[ This article was first published in the April, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Monthly Final Cut Studio Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]
In March, I invited Bill Campbell, CEO of vacationscanada.tv to discuss his video streaming operation on the Digital Production Buzz. He created a custom server system optimized for video playback for his company.
One of our listeners sent in a series of questions based on his interview. I thought you’d be interested in Bill’s reply.
Question 1. Mr. Campbell mentioned the importance of using a “solid video based platform”. A. What is a video based platform? B. What characteristics makes a video based platform solid?
Bill: A ‘solid video platform’ would be a purpose built platform that focuses on video. If you visit vacationscanada.tv it is clearly a Video Platform built to deliver video content vs say a WordPress site with a video plug-in or embedded videos from youtube.
Question 2. Mr. Campbell also recommended putting clients videos on their own sites and “not embedding them”. How is a video placed on a site and not embedded? I thought all video that lives on a web site has been embedded in the page.
Bill: If your ‘main sales’ video for example is hosted on youtube (then embedded to your site) people can watch it on youtube and other than simple stats you have limited ability track or most importantly ENGAGE the viewer from A- Z. If you can’t engage them, then your chances of selling them something are diminished.
This brings us to commercialization. Youtube is for dogs on skateboards or if you are a business… for teaser videos… social marketing videos that can drive traffic to your primary sites. In my experience to put is simply, social marketing is an important first line of contact and simple engagement but save your main video for web sites YOU control – be that a Web TV Network or your main web site.
Question 3. Mr. Campbell also suggested using a “good video player” that has “good commercial opportunities”. A. What does Mr. Campbell mean by a good video player? B. Are there better media players than Quicktime, Flash, and WMV? C. What does Mr. Campbell mean by “good commercial opportunities”? What characteristics make up commercial opportunities in a video player?
On vacationscanada.tv our videos (encoded in Flash by the way) have packaging directly linked to each video. You watch the ‘train through the rockies’ video and train packages are displayed to the right of the video. You change videos.. the packages change with you. Our click thru rates on these packages are an astounding 15% average!! People see the train and go … wow… I want to find out more about that. The Package links go straight to product pages where people can get all the details about booking and book!. We can track a video view from Search engine keywords… to pay by credit card and eventually profile of the buyer. THIS is commercialization. THIS is a purpose built platform that you control.
If a video / package combo is not working… we can change it in minutes. Try a different package… a different price point… maybe reword the package info. If a video is not pulling on SEO we can change the keywords easily inside the Platform Dashboard or diminish its real estate.
It’s a fully integrated, commercialized Video Platform with all the tools and stats.
As I discuss our platform with prospects for Web TV Networks… it’s so common that they miss the linking of videos to unique packaging. It’s so obvious but people look blank… and then one day they go… OH!… I get it … this is why I think banner ads pull poorly… the are usually too generic… designed to be on a search engine and pick off as many target markets as possible.
The platform allows a viewer engaged in content to … well purchase exactly when they see in the video.
By the way Zacuto is an excellent example of somebody in our industry that uses video really well…. I watch their videos and just dream of being able to afford all their cool gizmos. The functionality, the design… but ouch the price!
BTW, Larry, I love your newsletter, I’ve been a subscriber since the early days… that NL has made “Larry Jordan” the de facto brand in FCP expertise… do advertisers know the strength of your brand or do you choose not to sell out to advertisers so much?
Larry replies: Bill, thanks for your reply. Many of the projects we create here are open to sponsorship; our seminars and the Digital Production Buzz are great examples of this. This newsletter, though, I am very protective of. I am reluctant to put ads in this publication; as long as we can find other ways to pay the rent.
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