By now, we all know the Internet marketing mantra that “Content is King” and we also know that visually engaging content, like video marketing, reigns as the attention-grabbing younger sibling, especially since YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Creating visually engaging content that goes viral is basically a marketer’s dream.
Video is important in many other ways. Did you know that YouTube is the third highest traffic site, behind Google and Facebook? Putting videos on YouTube and optimizing them for video search optimizes them for Google Search as well since YouTube is owned by Google. Video is also a powerful tool to improve conversions. Instructional How-To videos and product demonstration videos are valuable resources for your prospects and customers.
Since we can’t always count on that winning combination of wit, entertainment, creativity and, yes, a little bit of luck, to make every video a viral sensation, marketers must rely on techniques other than video, like web marketing, to spread the word. Of course, having a video strategy as part of your social media plan is important for the foundation of your campaign, and optimizing your videos with keywords is vital to success.
Creating a Video Marketing Plan
- Set your goals and budget – like any good marketing plan, this one needs a goal to define success and a budget for recording, editing, music licensing (if necessary) and direct marketing.
- Define the target audience – determine who the video is being made for. Is it a particular part of your customer base? A new target market? Perhaps it’s for your current customers for retention purposes? Once you have a target in mind, segment your audience by geographic, demographic and/or psychographic features. This will provide efficiency for your budget.
- Create content – this is the fun part! You need a script seeded with a few keywords (more about choosing keywords below) and visuals in the form of graphics, animation, special effects or a spectacular setting. For some pretty cool ideas on creating content, check out Will It Blend? By Blendtec and a creative stunt called Liquid Mountaineering by Hi-Tec running shoes. You don’t need an on-camera star to have a successful video, though – pictures, slides or stock video set to words or music can work well to achieve your objectives.
- Choose a video platform – this is where your video will be hosted, so choose carefully. You want your video to load quickly and play seamlessly. Of course, YouTube is the most popular – and it’s FREE – but there are other options like Vimeo, which offers both a paid service and a free service, and Brightcove, which is a premium brand and offers more control over your content, advanced tools and better service. MetaCafe is also an option.
- Develop a distribution plan – this is where all your marketing prowess comes into effect. You want to get this video out for the world to see! With one simple copy and paste, you can embed it on your website and/or blog, post links or upload to Facebook and your social media networks or even use the video as bait in a pay-per-click campaign. The possibilities are endless, so get creative.
Now, once you’ve created your video marketing plan, how do you optimize it for the search engines?
Optimizing Videos for Search Engines
- Choose your (key)words carefully – only pick your top one or two keywords that make the most sense within the context of the video. Include your company name and “dot com” in the keyword box.
- Give it a title – make sure the title lets YouTube as well as your intended audience know exactly what the video is about. You definitely want to include your chosen keyword in the title and even the word “video” because people searching outside of YouTube tend to use that term as part of their search.
- Add a description – again, you want to include your keyword(s) in the description and a hyperlink to your website or landing page with a call to action.
- Transcribe your video – adding a transcript of the video for captioning helps YouTube determine the video’s keyword relevancy and allows Google to index the text. This is why “carefully” was included with “choose your keywords” in number 1.
- Syndicate it – although YouTube is the most popular consumer video channel right now, other video services like Vimeo and MetaCafe can play an important role in helping your video get found. You don’t have to re-create your titles & descriptions, but you do have to change up your wording to avoid duplicate content. Plus, you can do other things while your videos are loading, so it doesn’t take that much time.
Once your videos are properly optimized for SEO, you should put your video marketing plan into action. It has the greatest chance of being found by people who are not necessarily in your network. And that can’t hurt.
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