Video Series—When More is Better

video production set-up

Videos are infinitely versatile. They can be used to sell a product or service. A video can promote an event. Use them to explain, celebrate, train, recap, update, and comply. A single video can fulfill any of these needs and more. But sometimes, like cookies, one is not enough. There are times when a video series is what you really need.

Types of Video Series

For the purpose of this blog, let’s define a video series as three or more videos on the same theme or topic. Key West Video creates video series for all sorts of businesses. Here are a few examples of the kinds of video series we produce:

Training Series. Videos showing employees how their job is done and what is expected of them can save a business time and money. Training videos also ensure every employee is given the same information. It’s a consistent and thorough way to get everybody on the same page.

Testimonial Series. One of the most effective and convincing ways to promote a product or service is to let someone else do it. Many of our clients use a series of testimonials as a way of providing first-hand feedback on the advantages of their product. We’ve worked with client Microdea to produce a series of company testimonials supporting their Synergize document management software.

Video Series—When More is Better

 

Stakeholder Series. Businesses that need to provide quarterly or yearly updates to stakeholders find video is a useful tool. It’s a way to widely disseminate a lot of information in one reviewable format.

Instructional Series. Sometimes the instructions or manual that come with a product just aren’t enough. Many of us are visual learners, and a video series on how to install smart home technology or assemble a patio umbrella can be geared toward home users or professionals. We produced a four-part installation series for client Eddy Solutions showing how to install their smart water metering system.

Video Series—When More is Better

 

Demonstration Series. They say seeing is believing and nothing convinces like a demo. A video series can be used to promote a service or product by showing the ease of use and benefits in real life scenarios.  We helped premium seafood delivery company Seafood Crate create a series of recipe demos promoting their service.

Video Series—When More is Better

 

Franchise Series. We have several clients who operate under a single company banner while practicing in different parts of Canada. A franchise video series uses the power of a recognizable brand to promote the services specific to a location. Grant Thornton is an international accounting and consulting network with advisors working across the country. We’ve created local advisor videos in several provinces.

Video Series—When More is Better

 

Brand Series. Any of the video series above can be a kind of brand series. As long as you’re engaging viewers and boosting awareness of your company, you’re branding. Be sure to use a consistent look, tone, and feel so people recognize the videos as part of your brand.

The Advantages of Video Series

Choosing to create a video series can work wonders for your business. Here are some of the ways making multiple videos can be to your advantage:

  • Break up a lot of information into more digestible pieces
  • Regular videos keep viewers coming back
  • Show off your product in different situations
  • Tell a product or brand story in serial format, compelling viewers to return for the next installment
  • Promote an upcoming event with a countdown or make seasonal videos
  • Answer customer questions

Winning Format

A video series should be formatted in a way that lets the viewer know each segment is part of a series. A standard intro and ending are good for consistency. Using a title for your series with the same music, visuals, graphics, and animation means the audience can recognize it as a series. Make sure the videos have your company branding so the viewer relates what they’re seeing to your business. A donut can be used to keep videos uniform and simple—just fill in the middle with new information. At the end of each segment, try a CTA or promote the next video in the series.

The First Step

Key West Video can work with a client to figure out the best series format for their business. We have clients who ask us to create a series of videos all at once. Then it’s up to them to decide a distribution schedule or process that works for their company and their audience. Other clients have an established series and they come to us when they need a new installment. If you think a video series will work for your business, give us a call and we can talk about the first of many collaborations.

Dwell Time is a Metric that Matters

SERP

One of the best ways to let people know about your business is through a website. Over half of all website traffic comes from organic searches and over 40% of revenue is captured by that traffic. But getting people to your website is only half the battle. Keeping them there is what really counts. Dwell time refers to the length of time a person spends looking at a webpage after they’ve clicked a link on a SERP page, but before clicking back to the SERP results. The longer they spend on that page, the better the chance of a conversion.

Content is Still King

Dwell Time is a Metric that Matters
Produce content that shows up on a search

Dwell time demands good content. If you want someone to spend time on your website, you need to give them a compelling reason to do so. The reason you appeared on a SERP is because of keywords relevant to a user search. If that user clicks on your link and finds the information they were looking for, that’s good content—more on that below. However, if the user clicks on your link and doesn’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t dwell at all—more on that right now.

