YouTube Changes Rules Regarding Videos With External Links by @MattGSouthern


YouTube is adding restrictions on which accounts are able to add external links at the end of their videos.

The post YouTube Changes Rules Regarding Videos With External Links by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Twitter Testing 280 Character Limit, Apple Switches To Google and Revised Adwords T & C: Weekly Forum Update


Much of the big discussion this will was around Twitters testing a character limit that is double their existing character limit.

Beyond that, there was some interesting discussion around Apples switch to from bing to Google as the search engine for spotlight and Siri.

Twitter tests 280 character tweets

View full discussion here
Twitter  announced that it is testing upping the twitter character limit to up to 280 characters.

Over on Webmaster World the sentiment seems positive or neutral on the change but over on CEO, Jack Dorsey’s twitter – long time users were not keen on the change and felt that the character limit was part of the essence of what Twitter is. Jack Dorsey responded to the criticism with the following:

Apple switches from Bing to Google for Siri web search results on iOS

View full discussion here

A lot of the discussion on Webmaster World surrounding the switch was why Apple has not tried to buy a smaller search engine or build their own. One member commented seeing Applebot on their servers for a couple of years.

Google Adwords Updating Terms & Conditions

View full discussion here

Some of the changes highlighted as part of the new Adwords Terms and Conditions include:

  • Allowing Google to test campaigns without notifying advertisers
  • Disputes to be settled by binding arbitration and blocks advertisers from joining class action lawsuits

On Webmaster World the discussion was around how users don’t ever read terms and conditions. Also, it was noted that with ‘deep enough pockets’ arbitration clauses can be challenged.


Best way to link to site in a Facebook post?

View full discussion here

Over on SEOchat, a photogprapher asked about the best way to link back to her site from Facebook, without being spammy.

Member Mike Hoklin provided the following advice,
This is what I do. When I come back from a trip (like I’m doing tomorrow), I post the photo on my blog with the details. Then I create a new Facebook Page entry with a short teaser and/or title of image….something like that. The paste that copied link into that FB entry. I usually share that FB Page Entry into my personal FB account and some of the FB Groups I belong.”


The post Twitter Testing 280 Character Limit, Apple Switches To Google and Revised Adwords T & C: Weekly Forum Update appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

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Mobile Ad Tech Passes $100m in Revenues


In Episode #798, Nathan interviews Harry Kargman. He’s a passionate entrepreneur who bootstrapped Kargo over 17 years into the leading mobile brand advertising marketplace. He’s obsessed with art, design and New York and has been helping steward the ad council in a partnership for New York.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Only the Paranoid Survive
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Skype, Slack and other product tools
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “It’s going to be okay”


Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:08 – Nathan introduces Harry to the show
  • 02:41 – Kargo is the largest brand advertising company for mobile
    • 02:45 – Their focus is on high end brands that are highly creative
  • 03:16 – Kargo is a technology company
    • 03:43 – They built a technology that will make an ad on mobile a high end brand experience
    • 04:12 – The ad renders perfectly on a mobile page
  • 05:52 – Kargo works with around 98% of the major media companies and publishers
  • 06:21 – Most of Kargo’s customers are Fortune 1000 companies
  • 07:13 – Kargo charges as a technology play for publishers, like a SaaS model
    • 07:28 – It is integrated into the media that runs on the platform
  • 07:50 – Kargo also takes a percentage of media that runs through the platform
  • 08:21 – Kargo is focused on quality as they’ve turned down a lot of publishers
    • 08:41 – Kargo only has the best quality for advertisers
  • 09:00 – The average cut Kargo is taking
    • 09:25 – Harry shares how they’re taking the cut with the kind of service that they provide
    • 10:29 – The vision that Kargo has is that they’re on equal partnerships
  • 11:14 – In 2015, Kargo passed $100M in annual revenue
    • 11:18 – The growth, year over year, is around 100%
  • 11:56 – 2017 is a big year for Kargo where they’re building a technology that is new to the market
    • 12:23 – Kargo has an AdLab that they try to bring to advertisers
  • 13:11 – Kargo is 15-20% SaaS and 85% is media
  • 13:22 – The goal for next year
  • 13:58 – Total team size is 270
  • 14:25 – Kargo will have a partnership with NBC in 2018
  • 15:07 – Kargo is completely bootstrapped
  • 15:32 – Before pivoting, Kargo was trying to build software and services for operators
    • 15:38 – However, operators wanted to take 18 months to 2 years for testing which is impossible for startups
  • 16:18 – Kargo just got into the water, expecting major media companies to sell their ads and media properties
  • 17:36 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Develop a product that will make Fortune 1000 companies need you.
  2. Regardless of the size of the deal, maintain equal partnership with your partners.
  3. Stay bootstrapped as long as you can and as long as you want.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

The post Mobile Ad Tech Passes $100m in Revenues appeared first on Nathan Latka.

