Video Marketing Basics
If you have not done so, it is recommended you read over Part 18 – Social Bookmarking first.
This is the nineteenth tutorial in the ‘Journey Into Internet Marketing’ series. In this unit, you are going to be introduced to the ins and outs of using videos to market your online business.
To ensure that you have everything you need to be able to start taking advantage of the power of video as a marketing tool, this tutorial is going to demonstrate several different ways of making videos.
It will also highlight the key factors you have to consider as well as how and where you should publish your videos for optimum results.
Let’s start by considering why video has become such an incredibly popular marketing medium over the past few years…
The character and expectations of the modern Internet user are very different to those that their forebears would have exhibited and recognized.
Whilst previous generations accepted that certain aspects of life like knowledge, entertainment and information had to be slowly sought and worked for, modern man expects everything to be delivered instantly and at the click of a button.
Not only does the modern Internet user expect ‘life’ to be delivered to them instantly and on a plate, but the Internet has also encouraged them to have an ever-shortening attention span too.
No matter the reason for using the Internet, the speed of technological advance has conditioned users to expect everything they want to be served to them instantly with one mouse click in a very small bite sized ‘chunk’.
If the entertainment or information they seek does not satisfy these requirements, they will move on until they find an alternative that does.
For all of these reasons, video is the only ‘game in town’ for these folks.
Reading something requires too much concentration and attention, and listening to audio materials doesn’t do it for them either. It’s moving images or nothing.
As an example, reading a long (or even a short) report on screen would be an absolute nightmare for the vast majority of the online video generation.
Of course, there are some (I hesitate to say it, but generally older) people who are still more comfortable reading the written word.
Despite this, there are millions of Internet users all over the world who want everything served to them in simple to understand moving images that give them what they want immediately.
To put some ‘meat’ on this, it is suggested that YouTube enjoys over 300 million visitors every month and that 5 billion videos are watched on the site monthly.
Furthermore, site users – ordinary people like me and you, not video professionals – upload 15 hours of video materials every minute of every day, 24/7, 365 days a year!
If it wasn’t clear enough before, these stats should tell you exactly why you should be using videos to market your products or services.
When you do, you’re putting your products and services in front of millions of potential customers at no cost whatsoever in a format that they most easily relate to, enjoy and understand.
By utilizing the power of video, you market to a potential monthly audience of 300 million people using the only medium that they are comfortable with and receptive to.
Not surprisingly, using video to market to potential consumers who naturally absorb everything they take from the world through moving pictures is a stunningly effective strategy when done correctly.
And of course, as long as video does not form part of your marketing strategy, every one of these prospects is forced to buy from your competitors.
Does that sound like a good idea to you?
No, I didn’t think you’d rate it too highly…
Now that you know why you should be marketing with video, let’s consider how you do so.
Your video needs an ‘angle’
Assuming that you have done your keyword research, identified your niche and have a product or service to sell, you are set to move straight to the first stage of video marketing.
Perhaps not too surprisingly, the first ‘action’ element of marketing with video is making a video. However, this will be no impediment to becoming a successful video marketer because making videos is far easier than you think.
Before getting started with your first video, you need an idea of what is going to be in it. If possible, it helps if your video content is related to your market niche in some way, although the relationship between the video subject and your niche can be as tenuous as you like.
What is however important is that you try to come up with an entertaining or interesting angle. Whilst some people use sites like YouTube to be educated or to find information, the majority of users are there to be entertained.
The ideal is therefore to create a video that is somehow related to your niche which is entertaining. Of course, this is not always going to be possible, but it is an ideal to bear in mind.
There are many different ways of making videos for marketing purposes, some of which are extremely simple but nevertheless highly effective.
For example, many marketing videos are little more than a slideshow of still images backed by a musical soundtrack.
If therefore you have a series of niche focused images on your computer, these could be the basic materials around which you build your first video.
One way of doing this is to open a free Animoto account before uploading your images and choosing an appropriate soundtrack.
You can use this resource to create a 30 second video ‘short’ for free that you can then upload directly to YouTube from within the membership area.