Reasons People Click Away

People tend to spend only a few seconds evaluating whether the page they’ve clicked on has the information they need or if they’ll be hitting the back button. Here are a few of the things that will reduce your dwell time to nothing:

  • You didn’t answer their question
  • The page is hard to read or confusing
  • Your content doesn’t align with keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions
  • Slow page load speeds
  • Sites that aren’t mobile friendly

Increasing Dwell Time

If you want to increase dwell time, give the people what they want. Useful content and a good user experience result in more dwell time. If a user clicks your link and the information they want is above the fold and easy to access, you’ve made a good first impression you can build on. Here are some other tools and tips for increasing dwell time:

Dwell Time is a Metric that Matters
Make your site sticky for longer dwell time
  • Be the customer. What do people who land on your site want to know? What kind of information are they looking for? Answer these questions for good content.
  • Design a layout that’s appealing and easy to navigate will keep people from clicking away immediately
  • Make your site visually interesting. Include pictures that are relevant to their search.
  • Aim for the kind of bold headlines that pull readers in, address questions or concerns, and compel people to keep reading.
  • Use video. Users spend as much as 88% more time on websites with video.
  • Stats, infographics, and other easily consumable content are eye-catching. They help convince a searcher you have the information they want to see, making them more willing to stick around.
  • Have strong internal links. Send the user around your website, helping them drill deeper.

A Practical Example of Dwell Time

If someone searches for “animated video production Toronto” and lands on the Key West Video website, that’s great! They’ll end up on our corporate animation and motion graphics page which will tell them how we produce animated videos in the Toronto area. From there, they may click to see some of our samples, then they may click on our free quotes page. All of this clicking is enabled by content that answers questions the searcher is looking for. And they’ve navigated around our site and found out more about us and our work. That’s dwell time, and it pays off.

More Site Time = More Conversions

When someone stays on a website for a long time, it demonstrates that they found useful, authoritative content that was worth sticking around for. When that happens, Google’s algorithms notice and reward you with a higher ranking. These are two factors that lead to conversions. Create the kind of content that results in dwell time and we think you’ll see the payoff when it comes to conversions.

VCR Day Celebrates an Entertainment Icon

VHS tapes

Today is a historical day in the lore of video production—national VCR Day! Key West Video has been around for 30 years, which means we remember well the heyday of the VHS (video home system) and the VCR (videocassette recorder). It’s time to take a little trip down memory lane and pay our respects to the VCR.

VHS means what? There is some dispute as to whether VHS originally stood for Vertical Helical Scan or whether it’s always been an acronym for Video Home System.

How a VCR Works

In our digital age, video is all about ones and zeroes. But a video cassette recorder operated on a more basic, tangible level. A VCR is an electro-mechanical device that records analog audio and analog video onto a removable, magnetic tape. Because this system relied on magnetic tape, it was prone to degradation. If you had a favourite movie that you played repeatedly, you no doubt noticed some dropouts, hits, and maybe audio issues develop over time. And if you tried to make a copy of a tape, and then make another copy from that copy, every new tape lost a generation. That means the quality got worse with every dub. This explainer from a precocious Australian youngster will give you a better idea of how a VCR works and why a VHS tape is vulnerable to wear and tear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RyuToJq-S8

 

The History of the VCR

The VCR has a long history, beginning in Japan. Although the first video cassette recorder was introduced in 1956, the consumer version of a VCR wasn’t developed until 1970. Electronics company JVC invented the VHS system, which was pitted against Sony’s Betamax technology. Both options were available in the late 70s, but do you remember Betamax? Exactly. The VCR came out on top with the advantages of longer recording time and lower price point. Phillips got in on the game when they patented and released the first household VCR that most resembles something you’d find in a 1982-era basement. The company was also responsible for the familiar square cassette, which originally held 60 minutes of footage.

Social Implications

Our social interaction with the VCR was brief, but impactful. It changed the way we consumed television and movies. Imagine missing a beloved television show and having to wait and hope that episode would eventually show up as a rerun. What about choosing between two shows airing at the same time? The VCR made these concerns obsolete.

