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If you are doing any amount of video marketing, then you’ve got to pay attention to YouTube. It is THE place to upload and share your videos online. But you have to optimize your videos for search and that takes a little thinking ahead.

Here are 5 elements of YouTube video optimization that every video marketer should implement:

  • Title – YouTube videos, like web pages, have titles. And they are just as important. It’s not clear just how much titles affect the rank of videos, but the title is sure to affect video rankings. Make sure your video titles tell viewers what your video is about and use your primary keyword (the one you want the video to rank for).
  • Description – Just like meta descriptions, video descriptions are important on YouTube. Take the time to write a description using one or two keywords. Tell viewers what your video is about. How is it different than other videos on YouTube?
  • Tags – YouTube allows you to write tags for each of your videos. This is where you will use keywords that are relevant to your video. List as many as you can think of, but make sure they are relevant. Don’t engage in keyword spam.
  • Transcription – This is one that many YouTube video marketers don’t think about. YouTube actually uses your transcription to rank videos. What you want to do is type out a word-for-word video transcription of your video and upload it to YouTube.
  • Authority – You should create a channel, and post videos often. As you post videos and they are liked by other YouTube users you will develop a channel authority. That’s very important. Manage your channel authority and you’ll do well.

It’s no secret that video marketing is picking up speed. More and more companies are figuring out that online videos drive traffic and increase engagement. Surprisingly, the Fortune 100 companies have figured it out too.

Remember, just a couple of years ago marketers were asking, “Where are the global corporations? Why aren’t they making inroads into Internet marketing?” It turns out, now they are, and they’re doing it with video.

In 2010, only 50% of the Fortune 100 companies had YouTube channels. Last year, that number was 57%. This year, it’s 79%. What changed?

I think they’ve figured out that people will actually watch their videos. They’ve been told that no one wants to watch a boring commercial if they don’t have to. After all, when the commercials come on TV, we go to the fridge. Evidently, that isn’t necessarily true. Some people DO like the commercials.

In fact, 2 million viewers subscribe to the Fortune 100 channels, and these companies are keeping their viewers engaged.

That’s good news for the small business. If the global companies can do it, then you can too. The key to effective video marketing is to entertain first. Keep your audience engaged by giving them some reason to return to your channel over and over gain. Feature real people doing spectacular feats, or entertain them with your skills. Tell them a story. Do something that will get their attention. Don’t be a salesman.

This is just what you’ve been looking for. Well, that is, if you are a small business video maker.

We all know how expensive video production can be. Especially if you have to find and pay for talent to be in your videos. And if you want professional grade videos – not those home made throw togethers that are popular in certain circles – then you should expect a somewhat big production budget.

But I think YouTube is about to change all of that, and for the better.

AdAge is reporting that YouTube will soon launch a marketplace where video producers can hook up with talent for their videos. This is a great idea and I’m surprised it’s taken so long to get there. But I like what Baljeet Singh, group project manager at YouTube, had to say about the talent on the world’s largest video sharing site.

“The creativity coming out of YouTube rivals that coming out of creative agencies any day of the week,” he added. “And we already know that their content performs really well on YouTube.”

In other words, if you are a small business making a video to promote your brand, why pay thousands of dollars to an ad agency to get you a celebrity spokesperson when you can be just as effective with a fraction of that cost by hiring direct from the marketplace a YouTube celebrity? There are thousands of people on YouTube now making six figures by producing their own video channels. One of them could be your short video on-screen talent saving you a bundle while you get a professional quality video that promotes your brand.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Video marketing has been hot for at least three years now. YouTube is still less than a decade old, but the opportunities for small and medium businesses to take advantage of the video marketing benefits are growing more and more every day.

In fact, a recent article at Marketing Pilgrim illustrates this truth very well. Here’s a little snippet from the article.

Whether your business is large or small people want to know what you do in the quickest and easiest format for them. So what if you feel that video is too expensive? So is losing business to lesser competitors because you are counting the wrong things as important in your business.

I couldn’t agree more.

YouTube’s video channels are becoming more and more popular all the time. I’m not saying you necessarily need a video channel, but if it is feasible for your industry, why not start a channel that depicts an entertaining and informative news format for your niche?

