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AdWords Video Remarketing

Video’s role in marketing is dramatically increasing every day. Recently, Twitter added promoted videos as an option. Last year, Facebook enhanced video metrics.

Video remarketing is another great option within Google Remarketing by opening up your audience to a much larger list. Expanding the audience provides great value when you have a list of people that have expressed interest in your services by watching a video. In fact, it’s not just video viewing. YouTube remarketing provides multiple actions that can be targets.

Available Remarking Actions

  1. Video view or interaction (likes, comments, shares)
  2. YouTube channel visit and subscription
  3. In-stream ad views

Linking AdWords and YouTube
The first step before starting any video remarketing is to make sure YouTube is connected to AdWords.

  • Choose Video Manager -> Channel Settings -> Advanced
  • Open your Google AdWords account in a new tab, sign in, and copy your Customer ID
  • Assign a name to the AdWords account. It’s often best to use the same name you are currently using for you for your existing AdWords account. This will prevent confusion when alerts our sent to all users that a name has been changed.
  • Set permissions for the account. I tend to allow all permissions. It provides more options down the road when looking for more targeting areas.

Creating a Video Remarketing Campaign
Once all the connectivity is working then the real fun begins. Now, you can setup AdWords campaigns that utilize your YouTube audience. This process becomes as easy as another remarketing campaign that you have setup in the past. Video viewers just becomes another audience option.

Video Remarketing Is More Than Video Ads
If you Google video remarketing all articles are quick to point out creating video ads for remarketing. It’s important to distinguish that video remarketing does not have to mean video ads. That’s certainly an aspect that can be used, but not a limitation. After the video marketing audience is built and grown to a significant number, the options are much wider than video ads. You can still create banner ads like you would any other remarketing campaign.

Dive into video remarketing. There is a wealth of data that can expand any audience.

Use YouTube Video Calls-to-Action for Better Results

YouTube Video CTAs-megaphone

You have developed a great video strategy, but are you using calls-to-action (CTAs) in them like you do elsewhere? Adding CTAs to YouTube is a easy process than can yield great benefits, including conversions, subscriptions, likes and shares.

While we would all like to think people will take action on their own, the reality is people need to be told what to do next and preferably why. (Collective sigh.) Luckily, YouTube provides multiple easy ways to do it along with standard production ones you may use.

Before jumping into calls-to-action, you need to do two steps first. First, you need to determine the goal of the specific video and how the CTA can help support that goal. What are you trying to accomplish? If you want more subscribers, does the CTA encourage it? Do you want someone to make a purchase? Does the CTA allow them to click through to make the purchase? Presumably you know the first part since you have a video strategy, but you need to make sure the second part ties into it.

Next, with so many possible types of CTAs available, decide on the style and type(s) that will best support your goal. You want the style of your CTAs to complement your video. Otherwise, it is a jarring experience for the viewer who will quickly exit the video and not take any action. You also want a call-to-action that will bring the desired action and have it placed appropriately in the video. An exaggerated example would be to make a subscription request when you want viewers to purchase a product or service.

Now, let’s discuss some possible calls-to-action to use in your YouTube videos:


Annotations are pop-up messages, not ads, which appear in the video. People can immediately interact with them. Unfortunately, they often cause people to leave the video and can only be linked to other YouTube content. Therefore, do not place them during a vital part of the video. Waiting to use them in an end card may be a better option. However, you must weigh that placement with people’s short attention span. One-third don’t get past the first 30 seconds. YouTube provides more information on creating different annotations and best practices.

Most annotations are self-explanatory, but the spotlight one is a bit different. Spotlight annotations allow you to create subtle clickable areas within a video. The text appears when a viewer hovers over the it but only a light outline appears otherwise.

Call-to-Action Overlay

With an AdWords for TrueView ad, you can create CTA overlays. The overlay appears at the bottom of the player when the video starts and can be closed by the viewer. Share information about the video; promote other videos and websites, etc. When viewers click on the overlay, they are directed to the designated website. The overlays remain on the video until you remove them. They are, however, subject to review via the Google AdWords program.


Descriptions allow you to provide more information about the video and include CTA links. People will not be distracted from the video and naturally want to read more about the video’s content. However, be  very careful with the first couple lines of the description. Keep the YouTube SEO intact because that is what shows up in a YouTube search. YouTube is the second largest search engine so you don’t want to mess that up. For example, you can link to a related blog post, YouTube channel, email subscription. 

