Is your video marketing plan written out or does it consist mainly of you throwing paint against the wall?
This is not a question in a vacuum. It’s a question that deserves an answer. With all the video marketing options available to online marketers today, there’s no reason not to write out your plan and follow your plan as you implement it.
That doesn’t mean your plan won’t ever change. Businesses go through evolutions. That’s expected.
Think of it as like a business plan for your video production team. Your goal is to drive traffic and increase conversions through video distribution. Your plan should address, at a minimum, the following methods and strategies.
- How often you will produce videos and what quality they will be (include your budget for production)
- Where you will distribute your video
- Will your videos be used on your own website?
- How will you promote your videos?
- What purpose will your videos serve for each marketing demographic you target?
- How do your videos fit into your sales funnel cycle?
Video marketing is not a marketing strategy so much as it is a piece of your overall marketing portfolio. It should work together with other marketing efforts to drive traffic and engagement. If it isn’t doing that, it is likely ineffective.
You’ve got a great video marketing plan and have started working it to your advantage. Good for you. Does it include YouTube? It should, and to make the most of your YouTube video marketing, be sure to include these three easy-to-implement tactics.
- Enable video embedding – If you want your videos to get maximum exposure, you’ve got to allow embedding. I’ve seen a lot of businesses shoot themselves in the foot by disabling video embedding. Embedding allows bloggers and other business owners to showcase your videos on their websites, which gives you great exposure and opens you up to more potential customers.
- Keep your videos short – Few people want to watch an hour-long video, even on a topic that interests them. Keep your videos under three minutes, if possible. Shorter videos get more views, and they’re more likely to be embedded.
- Share your videos – Don’t just upload your video on YouTube and forget about them. Share them. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to give your videos maximum exposure all around. Yes, even Pinterest allows you to pin videos, so put it out there.
These three simple and easy-to-implement video marketing tactics will give you greater impact and exposure beyond the interface of YouTube.
What format your content takes is far less important than whether or not your content is worth consuming. You can create mediocre video content and it’s just mediocre video content, but if you produce great content, then it doesn’t matter if you make a video out of it, publish it as textual content, produce a podcast, or create something else out of it entirely. Great content is great content.
But what qualities does great content possess that separates it from everything else? That’s what I’m going to tell you right now.
Great content consists of these six necessary qualities:
- Fresh and original – Your content must be unique. It should also be relevant while appealing to the needs of people right now. Don’t serve up stale, overused content.
- Quality, not quantity – You can publish every day as long as you are able to publish high quality content that is fresh and original. Otherwise, don’t publish every day.
- Write great headlines – Headlines serve one purpose. They are to get readers to read your articles. If they don’t do that, then they aren’t great headlines.
- Brand yourself – Great content is best when it is identifiable as a brand. Put your signature on it.
- Be honest – Your audience expects nothing less. Don’t pull a bait and switch, and never try to cover up a mistake. Just be transparent. Be honest. If you do that, you’ll earn your audience’s trust.
- Get it out there – No matter how great your content is, if no one can find it, it won’t matter. Publish and promote. Get your content in front of people’s eyes.
If you want to be known as a publisher of great content, make sure every piece you publish (no matter the format) contains these six necessary qualities.
Online marketing allows you to make liberal use of images for your marketing efforts. In fact, it’s been proven that images can enhance your message dramatically and lead to greater lead generation results. Here are 5 ways you can use images to increase your online marketing efforts and make them more effective.
- Pinterest – You’ve likely heard of Pinterest by now. It’s the “visual” social media site. You pin images that your followers can like or re-pin. Using Pinterest makes your brand a very visual brand.
- Blog Image Optimization – When you write a blog post, include an image. Blog posts with images get read more often and are more shareable on social media.
- Facebook Page – Don’t just build a Facebook page. Make it visual. At the very least, add your website’s header to your Facebook page so your branding is consistent.
- Social Media Enhancement – Add images to your social media posts. Whether you are active on Facebook, Google+, or another social network, visual posts are more shareable, likeable, and readable.
- YouTube Marketing – Video marketing is one of the best visual online marketing tactics around. Just as images enhance your blog posts, videos add another dimension to your content marketing.
