The rise of video for business and Google Panda UK impacts

20 April 2011

I read with interest Michael’s Stelzner’s recent global survey[1] on how marketers are using social media and it’s clear that a lot can happen in the twelve months since his 2010 survey. I’m noticing that as the number of seminars and webinars on social media proliferate, businesses are starting to realise the benefits of social media. The survey shows how marketers[2] are finding use of social media has improved search engine rankings, web traffic and subscribers and what struck me was the 77% of marketers planning to increase their use of video.
I’m of the firm belief that social media is culture changing[3], so how will the rise of video in business change things? If any of you were at the London Barclays Next Steps to Boosting Business Online seminar last week you will have watched Josh Spear sharing the P.Diddy YouTube video which had to taken down. The learning was that there is a certain culture to the use of You Tube and if you disobey the rules you can end up being parodied. This happened when YouTube user Lisa Nova created her own version of the P.Diddy video[4] and has now become a US comedy star with 1.9 million views of her YouTube video.  
So what are the pitfalls and bear traps to watch out for? Sounds obvious but don’t put anything in your video that overstates what you do as someone will catch you out and post a comment that might embarrass or do a “Lisa Nova!” Think carefully about the needs of your target audience and don’t get too product centric. A colleague recently sent me a video he had prepared which spoke about all the features of their product but not enough about the applications and benefits it could have for certain key customers. The more you relate the video to your customers’ specific needs and their industry, the better. Humour is a great entertainer and some people enjoy video where they can interact. If you’re not one of the 16million viewers that have seen the “Shoot the bear video[5] watch it now as it shows how brands like Tippex used video to interact with their customers.
If your remember the old adage that a picture speaks a thousand words well a video speaks even more and as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book Blink[6] we often make a decision about someone within the first few seconds of meeting them. As we all know human chemistry is important and video can help to capture some of that chemistry and can be used to great effect and save recruiters and those seeking the right business partners a lot of time. Video is also a great way to demonstrate your service or skills. You can now feature video in your Linkedin personal and company profiles to make them stand out from your competitors.
Many people are now realising that having a good ranking on Linkedin for keywords is as important as on Google and other search engines as this channel now attracts more than 100 million users. Equally for those in the travel industry your ranking on third party sites such as Trip Advisor is really important and video can help to differentiate your property or business from your competitors.
Having your customers do the video for you is the ultimate in word of mouth marketing as it is so much more trusted. The more we hear their words the more we trust. So if you have a bit of time over the holidays have a good think about the type of video that could add value to your customers and help your target audiences to better understand what you do. Think about any pain points that they have and how video could make life so much easier. If you do a trawl of YouTube you may already find videos to address those pain points as I recently discovered when trying to figure out how to put the sim card in my new iphone. I found a very useful video with more than 250,000 views from others who were equally puzzled about how to do it.
I mentioned in my recent blog some of the Google Panda update changes in the US which were rolled out globally on the 11th April[7] and are already affecting UK sites so it’s worth checking your analytics to see if your site has changed its Google rankings. There have been some major winners and losers and you can see the impacts in the Accuracast news site[8] dated 19 April 2011. It shows that article sites, price comparison and business directories have been most adversely affected and any sites that have dropped from page 1 or 2 of Google will see major changes in traffic, given that many users do not click on other pages.
Do share how you get on with your analytics and what you learn by using video in your business and if it changes your company culture.
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