Globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014. The sum of all forms of video will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2019, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.
Think about that. Video will be 80 to 90 percent of global consumer Internet traffic in just a few years. Why is video paramount to our online presence?
Coles Marketing Videographer Shawn Sorrells said video is so popular across Internet traffic on a global level because while “content is king,” video is the king of content.
“Video can tell a story and capture with it emotion and sincerity,” he said. “And it also gives brands the chance to feature testimonials from a consumer’s viewpoint. Being able to see and hear that personal voice of the consumer is much more believable.”
Easier to create, faster to deliver
Aligned with the influence video has is the ease with which you can now create your own video, post it online and share with the masses.
“Even five years ago, smartphones and other mobile devices weren’t as proficient with handling video as they are today,” Sorrells said. “That’s also true of the speed of your mobile device and of the cellular network you’re using — both are delivering data more quickly and efficiently than ever before.”
As noted by the Cisco Visual Networking Index, broadband speeds will double by 2019 — reaching 43 Mbps, up from 20 Mbps in 2014.
With faster speeds and user-friendly video apps for basic effects, consumers can become their own multimedia videographer and editor. But anyone loading video to the Internet still needs to make sure it’s a video worth sharing.
Produce a share-worthy video
“The video needs to be visually captivating beyond what you see on a day-to-day basis,” Sorrells said. He offered these video production tips:
- Tell the story: As with any story, there should be a beginning, middle and end.
- Use proper lighting: Make sure the light is bright enough but the shot isn’t backlit too much. The environment needs to be free of distractions and shadows, and keep people away from walls and windows. It’s better not to use the flash — good natural lighting is best.
- Make the background interesting: Have a splash of color from a plant, wall painting, etc., to give a little pop without it being the focus.
- Make the audio a priority: Use a microphone whenever possible, whether it’s a boom, stick, lavalier or handheld mic. And if you only have the onboard mic from your camera or mobile device, get as close as possible to the subject who is speaking.
- Shoot more video than you need: Having more video will give you more options when editing and more ways to tell your story that you may not discover until after the shooting process.
It’s all about telling the story
What about once the video is shot? Depending on your operating system, Sorrells suggested iMovie and Windows Movie Maker as some of the best free video editing software applications available.
“Use a variety of different shots in your video and be precise,” he said. “Every shot has a purpose to help you tell the story and get the message across. And when you’re done, watch it — and have others watch it — before you go live. Because once it’s out there, it’s out there.”
Coles Marketing’s in-house creative team has the tools and talent for all your photography and video production needs. Learn more!Edit this post
Local SEO continues to change — almost on a monthly basis it seems. But is your business changing with it?
It’s about monitoring how your organization is doing online and always making it a priority to take the next step into SEO evolution — particularly investing in localization efforts.
Optimizing for local search
Launched in July 2014, Google’s Pigeon Update is the latest algorithm providing more useful and accurate local search results tied more closely to traditional Web search ranking.
“User location is now a ranking factor in Google search,” said Coles VP Marketing Brian Coles. “Local search results are included on SERPs (search engine results page) based on a keyword query.”
The changes affect the search results shown in Google Maps as well as the regular Google search results. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is sign up or claim your listing on Google My Business and confirm that listing is accurate and complete.
“Then sign up or claim other local business listings like Yelp, Manta and Yellow Pages, making sure all the information is consistent,” Coles said.
Directories that dominate
“There may be twenty to forty important listing sites depending on the industry,” Coles said.
Some of primary local directories are as follows:
- Yelp – one of the most-used websites for consumers to find a quality review
- Google Business – Google outperforms every other search engine by a huge margin
- Facebook – the second-largest local business directory in the U.S., behind Google Places
- Yellow Pages – an organized directory receiving millions of searches a day
Coles referenced an article by Chris Marentis on “Search Engine Land” that said cleaning up directory listings is “tedious and time-consuming work. But it is work that pays off big time when done right.”
Capture customer reviews
Once you have your business listings set, it’s time to generate reviews from your customers.
“User reviews are one of the many factors that help your local visibility online,” Coles said. “Google tries to emulate the human offline experience as much as possible and is constantly updating their algorithm to better the search experience. A deciding factor in whether a consumer purchases a good or service, both online and offline, is the experience had with that company.”
Gathering those customer reviews can be a bit of a slippery slope. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Promote reviews by asking customers or clients to leave a review on sites like Google Business, Yelp or Facebook.
- Be cautious how you ask. Many review sites don’t like solicitation.
- Leave a laptop at the front desk to capture customers as they leave to ensure the review gets done.
- Respond to reviews, positive or negative, as soon as possible.
Sharing helps searching
“A best practice for all search is to generate relevant, consistent and timely content and to engage with your users through blogs, social media and sharing,” Coles said.
Local SEO is about your website as well as your active social media profiles. The more activity and content on your company’s social media pages the better. Especially if that activity comes from your customers. It increases the visibility of your local listings as well.
Want to get started on your digital media strategy? Coles Marketing has the insight and digital tools to help you with your local SEO campaign and help you reach the right audience in the right way.Edit this post
March is Disability Awareness Month — increasing awareness and promoting independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.
According to the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population. This is the 25th year for Disability Awareness Month, and Hoosiers who want to make a difference can get involved in activities and events throughout the month.
I have the privilege of working with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads as one of our clients. And they just recently opened a new technology lab for people with disabilities. From home automation devices and wearable gadgets to robotics, the INDATA Project is making assistive technology accessible and user-friendly for everyone, particularly to those people with disabilities.
“The big challenge is getting people to realize every device someone without a disability can use for convenience can also be used by someone with a disability to enhance that person’s quality of life and independence,” said Brian Norton, the manager of clinical assistive technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. “Assistive technology can have a profound impact on how a person with a disability interacts with people and their environment, excels in school, and performs in the workplace.”
It was amazing to watch the robots and high-tech devices capture the attention of people who came to the open house as well as the media, who highlighted the new lab on air and through social media. And this technology is available to all — the INDATA Project offers loan-interest loans, funding options and an equipment lending library to Hoosiers with disabilities.
“We want people to understand assistive technology doesn’t have to be super expensive,” said INDATA Director Wade Wingler. “This technology lab is a great way to show off the best AT in the most approachable and user-friendly way possible.”
For more information about INDATA, visit www.eastersealstech.com.
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