oracle customers really approaching solving a business problem.”  What Linda is doing is starting this engaged conversation where Oracle can demonstrate solution oriented content in a manner that makes sense to those in a buying position.

If one of these four reasons isn’t enough to at least get you questioning why your organization doesn’t actively apply content marketing into your mix please let us know in the comments!  We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Also, be sure to watch the full panel discussion online—it’s full of amazing insights into the world of content marketing.   

June 27th, 2014

Test Driven Learning Begets Test Driven Development

by Michael 'Flip' McFadden

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Like most developers, I was approached by my management to “Make Something Work” without having any prior experience.  The job was to connect our Plone/Zope content management system to Kaltura, so web content editors could seamlessly upload and edit video content and metadata that is managed by the KMC.  It wasn’t hard to find the Kaltura Python API Client Library, but once you have the Client Library, you have to learn how to use it – and at the same time, learn the features that the KMC provides (see:
Kaltura Management Console Training Track).

I can read through the many docs from cover to cover (I usually don’t) and still have the uncomfortable, lost feeling of having no clue what’s going on. And then there’s always the pressure of overcoming the learning curve in a reasonable amount of time.
So I begin by writing “Playground Code”. A directory that will be filled with useless, proof-of-concept code that helps me get the hang of a language, an API, or a new concept. This code will never be used in production, which gives me the permission to write really bad code while I climb up the learning curve.
Being able to become unattached to code, throw it all away and start over, was an important step for me. You learn the ‘right way’ to do things by doing them the ‘wrong way’ first. It also helped me figure out where exactly I should be reading in the docs to get done what needs to be done.

In the past few years, I’ve been working a lot with the concept of Test-Driven-Development. In TDD you write very small, encapsulated tests before you actually code the functionality or patch you are implementing. You are, in fact, intentionally writing failing test cases. I found this method very useful for isolating and fixing bugs, but not so much for new large projects or new enhancement development. The requirement that the tests should be atomic and very specific does not lend itself to complicated projects with many moving parts. Until now.

When I found myself having to learn the Kaltura Python Client Library – having no prior experience, I found the concept of “Playground Code” and Test Driven Development coming together. I simply took my proof of concept, put together some code and threw an assert() statement at the end, and viola – it’s now a test case!

“How do I connect to a Kaltura Server with the Python API”

The answer was “testConnect()” - that was easily incorporated into a test suite using python’s excellent testing framework ‘unittest‘ (Then, assert that something like client.media.list() returns something that looks like a response. Or, at the very least, not an exception).
Viola: test_media.py

I developed the trivial, but important test case at the same time I learned how to connect to the Kaltura server! My code doesn’t have to be thrown away, nor does it have to be perfect. However, it can now serve the purpose of being a proof of concept, a unittest, and a code example for the next developer all at the same time.

When I got confused with something, I could easily take my entire test case, which was an atomic, very specific exercise/problem, and post it to the forums as is – and quickly get a direct answer on what was confusing me – instead of submitting a link to my entire application with the “xxxx not working” title, which would have made it harder for others to review and help.

And then it got even better. The proof of concept code grew as I learned more about the API. A large tests module started forming. I started coming finding small bugs in the Kaltura Python Client Library, nothing critical, but important to my application – And I was able to patch, test and contribute my code upstream to the Kaltura project.

Through my humble experience (from complete newbie state) with Kaltura’s API and Python Client Library, I was able to submit and contribute a more polished and complete Python Test suite for the Kaltura API Client Library!

@flipmcf

Want to join the Kaltura project and become an active contributor? Start Here.

March 5th, 2014

The Kaltura European Executive Forum: The Philips Innovation Brand

by Zohar Babin

bafta-kalturaOn Feb, 12th we hosted our first European Kaltura Executive Forum at the prestigious BAFTA venue in London.  Customers, prospects and partners attended in response to the success of Connect in New York and the subsequent request for local peer to peer networking events.

