All posts by Kent Libbey

The Webinar is Dead! Long Live the Webinar!

By | chaptered youtube videos, Training, Video Marketing, youtube | No Comments

The traditional appointment webinar is a tried-and-true lead generation mechanism that any marketer needs to have in the toolbox, right? Not according to Michael Kolowich of Knowledge Vision, who’s been promoting the notion of the ‘Flipped Webinar,’ riffing off the concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ where the lectures happen online, before the students gather—and the gathering is focused on interactions between the students and instruction, and among the students.

This Q&A with Kolowich, published on The SEM Post today, outlines the concept and rationale behind the Flipped Webinar—and specifically how Vinja Video might help make it a standard practice.   Here are some excerpts of an hour-long video Q&A, recorded live—discussing and demonstrating the Flipped Webinar produced by Training Magazine Network last fall:

Breakdown of the State of the Union

By | chaptered youtube videos, video, web, youtube | No Comments

Few hour-long videos are more densely packed than the President’s annual State of the Union speech to Congress. I know how hard it is to condense several weeks of start-up company activities into a board deck—but I can’t fathom the challenge of delivering a status report for the entire country spanning an entire year, never mind the political stakes and international spotlight.

While countless days and weeks are spent honing the speech to make it flow—and to keep the live viewing audience from tuning out—breaking it down makes it easier to browse and share. Conveniently, Vinja’s chaptering function makes it easy to identify and tag key elements of the speech, while maintaining the continuity of the whole.

Here’s a 31-chapter breakdown of President Obama’s speech, presented in one of our new ‘overlay’ players (click the bullets on the right to browse, select and share the chapters—and note that the White House logo clicks to more information at

Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Contest Leverages User-Generated Video

By | chaptered youtube videos, video, web, youtube | No Comments

The Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest provides an excellent example of a larger trend and strategy of big brands leveraging consumer-generated video. ULTA Beauty uses Vinja video to drive product sales from customer-generated YouTube videos. GoPro has done a brilliant job of helping consumers put their video selfies on steroids. And Red Bull is a publishing empire for user generated action sports video that also happens to sell a beverage.

But when Doritos started its Crash the Super Bowl contest nine years ago it was one of the first examples of brand-sponsored and -driven user-generated video. And Doritos was bold enough to present it on one of the world’s biggest stages. Carrying on that tradition, this year’s entries are some of the best ads seen yet and in only the second year since the brand opened up the contest to a global audience, 40 percent of the finalists come from outside of the United States.

Doritos recently unveiled the 10 consumer created advertisements that have been selected as finalists for the annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. PepsiCo’s popular snack brand has presented some of the most talked-about Super Bowl commercials of all time and for the ninth consecutive year the brand will turn over the global stage to two bold fans who have created homemade Doritos ads. For the second year in a row, Doritos has opened up the competition to fans around the world and this year’s finalists include a record four advertisements from outside of the United States.

The grand-prize winner will is guaranteed $1 Million, as well as an opportunity unlike any other in the history of the contest: a chance to work as a contractor for a full year onsite at Universal Pictures in Hollywood.

The 10 finalists, hailing from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, were selected from nearly 4,900 submissions representing 29 countries around the world. Two of the 10 television commercials will be selected to air during Super Bowl XLIX, the championship game of the National Football League in the United States, which is viewed annually by more than 100 million people around the world. The grand prize winner will be selected by fan votes on and the other advertisement that airs will be selected by the Doritos brand.

We’ve used the Vinja Player to make the 10 Crash the Super Bowl finalist ads—along with a few other entries—easier to browse, view, share and track. Check them out for yourself:

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas

By | Blog | No Comments

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is happening this week in Las Vegas. The event’s website says, “Explaining CES to someone who hasn’t attended is like explaining particle physics to a house cat.” However, readers of the Vinja Video blog are much geekier than the typical house cat, so most of you already know that the first CES took place in New York City in June of 1967. Since then, thousands of products have been announced at the annual event, including many that have transformed the web video industry.

The 2015 International CES will showcase more than 3,500 exhibitors, including 434 with video products and 572 with video accessories; a conference program with 250 sessions, including tracks on Content and Technology, Digital Hollywood, Marketing and Engagement, as well as a Mobile Content and Monetization; and more than 150,000 attendees and over 6,500 tech journalists from more than 140 countries. Here’s a Vinja Video that combines and chapters three separate videos on the CES YouTube channel, highlighting trending topics at this year’s show and where to find exhibits on each topic:

One of the main themes of this year’s show—and of this year in tech in general is the Internet of Things. While certainly not a new concept or topic, it may be ready to move from technology buzz to mainstream applications. BK Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Consumer Electronics seems to think so in his opening keynote at CES on Monday night:

YouTube Video Marketing Has a Moving Target and it is Measurement

By | chaptered youtube videos, Uncategorized | No Comments

During the early days of YouTube, the only measure of success was “views.” But since then marketers have increasingly challenged the value of a “view” and are now focused on creating content and distribution strategies that drive deeper levels of engagement, such as sharing, data capture, or online purchases. This makes “measurement” a moving target. So, let’s take a quick look at where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re headed when it comes to identifying the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your YouTube video marketing strategy.

YouTube 2007

YouTube Analytics, circa 2007

Measurement took a big step forward on Mar. 26, 2008, when YouTube Insight was released. The free tool enabled anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload to their channel. For example, uploaders could see how often their videos were viewed in different geographic regions, as well as how popular they were relative to all videos in that market over a given period of time. You could also delve deeper into the lifecycle of your videos, like how long it took for a video to become popular, and what happened to video views as popularity peaked.

Meanwhile the market kept moving and marketers started demanding more robust metrics, but it didn’t appear that YouTube Insight was keeping pace. That’s why one of the chapters in the second edition of Greg Jarboe’s book, YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day, is entitled, “Trust but Verify YouTube Insight.” It was published on Nov. 1, 2011.

