In the final part of my interview with web video curation expert Steve Rosenbaum, we share some recommendations for you to gather and organize rich and relevant video content from multiple sources for your website – which can improve your search visibility and link popularity, and help you be a trusted source in your area of business or professional expertise.
Video Curation Requires Planning
Good curation of video content does require having a strategy. And by strategy, I mean deciding how much effort you're going to put in doing manual research, viewing, reviewing, and vetting. Simply throwing up video content that might show up in YouTube or any search engine around keywords you're targeting is not curation.
Why do I mention that? Well, recently I've seen some sites with an entire platform and advertising model around machine-only aggregated video content of others, with no unique human-based content of their own whatsoever. It's sloppy, and solely done for the purposes of trying to show up in search results with other people's work. (See the screenshot below from the video aggregator site "World News Network" for an example of what I mean.)
Think of curation as a human editing function, before you can rely on any tool to take that over for you. "What there should be is a thoughtful gathering of material around the question that people will have," says Steve. That requires context, which most of you already understand for your market given the combination of experience and expertise you have in your field.
Here are some basic planning tips for doing video curation for your website:
- Research sites that are producing their own unique video content (or are already serving as curators), and find out what content you can rely on from them that relates to your own business model and target audience interest. Also, pay attention to what types of video content on what sites get a lot of traction with sharing and commenting.
- Ask your own colleagues in your field what videos they're putting out or finding success with.
- Ask your own audience what videos would they like to see?
- Ask yourself how much time you are willing to put into reviewing content that comes in? How often will you feature new content? How often will you add your own unique content? How much time will you work with others on curating their content for your website.
Video Curation – Content
- Feature videos that are interesting, relevant and valuable to the need of the consumer.
- Think more about how the videos tell a story, rather than being sales-y. This means you need to weed out videos that are just commercials for other businesses, or not really meant for a public audience. (A lot of videos online may just be posted for a particular individual or company, rather than something of general interest.)
- Include videos that are related to the theme of your brand, but not necessarily about your products.
- Add your own unique content to the videos. Adding your own title and short description is helpful. Also, consider opportunities for providing further context when you have something you think is particularly valuable. Commentary can work very well, along with a summary of the key points, and any high-level tip people can take from it. (Also, you can always add your own video content to a clip of an existing video, and point back to the original video.)
- Find recent content – look for sites that regularly update their video content around recent news or events related to your area of interest. Video curation can make you an excellent go-to source for news with both your target audience and professional colleagues.
Video Curation – Length
My recommendation is to have at least some videos readily available that don't demand your audience devote a lot of their time. Good video curation should include finding short pieces as introductions to particular topics of interest, which you can include around longer pieces.
Video Curation – Quantity
How many videos should you have? How many should you present on a gallery page? How big should you make the main video, and related videos? What descriptive content should you have around the videos? All of that is going to depend on your audience preference, and your ability to present the videos in a clearly organized manner. Here are some general tips:
- Have a diverse collection of videos – some can come from you, some can come from other sites, some can come from the manufacturer or vendor, and some can come from users.
- Don't have too many videos on one page – 5,10,15, 20 – all that may be good; but it really depends on how much you want to give your users to process.
- Make the presentation video easy to watch. If you're featuring a lot of videos, having one large video in a player on a page around thumbnails can work. Or even just having text links to related videos, if you can't provide thumbnails (although I do recommend having thumbnails for a nice visual balance.)
Video Curation – Organization
Whatever format you decide on, I recommend having clear thumbnail images, a title, and a short description for what you want to display. On our own ReelSEO Videos section, you'll notice that we always include our own introduction text, unique titles, and our own short description for each video with some commentary. (You'll also see it's a blending of original video, distributed video, and sometimes user-submitted video.)
Here are some more tips around organizing curated videos on your website:
- Create a subdomain (videos.yourdomain.__) or a ".tv" domain for your curated video collection to reside. Both of these are things that ReelSEO already does.