Don’t settle for a run-of-the-mill marketing plan. Make your online marketing more visual.
When it comes to video marketing, there aren’t many hard and fast rules. But there is one rule that you should always keep in mind. Before I tell you what that is, here are five principles you should strive for in your video marketing efforts.
- Optimize your videos and video channels – Video optimization is all about ensuring that your videos are found by the very people you want to find them. Video optimization means giving your videos the right titles, tags, and descriptions.
- Quality doesn’t mean HD with SurroundSound – Make sure your videos have a basic level quality to them, but they don’t have to be professional Hollywood grade. They just have to hold your audience’s attention.
- Make your videos engaging – Engage your audience with videos that inform and entertain.
- Increase your content – You don’t need to start a new video channel every time you get a bright idea. You can add more video content to the channel you already have.
- Give your videos a branding element – Branded videos don’t necessarily mean you add your logo to the beginning and end of your videos. You can brand them with the content, but do brand them.
All of these are important principles for video marketing, but the most important thing to keep in mind is consistency. Produce consistent high quality content that engages your audience and brands your company.
From PPC advertising to video marketing, and everything in between, you’ll need to monitor your analytics to see how effective your campaigns are working for you. Without measuring your efforts you don’t know what to change.
So, what if you do watch your metrics and you notice that you are getting a lot of traffic from a particular geographic region. Does that matter?
Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t.
If you aren’t targeting that demographic area in your content or consciously striving to get business from that area, then you might ask why you are getting a lot of traffic from that area. There could be a number of reasons why you’d get traffic from a specific geographic area without consciously targeting that area.
For instance, maybe someone in that region has taken a liking to your content and shares it on a regular basis.
There could be other reasons why you are getting traffic from that region. Maybe you mention a certain area in your blog posts a lot and don’t realize it.
Your first step is to research the issue and see if you can determine why you are getting that geographic traffic. Secondly, ask if it is hurting. If not, find a way to capitalize on it. If it is hurting in some way (for instance, traffic from that region doesn’t convert or leads to a lower conversion rate), then your challenge is to find a way to turn that into a positive.
You can do the same thing with other demographic elements (age, gender, etc.). If it doesn’t hurt, find a way to capitalize on it.
E-mail marketing services provider Constant Contact conducted a survey of small businesses and asked them how running their businesses today is different than it was five years ago. There have been some interesting findings as a result of the survey.
- 59% say it’s harder running a business now
- 84% use more online marketing tools
- 51% say it’s important to be a locally-owned business vs. 42% five years ago
- 98% use e-mail marketing today vs. 64% five years ago
- 87% use social media marketing vs. 10% five years ago
- 72% expect revenue increases in 2013, however, 56% do not expect to hire new employees in the next six months
- 55% say the biggest impact on their business in five years will be the economy; 18% say mobile and search marketing technologies
These certainly are interesting findings. The fact that small business owners are turning to online marketing tools to grow their businesses today means a lot. In five years, I expect that 84% to grow to over 95%, possibly nearer to 99% or 100%. If you look at the e-mail marketing number (98% of small businesses today), that’s where I’d expect all Internet marketing numbers to be in five years. I wouldn’t be surprised to see video marketing and mobile marketing to be a bigger part of the survey by that time.
What are your thoughts?
If you publish your videos to YouTube, you should tie those videos to your Google Analytics account. Doing so will allow you to track important metrics for your videos and see what’s working and what’s not with regard to your video marketing efforts.
To add YouTube to your Google Analytics account, all you have to do is go to YouTube and click on My Channel in your profile settings area (HINT: Click the down arrow in the upper right corner near your avatar). Next, click on one of your videos. Under the video title you’ll see a small box labeled “Channel settings.” Click on that button. Scroll down to where you see “Google Analytics account ID.” There should be a text box next to that label. Copy and paste your Google Analytics account ID into that box and click the blue Save button.
Adding your YouTube videos to your Google Analytics account allows you to see how many visitors, unique visitors, and page views each of your videos gets on a regular basis. If you perform any marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your YouTube videos, that will be a very important metric for you.
Video marketing is getting better all the time. YouTube and Google Analytics are two reasons why.
Back in 2005, Yahoo! purchased Flickr, the world’s first major photo sharing website. Then, nothing happened. Many users thought they screwed it up. Well, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is on a mission to ensure that Flickr is improved upon.
