Businesses, non-profits, and organizations of all sizes can use online video marketing to find clients, promote their products and services, and communicate their value, differentiation and positioning. In fact, I believe online video is one of the most effective and scalable ways to deliver your message to the people you want to attract.
I covered this topic in detail when I presented How Video Can Boost Your Traffic at WordCamp Montreal on June 29, 2013 (and again at WordCamp Toronto on October 5, 2013). If you were unable to attend the presentation, I have prepared a screencast of the presentation, prepared summary notes, and listed resource links. I have also posted the presentation on ShareDeck and SlideShare.
A transcript of my screencast presentation is located at the bottom of the blog post.
Online Video Marketing: Four Applications
As well as helping clients build their online businesses, I manage a healthcare services website that delivers online content and attracts clients to our clinic. We use video extensively on this site in four distinct applications areas:
- eLearning: We offer two online courses for health professionals that we sell on our site and license to partners to broaden our distribution. Each of the courses includes a printed manual (shipped to the student after registration). The course content is delivered using video screencasts of the lecture material and demonstrations of client application of the treatment techniques. One of the courses has fifteen hours of video content and the other has four hours.
- Publishing: We not only train health professionals on the treatment of certain medical conditions, we offer online services to end clients. We publish printed and ePub books and provide video to supplement the content. One of our recent books, Strengthen Your Core, includes over one hour of video content for the reader.
- Promotion: We offer two free video-based, five-day email courses to attract, engage and convert clients. One course is for health professionals and the other is for clients. We find these free video courses a very effective way to initially engage with the health professional and client.
- Blogging: A large percentage of our blogging content is video-based. We believe it makes for a more engaging, informative, and richer experience for our readers.
I estimate that I have produced over 400 videos amounting to over 40 hours of finished video content. Those videos have attracted over 300,000 views on YouTube. I believe that this work has attracted many new clients to our site and our business.
Online Video Marketing: Major Categories
There are four major categories of web videos:
- Talking head: These are typically presentation or interview format videos with one or several people speaking about a topic. They are meant to share information and convey authority, personality, and know how.
- Product or service pitch: These are meant to educate and stimulate a transaction or other call to action through video or screencast.
- Narrative: These often involve telling a story or describing an event (such as a wedding) through documentary. They are meant to inform, persuade, and touch you emotionally.
- Artistic: These are creative videos that entertain and engage through music or story.
I mostly work with the Talking head format of online video.
Why You Should Use Online Video
Although video can be complex to produce and can be labour intensive, I believe that the benefits pay for the investment:
- Video is a great way to communicate your story, personality, authority, brand, and positioning.
- Your video content has a long shelf life and is searchable.
- Video allows your prospective client to learn more about you, your services, and qualifications before contacting you. I have found that many clients are sold before they call our clinic. Instead of asking more questions, they simply book an assessment because they want to get started after seeing our video content.
My Video Workflow in Seven Steps
I have a seven step process to producing, publishing and promoting my videos. Although it seems like a lot of things that you have to go through to get a quality marketing video, keep in mind that I have been at it awhile so I can go through many of the steps quickly. With some practice, you will find you are able to produce quality video content quickly.
We like to choose a single topic to cover in a video. This allows us to simplify the message and increases our chance of keeping the viewer engaged. We also make sure that the video content fits into our overall content plan for the site.
Since we spend a fair amount of time setting up for a shoot, we often we will cover a number of topics in one shoot. This allows us to produce multiple blogs during one production.
Before the shoot we do a quick mental storyboard (we play the movie in our heads) so that we know what we are trying to achieve. Everyone knows their role before the camera starts to roll.
Finally, we always make sure that the keywords we want appear in the spoken copy and are part of the overall narrative.
2. The Shoot
Now that we are well prepared, we are ready to shoot the video. Choose a location that is appropriate for your topic. A health professional is probably best located in a medical setting or clinic. A business professional will probably seem right in an office setting. Be aware of the lighting conditions and potential ambient noise. I suggest your scout out your location in advance.
If you are the video producer, you will be responsible for working with your talent and getting the best performance possible from them. Most people (unless they have acting experience) are not comfortable in front of the camera lens. Coach them to make sure that they are breathing comfortably, speaking slowly, not repeating themselves, and are generally relaxed and natural.
Camera and lens choice can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your shoot. I could spend forever talking about different types of cameras and probably only confuse you.
I have several cameras I work with. I often shoot multi-camera to get different angles. I choose the camera based upon the nature of the video. If there is a lot of movement, I will select a certain camera. However, when it comes to the talking head video with one speaker, I use a Nikon D7000 DSLR with a 50mm lens with the aperture wide open to create a nice depth of field and sharp focus on the speaker. The product looks great.
