by Michele Nachum
Published on 13 September 2012
They say a photo speaks a thousand words, but I assume a video speaks volumes as well, especially in today's YouTube-oriented world. In today's market, businesses are doing everything they can to separate themselves out from the pack with digital and video online marketing.
But let's face it, ensuring that your videos are seen by your target audience and are well received, can be a challenge.
Vidyard is one such company that knows the importance of video and has provided a service to help you take your produced video and ready your clips for a company website, internal company use, Facebook page and Twitter account as well as for YouTube. The cost is affordable and they can certainly make the marketing and promotion of your videos much easier and affordable.
Patrick Landy, customer service success manager for Vidyard, took me through their video solution and I was impressed. I'll tell you why. The folks who created Vidyard know their customers. They know that marketing a video isn't just a one-step process - you can't just throw it on your company website and watch the traffic grow. It takes an active strategy, publishing your content to all available channels, to engage your audience, wherever they may be. As the second-largest search engine and largest video hub, YouTube is often a big part of that; unlike most video platforms, Vidyard embraces that and helps you navigate that ecosystem. Vidyard allows you to do more with your video to help you "maximize the effectiveness of your online video strategy," says Landy.
Vidyard is easy to use. Plain and simple. You can be up and running in 10 minutes - maybe a bit more, depending on your technical know-how. Vidyard was not created for technical pros but for any business professional that wants to have more control over their video strategy - including customization, publishing, measuring viewer feedback and more.
Your dashboard is created instantly after sign-up and will give you an overview of how your videos are doing each day.
Once you sign up and get to your homepage (dashboard) you can start working with your videos. Getting started is easy, either grab new videos from your computer, choose from any existing videos, or import from YouTube. Once you have the video in your account, you use Vidyard to design a player to publish it in.
As mentioned briefly above, Vidyard makes a distinction between a Video and a Player, videos are the content you upload from your computer, or import from YouTube, while Players are the container for those videos, which you can customize and embed in various locations.
There are several ways you can work with your video in the Player. You can customize the look of the player through different colors and buttons, modify video chapters to create a playlist of more than 1 video, choose various splash screens, and even create customize Call-to-Action pop-outs to give viewers more information or the opportunity to convert..
I was especially impressed with two of these features, the first being the splash screen - the little thumbnail of your video that will be showcased on YouTube or Facebook, etc. As we all know, we like to watch videos that look compelling. The splash screen, with maybe a few words to describe the video, will be the first thing people see and may determine if your video gets watched. Vidyard allows you to create up to 8 different splash screens and configure a split test to see which splash screen is resulting in more clicks, ensuring your video is receiving the largest possible audience.
The second feature that impressed was the "call to action" (CTA) tool you can add to your video so that people can perform the action your video is encouraging.. For example, the CTA could be a trial sign-up, buy now, donate button or simply a place to present more information alongside your video.
Once your video is finished and ready to send out, you have multiple ways to showcase it. You can embed it on a company website for internal/external display; push it out to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and of course publish the content to YouTube.
If you have a series of videos that you want to schedule - maybe have them go out to multiple places every Wednesday, for instance, Vidyard allows you to schedule your video releases so you don't have to physically be at your computer to send the video out.
One of Vidyard's most important features is measuring the success of your video campaigns. The dashboard will offer you a nice overview of how your video library is performing; you can also jump into specific players to see more detailed information. In addition, Vidyard lets you view performance in Real-Time, so you can literally watch viewers as they checkout your content. Finally, Vidyard also measures audience attention span, so you can tell if people only watch the first few seconds of a video before they start scrolling to the end. This tool gives you a nice opportunity to better understand how your video is working and what particular parts are most compelling to your viewers.
VidYard offers many levels of pricing from pay as you go (each video is $5, allows up to one user and 10K minutes) up to $499 per month for those businesses with high volume video outreach (it allows up to 300 videos per month). Mid-level pricing is $79 per month for 20 videos and 1 user and 10K minutes as well as $249 per month for 100 videos, five users and 30K minutes. All plans start with a Free 14 day Trial.
Vidyard should work well for businesses that have a video strategy, utilize videos for their current marketing strategy or have considered implementing a video strategy. Landy tells me that Vidyard is also popular among YouTube die-hards, providing additional management, scheduling and analytics tools to support a quality YouTube campaign.
I believe that VidYard offers a number features that will ultimately help businesses of all sizes effectively launch and manage a successful video strategy
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5