As the first of many to follow in different cities and countries, the evening made the audience the core focus.  After a brief welcome and introduction by Russ Zack, VP & GM Europe and Michal Tsur, CMO, President and Co-founder, Paul Osgood from Philips took the floor.

Paul is the Internal Communications Manager for Philips headquartered in Amsterdam.  From his first word he captivated everyone with his exuberance as he took us through short films created by employees and agencies demonstrating how video has taken internal social collaboration to the next level.  Most compelling were the video stories that employees shared with fellow colleagues spread across the globe and how Philips has made a difference to their lives and those of family and friends.

Everyone in the room had myriad questions which stimulated a distinct rethink about how the first audience for any communication is the personnel.  The remit was simple apparently, based on one single question:

Tell us how Philips delivers innovation that matters to you.

Within a few short weeks people had jumped on board and were posting their short films.  No storyboards, no scripts.  Yet here we saw firsthand how passionate and creative staff were with no formal video production skills.   Interaction was encouraged and engagement measured through views, likes and comments.  By sharing their stories the company celebrated a wave of digital camaraderie never achieved through other means of communication.

The buzz continued as Philips relaunched it’s brand purely to the global employees outside of office buildings with countdowns reminiscent of any New Years Eve midnight strike.  This time they used an agency to create a brand video mixing many of the exciting videos created by their employees (watch: Philips Innovation and You Brand Video) and launching with an dazzling video presentation on the facade of their office buildings generating a new interactive viewing experience for employees out on the streets to enjoy.  The fact that passers by and the rest of the world were welcome to join in the fun without any invitation once again showed how committed Philips is to making every individual a part of the collective, removing international and physical barriers to personnel interaction and integration.  Everyone outside of the Philips collective was quite frankly secondary to this huge rebranding campaign.

They seemed to have cracked the secret code of innovative communication and engagement using video.  There was no doubt that it was working - the results spoke for themselves and continue to do so.

At this point in the evening there was a definite buzz of excitement as we all had lightbulb moments (yes I know Philips makes lightbulbs so pardon the pun).  Further, I had the feeling that everyone in the room was actually understanding what the Philips global team already understands:  how video adds value as a social business collaboration tool.

It seemed that this new compelling insight was creating a new kind of warmth and light and what does one need when inspired and the imagination is peaked?  Cocktails and canapes of course.  In the relaxed and cosy surroundings of the venue, attendees mingled with Kalturians and each other, sharing their own stories and networking.

Paul continued to be bombarded with questions on into the late hours and his enthusiasm and wonderment at how Philips now collaborates was very contagious.  From seeing the original internal communications task at hand as a major challenge he considers himself to be a complete digital convert, embracing video.  As people started to head home and said their good-byes, they left stating that they could see the true internal business need to embrace and connect within their own organisations.  Only now they left with lots of new ideas and connections to reach out to and collaborate with.

Kaltura video case study here:  http://corp.kaltura.com/content/inspiring-creativity-philips

November 7th, 2013

How Transcripts and Captions Augment Video SEO Strategies

by Shannon K. Murphy

This is a guest blog post written by Shannon K. MurphyShannon is the Content Marketing Manager for 3Play Media, an online video captioning and transcription service located in Cambridge, MA. Prior to 3Play Media, Shannon worked as a Marketing Consultant at HubSpot and Dow Jones Local Media. Shannon has been passionate about SEO, inbound marketing and content creation since 2008.

 

3Play-Media-logoVideo is the gateway to a conversation with your next customer. This brilliant content medium appeals to internet audiences because it utilizes both auditory and visual senses, translating into higher engagement and a quicker recall. According to Forbes, 50 percent of executives look for more information after seeing a product or service in a video.  The growing popularity of animated “explainer videos” exemplify how audiences desire dynamic videos paired with easy-to-remember text and facts. While video messages are becoming more refined, this is only one aspect of video marketing. How to get these videos discovered? Again, a powerhouse combination of text and video. Transcripts vastly improve the chance of discoverability and lift your video SEO strategy.