The company has announced that all Flickr users now have 1 terabyte of storage space.
With that much storage space, you can upload one photo per hour for forty years and not use up your space. So has Flickr become a great place for uploading and sharing your photos again?
Maybe. The real test will be if users start using the site again. A lot of people left after Yahoo! purchased the site. But if you can upload that many photos for free, then I’d say it’s still a great place to store your photos for using on your website or blog.
But that’s not all. Yahoo! has also improved the look of Flickr, giving it some new features.
Your homepage is now a gateway to everything you care about, and all the photos Flickr has to offer. Our new Activity Feed combines your friends’ recent uploads with activity on your own photos, and all in a beautiful design that lets you share and interact right on the page.
You really should check it out. Flickr’s new look is awesome. And for video marketing, it’s just as awesome. You can now upload videos up to three minutes long.
If you’ve been waiting for live streaming to come to YouTube, then you can relax. If you have more than 1,000 subscribers to your YouTube channel, then you can engage in live streaming video right now.
This is an awesome opportunity for serious video marketers.
YouTube has been the forerunner in video sharing and video marketing since its inception in 2005. Now that it’s owned by Google, the opportunities for marketing are even better. It’s not just a video marketing platform. It’s a video storage and video sharing platform with huge, HUGE SEO benefits.
Your audience will surely value the live streaming experience. If you produce an informational segment in your niche at a specific time every day, week, or month, then live streaming is perfect.
The WebProNews article highlights some of the features of live streaming on your YouTube channel:
- Real-time transcoding in the cloud
- Multiple camera angles
- Closed captioning
- Support for multiple devices
- And much more
If you thought YouTube marketing was good before, it just got a lot better. Video marketing is a great way to introduce new clients to your products or engage with new leads. Live streaming video takes the benefits of video marketing and multiplies them.
There is a new art form, and a new marketing strategy, that involves using a variety of media to tell separate stories of the same characters or worlds. It’s called transmedia storytelling.
Transmedia storytelling is different than cross-media storytelling. With cross-media, you are telling the same story. With transmedia storytelling, you are telling separate stories of the same characters that run parallel. Many new entertainment brands are using transmedia storytelling by incorporating the following media to present worlds in different ways:
- Social media
- Mobile apps
- And more
The big question is how can businesses take the principles of transmedia storytelling and apply them to marketing and branding?
Like a lot of things, there’s not just one way to do it. But it takes some creativity and thinking outside of the box to pull it off.
For instance, why not create a character or mascot that represents your business? Then you can give that character a voice by choosing someone to play that character in a series of entertainment videos where your brand, product, market niche, or customer need is the central message.
Next, set up a Twitter account where you tweet in the voice of the character.
Make your mascot the central character in an e-book.
Blog in that character’s voice daily.
When you go about these ordinary marketing activities, be sure that you are adding value to your audience’s lives. Entertain them while you inform them. Make it fun.
We’ve talked about Google+ Hangouts before, and we’ve talked about YouTube marketing too. But did you know you can integrate these two features to make them both more powerful?
Google+ Hangouts is like Skype. You can host a web conference with up to 10 people (with Skype, it’s 25). However, Google+ Hangouts has some additional features that Skype can’t touch.
For instance, you can share documents with the other webinar participants in real time for free. You can share your computer screen and use Google Drive to share your documents. You can also click the “ON-AIR” button once your Google+ Hangout is underway and record your Hangout live. Let’s see you do that with Skype!
But it doesn’t stop there. You can easily share your Google+ Hangout with all your friends on YouTube. That makes your webinar available to your YouTube channel’s followers and the billions of YouTube users who search for videos on a daily basis.
Once your web conference on Google+ Hangouts is shared on YouTube, you can then share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you are a member of.
Google+ Hangouts is a free feature that is a part of Google+. It’s a powerful business tool for video marketing.
Marketing your brand through YouTube is one of the most powerful media for marketing on the Internet, but what is the true value? Is it traffic? Rankings? Brand reputation?
The truth is, most of the benefit you get from marketing your videos through YouTube is with brand management, not traffic or rankings.
