We all know the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, today a good marketing video can be worth thousands of dollars – to your business, that is.
With faster-running laptops, wireless technology, and amazing recording devices, video nowadays looks and sounds better online than ever before. In this article, you learn why video marketing needs to be considered an essential part of your social media marketing identity. People are finding video online through the many social media marketing sites. Start thinking video and wherever you go, bring your digital video camera. Are you ready to continue your journey toward becoming a social media superstar? Let’s get started.
The New Video Marketing
The new video marketing is fun, authentic, and real. You no longer need big lights, studios, and production teams to get your video produced. Today, it’s as simple as getting a handheld video camera or a DV camcorder. Take some time to practice pointing and aiming, and you’re ready to go live!
Today, anyone can potentially become the next Internet video TV star. The playing field is leveling out, and this is great news for the entrepreneur or small business owner. Today’s entrepreneur can create an unlimited array of videos that will help with marketing and branding their businesses to the world.
Some popular examples include welcome messages to new customers when they arrive on websites and “how can we help you?” videos aimed at new prospects. Also, many people are using video to record testimonials of happy customers. Gone are the days of only having a written testimonial. Today, seeing and hearing testimonials is what audiences are responding to. How great would it be to have your prospects hear from your happy customers via video versus hearing it directly from you, the owner? It’s much more powerful for an audience to hear about how great your services/products are from other people aside from the business owner. Video brings these testimonials to life.
Television was designed as one medium to many viewers. Online video is crafted as one to one. Today, corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs are using online video and mobile products to seemingly speak one to one to their customers, prospects, and Internet audience through video.
By appearing onscreen within your customers’ and prospects’ computers, an interesting psychological transition begins to take place. Viewers begin to feel that they “know” you. They grow (hopefully!) to like you. And if you provide good information they grow to respect what you do. Then when they meet you in person, the connection has already been made and people feel more comfortable with you.
Here are some examples of how entrepreneurs and small business owners are using online video:
- A tip of the day or tip of the week.
- Starting an Internet TV show.
- Auto dealers showing maintenance tip of the week.
- Success coaches giving a motivational thought.
- Real estate agents sharing neighborhood reports via video.
- Sales experts sharing an online sales tip.
- Entrepreneurs recording from their home office or other creative locations, such as from a local cafe, park, restaurant, or museum.
- Marketing an upcoming workshop, product, or book.
And the list goes on and on. But the difference today is that these videos are conversational and authentic. That’s what people are responding to on social media sites.
Who is Watching Online Video?
Pew Internet released an online video report that showed that people of all ages are watching more online video each year. This Pew Internet report shows that watching videos on the Internet is on the rise for all age groups.
The point is that these numbers are forecasted to continue to increase. Video is hot, hot, hot! So let’s get your business “camera ready” and part of the online video revolution.
What You Need to Get Started
You need a good camera. The high-definition version is recommended so you get the crisp, clear image on the screen. However, there are many other video cameras that will work. You can also get a Digital Video (DV) camcorder; they produce good quality with better microphones and good image quality. Again, get the high-definition versions.
Cell phones with video can work, but the quality isn’t as good as a digital video camera. Cell phones are good, though, to catch something on the fly. However, if you are serious about making video an integral part of your social media marketing, invest in a camera. There are plenty of cameras on the market that aren’t expensive.
In addition, many computers come with built-in web cameras (webcams), and that is a fine place to begin getting used to video. If you use a webcam, you will also invest in a good headset and microphone because you can also use this for webinars. You should also get a tripod for your small handheld or DV camcorder.
What else do you need? You need a great mindset. Talk to your audience. Pretend your ideal client is on the other side of that camera. What would you say to him or her? Lastly, come up with a plan. What would your audience like to see? Bring them into your business by letting them get to know you, your products, and services better. Begin looking online at other business videos and watch what others are doing? This will generate ideas. Don’t be shy. Just be yourself! If you are not quite ready but want to learn more first, begin watching online videos on Facebook and Twitter and participate in some free webinars online. They are happening just about every day.
YouTube: The Leader of All Things Video
Founded in February 2005, YouTube is the definitive leader in online video. Youtube makes it easy to upload and share your videos. You can post your videos on Youtube and even create your own video channel. If you haven’t done so yet, go ahead and create a Youtube account. Go to www.youtube.com and click on Create Account at the top right side of the screen. It’s easy to do.
After you get your account set up, sign in, and take a look. Enter a topic into the search bar and look at all of the content. You can subscribe to Video Channels, Search Videos, and more. It’s also good to know in advance that viewers cannot download your video from YouTube; however, you will be given an option to allow viewers to embed your video when you upload your video file. There is a site called Keepvid (keepvid.com), which allows you to download videos from Youtube.
For great social media marketing, you should upload videos to YouTube. But how do you do that? Sign into YouTube and look for the Upload button in the right corner of your screen. You can upload your video from here or record from your webcam. Click on Upload and select your video from computer.
Now you need a title for your video. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the title, particularly when you are getting started, but you do need to title it because you want it to be found. The next step is to describe the video. Write in your tags. Then choose broadcast options: public or private. To upload or select another one, click Upload Video.
Other Sites to Market and Share Video
YouTube is the biggest and most popular site for videos, but there are other up-and-coming sites that you should know about. Video is the future, so be sure you’re on the lookout for new sites. Next, I review some of the smaller sites that you might find useful.