End Cards

For the end of the video, create an end card with a call-to-action. You can do something as simple as a screen with a text message or make it interactive with annotations. Use a template to maintain consistent branding. As mentioned earlier, some viewers will have already stopped viewing the video. However, those remaining are more likely to be willing to act on your CTA.

Host / Narrator Mentions

The host or speaker talks directly to the camera to request a specific action. Voiceover can also be done. The downside for this method is you need to stick with one action and the cost of changing it is high. Therefore, choose your CTA carefully.

In-video graphics

You can also include other graphics at key points in the video. For example, have a graphic with a URL landing page URL after your standard opening and then have it appear later.

The types and combinations of YouTube video calls-to-action are numerous. You will need to experiment and test to see what types of CTAs resonate with your audience. Get creative. Make it interactive. Check out brands that are known for great videos for inspiration. Use whatever combination of tactics that will help you further reach your goal but no more. Goals for engagement, subscriptions, purchases, etc. will be reached once you find the find the right combination and balance.


photo credit: floeschie via photopincc

Use Google+ Hangouts On Air to Boost Your Business

Shuttle Launch-Google+ Hangout On AirAre you running yourself ragged on social media and other digital media outlets trying to gain exposure for your company? While not a total solution, Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA) can provide benefits that other options cannot for free. You not only get to create branded content, but the live streaming video and recorded video provide you with many options to reach a greater audience, increase your following, drive search engine results and attract new clients.

What is a Google+ Hangout On Air?

A Google+ Hangout On Air is a free HD video conference tool.The video stream can be viewed live on Google+, YouTube and any website or kept private during creation. If live streaming, you can select whether the audience can actively participate and who can view. A recording is automatically made by YouTube and saved on your channel to be viewed publicly and shared. Many individuals and companies host HOAs on a regular basis and create topical series. Basically, your company can have its own broadcast show. Isn’t that great?

What benefits can Hangouts On Air provide your company?

  • Position your company as a thought leader
  • Multiple content repurposing opportunities
  • Google SERP and SEO advantages – keyword optimized and SERP prioritized
  • Demonstrate your industry advantage
  • Establish trust and credibility
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Build a following through live conversations and recordings
  • Communicate your brand’s culture and personality
  • Develop and strengthen relationships with expert guest speakers
  • Humanize your brand

What content can you present in a HOA?

The shorter answer would be what can’t be presented, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Announcements
  • Answer FAQs
  • Behind-the-scenes looks
  • Company culture insights
  • Customer testimonials
  • Employee stories
  • Events
  • Executive interviews / speeches
  • Expert interviews
  • How-to video
  • Product demonstrations
  • Webinars

Be creative, and listen to your audience’s questions and comments. Always think about what you want to accomplish and what angle you wish to take in the discussion. Ronnie Bincer suggests you first participate in a few Hangouts to get a feel for them, build relationships with guests and other viewers and find out what your target audience wants to know.

How to set up a Google+ Hangout On Air

  1. Have a Google account and Google+ company page.
  2. Create a YouTube channel if you don’t have and verify it.
  3. Connect the YouTube channel to the Google+ page.
  4. Create a specific circle if you want to ensure certain people know about the hangout and any guest speakers.
  5. Sign into the company Google+ account.
  6. Select “Hangouts” from the left dropdown menu.
  7. Under the “Hangouts On Air”tab, select “Start A Hangout On Air.”
  8. Start a Google Hangout On AirEnter the name of the event. Be sure to include keyword(s) to help people find it, and place them toward the beginning of the event name. Create something specific and intriguing to your audience.
  9. Create a Google Hangout On AirProvide a description that states exactly what people should expect and include keywords and tag any guests. Select “Later” and enter the date, time, duration and time zone.
  10. Add any additional people, including guest speakers, or make it private if you only want to show the recorded version.

HOA creation tips

If you create a HOA at least five days in advance, your event may be included on Google’s list of upcoming hangouts. Apparently, inclusion is not reliably automatic, but if your HOA is included, then you get extra promotion by being on the master list.

Be sure to include your primary keywords in the event title and description. You want to make it as easy for people to find either the live or recorded video.

Also, if you have any guest speakers, tag them. Tagging will encourage them to share the event with their audiences so you will be able to capitalize on their reach. You can have nine guests join you with an unlimited broadcast audience.

