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2010: The Year of The Video
By: June Bachman, Wendy Ogryzek and Teresa Mitchell ~ 1/11/2010

We’ve decided to spend the next six months sharing social media networking ideas and strategies that you can incorporate into your marketing plans. In Wendy’s workshop “Your Social Media Strategy” she explains that a strong social media strategy is focused on three tactics – Publishing, Sharing and Networking. We are going to use her tactics as a guide to explore how to implement your social media networking strategy.

Our first article is about publishing content to support your social media efforts. Content is the most important part of your social media strategy. You need to offer interesting and valuable content. Otherwise efforts to build your community will be in vain. Community members will rapidly depart if your content isn’t of value to them.

The most important type of content in 2010 will be videos. Adding videos to your website is a fabulous way to capture the attention of your website visitors and communicate your message in an interesting and engaging manner. Video is the best way to ensure your community members are interacting with the content on your website. More importantly video is a terrific addition to the content you can extend via your social media strategies.

Over the past couple of years the use of video has grown significantly. Viewing audiences are growing much faster than those audience members responding to emails. People are spending more time online watching videos. In the past year alone:

  • Viewership grew by 10%
  • There were 41% more videos online
  • The time viewers spent watching videos grew by 71%

This means there are more videos being watched by more people. You need to have video on your website … otherwise your potential customers will spend that time watching the videos that your competition produce!

More specifically, there are many reasons to add video to your website:

  • Differentiation – Video is unique and will help you stand out from your competitors. It creates stronger brand recognition (by as much as 80%) and increases the likelihood that potential clients will choose to do business with you.
  • Promotion – Video facilitates the promotion and advertisement of your products and services. It shows your product or service in action.
  • Connection – Video creates a connection with your website visitors, that plain text cannot. It cultivates a stronger emotional bond, and is the best way to show your personality. You become more than just a screen name … you become a “real person” to your community members. Video adds life to your website!
  • Interaction – Video is the best for interaction and engagement with your website visitors because it combines visual elements, words, music and other effects together, packing a power punch to your message.
  • Entertainment – Video is well received on the web. YouTube is popular for a reason … people like watching videos!

Additionally, including videos as one type of content has several benefits:

  • Video allows you to tell your company story in a compelling manner.
  • Video enables you to highlight specific products and services that you offer.
  • Video helps you reach your potential customers with more information in an efficient manner.
  • Video will keep your website visitors on your website longer.
  • Using video shows that your business is up-to-date and is part of the latest trends.
  • Video is viral in nature … people share what they like.
  • Video is quick – and gets the point across right away. Users don’t have to read and synthesize paragraphs of text.
  • Video is effective. Users learn more from watching a video, than they do from reading or listening for the same length of times.
  • Video will increase the conversion rates on your website. Websites that use video convert more sales than those that don’t use videos.

It’s not as hard as it may seem. You can make your own videos and easily get them added to the internet. Videos that are uploaded to the web need to be light weight. So, don’t worry about needing to invest a lot of money – just grab your video camera and put together a couple of two to three minute videos.

Here are a few tips to consider, as you embark on your video adventure:

What’s the Topic? Begin by thinking about what your video is going to be about. Sure, you hope to sell something … but start out with sharing information. This goes hand in hand with your social media strategy of offering users “something of value” – the first step in creating relationships with the members in your community. Brainstorm the questions that you are often asked about your products and services. Answer these questions in your video.

  • Short and Sweet – Try to capture just a couple of minutes of video. People have short attention spans. In fact, the average amount of time spent viewing a video is three and half minutes. Besides, YouTube limits videos to less than ten minutes.
  • Frame Your Shot Well – Video screens online are fairly small. Frame your shot to be a waist or chest up shot.
  • Think about the background. – Keep the background simple and clean. If there is too much going on in the background your viewers may be easily distracted and miss your message.
  • Call to Action – Include a call to action in your video. After viewers are done watching your video, what is it that you want them to do? Tell them to do that!
  • Retake and retake some more – It might take a few tries to get it right … to produce the video clip that you want. Think of your video as a first impression. Consider things like body language, excitement and passion for your products and services. Watch your video. If you were a potential customer, are you convinced to act on the call to action?
  • Get going – Most importantly, just try it. You have to start somewhere … go grab that video camera!

Final thoughts … video optimization is important as well. This year, the search engines have added video into their algorithms, making the use of video in your website content more important than ever. You may have noticed when you Google a search term or phrase, that often times there are videos included in your search results right on the first page. Incorporating optimized videos is a fantastic way to help you stand out among your competition and get your content closer to the top of the search results.

Benefits of video optimization include:

  • Search engines listing your videos in the search results for your primary keyword phrases.
  • You can include a video in your Google local profile.
  • Using video create the potential for multiple search results listings on the same page. In other words, you may have more than one link on the first page – one to your website and the other to your video. This pushes a competitor to the next page of the search results.
  • Having your videos listed in the search results as well as the links to your website potentially creates more exposure to your business, and potentially drives more traffic back to your website.
  • You can use primary keyword phrases in your video – when you post your videos to the internet, you can tag the videos with your primary keyword phrases.
  • You can upload your video to multiple video portal website – such as YouTube or MetaCafe.

The key is to include video as one of the mediums for adding content to your website. You can:

  • Create, optimize and upload your videos to YouTube, and link back to your website.
  • Consider adding a YettieTalk video spokesperson to your website.
  • For more professional look and feel to your videos, ask bWyse to edit, optimize and upload your videos for you.