Brevity Is The Soul Of Viewership

April 8, 2009

Online video is the Internet’s It Girl right now: Viewership of online video is up more than a third, Hulu and its streaming full-length shows are the #2 video site on the web (stealing eyes from TV screens), and it seems like even your grandmother is vlogging on YouTube now.

But with all those tens millions of videos being watched, who’s really watching?  That apparently depends on how long your video is.

According to a new study by TubeMogul, people are watching a lot of videos, but they aren’t watching for very long.  More than 10% of viewers click away after the first 10 seconds of a video, and after a minute, more than half the audience is gone.

Audience Attention Span (Source: TubeMogul)

(Source: TubeMogul)

While TubeMogul’s data has a number of caveats and limitations, and they seem to be concerned with the implications for pre- and post-roll advertising, I’m more interested for what it says about PR-related video content — product demos, talking-head interviews, etc.

We always advise our own users to keep their videos short; ideally, less than 5 minutes long.  (As you can see from the graph above, fewer than 10% of users will hang around for more than 5 minutes.)  Rather than include a lengthy video with your multimedia press release, create a short excerpt, and make the full video available for download or by request.  It’s easier to keep viewers for a minute or two, and leave them wanting (and requesting!) more, than to keep them around for three, four, five minutes or longer.  And it both builds interaction and encourages social media penetration — users will be more likely to share and recommend shorter videos, and when they come to you for more, it opens up a dialogue between you and consumers, media and other audiences.

So, in short, keep it short!  For some great examples of what our own users are doing with video:

Business Wire on YouTube


Reminder: BW Webinar Friday on Video and Corporate Communication with Digital Citizen Media

January 22, 2009

dcm_logo_process_s1With the increasing popularity of online video, we asked our friends at Digital Citizen Media to join us in a talk about using video for corporate communication purposes and our new partnership.

Recently, Business Wire teamed with Digital Citizen Media, a leading digital media production and content management company, to offer professional video tools, in particular the Video Annual Report (VAR), to our members. Members can also use Digital Citizen to create, produce and manage video content to use in Business Wire Smart News Releases, Corporate Profiles and other forms of corporate communication.

Join Digital Citizen Media’s Tim Carey in a discussion about using the Video Annual Report and trends and best practices for using video for corporate communication.

Registration is required for this free webinar:
“Using Video for Corporate Communications feature the Video Annual Report with Digital Citizen Media”
Friday, January 23 beginning at 1 p.m. EST
Register today at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/870845332

For a full schedule of all of our upcoming webinars and events, check out http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events


Web Friendly Press Releases Get More Google Juice

November 3, 2008
Jennifer Saragosa with the Google Juice King, Warren Buffett

Jennifer Saragosa with the Google Juice King, Warren Buffett

Getting your press release found, seen and shared is always a challenge, and now that press releases are increasingly utilized to generate “Google juice” — organic search engine results–tips are flying about how to make your press releases more web friendly.

Here at Business Wire, where 1,000+ press releases each work day move through the chute, we suggest these simple rules: have something to say, write well, and make sure your press release is web friendly.

How to make your press release web friendly?

Business Wire’s own Jen Saragosa, a frequent speaker on our webinar series and a senior account manager in our Boston office, penned a timely article for Grant Marketing recently in which she suggests tips tips for getting more Google juice for your press releases.

Drink up Jen’s wisdom here.


Web 2.0 Acronyms Gone Wild: Some Will Stick, More Will Fade

July 14, 2008

JUST as we’re mastering an explanation of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its importance to press releases for our clients, an email is forwarded, touting the virtues of DAO, digital asset optimization, as one of the niftiest twists in the Web 2.0 evolution.

In breathless text and two–count ‘em!–videos, DAO is championed as the key strategy for achieving “effective visibility across multiple platforms” for press release videos, graphics and otherAcronyms Gone Wild digital assets.

So does DAO make SEO seem DOA?  Just ask your BW AE for the DL on EON and SNR and find out ASAP!