Online marketing in general is becoming more and more competitive. Video marketing is just one piece of the pie. But it’s a piece that does not deserve to be ignored. It’s becoming more important every day.

Have you thought about how you can incorporate video marketing into your marketing plan? What have you come up with?

A few days ago we discussed tablets and how they’ve grown into one huge market on their own. Well, a new study confirms that finding and enhances it.

Tablet users now make up 31% of the market. That’s huge penetration and phenomenal growth since last year. What’s more, they are huge content consumers.

In fact, tablet users will pay for content and they will respond favorably to ads within that content. That might be a first.

How The Tablet Could Revolutionize Video Content

As previously mentioned, tablet owners can do all sorts of things on their devices including:

  • Read blogs, magazines, and newspapers,
  • Browse the web
  • Read e-books
  • Watch videos
  • Listen to the radio
  • Download apps
  • Play games

But what are they doing the most? Accessing content and watching videos.

94% of tablet users access content through their tablet weekly while 54% watch videos. When it comes to watching videos, the most popular types of videos accessed are short-form news and entertainment (92%). After that, it’s user generated content such as what you’d find on YouTube (64%).

So does this spell opportunity for video content producers? You bet it does. In fact, it spells sterling opportunity.

With tablet usage expected to grow beyond the current numbers, you could consider this moment in history an awesome opportunity for content creators of all kinds. If you are a content producer and you want to know where to capitalize next, consider the tablet. It’s got open arms.

Video production is a worthwhile endeavor if you have a purpose. And video marketing certainly can deliver traffic if handled with the right amount of patience, a good plan, and a good video.

Before you start your video production you should ask yourself a handful of questions. Start with these:

  1. Who is your audience? – I don’t just mean your business target. I mean the target audience for your video. Narrow it down to a specific subset of your total audience. Not all marketing messages will appeal to every segment of your audience, so define the audience for that specific video.
  2. What is your budget? – Budget matters. If you want to include a particular element in your video but budget constraints won’t allow it, you need to know that before you start production.
  3. What is the goal for this video? – Without a well-written objective you likely will not meet it. Know exactly what you want your video to accomplish for you before you start producing it.
  4. Does it tie in to another promotion? – If so, which one? Some videos are standalone. They are their own promotion. That’s fine, but if your video is being produced to tie into another promotion, then you need the input of the team that is putting that other promotion together.
  5. What is your deadline? – Define your deadline before you begin. Then work hard to stay on schedule.

Every aspect of your video production and timeline need to be defined before you begin production. Don’t leave anything to chance.

Have you ever wished you could broadcast a video online in real time to an audience of thousands of eager watchers? It won’t be long before you can.

I like this idea. It’s about as sublime an idea as I can think of. But what does it take?

  1. First, it takes a Google+ account. If you haven’t signed up for a Google+ account, then I’d suggest you do so. This is only going to get better.
  2. Secondly, you need a YouTube account. If you don’t have one, sign up for one now. Remember to sync your YouTube account and your Google+ account by using the same login address.
  3. Start a Google+ hangout. Invite people. Enjoy the hangout.

The Google+ Hangouts on Air hasn’t been rolled out publicly yet, but when it does go public, you’ll then be able to have a recording of your hangout post automatically to your Google+ stream and your YouTube account. Then, you and the other participants, as well as people watching the recording after the event, can discuss it. That’s powerful video marketing.

In fact, it’s the most powerful video marketing ever. After all of that, you’ll be able to share the video on Facebook, Twitter, LinkIn, and wherever else you have a social media presence.

Google+ Hangouts is already a powerful feature of the new social network owned by Google. When you add the ability to record your hangout and have it post automatically to YouTube – well, you can’t beat it. It isn’t exactly realtime (thought the event itself is), but it’s just one step away.

If you do a fair amount of TV advertising and your target market is Web savvy or a tech savvy audience that spends time on YouTube, then you can improve your TV advertising performance by adding a YouTube channel to your campaign. How do I know? It’s been done before.

Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean.

