VHS is to BlueRay as Blog is to Vlog?

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If the VHS tape turned into the BluRay disc which revolutionized video entertainment, what will revolutionize the Blog as a communications medium?  Video blogging or vlogging has been rumored to be just the revolution that blogging enthusiasts need.  However, online video has been around for more than a decade and vlogging still struggles to achieve a preferred status among the masses.  Vlogging has gained popularity as devices used to create and consume content continue to lower development costs, but many consumers still feel they read faster than a video can present information.  Additionally, online video content is still considered by many to be difficult to optimize for search engines. So what will it take to make vlogging a success?  Is it a great tool that will end up underutilized…reminds me of betamax but that’s a whole other topic.  Do we even need to worry about how valuable vlogging can be to marketers?  Have a look at existing video consumption statistics from Caterina DiIogia, Cargill Communications, Forrester Research and Nevin Thompson. 

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What can be done to help vlogging take off?  How about these three suggestions:

Provide a brief overview as an introduction.

With the amount of traffic generated by people viewing online video, transitioning to video-based blogs seems like a natural transition.  For those concerned about speed of content presentation, maybe a short introduction could be beneficial.  If the vlog is presenting the top three steps in creating better SEO for your website, spend the first 30 seconds telling what the steps are and then 5 minutes going into detail on steps presented.  This will give viewers the opportunity to drop out of the video but still feel good having gained some new information without a big investment in time. 

Optimize for search.  Yes, it is possible.

Speaking of SEO, what are the SEO affects around vlogging? SEO is always a touchy subject and one that changes dramatically every time Google decides to update their algorithms.  According to AJ Kumar of Entrepreneur.com, there are a number of tactics that can be implemented with video content to improve search results across Google and other search engines. 

First of course is creating great content.  If content is not engaging and providing value, even the best SEO will not generate loyalty and shared links.  Content should help people solve problems, make the laugh, stimulate thought, or provide some other value.  Value will spur sharing and that has greater value for bloggers as it adds visibility without any added cost.

Next, determine what the relative keywords are and use them in multiple places.  Add them to the title tag, to description text, categories, keywords, and even captions and subtitles.  These keywords tell the searches engines what the video is actually about.  It helps the search engines rank the video properly when presenting searchers with results form a query.   Videos without keywords are just another packet of uncategorized data clogging up the internet. 

Post the video clip on as many video services as possible.  YouTube is the biggest player but don’t underestimate other services like Vimeo. Services like Vimeo have their own loyal following so discounting them can be a costly oversight.

Use analytics to see how videos are performing.   YouTube offers free video analytics that help owners see the number of views their videos are getting, total viewing time, dropout times, playback devices, demographics and much more.  All of these insights provide valuable data in creating new videos that will better resonate with audiences and make videos even more successful. 

Finally, the video should elicit some kind of response.  Viewers should be asked to take some kind of action.  Click a link, “like” the video, share the video.  Interactions help build online credibility and authority.  YouTube tends to reward better performing videos so the more interactions generated the better. 

Show readers some love too.

For those who still love to scan text and pull out nuggets of information, a transcript of the video is a great option.  Add a brief overview statement or abstract and some bulleted data points and then provide the full text of the video.  It is a bit labor intensive but these transcripts can be a big win for vloggers looking to attract more traditional blog consumers.  There are a number of services and software applications available to help with transcription like Inscribe and Lionbridge just to name a couple.

With proper implementation of the suggestions, vloggers can help gain visibility through search and bring broader audiences to their vlogs.  With greater visibility, easier access to content production tools, and more adoption of vlogs from traditional blog consumers, maybe this media can evolve into the next great information channel.

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2 Responses to “VHS is to BlueRay as Blog is to Vlog?”

  1. Mike Brice Says:

    I have two challenges with video blogging. One is the ability to watch from mobile platforms. I don’t want to spend valuable amount of my data plan watching a video that I might not find worth that bandwidth. I prefer to read which costs very little data.

    Second, many blogs use third-party video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo to embed the video component to the blog. These are often blocked by corporate firewalls, which reduces the audience. If I can’t watch it over my lunch hour or on a break, chances are I am not going to remember to watch it when I get home. Or on my mobile device (see reason above).

    • Jerome Brown Says:

      Good morning Mike.
      Thanks for the comments and insights. Video is certainly a heavy bandwidth consumer as my family recently discovered when we started receiving data plan alerts on our smart phones. Seems the auto-load function in Facebook is more consuming than we thought! Similar to you I imagine I try to limit my consumption of video to when I have wifi…not always available though so that’s a bummer.
      While many companies do block various video providers I find it interesting that the numbers are dropping. Organizations blocking YouTube in the US, UK and Europe dropped by 17% in 2013 as compared to 2012 numbers (Crowley, 2013). From a broader policy standpoint, 26% of companies still blocked access to social media sites in their workplaces in 2013 (Pick, 2013) which is significantly down from the 54% of companies that blocked social networks in 2009 (Wired, 2009). Hopefully this trend will continue and more workplaces will continue to open up their network access to employees for not only video but also responsible social browsing.
      Thanks again for the reply. It’s good to see someone is reading :-).
      Best regards,
      JB

      Resources:
      Crowley, A. (2013). Fewer Businesses Block Access to Facebook and YouTube. Retrieved February 18, 2014 from http://www.cbronline.com/news/fewer-businesses-blocking-access-to-facebook-and-youtube
      Pick, T. (2013). 101 Vital Social Media and Digital Marketing Statistics. Retrieved February 18, 2014 from http://socialmediatoday.com/tompick/1647801/101-vital-social-media-and-digital-marketing-statistics-rest-2013
      Wired.com. (2009). Study: 54 Percent of Companies Ban Facebook, Twitter at Work. Retrieved February 18, 2014 from http://www.wired.com/business/2009/10/study-54-of-companies-ban-facebook-twitter-at-work/

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