Once you have created your hangout, you can add a video or image as a custom trailer. To add a custom video, click “Add a Trailer” and add a YouTube video. To add a custom image, click “Add a Trailer” and add the image. Voila! You have added extra visual interest and information to your upcoming Hangout On Air. Otherwise, people will see a countdown clock, which is boring.

Promoting your upcoming HOA

Use whatever means you have to promote your upcoming Hangout On Air. Obviously, promote it on your social media outlets. When people respond to the event invite, it will show up in their news feed for their followers to see. Encourage guest speakers and employees to share on their social networks.

Internal and external newsletters are great ways to promote it. Depending on the frequency and lead time, you can include it multiple times with the video link along with doing an event specific email. You can also send out reminder emails as a countdown to the event.

The HOA can be promoted in a couple ways on your company website. You can have it as a special section on your home page. You can also write a blog post around the general subject with the video link included. That blog post can then be promoted on its own.

People will automatically be able to watch the live HOA on Google+ and YouTube. If you embed the video link on your website, they can also watch it there. Many people are not an active part of the Google+ community so letting them know they have viewing options will encourage more live viewing.

Another idea is to encourage people to submit questions in advance and then answer them on air. This option allows you to customize the content and bring the audience into the HOA.

Tips for during the HOA

Google Hangouts On Air can be raw videos or highly produced ones. Your experience and resources will determine which. Glitches are to be expected in live productions, but they can be minimized.

Chrome is the preferred browser. HOAs will work in other browsers, but Google obviously has everything optimized for its ecosystem. Before you start the HOA, you and your guest speakers will need to install the latest Hangout plugin.

A few minutes before the HOA begins, you and your guests should check audio and video to make sure everything is ready to go. This way everyone can go over what to expect and check their setups. Everyone should use headphones with microphones so the conversation can be heard better. Nothing like missing a question or a key point. Clear away any distracting background objects and sounds. Also, make sure each person knows how to use the HOA apps. If possible, have someone handle the technical side of the HOA while it’s live.

Good lighting is important for a quality video. A large soft light on one side, a smaller one on the other side and a back light make up the basic three-point lighting. A back light is important to separate the subject from the background.

Use a wired Internet connection to better maintain connectivity. Dead air is not good.

Last, YouTube also “listens” to what is said in the video as part of its algorithm. Therefore, include your keywords and variations thereof in a natural way during the video. Introductory and summary statements are good places to do it.

Extra features – apps

Google+ Hangouts on Air come with some great apps to enhance the broadcast.

  • Cameraman app – You can control whether to show or hide one or more participants on air. 
  • Q & A app – Taking questions in advance helps customize the content. Also, you can mark the questions as you answer them. People viewing the recorded video can then jump to specific questions in the video.
  • Control Room app – You can mute or unmute a participant’s video or audio, control a person’s audio level, give HOA control to someone else and and eject a person from the HOA.
  • Showcase app – You can share products, articles, website links and Google Play Store links with your audience. They can view them without interrupting the HOA broadcast.
  • Applause app – This app allows viewers to give a thumbs up or thumbs down during the broadcast. A real-time graph will show you the results.

Sharing and repurposing the recorded video

Once the HOA is completed, it will automatically be posted on your YouTube channel. You can edit it, and the edited version is what you will want to share. The URL stays the same throughout. At this point, it becomes indistinguishable from any other YouTube video. Add tags that include keywords, company name, etc. to further increase SEO juice. Consistent keyword tag usage will help your videos show up as suggested videos on the right hand side in YouTube.

Like before the event, use social media and email to share and promote the archived video. Many people cannot arrange their schedules to attend the live event. I usually have to view recordings because of schedule conflicts. You will also be able to reach people who did not hear about the live event. You may even wish to publish video segments if appropriate.

YouTube produces a transcription of the video discussion. However, I advise you create your own because YouTube’s automated transcription has its limits. This transcription can be included with the video and distributed elsewhere as well. Adding the transcription to the video helps with the video’s SEO. You can publish portions of it or turn it into a blog post and email. You can even tweet major points with the video link.

Embed the video on your website if you didn’t do it before. This way anyone who visits has the opportunity to view it and discover your video series.