Using YouTube for audience engagement is nothing new, and I’m sure other television advertisers have added a YouTube channel to their TV advertising campaigns. But I haven’t seen anyone talking about the results from doing so – until now.

Reciprocal Consulting has said all along that a YouTube-TV advertising combination would be effective. Just think about it. You can produce one video for your YouTube channel and use it for your TV advertising as well. That will save you on the cost of production of your videos.

Another way to make it pay is to produce two versions of the same video – one for TV and one for YouTube. If your video tells the same story with two different endings, then you can drive traffic from the TV ad to the YouTube channel where you can get a little deeper engagement with your audience, not to mention track them a little more closely. Then, your engaged audience can interact with you in the comments of your YouTube channel.

If you have thought about adding an online video marketing element to your TV advertising campaigns, there is no better time than now.

Do you have a good idea for a YouTube channel? Think you could become the Jon Stewart of online video entertainment or the Brian Williams of online video news content? What about your own niche programming serving up videos to your website’s audience. Maybe you could be the Tim “The Toolman” Taylor of hardware, or you could deliver video car reviews.

Whatever your passion is, you can now enjoy the same monetization opportunities on YouTube that were previously only open to producers of popular content.

In other words, if you have only 500 subscribers to your YouTube channel and regularly receive just 20 likes on your videos, that’s OK. You can still join the YouTube partnership program and start monetizing your videos. This is an incredible opportunity. Not only can it provide incentive and encouragement for you to continue with those videos – if you’ve considered giving up due to lack of attention – but you might be able to leverage it into an additional revenue stream for your business.

The first step, of course, is to sign up for a YouTube account. If you haven’t considered your own YouTube channel until now, it might be a good time to do so.

The second step is to start producing videos. The good news is they don’t have to be long videos. You can post 1 ten minute video per week and with the proper social network campaign you could drive your viewership up and up and up. That will increase your revenues and your exposure.

If you’ve had an eye on YouTube, start your video marketing right now. You have one more motivation.

A new study in video ad marketing suggests that you should start your video with a surprise to engage your audience, then quickly shift to something uplifting that inspires joy. That is, if you want to keep your audience engaged.

Bunk.

The key is engagement. I grant you that. But how you engage your audience depends on a number of factors including your product and brand and your audience. Duh.

I don’t discount that surprise engages an audience. I also don’t discount that elements of joy within your video will keep your audience engaged. I do discount any notion that the key to effective video marketing is to use these two elements back to back. I’m pretty sure that’s not what Marketing Pilgrim intended to say, and almost equally sure the study wasn’t conducted to suggest that. But it doesn’t hurt to dispel the myth anyway.

To be effective in marketing through videos, you do have to have audience engagement. That means, don’t throw a TV-like commercial together and hope people will watch it.

Your video marketing will be more effective if you tell a story. People love stories.

Engage your audience using storytelling techniques while placing your product or brand into the story. That’s the most effective video marketing you can get. But your story has to be engaging. It can be funny or it can sad. It can even be scary or dramatic. But it should engage your audience and it should be appropriate for your brand, your product, and your company’s personality.

Social video marketing is a new term that is beginning to catch some momentum. But what does it mean? Is it just about slapping a video up on YouTube and going about your business?

In a word, no. There’s much more to it than that.

The keyword here is “social.” Video marketing involves high quality video production and then uploading your videos to the right video sharing websites and/or posting it to your website or blog. But social video marketing takes that a step further.

Google gets it. Its new social media service, Google+, makes video sharing very easy. There are two ways to share on Google+. You can click the YouTube slider on the top right of your screen and search for a video by keyword, then click to share that video. Or, you can click the video icon in your post box and record a video live to post it in your stream for your followers to see.

Of course, you can also share videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. But social video marketing is as much about the social marketing as it is about the video marketing.

You should be commenting on other people’s videos. And you should be sharing other people’s videos. Don’t forget that YouTube is as much a social network as it is a video sharing site. So use it for networking. That means befriending people with like interests, liking their videos, embedding their videos, sharing their videos with your friends and followers, etc.

Take video marketing to the next level. Make it social video marketing.