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SEO – search engine optimization


SEO is strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search results.

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Should You ‘Pivot to Video’? Pros & Cons of Video Content Marketing


Trends in digital media come and go, but recently, one of the more noticeable trends in digital media has been the gradual shift in emphasis toward video content.

Should you pivot to video pros and cons of video content marketing

From major mainstream outlets like Mashable, MTV News, and Vice to smaller operations, more and more publishers are “pivoting to video” from text-based content. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at why some publishers are betting big on video, as well as examining the pros and cons of video content marketing, with examples of video content that can perform strongly.

Before we begin, we need to take a look at how we ended up here.

Why Are So Many Media Companies Pivoting to Video?

The most prevalent theory about the “pivot to video” trend is that it’s merely a response to changing media consumption habits.

The theory is that more and more people are shying away from actually reading written words (so much hassle!) in favor of watching more video content.

Video content marketing growth in media industry hires pivot to video

Image/data via Business Insider

There is evidence that video is being perceived differently. In a recent study, video analytics software company Vidyard found that many marketers are seeing video as a much more important element in their wider content strategies:

Video content marketing changing importance of video as content

Image via Vidyard

However, some people think the reason for the shift is that video ads are harder to ignore than banner ads.

A third theory gaining traction is that pivoting to video is a ploy to curry favor with Facebook. Some see the emerging trend of shifting toward more video content as aligning with Facebook’s own stated goal of publishing more video content – and it’s a compelling theory.

“Facebook really, really wants native videos—which is to say, videos viewed on the Facebook platform—to take off,” John West wrote in a recent article on the trend for Quartz. “And publishers know an edict when they hear one.”

Why Should Marketers Care About What Big Media Companies Do?

Major media companies exert tremendous influence; not only over what people buy, but how people behave. Content marketing as a discipline may have grown from the world of SEO, but today, trends in B2B content are often strongly influenced and shaped by mainstream media consumption habits. If major media brands say that video is The Future, you can bet your last dollar that marketers won’t take long to follow suit.

Video content marketing Medium average blog post length

Image via Medium

It’s the same principle that we saw in written content a few years ago. As newspapers and magazines shifted their focus from shorter, shallower content to longer, reported features and long-form articles, it didn’t take long before marketers and B2B companies also began to pay more attention to long-form. Similarly, as professional video has proliferated across the web, more and more marketers are prioritizing video content.

The Pros of Video Content Marketing

There are definitely several upsides to producing more video content, but there are also several drawbacks. Let’s take a look at three of each.

Pro #1: Video Content Has Strong Engagement

The first pro of video content is the fact that it boasts incredibly strong engagement compared to other content formats.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, audiences are roughly 10 times more likely to engage with and share video content than any other content type. With engagement stats like this, it’s not hard to see why video remains a very alluring proposition to publishers and marketers.

In addition to boasting strong engagement generally, video performs extraordinarily well on social media – Facebook in particular. As Buffer observed in an exhaustive study of social media engagement last year, video is by far the most popular content format on Facebook by a considerable margin, proving twice as popular as links as the most popular type of Facebook post:

Video content marketing social media post engagement rate by type

Image/data via Buffer

Of course, while video engagement is broadly very strong, it does vary quite widely by video type. We’ll get to this (and some examples) in a moment.

Video content can also be extremely “sticky” when it comes to metrics such as time-on-page. According to Wistia, people spend more than two and a half times as long on pages with videos than pages without:

Video content marketing video pages stickier average time on page by video

Image/data via Wistia

Pro #2: Video Content Improves Conversion Rates

Video content not only boasts impressive engagement rates, but also potentially high conversion rates. Adding video to specific pages can be incredibly effective at increasing conversion rates – particularly landing pages.

In a case study featured at the Unbounce blog, Vidyard experimented with adding a video to one of its landing pages. The baseline conversion rate of the landing page was an average of 6.5%. Vidyard tested two variants of the same video on this landing page: one in a lightbox modal pop-up and one embedded in the page itself.

The results were amazing.

Video content marketing Unbounce Vidyard video landing page test results

Image via Unbounce/Vidyard

The figure above shows conversion rates for each of the three tests. The blue line (“Challenger D”) represents the video displayed in a modal lightbox pop-up. The orange line (“Challenger H”) represents the embedded video. The third line (“Challenger J”) represents the page without any video.

Challenger H – the video embedded in the page – had an average conversion rate of 11%, an impressive lift of 69%. However, the real star of this test was Challenger D, the lightbox pop-up video, which boasted an average conversion rate of 13%, a lift in conversions of 100%!