VCR Day Celebrates an Entertainment Icon
The VCR changed the way we watched tv

Recording programs at home on a VCR was the first iteration of on-demand viewing. It freed people up to watch what they wanted when they wanted, rather than letting tv viewing dictate their schedule. As people leaned into the idea of recording programs and skipping commercials, the electronics industry looked to cash in. Format upgrades came with the DVD in 1996 and Blu-ray ten years later. In 1997, Netflix began as a subscription service for DVD rentals delivered by mail. Digital video recorders were revealed at a trade show in 1999. Netflix introduced streaming services in 2007. The long-forgotten VCR hung on until 2016 when production of the machine came to an end.

The End of Blockbuster, The End of an Era

Long before Netflix and chill, there was Saturday night at the video store. If you lived through the 1980s, you likely spent time trolling the aisles of your neighbourhood Blockbuster. The blue and yellow ticket logo was as familiar as the Golden Arches. The video stores beckoned customers with promises of new releases and old classics that you could take home and enjoy on your VCR.

VCR Day Celebrates an Entertainment Icon
Blockbuster could have partnered with Netflix

Blockbuster was, well, a blockbuster business at its peak in 2004. The entertainment giant had 9,000 stores in 12 countries with 60,000 employees. It was worth a cool $5 billion. The first store opened in Dallas, Texas in 1985. Seven years later, a new outlet was cropping up every 24 hours. In 2000, Netflix founder Reed Hastings pitched the idea of his company becoming Blockbuster’s streaming service. Blockbuster wasn’t interested.

Blockbuster rode the wave of home video rentals until 2010, when they filed for bankruptcy. There’s a single remaining Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon . It’s a time capsule and a reminder of an era that was a way of life for more than 30 years.

Digitally Yours

Do you still have a VCR collecting dust in a closet or storage unit? What about VHS tapes? If you have cherished memories on VHS, we suggest you convert those to digital ASAP to avoid losing them altogether. Today’s video is digitally-based with files that don’t degrade and are easy to share. At Key West Video, we keep client files safely stored so video projects can be updated or amended when necessary. Even though we’ve moved on to digital, we’ll always have a place in our video production hearts for the VCR.

World Environment Day Warns of Air Pollution

World Environment Day

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that we have about twelve years to save the environment or there’s no turning back. The goal is to cut carbon dioxide emissions and try to stabilize global warming. To avoid irreversible changes to our environment, the first step is awareness. The next step is action. World Environment Day is about taking both steps toward a healthier planet. In this blog, we’ll look at how video and social media are being used to inform and inspire all of us.

World Environment Day

Since 1974, World Environment Day has encouraged all global citizens to act on behalf of the planet. It’s a United Nations initiative that’s now embraced by over 100 countries. Each year has a theme, and this year’s is Air Pollution.

The Mask Challenge is a way to engage people by using face masks as a symbol of the fight for clean air. People are encouraged to take pictures and videos of themselves wearing facemasks—many personally designed—and post them to social media with relevant hashtags. Participants are also asked to share the action they’ll take to reduce air pollution and tag three people or organizations, challenging them to do the same. A World Environment Day video was created to inspire participation and encourage awareness.

Video Illuminates the Problem

Air pollution can be difficult to explain and is much more than the smog we can see. One of the biggest pollutants is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane gas leaks are a huge contributor to air pollution, but invisible to the naked eye. Using high-tech thermal cameras, these leaks can be revealed. This information enables oil and gas companies to reduce methane pollution, effectively fighting climate change.

 

* methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide

Power in the Palm of Your Hand

In China, host of World Environment Day 2019, an app was created to promote tree planting and reduce air pollution. Ant Forest was an Alipay campaign that ran from August 2016 to April 2019 as part of China’s Great Green Wall initiative. It was downloaded by 500 million users who were offered “green energy points” for making environmentally-friendly decisions such as foregoing plastic bags or recycling old items. These points could then be used to plant trees in areas without vegetation. Users could track their tree contribution on satellite images. Another example of how social media and technology was used to engage with the public for positive environmental impact.