The search engines are in a constant state of change. Every day, Google makes about 500 algorithmic changes meaning that’s how many times they change how their search results work. That doesn’t mean that every change will affect every query or that they affect every website on the Internet or every search engine result. Some are very specific and address very specific issues within particular niches.

Still, when you look at how search engine marketing has changed over the years, it’s easy to see why video marketing is becoming more and more important. And that’s includes YouTube.

More and more online marketing are using videos every day. But not just videos in the sense that they throw together a two-minute gig and throw it up online. Many of these videos are very professional.

YouTube has several advantages for video marketers. One advantage is that you can start up a video channel on YouTube and post regular video updates that are entertaining as well as informational and that market your website.

Another advantage to YouTube is that it is a very popular social media website. You can meet people on YouTube that you might not meet anywhere else. By developing a relationship with people on YouTube you can send them to your website to buy your products and services.

Finally, YouTube is the second largest search engine online – right behind Google. That is perhaps the biggest advantage. If you have a presence there, then people will likely find your videos.

Video marketing is getting to be more and more attractive every day. YouTube is one good reason why.

One growing branch of online marketing is online video marketing. It seems to be picking up speed. But there are certain principles that video marketers should cling to if they want their marketing to be effective. One of those principles is to keep it short.

I’m talking about your videos.

High quality shorter videos seem to attract a great response from viewers and have the best potential for going viral.

The reason shorter videos work best is because people in today’s fast-paced global marketplace are crunched for time. A thirty second video will go much further than a one hour documentary. Especially if your goal is to attract attention and drive traffic for marketing purposes.

If you want to provide in-depth videos on a given topic, you are better off using short videos to attract attention to your business and website and using them to drive traffic to your longer pages. You might even put those long educational videos behind a paywall and charging admission. Then you know that someone interested in that kind of time commitment is willing to pay for it. When people put their wallets on the line, that’s a commitment.

Put your marketing budget into your short videos. They don’t provide any more SEO benefit than longer videos, but they are also don’t provide any less SEO benefit. But they do work for driving traffic.

Online video marketing isn’t rocket science. You can be effective with just a little forethought and some respect for your prospect’s time. Draw them in with short videos and close them with your on-page content.

There are three things that we know will always be true.

  1. Sex sells; dirty sex sells even more
  2. All marketers are liars (thanks Seth Godin)
  3. Video marketing is on the move toward the future

So what can we make of these three truths?

First, if you want to make your business popular, try one. Some marketers have been very adept at creating sexy marketing campaigns. Even when it wasn’t necessary. The sex caught people’s attention and the company was catapulted to notorious fame (think GoDaddy).

Of course, you can always stretch the truth a little bit. Exaggeration is not just a literary technique. It’s also a marketing principle.

But, better than sex and lies, video marketing has come of age. Savvy online marketers can produce high quality videos on a fraction of the budget that they used to be able to do. And you can distribute your high quality videos online to drive traffic to your website. You can do it all day long.

But I’d guess the best, most effective marketing strategy is to mix these three elements together. If you can create a high quality video that plays off sex and exaggeration (lies), then you can develop a buzz and watch your traffic soar. Is that what you really want, sex and lying notwithstanding?

Should you host your video on your own website or should you host it on video sharing sites like YouTube?

Answer: It depends on your video marketing strategy.

There are times when you might want to host your video on the video sharing websites. If your intent is to submit the videos for promotional purposes and drive traffic back to your website, then that is a legitimate marketing practice. If the video isn’t going to be viewed on your website at all, then it’s certainly viable to host them offsite.

I won’t say that you should NEVER host your video elsewhere and embed it on your site, but it’s not a practice that we generally agree with. If you want to use the video for marketing and traffic generation purposes BUT you also want to feature it on your blog, then you might host your video on YouTube. However,

if your intent is to feature your video on your own website rather than use it to promote your website, then you should host it on your server and on your own website. Don’t host it at YouTube.

When it comes to creative marketing – like video marketing – there rarely are hard-and-fast rules. Just do what makes sense.

If you haven’t started using Google+ yet, I have one more reason why you might consider it. YouTube video marketing has just got easier. In fact, it’s easier than Facebook and Twitter.