Quality audio is very important for video. You want your speaker to come through clear – as though they were next to listener. I use the H4n from Zoom to record my audio. I choose the microphone based on the environment I am in but frequently mic the talent with a lavalier clip microphone.
I like a well-lit video. I use Lowell lighting. My original investment was in tungsten lighting. However, there has been great progress made in LED lighting and if I was starting fresh today, I would go with LED lights.
3. Post Production
There are many non-linear editing tools out there. I use Final Cut Pro X and use the Finisher plugin from CrumplePop. For screencasts I use ScreenFlow and I compress my videos before publishing using Compressor from Apple.
Your video is finished and looks great. Now you need to get it onto the right platforms. Like most people, I use YouTube since it is the best video sharing platform available. Also, you can be assured that it will play on most people’s browsers and platforms.
I make sure that the important keyword is embedded in the title and the description, and that I choose the right tags. I also embed a link back to a landing page on my site inside the description.
We publish our videos on our WordPress blog and use the Yoast WordPress Video SEO plugin to optimize our video content. The Yoast Video SEO plugin takes care of a large number of complex things associated with video publishing including generating a video XML sitemap. When your blog article appears in the Google search results, a video thumbnail will appear next to the text snippet.
My experience has been that I have found Google selective about when they present a video thumbnail. Yoast addresses this issue on his blog and provides some instructions on how to deal with the problem. I have found Yoast and his team produce excellent products and provide very good support. This blog post illustrates how he deals with issues. Conclusion: the Yoast plugin is a worthwhile investment but you need to pay attention to the details.
Although the Yoast Video SEO plugin provides a preview of the snippet with the video thumbnail, you can also use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to view how Google sees your snippet in the search results. You will also get a information verifying that the authorship is correct plus many other useful pieces of data. Give this a try.
Finally, I create a transcript of the video and embed the text inside the blog posting. I also place the transcript text in the YouTube captions. I use SpeechPad for transcription services.
Once all this is done, we need to promote our video. I announce my blog entries in an email newsletter and I also post on Twitter and FaceBook. I encourage you to build your following and promote your video content on the platforms you like.
Finally, I like to see what videos are working for us. This allows us to plan our content calendar and select topics our readers like.
I use the YouTube Analytics Manager. If a video is doing well, the “Traffic Sources” report tells me where the action is.
I also track my conversion traffic associated with video in Google Analytics.
You should have a better understanding of how to produce, publish and promote video content that drives traffic to your site and converts visitors to clients. I encourage you to look at these resources as you continue to explore the world of video SEO and online video marketing.
To learn more about video product and editing:
- fstoppers is great site for photography and videography. Careful. It is easy to waste time here!
- izzy video: Great instruction on video production.
- lynda: lynda is a great resource for all online learning.
- Google best practices for video.
- Yoast Video SEO plugin.
The Secret to Success with Online Video
We would all love to enjoy the fame, fortune, and success Justin Bieber experienced because of online video and, specifically his YouTube presence (on second thought, maybe not). The majority of us will never get his number of views or a follower-base as large as Justin’s.
Not a problem. I am not sure who would want to have teenage girls calling your house all hours of the night.
However, there are four things I learned about using online video that will increase your chance of success with this media:
- Be sincere, be brief, be seated. This is advice Franklin Roosevelt often gave people about to make a presentation. This guideline applies not only to presentations to be made to presidents, it is also applicable to the online audience. I would add: Be authentic, display your know-how on your topic, and be likeable!
- Produce a quality video that shows you in a good light. You do not need a David Fincher production but if you do a few things right (such as audio, lighting, and location) you can come off as professional in your videos.
- Over time you will find the topics that resonate with your audience. You need to be consistent and persistent to eventually get on message. I recommend that you offer a diversity of topics and look for those that click with your followers.
- Speaking of followers, you will need to spend time developing an online audience. Do it organically. The best followers find you and promote you.
This article is part of my Digital Marketing guide.
Transcript of Screencast
Hello. This is Richard Martin, and this is my Word Camp Montreal 2013 presentation where a presented how video can boost traffic to your website. If you want to contact me or follow me, you can contact me at my website which is richardgmartin.me, and you can follow me on Twitter @richardgmartin.
Hopefully you can connect with me, and I look forward to staying in contact with you.I wanted to develop actually in more detail in terms of the title for this slide, and specifically what I’m going to get into is how video can drive and convert the traffic you want, basically the clients you want to your business. I’ll talk about specifically how it’s worked for one of the businesses I run. Video’s been very, very successful for us. I actually really enjoy video. I think it’s a really great way to communicate and it’s very, very effective. Depending upon your business, it’s very effective in terms of making your site successful. It has made our site successful, and I’m going to talk about that personal experience.