 

Why Video Transcripts Boost SEO

It’s no secret that search engines love video. Depending on the keywords entered into a search query, Google may automatically produce video search results. For example, the words “how to” will often generate search results with videos demonstrations. Google rewards video content in blended results because video is often more time consuming to produce, post, and curate.

While Google attempts to select the most appropriate media format for our searches, video search technology is still lacking. This is where words still have their place. Because the success of SEO hinges on keywords and text queries, video transcripts add valuable spoken content to your site, furthering your site’s presence with search engines.

Because search bots cannot “watch” a video, they rely on limited text information like video tags and meta-descriptions to understand the content and context of videos. As described in the video below, publishing a video on your site with only a heading and short summary paragraph is akin to a newspaper article missing the most important part—the story! A transcript allows search engines to understand video on a deeper level and index it appropriately.

 

More Ways Video Transcripts Amplify SEO

Keyword Strategy/Keyword Density: Video SEO best practices call for one video per page, each with a unique title, header and tags. Transcripts can aid in discovering the most desirable and relevant keyword phrasings, but also add to overall keyword density. Unlike “keyword stuffing,” placing a transcript on your video landing page is a way to integrate a keyword phrase into a site, naturally.

Content Marketing: In 2012, more than 90 percent of marketers utilized video for content marketing. Video transcripts assist in the development of additional content pieces. After a video is transcribed, that text file can be used to create blog articles, whitepapers, slide share presentations, and support documentation.

Mobile Consumption:  Captioned video is accessible anywhere and everywhere. Video is expected to make up two-thirds of mobile consumption by 2017.

 

Additional Benefits of Online Video Captions and Transcripts

Video captions and transcripts provide the flexibility necessary when audiences need to consume video content in public places like the gym, cafe or subway.

UX: Video conveys information faster than almost any other medium. Even then, we can sometimes feel video is lagging behind our own pace. A 3 minute video can feel like 15 minutes when paired with a slow-paced narrator. If users can’t find an effective away to accelerate the pace or find the desired content another way, they will click away. The 3Play Media interactive transcript gives audiences back control. Users can scan search the spoken content of a video for keywords and then click through to any moment where that word was uttered. This feature can speed up the research and evaluation of products and services.

Global Branding: International websites are the first company ambassadors for potential customers oversees. Greet site visitors in their native language. Translating English transcripts and adding multilingual subtitles to Kaltura videos is an effective way to communicate globally. Furthermore, translation will enhance foreign language keyword tactics, augmenting site presence on search engines abroad.

Video SEO is a practice focused on delivering your video content to a well-targeted audience. Video transcripts assist in this process by adding to a site’s keyword relevance and perceived authority.  Broaden the reach of a site by utilizing transcripts for video SEO as well as mobile, UX and global marketing strategies.

October 21st, 2013

5 Tips to Increase Student Engagement With Video

by Laura Djian

Blackboard_logo

Article by Katie Drossos, reposted from the Blackboard blog

All faculty, whether they admit it or not, are faced with the challenge of keeping students locked into and focused on the lesson at hand.  There’s nothing unique about this challenge – a study by Ralph Burns found that the impact of a lecture is greatest in its first five minutes—after that, learners’ attention wanes and the effectiveness of the lecture drops. You have probably sat through lectures yourself where, despite your best intentions, you became disengaged mid-way through.

This reality begs the question: How can you combat student disengagement with your classroom material?  Take a look at the five tips below, based on how Vrije Universiteit (VU) tackled this challenge with video.

 

  • Give Students Control. One way to increase student engagement is to have students influence what (and how) they learn. Rob Van Leeuwen, Educational Technologist at VU, offers, “We have a group of professors that are planning to use Kaltura, an open source online video platform that allows faculty and students to easily create, edit and upload videos, to have students assist with the creation of curriculum and become producers of class materials.  In essence, the students will be in control of determining how they learn best.”

 

  • Make it easy for faculty and students. Find a solution that will allow students and faculty to post videos with as few   clicks as possible, and allows them to be viewed from any device in any location once uploaded.

