Video Marketing: Beyond YouTube and Google+ Hangouts
Today, video is no longer something serious marketers ignore. Video is a very powerful form of marketing that you simply must do if you want to be a mover and shaker online. It doesn’t matter what your niche is, video is a very powerful form of marketing that your business cannot afford to do without. If it sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be. The applications and tools exist that can help you create and market winning videos for any niche.
Why Video is Important
Consider the fact that YouTube.com alone has over 1 billion unique users each and every month and that over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube according to YouTube.com statistics. It makes you realize that if you’re not part of the video revolution, you’re missing out, big time. When you consider the fact that YouTube was only created in 2007, and that thousands of Youtube.com channels are making over six figures each year, that’s a really big deal.
YouTube.com is not the only video marketing player in town. With the advent of Google+ Hangouts on Air, you can incorporate YouTube.com video in your on-air presentations, webinars, events, and even have online concerts, cooking shows, and more. The sky is truly the limit on what you can do with video and Google+ Hangouts, especially with the addition of Video Hangouts On Air. The fact is, what you can do with video is unmatched by any other type of content.
1. Video Can be Shared More Easily
Once you post your videos to YouTube.com, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and on your website, other people can easily embed the video on their websites, and their Facebook pages, and easily share via Twitter and other avenues. You can even post your video as an iTune video podcast. Not to mention the ability to use Instagram, Vine, SocialCam, and VideoLicious to make even more of an impact.
2. Your Audience Can Get to Know You Better
Face it, with a video you’re really out there, and your content can be very expressive because your personality will come out more as you speak than when you write. People cannot interpret tone, inflection, body language and a whole host of other important things with written content. That doesn’t mean you should give up written content, just that as you expand your brand you should consider finding ways to incorporate your personality. What better way than with video?
3. You’ll Stand Out From The Crowd
Even though video is hugely popular, a lot of people shy away from using it. Some estimates suggest only 20 percent of businesses use video in any real way. They get stage fright, and are scared to move forward. If you jump in first, you’ll really stand out, especially if you learn how to use video most effectively within your niche. You should be watching your competitors, and whatever they’re not doing, or doing poorly, to differentiate yourself do it better, do it more, and do it differently.
4. Improve the Power of Testimonials
We all know how important a good testimonial is for business. But, imagine how much more powerful your formerly written testimonials can be if your customers create a short video exclaiming how great your product or service is. People will be able to see the real person behind the testimonial and it’s going to mean so much more than something written by someone they can’t see and hear. Even with a picture next to the words, it can’t beat the power of video to make the viewers feel as if they know the person and can trust the person. It’s honestly the ultimate social proof that you need to get the word out about your business.
5. Most People Use Mobile Devices Now
The fact is, it’s really hard to read a bunch of text on a mobile device, no matter how responsive your websites are. But, watching a quick video is simple. Push play, and it looks just as good on the small screen as it does on the PC. Your customers are much more likely to hear what you have to say with a video than they are to read a text blog post if they use mobile devices. Since mobile is outselling the PC, it’s something to consider.
6. You Don’t Actually Have to Show Your Face
Okay, well, you can if you want to, but you can also create excellent videos using PowerPoint slides, or Keynote slides, along with your voice to get your point across about what you’re trying to convey to your audience. This works especially well for tutorial or how-to videos. You can use other images instead of your face to get your message to your audience using your voice. Your voice carries a lot of important factors and information about you and your personality to your audience that they will appreciate.
7. It’s Going to Stay Popular and Likely Get More Popular
The truth is, the online video craze is just starting. As the technology improves and becomes easier, it’s just going to get more popular. Just like television began to outsell newspapers and magazines, video will take over as the main source of communication on the Internet, over text. This is not permission to stop using text, but it is a wakeup call if you’re not using video yet to market your business.
8. Video is a Great Way to Tap into New Audiences
The fact is, you can use the same message, in a different format to attract new audiences to your information. The audiences you attract will still be your target audience interested in your niche, but they’ll prefer learning by video than by reading textual blog posts. Everyone has different ways that they like to learn, and different channels they like to learn things in. Some people are more visual, some are tactical and some learn better through sound. With video you can actually tap into all the ways that people learn best.
