When implementing a new marketing tactic, it’s not always easy to know where to start. Recently we spoke with Ben DeVries at Professional Document Solutions (PDS), a Xerox Authorized Agent in Colorado. Ben and his team have worked hard to build a thriving video marketing strategy. It begins with the technical aspects of video planning and production that we covered in our Increase Website Traffic and Drive Demand with Video Marketing article, and then employs specific strategy outlined here to build an audience and promote the videos.
1 Understand the goal
Completion is the ultimate goal of video and interaction is a close second. When people watch a video through to the end, then “like” it, comment on it and subscribe to your YouTube channel an audience is built. People sometimes forget that YouTube is a social media platform owned by Google that helps boosts search results. Because shorter videos are easier to watch through to completion focusing on a succinct message delivered quickly is key to completion, the #1 goal of video marketing.
2 Create “how to videos”
Of all the types of videos PDS experimented with on their YouTube Channel, classic how-to videos receive the most views. Showing prospects how they can save money with Xerox products, fix common print errors, and recycle toner cartridges demonstrate your expertise and add value to the audience. It’s the value-add component that helps viewers interact with the comments and meets the #2 goal of video marketing, which is interaction.
3 Use a ‘call to action’
While uploading a finished video to your YouTube channel, the Video Manager offers an option to put a “call to action” on the video at any point during the viewing cycle. For example, Ben and his team put a call to action telling viewers to ‘visit our website’ at the end of their videos. Doing so helps drive viewers back to their website from YouTube after watching the video.
4 Control the viewer experience
Ben adds ?rel=0 to the end of their embedded videos. Doing so ensures it stops playing at the end and doesn’t continue playing ads or other channel videos automatically. Not doing so can result in YouTube auto-playing other videos not based on the content of this one, but based on the content the viewer has previously watched. It’s important to keep the viewer engaged with your videos and not diverting their attention to other types of content based on YouTube’s algorithms.
5 Use a bookmarking service
Tools like Onlywire help Ben and his team automatically publish videos on popular web 2.0 sites like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn, WordPress.com and others. Automated tools like this also work to create natural backlinks to your videos, which are key components in SEO and search rankings.
6 Keywords count on video
Use your primary and secondary keywords in video titles because the title is one of the most heavily weighted factors to ranking well in search. Similar to website SEO, title tags and meta descriptions are also extremely important. Make sure you add these elements when uploading the video content and descriptions to YouTube. And when adding descriptions, write a good amount of text and include keywords to improve rankings further. Because most people negate this step, including this in your strategy will help your videos rank higher than the multitude of people who don’t know this “trick”.
7 Put contact information front and center
When creating video descriptions add your company phone number and website to the beginning of the description. This ensures your contact information will automatically show on the snippet that appears when viewers search by keyword.
8 Become an authority
YouTube authority grows when viewers interact with your videos by liking, sharing commenting or embedding them on websites. One of the factors in SEO that video impacts is called ‘time on page.” This is how long a viewer spends on each page before leaving. Video is a way to entice viewers to stay longer on each page and in doing so improves search rankings. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough of your own video content to embed, using videos from high domain authority sources like Xerox also helps improves search rankings in the same way.
9 Include videos on your website
YouTube makes it easy to share video links and embed videos in a webpages. This makes it easy to put video on your website and write blogs with videos included. Embedding video into blogs is a key strategy for PDS that has been met with consistently successful results. Ben highly recommends embedding videos from your YouTube account onto your website whenever possible. As he pointed out, it benefits both website SEO and YouTube channel authority.
10 Understand social channels for video
Do not try to promote your videos on Facebook by posting a link to the YouTube channel. Facebook and YouTube aren’t on speaking terms; so video links included in Facebook updates don’t receive much visibility. The work-around is to upload videos directly to Facebook or embed them on your website, and then share the website page as a link in a Facebook post.
Ben and the PDS team have experienced thousands of views on their YouTube channel and are proof-positive that video drives traffic and demand. With the right tools, plan and posting strategy, video can help grow your business too.
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