Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Social Media Marketing via Online Video

When we talk about social media we immediately think of Facebook, Twitter and even Myspace, but often overlook the video option of YouTube.  I know what you're thinking, "YouTube is a video portal, not a social network."  When you get right down to it, what is a social network? It's an online diary that can be used to update friends, family and associates about your life and/or your business.  Beter still, it's an e-diary that you not only allow, but encourage others to peruse and redistribute.

Now I ask you, which one of the following would you say is  more compelling:
1. Text
2. Video

I don't know about you, but I am way more likely to watch a 60-second YouTube video than I am to read a blogpost or Tweet.  In fact, one of the things I teach my clients to do is embed videos on their blogs and social networks.  Particularly if the videos are amusing, they will achieve far greater viewership than even the finest prose.

Add to this the fact that in 2010, U.S. Internet users watched 32.4 billion videos in January with Google Sites ranking as the top U.S. video property with 12.8 billion videos. YouTube.com accounted for nearly 99 percent of all videos viewed at Google. (This isn't unusual, since Google owns YouTube.) What is interesting is the fact that video viewers at YouTube.com watched 93 videos on average during the month, representing an increase of 50 percent versus that of a year ago.That's more than 3 per day on average.

Are you seeing the value yet? We all know that we must be innovative and creative with our marketing techniques and initiatives, so if you are not using YouTube, do you think you could be missing out on something that could help your business?  

Alright, then I'll give you another reason to consider utilizing YouTube.  Did you know that you can create a Page 1 result on Google using YouTube?  That's right, the Googlebots are always looking for mixed media to pull onto YouTube.  Properly optimized videos can wind up on Page 1 of a Google search.  Access-JAX even has a Video SEO program that we employ for our client's behalf that optimizes every online video we post.

When it comes down to it, there really is no downside to promoting your business on YouTube. What you need to think about are the following:
  1. How can you use YouTube to market your products or services?  
  2. What humorous or eye-catching theme will give your video the best chance of going viral?
  3. Who on your staff is most photogenic. (Or, should you consider hiring a spokesmodel?) 
The beauty of YouTube is that it even includes a number categories that you can choose from, including:

    * Autos and Vehicles
    * Comedy
    * Education
    * Entertainment
    * Film and Animation
    * Gaming
    * How-to and Style
    * Nonprofit and Activism
    * People and Blogs
    * Pets and Animals
    * Science and Technology
    * Sports
    * Travel and Events

Your first step is to determine under which category your productsbestfits. Keep in mind that when it comes to social media marketing it's not just about uploading a commercial for your product, but also interacting with potential customers.  Also, short videos of 1-2 minutes are the best length for viewers.

Next you need to determine what type of video you could post that consumers would find valuable and instructive?

There are dozens of ways to employ video for your business.  You could put together a how-to video? How about shooting an entertaining video that showcases your products?  Remember value and interaction are key to using social media to market effectively. Just bear in mind that there is a fine line between providing compelling video content and coming on like an informercial  Unlike TV ads, the key with YouTube is to provide 90% content and 10% selling. 

Of course the best reason to add YouTube to your marketing arsenal is due to the fact that unlike broadcast TV, airing your video costs you nothing.  Shooting quality video is another matter, but today production costs have come way down.  So, if you can create videos that share value and interact with consumers, getting back the production costs shouldn't be that hard. What you must remember is that your video will be one of 180,000 that are uploaded daily, so make it worthwhile for viewers to tune in. 

As with any social media marketing strategy the key is to be creative and have fun.  But most of all, do it because it is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business online. 

Carl Weiss has been helping clients gain a competitive edge online since 1995.  If you are interested in tuning up your web presence, call Carl at 904-234-6007 for a Free Web Presence Analysis.http://access-jax.com