 

  • Train Your Users. Implementing new technology doesn’t mean anything unless faculty and students use the solution.  At VU, the university’s library used an online video to demonstrate how to use the platform.  They also added a FAQ page and allowed faculty to add their own questions.

 

  • Look at the Analytics. To get the most out of your video solution, monitor usage on campus.  This will allow you to highlight the power-users whom you can then tap as “video evangelists” or ask them to train other faculty.  VU staff use the administrative tools within their solution to gain visibility into what is happening down to a granular level.

 

  • Integrate your video solution with your LMS. Meet students where they are every day – in Blackboard Learn –  and make it easier for them to access the myriad of solutions available to them without having to remember all the various URLs, usernames, and passwords.  By choosing a solution that integrates seamlessly with your LMS, you can open up a new set of engaging teaching possibilities from integration of lecture capture and video materials to enabling video assignments and sharing of student-and faculty-contributed video content.

 

Want more tips?  Read about how VU faculty started using more video in the classroom.

Hear more about VU’s experience using video as a more intuitive way to teach students. Join us for a live webinar on October 24th to hear firsthand from Rob Van Leeuwen about online video projects that have been deployed at VU.

 

September 9th, 2013

Delivering Short Video News Using Kaltura and Facebook – How NewsBeat Social reached a Million Streams in 9 Months

by Iddo Shai



0_qlirwxywThe much beaten print media world was shaken once again last month when Jeff Bezos, the innovative Amazon CEO, announced that he was buying the Washington Post. For 136 years The Post has been synonymous with quality news reporting and that has not changed in the last decade. What did change is the number of people who actually flip through The Post every day. In 2002 the paid weekday circulation averaged 768,000 copies, according to regulatory filings. By last year it dropped 37% to an average of just under 481,000.

Where do these eyeballs get their news? Online, of course. Last January, while the executives of The Post have been struggling to maintain their bureaus around the world – Stanley Fields, NewsBeat Social Founder, and his partners walked into an empty production space in Portland, Oregon and founded an international news organization – NewsBeat Social. While The Post fought to keep its nationwide distribution operation, the folks of NewsBeat Social got a green screen, a few broadcast quality cameras, some computers, an Internet connection and a Facebook account. That was all it took to reach more than a billion potential viewers.

In the course of 8 months, NewsBeat Social went from zero to more than 200,000 likes. “Our growth has primarily been organic – we do not force anyone to “like” NewsBeat Social on Facebook. Our fans continue to watch our news, time and time again, from our shared belief in providing premium quality video news. Just this month we streamed over a million news videos to viewers all over the world”, says Tyler Peterson, Director of Operations.

The content model of NewsBeat Social is all about mass production of “snackable news videos”. The videos always add context to a story and open with a single anchor, which is followed by footage and sound bites delivered by reporters and news agencies, based all over the world. Once edited, the video is uploaded to Kaltura and streamed via Facebook to audiences that can view it directly on their news feed and mobile devices.

“Social media and mobile viewers prefer shorter, minute-long video rather than longer form content. People don’t have the attention span for more than that. After 1-minute, viewers start to drop off, no matter how good the content is”, says Fields. By now, this assumption is backed by real numbers provided by Kaltura’s analytics: in the US, 75% of viewers watch the video all the way through. The ad completion rate is over 90% across the globe.

“If you are looking at the online video space – 91% of the online video publishers out there are awful. We are playing in the top 2% that offers premium quality production and an elegant user experience”, says Fields.


newsbeat imageBy using Kaltura, NewsBeat Social is able to monetize its content without sharing it with a 3rd party video provider, such as YouTube. The Kaltura player is used to deliver a single 15 second pre-roll prior to every video. Today, the ads are delivered via Adapt.tv (which was acquired for $405 million in the week that The Post was sold for $250 million). However, due to a demand for audience guarantees and very high performance standards, NewsBeat Social is now focused on direct sales as well. “We also had conversations with top advertising agencies and two Fortune 10 brands who are unable to find our quality of targeted ad placement anywhere on the web.  As such, they are planning to do some major campaigns with us in the coming months”, says Brewster Crosby, the New Beat Soocial CFO.


