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Five Strategies for Promoting Your Online Video

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Online video should be an essential part of every business's online marketing strategy. Because producing a video can be expensive, make sure you get as much bang for the buck as you can when you release it.

Of course, everyone wants a video that goes viral, but no matter how much time or money you spend on production, there is no proven formula for creating a blockbuster. Fortunately, there are some strategies you can employ to get your video in front of as many viewers as possible.

1. Create a video people want to share

Videos do not become viral because of their production quality or content. Videos become viral because something about them compels people to watch them and share them over and over. Among the key characteristics of a viral video are the following:

  • Viral videos are typically short. Though you have the option of uploading a 15-minute-long video to YouTube, you don't necessarily want to do that. Unless a celebrity is involved or you are making a music video, you will want to keep your video short, like the typical viewer's attention span. Two things to keep in mind: the average attention span, according to The Associated Press, is very short indeed—8 seconds—and the average length watched of a single Internet video is 2.7 minutes.
  • Viral videos are funny. People like to laugh, and they like to make others laugh. Your video will more likely be shared if it is humorous or quirky.
  • Viral videos tie into current events and trends. If everyone is talking about something in your industry, you should be creating a video about it. Creating content around trending topics is a great way to get your video exposure on social media sites and search engines.
  • Viral videos are useful. Every video you create (unless it's purely for entertainment) should solve a problem. If you're solving a key problem that a lot of people seek an answer to, they will be likely to share your video with others who have the same problem.

2. Promote your video to existing leads, clients, and contacts


 
If you have a video to promote and an email list, make sure everyone on your mailing list knows about the video. Deliver an e-newsletter mentioning the video directly to their inbox.

Though you can't easily embed the video in your email, you can include a video thumbnail (see above) that links directly to your video on your website, ideally on a custom landing page. For extra exposure, have your employees include a link to the video in their email signatures.

3. Make your video as easy to share as possible


Whenever you upload your video to services like YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, or others, make sure that the embedding or sharing options are enabled. Choose video networks that allow for other forms of sharing, including through social networks.

The easier it is for someone to share your video, the more likely it will be shared.

4. Optimize your video for search


According to Forrester, video is 50 times more likely to show up in search results than a text page—at least that was the case 3-4 years ago. Here are three tips to help you optimize your video for search engine exposure:

  1. Use keyword-optimized video titles, descriptions, and tags for each of your videos.
  2. Create a page on your website to showcase your videos (see the MarketingProfs video page).
  3. Create individual pages for each video on your website, including the text transcript of the audio portion of the video.

5. Prepare a promotional plan to share your new videos


 
Image courtesy of S. Falkow

 

Promoting your video across social media channels can seem a very daunting task. But it won't be if you create a simple plan.

Start with the main social networks: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Then think of additional ways to get specific people to notice. If someone previously asked you about a how-to tutorial, then tweet them @theirusername on Twitter to let them know you just created it. If you mention other people or companies in your video, tweet them or tag them in your Facebook updates.

Key Takeaways

To summarize, here are the five things you need to do to maximize the chances that your video will be seen and shared multiple times:

  1. Create a video that everyone will want to share because it's helpful, it's funny, or it picks up on a current trend.
  2. Prepare a plan for social media promotion of your video across all major social networks.
  3. Promote your video via email newsletters (and your email signature) to leads, clients, and vendors.
  4. Make your video as easy to share as possible by ensuring the networks you use to host it offer social sharing, and by embedding options on both the video page and embedded video players.
  5. Optimize your video for search so your video can be found by prospective clients searching for particular keywords or your brand.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about creating viral videos and measuring the results? Here are some good resources:


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Andrew Follett is the founder of Demo Duck, which helps businesses create animated and live-action explainer videos. He also runs Video Brewery, a corporate video production marketplace. You can follow him on his blog, Google+, and Twitter.

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Comments

  • by Rishi Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    Great article, I think the SEO should be a main takeaway for many non-technical marketers. There are 2 little takeaways I would like to add:

    1. Viral videos works better with B2C rather than B2B businesses. Most B2B customers would come across your product/service at work. At work, they would prefer reading information rather than play a video with headphones on.

    2. Even if you do choose to develop a B2B viral video, make sure you publicize it to various trade publications in your industry. They will hopefully write a great article about your video, which will give you a boost in publicity among your clients!

    Get access to all our marketing cheat sheets including 6 Social Media cheat sheets for free at http://mdv.to/NmISj3

  • by PenPoint Editorial Services Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    This is a fantastic post. Lots of great tips for promoting videos.

    Thanks.

  • by Mike Dawson Wed Aug 8, 2012 via web

    Whether your video production is coming at premium or low cost, getting it in front of eyes is the goal.

    Humour yes,
    SEO yes,
    current yes,

    There's your boxes to tick off.

    However the end game in actually getting the video shared and viewed, is made possible with a little more fore-though.

    I'm sure it is true, but the 8 second attention span stat, none of us want to believe that - It doesn't need to be the case.

    The customer will sit for three hours through a gripping thriller, or two for a side splitting comedy and remember almost every detailed movie moment - Good movies have messages and so have we as marketers. Thinking just like the best screen play writers as they write for their audience, we can apply the same tactics.

    The move to mobile technology for video distribution will surely in the near future result in sales videos becoming 20 seconds maximum in line with the asserted attention span stat, but we can change that.

    We can keep our videos at the current length, but do more in them to give the consumer the best experience. Sure family and friends will share our videos because they know us, but branching out into uncharted territory, getting our visual showcases viewed that is about taking a more qualitative approach - The script, the concept is not to be rushed, in our drive to meet deadlines we are excluding space for true creativity. People will share what they like, and they like that which is good.

    Mike Dawson of: Sollylabs.com

  • by Gilberto Sun Aug 12, 2012 via web

    Thanks for delineating these helpful strategies for us. Should be obvious, but not always so.

    Thanks again.

  • by Ben Mon Aug 13, 2012 via web

    Nice Article. I would say as far as the 1st point is concerned, it is important for businesses to be careful not to "overbrand" the video if they want it to go viral. People don't share "commercials" they share video. As far as the 5th point, I would recommend getting some sort of automated tool for delivering and tracking your video (Mea ulpa, thats what we do at startcut.com). Especially if you are a business that makes lots of video, this will enable you to see what videos are getting traction and where

  • by KZO Innovations Mon Aug 13, 2012 via web

    Great tips! Businesses looking to jump into online video marketing should remember that charismatic and compelling videos are the most popular. Topics to consider covering include product demonstrations, interviews with industry/company leaders, tips and advice, and tie-ins to pop culture and news stories. And you don’t need to be a professional to create great video content--companies like mine help businesses to create, manage, and distribute video content without prior experience or a lofty budget. Hope you’ll check us out!

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