One of the most overlooked areas I see when helping local businesses in the Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, McKinney, Frisco, and Arlington Texas areas is marketing their businesses through a video-sharing site such as YouTube. While many businesses like focusing on pure SEO, e-mail marketing, and social media marketing on sites like Facebook and Twitter they neglect the one medium which can be used to enhance their efforts on all of those area: video marketing, optimization, and syndication.
After talking with many business owners they appear to be scared to go on video, and they personally do not like the “Talking Head” videos they see all the time. They also feel that video is costly and will produce a ROI for their efforts. This is the furthest thing from the truth!
Remember that the job of a video on a site outside of your own website (such as YouTube) has one goal: to “warm up” (“pre-frame”) the viewer to take the desired call-to-action you want. If you want people to show up at your store then you must build trust in the video in order to entice people to show up at your store. If you want someone to join a mailing list after clicking a link in the description field then you must build enough trust and incentive for the viewer to click that link. Again, it is about making sure that the video always is adding value and building trust in your brand, expertise, and whatever else you want to promote!
This means that your videos, in order to build trust, do not have to feature you at all! They can be:
- Screen capture (walk-through) videos
- Testimonial videos
- Feature a spokesperson
- Feature customers or employees showing the benefits of your products or services
- Animation-type videos
- Narrated slide show videos
- Music slide show videos
- Any other type of video which adds value and gives the viewer incentive to take the desired call-to-action
One of the biggest problems I have faced when dealing with business owners in the Dallas area is that they get entirely wrapped up in the “content” of their videos… and they forget the “structure” of why the video is being made in the first place! That is to get the viewer to take the intended call-to-action. Instead, many owners get excited about the “cool graphics” and production quality of the videos they have created. When I ask them about how excited they are regarding the “structure” (system) to give those videos exposure then I usually get a blank stare.
If you are a business owner reading this then please remember that the “structure” you need to give your videos exposure is the TOP priority. While great video content is terrific, and good quality videos will be shared (hopefully) with others who may be qualified prospects, you need to have a method in place to give your videos exposure. The following four topics will give any business owner an edge in marketing your videos which are hosted on YouTube or anywhere else on the internet:
- Video Optimization — Do your keyword research here! Determine what people are seeking in Google and the other search engines as well as within YouTube itself. There are 4 ways to optimize ANY video in YouTube; and there are additional features within the uploading process which can give you the ability to “leap frog” your competition, especially for a local keyword such as “Dallas Texas pizza”. Also, determine if your YouTube channel is properly optimized. If not, it could hurt your chances of gaining more exposure
- Video marketing — Do you have a plan of driving quality links and traffic to both your videos AND your channel? Remember that a television station’s goal is to gain as many viewers as possible, and they do this by promoting both their shows as well as their station’s identity. You should follow this same process by driving quality traffic to your channel and your videos from sites outside of the video-sharing website. For example, create a helpful article which gets syndicated through article directories AND also has the link in the resource (bio) box sending traffic to your video or channel. In the worst case scenario, do you have a plan to buy cheap traffic which is at least somewhat qualified through Google’s Display Network Pay-Per-Click system? This can boost your view count and help you leap frog your competition if you know what you are doing
- Video Syndidcation — Do you, as the business owner or executive, have a plan to take full advantage of “syndication” tools? For example, what are you doing with the RSS feed for your video site’s channel? Are you embedding the video inside upcoming press releases, assuming that the video is relevant? Do you have a social bookmark network created or outsourced so that very quickly you can have links being shared to the new content? Do you have a blog created, with its own syndication capabilities, and a video sitemap so that you can get possible search engine exposure for your video? Do you have a large e-mailing list to whom you can send the video, assuming that it provides value for the majority of your list? If you do not have any of these then you are missing on a tremendous opportunity to syndicate your quality videos for little to no cost
- Internal Viral Video Marketing Tools — The preceding three topics assumed that you never used the video-sharing site like a social network. You, however, can gain tremendous traffic if you make the time investment to use YouTube as a social network for your video marketing efforts. You can comment on people’s videos, gain subscribers and friends, leave video responses, create Playlists, and much more. All of these are designed to give value the YouTube community, and you can generate a loyal following if you offer value in your videos AND in your interaction with your fans and subscribers
Finally, remember that good videos can be shared in several places. You can share them on Facebook, Twitter, and niche-specific forums and social networks. You also can e-mail the video link to your lists; and you can embed the video on blogs and Web 2.0 pages you control.
To reiterate, please consider investing time, money, and resources in video marketing. The flexibility, ability to quickly gain a following, and ability to gain first page exposure in sites such as YouTube and Google are so powerful that it now must be a part of your marketing planning. The flexibility allows you to reach multiple goals (social proof of your expertise, enhancing leads, new product awareness, etc.) very quickly and in a cost-effective manner. These fundamentals apply for any video marketing efforts whether you are trying to reach a national audience or just a local one such as marketing your videos to those just in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
If you need any help with any of the areas of video marketing, optimization, syndication, or viral marketing then you are welcome to contact me. Thank you for your attention and you are welcome to share this with any friends or colleagues you believe could benefit from the information.