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Step 5: Online Video Marketing

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Online videos are a hit today.

For the generation of Internet marketers that grew up writing sales pages, the introduction of video as a sales tool was uncomfortable.  Objections vary from fears about expense, to lack of expertise, to simple camera shyness.  But the power of videos to increase sales is an argument that is too powerful to ignore, and the ubiquitous nature of video recording devices means that adding video to your marketing arsenal is well within your grasp.

You may have already read case studies that demonstrate the power of online video marketing.  The Old Spice commercials, for example (www.oldspice.com/videos/), are reputed to have doubled product sales.  However, it isn’t necessary to create something as glossy and ambitious as those produced by multi-million dollar campaigns.  Online video works primarily because people like to do business with a person, rather than a faceless corporation.  Using video to put a face on your website allows you to add personality to your business, and the process is far easier than you think.

Creating video is an exercise that is best learned by doing.  Grab a camera, sit in front of it, and start talking about your business.  What makes your business special?  Why are you enthusiastic about your field of expertise?  What kind of experience can you offer to your customers?  Find the elements of your business that stoke your passion and make those the subjects of your videos.

Are your first attempts at creating video going to be polished and professional?  Probably not, but don’t stress over it.  You’re on a learning curve and the quality and effectiveness of your videos will improve over time.  The main thing to aim for from the outset is authenticity.  Don’t overreach, or try to be too clever.  Just look into the camera lens and enthuse about your business.

Planning

Once you’re feeling a little more comfortable with talking to a camera, although it might sound counterintuitive to the concept of authenticity, I would still recommend writing a script.  Without advance planning your video will be muddled and filled with word whiskers (erm, so, like, you know… etc), which are easily overlooked when talking to someone face to face, but will be very noticeable on film.

Try to write a script that sounds like natural speech, practice it until you can deliver it confidently, and then put it away before you start recording.  You may find it helpful, rather than memorising the script word for word, to learn the key points that will help you to keep your speech in a logical order.  If you struggle to record the entire video without “messing up”, instead of starting from the beginning every time, simply change the camera angle or zoom length and go again from the last natural pause.  Later on, you can edit the footage together so it has the appearance of one seamless piece.

Make your videos interesting and informative.

When you’re planning the content of your video, the structure should be similar to that of creating a sales page.  Instead of a headline, come up with an attention-grabbing title graphic or opening statement.  Don’t just list your product features, talk enthusiastically about the benefits of what you’re offering.  Conclude the video with a “call to action”, and if you have a Web address to promote then include it in a graphic that displays at the bottom, throughout the video.

Equipment

High-definition cameras seem to be included as a feature in almost every modern gadget.  The camera in your iPhone, for example, is easily good enough to get you started.  If you enjoy some success with your videos and you want to step things up by using a high-end camcorder, then select a model that has a microphone port.  The improvement in sound quality when using a microphone is tremendous.

Lighting is always an issue with video production.  If you’re fortunate enough to live in a part of the world with clement weather, then recording outside is an easy way to produce a video that has good quality, natural light.  Failing that, pick up two or three decorator’s lamps, and you’ll have all the light you can handle.  Just be careful; high-wattage lights tend to get very hot, very quickly.

Movie editing software can be very expensive, but for the kind of videos we’re talking about here, all you need is the ability to cut and splice the content together, and add some music and text.  Windows Movie Maker (or iMovie if you’re an Apple-aficionado) will serve you just fine.  If you want to add some real flair to your video then you can purchase royalty-free stock footage and motion graphics at www.videohive.net.

Positioning

The most obvious location to add video to your website is on your homepage.  Describe a problem that your visitors have and then offer them a solution.  Keep it simple, and keep it short.  Your “About” page is a good place to relate the story behind your business, and if you can persuade some of your clients to record a video for you, this will make a powerful addition to your “Testimonial” page.  Beyond that, identify your most visited pages, and add relevant videos to each one.

YouTube is a good place to host your videos.  It’s free to use, and you can embed your videos on your site simply by pasting a few lines of code.  YouTube is also a great way to get more viewers and attract more people to your website as a result.  YouTube marketing is a subject that could fill a book on its own, but the main thing to remember is to take special care when completing the upload form.  Make sure you use your main keywords in the title, description, and tags.  It’s also sensible to use your Web address at the very beginning of your description so that it’s visible even if the viewer doesn’t expand this section of the page.

These days, the Internet is all about social interaction; that’s why Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are among the most popular sites in the word.  It’s crucial that your website has an inviting, personable feel to it, and video accomplishes this in a way that a text-only website never will.

Three things you can do now:

  1. Grab a camera, hit record and practice talking about your business.
  2. Transfer your recording to a movie editing software application and see how easy it is to edit your footage and add music and text.
  3. Upload a sample video to YouTube (you can keep the video private if you don’t want to share it with the world).

Three things you can outsource:

  1. Ask your 13-year old son/nephew/cousin to help you make some videos (trust me; he’s got plenty of experience).
  2. Hire a video production company to turn your raw footage into a polished video.
  3. Hire a service provider to add your videos to all of the popular video sharing websites.

Additional reading and support

If you want to learn more about online video marketing, visit the links below.

1. Web video training workshop:

The system we've used to get over 1 million views on YouTube.

2. Sample video testimonials:

3. Sample YouTube channel and videos:

4. Video editing software:

5. Reviews of other web video tools:

6. Recommended done for you video service:

If you have any questions about the content of this chapter, please don’t hesitate to contact me at www.davesupports.com.

Ps. Here are a few other fun videos we’ve made:

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