Hey everybody, just a quick post letting everybody know that the VEGAS VIDEO NETWORK is online!
The Vegas Video Network is an online broadcasting network that specializes in insider news and expert views about Las Vegas.
We built the VEGAS VIDEO NETWORK to end the struggle of finding Vegas-related video that is centrally located, professionally-produced, timely and relevant. We’re driven upon three key principles:
- An easy-to-use website
- The sophistication and live aspects of Broadcast TV
- Las Vegas experts who promote the city and are actively engaged with their viewers
We had our Launch Party last Saturday. Lots of folks in attendance, both at the studio and online (15 states, UK, Germany, Canada and Russia). It went out live (naturally) and the video of the festivities is now available as a video-on-demand file.
Please take a moment and visit the site. We’ve got a bunch of great shows lined up on the network – something for everybody.
Our first show to go live will be “Pub Crawl”, which premiers this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:30PM. Come by and see what we’re up to!
Why Would You Encourage Business Owners to Incorporate Podcasts and Videos into Their Marketing Strategies?
Last week, I was interviewed by Crystaltech, the company that hosts all our websites/blogs/podcasts/live streaming video productions, for their latest newsletter and blog. The interview covered a few different topics, but I felt the answer to one of the questions posed during the interview would be helpful to readers of this blog.
Why would you encourage business owners to
incorporate podcasts and videos into their marketing strategies?
My answer had less to do with podcasting and video specifically and more about the problem all websites have created. For me, rolling out a podcast/live streaming video production isn’t about how cool either of those things are. It’s about whether you recognize the problems traditional websites have created and if you are interested in solving those very same problems.
Here’s what I said in the interview. I welcome any comments!
First, I don’t think podcasting and live streaming video is a fit for every company [emphasis added]. I think a certain type of embedded video is a fit across the board, if done correctly.
That said, when considering your online marketing strategy, you first need to take a hard look at your website. Truth is, the websites of today aren’t performing any better than the websites of the mid-nineties. The reason is because we’re still creating what amounts to a bunch of electronic brochures…and nobody cares about our electronic brochures. And the numbers bear this out. The average amount of time somebody spends on a website is one minute, and half those people only last eight seconds. Unless you have a story that can be told in eight seconds, you have to figure out how to keep people engaged longer so you can speak to the problems you can solve, and separate yourself from the competitive herd.
As we say on our website, what’s really needed to increase the connection between you and your prospects is to stop producing yet another bit of written marketing collateral, and try something better–and much more impactful. You can turn the day-to-day efforts of your company into an ongoing story that gives your listeners a real sense of who you are, what you do, and how you are solving the problems facing your customers and prospects. That’s why our customers podcast.
Video, regardless of whether it’s live streaming video or on-demand, when done correctly, solves a major challenge most websites unintentionally create when it comes to a company’s perceived approachability. Remember, with a website, I never have to speak to a human. If you recognize that your employees are among your most valuable assets, not providing a window into these important people is bad business. Our customers use live streaming and on-demand video to improve their approachability in the eyes of their prospects and customers, thus shortening the sales cycle.
The problem with many online marketing efforts is the difficulty determining the Return On Investment (ROI). For PodWorx, our podcasts and Live Streaming Video productions are designed to help our customers do one (or both) of two things:
- Make More Money
- Motivate People to Take Action on our Customer’s Behalf
For our latest Live Streaming Video production (QBS Live Mondays), I wanted to see how (or if) the additional of this video offering would effect the performance of the customer’s email marketing efforts. Specifically, I wanted to know if adding video would lift their email open and click-thru rates.
I compared the performance of QBS Research’s May 2009 Newsletter (emailed to their list on 5/5/09) with the announcement of the QBS Live Mondays show (emailed on 5/28/09).
The company’s May 2009 Newsletter had a 17.6% open rate and a 11.8% click-thru rate. The email announcing the QBS Live Mondays live show improved both measurements:
- Open Rate: 22.9% (an increase of 30.1%)
- Click-Thru Rate: 17.1% (an increase of 44.9%)
I should note that there were other links within the email other than to the video content. Interestingly, the links to the video content accounted for 64.7% of all the click-thru within the email. In other words, close to two-thirds of all clicks went to the video links.
As I continue to measure the effectiveness of our podcasts and Live Streaming Video productions, I’ll be sure to pass that information along to everybody reading this blog. If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment below.
The Living in Las Vegas Podcast has been a testing grounds of sorts for PodWorx. As a matter of fact, it was the early success of the Living in Las Vegas (LiLV) Podcast that brought about the launch of PodWorx in the first place! (Having already proven that a podcast can help a company make money, as it did for GreatRelaxationMusic.com, the LiLV Podcast cemented the concept that a podcast, when done right, can influence listeners to take action on your behalf.)