By focusing on Facebook distribution, Newsbeat Social is able to reach a global audience. “Facebook provides the ability to engage our viewers directly”, says Fields, “through a single news video, our viewers are able to talk to one another. Where else can a soccer mom from Oklahoma have a conversation with an Egyptian on the streets of Cairo about the Egyptian revolution?”

The future of NewsBeat Social is, well, social. “NBS has plans to implement its news in a variety of other platforms, such as, Twitter and Linkedin. We’ve also listened to our fans and have begun building out NewsBeatSocial.com”, says Peterson, “we want to be the de facto social video news network that people come to rely on to get their balanced news from all over the world. That will require reporters and bureaus in multiple countries throughout the globe – we’re just getting started…”


If you want to check out some of NewsBeats Social’s videos – “like” their Facebook page here.

 

Article also published on FourthSource.

August 6th, 2013

Content Creation Best Practices

by Asef.Ahmed

videobiologo

If you are an enterprise chances are that you are or have thought about using video to enhance your organization’s activities.  There are already a variety of established use cases- from internal communications, knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and employee engagement all the way to marketing, profiling employees and user generated content. But now that you can use your video across your enterprise-how do you produce high-quality content cheaply and quickly?

This is where content creation companies such as videoBIO come into play. videoBIO assists companies with content creation through their cloud-based “Do it Yourself” content generation tools and a variety of globally available services such as video capture, editing, and full production. What content creation companies are really addressing is the larger topic of “employees as content”- companies featuring their employees as the spokesperson for the brand “you are your brand”.

Join Kaltura and videoBIO on August 8th for a webinar that will show you how companies are achieving this and teach you how to simplify video content creation in the distributed enterprise. We will cover specific case studies that demonstrate how to:

 

  • Create a branded sales presentation in minutes
  • Engage your customer by generating user generated video contests, ideation and feedback surveys
  • Create video profiles and video bios for your national team without having to fly them to a studio
  • Deliver personalized professional video email messages while maintaining a company wide branded message
  • Deliver the latest information to your clients with a personalized video cover letter.
  • Encourage feedback, engagement and interaction from your customers with user generated video surveys and contests.
  • Maintain communication and interaction with your global team using video questionnaires and interview

This free and informative webinar will provide you with great tips for video screening and recruiting, branding, collaboration, communication, and much more. The date (Thursday August 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST) is approaching quickly so make sure you register today!

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June 19th, 2013

5 Industries that are Excelling via Instructional Video

by Asef.Ahmed

Screen shot 2013-06-19 at 12.00.36 PM“How to tie a tie” is the first thing that Google autosuggests once you type in the words “how to”. The first search result is a YouTube video that was watched over 14 million times. This is just one example of how video triumphs any other media. Texts or still images are just not enough when you need to pick up the complexity of the Windsor Knot.

These days, major media outlets and large enterprises produce highly professional (yet simple) instructional videos to improve customer engagement, increase views, improve SEO and in some cases comply with various authority requirements.

Before we go into specific examples, what are the benefits of instructional videos?

1.     Video is always available: Many consumers (myself included) typically throw instructions for various medicines or other products straight in to the trash as soon as they open the package only to regret it later. Having instructional videos online for your product allows the user to always have access to instructions to help them.

2.     Video meets special needs: Using online video will improve communications with customers who have difficulty reading for medical or other reasons.

3.     Video messaging connects better with customers:  Videos are more engaging. The use of instructional video has been shown to increase the probability that the consumer will follow instructions and reduces the risk of handling errors more than written instructions alone.

 

Industries Using Instructional Video

1. Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical providers are required by the EU and FDA in the U.S. to provide some training mechanism for patients and healthcare professionals to get market approval. As a result, pharmaceutical companies have been complimenting their instructions with videos that help ensure that patients and doctors have adequate knowledge to avoid misusing medication.

