Digital videos can be an inexpensive way to transform your brand, reach a broader audience, and promote your products or services. But where, exactly, should you make your content available to reap those benefits?
Naturally, the potential impact of any marketing effort hinges largely upon on knowing your audience. But a few places are generally more effective than others for gaining traction with potential customers.
Here are a few to consider:
1. YouTube — Creating a branded YouTube channel should be your top priority after posting content to your company’s website, says Hilary Hamblin, president and CEO of Momentum Consulting. Why? YouTube is not only the #2 search engine, it’s owned by Google, the #1 search engine. Having a presence on YouTube can help your search ranking, and YouTube comments may also appear on a commenters’ Google+ profile, based on the privacy setting they choose to use.
Linda Lovero-Waterhouse, web presence strategist at WSI Web Systems, says including terms people would typically use to search for your products or services is key to being found on YouTube. (Don’t know what those terms are? Google’s free keyword planner may provide some insight). “Speak your keywords in the video, so they appear in the both the caption and transcript, and correct the auto-generated transcript to ensure your keywords are properly included,” she recommends. Remember to put your company’s contact information and call to action in videos, too.
2. Vimeo — This video-hosting site doesn’t have the extensive reach of YouTube, but it tends to have better image quality. Free Vimeo membership includes one free HD upload a week; Vimeo Plus, offered for about $60 a year, allows you to customize the appearance of your video, including text colors, fonts and what plays before and after your clip. You may also take advantage of HD embedding, which makes it easier to post your video to other sites in higher-definition, and even adapt it for mobile use. Finally, Vimeo also does not include advertising preceding or following videos when played.
Charles Holbert, digital marketing director at Killer Infographics, says understanding which video platforms incorporate well with other social media sites can simplify your efforts. “YouTube works great with Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter; Vimeo works great with Facebook, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon.”
3. Social media networks — Should you post your video on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn? The ideal social media network for your small business video is contingent on your audience. For example, Nailah Blades, co-founder of marketing agency Donna +Nailah, says that a B2B small business may benefit from a video presence on LinkedIn, whereas a lifestyle brand catering to young urban women may be more successful with a 15 second video on Instagram.
Blades advises tailoring your video content to the channel’s audience and making videos easy to share. Embed the video directly (do not post only the text-based link), keep videos short (usually less than 30 seconds), and deliver a clear “what’s in it for you” proposition. To boost engagement, she suggests videos that highlight a little-known use for your product and that deliver compelling information in an entertaining format. Beyond that, you could run a contest or promotion inviting fans to record their own video testimonials that you’ll post, she says.
Lastly, it’s key that you be a part of the interaction. “Your videos will take on a life of their own. Monitor conversations and be engaged with the people viewing your content. Often, their comments and questions will provide ideas for your next great post,” Blades says.
4. Google+. Your Google+ network may not be quite as developed as others you use to promote your business. But Adrienne Graham, CEO of consulting firm Empower Me, recommends you include it as part of your video strategy — especially for some of its intrinsic benefits.
“You can do live hangouts (which are recorded), or upload other videos you make here. The videos you put on Google+ also link to your YouTube account automatically, and it automatically archives them,” Graham says.
A final tip: No matter where you post videos online, how you alert your clients to their existence can dramatically affect viewership. Eric Guerin, founder and executive producer at Adelie Studios, says incorporating video into your email marketing strategy can be powerful when you include a screen shot of the video player in the body of your email.
“Because the video looks like it will play within the email (even though it is directing to open on a web browser landing page), we’ve found this treatment increases click-through rates by up to 175 percent, compared [with] using a text link to the video.”
Knowing where best to place your marketing video only helps if you have one. We at Intuit QuickBooks want to help. As part of our Small Business Local Buzz campaign, we are awarding 15 small businesses a custom marketing package, including a custom-made marketing video, shot and edited by Intuit. Use it in all your marketing channels to get the word out about your small business!
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