Creating Amazing Videos is Easier Than You Think
If the technology side of creating videos is scaring you, get over it. The technology is so much simpler than you think it is. Not only has it never been less expensive, it’s more than likely, depending on what type of computer you have, that you already have a lot of the technology you need to create perfectly amazing videos.
1. You Need a Video Camera
You’re going to need a video camera. If all you have right now is your webcam on your computer, that’s good enough to get started. If you want to get fancier, try getting a good HD video camera or improved webcam. If you have an older FlipCam, that’s fine. You can even use your iPhone, believe it or not. You really don’t have to be too picky about cameras. If you want to be super professional, there are many different cameras to choose from, but to get started you can use what you have right now. Don’t over think it.
2. You Need to Learn About Appropriate Lighting
You will need to learn a bit about lighting your videos. Almost more important than your camera is learning about lighting your videos. It will take a bit of practice, but once you figure it out, it’ll be so much easier. You can use incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and work lights from your local hardware store to light your videos. Experiment to see how you prefer to do your videos. The best lighting is full spectrum lighting, which you can buy at any hardware store. Just test out how you look under various lighting and choose what you like best. Test the lighting each time before you start doing the main video.
3. Invest in a Good Quality Microphone
The other thing that is very important is an appropriate microphone. The microphone included with cameras just isn’t good enough to get the right sound quality. You can use your microphone with your headset, but do you really want to be in a video with a headset on? Maybe. If it’s just you, you can also just use the camera’s mic. But, if you want better quality sound, you can get an inexpensive microphone to ensure that you get the right sound. A simple Lavalier External Mic, or the Audio Technica ART-3350, with a Sony wireless WCS-999 system, will work fine for just talking and interviews.
For more than two people, each person needs to have a microphone, you’ll need an adapter to be able to plug in more microphones or you’ll need to use the wireless system. For tutorials, you can get a USB Blue Snowball Desktop USB Mic. When you use microphones outside of your camera mic or microphones that do not plug into your camera, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right video editing software to mix the sound correctly on your finished product. Always do a quick test on audio before spending time making your entire video.
4. Acquire Sufficient Video Editing Software
There are numerous types of video editing software. You probably have some on your computer right now for free. Windows computers come loaded with Windows Live Movie Maker. If it’s not there yet, you can get it free from the Microsoft website with a search. For the Mac, it’s iMovie, which usually comes preloaded on your computer as part of the iLife suite. There are other more professional software products that you can buy eventually, but these can work very well. If you want to invest in more professional software, it’s advisable to learn to use what you have first.
However, some ideas are Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro and Magix Video Pro. Look them up via search on your computer to find out more about any of them and their current prices. In the meantime, get familiar with what you already have free on your computer. If you happen to have a Linux computer and not a PC or an Apple, look up OpenShot.org, it’s amazing and it’s free. Most of these choices include the all important screen-capturing software that you’ll need if you want to do great tutorials.
There is More to Using Video Than YouTube.com
When it comes to marketing your business with video, there is more to YouTube.com, but it is the most popular place to start. Your videos can and should be marketed in multiple places in multiple ways.
- Your Blog — Yes, you should most definitely be putting your videos on your blog. Your blog or website should be the hub from where all content flows. If you don’t have most of your content also on your website where you’re linking to it, then you’re missing out on the entire reason for marketing yourself using video. The point is to get more targeted traffic to your website, right?
- Facebook — With Facebook, you can upload videos easily by choosing Add Videos, and then upload the video you have on your computer prepared in the right format for Facebook, which is mostly all of them. The best, of course, is the MP4 format.
- Google + — Google plus has some amazing features like Google+ Hangouts and Google + Hangouts On Air. You can use Google + to record a video blog, to have a round table discussion on air that others can view where you share your slide shows, Youtube.com videos and more.