Interactive Element

Are you interested in finding out more about air quality? Click here to see how your area’s air rates. You can find out how many annual deaths are attributed to air pollution and where your city ranks on an air quality scale. There’s even a score for indoor versus outdoor pollution. You can also test your knowledge of air pollution with this quiz. These interactive elements help illustrate why air pollution is the focus of World Environment Day 2019.

Air Pollution Affects Everyone

Air pollution is a serious problem that results in deaths around the world. Have a look at the global stats below. Then watch an animated explainer to learn how air pollution damages healthy bodies.

  • 7% of lung cancer deaths
  • 18% of COPD deaths
  • 20% of stroke deaths
  • 34% of heart disease deaths

You Can Make a Difference

The most important thing to remember on World Environment Day is that you can make a difference. Be aware, stay informed, and make changes in your life that contribute to a healthier planet. Our future literally depends on it.

Keywords Link Customers to Businesses

keywords

Keywords are the key to getting your business noticed in the digital realm. Think of them as name tags that let searchers know who you are and what you’re about. They affect content marketing when applied to everything from blogs to social media posts to website copy. Even video can use them for SEO. Understand and use keywords to unlock the potential of your online presence.

Focus Your Efforts

A keyword or key phrase is what someone types into Google or another search engine. Obviously, you want your business to appear first in SERP. The way to do this is by understanding and using the same language searchers are using.

Keywords Link Customers to Businesses
Use short and long tail keywords for SEO

Short and long tail keywords are two terms for the kinds of searches done online. If you were searching for a new appliance, “washing machine” would be a short tail keyword. On the other hand, searching for “front load Maytag washing machine” would be a long tail keyword. Short tail queries are one or two words that denote a more general search. Long tail queries are three- or four-word searches that get much more specific. A person searching “washing machine” may be in the early stages of thinking about buying a new appliance. Someone who types “front load Maytag washing machine” is probably ready to make a purchase. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for because they will be specific to your product or service.

Algorithms and Keyword Stuffing

Search engines scrape the web for keywords by using algorithms. Algorithms are changing all the time in an effort to give users the best results when they perform a search. Once upon a time, you could use keyword stuffing to get your website to rank higher. Now, algorithms aren’t just looking for certain words, they’re also looking at whether the words are used in context.

Keyword stuffing and spamdexing can lead to penalties or even the removal of a website from search engine indexes. Stuffing is generally considered an unethical practice and is often used to drive traffic to fraudulent or malicious websites. If someone clicks on your content because it matches their search, they expect to find relevant information. Hidden keywords and click bait will only frustrate the user and reflect poorly on you. The potential for extra traffic is not worth risking the reputation of your business. There’s a better way.

Best Practices

While we don’t suggest stuffing, keywords still need to appear repeatedly to be effective. For example, the keyword for this blog is—you guessed it—keyword! This word or a phrase containing this word needs to appear throughout the blog and in context for it to rank in a search result. If it’s overused, it can adversely affect the search ranking. Plugins like Yoast are designed to help with SEO and will flag when a keyword is used too much or too little.

Keywords Link Customers to Businesses
Brainstorm search terms used by customers

So how do you capitalize on keywords? Think like your customers. If you were looking for the product or service offered by your company, what would you search? Brainstorm the literal words you would type into Google. Now use those words to populate your online content and attract the customers most likely to engage with your business.

It’s important to do your keyword research. If you concentrate on words that are very popular, you may get lost in the crowd. Words and phrases that are too specialized can narrow your search results to a trickle. Using keyword suggestion and research tools can highlight the words that get a lot of searches in your field. They can even suggest related words and phrases you can use for better search engine results. It’s also a good idea to include both short and long tail keywords in your content to capture a wider range of queries.

Video and Keywords

Keywords are important even with video. A video can make your website easier to find even in a universal search. Remember how we said algorithms are changing all the time? Video has benefited from those changes in the last few years. Taking the time to optimize your video for search results pays off. To find out how to optimize video, read our blog on Video SEO.

Unlocking SEO Potential

Is it time to rank your online content so you can get ranked by search engines? Look at your digital presence and make a note of the words that appear frequently. Then consider the language customers are using to find your business. Also look at customer feedback, including questions and comments. All of this information can help you focus your keywords for better SEO. Good luck and we’ll see you on Google.