The Truth About YouTube Traffic
In the FAQ section of this lengthy blog post, the author gives an example of a YouTube video marketer who showed over 400,000 views on their YouTube videos in December 2012 but received only 19 referrals to their website as a result of those videos.
If that doesn’t shock you, it should.
The amount of traffic you can expect from your YouTube videos is relatively low. Why? Because people don’t go to YouTube to find videos that promote websites. They go there to find a video to watch for entertainment or informational purposes.
YouTube And Search Rankings
If you upload videos to YouTube hoping to increase your website’s search engine rankings, you’ll be disappointed. You could see a rise in your brand’s search rankings, but it will likely be your YouTube channel – especially if you upload a lot of videos and if you share them on your social media accounts or embed them on your website.
Video embeds from YouTube help YouTube’s rankings, not the site on which videos are embedded.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want more rankings for your brand name, YouTube could be a place for you to make that happen. Just know that you’ll be ranking your YouTube channel, not your website.
YouTube And Branding
Your best bet for using YouTube for marketing purposes is to upload videos that have a strong branding message to them. Try to make your videos informative and entertaining. If you can do both and still get your brand in front of your audience, then you’ll be golden. That’s what YouTube is all about.
YouTube has opened up One Channel to the entire world. So what is it?
In a word, One Channel is YouTube’s new design platform that allows you to make your YouTube channel more accessible to more people. The prime feature of One Channel is that it makes your YouTube channel easier to experience on any digital device. No matter what kind of screen your video viewers are using, they can experience your videos.
That includes desktop machines, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, or any type of device with a digital display.
Check out this example of a YouTube One Channel design.
YouTube Is More Accessible Than Ever Before
YouTube One Channel isn’t just for independent movie makers. It’s for anyone who has a YouTube channel and makes videos for an audience. That includes online marketers.
No matter what niche you serve, if you have your own YouTube channel, then you should switch to the new YouTube One Channel design. If you aren’t producing your own videos on YouTube but you’ve considered it, then you should definitely put your eye on this new product because this is the future of video marketing.
I’m proud to see video marketing improving, especially on YouTube. This is one area where technology just keeps improving. It’s good to see it.
Google+ Hangouts just keeps getting better. Did you know you can livestream your hangouts over YouTube, and even on your own website?
It’s true. All you need is a computer, a Google+ account, and a webcam. Then you can plan, schedule, and broadcast your very own Hangout. You can use your Hangout for anything you want. Here are a few ways you can use Google+ Hangouts:
- Hold a series of classes or workshops
- Host a webinar
- Answer customer service questions in realtime
- Take care of customer service issues with multiple people having the same problem at the same time
- Make an important announcement about your business
- Introduce a new product or service
- Conduct private business meetings
- Present awards, promotions or other honors across great distances
I’m sure you can think of other uses for Google+ Hangouts. The cool thing about Hangouts is that they are free. Instead of paying for meeting or webinar meetings, you can have them on Google+ for free. And you can livestream them over YouTube or your own website – again, for free.
Innovative online marketers are always trying something new and always testing the latest technology available to them. Google+ Hangouts is still new enough that you can be on the ground floor.
A client says to me, “I should be getting more traffic than I’m getting from this SEO business.” My response is, “Of course you should be getting more traffic. You should be doing more things.”
Sometimes, expectations exceed reality because we’re not willing to do the work necessary to make reality reach our expectations. If you aren’t getting enough results from your efforts, maybe you should do more. Or maybe you should see what else you can do to achieve the results you are expecting.
Online marketers should never just rely on one method of marketing. If all you are doing is writing blog posts and hoping SEO will deliver more traffic to your website, then you aren’t doing enough. You should be promoting through social media.
Or you could be using pay per click advertising models, or perhaps doing some video marketing.
If you’re blogging 15 days a month, start blogging 30 days a month and see what happens. Open up a Twitter account and promote your blog through Twitter. Do some Facebook marketing. Or head off to LinkedIn and join a few communities. Join a forum or two. Engage in some conversation in the forums. Write a few articles even.
Marketing is about talking to people. It’s not about sitting around waiting for results. Birds who do that don’t get any worms.
Video marketing is becoming more and more powerful, and competitive. It’s also one of the best ways to SEO your website. And I mean beyond building inbound links.
