Nov 01

The small business owner’s guide to marketing with online video

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You can now download this entire guide in PDF format to read on-the-go. Click here to download the 35+ page PDF version of this guide.

Over the past decade Internet connection speeds have continually improved. This infrastructure development has led to an explosion in the use of video as a marketing tool.

Right now high-speed, high-quality video is a reality across all device platforms. The improvements in connection speeds and video delivery technology mean that videos can be smoothly streamed to your target audience no matter how they are watching.

Video as a marketing tool should not still be seen as an expensive luxury. Anyone can make intelligent video and deliver it to their potential customer.

Using video is proven to significantly improve user engagement and conversion rates. It gives you extra options for ranking content in search engine results and it can deliver a whole new level of brand awareness for you.

In this special guide you are going to learn how easy is to create compelling video clips that will lead to more inquiries, leads, sales and profit for your products and services. You will also learn how to get people to watch them and take action.

If You Want Faster Engagement – Use Video.

When you read a traditional text and images webpage several things are happening. All of those things are within your control, which can lead to a varied and fragmented experience.

You are in control of the speed at which you read, how your eyes move across the page, when to pause and how you interpret the words. The different pieces of context are consumed at different times and rates – leading to a fragmentation of the page creators’ intent.

  • What is the exact topic I am reading about?
  • Is this the information need?
  • Do I understand the way this is being delivered to me?
  • What will I do with this information?
  • Are the images essential or just nice to look at?
  • Are they trying to sell me something?
  • What do I do next?

You are having to process a lot of internal questions at the same time as trying to read and tie in the visuals.

Video works better because it offers a consistent consumption experience. It gives the person watching little option but to receive the information in the exact way it was intended to be delivered. You can’t skim read a video or choose which imagery you understand or relate correctly.

In addition, video containing delivery through a person you can see on camera allows you to receive intent that cannot be conveyed by reading alone.

When someone presses play they are asking to be engaged while they sit passively and watch. This is why video marketing is so effective. So using video you can engage more quickly and completely, and create immediate comprehension.

The amount of information you can deliver in a short space of time massively outweighs what you can deliver through text and images alone. In the modern internet world, where instant gratification and information satisfaction is expected, video far outperforms reading.

Within five seconds of starting to read a webpage a person is still trying to appraise the meaning of what they are reading. Within five seconds of starting to watch a video a person has already appraised the meaning, and is into the emotional response phase.

So video creates far more rapid engagement, which leads to a more satisfying outcome. If you do it right, video builds an emotional connection you simply cannot create through standard webpages.

Just In Case You’re Not Convinced….

Consider these stats.

There have been numerous studies done to determine the level of engagement of video – measured through different social media sharing.

SEOmoz.org analyzed engagement of their widely read blog. It was found that a text only blog entry was tweeted around 700 times.

A blog entry that just contained a video clip to watch was also tweeted around 1100 times. When all three elements, text, video, images, where within the post it was shared an average 1215 times.

So you can see that adding video into the mix creates a far more powerful webpage.

The SEOmoz stats for shares per blog post on Facebook where also analyzed. It was found that posts without video were liked on Facebook and average of 480 times. Posts that included video were shared an average of 639 times.

So you can see that video increases user engagement and expands your marketing reach through people’s desire to share things they like.

Video Can Build Your Brand.

Video can build a personal relationship with your customers and potential customers far more easily than through text and images.

Video is a great way of selling yourself by showing your expertise, your passion and your desire to connect with the people who are potential customers. It also offers a way to build a connection through non-verbal communication that is impossible using text and images.

As well as increasing your branding and personal connection, video can also demonstrate to a potential customer a much higher level of professionalism than can be conveyed through other means. High-quality video with a great script, professional, knowledgeable presentation and an engaging message screams “legitimacy”.

By showing you are investing in producing a high quality engagement strategy, trust is increased. Basically, you impress people. This is because video is still associated with television and spending lots of money.

Get Your Ideas Straight.

So, you’ve decided making a video is a great idea. In fact you might have decided creating an ongoing series of videos is a fantastic idea.

Now you understand a bit more about how powerful video can be, I’m sure your enthusiasm is ready to run a marathon.

So stop right there.

Enthusiasm is fantastic, especially when it flows through the creative process and out of the screen to the audience. However, you must note that time and cost can be significantly increased when producing video – especially if mistakes are made.

This means you need a plan. A proper plan.

First you need to analyze through establishing some context:

• What do the people who are interested in your business care about?
• What sort of message or pitch would work?
• Have other people in your niche created video, and if so what angle did they take?