- Pinterest — You may or may not realize it, but you can pin more than just images on Pinterest. You can also pin videos. Just go take a look for yourself; look for videos in the categories menu on Pinterest to see all the different videos that have been pinned already.
- Twitter — Many people don’t realize it but you can link to videos and upload videos to Twitter too. You can use apps like TwitVid, or Twiddeo, or Vine.
- Vimeo — You can use Vimeo as well to promote your videos online. If you create super high quality videos, Vimeo pro might be what you need to market your business better. You can even earn cash via Vimeo’s “tip Jar” and sell your work with Vimeo on Demand.
- Justin.tv — You can sign in with a Facebook account to start being able to share your videos and broadcast videos you’ve created. You can also connect to your Twitter account. You can even stream live events through Justin.tv.
4 Fun Apps You Can’t Live Without
- Instagram — You’ll need to download a video recording app and Instagram app to your phone, if your phone doesn’t already have it, but once you do just record, stop recording, then share your video to Instagram. There are apps for iPhone and Android phones. Your videos on Instagram need to stick to 3 to 15 seconds long. The awesome filters that Instagram offers can make your videos as beautiful as your images. Get it from the Apple App Store, or from Google Play.
- Vine — This is the mobile app offered by Twitter to help you share short video clips. It’s similar to Instagram. Download the app to your phone so that you can create, edit and sent short videos that are just a couple of seconds long. You can get it from the App Store or Google Play.
- SocialCam — This mobile social application for both Android and iPhones lets you capture and share videos to share online and with other mobile users. Friends can see what videos you’re watching and sharing easily on social media like Facebook. Not only can you create great videos with the software, but you can also add titles and a soundtrack to them.
- Videolicious — This is actually video editing software that will make your HD recordings look fabulous. You can take still shots from your mobile phone and put them in order, put them to sound, and make a wonderful show. You can add your message easily to create excellent professional looking videos that you’ve taken with your mobile device, webcam, or any type of video. Pricing depends on your use: personal business, or business plus.
How to Let Go of Your Insecurity and Get Creative
You’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right about now. This is a lot of information to absorb. But, the truth is, most people just get in the way of their own ability to be creative. They let their insecurities and lack of knowledge stop them from actually trying something new and learning something in the process.
- Set Goals — Decide on the fact that you’re going to create at least one video for your business. Then set goals for the video. Define how long it will be, and what it will contain. You can repurpose information that you’ve already created in some other fashion into a short 2 to 3 minute video if starting something totally new freaks you out.
- Be the Expert — You may not be an expert in creating a video yet, but you are an expert in your business and in your niche. Don’t allow your inexperience with video make you lack confidence in your expertise.
- Enjoy the Process — Nothing is going to go perfectly the first time. You’ll likely feel the need to make many different “takes” and start over a lot. You may need to adjust the lighting, or the sound, or change your script or create a script if you didn’t. Remember that the learning will come with the process. Enjoy it.
- Start Small — Don’t set out to make a 20 minute tutorial video from the start. Do something small. How about recording a planned Google Hangout, then the entire thing isn’t even about you, it’s about everyone. This can be a small way to get into video with something you already have planned. The more you do, the more confidence you’ll build.
- Take Risks — No one became famous or succeeded in anything without putting themselves out there taking a risk. Risk is part of doing business. There is no guarantee that anyone will even look at your videos, but there is no reason why they won’t, and why they won’t be a huge success. Take the risk so that you can find out.
The important fact to take away from this is to ignore your negative self-talk and go forward with creating your first video. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t even have to be great. But, you need to get started because that’s half the battle. Your competition is going to start doing video if they haven’t already. The onus is on you to differentiate yourself and that’s easy because you’re the only one who is uniquely you.
From Creating to Marketing Your Videos For the Most Exposure
Just like you have to market every single blog post you create, every single product you create, and every service you create, you must also market your videos with the same fervor. It’s just not true that if you create it, they’ll come. You’ll employ many of the exact same marketing channels and practices that you do now to market your videos.
- Remember SEO — Search engine optimization cannot ever be overlooked, not even for videos. In fact, it’s more important because the search engines will not know what your video is about if you don’t include keywords in your title.