Here are 5 SE0 tactics to ensure you employ when conducting your ongoing video marketing:
- Submit to more than just YouTube – There are at least 50 video sharing websites online. You should upload every video to YouTube and at least 10 of the more popular video sites in addition to YouTube.
- Optimize your video titles – Make sure the title on each video you upload to the various sites mentioned above is unique. If you share one video to ten sites, then you should have ten unique titles. Each of them should use your primary keyword. Also, optimize your description and tags for each video on each site.
- Embed your video on your website and/or blog – Google is now indexing embedded videos on websites and sending traffic directly to those sites.
- Add a niche-related video section on your website – This will encourage other people in your niche to share their videos on your website. More content equals more SEO.
- Create a video sitemap – Sitemaps help search engines find pages to index. If you have a lot of videos on your website, then you should create a video sitemap.
Video optimization is one of the most important activities you can perform if you use videos in your marketing – and you should!
If you’re looking for a new opportunity in video marketing, YouTube has it. But this opportunity requires that you put an educational twist on your videos, not a self-promotional angle.
I hope you don’t see that as a bad thing.
The Internet has always been a place where people have gone to search for information. Therefore, informational-driven content typically does well. In times past, that has existed primarily in text-based content such as articles and blogs. But today, it is just as likely to be in the format of videos, infographics, or multimedia presentations.
Khan Academy is a YouTube channel that is education-focused. If you have a topic that is easily digested and perfect as an educational venue, and you believe you are the right person to deliver educational content on that topic, then here’s your opportunity.
Educational videos are very popular right now – on YouTube and elsewhere. So this opportunity comes at just the right time.
The YouTube opportunity – termed EDU Gurus – will only be open to 10 people, each of whom will receive $1,000 to allow them to purchase educational equipment. But you have to apply for the program. If you’re accepted, then you could be the next YouTube sensation. Here’s your opportunity, all of you who are interested in being video superstars.
Most businesses approach an online marketing company with a general question like, “what kind of marketing should I do online and what does it cost?”
If an online marketing company answers that question directly, they’re probably not the company you want to go with. The sad fact of the matter is you can’t really define your online marketing strategy unless you define your budget first. Why is that?
Online marketing has blossomed into many different sub-niches. You can use videos online, pay-per-click marketing, social media, search engine optimization strategies, mobile marketing, and the list goes on. Each one of these online marketing channels requires a specialist to put together a strategy that has a remote chance of success. That’s because they’ve each developed into a unique discipline.
You can easily spend $1,000 on marketing your business online and barely touch the tip of the iceberg in terms of opportunities. So you have to narrow your scope to determine what are the best opportunities for your business.
How you spend $300 in PPC is very different in how you can spend the same amount of money on social media. If that’s your monthly budget, then you can’t do both very effectively.
By setting your online budget first, you automatically eliminate certain online marketing channels because you can only do so many videos for $500. That money might be better spent pursuing a channel that allows you to reach your target audience with many more touch points. For this reason, it’s best to meet with an online marketing consultant to help you narrow your opportunities to most cost effective for your business.
It’s getting harder and harder to convert video viewers to customers. It could be because videos are a lot more popular online right now than they’ve ever been, but it’s also because there are so many ways to view videos. People aren’t necessarily watching them on your website. And not necessarily on YouTube either.
People watch videos on social networks and on their mobile phones and tablets too. They may be at home, at work, or standing in line at the movie theater. You have to grab their attention fast and close them.
Here are 4 ways to ensure you get closer to converting video viewers to customers the first time they watch your video:
- Keep it short – Few people have time to watch a ten minute video, especially if they feel like they will be sold to. Make it short and hold their interest.
- Entertain them – Be entertaining even as you inform. People will sit through two minutes of entertainment more than a 30-second infomercial that is nothing more than a conduit for information.
- Add calls to action – If you want people to respond, give them a call to action. Tell them what to do because it may not be obvious.
- Close them on the spot – Put your call to action in the video itself rather than having your viewer go to your website and fill out a form. If you can get the click right in the video, then you put your customer one step closer to the conversion. That means you are more likely to get the sale.
Video marketing is becoming more sophisticated every day. Leave nothing to chance.