Secondly you need to decide whether video is the best delivery method. Is video really the best way of getting your message across in this instance, or are you thinking about it because everyone else is?

Then you need to work out what you want to achieve from creating a video:

• What will the return on investment look like?
• How will you measure success?
• Can you hit all your targets using just video?
• How does it fit into your wider marketing strategy?

Once you have a clear understanding of the “why”, it’s time to think about the development of an idea that addresses the “how”:

• What type of content will work?
• What delivery style will be engaging and convert?
• What would grate with your audience and turn them off?

After asking yourself all those questions, you might conclude that video is not the right medium to deliver the message you want to convey right now. Just deciding to do a video without understanding how it will be watched and reacted to is a recipe for disaster.

Before beginning the creative process, you need to nail down in writing what you want to achieve and why. That way you can benchmark the ideas being generated towards creating the video against the key project objectives.

It can be very easy to get carried away in the excitement and fun of making a video only to realize that although it looks great and engages people, ultimately it misses the desired objectives.

For example, if your goal is to use video to build social media buzz and links to your website, then you are looking for a video that engages and entertains and whose content encourages sharing and linking. Conversely if it’s about increasing conversion on a new product, then that video needs to encourage people to take action.

Getting Technical.

Before getting into the process of making a video, we need to cover the basics of how that video will be hosted and delivered.

Hosting is where you choose to store your video and serve it to viewers from. There are two main ways to do this.

The first option is to upload it to a video sharing site such as YouTube,Wistia or Vimeo. The second option is to host it on your own server, or on a content delivery network.

Uploading your video to a sharing site like YouTube will probably get you more views and shares. It will also get you potentially more coverage, should you be lucky enough to go viral in some way.

The downside of using a sharing site is that people will watch your video across many locations. This means that although the video have their attention initially, a large proportion of those people will not then click through to investigate further.

Hosting video files yourself has the advantage of having the viewer on your website, where you can control the conversion path.

There are two ways you can host a video yourself.

The first is to pay for third party hosting such as Amazon Cloudfront. The advantage of this is it’s easier to secure the content and benefit from more efficient cloud delivery.

The second is to host the video content on your own server. If your server will support the bandwidth required this could be the best option, especially in a niche market where viewing numbers will be in the hundreds per month.

This takes us back to the previous section where we discussed establishing clear objectives. If you have a clear set of aims, then your hosting options will be obvious.

If the objective is to go viral then self-hosting would be nuts. Alternatively if you are trying to push potential high-value customers through to a significant offer, then self-hosting is the better solution.

Preparing To Shoot Your Video.

To make a great video you need to deliver an exceptional script in conjunction with high quality visuals. Unintentionally poor video quality, or terrible scripting and presentation will lead to an epic fail.

It is vital to understand that high quality does not mean high production value or high cost. A great script delivered well against a white background can reap massive benefits, despite having a static camera angle and only a little editing magic.

To give you an example of this simple approach, check out my weekly web video episodes. I try to delivers exceptional quality information with catchy visuals, but at a low production cost. Here is an example:

Another example I really like is Derek Halpern’s video tips. Here is an example

As you can see, small budget but hugely watchable and delivering a high quality informational message. It is unlikely that you will have the visual presence to deliver your own script in the way that a professional speaker would, but the format is easily replicated.

Job One: Nail Your Subject And Theme.

Before you start story-boarding or script writing you need to make sure you have nailed down exactly what will be covered in the video.

This is your core message. It should sit closely with your overall objectives as already defined. You are identifying what it is about this video that viewers will engage with and want to act upon.

The clearly defined subject and theme should be obviously comfortable alongside the objectives you have already set, and not feel in conflict with them. If this is the case then the creative brainstorming process you are now about to undertake will be far easier.

Great video will look effortless in delivering its message. It will be clear to the viewer what the point of watching is. They will know exactly why they should stick with watching it.

Even the best video productions can fail if the subject and theme running through the video do not match the perceived objectives.

Job Two: Style And Imagery.

A clear vision of the type of video you want to shoot should accompany clarity over the point of making it in the first place.

There are four main styles of video to consider.

Performed content. This is the most usual format. Where one or more people talk directly to the camera and therefore to the person watching the video.

There are alternatives within the performed format, such as an interview or demonstration for example.

Live recording. As its name suggests this is a live performance. It could take the form of a live session that people log on to view, or it could be a performance (like a seminar or conference) to an audience rather than the person watching the video.