- Use All Areas to The Max — Use the description area of your video to include even more keywords and information about your video, including a link to your website for more information. Don’t overlook any space that can be used to maximize keywords and information for viewers.
- Use the Right Tags — While some question the use of tags on blog posts today, using tags on videos is still important, because that is how the search engines, as well as humans, know what this video is about. Use both short tail and long tail keywords in the tags.
- Promote Across Social Media Accounts — Where appropriate share, embed, and Like your own videos across all social media that you use and that your audience uses.
- Use Automation — HootSuite has a great feature where you can keep promoting your videos over time. You can actually schedule your videos to be re-promoted at any time interval you want. This is a great way to promote your videos that contain evergreen content.
- Add To a Playlist — Once you create multiple videos, there may be topics that you can group together into a playlist for different sets of videos. Playlists will increase viewership because then your video will appear in suggested video lists.
- Choose a Strong Thumbnail — You can choose the first view of your video or the thumbnail view for people to see. People do judge a book by its cover, so try to choose the best thumbnail that begs people to watch your video.
A final note about marketing your videos; remember when you create the video to end the video strongly with a call to action. Ask the viewers to “like”, “share”, “comment”, “vote” or whatever it is that you hope to achieve with the video. If you don’t tell them what to do, they may do nothing. If you can create a standard opening and standard ending to most of your videos, you’ll make this part a lot easier for yourself.
30 Video Ideas You Can Use for Any Niche
One of the hardest things about making videos is not actually making the video; it’s coming up with the ideas for your videos. But in reality, that isn’t that hard either if you remember how to let go and open up your creative side. Use an app to help you, such as Evernote, to keep track of ideas as they flow to you. You’re probably going to come up with great ideas as you least expect it, so it’s important that you capture those ideas when they come to you so that you don’t forget.
To get you started here are 30 video ideas you can use for marketing your business. Maybe it’ll release some of your creative juices and get you started down the path of becoming a video marketing mogul.
- Repurpose & Reuse — If you have a blog, you have at least one, if not hundreds of pieces of material you can use for a video. Any one of your blogs can be used to create a great video. Even if you read the blog post word-for-word, using creative illustrations, you’ve done it; you’ve created your first video.
- Branding — Using videos to brand your business is very important. You can create a set opening and closing for all your videos, as well as use a watermark on the videos that showcases your business so that no matter what the video is about, the viewer knows where to go to see more.
- Co-Branding — Why not ask for help from others? Sometimes it’s fun to work with others on small partnerships when it comes to videos. Be sure to create co-branding information for the videos that you do together.
- Products Descriptions — A really great way to use video for your business is to describe each product that you want to promote. Hold up the product, or show the product and how it works in a short video.
- Service Descriptions — Even if you’re a service provider, you can actually use a video to demonstrate how you do your job and what the services you do mean. If you create awesome Facebook Covers, video tape the process, speed it up, add music and brand the video. There you go. You’re welcome.
- Instructional Videos — Whether you have products or services, instructional videos are very popular ways to market your business. It doesn’t really matter what you want to teach someone; put it together.
- How To Videos — Some people worry about “giving away the farm”, but you can do how to videos that show people how to do what you do for pay, and they’ll still hire you because they don’t want to do it. Yes, a few will go on to do it themselves, but you can bet they’ll recommend you to others.
- Training Videos — With the success of Khan Academy, there can be no underestimating the power of training videos. No matter what your business, you can train others in what you’re the expert in doing.
- Transactional Videos — You can create videos that aren’t free to watch but you put a small part of it up for viewers to see, then have them go to your membership site to sign up to see the rest.
- Testimonial Videos — Nothing is more powerful than a testimonial video. You can both receive and give testimonial videos. Ask your customers to provide you with a testimonial video instead of a written video and be amazed. Do some for your business associates to get it started.
- Personal Video Messages — Sometimes, even if your point is business, it’s okay to get personal in your videos. People like to get to know you. Show yourself on vacation, or enjoying family time. Your clients will love it.