Less than a month later, YouTube Analytics replaced YouTube Insight. The announcement was made on Nov. 30, 2011.

YouTube Analytics offered a number of new features that YouTube Insight didn’t:

  • A new overview that displayed key information quickly, while also enabling YouTubers to easily access more detailed information.
  • More detailed statistics so that YouTubers could get a more precise understanding of their content and audiences.
  • The ability to discover which videos were driving the most views and subscriptions.
  • The ability to see how far viewers were watching through their video in a new audience retention report.

But the market has kept moving and many marketers are now demanding even more robust metrics. And some savvy marketers have started to realize that YouTube needs to do a lot more than beef up YouTube Analytics. It needs to replace its online video player to change the way video is presented and consumed.

In fact, the way viewers select and interface with our video content remains largely the same: all they can do is scan our title and description, glance at our thumbnail, check our video’s duration, and play, pause, fast-forward and rewind the linear content.

Savvy B2C marketers like ULTA Beauty, the largest beauty retailer for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services in the United States, and savvy B2B marketers like TheCUBE, the leading live interview show covering enterprise technology and innovation, realize that it’s about time for online video to stop working like VCR and start working in concert with other web media.  When it does, the medium of video, and the web itself, will never be the same again.

Vinja enables them to:

  • Tag video chapters: Easily mark, tag, and share links to the gems of content within any of their YouTube videos.
  • Share customized experiences: Meet and interact with their audience through custom video players integrated into their website and workflows.
  • Measure results: Gain and apply insights about their audience to hone their messaging and drive their business objectives.
Vinja Analytics, circa 2014

Vinja Analytics, circa 2014

Together, Vinja and its early adopters are following Galileo’s advice: “Count what is countable, measure what is measurable. What is not measurable, make measurable.” This was controversial advice 400 years ago when the prevailing view of the cosmos was geocentric (the earth is the center of the universe), not heliocentric (the sun is the center of the solar system).

The measure of web marketing success has already evolved from network-centric (page views) to user-centric (session engagement). It’s about time for the measurement of web video marketing success to evolve likewise from video views to viewer engagement—such as, what parts of a video were viewed (and shared) with what frequency, by whom, and with what measurable business results.

Shoppable Video

By | video | No Comments

ULTA Beauty, a global leader in consumer cosmetics, recently launched #ULTAHAUL, featuring videos posted by guests (i.e., customers) who come home with a “haul” of merchandise that they share with followers one product at a time.

Haul videos–the non-geeky first cousin of unboxing videos–started to get the attention of online retailers last year, spiking in 2013 during the week of Black Friday.  But based on stats from Google Commerce haul videos are here to stay with over 5.6 million hours of haul videos viewed in 2014 (through September):

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 10.12.54 AM

But ULTA took haul videos to another level by using Vinja Video to segment the videos into product-oriented ‘chapters’ with synchronized links to product purchase pages that let viewer continue to watch the video while the browse the product page.  Click here to see a live example on ULTA’s site.

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 10.12.45 AM

In a recent investor call, ULTA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Dave Kimball, described their use of Vinja Videos as “ground-breaking” new technology to Wall Street in a recent investor call.

Excerpt of ULTA Beauty Investor call, 10-15-2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 10.14.44 AM

Video of, by and for the Web

By | video, web | No Comments

marketingStatistics regarding the web’s transformation of video distribution boggle the mind—over 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute; video is over 66% of all traffic today (on a path to 80% 2018); over 50 billion online video views in the December 2013 in the US; and so on.

But despite the web’s upheaval of video distribution, video presentation has changed remarkably little over time.  True, the YouTube video “store” has orders-of-magnitude more videos than its 1990s Blockbuster counterpart, but the way we select and interface with video content remains largely the same: all we can do is just scan title-level information (i.e., name, description, picture, duration), and play, pause, fast-forward and rewind the linear content.  

Meanwhile the web has transformed not only the distribution, but also the production and presentation of the once print-only media of text, graphics, images—from desktop publishing to a screen into finely-tune instruments of audience targeting and interaction. How?  In large part by loosely coupling content, presentation and analytics—enabling a highly dynamic ecosystem of localization, personalization, profiling and commerce driven by big data.

It’s about time for web video to stop working like VCR and start working in concert with other web media.  When it does, the medium of video, and the web itself, will never be the same again.

To work like—and with—the rest of the web, video needs to become more:

  1. Discoverable: the contents within a video need to be presented in a way that humans and search engines, alike, can understand and consume.
  2. Browsable:  viewers need to be empowered to choose what parts of videos to watch—in any order they choose—just as they do with web pages.
  3. Interactive:  consuming video needs to be an active process of engagement, not just a passive viewing experience.
  4. Dynamic: video needs to be responsive to the context and device within which it’s presented—and, ultimately, personalized and localized.
  5. Trackable:  publishers (i.e., anyone with a web page) need to know not just that a video was viewed, but also how, by whom, for what reasons and with what results.

To be clear, we’re not talking about video produced for entertainment or art. The web won’t personalize Gone with the Wind any more than it did Hamlet. But when it comes to information-oriented content—whether it’s public or private, or B2B or B2C—the medium of video must, and will, change.

Vinja was founded on the premise that video is the cusp of transformation; and our mission is to accelerate and shape that transformation on behalf of our business customer. We’ve recently taken our first steps on this journey by releasing the public Beta of our cloud-based software, open to all.  We’ve started with the simple notion that adding chapters and tags to videos will make them easier to find, browse, view, share and track.  Over time, we’ll be layering on more functions and value that make video a true, first-class citizen of the web.

Please join us on our journey—and help guide us with feedback and suggestions early and often!