Animation. This format ranges from Disney quality all the way through to simple static images served one at a time, usually in conjunction with text or voice. This format is often overlaid with live performances or musical tunes.

Screen capture. This is method is often employed for technical videos. It is an ideal format when a process is to be demonstrated. You will have to work hard to stop this format becoming monotonous though. Most of my training courses online is developed and delivered in this manner and is perfect for demonstration.

One of the key decisions you will make is deciding which of these formats, or mix of these formats, will make your video work. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a certain format requires a certain budget or style. The next step of the process, scripting and story-boarding, should give you a far better idea of which styles you need to use.

Some Examples Of Video Styles.

1. Video blogging.
This is an incredibly simple video format that you can do yourself, even using just a good quality webcam. In fact this style of video lends itself to looking amateurish or highly polished, depending on the target market. As long as the video quality and delivery are right for your target market then you can succeed with this format.

Some great examples of the blogging style video can be found right here at Kavit Haria’s Insider Internet Success website.

2. Handwriting, or whiteboard style.
Again this is a very simple format, which requires minimal production costs. It is used a lot for technical explanations where information is conveyed via writing on a whiteboard as a person is talking.

It is similar to the blogging style, but the inclusion of simple presentation equipment means more in depth information can be conveyed more easily.

One of the most famous examples of this is the SEOmoz whiteboard Friday video blog post. It delivers detailed SEO advice in just a few minutes and is watched by tens of thousands of people every week. The key to success is that each piece is short, information focused, and is available at the same time each week. Here is an example:

3. Product demonstrations.
Depending on your product, market and intended promotional strategy, the straightforward structure of the product demonstration can be used. Depending on what you are selling this can be a great way of getting your message across.

To work it needs to be done well. If people just see it as another shopping channel video then your bounce rate will be very high. You need to hook them in using an angle which can’t be done using the TV style product demonstration method.

You must show, not tell. Answer the question that the viewer is asking. Just standing there saying your product or service is great will almost always fail. Do not be fooled into thinking the product demo video is an easy option.

You need to create interaction to generate action through a demo video. One great way of doing this is to have the presenter point to a certain part of the screen where a link will appear to click to get more information. This way you can turn passive viewing into interactivity and push them through a sales funnel.

For a fantastic example of how you can twist the product demo structure, which also trashed its rival Dropbox in a stylish way, take a look this advert for Minbox.

It is funny, straight in your face and makes its point. You will also note it must have cost virtually nothing to make.

4. Kinetic style videos.
Kinetic style videos are also known as kinetic topography videos. This style is where the viewer reads words delivered through moving imagery. This may sound complicated, but is actually very simple if structured correctly and delivered beautifully.

It is also more common than you might think. Here is an example of a local plumbing business who made use of a kinetic topography style video to deliver their message:

In addition to the words being delivered, a narrator can deliver those words at the same time. Or they can speak over images with only some keywords delivered visually. Kinetic style videos are basically subtitles delivered as the main content focus.

Job Three: Scripting And Story-boarding Your Video.

There are two ways to start the process of structuring your video content. If the content is to be more informational and delivered verbally or through text on screen, then you may find writing a script first works best.

If you are working on visuals as the main tactic, then you may find that a pictorial storyboard will work better in terms of creating the overall structure.

It is possible to create your script and storyboard using, and I know this is a shocker, just a pen and paper.

But if you want to get fancy there are alternatives.

Adobe Story is collaborative scriptwriting software. You can get it in web and desktop versions. The basic version is free.

At the other end of the scale is Final Draft. This is an industry standard tool. It allows you to develop your script and screenwriting into a recognized format. This can be especially useful if you are employing professional actors.

Scripting and story-boarding can be a frustrating process. It is best to start at a high level and then continually develop more detailed and refined versions as ideas evolve.

An alternative problem is that there may be so many ideas that you end up trying to cram everything in. Keep it simple. It is better to deliver one message, one idea well, than to over complicate things and not fully deliver on anything.

However you approach things, take your time. Sit on each draft – literally if you want – for a period of time (I would suggest weeks). Don’t rush this process.

Whether you’re working alone, with a team, or through professionals, eventually you will have a finished format for your video. At this point it’s time to share this with people to get their feedback.

You will also need to see the video structure in action before it is recorded it for real. This means rehearsals and continuous development. Make sure other people are involved in the process. The feedback you will get, plus the awkward parts that you discover from acting out the script and storyboard, will then allow you to develop it into a smoother sequence.

Keywords Are Key.