Your Hangouts on Air don’t have to be finely polished productions, though that would be nice. In fact, in a recent B. L. Ochman HOA, Sona Patel of The New York Times stated they had better audience responses to the less highly produced videos. The audience seemed to like the more spontaneous ones. Quality content presented in a way that people can relate to will accomplish much. The more you do, the more you will get to fine tune the process and content. Think about how you can leverage your videos to get more distinguished expert guests, etc. You will have a learning curve, but don’t let that discourage you. The benefits you will reap will be well worth it.

Twitter Is Beta Testing Promoted Video

Twitter is becoming more visual with the introduction of beta testing of a new Promoted Video with select content publishers and verified users. Twitter’s initial testing shows tweets containing native video generate better engagement and more video views.

Promoted Videos are an extension of the Twitter Amplify program. Along with uploading and distributing native video on Twitter, advertisers will be able to measure the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns with full access to Twitter’s robust video analytics like completion percentage and organic vs. paid video views.

Tony Hawk Promoted Video gif

Twitter has switched to a Cost Per View (CPV) ad buying model. Advertisers will only be charged when a user starts playing the video.

Twitter claims the goal of these Promoted Videos is to “…bring more video into our users’ timelines…” However, if that was the sole point, they would be focused on users employing video, not advertisers. Advertisers are increasingly willing to spend higher prices for online video. According to eMarketer, US digital video ad spending will nearly double in only four years to a projected $8.04 billion in in 2016.

US Digital Video Ad Spending-eMarketer

If you have a Twitter advertising account representative, then you can contact that person to get on this beta launch. Otherwise, you will need to set up an advertising account first and then talk with an account representative. Agencies are already reporting surprising success with Promoted Videos.

Video and Your SEO Strategy

Video SEOVideo is an ever increasingly important part of content and inbound marketing. In fact, more than 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute to YouTube alone by individuals and businesses. Imagine if you add other video-sharing sites and company and personal sites. With such a crowded field, how do you stand out in results?

Whether your goals are rich snippets, conversions, brand awareness or link and social shares, techniques exist to get your videos noticed.

Solve Problems and Provide Information

Cute cat videos are great (like the one below), but few companies benefit from producing them. So how do you come up with video content? Put yourself in your customers’ position. What problems do they face? How can you solve them? What information do they need to better understand your products or services? These questions are a great starting point for creating content that is relevant in searches. Also, look at your FAQ page and customer feedback for more possible topics. The video itself can take many forms, such as an interview, animation, product demonstration or screen views. Be creative.

Organize Videos for Easy Browsing and Indexing

Knowing a site or video-sharing has the video with the information you need is great if you can find it. If not, it’s an exercise in frustration. Use categories and tags to help people find what they need. A long list of videos on your site or a hodgepodge of videos on a video-sharing sharing channel is not conducive to video views. If self-hosting, use separate landing pages so search engines can index each video. Again, think about what keywords people will use to search through your video collection.

Use Interactive Elements

Use interactive elements to create calls-to-action at key points. Such elements capture your viewers’ attention and can drive them to take specific actions. Elements can include social sharing, in-video links, forms, surveys, subscriptions, YouTube annotations and other such CTAs. As technology evolves, the list of possible CTA elements will grow.

Use Relevant Metadata

Depending on where you host the videos different metadata applies. Titles should include keywords. Use relevant categories and tags. If hosted on your website, use hidden tags in the HTML code of your video landing pages, especially Facebook’s OpenGraph tags,’s microdata tags and possibly Twitter Card tags. Also, include detailed descriptions of the video’s content. On YouTube, you can create rather long ones and include a URL back to your domain. Add closed captioning on YouTube if you have the time to create your own.

Offer Video Transcriptions

Add transcriptions of your video directly on the pages where your videos are hosted. Not only do they allow people the option to read when they cannot watch but provide indexable content for search engines. Transcriptions can also be used to create blog posts, slide presentations and other content.

Video Hosting

Should you host your videos on your own website or a third-party site? Some experts advise clients to host videos directly on their own sites. Other experts, like Crescent Interactive, advise posting directly on YouTube because they feel the SEO impact is minimal. However, video hosting does not have to be an either/or proposition. Some videos may be best suited for your website, such as conversion-focused ones. You will need to decide between the benefits and risks of the two options.

