Given that the web video market is still in its toddler stage, some would even say its infancy, a common question we receive from clients for whom we produce a business video is - I made and love my new video (thanks Web Video Crew!!!), NOW WHAT, how do I get people to watch it?
For those small business owners who want to get maximum distribution and viewership of their business video, here are a few more tips. These suggestions are a bit more advanced ways of distributing your video, so you may need to enlist the services of your webmaster to help with these tasks. Oh yeah, I think Web Video Crew’s team may have a service to do it for you, hint, hint...
- Optimize Your Video’s Metadata: Basically, this is a fancy way of saying that your video should be tagged, labeled and described based on Youtube’s best practices. Be sure your video’s metadata is optimized with appropriate, rich keywords, thorough descriptions, and URLs to your web presence (again, we also offer this service a la carte, contact us if you’re interested in getting help with this). Optimizing your metadata helps to ensure that your video can be found in the appropriate search engines. Because computers can’t “watch” a video (unless they are programmed into a human like RoboCop!), it’s pretty much impossible for the search engines to know what your video is about without some help. So this metadata tells the search engine what is in your video, thereby helping it get indexed properly.
- Secondary Video Sites: Just because Youtube is far and away the leader in online video views does not mean you should forsake the smaller video sites, for you never know where that next view will come from. The “other” video sites you should post to are: Vimeo, Metacafe, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, Dailymotion, PopScreen (if it has a chance of going viral), Veoh, Delicious, Reddit, Blip.tv...I’m sure there are a ton more that I’m forgetting, but you get the point. Tip - if all of this sounds daunting, tedious and time-consuming (it IS!!!), don’t worry, you can use a service like TubeMogul, which is a video distribution platform. With TubeMogul, you can upload your video once to your TubeMogul account, and from there, distribute the video to many of these secondary and tertiary sites.
- Add Your Video to All Your Review Profiles: Upload it to your Yelp profile (only those companies who pay Yelp’s monthly subscription can post, I believe; see the video we made for Somar Bar on their profile), add it to your Citysearch profile, update your Opentable account with a link to your video, add the video to your Google Places listing, AND don’t forget about Jippidy!!!
- Upload Your Video to Niche Sites: Is your video about food? If so, post it to TasteTV or iFood.tv. Is your video about cars? Post to automotive-centric video sites like StreetFire or CarDomain. Point being, if you have a video, you can bet that there's most likely a site dedicated to your specific type of video content, so go post your video where its target community lives. Tubemogul also includes some of these niche sites, by the way.
- Create, Update & Use Your Jippidy Profile: I know it may seem like I’m plugging our website (because I am, kinda), but in all honestly, our site was designed with video in mind. In fact, that’s why we created Jippidy, the Video Yellow Pages, in the first place - to have one central business directory with all the local videos in your area in one easy-to-search location. Plus our business profiles are social media-friendly - you can add your Twitter account, Facebook Fan Page, Opentable link, and more all on your Jippidy profile right beside your video. So, fans can watch your video, read the Yelp reviews, see what you’re tweeting, check out your Facebook Fan Page, and more, all from your profile! And they're designed to be SEO-friendly, so our profiles are starting to show up pretty high in search.
- Google Plus: I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t started my Google+ account, but you definitely should and post your video there while you're at it. My guess is Google, the search engine, will eventu ally starting adjusting its search algorithm to start placing more weight on videos shared on its own social network over Facebook’s, but that's a complete guess right now.
- Add Video to Business Website: I already mentioned that adding your video to your business website is one of the first things you should do. To go a step further, I would suggest that you update your website in three ways: 1) add links to your Youtube channel on your website; 2) embed the video directly on your site; and 3) if your site is setup to allow for it, host the video file itself directly on your site. The viewer will not notice much of a difference if the video is embedded or hosted - playback may be a bit slower if it’s being hosted on your site, but that’s about it. This may seem kinda redundant to have your video on your site in three different ways, but by hosting the video on your site, you benefit from increased SEO juice because Google ranks video differently when hosted on Youtube versus when hosted directly on your site. Plus, you can always put the links on different pages of your site, just adding more fuel to the SEO fire!
- Video Sitemap: Along the same lines as hosting the video on your website, BE SURE to have your webmaster create a video sitemap for your website and submit it to the search engines to make sure they can crawl and index your video. This is pretty advanced stuff, I would highly recommend your tech person handle this for you as opposed to you trying to figure it out yourself.
Any and all of these ideas will increase the visibility and viewership of your video. Bottom line, my advice to you - the sky's the limit when it comes to marketing your video! You never know when or from where your next view will come, so it’s best that you make sure your views can come from anywhere at any time on the web.
If you think about it, adding your video to all these different platforms is a one-time commitment - take the time to do it right the first time, look to cast as wide a net as possible, then, if you don’t have the time or energy to market your video regularly, at least you can rest assured that it can be found. And since the video, once uploaded to these sites, lives on in perpetuity, that net that you cast continues to capture video-viewing fish for days, weeks, months, even years after you’ve cast it. Think about that for a second - you are effectively being advertised and marketed years after you’ve made your video, and all it took was the minimal cost to produce your video and some of your time and effort to upload, update and distribute that video. It’s the ultimate in low-risk/high-reward marketing. And at the very least, you can rest assured knowing that people know your video was made in the first place!
That’s all I’ve got...for now. Did I forget something or do you have a cool new way to spread the video love? If so, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below - unlike that proverbial, stubborn old dog, I can learn new tricks!