One important consideration is building keywords into your writing. If the intention is for people to find your video through search engines, then you need to bear this in mind.

When someone searches for something specific they expect the search results to be relevant. When they click on your video, getting a variation of the phrase they have searched for into the first few moments of it will help build trust in the viewer that they have found the solution they are looking for.

Key Decision: Outsourcing.

Can you do all this yourself? And when we talk about doing it yourself, we mean properly doing yourself. We’re not talking about making do here. Making do leads to disaster in video creation. If you can only make do, find someone who can deliver more than that.

Help can be hired in all areas of creating a video. From local production companies, through to local actors and scriptwriters, people are out there to help you whatever your budget.

You can produce your video entirely remotely if you want. By sourcing an individual or company who can produce the video at a great price anywhere in the world.

Or you could mix it up. Find someone online with a great creative talent to come up with the ideas and a rough storyboard. Then pass that on to a writer to nail down a great script. Then onto a company who can film it.

There are other resources you can call on should you decide to outsource. For example, you could look at presentation or casting directories or membership sites. Spotlight is the largest resource for finding a professional actor in the UK. Similar sites exist for other countries.

spotlight

As with everything nowadays Google is your friend. If you’re not sure where to start a few searches for things like film and editing talent, film and video production, freelance film and video production, or freelance scriptwriting will help.

If your budget is low, or you are too tight to pay someone who is a professional, then another option is students. Almost every college has classes related to media production, full of young people who want to build a portfolio of their scriptwriting, film making or acting talents.

Similarly, universities will also be good hunting ground. Search your local university website for the relevant department and contact its head. They will usually be only too happy to organize link ups because it aids their students’ development and connections.

If you are looking for an all in one solution and you have a budget of more than a pittance then a site like http://smartshoot.com could be the answer. You can post a project and get quotes from professionals who have online portfolios you can view.

Getting The Most Out Of The Footage You Record.

Another strategic consideration when you are planning your video is how the footage can be repackaged to create more content.

Rather than having to go back through the entire process for every single video, consider how you can recycle elements of the video and package them up to create fresh variations.

For example if you are going to get people within your organization to talk on camera and deliver a specific tutorial or piece of advice, consider how you can package what they’re going to say. Rather than delivering everything said in one go, you can edit out certain bits and save them to package into a later production.

You can mix these clips with branded introductions to make entirely new video clips from one recording session. Stock footage is quite cheap to buy online. Search around and see if you can find some stock footage that is suitable to use as the basis of a new video. Then cut the clips into the stock footage to create new variations.

By being creative and planning in advance to squeeze every last drop out of the footage you are going to film, you can create several additional videos all from one recording session.

Setting Up Your Shoot.

Whether you are using hired help, friends or work colleagues, make sure you have a basic understanding of the equipment and information needed to shoot a great video.

1. The camera.
You should always film using full HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels) with a frame rate of around 30 per second.

How you use the camera will depend on what is available and what type of footage is being recorded. If you are going to go for an informal look then a high quality camera phone or digital SLR can do the job very well.

If you want something a little more professional you can now buy steadycam accessories that can be used with camera phones and digital SLR’s. This will allow the recording of more dynamic footage with no loss of quality.

steadicam

Unless you are hiring or buying it for a very high quality production, there really is no need to invest in a camcorder. The resolutions are no better than most camera phones nowadays in the consumer market. But for certain styles of video, especially where a tripod is used or more complicated footage is required then they may be the best option.

There may be times where you need to film from different angles during your footage. Obviously this doubles the number of people required as well needing multiple cameras. It is also more complicated to set up the angles of the shots and the mix them together seamlessly during editing.

It is important for a multi-camera approach that each angle is completely different and adds independent value. You must also consider what happens if one camera does not produce satisfactory footage. Can you patch in more footage from another camera than you planned? This question requires that all camera angles will work in isolation should you need to fall back on them during editing.

2. Lighting.
Depending on what you are filming, good natural light could be enough. You need to plan the location in advance, as well as the time of day the shoot will take place, to avoid strong contrasts in light and shadow. Visit your location in advance and take test footage.

If you are filming indoors then lighting will need to be considered very carefully. Using simple halogen floodlights purchased from a DIY store can offer a low-cost solution to casting clean white light on your subject.

As with all other aspects of setting up a video shoot, the higher the production value you require, the higher the quality of lighting will need to be and the more expertise in positioning that is required.

Whatever options decided upon, you need to be aware of the cutoff point beyond which unskilled people simply cannot produce what is needed without more experienced help.

