What! – No Shares? Find Out Why.

Illustration-Bloke-Hand-off-Not-Interested

No one WANTS to share it because your video has NO VALUE worth sharing.

Video is, without doubt, the most powerful marketing communications tool ever. Yet the digital revolution has casually placed it in the lap of everyone who cares to use it. The biggest downside to that is the ease with which video can now be instantly recorded and posted online.

There are no barriers for anyone opting to use it. There are no rules that separate the good from the bad or the ugly. You now have to wade through a quantity of dross before finding anything that has any real value.

So how did it come to this?

There is a very persuasive argument that suggests that “the cream always rises to the top” while everything else sinks below it. Over time the same will hopefully happen with the volumes of video being posted on social channels including LinkedIn.

In the mean time, I’m desperately trying to ignore a lot of it. Equally, I feel saddened by the number of people who seem to misunderstand how hugely powerful the medium is when used to best effect.

My suspicion is that the Google themselves are the fools who have caused the malaise. They encouraged the infection when they provided anyone who adopted the use of video on their website with an artificial page ranking hike. My observations tracked this bias being in place for a number of years shortly after they acquired YouTube in 2006.

Why I blame Google.

If you consider the sum they paid for YouTube then there would clearly have been a strategy for recovering the cost of that investment. Growing the channel, and the advertising revenue from it, was clearly the plan for recovering the cost of that $1.6BILLION investment.

The algorithm responsible for this hike in search result clearly relied on a fairly simple formula and the simplest to apply. It just identified if any given page contained video. At that time, these were being hosted and streamed by a relatively small number of specialised video providers. Daily Motion, Vimeo, Tech Smith, or JW Player but with YouTube clearly being the most favoured.

These were the days of link farms, hidden text and other now dodgy forms of boosting your search ranking. Hardly surprising then that it didn’t take long for a few people to work out what the Google algorithm was looking for. Replicating this in their own content became common practice as this knowledge spread.

Let me tell you a story.

I’d not long entered the video production sector when I first bumped into one company - now long ago deceased - at an exhibition in 2009 who offered to get anyone, a page one Google ranking in a matter of weeks, GUARANTEED, using video.

There was a little more to it than simply posting some low cost video on YouTube. One needed / needs to first create the right YouTube channel based on the domain name of the website the video is to be embedded on. The full URL of the page the video was to be embedded on then needs to be in the first thing in the YouTube video description box.

The keywords in the description and tags also all needed to be built around a new, long tail, keyword rich domain name. A "splash page" / "landing Page"  was created at this domain with a link back to their existing website. 

It did work. For a few years. I did it myself as an experiment just to prove that it was possible in 2012. Just before the introduction of the Google Penguin update to the algorithm killed the practice completely. Here’s an old link to a video I produced of the results from that test. SOMERSET BUILDER - CLICK HERE.

So what’s the problem now? 

Video clearly still does help you achieve a higher page ranking.

The original artificial hike Google provided was gained regardless of the quality of the video. Video value was unmeasurable and therefore irrelevant as far as the algorithm was concerned. Any old video tat, uploaded to the right formula, in the right video format, got the same result as one which had taken possibly weeks to create. 

It didn’t need to contain any real real value for the viewer because the Google page ranking hike was the strategic objective. Not the quality of the content itself.

The production company previously mentioned were simply creating videos using photographs. The images were simply dumped into iMovies or similar, with a pause in between each, before being output as an MP4 video. These got them the high page ranking results they were achieving by matching Googles algorithm ranking criteria. 

Hardly high production values. They were produced for next to nothing yet their clients were paying a relative fortune for them. That injustice greatly annoyed me.

The one reason your video has no shares.

Is that it has no value to anyone other than the person who recorded it and possibly some of your already devoted followers.

The reason many people seem to be encouraged to produce the video dross that clogs up my feed is that they have mistakenly been lead to believe that, as it did back in 2009 through to 2013, any old video will help boost your Google ranking.

To a degree yes. You score some small extra Google brownie points for using the medium. However, your engagement score now counts for considerably more than the simple fact that you have a video on your website.

The length of time people spend viewing your video and the number of shares it gets are now measured elements within the total page ranking algorithm. The fact that you have video on your website is now almost taken as a given.

Conclusion - What to do about it.

Video use is now huge and growing weekly. Much of it is still fairly dire.

The fact that it isn’t costing you much to produce, either in terms of planning or production time, will likely dictate that the number of views and longevity of your video content is going to be limited. ( There is / are the inevitable odd exception to every rule and not least this one. These however are more likely to occur in social chat content rather than core expertise content as I am referring to in this post. If you need a deeper explanation to this please sign up to our mailing list via the button below as we have a whole page we still have to write on this topic and we'd like to let you know when it is available. )

When your video has no value to anyone other than those who are already your fans then it’s unlikely to ever be shared. If it’s never shared then all you are doing is talking to the already converted. 

This is fine if it is your sole objective and can be a really great use of the medium. But is a different type of video communication than that produced to be shared and should be directed exclusively to your devotees as they are the only ones watching it. 

Please don’t push broadcast it at me expecting me to engage with it.

Share something rewarding with me and I'll happily share it with others. But only if it provides me with: a valuable insight, some new useful new information or an unmissable offer.

At the very least and if you have nothing else that I and others can learn from.

Entertain me with an amusing distraction.

About the Author

I'm Sam Finlay, the founder of moreVisible and I originally trained as an Industrial Designer back in the early 80s. My career developed from technical illustration and visualising within the manufacturing sector, to design consultancy servicing high street retailers and brands, visualising future products, explaining how these would look or function for B2B presentations. Before moving my creative skills into online video & animation production for the digital economy in 2008.

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