If you’re getting indigestion from this overdose of alphabet soup, you’re not alone.  Even those of us who make a living trying to keep up are getting nauseous.   Seems like at least once a month, Web 2.0 pontificators invent a new acronym to hang their hats on.    Uh…didn’t we just go through this with the SMPR?

Just this week, a blog post at Video Insider introduced a grand new acronym for our collection:  the iGRP,  Internet Gross Rating Point.   Blogger Todd Sacerdoti introduces a new method of measuring online video viewership. 

Will iGRP catch on?   How about DAO?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, confusion reigns as we sift through the jargon.

Staking out a new acronym doesn’t automatically imbue its letters with meaning.  Well, maybe if you’re Steven Colbert.   Colbert, star of the Colbert Report, shown most weeknights on Comedy Central, champions truthiness, the modern notion that just because you say or believe something, that makes it true.

The rest of us have to let our acronyms play out.    Sometimes they stick and assume real meaning.   More often, they fade into the rear view mirror.

Business Wire has been doing digital asset optimization since 1998 when we introduced our Smart News Release (we even earned an acronym:  SNR).   To see how we optimize digital assets, check out our news with multimedia.  And for a free education in text optimization, watch our archived webcasts on how to be an SEO hero.


Free Webinars by Business Wire Specialists Offer How-To Press Release Tips

July 8, 2008
Free press release tips available through Business Wire webinars

Free press release tips are available through Business Wire

Interested in press release tips from those who handle thousands of press releases every single workday–a collection of how-to nuggets on optimizing press releases for search and simple lessons on the social web?

Then join us for Business Wire’s free webinar series, attended by thousands of communicators.   New media specialists Malcolm Atherton, Monika Maeckle, Michael Toner, and Maria Van Wambeke will share their collective wisdom in three online events this month.

The free webinars focus on using new and social media tools to turn press releases into cost effective and interactive marketing tools. To learn how to Be An SEO Hero, find your way if you’re Lost in MySpace, or figure out why Your Text Needs a Partner, register for one of these free webinars.

To view archived webinars, check out the Business Wire resource page.


The Knot Makes Case for Hybrid Media At Business Wire Event

June 26, 2008

More than 150 professional communicators gathered at the 3 West Club in Manhattan earlier this week for Business Wire’s panel discussion, “A Social Media Conversation: How PR, IR & Marketing Professionals Can Engage and Participate in the Social Web.”

Peter Himler, President of Publicity Club of New York and founder of Flatiron Communications moderated the panel which included Melissa Bauer, Senior PR Manager of The Knot, Ryan Block, Editor-in-Chief, Engadget, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager for Google News, Peter Hershberg, Managing Partner, Reprise Media, Rob Key, CEO & Founder, Converseon, and Jim Nail, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, TNS/Cymfony.  PRNewswer did a nice recap and you can also listen to the webcast.

The Knot\'s Interactive Press Releases Deliver Hits and Views

The Knot’s case study in utilizing many of the new tools and strategies discussed seemed to strike a chord with attendees. Bauer’s slidedeck demonstrated in detail how the company uses ALL types of media–from Facebook, video-on-demand and interactive press releases to traditional media pitches and hard copy national and local magazines.

Let’s hear it for hybrid media.


Business Wire’s Free Webinars Offer How-To Tips for Press Releases

May 22, 2008

Seems folks just can’t get enough of Business Wire’s monthly webinars. As the social media vanguard embraces Twitter and pushes blogging into the mainstream, I remind myself and new media colleagues that a multitude of the clueless STILL seek basic understanding of the “new rules” for press releases.

Our clients and other issuers of press releases are busy people, with intense competition for their time and attention. Press releases are a small-but-important part of their universe. It’s no wonder, then, that a large percentage of corporate communicators need remedial help in understanding the new tools, technologies and best practices for today’s press release.Be an SEO Hero at one of Business Wire\'s June webinars

As always, we’re here to help. We don’t pretend to be objective since press releases are the very core of our business. We do, however, promise enlightenment and free learning during our weekly webinar sessions, which cover everything from how to optimize your press release for search to a step-by-step lesson on how-to Digg your press releases–and if you even should.