Performing On Camera.

Okay, you’ve gone ahead and decided to do this yourself. Let’s discuss some performance tips to help ease the pain.

First you need to have somebody to operate the camera.

Yes, that was sarcasm. If you are thinking that you can be on camera and control it at the same time, then you may well be on the road to creating a mess. Far better to get someone in to help, even if it is only a technically aware friend.

In addition to having someone working the camera, the session will ideally need somebody to help keep track of sections and other issues. Clapperboards are used to mark sections of film in and out. Doing this will make it far easier to edit later.

clapperboard

If you haven’t got a clapperboard then getting someone to say “action” and “cut” will help to define start and end points.

As we are mostly talking about the creation of straightforward marketing videos, the likelihood is that you or someone else will be talking directly to the viewer. If this is the case then you will be looking straight at them through the camera. It is vital to appear confident. No shifty eyes struggling to engage with the audience please!

Talk straight at the camera as if you are talking to someone face to face. Speak strongly and confidently in the same way you would if engaged in a direct conversation.

Don’t expect to get it right first time. Do a rehearsal to get everything right. Watch it back and adjust as necessary. Put aside a day for filming enough footage to cut into a video of just a few minutes long.

Editing Your Footage.

The process of creating a successful edit may take a long time. However you cut the footage, it needs to roll seamlessly.

There are several software options to help you. We have listed a few in the resources section at the end of this guide.

As with everything, if you cannot do it well, then find someone who can.

Include Calls To Action In Your Video.

Once editing has created the final structure of your video, you can now overlay any links or calls to action that you want to include on screen.

Although links contained within video are not currently index able by search engines, they are a great way of creating a clear path of action for the viewer.

You can overlay links on top of an embedded HTML5 video. This can be done using JavaScript. The Bubbles JS is one way you can overlay links easily.

Marketing Your Video.

Your video has been filmed, edited and polished with graphics. It looks fantastic and everyone who watches it loves it.

Now the hard work starts.

You have to get a return on the effort you have put in. This means getting people to view the video and act upon it.

It’s very trendy to think about videos going viral. The truth is you can put in a ton of marketing effort but still not get a video to go viral.

Rather than focusing your efforts purely on trying to make a video clip go viral, it is better to focus on sharing it on the obvious platforms and where your customers are.

Get Your Video On Your Homepage.

To get the maximum exposure possible on your own website, the video obviously needs to have pride of place on your homepage. There’s no point in having it tucked away on a new landing page in hope that people directly land on it from a search engine.

When you place the video on the homepage make sure you have clear calls to action around it. Studies have shown that conversions can be increased by up to 80% by videos on landing pages that have a clear call to action within the video, or next to it.

Technical Onsite Implementation.

Once a video is embedded into your homepage you need to do a few things to maximize its accessibility.

Firstly you need to create and submit a video sitemap. This is different from a normal website sitemap as it doesn’t tell Google about the webpages on a site. It specifically gives details about video content.

The video sitemap will be in XML format and will give search engines video information through metadata. For example it will give details of where you have stored a thumbnail image that can be used for displaying the video in search results. You can also state the type of player used to embed the content.

video-xml-sitemap

Even if you are embedding a YouTube video it is still worth submitting a video sitemap. You may think Google will already have all the information required as YouTube is a Google site, but the site map allows you to provide additional information. This information can contain details about the type of upload used and also allows you to specify a meta description of the video content, which is often used in search engine results.

Once you’ve created your video sitemap it can be submitted to Google through a Webmaster Tools account. Remember that the XML sitemap file will need to be uploaded to the root of your website so it can be found by search engines. You should also reference the location of this XML sitemap in a robots.txt file.

You can find out how to add a sitemap location to a robots.txt file here:

http://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html#submit_robots

The XML file needs to contain specific information for Google. You can find out exactly what is required by Google on their video XML sitemap help page.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/80472?hl=en

To stop other people from benefiting from your work as easily, make sure that you have submitted your video sitemap, and waited for Google to index it before you start sharing the video socially.

The reason for this is that you want Google to understand that the version and location for this video is the original, known as the canonical source. Doing this should make it harder for people to rank using your work.

The next thing you need to do is to add schema.org markup to the webpages containing embedded video. This is a micro-formatting vocabulary that allows webmasters to add additional information within the HTML markup. This is great for videos because it allows search engines to read an associate the accompanying meta data.

The details of the VideoObject schema you will need to use are available on the schema.org website: http://schema.org/VideoObject

YouTube Marketing.