Watch Rune Bergendorf explain how NNIT uses instructional videos:

2. “Ready to Assemble” Companies

Companies such as IKEA have found that video greatly facilitates the challenge of assembling a product from its bare parts. IKEA’s product videos address the common criticism that their instructions are infuriatingly difficult to follow. Their videos’ charming animations, bright soundtracks, and helpful tips will alleviate your stress and exasperation (and will certainly leave you less inclined to smash the coffee table you are trying to build). Check out their video of how to assemble a “MALM Bed frame”.

3. Education

E-learning is a rapidly growing industry. Many universities have begun to use online video as a mechanism to enhance their students learning experience. Additionally, organizations such as Khan Academy provide a website filled with instructional videos that explain concepts and themes for various subjects. For those that are not familiar with the non-profit website that boasts over 4,200 lectures and 240 million lessons delivered, Khan Academy provides a virtual classroom experience with educational videos for student and teachers alike. Additionally, Khan Academy not only provides easy to follow videos but also further engages their users with creative gimmicks such as video lessons with Lebron James.

4. Engineering Software/Hardware

Higher tech products can be difficult to use. Many companies, including Texas Instruments, have begun to supplement their products with training tutorials. The Texas Instruments training videos are tailored towards professionals in the industry and provide an in depth technical examination of their products and how to use them.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

5. Golf

Yes, golf. If you search “best video instructions” on Google, you will find that the first 9 search results are golf related. Instructional golf videos are a means of attracting people to the sport (thus leading them to purchase golf gear) who normally would not play because of the prohibitively high cost of golf lessons.What is really great about these videos is that they whittle down what could be an hour long golf lesson into a series of short videos. Now you can learn how to add more yards to your drive in under two minutes.

For more information on instructional videos, check out the Kaltura Video Summit 2013 presentations, including a presentation by NNIT on their use case.

April 4th, 2013

Increase Video Views and Conversion With A/B Testing

by Iddo Shai

shutterstock_110350520 [Converted]Zappos.com is famous for many reasons. The #1 reason may be the fact that it was one of the first online stores to offer free returns, making it easy for customers to overcome the limitation of not holding the product in their hands before committing to pay for it. The #2 reason for Zappos’ fame is its use of product videos that are focused on solving the exact same problem as the free returns – helping customers shift away from the brick-and-mortar store mentality.

The results were astonishing: an increase of 6%-30% in conversion. That is significant for a company that exceeds a billion dollars in annual sales. Thus far, Zappos has produced over 200,000 product videos and is well on its way to reaching the 250,000 videos goal.

Zappos considers video to be a vital part of its marketing efforts for two reasons. “Although we have seen an increase in conversion, what’s more important is the decrease in returns we’ve noticed. Regardless of conversion and free returns, if a customer receives a product they are unhappy with – they can become disenchanted,” said Laurie Williams, Senior Manager of Photo & Video for Zappos.

But the decision to produce videos is only one step in an organisation’s video strategy. No doubt it’s an important one, but, the way they are used to drive traffic, how they are presented on the page and the player’s performance could have a huge impact on video consumption on your website.

One of the best ways to make these decisions is by performing A/B testing: the same method that has become instrumental for UI designers and marketers in organisations such as NetflixGoogle and Amazon to examine how design impacts  user behaviour  could also work well when examining the ROI for your video investment.

Surprisingly, when it comes to video usage, A/B testing is not as common as you might think. However, there are some good examples of tests that could help you understand what factors impact video consumption and engagement.

 

1. Promise Videos

Video is a great way to get the customer to stay on your site longer and ultimately drive conversion. A good way to do that is by clearly communicating to the user that there are video previews available. Sometimes another word or video icon can make a big difference. For example, the site SixPackAbsExercises.com did a split testing on a sales page. As part of the test, the site tested two different versions of the same button:

1. The control was: “Next Page Read Sample of Book”;

2. Variation 1 was: “Watch Video Preview”;

3. Variation 2 was: “Watch my #1 Abs Exercise On Video”.

Variation 1:

variation 1

The best-performing variation (variation 1, see above) increased conversion by 14.18%, which clearly shows how “watching a video” is so much more attractive than reading a “sample of book”.