Vimeo is a clean and professional site where members gather to post and share videos. Their video player has extraordinary quality. You can join groups on Vimeo, create your own group, or even create your own channel.
After you create your account, there is a Profile page to fill out before you can begin uploading videos and sharing videos with your friends and network. It’s another place to market your videos and your brand and network with others by joining like-minded groups.
Blip.tv began in 2005. The site is designed to easily upload all types of video and send them easily to your viewers. Blip.tv provides a nice user-friendly webpage, which helps users easily interface with the site and quickly upload and produce away. Everything is on Blip.tv, from independent film trailers to video shows from entrepreneurs.
Viddler is a fun site that enables you to share and optimize your videos for further marketing. The component that makes Viddler so cool is that you can brand your videos with your logo, frame them with your color scheme, and even have the videos link back to your website. What great marketing! You can also post comments and tags at specific points in your video and even share your videos with iTunes or via an RSS feed.
Viddler also has a feature that enables viewers to easily interact with your video by posting comments within the video. The site says it’s even possible for viewers to record a video comment. Viddler is hip and popular among savvy Internet marketers – certainly a site to check out.
Creating Your Own Internet TV Show
Internet TV is quickly becoming popular among savvy marketers and celebrities. In a medium where people want to see, hear, experience, and engage with the show host or expert, Internet TV with interactivity is becoming the place to be seen.
Founded in 2006 as a way to connect U.S. military soldiers with their families back home, Ustream.tv has turned into something with even broader appeal. This site is for anyone and anything that wants to have a live streaming Internet TV show. It provides an interactive video broadcast platform where anyone with a camera and Internet connection can easily broadcast to the world. This site’s system encourages two-way communication between on-air talent and viewers. It also offers unlimited possibilities for the entrepreneur and small business owner.
Take a look and explore the site and you will see what seems to be every genre represented, from pets to ponds to politics to people. Yes, it’s the one place where people, places, politics, plants, puppies, and even hamsters have their own streaming show. And if you are wondering about plants having their own show, well, there are live streaming shows of gardens.
Some creative ideas for you about live video streaming:
- A pet store runs a live feed from the store window showcasing homeless pets.
- A retail store can broadcast live.
- A book retailer or book club could stream live book reviews.
- A coach could stream a live coaching session.
- A fitness coach could stream a weekly exercise regimen.
- A sales trainer could stream a weekly class in sales calls.
- Set up a live broadcast from an event and record from a booth or table.
- Host a call-in show and talk about your industry.
- An artist could live stream while they are painting or designing a piece.
- A performance group could stream their rehearsals.
Again, the possibilities are endless. Both creativity and reality are what’s attracting people to brands and businesses.
You’ve heard of a blog and you’re reading about Internet TV, so let me introduce you to BlogTV. Want to continue to build your fan base and share your expertise and your business story? You can do it live on BlogTV. Founded in May 2006, this is a site where you can broadcast your own shows from your webcam and blog. You can chat with viewers and get live feedback while you are recording your show. You can share your show with friends and post it to your blog. You can also upload photos, create events-upload music, and share it with just friends or make it public.
Once you sign up for the account, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. You can then name your show, gather your audience (send an e-mail to your friends), send an update to your Twitter account, send info directly to your blog, add a custom background to your show page, and more. You may just become the next Internet TV star!
TubeMogul describes its service as an online video solution for marketers where video is made “actionable.” As of August 2009, over one million videos had been deployed using TubeMogul, with over 100,000 users. TubeMogul has a free solution for users that distributes or syndicates your video to a number of sites and also provides you with some light user analytics. A cool feature is that as soon as your video goes live, you can send it directly to Twitter and Facebook. The dynamic thing about the TubeMogul solution is that they make your video actionable – they can incorporate the video description, title, and so on. They can also brand your video display screen.
Dailymotion asks, “What good is a video, if it’s stuck on your camera, hard-drive, or mobile phone?” Dailymotion is another site that gets your video distributed. The site is about helping you find new ways to see, share, and engage your audience through the power of online video. Aside from uploading your own videos, you can also find videos centered on your interests. Check out Dailymotion to…
- Share your videos publicly with the world or privately with friends
- Discover new videos through channels or keywords (tags).
- Get feedback on your video clips.
- Get your videos across the web by posting them to your blog, website or other social network profiles.
The Metacafe website states it is one of the world’s largest video sites. Know, however, that Metacafe is not a video sharing and hosting site that enables any and every video to be posted. Instead, how the website promotes is what makes it different.
- The focus is on entertainment, so you won’t find hard-news stories.
- It wants the experience to be audience driven and the videos are user generated, user reviewed, and user selected.
So that’s how it differs from the other sites. There’s also a community review panel that reviews the videos daily and a ranking system that identifies the popular videos.
The Least You Need to Know
- Video marketing continues to grow in popularity, and anyone with a camera and a computer can get a video online.
- The new video marketing requires being real, authentic informative, and entertaining.
- There are many websites to host and deliver your video at no charge, but some sites offer upgrades for a normal fee.
- Sites like BlogTV, Viddler, Blip.tv, Ustream, and Vimeo are fun and easy to use.
- There are many sites, such as TubeMogul, to help you push your video to many platforms and gather site analytics and viewership.