It happened in just the last couple of days. Google added a YouTube search feature. In the top right corner of your screen (if you’re using Google+) you’ll see the YouTube icon. Click it and a search bar extends left a couple of inches.

All you have to do is enter a search term. When you do, a popup box the size of a YouTube video appears with a video playing related to your search term and a playlist below it. You can watch videos right through the playlist or go to the video you want to watch. Then, when you want to share on Google+, you click the green Share button.

The share button allows you to pick your circles, write a message, and send, just like on Google+.

So how do you make the most of this? If you’re a video marketer, upload your video to YouTube. When you’re ready to share it on Google+, just use the YouTube search feature. It’s the easiest video marketing I’ve seen to date.

Is it possible to brand your business with videos? Of course, we believe it is. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your video branding strategy.

  • Include you logo and business brand name in every video. Make it a standard practice to showcase your business logo and brand in the opening sequence of your video and in the closing frame at a minimum.
  • Use a cornered logo often and when practical. In lieu of the above suggestion, add your logo to the corner of your video screen so that it is visible throughout your videos.
  • Create a YouTube channel. Distribution is a key element to video branding. Create a YouTube channel and distribute your videos on a regular basis through that channel.
  • Establish a voice for your videos. If you use the same voice over artist for every video, you’ll establish that voice for your company and it can work as a branding element.
  • Establish a visual style. Small elements such as video transitions and effects can be used to brand your videos. The key is consistency across all your videos.

Video branding is all about establishing top-of-mind awareness for your brand through videos. It can be done with simple elements and a consistent approach.

Google has announced that it plans to add 100 new channels to YouTube. This looks like it could be a great new marketing opportunity for small business advertisers. Forget about channels themselves as the media.

Of course, you’ll likely still be able to add your own channel. I’m not saying that. But these channels will be Google-guided, which means that they will be a top-down production. Some of the channels will be produced by high octane talent such as Ashton Kutcher, Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal, and CSI creator Antony Zuiker. They will, of course, need sponsors.

So how will this sponsorship work? I’m guessing that it could be similar to TV sponsorship. But I could be wrong.

Currently, you see PPC ads show up on the bottom of your screen when you view YouTube videos. That could continue with these new channels and if it does, great. But you could also see featured productions preceded by a sponsored video. If that happens, look for a great opportunity for advertisers.

Also, look for TV advertising to begin its decline. I’m not saying it will come to a crashing halt. But it could fall of if YouTube channel advertisers start to see positive results and make the shift from TV to YouTube advertising.

Video marketing is one of the 21st century’s most powerful vehicles for branding and small business marketing. You can produce powerful videos that stay live on the Web for a lot less than you can spend on TV or radio advertising – vehicles with a limited shelf life.

Still, ineffective video marketing can cost more than effective marketing in other media. Make sure you are doing it well.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind about video marketing as you strive to get your business in the minds of consumers:

  1. Shorter videos do better – Don’t go for the 2-hour documentary or 10-minute infomercial. Instead, go for the 30-second or 1-minute quickie. You’ll be a lot more effective.
  2. You don’t have to hire actors – You want to keep your video budget down. Use a slideshow or voice over artist. A full scale production isn’t necessary.
  3. Distribute widely – Don’t just distribute your video through one channel. Go as wide as possible.
  4. Promote through social media – “Push out” your videos through social media in order to “draw in” your prospects.
  5. Drive traffic to your website – Use videos to drive traffic to your website, then close the sale.

There’s no secret recipe to video marketing. There are good sound principles that are still in development. No one owns the best practices monopoly. Be creative, experiment, and make your message strong.

Video marketing is very effective if you produce the video right the first time. The following video is a good example of a video marketing effort that succeeds.

  • The video is professionally done.
  • It parodies a popular song, albeit one from the 1980s.
  • It highlights the most important features of the product it is promoting.
  • It’s short enough to hold your interest while being long enough to showcase the service.
  • And it makes you want to know more about the service as well as the actress showcasing her talent.

The service, Google+, is the latest craze in social media. Why not have your own professional video made? Promote another product or service or your own. Draw attention to yourself – in a good way.