 

2. Use Narration

We usually hear that an image is worth 1,000 words, but the combination of images and words is much more powerful. As proof, take a look at an A/B test that was done for Biotone body crème videos. In this test, two videos were used:

  1. Version 1 – no voice over;
  2. Version 2 – with voice over.

Version 2 (with voice over):

The video with the VO over increased conversion by 50% – from 3% to 4.5%. This goes to show that converting an image gallery to a video wouldn’t necessary have a great impact, unless you invest in adding narration.

 

3. Optimise Your Thumbnails

Although we are often being told not to judge a book by its cover, we tend to do exactly that. Especially when it comes to videos and their thumbnails. A thumbnail should always represent the most exciting part of the video. Thumbnails should be sharp, high-quality images. We at Kaltura also usually find that people’s faces are more attractive than generic wide shots or computer screenshots.

One more factor is the size of the thumbnail/player in your website. This is especially important today, since much of our traffic comes from mobile devices where screen real-estate is scarce. Some interesting research done in the Netherlands examined thumbnails ranging from 60px to 110px; the bigger thumbnails performed slightly better. The main conclusion, however, was that dynamic thumbnails (a set of consecutive, moving, reduced-size images) worked far better than static thumbnails (a reduced-size version of a single static image). This was especially noticeable when the viewer was accessing the video via a mobile device.

 

4. Optimise Your Video Performance

When thinking of video, it is also important to keep in mind the startup time and video quality. These are performance factors that leading video providers like Kaltura continuously try to improve, no matter how fast the player loads.

Some research done by the University of Massachusetts and Akamai (which provides CDN services) showed that “a 1 second increase in (startup) delay increases the (video) abandonment rate by 5.8%”. Buffering issues have the same effect.

Interestingly, video quality didn’t have much impact on video consumption and abandonment rate. However, it did hurt repeated viewing, showing that websites with low quality video have fewer chances of being visited again by the same viewer: “the probability of returning within 1 week after a failed visit is 25% versus 27% after a normal one.”

 

5. Measure Wisely

Finally, if you find these conclusions interesting and you are ready to do some video-related A/B testing – you should also keep in mind what not to do. Most importantly, remember that video is a unique piece of content. Since it usually requires the viewer to take an extra step to consume it (click the play button), you shouldn’t compare it to other UI elements like images (just like the Obama campaigners chose to do here). Also, it’s important to use a video platform that allows you to both modify the players as well as track individual videos.

 

If you do all of that, you will soon find that you are able to get a much higher ROI on your video investment.

 

This blog post was originally published on Fourth Source.

March 9th, 2013

Creating a Social TV Experience (Video)

by Iddo Shai

sxsw-kaltura-logo-2013_Hello from Austin, TX where SXSW Interactive 2013 is now in full swing. Yes, it’s raining (not exactly what we were promised) but inside the Austin Convention Center it’s dry and incredibly interesting. In the coming days we will share with you some of the most innovative video technologies and trends that we see here in the festival.

Let’s start with OVEE, which has taken on one of the biggest challenge of online TV – making the online experience truly social. In the case of OVEE, it was PBS that wanted to create a digital version of their community screenings, where people come together in different cities to watch and discuss PBS programming.

The result of this initiative is OVEE, which was financed by PBS (and therefore by the American tax-payers) and cost about 1.5 million to date. With OVEE one can quickly setup group screenings, share the link with others and then chat, show polls and use webcam streams to create a true social experience. Theoretically, the OVEE platform could be linked to any video stream (e.g. from Kaltura or YouTube), although for now it is only available for PBS programming.

You can see exactly how OVEE works in this short interview with Dennis Palmieri, Director of Innovation & Media Strategies, ITVS Independent Television Service. Stay tuned for more SXSW 2013 coverage!