If you want to make longer (and more professional) Animoto videos, you have to upgrade your membership. Even so, an unlimited pass only costs $30 a year so it may be worth doing if you plan to make lots of videos and would like an easy-to-use shortcut.
Another way of using still images to make your video is to edit them together using Windows Movie Maker (which you probably have pre-installed on your Windows machine) or a free cross platform video editor like Blender.
Doing this with Movie Maker is extremely simple. Open the software and import the images that you want to use in your video:
Make sure that you have the ‘Timeline’ view open at the bottom of the editing screen as opposed to the ‘Storyboard’:
Now all you do is click and drag each image to the ‘Timeline’ at the bottom of the page before placing your cursor on the edge of the image to extend or limit the time that it is shown for:
Do this with every image and save the result. This makes sure you have a saved copy because you are now going to add your soundtrack.
Click the ‘Import audio or music’ link to locate the soundtrack that you want to add to the movie that you have just created:
Import it so that it appears in the panel at the top of the page. Click and drag the soundtrack to the position in the ‘Audio/Music’ bar beneath your video images, save the job and that is your video ready to go:
One thing you should do is add a title slide at the beginning of the video and a credits screen at the end. In this way, you are able to feature the URL of your site at the beginning and end of the video.
This is something you should do with every video you make no matter how it is created as it helps to build the brand or name awareness of your business.
Another video option that is extremely popular with online marketers is to use a PowerPoint presentation which is recorded on video. All that is needed is a series of PowerPoint slides over which you explain what the slides mean and how the video viewer can use this information.
Alternatively, another extremely popular option is to make a video featuring something that can be demonstrated on your computer screen.
As an example, if you have a software program that you want to demonstrate for your viewers, you can do this ‘live’ on your computer whilst recording the action and a soundtrack of you explaining what is going on.
In both the PowerPoint and ‘live screen action’ examples, you need video screen capture software to record what is going on. CamStudio is a free open source video recording program that is perfectly suited to recording videos of this type.
Another variation is to set up a web cam so that you can record a ‘talking head’ presentation of you talking directly to the viewer of your video.
Some marketers find this a little uncomfortable but if it is something with which you have no problems, it is a highly effective way of getting your marketing message across. And as web cams are dirt cheap nowadays, it is also a very cost effective way of doing so too.
The final option is to record real world ‘action’ – a video of you juggling, your dog playing in the park, your mother falling in the swimming pool or whatever it might be. In this case, the best option is to use a decent digital camera or camcorder if you have one.
If not, a mobile phone with an inbuilt camera might suffice but only if the video quality is good enough. Remember that the viewer will form an impression of your business from your video, so don’t publish something where the quality is terrible.
When in doubt about the quality of your recorded materials, don’t use them.
Okay, one way or another, you have recorded your video content.
Edit it as necessary by removing anything that does not add to the overall quality and value of your ‘masterpiece’ and remember to add the title and credit slides featuring your URL.
That’s the creation job done. Now it’s time to upload your video which (believe it or not) is the single most important aspect of this whole operation.
One thing that you may have noticed is that after suggesting that you should know your niche, keywords and product earlier, there has been no further mention of them.
But as you know, it is keywords that dictate how the search engines index your content. You may therefore be wondering why there has been no further mention after the initial brief reference.
The answer is simple.
At the time of writing, most search engines do not have the ability to recognize what video content is about from the video itself (although there are signs Google is starting to implement such technology). The content of your video therefore has little to do with how the search engines index it. Keywords, niches and the like are therefore not that important as far as the video content is concerned.
Instead, to be able to comprehend the purpose or subject matter of your videos, the search engines currently rely on the written information which you publish alongside them to tell them what is going on.
Understanding this is critical for your video marketing success as it highlights exactly why the uploading process is the most important part of this whole marketing exercise.
When your video is uploaded, the information that accompanies it is the only indication that the search engines have about the subject matter.
It is therefore only in the video title, description and tags that your keyword terms have any relevance whatsoever.
To illustrate how you take advantage of this, I will upload a sample video to YouTube by way of demonstration.
