One reason we like video so much is that it’s not a one-trick pony. In fact, video is one of the most versatile additions to your marketing toolkit. The days of having to put all your videos on Youtube are over (although do still put them there for SEO and linking purposes). Heck, we can still remember when the only way to show a client their video was by putting it on VHS!! Thankfully we’ve all moved on. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of online channels that support video, so for the purposes of this blog we’ll class them all as one of the ten. There are, however, plenty of other platforms that aren’t social media channels. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Websites For maximum benefit, every page of your website should contain video. You might want an overview video on the home page, personal intro videos on your team page, a company history video on your about page, explainer videos on your product or service pages, how-to videos, review videos, testimonial videos on other pages. Despite what we said above, host them on a video site such as YouTube, Vimeo or even Facebook and share the links to your website so they’re not clogging up your own server space. Update them regularly to encourage return visits.
Social Media Channels As we said above, there are hundreds but you’ll only want to use the ones your target audience uses unless you like making work for yourself. Make a note of the video styles and formats that do best on individual channels, such as square videos on Facebook and Instagram, behind the scenes videos on Instagram and Pinterest, documentary-style videos on Vimeo, serious business stuff on LinkedIn and pretty much anything on YouTube. Upload videos natively to each channel if the channel allows, otherwise host it on another channel and share the link from there. Social media channels constantly evolve so stay informed about video trends on each channel you use.
Email Emails with ‘VIDEO’ in the subject line have a greater open rate than those without, according to some studies. Videos are large files, however, and usually exceed the size of attachment you’re allowed to send so you can’t email the actual video. The best way is to host it on a site such as YouTube and email the link rather than the video itself. An ugly link in an email body doesn’t look very appealing though, so it’s advisable to create a thumbnail image or gif, and hyperlink that to your YouTube video. Keep checking the blog because eventually we’ll write one on how to do that. Newsletters If you’re using a newsletter manager such as Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor or other, they all allow email to be embedded. Again, you’ll need to host your videos on YouTube or other video sharing channel and link your video from there to your newsletter. You’ll have the choice to use the thumbnail image generated by your host channel or to upload your own image or gif. Newsletter videos are great for sharing small pieces of information and are more dynamic and appealing than large blocks of text.
Blogs Adding videos to blog posts is a great way to make them more appealing, especially to visitors who are instantly turned off by a wall of text. The secret to maximising success is to let visitors know it’s there before they’ve even clicked; for some it might be their reason for clicking. Add the word ‘VIDEO’ to the blog’s title, then insert the video close to the top of the post so visitors don’t have to scroll miles down to find it. It’s a good idea to add some text to tell viewers what it’s about and to summarise the key points. You may also want to transcribe the dialogue into text and post that beneath the video. Event Listing Sites If you’re promoting an event through a listing site such as Eventbrite, Choose Your Event or sector-specific sites, they usually allow you to add videos. Again, this can be more appealing than text or images. You can create an invitation video especially for your event, highlights videos of previous similar events to show what attendees can expect, or testimonial videos from previous events. Host your videos on YouTube and share the link to the event site.
Forums If you have a niche interest or work in a specific sector, you might follow or contribute to forums. The forum may allow you to share or embed videos into your posts. This might be a simple case of copying the video’s YouTube URL and pasting it into the post, or there may be a more specific way of doing it on your particular forum. How-to, explainer or expert videos will all be appropriate types to post in forums.
Meetings and Presentations Video can be a great addition to a meeting or presentation if it makes a point in a more visual or emotional way than simply speaking. It also gives the presenter a break for a few minutes. Videos can easily be embedded into PowerPoint or Keynote presentations. If the meeting is between two or three people, it may suffice to play it from a tablet or laptop, but if you’re presenting to a room you may be using a large screen or projector. If this is the case, it’s best to shoot your videos in the highest resolution possible so the quality translates to the big screen.
Conferences Like in meetings and presentations, video can perk up stale slides no end. Be sure to speak with an AV technician as early as possible to find out what format to provide your videos in. Again, video quality if of utmost importance because conference screens can be huge and you want your video to look as sharp as possible.
USB Device or Screen In A Card This is the modern day equivalent of sending VHS tapes. Snail mail has declined since we can now send most things through the ether, so it’s a pleasant surprise to receive something tangible through the actual post. Get some branded USB sticks – they come in all sorts of weird and wonderful forms these days – and load your video onto it. Order a device with a large enough capacity for your video or videos. When you send it, be sure to include a note that informs the recipient there’s a video on the device. You can also buy promotional cards with small screens inside, onto which you can load a video via a USB cable from your computer. These are a lot pricier than USB devices, so save them for your special customers.
Written by Ruth Duggal and Glyn Allen Make Your Own Video Training Academy