You’ve heard all the blah-blah about You Tube being the second largest search engine on the planet but somehow you’ve never quite got around to launching your brand on it. Enough! Today’s the day.
If you’ve been shying away from video because you’re not crazy about sitting down and talking to a camera, the good news is that’s not the only way to do video marketing.
Some people are great at that, some are not.
If you’re not, you can still make a successful video as either a screencast – a recording of you using a program or website with an audio commentary – or by using a slideshow format with a mixture of images, captions and an optional voice over.
That means there’s no requirement to be Martin Scorsese to create an engaging presentation.
For making screencasts, try CamStudio. It’s software that records your desktop view while you talk through what’s happening. It’s great for showing how an app or website works without having to write yards of confusing text.
For creating slideshows try a service like Animoto. You can put together a pretty professional presentation with images and captions in your browser and then share the video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube or by email.
But what will I say?
If you can tell a story with your video, you’ll stand a much better chance of engaging with the viewer – which is the secret to standing out.
A story doesn’t mean Once upon a time, it means explaining or showing something new to your viewer.
Product or feature walk-through
Visitors considering buying a product or service like to get a feel for how well it works by watching someone else use it and explain the features.
You can either present an overview of how your service works or a detailed look at a key feature.
If you’re generating money through affiliate marketing, try making a video for the product you’re promoting. The same principle applies – potential customers are more likely to buy if they can see the product for themselves.
Although often flat and boring as text and images, case studies can be quite engaging when animated. Good use of captions will help reinforce key figures in your prospect’s mind.
Suppose you have an online store selling fishing equipment. Get your potential customers involved by making a series of videos about killer fishing techniques you’ve picked up. Even better, invite your viewers to share their own tips too.
Before you know it, you’ll have a thriving community curated via your online store.
Tell a true story
If there’s some interesting story about how you came to be in the business you’re in, get on camera and tell it.
Everyone loves a great story and it will let your personality come through your website.
That’s one of the most effective aspects of video marketing – even more than a picture it lets your visitors see who you are.
After you’ve shot your video
There are a lot of videos sites out there but YouTube remains the largest – and since YouTube videos often appear in Google results it’s really good place to start.
Create a custom YouTube channel
Use a meaningful name that connects your YouTube account with your site. If you can get the exact match for your site name or brand, grab it.
A username like MyAmazingCompany looks so much better than huggybear28.
Grab the free links
Make sure you add a link back to your site in the sidebar. You can also add links to your other social media profiles too.
Be sure to add tags to videos you upload – it’s a key way people will find your stuff.
Don’t be tempted to target only major phrases. If you tag your video with “marketing” you’ll face a lot of competition and will probably get nowhere. Instead, use related long tail keyword phrases like “social media marketing” or “marketing for beginners”.
It’s good to be sneaky
Add the same tags as the videos you’ll be competing against – it’ll help you come up in the Related Videos panel when someone views your competitor’s videos.
Put your web address in the video
Remember that YouTube videos are often shared on third-party sites and blogs, where the normal links back to your channel or website won’t be displayed.
To get round that, add your site URL to the video by adding a watermark to it. How you do that depends on the software you have but here’s a video that shows you how to do it with Windows Movie Maker.
If you’re creating a slide and voice over video it’s easier – just make sure your slides have your web address on them.
If you want viewers to go to a particular link but the address is on the long side, shorten it with a familiar service like bit.ly – the less there is to type, the more visits you’ll get.
Make use of annotations
Although these only appear when the video is viewed on You Tube, they’re great for linking to other pages like subscribe and channel pages and other videos you have online.
For best results, use them at key points in your video with a good call to action like, “See more content marketing videos here”.
Because it takes time to set up a video camera, clear the crap off your desk and get into the swing of video, you’ll often save time by recording several videos one after another.
Generally speaking, short videos work better than long ones
Although many people will be happy to watch a two minute video, a ten minute epic can seem like too much trouble.
There’s another advantage to using shorter, muliple videos. It gives you more pages in YouTube – which translates to more chances of appearing in search results or as a Related Video.
Name your video file with a keyword phrase
Something like video-marketing-for-beginners.mov is more useful for ranking on YouTube search than 12122012.mov.
Add closed captions to your video
Just upload a text version of your voice over and the YouTube publishing system will create captions synced to your audio track automatically using their nifty speech recognition technology.
Not only is that good from an accessibility point-of-view, but the text helps with search engine visibility.
But wait, there’s more…
Don’t upload a cheesy sales video and expect to wake up in the morning with a viral hit on your hands.
As with other forms of content marketing, the secret is to create decent, useful content and ask people to visit your site for more.