If you host videos on your own domain, you can easily use rich snippets, send SEO juice to your own domain, keep people on your site and have higher conversion rates. However, videos can slow down your site’s load speed and require additional storage. Also, you risk lower exposure and social shares.

Hosting on YouTube gives the benefit of being on a Google owned video-sharing platform. The potential for exposures and shares is very high if your video is well-produced with great descriptions and strong organization. Video-sharing sites are suitable for top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) videos. Unfortunately, SEO benefits go to YouTube or other video-sharing sites, not to your domain.

So what are you waiting for? Start creating videos and reap the associated SEO benefits. Be creative about ways to reach your audience.

Facebook Enhances Video Metrics

Where did people stop watching the video? How long did they watch the video? How many unique video views did it get? Did they re-watch the section? Answers to these questions and others will soon be available to Page owners as part of Facebook’s new video metrics in the updated Page Insights and Ads Reporting.

Presently, Facebook only shows you how many people have started viewing a video – not very useful. According to Facebook, you will soon receive data on video views, unique views, audience retention and the average duration of the video view. The new metrics will provide much more detailed information for both organic and paid videos uploaded directly to pages. The one exception is the click-to-play metric that will show clicks for third-party videos, like YouTube, that play in-line on Facebook. This move requires Page owners to do more of their video work directly on the Facebook platform.

As part of the update, Facebook made two term changes. A “video view” is now a view of three seconds or more, including auto-play videos as users scroll through their News Feeds. The “video plays” metric has been renamed “clicks to play video.”

Here is a preview of what the video metrics will look like:

Facebook Video Metrics-Video Post Details

Although video metrics will be available for both organic and paid video posts, Ads Reporting will provide a more detailed breakdown and demographics:

Facebook Video Metrics-Ads Reporting Details

For complete views, Facebook will make “Video Views to 95%” as the default setting as many videos have blank screen endings. However, you can view 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100% in Ads Reporting. If you are interested in targeting a particular demographic, Ads Reporting will show you how many of those people you reached so you can see if your campaign resonated with the right group.

One of the most interesting metrics is Audience Retention. Dips could show where people lost interest or were turned off by something and stopped watching. Spikes at specific points could indicate where people are re-watching a section either because they like the section or the content may need clarification. With this data, you can make changes to your videos to enhance viewing.

Facebook Video Metrics-Audience Retention

With the increasing demand for video content, these metrics will help you better understand what content resonates with your targeted audience and let you know what you need to improve. No more wondering if you are wasting time and money. For more details and best practices, Facebook created a pdf overview of the new video metrics. You may wish to print it out for quick reference as you explore these new video metrics.

Video Advertising Options

As we’ve heard many times, YouTube has become the 2nd largest search engine based on volume of queries. Because of that, there are a lot of advertising opportunities within YouTube. However, most marketers do not know where to start when it comes to video. There are two ways to setup a video ad campaign: AdWords for Video and Display Ad Builder

AdWords for Video
Adwords for Video uses a CPV (cost-per-view) bidding format. Using the TrueView video formats and CPV marketers only pay when videos are watched. “Watched” is the keyword there, not “shown”. The advantage is viewers choose ads that they want to watch and relevant to them.

Display Ad Builder
Using the Display Ad Builder approach is the way to go if you interested in cost-per-click measurement in video marketing. The Display Ad Builder allows you to create multiple banner formats and sizes, plus video. YouTube provides templates for those that don’t claim to have a creative side.

Using the Display Ad Builder allows you to mix your display, video, and even search ads together in the same campaign. Although, that may not be the recommended approach.

Display Ad Builder

TrueView Video
As mentioned above TrueView videos uses the CPV format. Below are some options when using AdWords for video.

  1. In-Stream Video Ads
    In-Stream Videos appear at the beginning of YouTube videos. After 5 seconds, they provide the user with the option to skip the rest of the ad video. Advertisers are charged when 30 seconds of the video is viewed.
  2. In-Search Video Ads
    In-Search advertising uses the search results of YouTube to advertise, also known as “YouTube Promoted Videos.” Just like traditional search PPC, this approach uses keyword searches. The cost for the ad is triggered when someone clicks on the video.
  3. In-Display Video Ads
    This includes promoted videos, suggested and related video promotions, plus Click-to-Play. The video ad formats allow for multiple sizes. Advertisers can choose whether the video plays within the ad unit or when the user clicks to watch the video. Advertisers are charged when a video is watched.