This FREE education is easy-to-access and awaiting your registration. Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, June 4: Your text needs a partner: Using Multimedia to Drive Press Release Results

Tuesday, June 10: Be an SEO Hero–Optimize Your Press Release for Search

Wednesday, June 18: EON: Enhanced Online News

Friday, June 27, Lost in MySpace?

We hope you’ll join us.


Wire Services Don’t “Go To Technorati,” Nor Should They

April 11, 2008

Curious clients have posed the following question of late :  “Do you go to Technorati?”                                                                              

Well, not exactly.   “Going” to Technorati is a misnomer, since what Technorati does is index blog content, not press releases.

Take the blog post you are now reading.  When I hit the “publish” button, the clever WordPress interface I’m using sends a message–or “ping”–to Technorati and other blog search engines.   When blog search engines receive the ping, they deploy a “spider,” or automated search program to come see what’s new.  

Magic pixie dust?

That content is then indexed against all the other content competing for your attention.  The order in which the blog search engine results are served up is based on hundreds of variables–things like in- and out-bound links, how many clicks those links are getting, what authority the blog has, how long it’s been around, how frequently it’s updated, and a slew of ever-changing factors.

So:  does Business Wire and EON Enhanced Online News “go” to Technorati?  You mean do press releases sent on Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News–or any wire service for that matter–show up in the Technorati blog search engine results?

Only if bloggers reference the content in the context of a blog post.  

The goal of the professional communicator should be to engage the blogosphere to write (preferably positively) about your company or organization.  Press releases, well-done, are a powerful tool for accomplishing just that.

Sorry, there’s no Magic Pixie Dust.  Wish there were.    We’re back to good content, well written, appropriately distributed.   That’s why you get paid the big bucks.

P.S.   Communicators who want to guarantee that their press releases are indexed by Technorati and other blog search engines should start their own blogs, follow best SEO practices, and figure out relevant ways to work their press release content into them.


Press Release 2.0: Writing and Content Matter More than Tech Tricks

February 20, 2008

Tactics, the newsletter of the Public Relations Society of America , devoted its February issue to writing, and that’s good news.

PRSA Public Relations Society of AmericaWhy? Because in the contest to appear more-social-media-savvy-than-thou, some industry pros are losing sight of what matters most when it comes to press releases: good writing and valuable content. After that, appropriate delivery gets your message heard.

Judging from the roiling conversation around the “social media release,” you might think that press release results are all about the technology–that sharing chicklets, trackbacks, multimedia and tags are a PR panacea.

We at Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News don’t buy that. We believe a well-written story, distributed through appropriate channels, gets your message across.

That DOES NOT MEAN press release content shoved inappropriately into social media networks and two-way conversations. Crashing the party and interrupting conversations has never worked for me in the past…how ’bout you?

In our webinars, we educate attendees on how new media tools apply to press releases, reminding them that tapping into social networks requires time, energy and understanding. That’s why it’s called “networking,” which applies online just as it does in person.

At a PRSA meeting, you wouldn’t barge into a group of people you don’t know, shouting “Have you seen our new product?!? It’s really great! You should buy it!”

You wouldn’t.

Rather, you’d listen, find common ground, start a conversation, develop rapport, cultivate a relationship…and maybe, just maybe…hours, days or weeks later, propose some sort of contact.

Making releases more web friendly can increase a release’s Web traction, no doubt about it. And surely you won’t be surprised to learn that IMHO Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News offer the best tools on the planet for delivering press releases to their appropriate audiences.

That said, even OUR superior technology is incidental to the content and the writing.


Multimedia Upgrades on BusinessWire.com: New Layout, Navigation, and Video Options

February 15, 2008

After discussing our overall website redesign in an earlier post, in this post we’ll focus on our new multimedia features on BusinessWire.com.

If you work in PR, Advertising, Marketing, or any kind of function that has to do with communicating with audiences, you’ve probably noticed already how important online multimedia has become in organizations’ new communications mix. At Business Wire we’ve had front row seats to see how a lot of companies started changing their online multimedia strategies in recent years. As a result we’ve been continuously updating our own offerings to best assist professional communicators and make sure we help them reach the audiences they look for in the best possible ways.

