This guest post is by Neil Davidson of My Web Presenters.
In November of 2011 David Hsieh, VP of Marketing at Cisco famously stuck his neck out by proclaiming that 90% of internet traffic will be viewing video in three years’ time.
The actual figure is already 51% of traffic, and it’s climbing fast. For bloggers like you and I, this has consequences. You can either bite the bullet and get started with video, or you can hide under the sheets and hope the storm passes.
For this post, I am going to assume that you are firmly in the “get on the train” camp.
At first sight it may seem that moving into video content production from textually based content is very difficult, as it requires a very different skillset. Also you may need to speak out loud or, worst of all, show your face on camera!
However, getting into video production and marketing is actually a natural progression for a blogger. Here are some ideas on how you can get started.
1. Video production
Use smartphones for impromptu interviewing
Hands up if you’ve got a smartphone. Many smartphones now have high-quality video cameras built in—some even have HD video. These can be highly effective for taking advantage of unusual situations…
Imagine that you’re at a blogging event and you find yourself standing next to Darren Rowse. You strike up a conversation that gets interesting. Suppose you were to pull out your smartphone, ask him a few questions on video, and post it to your blog. If the “interview” went well, chances are that Darren would be happy to tweet and share that content for you.
Suddenly you would be catapulted out of nowhere into the limelight—all through a chance five-minute meeting. A traditional interview would take a lot longer to capture, as well as to prepare and write up, and the chances are that busy people, like Darren, may well have to refuse an interview request. Compare these two approaches:
- “Oh, wait a moment, I am really enjoying this conversation and I know the readers of my blog would love it too, do you mind if I just video you answering that question again?”
- “That’s really interesting, do you mind if I just go and grab a pen and paper and note down the conversation that we are having?”
Use screencasting videos to show how something is done
Another very accessible form of video is screencasting. Essentially, this technique makes a video of your computer screen and films the actions you’re taking on it. This is very similar to the concept of a screen grab for obtaining a static image of your screen.
Screencasting videos are fantastic for making “how to” videos. They allow you to visually and verbally take your viewers through a process to show them how something is done. Here are some ideas from Camtasia, the makers of video software, on how their technology can be used. In this video, they explain how the tool can be used practically:
Camtasia costs $99 for lifetime usage so it certainly won’t break the bank! Perhaps the second most popular screen casting tool on the market is ScreenFlow, which this costs the same as Camtasia and has pretty much the same features. The best thing to do with these products is to download them (both offer free trials) and practice using them to make videos.
One tip that will help you get up to speed more quickly is to write down a list of the steps that you will follow in your video and have it on the desk in front of you whilst you are making the video. With a written blog post it is natural to pause and think, and to go off researching something mid article, but with video, the research must be done beforehand. You need to film to a plan.
Be strict. If you’re not happy with your video, delete it and start again. It gets easier and easier—you will be very surprised by how quickly you speed up and improve your abilities. Before you know it, you will actually be enjoying it, wahey!
2. Video publishing
There are two places on the net where your video really needs to be:
- on your blog (or website)
- on YouTube.
Initially, you should publish the video to Youtube. If you use Screenflow to make a screencast video then you can publish straight from the platform to your YouTube channel. From Camtasia, you can go straight to Vimeo.
The reason that it is important to publish to Youtube is not just because it is so much larger than the other platforms and is so closely tied with both Google search and Google+, but also because it easily enables your video to be openly used by other bloggers through the video embed code shown here:
Once your video’s on YouTube, anyone who has a website can grab your embed code and plonk your video on their website. This gives you additional exposure via their audience and also gives you a link back to your YouTube video. A side note here is that the number of embeds of a video is factored into the ranking algorithm of videos on Youtube and Google.
When you’re posting your new video to YouTube, there are a number of tweaks that you can make to enhance its visibility both on YouTube itself, and within search engines. Here is a detailed overview of basic video SEO for YouTube.
Once the video is up on YouTube, you can then grab the embed code and put it onto your blog simply by pasting the code into the HTML of a blog post. Don’t forget to write a short textual piece around the video to explain the content of the video and encourage visitors to actually watch it. This little blurb will also enable search engines to understand the context of the video file, since they can’t read video files themselves.
3. Marketing your video
This is where your experience in marketing textual blog posts really comes into play. Great content is essentially great content, and the people you want to reach, whether you’re creating video or textual content, will not change.
There are however, a couple of new tools that will help you market your video effectively.
Oneload (a.k.a. Tubemogul) is an online video distribution tool. The tool allows you to upload a video once and publish it to over 20 video platforms in one go.
Prior to your first use of Oneload, you’ll need to identify all of the video platforms that you want to submit your video to, and go and create accounts with each of them. You can then link them all to your Oneload account for easy distribution.
Realistically, you’re looking at around a day’s work to set up 20 accounts on video platforms and to enter your profile information, but once it’s done, it’s done.
Other distribution tools
Finally I will just go over some tools that you’re probably more familiar with, and highlight how they can be used to market your video content.
- Hootsuite: This social media management tool allows you to manage your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn communications all in one place. You can therefore submit your video to your Facebook page, plus your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts through this tool.
- Shareaholic and Addthis: These two tools allow you to bookmark content to multiple social networks and social bookmarking sites with ease. They are also perhaps two of the most popular social sharing button plug-ins for WordPress. Install either one as a browser plugin (they work on all major browsers), then select the social bookmarking sites that you are interested in, and you have a one-click way to share your video posts on these platforms.
A word of caution here: don’t expect instant results. You need to build up a presence and some relationships with others in your niche who are active on these sites so that you content gets a kick-start once you submit it.
A wide variety of techniques are available to market your videos solely within YouTube, both to build up a following there and to push these people back to your site. That will have to be saved for another day though, as it’s a huge topic. If you’re interested, though, look into the topic of video annotations with links to other videos.
It would be fantastic to hear some tips from others who have experience with video blogging, as the starting points I’ve covered here really are just the tip of the iceberg. Let us hear your advice in the comments.
Neil Davidson is the Founder of My Web Presenters, who are a leading Online Video Production specialist. They create and market compelling and emotive video that helps businesses to grow. You can keep up with their video marketing blog here.