By Josh Eyestone
I was at Podcamp San Antonio 3.0, an un-conference, this past Saturday. It was great to meet many other people in the Social Media space here in San Antonio. With the open format, people who had ideas about what to talk about were able to propose an idea. I led a session about online videos, and how anyone can make videos, even people without a video camera. I also addressed the why part of online videos and YouTube, as in “why would I want to make YouTube videos.” The simple part of that answer is to gain more visibility and targeted traffic.
I’ll outline the main points here for those of you who were not at the conference, and list some links & other resources at the end for those who want to put this idea into action!
Why You Should Use Online Videos As Part of Your Internet Marketing?
You will extend your reach to more prospects by using online videos. A good strategy for content producers is to deploy their content in many formats. Similar to the local media empire (newspaper, television, & radio station), even small content producers should leverage their content across many formats like print (as a blog post, article on directory sites, online press releases), video (online video), and an audio only production (like a podcast, or embedded audio file in a web page). The main reason for doing this is that with your content deployed in just one place your prospects have just one piece of content to find. If the same (or similar) content is deployed to 5 places in a variety of formats, the prospects would now know have 5 ways to find the content, and get your message. Increase ways for people to find your content, and you will increase your targeted visitors.
Video SEO (search engine optimization) is a new area where marketers have discovered ways to get their videos indexed and ranked in the organic search results of Google and Yahoo. Videos that effectively use keywords in titles, descriptions, and file names, can rank high in organic search results on both the video tab, and even the web tab. Google and Yahoo both are taking some videos and showing them as web results, in some cases nearly instantly after posting the video up on sites like YouTube. Video SEO represents an easier way for many firms to get first page organic results in competitive keywords than if they were to try and get their company website those high organic results. For non competitive keywords its super easy to get first page results with videos. All of this means that you can gain more visibility online, and get more targeted visitors, with some good video SEO techniques employed.
Pillar Content vs Feeder (or teaser) Content
For purposes of categorizing content, lets just consider content in just these two categories. Pillar content is the deep, detailed-rich content that your prospects are looking for. Examples could be good blog posts, a how-to or tutorial, a white paper or case study available for download, or a review of a popular product or service. You could make pillar content videos, but they are more complicated to make because they are going to be longer, and more involved than Feeder (or teaser) Content would be. Feeder content can be used to promote your pillar content, and feeder content is much smaller and easier to produce than pillar content. So instead of having to make a long video that repackages your pillar content to video, you can just make a short and sweet 30 second video that will promote your pillar content. This video can be promoted with a headline in the same way a pillar content would be, and the feeder content video will attract your prospects similarly to how pillar content would. Either video, long and complicated, or short and sweet, can equally attract visitors. The point of discussing Pillar vs. Feeder Content in the context of online videos is that videos do not have to be long and complicated, you can get several benefits from short & simple videos that are easy to make.
Videos Are Another Way To Promote Your Website
Any type of content can be repackaged to a video! Consider something as basic as marketing a Dentist office online. The Dentist may have a print ad, brochures, or even videos from vendors available to re-purpose into other types of content to be used online.
How-to videos, product or service reviews, and teaser (feeder) content to promote other content on your website or blog are all very popular formats for online videos. Of course some people will use video as their core way to deliver their pillar content, like a celebrity news video blog or online TV show. In that case just flip around what content feeds the other. They would use blogs, article marketing and other content formats as feeder content to deliver to their videos. Most businesses will use online videos as feeder content to promote their pillar content on their website, blog, or podcast.
How Anyone Can Make YouTube Videos Without A Camera
There are a few popular ways to make video files without a video camera, or editing experience. Two main formats are available to make pretty professional videos without using a camera. One way is to use screen capture software to record a video file of your computer’s screen, with audio narration added these make great how-to or training videos. The next type of videos you can make without a camera are the slide-show like videos which also usually have audio narration added to them.
You can build a slide-show or powerpoint like video using Windows Movie Maker (which comes with XP & Vista), iMovie (which is on most Macs), or by using VideoMach. You simply thread together a series of still images (that you can make in photoshop or another graphics program) that will each display for a few seconds each (you set the time for each image). Next, add an audio track to your slide-show which includes narration, then finally output your work as a video file.
I recommend you use Audacity (a free audio editing software) to record and clean up narration tracks, and to use opening & closing bumps with music to make your videos sound even more professional. Many times I write a script, and get the audio done first, then I build the slide-show to sync along with the audio file, that way your transitions from one image to the next flow along with your narration.
For screen capture software there are a few options, several of which are based on camstudio.org which is a free open source video screen capture software you can download. Camtasia Studio is a full featured screen capture editing suite that runs about $299, Jing and Animoto are new screen capture services that are relatively turn key but not as fully customizable as others, and ScreenFlickworks on Macs.
After you have made your first video, be sure to consider the SEO benefits and be careful naming the video with good keywords that will help you attract the maximum amount of targeted visitors. If you have any questions about which video sites, in addition to YouTube, you should be submitting to, and if you have any questions about how to optimize your videos for SEO benefits, get in touch with me through the comments below or shoot me an @ message on Twitter.
Organic SEO, good design and relevant authoritative content go hand in hand in attracting visitors to your site.