Going by nothing more than the statistics, the chances are you already have a YouTube account. However, you should open another that will only be used for marketing your business even if you do.
Use your business name or website URL as the account name as it makes your marketing operation look more professional.
With a new account registered, you are ready to upload your video. In this example, I will use ‘easy weight loss’ and ‘weight loss pills’ as my two main keyword phrases.
To start the process, click the yellow ‘Upload’ button at the top right hand corner of the YouTube homepage:
Find the video that you want to upload on your computer and start the process. Whilst the video is uploading, complete the supplementary written information as seen here:
At the top of the page, the video title is my two main keyword phrases (A), separated by a ‘pipe’.
Beneath this, I have included the exact URL of the page to which I want the video viewer to go after they have finished (B). Adding the URL here places an active hyperlink next to your video when anyone views it.
Although you have the URL in the video, providing a clickable hyperlink makes it far easier for the viewer to take the action you want them to take.
Beneath this, you can see that the keyword phrases are prominently featured in the video description. Try to get your keyword terms into your description as early as possible and as long as it does not make it read too awkwardly, go for two or three keyword insertions of each.
Finally, note that the tags are a hyphenated version of my keyword phrases that form a single pseudo-word that the search engines will recognize.
Choose the most appropriate category, make sure that the radio button to display your video publicly is checked, and that’s the upload process finished.
But YouTube is only one amongst many video networking sites.
Why stop now?
Mass upload your video…
Marketing with videos is a numbers game. The more videos you make and the more people that see them, the greater the targeted traffic that you bring to your site from your video marketing efforts is.
Ultimately, the more videos you make and publish, the more money you will generate by doing so. You should therefore make and release as many videos as you physically can.
As you’ve seen, you can knock together an image-based video as a fallback option, so there is no excuse not to churn out videos day after day.
Remembering that video marketing is a numbers game, the next thing is to upload your videos to as many video networking sites as possible.
While YouTube is the most popular network, millions of people use other network sites in preference to YouTube, so not posting your videos to these networks is a major mistake.
Fortunately, posting your video to lots of different network sites en masse is simple as there are a couple of sites which do this for you.
The first of these is TubeMogul, a site through which you can upload your video to more than 20 of the top video network sites completely free.
Join the video networks where you are not a member and then use TubeMogul to publish your video on all of them:
As you can see, there are some very well known sites to which you upload through TubeMogul (Facebook, MySpace and MSN as examples).
Uploading your video to many different networks leverages the profitability of your video marketing efforts by an enormous margin.
The only problem with Tube Mogul is that you are only allowed to upload a certain number of videos every month.
But when your credits run out, use the services of Hey Spread instead.
Although this is a service you have to pay for, uploading any video to an individual network portal only costs $0.05, so you get 20 uploads for a dollar!
As this will potentially put your marketing video in front of countless millions of targeted prospects who might otherwise miss it, this seems a very Small price to pay.
One final consideration
Remember this diagram from the linking tutorial?
Adding an active hyperlink to your video description creates an incoming link to the appropriate page on your site. Granted that from some video networks, the link is a ‘No Follow’ but with others the link is followed.
And even with ‘No Follow’ links, the only search engine that recognizes them as such is Google. These links are perfectly valid for other search engines such as Yahoo! and MSN/Bing.
Links from videos create perfect ‘Satellite site’ links as highlighted in the previous diagram.
Point some of these links at your main homepage whilst others target internal pages. Send some to your mini-sites whilst others can point at EzineArticles articles, other videos and the like.
And as mentioned in the social bookmarking tutorial, submit your videos to different social bookmarking sites in order to increase their exposure and search engine ranking further.
With all of these strategies combined, your videos will be exposed to a very large audience, and will gain ranking value in the search engines.
Many marketers are unnecessarily wary or nervous about the idea of marketing using videos.
In this tutorial, you have seen how easy it is to make videos for marketing purposes and how you can maximize your returns by spreading your video materials as widely as possible.
If therefore you have not dipped your toes into the video marketing waters, there will never be a better time to do so than right this minute.
It is recommended you proceed on to Part 20 – Outsourcing.