6 Steps for Video Search Marketing Beyond YouTube
The most popular YouTube videos of all time are wacky, crazy and memorable. They show people doing amazing stunts; cats acting like creepy humans; family members surviving freaky accidents; and ever-popular dancing, dancing and more dancing. While these examples may not be appropriate content for many brands, you can learn lessons from these popular videos. So where should you start?
Step 1: Film. In truth, marketing a video is similar to making a movie — only on a smaller scale. You need content before you post anything to YouTube or other video sites. The range of marketing content turned into videos can vary from commercials and ad spots to consumer-created reviews and viral videos.
Step 2: Have high production values. Once created, each video must have its own unique URL and launch from an HTML page. Figure out what keyword phrase is most relevant for your video; then optimize the video metadata to reflect that relevancy. To further optimize, put the keyword phrase in the video’s file name and include the word “video.”
Step 3: Showcase your work. Now that your video is produced, perform basic on-page optimization strategies, including the following:
- optimize keyword titles;
- use calls to action in description tags;
- employ H1 tags;
- use HTML captions; and
- achieve 3 percent to 8 percent keyword density, which is the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase, in proportion with other words, appears on a web page.
Also, select a compelling thumbnail — i.e., one that draws viewers in — and specify the video’s location in your website’s sitemap.
Step 4: Promote and share your work. Much like a movie, your video may be the greatest video ever created, but if no one sees it, who cares? Promote your video through internal and cross-links, place files in one directory called “videos” off the root of your folder structure, create a Media RSS feed, and set up a Google video XML sitemap. Videos can garner quick followings, so add social bookmarking tools next to them.
Step 5: Blow it out all over the web. Rather than submitting and tracking performance across dozens of video sites, submit your videos to sharing sites like TubeMogul.com, which enable optimization of metadata across major video sites. Also, make sure to track viewership.
Step 6: Advertise. In addition to free sites, there are growing opportunities for online video advertising through programs like Yahoo's Rich Ads in Search. Currently available for brand keywords and by invitation only, early tests by Yahoo show great clickthrough and improved conversion rates as a result of embedded videos.
There’s no question that video will rule the future, but how? Technology improvements like faster (4G) mobile devices and advanced mobile browsers will dramatically increase wherever-you-are video consumption. Additionally, Adobe Flash for mobile platforms — such as Windows Mobile, Palm webOS and Google Android — and Flash-embedded applications for the iPhone will certainly enhance usability.
If it’s your brand’s first time making a video or you’ve successfully used the medium before, simply remember the following three key elements:
- Ensure videos live on your domain, and distribute using third-party tools for greater visibility.
- Consider video advertising to exploit popular content and keywords.
- Stay on top of technology changes, new standards and shifts in consumer trends to ensure relevancy among an ever-growing audience.