As part of our efforts, earlier this week we announced three new features that make multimedia a lot more visible on our site, allow our various user groups to easily find the kind of multimedia they need, and improve the user experience, sharing options, and measurement around video.

New Multimedia Gallery on the Press Release Page:

The first change we announced is placing the entire multimedia gallery on the press release page. While traditionally in our industry multimedia was often considered a separate part of the press release — placed in specific sections of websites where users needed to navigate to especially — we at Business Wire have shown the first two multimedia assets on the press release page itself, and then linked those to the full multimedia gallery. However, experience has taught us that internet users are busy and overburdened with information. Unless users absolutely need something, they often won’t go out of their way to look for it. Also, when forced to navigate several levels deep on a website, some users may drop out in the process. Therefore we decided to bring multimedia directly to the user and make sure all the multimedia associated with a press release is immediately visible to all, without having to navigate away from the press release page.

New press release page layout with full multimedia gallery

The screenshot above shows how our full multimedia gallery is now an inseparable part of our clients’ press releases. Whether a release goes out with just one or two multimedia assets, or with a full set of photos, videos, audio files, logos, or pdfs, all those assets from now on are immediately visible to anyone looking at our client’s release, from the first moment they land on the page. This leads to much greater exposure to each asset, that ultimately can increase media and blogger pick-up.

New Web2.0-style navigation:

Showing all multimedia was just the first step though: as many of our clients know, Business Wire serves multiple constituents. We serve journalists, who often need high quality multimedia to download and repurpose for their stories. We have increasing usage by bloggers, who want to embed multimedia on their blogs and link to other sites; we have end-users who simply want to see an image or play a video without saving any files; and then there are also analysts, traders, industry executives, and so on.

Our goal at Business Wire is to be able to serve all of these audiences in the right way so they are able to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. So in order to give our users all the variants they need: hi resolution, low resolution, thumbnail, etc. or various video and audio variants, while minimizing the amount of navigation layers on our site, we’ve introduced new web2.0-style navigation menus for multimedia.

So now, when a user hovers on the thumbnail of a multimedia asset, they get all the options in a new menu that opens right there and then, whatever it is they’re looking for. Journalists can easily access high resolution downloadable multimedia files, bloggers can quickly find embeddable and linkable media, and end-users enjoy immediate viewing options. And the best part is that all these options are now only one click away from any press release, improving the user experience, helping drive more traffic to our clients’ multimedia, and once again, increasing the likelihood of gaining more pick-up.

New hover menus on Business Wire's multimedia thumbnails

New Video Player:

Finally, let’s focus on video: for several years Business Wire has been publishing videos using popular download formats such as Quicktime, Windows Media, and Real Media in several file sizes for users who needed to save and repurpose full files. We’ve also made all videos available on sharing sites such as YouTube, MySpace Video, Google Video, and Blip.tv, which is a great consumer-facing benefit, but is still a separate part of our site, and therefore provides a different kind of usage environment, and no unified measurement. So we decided to introduce our own branded video player that quickly and easily plays content from our site to end-users, can be embedded by bloggers on their own sites, and provides our clients with additional measurement in the reports we generate. And of course, we continue to make all videos available on leading video sharing sites. So now any user can easily play content distributed via Business Wire in the destination and format of their choosing, whether it is on YouTube or on BusinessWire.com, and whether by playing directly or downloading for other purposes. And the data from our own video player and downloadable files is easily shown in the measurement reports we provide clients.

So for example, here is where users can find all of Business Wire’s multimedia for a specific press release on our own site.

And here’s is how a You Tube embed would look like from the Business Wire Channel:


 

And finally, here is an example blog showing how the Business Wire embedded player would look like on another blog:

Example blog post with Business Wire Video

With a full multimedia gallery on the press release page, new web2.0 navigation menus offering 1-click access to all multimedia, and our new branded video player, we’re putting multimedia in the forefront so our clients can take full advantage of these benefits. We encourage you to check out the new features, and as always, feel free to let us know what you think. If you have questions on the best ways to utilize multimedia for your next release, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or call your local Business Wire representative.


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