- Round Table Videos — On Google Hangout you can do a Video Round Table with up to 10 people and record the entire thing. You can also use services such as ooVoo Video Call, Text & Voice to record and then edit and post so that multiple people can be involved.
- Talk About a Newsy Item — Pick something from your niche; that is related to what you do, affects your business and is in the news to talk about. You can set up a Google Alert to help you come up with these news items. You can tell your viewers what you think about the news bit.
- Question & Answers — This is always a very popular way to create a quick video. Anytime you get a client or potential customer question, turn it into a quick 2 minute video.
- Coaching Minute — This is kind of like the question & answer format, but instead you choose one thing to focus on for just one minute. Everyone can watch a video for one minute and you can teach a lot about your niche in one minute.
- Series of eCourses — You can create a series of eCourses that you will video tape and distribute either via membership site, email, or another method. Make each course no more than 10 minutes long. Put about 10 videos in the entire course.
- Record Webinars — If you’re in a webinar, or giving a webinar, make sure to record it so that you can repurpose it. A lot of times you can even cut down one webinar to a lot of small videos.
- Demonstration Videos — Want to demonstrate to your viewers how you do things in your business? They’ll love seeing it. Just get someone to video tape you, or you can record your desk top to show how to edit a video, how to create an eBook, or whatever it is that you do.
- Create a Book Trailer — Most business owners today try to publish a Kindle book or a Paper book as a calling card to their businesses. If you’ve done that, why not create a book trailer using video?
- Product Teasers — Are you in the process of creating new products or services? If so, create short thirty second teasers about the new product or service to whet the appetite of your customers.
- Do Interviews — You can both give interviews to other movers and shakers in your industry or you can be interviewed, either way; record it as a video, and there you have another video. If an interview is especially long, it can become more than one video.
- Get Personal — Is something really affecting you that you want to tell your audience about, that is both personal and somehow business related? Maybe you want to donate to a charity, or you’re going to run a marathon. Whatever it is, your viewers will want to know.
- Be Funny — Change the special effects for your video to look like a cartoon. This works really well during various holidays. You can do something really unexpected on April Fool’s day. Who knows; it could go viral.
- Make a Music Video — You probably have the equipment right on your computer to auto tune your voice and make one of your videos a musical. Try it; again, this is a great way to teach something yet go viral and be memorable.
- Document a “Day in the Life” — No matter what your niche is, people are curious about what you do in a day for your business. Why not document it, speed it up, and put it to music. Your viewers will love it.
- Say Thank You — Everyone likes to hear “thank you”, including your viewers. Taking time out at least once in a while to tell them thank you will go far in them wanting to continue to watch you.
- 3 Tip Videos — You want your videos to be short and to the point, while getting a good message across. Three thing videos or three tips videos are perfect for any niche.
- Shout Out Video — Are you super impressed by someone in your niche, whether a competitor or a person who works in a complementary fashion to your audience, or maybe even an affiliate? Shout out to them and name them by name and let them know how you feel about them. You can also respond in the negative to another video you disagree with. Tread cautiously.
- Ask for Contributors — Always remember that everything doesn’t have to always be completed by you. You can ask for contributors to submit videos about various topics.
You’ll add your branding, and put the video on your channel, while promoting them and yourself.
- Be Random — Sometimes not even having a plan and just letting nature take its course is a great idea. Start talking and see what happens. You may create your very best and most watched and most informative video yet. Throw a dart at your main subjects and talk off the cuff about it.
These thirty ideas should give you a start in helping you think about the videos you want to create. Remember that video marketing goes way beyond Google+ and YouTube, but in many cases they do start there. Get started, and your business may just explode like never before with some creative video marketing.
If you’ve gotten anything out of this report it’s that you need to get involved with Video Marketing and make it an integral part of your marketing plan. Don’t just think in terms of Youtube.com and Google+; think outside the box and be creative. Just go for it. Don’t be afraid; you already have what it takes. You’re already an expert. You already have the software and the ability to do it. Nothing is stopping you but you.
Any and al comments are welcome.