YouTube claims that more than 70 hours of video are uploaded to its servers every minute. With such an incredible amount of visual data available it is easy to think YouTube is not worth considering in terms of traffic generation because your clip will be lost in the flood.

The truth is that a lot of traffic can be squeezed out of YouTube, but you need to understand how to do it.

First you have to create video content that people are interested in sharing. This should be a consideration within the planning stage before making the video.

If you’re short of ideas search similar business videos to get an idea of which ones get the most likes, comments and shares.

It is possible to associate YouTube content tightly with your main website by setting up a YouTube channel. Doing this allows the use of your company logo and customize the look and feel of the channel page to match the colors of your own website.

One real key to YouTube exposure is a great headline. People need to understand what the video is going to deliver before they view it. This means sucking them in with a great title. Spending time creating a title that people can’t help being curious about will dramatically increase the amount of views and shares a video has.

A great starting point for learning how to creating amazing titles is Copyblogger.

You can also add tags to your videos. Just like when writing in WordPress, relevant keywords can be added as tags. These tags help the YouTube search engine to define the relevance of your video to the searches being performed.

If you have found an existing video in your niche which is appearing in all the right searches, spend time looking at the tags they use, the title they use and the words within the description. Closely match these to maximize the chances of appearing as a related video.

Once your video is uploaded to YouTube share it as widely as possible via social media channels you are active in.

If the aim is to deliver your video through YouTube then the same rules apply as we discussed before. Embed it on your homepage and make it a focus for visitors to the site. Do not bury it on a landing page. Give it pride of place and push people to it.

An important consideration of YouTube video marketing is knowing how it defines user engagement. When a video receives a view, it only counts as a positive engagement if the whole video is watched. People who bounced straight off the page before viewing, or who close the page, or who move on before playback that was started is completed, are all counted as a negative engagement.

So encouraging people to view the video all the way through is important. You should consider tactics within the video description on YouTube and during the introduction within your video to encourage people to watch through to the end.

If you want to give a video a leg up on YouTube, then you might consider paying for people to view it through advertising.

As well as helping you to build an initial subscriber list, cheap YouTube advertising can give you some immediate social proof. Videos with higher views appear more popular. So giving it the appearance of authority can help to further increase traffic.

Getting Your Video To Go Viral.

Once you’ve done the basics of getting your video in all the right places, it’s time to expend some energy trying to get it to spread as widely as possible.

You should always bear in mind the getting a video to go viral requires some skill, hard work and a lot of luck. Oh, and sometimes a lot of money.

So what are the common elements of a good viral video?

The most common type of shared video is one that contains humor. This is not going to be a surprise to you or anyone else, but getting humor right is difficult.

If you are going to go down the humor route, rather than trying to force comedy into it through your own sense of humor, consider approaching a professional comedian. Explain what you are trying to achieve and see if they can brainstorm some ideas for use as a platform to build on.

Another consideration is participation. Although people watch video passively, it is the sharing and conversation that creates the potential for a viral buzz. Think of ways to get participation from your video. An extreme example is the Gangnam style video. On top of being a funny video, it encourages viewer participation. It was this element of encouragement to participate after viewing the video that made it a global phenomenon.

Another recent viral sensation breaks all the rules we have discussed. It is a blatant advert, that constantly references its offer. However, it works because it is so in your face and so image and humor packed, that you as the viewer just accept it.

The dollar shave club video clip went viral and received 11 million views. It’s ballsy and it hits the spot.

The last thing you need to build in to create a successful viral video is emotion. Whatever is created, it must trigger an emotion in the person watching. Rage, laughter, curiosity. Something.

And do not ignore one of the most powerful emotions of all. The desire to look smart. People share things they think reflect them. Make them feel intelligent, special or cutting-edge and you enhance the chances they will pass your link on.

Your Video As Part Of Your Overall Marketing Strategy.

Unless you are incredibly bad at business you will have a marketing strategy. Video should be integrated into this strategy.

If you’re going to spend significant time effort and money on creating videos to market your business, is important to see them as a core element of an overall strategy and fit them into it.

Your video should almost always be one part of a multichannel strategy or campaign. Rather than working in isolation, hit multiple channels all at the same time. For example having a similar theme, message, or content, running through press releases, live presentations or demonstrations, on and off-line advertising and of course on the website.

The two main areas of campaign integration we are going to cover are social media and paid advertising. We have already covered website integration earlier in this guide.