Anywho, I’ve used the LiLV Podcast platform for other testing as well, most recently to answer this question:
What effect does adding video have on an audio podcast?
Forgive me Father
Because of my workload, I’ve not produced as many LiLV episodes as I (or our viewers/listeners) would like. As a result, I was seeing an understandable decrease in the number of downloads per episode. I was not too happy about the decrease. . .but again. . .I understood. In appreciation to those listeners who stuck with the show, I wanted to offer up something new. . .an “inside baseball” look into what producing the LiLV Podcast looks like. So, the last couple of episodes have been produced as a live streaming video production, with live chat.
The feedback from the hundreds of people around the world who attended the live shows was gratifying. But what I was really curious about was whether or not adding the ability to download video on demand would positively impact the number of times a particular episode would be downloaded.
Measuring the Results
The answer, I’ve recently learned, is that adding video does increase the number of downloads per episodes. . .significantly.
Now, because the subject matter of every episode is different, some are downloaded more than others. But when I compared that last two episodes we produced that did not have a downloadable video option (64: Dining at Wynn Encore, New Year’s Eve with 20-Somethings and 65: Living the Loft Lifestyle in Las Vegas) with the last two episodes that did have a video download option (66: Learning About the Origins of Las Vegas at Springs Preserve and 67: Southern Nevada Art Gallery in Downtown, Re-piping the House, Miss USA, Britney Spears), I measured a 50.3% increase in episodes downloaded.
There were three download options available for each show: mp3 (audio), flv (video) and mp4 (video).The breakdown of episodes download for the last two shows looked like this:
- Audio Download: 33%
- Video Download: 67%
I have to admit I was a bit surprised by these results. I felt that video would certainly bump up the numbers but did not expect video to account for two-thirds of each episode’s downloads.
What This Means to Me (and You)
It is clear to me that in this Internet world of ours, even though we are all so easily connected, people want to feel a real connection with others during their online travels. And adding video to your podcast (or adding video in general), when the video is well-produced (content+technically) goes a long way towards improving the approachability of your website and further humanizes what can be a less-than-human(y) environment.
This means that if you’re even remotely toying with the idea of adding video to your podcast as a means of driving more downloads and bringing yourself closer to your website visitors, I’d advise you to do so. The increase in numbers is gratifying and besides, now your mom can finally see what you’ve been doing all this time!
By the way, for those who’ve recently added video to their marketing efforts, I’d like to hear what you’ve experienced. Are you seeing an increase in downloads as well? Is the effort the same, less, or more than with an audio-only show? Let me know.
As I mentioned in my last blog post [When it Comes to Live Video Streaming, Watch This Space], as we look to extend the amount of time somebody spends on our websites from tens of seconds to tens of minutes (so that you may have a reasonable amount of time to tell your story), I have discovered the hidden power of Live Streaming Video Productions. I am now ready to share what I’ve learned with you.
Having spend the last three months researching, testing, implementing and documenting what works and doesn’t work in the Live Streaming Video Productions space, I have developed a Live Streaming Video “Business Brief” that will bring you up to speed on the do’s and don’ts of this exciting new sales, marketing and ultimately organizational-enhancing technique.
For the details, visit the brand new Ask Scott Whitney microsite. Depending on the response, I may limit participation to ensure I’m able to answer each person’s questions. And because this is an invitation-only event, you’ll need to follow the easy instructions found in the video to receive the URL and password required for participation.
I look forward to presenting you with this fascinating content. See you at the session!
2009 marks the year of business-based online video. There is no question about this trend.
Because the time a visitor spends on your website is usually measured in tens of seconds versus tens of minutes, you’ll find that online video, with its ability to capture a person’s attention quickly using both sight and sound, is becoming a top five imperative to those who expect their online presence to do more than act as an e-brochure.
Not surprisingly, the power and immediacy of live television has made its way into the online video world as well. Say what you will about the “old media” of television, millions more people seek it for entertainment and education than do those online. This has lead many companies to begin putting into place Live Streaming Video as part of their marketing/branding/online revenue-generating practices.
For quite some time now, I have been working out the details of a professional-level Live Streaming Video concept that, according to the feedback we’ve received so far, is right on the mark. In the next week or so, I will announce a free training event that will walk the participant through each of the areas to consider when preparing to launch your own Live Streaming Video event. (Not surprisingly, the free training will be. . .wait for it. . .via our own Live Video Stream.)
Keep an eye on this space. I will announce the registration for the free training on this blog. Hope you’ll join us.