Pro #3: Video Content Is Easily Repurposed

While video may not be as easy to produce as written content (more on this momentarily), once it has been made, it’s easy to reuse and repurpose content for future projects.

Elements such as title cards, images, and even footage can all be reused
in future video projects, as we do here at WordStream

Elements such as title cards, animations, music and sound effects, voice-over audio, B-roll footage, and virtually every other aspect of an individual video can be easily reused in future projects. This can offset the initial investment of time necessary to create them in the first place, and also serves to ensure continuity across various video properties.

It’s important to bear this in mind if you hire a third-party production company to produce your videos. Before signing any contracts, be sure to understand exactly who owns the assets once production has wrapped and whether you have legal permission to use them without paying additional fees to the production company.

The Cons of Video Content

So now we’re done talking about how great video is, let’s put the “con” back into “content.” See what I did there?


Con #1: Video Can Have High Production Overheads

Although not everybody is comfortable writing, actually producing written content is just about as easy as can be. All you need is a computer and a word processor or even basic text editor and you’re on your way.

Not so with video.

Even a modest office-based studio setup can cost thousands of dollars in upfront equipment costs, regardless of whether you rent or buy your gear. Without training or experience, actually making videos can be tricky, and newcomers to video production often end up making costly mistakes or screwing up entire shoots.

Video content marketing cost of setting up an office video studio

Even low-end video production equipment can cost several thousands of dollars.
Image via Wistia.

You could always hire a production company to make your videos, but this can be very expensive and also demands that you take precious time to evaluate the reels and portfolios of various production companies before you even receive your first estimate.

The barriers to entry for video production are falling all the time, but it’s still beyond the means of some small businesses and marketers. If you’re committed to creating a video culture at your company, check out Margot’s recent guide.

Con #2: Not All Audiences Enjoy Video Content 

Major media brands and social evangelists might be completely in love with video, but the same cannot be said for all audiences – particularly when it comes to news content.

According to data from the Reuters Institute and Oxford University, 41% of Millennial media consumers prefer reading news content to watching video, claiming it’s faster and more convenient.

Video content marketing Reuters Institute Future of News report

Image/data via Reuters Institute/Oxford University


Interestingly, a further 19% of respondents said they felt video content added little or no value to a text-based news story. Considering how often news sites will embed or include accompanying video content alongside text-based content, this is a particularly striking statistic.

This data also raises questions about how a visitor’s personal preferences play into media consumption habits. In a fascinating article for Entrepreneur, website analytics software provider ClickTale’s Customer Experience Psychologist Liraz Margalit wrote that reading and watching content aren’t just two different ways of consuming media; they actually use two completely different thought processes and appeal to two distinct mindsets.

Margalit explained that visitors’ state of mind plays a large role in media consumption preferences. Visitors who are “just browsing”—exploring a site with no clearly defined goal—are more likely to prefer video-based content, as they’re primarily in a passive state of mind and more willing to engage with visual content. Visitors who have a defined objective—say, to learn more about a particular topic—are more likely to prefer text-based content according to Margalit, as they’re in a much more focused, active state of mind and are more likely to be willing to expend the cognitive resources necessary to read and parse text-based content.

It’s worth remembering that the data above is primarily focused on news-based content. It does, however, reveal another side of video content marketing that often gets overlooked in the excitement and buzz about the growth of online video.

Con #3: Hardware Limitations Can Limit Reach

Even the best videos in the world won’t hit the mark if your audience can’t watch them.

Advances in mobile and internet video technology have made video content more accessible than ever, but there are still vast swathes of the world’s population that simply can’t watch videos online. People with unreliable or poor-quality internet connections, lower-end mobile devices or computers, or who live in areas lacking internet access altogether are all unlikely to favor video over lightweight text-based content.

It’s also worth noting that, as recently as two years ago, more than 2 million Americans still accessed the web primarily through AOL dial-up (yes, really), highlighting the disparities in broadband access observed throughout much of the world.

Video content marketing global internet access statistics coverage by region

Global internet access statistics by region in 2012.
Image/data via Statista.

There’s also the issue of accessibility to consider. While many sites have made great progress in accessibility and ease of use for individuals with impaired vision and other disabilities, not everyone can or wants to watch video online.

What Kinds of Content Works Well as Video?

If you’re still thinking of following Mashable’s lead by pivoting to video yourself, I suppose there isn’t much I can do to dissuade you. I can, however, offer some examples of content that works very well as video.

If you’re planning your content calendar and find yourself in need of these content types, it may be worthwhile considering a pivot of your own.

