Hi Everyone and Welcome Back to the NOCvoiz. In this interview we are featuring a YouTube Guru, Video marketing expert and a President and Co-founder of SEO-PR an Award Winning Content Marketing Agency. Gerg share his insights on the importance of Video Marketing and how it is beneficial for businesses.
1: Welcome to “NOCvoiz”, tell us how you started such a successful career in the digital Industry? How did you come up with the idea for “SEO-PR”?
GJ: In September 2002, Google launched the beta version of Google News. At the time, I was the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Backbone Media, an SEO agency. I started conducting a few searches and was amazed to see that Google News aggregated headlines from the major press release distribution services right along with more than 4,500 English-language news sources worldwide.
I told Stephen Turcotte, the President and CEO of Backbone Media, that “internet public relations” represented a significant opportunity for his SEO agency. But, Turcotte said, “That’s your thing. I’m thinking of expanding into website design. That’s my thing.”
I thought about it for a couple of weeks and decided it was his thing. So, I gave my notice and then called Jamie O’Donnell, who was an old friend at former colleague. He was the president of IDM Partners, an online direct marketing agency, back then.
I said, “I’ve spent the past year learning how to optimize a webpage to improve its ranking in Google. I’ll bet we can be among the first to figure out how to optimize a press release to improve its ranking in Google News.”
Jamie’s response was, “That’s nice, but I’ve spent the past three years learning how add campaign parameters to URLs so you can track email marketing campaigns in web analytics. Now, if we can add tracking links to optimized press releases, then we’d have something.”
Convinced that we could develop a unique and valuable service that could measure PR in cold, hard cash, Jamie and I co-founded SEO-PR in early 2003.
2: Do you think that video content helps to improve the value of SEO?
GJ: Yes, it does. But, often in ways that SEOs don’t harness.
According to data from Searchmetrics, YouTube has steadily (and stealthily) increased its organic visibility in Google’s SERPs over the past several years and surpassed Wikipedia for the #1 spot at the end of 2019.
And an analysis of Google Universal Search results by Searchmetrics in March 2018 found that at least one video integration was displayed for 22% of desktop and 23% of mobile search results. YouTube had 92% of video integrations.
So, although it may seem counter-intuitive, your best strategy for improving the ranking of your video content in Google Universal Search results often involves improving the ranking of your videos in YouTube first – and then adding your YouTube video or playlist to your website or blog by embedding it.
3: YouTube introduced “Shorts”, Instagram introduced “Reels”. What do you think what advantages does brands get from these?
GJ: Recently, I used Google Trends to compare web search interest worldwide in “TikTok videos”, “Instagram Reels”, and “YouTube Shorts”.
So, depending on the region they’re in, brands may want to focus on one or two of these platforms to see if there are advantages to the short-form videos. Based on what I’ve seen so far, let me share a counter-intuitive, strategic insight: Creative effectiveness is the single most powerful force multiplier in your arsenal. Why? Because the lion’s share of your success will be determined by the quality of your content.
So, you should invest twice as much of your time, talent, and treasure creating a consistent stream of valuable, relevant, engaging, and shareable content, then you invest in distributing it across more channels or different formats.
And, if brands discover that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture their audience’s attention, then they need to identify the right partners who can. Brands will probably get more benefits from a good influencer marketing program than from generating a bad short-form video experience that tries to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.
4: In an interview you said that we can get 7x more views on a YouTube video through “related video” section. What are the things one should consider to make it to “Related video” section?
GJ: I think I gave that interview in 2014. And YouTube changes at the rate of 50% every 18 months, so I would bet the farm on “suggested videos” generating 7x more views today than YouTube search. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if Suggested videos generate a significant percentage of your views. These days, Home and Suggested Videos often generate more views than YouTube search. Why? Because many views have been using YouTube for years and made certain channels and genres their “personal prime time” viewing choices. Yes, they still occasional search for a video that they’ve heard about or for videos on a new topic. But, user’s habits have changed – and YouTube’s algorithms have followed the users.
5: According to you, what determines the reach of the content among the audience?
GJ: If it were up to me, then the industry would adopt the definition of “reach” proposed by the Global Video Measurement Alliance (GVMA), an independent council with members representing brands, agencies, media platforms, and creators working together to define the new industry standard for measuring social video. They can already analyze de-duplicated unique viewers and minutes-watched across Facebook and YouTube. And during the 2021 upfronts, they reported that social video in the U.S. attracts younger demographics, engages viewers at a high rate, is rapidly growing in comparison to linear TV and is an important complement to linear TV.
6: What makes a person an “influencer”? Is there a process anybody could follow or is it a game of luck?
GJ: Well, it generally starts by deciding that you want to become an “influencer”. It rarely happens by accident. But, then the process for becoming an influencer is as unique as there are influencers. So, focus on what do you do well or what makes you different from other people in your field. Hey, if there was a standard process, then budding influencers would be looking forward to earning minimum wage.
7: Lastly, Being an Influential person. What piece of advice would you give to the beginners who want to go big in the industry of digital marketing?
GJ: Well, I’d advise them to read “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions” by Guy Kawasaki. In late 2010, he asked me to contribute about four pages to his book. He wanted me to help him explain how to use YouTube to enchant people.
I immediately said, “Yes.” And then I had to ask him, “What do you mean by enchantment? Is this just a synonym for engagement?” Actually, Guy had something very different in mind.
As defined by my old friend and former colleague, “Enchantment is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes skeptics and cynics into believers and the undecided into the loyal.”
He added, “Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.”
And he concluded, “In business and personal interactions, your goal is not merely to get what you want but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people. By enlisting their own goals and desires, by being likable and trustworthy, and by framing a cause that others can embrace, you can change hearts, minds, and actions.”
Now, that’s a big idea. So, instead of sending him some examples from the first edition of my book, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, I spent some time thinking about what this bestselling business guru was really asking me to deliver. To help this process, I went for a long walk, took a hot bath, and drank a glass of Johnnie Walker Black.
When I got back to Guy, I shared this strategic insight, “Video content that can enchant people must provide intrinsic value to your viewers.” This value comes in four forms:
Now, that’s still the advice that I would still give to the beginners who want to go big in the industry of digital marketing.