Within social media there are several big names which everyone will have heard of. Pushing your new video through these social media giants is essential.

Twitter is the most obvious place in the online world to share your video. In terms of video there are couple of things you need to know.

Twitter allows people to embed YouTube and Vimeo URLs directly into tweets, allowing people to watch the video clips in their Twitter stream.

There is now also the added benefit of Twitter Vine. This is a new Twitter service where you can upload, view and share very short video clips. Creating these micro clips and then uploading them to Vine can give you a second marketing stream using the same footage – an idea we have already discussed.

The second social media giant that must be used is Facebook. You can upload video straight into your stream or Facebook page from your computer. You can also link to YouTube videos from within Facebook, which automatically embeds the video for people to view.

Facebook also owns Instagram. This works like Twitter Vine, but allows people to upload 15 second video clips. Instagram has massive traffic.

Google+ allows people to upload videos directly, or to embed YouTube URLs within a post. Google+ is growing in popularity and if you have an active circle of friends this can be a great way to give your video greater outreach.

reddit

Reddit
is the other potential mass-traffic source. If something becomes popular on Reddit it can refer large amounts of traffic. Reddit is far more community driven than the other sharing options, and you need to bear this in mind. Obvious marketing will get you nowhere. The skill is to work out how to encourage engagement on a more natural level.

Paid Advertising.

As we have already discussed you can undertake a paid advertising campaign on you Tube. YouTube PPC advertising is low cost and is therefore a relatively low risk way of marketing.

Another cheap way of advertising video is through the Google display network. There are two ways you can advertise on Google. The first is through the search engine results pages, where your advert will appear above and to the right of relevant search results, the second is through the Google display network. The Google display network is where people use Google AdSense to display adverts on their website.

video-ads-google-display-network

The Google display network is seen as a poor alternative to the search results advertising in many cases. However in terms of video marketing, this does not apply so much. In addition you can use Google’s cost per view model where you are only charged when the user watches more than 30 seconds of video. If a video is less than 30 seconds long then watching it to its conclusion triggers the advertising charge.

So How Do I Measure Success?

Success will primarily be defined by the goals that you and your team set prior to shooting editing and publicizing your video.

Before beginning a promotional campaign it is important to build in some ways to track each of your goals.

The major benchmarks you should use are around these key areas:

• Brand awareness
• User engagement
• Improved conversions
• Increased traffic
• Link building
• Profitability

Third-Party Video Hosting Metrics.

Wistia is a video hosting site, much like YouTube. It offers an excellent in-house analytic system.

You can analyze view data through trends including tracking of views by geographical location, as well as bounce rate, page loads and time watched. Wistia also offers details on the average percentage of the video watched. This can enable you to spot a weak point in a video where people get bored and click away, and allow you to edit and upload a refined version.

YouTube and Vimeo also offer analytical data. Although each of their stat packages are slightly different, all have the same basic information which will allow you to see how successful a video campaign is.

YouTube uses engagement as its main metric. Within the analytic section of YouTube, click on the audience retention tab to view this data. It is only available for videos with more than 1000 views however.

There are two types of graph available. The first is absolute audience retention and the second is relative audience retention.

Absolute video retention is the least useful of the two. Users re-watching a video can contribute towards this metric, which means that you can get an inaccurate retention figure.

The relative audience retention data is the most useful graph. It very simply benchmarks your video against competing video clips and rates it from low to high. Obviously the higher it is rated the better.

youtuberetentiongraph

What the relative audience retention graph shows you is the fluctuations in audience retention throughout your video clip. So any dips in this can be used to find which part of a video people are being turned off by.

Avoid The Top Video Marketing Mistakes.

1. Dump it on YouTube and people will watch it.
There is a perception that if you put on YouTube then it will get views. But it only takes a five minute look around to see how many high quality videos have only a handful of views.

You may think your new video is fantastic, but unless you create a social buzz and ensure that it is found when people search, then the truth of the matter is it will never achieve any meaningful critical mass.

With so much new content being added to YouTube your video is a needle in a haystack. So one important consideration, rather than trying to beat everyone else, is to have realistic expectations.

These expectations can be driven by knowing exactly who should watch your video. If one person has watched it, clicked through and converted into a sale, then that is better than 10,000 views without a sale.

2. Make a video and just focus on that video.
Because of the initial workload of creating your first video, coupled with a steep learning curve involved, it is easy to see the new baby as something to focus on entirely.

In this day and age you need to see video as one part of a larger marketing strategy. You have to make sure that each video produced interlocks so it can be marketed as a whole, rather than individually. Producing a group of mutually supporting elements will mean more traffic flows between them.

