When you're building your personal brand, you want to make sure you're visible to the people who are making decisions about you. When building your brand on the Web, that means showing up on page 1 of search results for a Google search. Why? Because if you're not on page 1, you're nearly invisible.
A Gravitate Online study found that 94% of Google users click on a first-page result, and fewer than 6% click on a page 2 result. So showing up on page 1 is essential if you want to get noticed.
So how do you make that happen? Video.
Videos are much more likely than text pages to get that coveted page 1 slot, thanks to blended search. So, instead of focusing only on blogs, articles, and whitepapers, spend time creating a video bio or a series of thought-leadership videos. Doing so is your best opportunity to stand out from the pack and increase your influence.
In addition to increasing the likelihood that you'll show up on the first page of search results, other compelling reasons to incorporate video into your personal branding strategy include the following:
- Video is popular. Video is the most consumed content format online, according to comScore. It reaches 85% of the US Internet population. For example, my company's all-video website, personalbranding.tv is our most popular Web presence—with more than three times as many visitors as our text-based blog.
- Video search is hot. After Google, YouTube has the most searches. Technically, YouTube is not a search engine, but the number of daily searches on YouTube is greater than those on Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL combined.
- Video is easy. Not long ago, creating a video was a challenge. You needed to go into a studio, hire an editor, and expand your hard drive to create and share a good-quality video. Today, you can get similar results yourself thanks to built-in HD video cameras and apps like videoBIO, which help you create, edit, and promote your video.
- Video builds trust. Effective personal branding requires building emotional connections with the members of your brand community. Video is the next best thing to being there. It gets people to connect with you on a much deeper level than text-based communication. It also conveys your personality in a way that the 26 letters of the alphabet can't.
- Video helps you stand out. Many of your peers and competitors aren't using video yet. Most don't have a YouTube channel. That means your videos give you an instant competitive edge and the opportunity to distinguish yourself from others who do what you do.
- Video is current. You're a marketer. You want to be using the latest tools to express your brand, don't you?
You're convinced you of the power of video, right? Then use these Google-friendly tips to increase the chances of getting your videos to appear on page 1:
- Focus on quality. A small number of high-quality videos will build your brand. Several mediocre videos may detract from it. Make your videos scream quality by focusing on the sound and lighting and what's in the frame. And remember to practice. Quality will increase your video's popularity and ensure your brand is seen in the most positive light.
- Choose the right file name. When choosing your video filenames, use keywords related to how you want to be known. For example, all my video filenames contain the words "personal branding."
- Use all the right keywords. Make sure your video descriptions and tags are replete with the keywords related to how you want to be known—the words people would use to find you.
- Start with YouTube. Create a YouTube channel and host your videos there. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google.
- Embed your videos. Embed your videos in your website or blog, LinkedIn profile (in the summary and experience sections), and other places where you can control the content.
- Don't forget promotion. Promote your video to your brand community so it gets viewed. Few people know the exact details of the Google algorithm, but popularity is definitely one of the factors—yet another reason to create high-quality, compelling videos.
Video is the future of personal branding. Become skilled at creating and promoting videos now so you get noticed and stay out front!