- Have a "videos" category in your site navigation scheme.
- Break up your videos into categories and series. Including targeted keywords around video categories and series is also good for search engine indexing, which brings me to my next tip section...
Video Curation – Findability
- Tag your videos so people can search your gallery (if you have a search feature). When embedding videos in your blog posts, use a "video" tag on the post, so when people search your site looking for content around videos, they can be more easily retrievable. (You can also use a tag system to distinguish between original videos, user-submitted videos, and 3rd party videos.)
- Include your own keyword-rich title tags and descriptions for each video. (Again, don't duplicate what's already on the original video site you aggregated the video from – search engines may treat that as spam and penalize you on their search engine results pages.)
- For blog posts, provide backlinks to the original video source, but also the content: Backlink to the person, company, or any theme in your video that has an authority website.
- Consider offering your own transcription to videos that don't already have it included. (This can be rather time consuming, so even just getting some quotes from the video is sufficient most of the time.) Search engines need text to index, and transcriptions are an idea way to provide both visibility, relevancy, and being more-user friendly.
- Offer a "subscribe" feature to your video collection. A Media RSS feed is an excellent way of doing this. (If you have more than one video collection, you can have a separate MRSS feed for each collection.)
Video Curation – Contributions
- Encourage people to submit their own videos, or where they can point you to links online to where their videos reside. When I ask for user submissions, I require people to provide me with their own description of the video, some background info (if it's their original work or something they were involved in), and what they consider to be it's relevance to my audience. I also recommend providing an incentive, such as a backlink or special mention at least.
- Give people pointers on what video submissions you're looking for. This can include guidelines on content, length, technical quality, and storytelling. Have a "contribute" page with copy specific to video submissions are worth considering.
- Consider investing in a UGC platform or service provider that makes it as easy as possible for users to submit their videos directly from your site. Some like vidstructor.com will provide the entire platform, or you can even use a service like yousendit.com or wistia.com, to create a page on your site for people to use the uploading feature.
- Be sure to give credit – always acknowledge and promote the people who do submit videos to you, so they have an incentive to keep submitting and sharing.
- Provide a comments section, so people can share feedback on your videos. (If you want to allow people to share links to their own videos, it's also a good idea to have moderation of comments turned on.)
- Create the felling of a community. That means also responding to comments around your curated videos, asking and encouraging feedback and submissions, and helping people out with their own questions (and sharing those questions and responses around your curated video set in blog posts, or even with a new unique video!)
Video Curation Tools & Platforms
Why consider a video curation service provider? Well, if you're doing professional work and are looking to feature lots of 3rd party videos on your website, it's certainly worth considering curation tools or curation platforms, for many reasons:
- They can handle most or all of the grunt work for collecting and organizing videos from multiple sources.
- They can offer lots of tools to search the web broadly, and provide a curated collection of videos to their users.
- They can offer their own video player for organizing your curated videos.
- You can choose to place their own original videos in the curated collection of new videos, for your users can experience and engage with.
- Video curation service providers can provide realtime analytics and interaction metrics, to track the popularity of your video content to see how many people are watching and sharing.
- They are self-service and customizable.
- The are scalable, from a free starter module to paid packages, for increased levels of white-labeling, control of ads, degree of metrics, and monetization
Video Curation platform providers for professional purposes (such as publishing, marketing, training, and monetization) include:
Yes, it's a very short list. Let me know if you're familiar with others you can recommend, or just include it in our comments section on this page!
What More Video Curation Tips?
What, like I haven't given you a lot already? ;-) Actually, I've only touched the surface here. For in-depth information and tips on making video curation a part of your own business model (and especially for your publishing and marketing strategy), I wholeheartedly recommend getting yourself a copy of Steve Rosenbaum's book, Curration Nation. I also recommend checking out his book's website at curration-nation.org, which itself features lots of curated video content.
Feature images provided courtesy of Steven Rosenbaum, some rights reserved.