Instructional & Tutorial Videos

Need to explain how your product works? If so, instructional tutorial and explainer videos are an excellent way to help your customers.

Explainer videos work exceptionally well for topics that are dense or complex. What might take several thousand words to describe in writing may only need a minute or so of well-produced video to accomplish the same goal. Similarly, tutorials on highly specific or technical tasks can often be much more effective as step-by-step videos rather than lengthy written guides.

Vox’s explainer videos are a great example of this content type done right. The content itself may be a little lightweight, but in terms of production values and structure, they’re hard to beat.

Video content marketing Vox explainer video example

Screenshot taken from a Vox explainer video on climate change and extreme
weather events, via Vox Media

While we’re talking about explainer videos, it’s worth mentioning video duration. As you can see, the duration of the Vox explainer video above is 3:22. Generally speaking, this is pretty long for an online video, and it’s highly unlikely that many people will watch all the way to the end.

Our pals at video hosting service Wistia found that the duration of a video has a direct impact on its engagement, specifically how engagement drops off beyond a certain point. In the figure below, we can see that viewers begin to lose interest after just 30 seconds, with consistent drops in engagement observed afterward:

Video content marketing video duration vs views data

Image via Wistia


Interviewing thought leaders in your industry is an excellent way to forge valuable connections with influential people in your field and further establish your site as a source of original content.

Search Engine Journal’s video coverage of marketing conferences and events is a great example of how video can capture things even the best write-up cannot. Check out Kelsey Jones’ interview with Larry from Pubcon 2015 below. Do you think this is a more engaging way of interviewing someone, or would you prefer to read a transcript?

Time-lapse Videos

If you use Facebook, you’ve probably seen those gif recipe videos that recap making an entire meal into a 30-second video. Of course, time-lapse videos aren’t restricted solely to food gifs; you could make a time-lapse video of just about anything, from a house being built to a before-and-after makeover.

Video content marketing gif recipe example

This type of video content is not only very popular, it’s also ideal for social media, as these videos don’t require audio (many Facebook users have sound disabled on videos by default), are short enough to be watched in their entirety with minimal commitment from the viewer, and encourage sharing – perfect.

Promotional Material

Every time WordStream reaches another major milestone or achieves a particularly noteworthy accomplishment, we send out a press release. We do this because, as hard as it might be to believe, press releases are still a pretty effective way of getting the word out about developments at your company. However, when it comes to highlighting specific aspects of your business – such as your warm, welcoming culture or brand values – video can be immensely effective.

Promotional video is an excellent way to show, not tell, people why your company matters. You could create videos highlighting anything from receiving a major award or announcing your company’s latest acquisition, to showcasing your office perks or recapping fun events like company picnics. This type of video is also particularly well-suited for sharing on social media.

Live Broadcasts

Remember when liveblogging was a thing? These days, liveblogging hasn’t quite gone the way of the dinosaurs, but it’s much more common for publishers and even individual content producers to stream video live from major events.

One of the benefits of livestreaming video is that, if you’re in the right place at the right time, you could attract absolutely monstrous traffic to your site. A distinct drawback of live video, however, is that it doesn’t tend to age well (unless you manage to capture a truly iconic moment) and has a very short shelf life, meaning it’s crucial to view live broadcasts as just one element in a wider video strategy.

ALWAYS Include a Text-Based Alternative to Videos

Video has become incredibly popular, particularly on social media. That said, not everyone is enamored with video, and failing to cater to people who don’t prefer watching videos is a surefire way to alienate a potentially sizable portion of your audience.

Regardless of what kinds of content you’re producing, ALWAYS include either a transcription of the video or a standalone text-based accompaniment. This ensures that people who don’t enjoy video – or don’t have the means to watch it through their connection or on their device – aren’t excluded. This is particularly important when it comes to explainer videos and how-to tutorials. Oftentimes, watching a video as you try to accomplish something is just as difficult (if not more so) than following along a written tutorial, so be sure to give your audience the content they want in multiple formats.

As we mentioned above, accessibility is another important reason to provide alternatives to video content. More than 8 million people in the U.S. alone have some sort of visual impairment or disability, so it’s crucial to ensure your content can serve all visitors.

Think Before You Pivot

Digital marketers of all stripes have to be ready to embrace and adapt to emerging trends in content marketing, but that doesn’t mean that reflexively investing heavily in video content is the right thing to do for your site and your business.

If you’re considering a shift in focus to emphasize video content, be sure to look at all the data at your disposal to ensure that your audience wants more video. It’s all well and good for major brands like Vice and Mashable to pivot to video, but if you look before you leap, you could be in for a nasty surprise.

What are your plans for video content marketing in the coming year? Have you already begun producing more video content, or are you scaling back?

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