However you seed your video, there will be an initial spike followed by a rapid drop-off. If you continue to work in isolation trying to promote that video to maintain the spike, it will lead to an over investment in effort. To get long-term results and build community all your videos should be seen as a group of mutually supporting marketing tools.

3. Sell to them.
Commercials are everywhere. So it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you are selling something then it has to be marketed through a commercial style video. In the world of online video marketing, even mentioning that you are selling something can be a turn off.

There are two ways to look at your video. The first is to see it as a commercial and market it as one, by using paid advertising and other obvious means. The other way to market it is as organic content that people will view and act upon because they desire to find out more about you.

An example of the view, trust and act video is a “how to”. By creating a fantastic instructional clip you can drag in anyone who wants to learn how to do what you are selling. They will view the video and then click through to your website and discover it’s selling what they are looking for.

This indirect marketing is by far the best strategy, especially if you have a very small non-existent budget.

The Future Of Video In Online Marketing.

It is already clear that the rapid increase in broadband speeds and availability, coupled with the new faster 4G phone networks, means that video is not just an option for those at the top of the marketing tree any more.

There are now more ways to watch online video as well. With the rapid rise of the tablet, people increasingly watch video away from the desktop computer.

underwater

The rapid advances of technology in all areas related to video production and marketing mean that the entry point cost can be as low as zero now.

Video is therefore something not to be thought about as marketing in the future, but as part of your marketing strategy right now. If you haven’t got the expertise and the vision for video now, then you need to make sure it is in place as soon as possible.

Interactivity is a key part of this increasing development. HTML5 is replacing older technologies such as Flash – making it easier to overlay interaction.

You will also need to reconsider the view of video clips as being contained within a box on a webpage. Improvements in JavaScript mean the video clips can now be spread across webpage infrastructure.

Google is currently in the process of registering patents which will allow them to index the content of video files directly. Going beyond just the associating of videos with information through sitemaps and other methods, video in the future will be simpler to get indexed. This means videos will become more and more just another expected part of your website.

The number of hoops you have to jump through to deliver great video and get indexed and ranked are growing fewer each year. In the future video will become a core marketing discipline – even for the sole trader.

Integrating video into search will mean that ratings can be built in as an algorithmic appraisal. Rather than people having to click a button to vote a video up or down, the ratings to be tracked through views, time spent viewing, and bouncing away from the video.

Video Marketing Is Your Now.

Video marketing is moving faster than it ever has before. The new tools and technologies that are out there are improving the quality and speed of delivery.

The information you need to provide the search engines is diminishing, as their intelligence improves.

It’s all getting easier to do. This means more people will do it.

So the sooner you get started the better. Your first attempts may be appalling, but as with everything they will get better and better. The longer you leave it the harder the learning curve and the more competition there will be.

And if you are still thinking finances will dictate whether you undertake video marketing or not, stop right now and consider that the price point can be as low as zero. Every phone has a video camera on it better than hand-held camcorders had a few years ago. Software to edit video is also free in some cases. Hosting videos can also be free.

If you see video as difficult, or for the future, then you have already lost the marketing war.

Resources.

1. The YouTube playbook.
the YouTube playbook is a resource site run by YouTube to give best practice advice to people uploading videos. It involves tips on creation, programming, community and useful resources.

2. Learn how to edit your video footage on YouTube.
You don’t need expensive editing software to create video clips. This guide from Mashable explains how you can you the little known editing software built into YouTube.

3. Use free video editing software.
This post from TechRadar will talk you through the options for free video editing software.

4. Get A Gimbal.
If you want to take your smartphone to the next level by turning it into a hand held camcorder, then you need a gimbal….

5. Free Voice Recording Software.
Audacity is free voice recording and editing software. Great for voice-overs.

So there you have it. A complete guide for the small business owner to take advantage of one of the fastest growing online medium for winning more business – video. What did you think? Got questions? Leave a comment. Don’t forget to click Like and share this with your friends and colleagues too.

You can now download this entire guide in PDF format to read on-the-go. Click here to download the 35+ page PDF version of this guide.

  • Wendy Brentnall-Wood

    Thanks Kavit , as always this was jam packed with great info..very timely.

  • Wendy Brentnall-Wood

    Thanks Kavit , as always this was jam packed with great info..very timely.

  • illoh ifeoma

    Nice work kavit. Content rich.

  • illoh ifeoma

    Nice work kavit. Content rich.