Previously, we discussed creating compelling iPhone videos, but what happens now? How do you get the word out about the cool content you single-handedly created? Thanks to some tips and ideas from Michael Terpin's BlogWorld session, you should have, after reading this, a better understanding of how to promote your video effectively.
First and foremost, it should be understood that not all video content is viral-worthy. There are millions of great videos on YouTube that haven't reached atmospheric-levels of popularity, thanks to constant sharing among friends. For further clarification, here are some tips Terpin discussed some general ideas concerning online videos:
- Educational videos don't need virality to be effective
- Video increases engagement on Facebook updates, tweets, Google+ and other social network engagement
- Universal search means that video will show up higher
- Videos continue to grow as a percentage of content in the "how to" space
- video nearly always improves clickthrough for a search result
As you can see, social platform success doesn't necessarily mean viral-levels of popularity, but when people do share your video content, it almost forces people to interact with it. How to videos are great for attracting visitors, as well as increasing your perceived level of authority. Of course, there are many different ways to engage the social media side of web users with video, and Terpin discusses a few of them:
- Video catalog with ecommerce links
- Repurpose live footage
- Instructional / customer service (keep it short, entertaining)
- Viral event marketing, tied in with Facebook, email
- Viral video (or at least videos hoping to become viral)
The downside to attempts at going viral is you have little-to-no control once the video goes live. You can't control how people are going to react to your work. What you may perceive as being funny may be viewed as being lame. It's important to know what your audience is looking for and create accordingly.
As for people marketing directly to the consumer, with ideas of using YouTube as a platform for your videos, here are some things to consider. First, the good aspects of using YouTube:
- Free, easy to upload
- Can be repurposed into many forms of social media and social networks
- Universal search brings video results gives video a boost in search results
- Mass virality is possible with the right ingredients and promotion into the blogosphere
Now, for some things to watch out for:
- High quality production can be expensive
- Sound quality and lighting makes or breaks a video
- Most videos are doomed to have very few views
- The new ability of filimmakers to monetize both videos and viral videos makes it even tougher to break through the noise
Granted, some of this isn't as much on YouTube as it is on the video creator, especially the production aspects. Sound quality, as well as lighting, can be controlled by the producer. Because of YouTube's viral nature, the benefits clearly outweigh the potential potholes. For those of you wondering whether or not video content is the right avenue of marketing for you to travel down, here are some other ideas to consider:
- Are you looking for fifteen minutes of fame, a lasting brand, or to drive a specific action (cause/purchase)?
- Does the video hit the mark? will the viewers get what you're tring to do?
- Do you have an obsession for crispness and quality?
If so, it's something to consider, plus, the viral nature of videos makes it almost too tempting to pass up. Just remember, go for quality. When shooting for the viral approach with videos, the risk and reward needs to be considered because of all social media efforts, viral video is the hardest to pull off. That being said, if done well, videos can be the most effective viral content on the web.
Terpin also provided a checklist for viral success, one that contains some good direction:
- Short, fast-paced: two minutes is the gold standard
- Videos should be disruptive: funny, shocking, surprising, adorable
- Celebrities help, including web celebs
- Editing must be crisp; many good tools abound (including new cloud-based service, WeVideo)
- Sound quality is paramount. Nothing should distract from the message
- Key question: would you pass this to a friend?
Because virality success is based almost solely on the sharing aspect the web now rotates around, if you wouldn't share it with your friend, it's doubtful the video has the legs to crossover into the land of viral success. Keep in mind, however, not all videos have to be viral to be considered quality content.