Who am I? I want to get into more detail about that. I am, I do have an online business. We do quite a bit of presence online. That’s not just site design, but basically I run an online healthcare business and I’ll talk about that in more detail; you’ll find out more later as we get into the presentation. In doing that for the last four years, I’ve had a number of people that I’ve worked with outside of my own business. I help them re-do the design of their online through WordPress but also I help them build their business online with the things that I’ve learned doing my own things and how they apply to their specific businesses. I really enjoy doing that. I think I like to see the impact it has on, these positive things can have on people’s businesses.My background before getting into this, I have a very much product-marketing background. I think I have a very strong marketing background. Specifically I’ve worked with a number of companies in Silicon Valley and lived there for quite a few years, Apple being one of them. I worked there for a number of years. I also worked for quite a few years at Cisco Systems; with managing one of their big product lines and launching it, getting it out there, basically. Again, my contact information is just below.Let me get into specifically, and I’ll talk about what my credentials, basically my video bona fides, are and what makes me qualified, I think, to talk about this topic that I really enjoy very much.
With my business that I’m involved in, we use video in four avenues, if you want to call it that. The first is e-learning. We produce courses and courses are specifically targeted at healthcare professionals, specifically the rehab side, mostly the physical therapists, occupational therapists, fitness professionals sometimes, and we work on specific medical conditions. Video is a very important part of that. When sell a course on a site, and sometimes we license our content or the partners for broader distribution, we sell a physical book but we also provide our video content. The course is completely done video. That includes not just the video lectures, but also the demonstration of the specific applications with regard to patient treatment and how specifically the things work. This course, Building Better Bones, that you see pop up here, that’s a 15-hour course, so it’s a very, very long course. It’s very comprehensive. Fifteen hours of video. The course we did that’s available on our site is called Building a Stronger Core and that’s a shorter course but it’s still 4 to 5 hours. There’s quite a bit of effort in putting these courses together. In both cases, they get a printed manual, but like I said, they also get online video content that takes them through the course material. E-learning’s the first thing.
The second thing we do is we do a lot of publishing, which we sell to our own clients so this is not going to the health professionals, it’s going to the actual clients themselves. Again, they get a physical book, in the case of this product called Exercise for Better Bones they bought on our site, but they also get a program, an exercise program that is video-based. It has lectures or explanations of key concepts that are important to their health. It also shows them exactly how to do the exercises and video’s a very, very important part of that. This video’s not applicable to this book. This book got sold on Amazon. It’s another book we did called ‘Yoga for Better Bones.’ We released a new book called “Strengthen Your Core”; which is focused on core strength and core exercises, and again very similar approach to our first product Exercise for Better Bones, Strengthen Your Core is a physical book but it also has a video content component of it and about a 1-hour video for clients is available to them. So, publishing is another area.
The other thing we do is we use video for promoting and encouraging people to purchase our products or engage with us. We offer our free courses, and they’re courses, ones for any clients, one for women and men, and the other one’s for health professionals. In both instances those are video-based courses, so over a 5-day period they get an email and in the email, it’s an automated email with an auto-responder that goes to these people who subscribe and every day they get a new module, basically, a video module that takes them through the course plus some readings that we have on our blog. Promotion’s an important part, so that’s number three.
Number four is we use video for our blogging. We do write text blogs and have text-only blogs where it’s appropriate, but where possible we find we use video a lot. We find it very effective. We get high engagement when we use video blogs. We write up the blog, we have words around it, and I’ll talk about that in more detail, but we quite often have a video module that’s there for them explaining the concept. Again, we find this very, very effective for us.
Those are the four applications that we use. To get more into my own statistics and what I’ve done, and this is as of June of 2013, I’ve produced, I tried to add it up, I think I’ve produced about 400 different videos for the web, so quite a bit of content I’ve generated over my time I’ve been producing videos myself. It adds up to about 40 hours of video content that’s been published by me that I’ve been involved directly and had my hands on. In terms of my viewership, two of our own channels have well over 300,000 views on YouTube, which for a small topic I think is pretty good, so we’re pretty satisfied with that. It really is a very great way to engage with people as I mentioned before. On average we get about 500 or 600, and I think we’re getting a bit higher views per day of our videos, wherever they are. We find it attracts prospects very effectively, and not only just attracts them but it converts them when they come into our sales funnel. It also compresses the sales cycle. Sometimes we have people, we run a clinic and if we had to have people come in to our clinic, instead of them spending a lot of time trying to understand and explain things to them, they’re generally fairly convinced by the time they go through our video content just to book the appointment. That compresses the sales cycle. The health professional who’s delivering the service is not spending time really selling their service, it’s already been sold and the client is booking. That makes things very, very efficient for us.
Let’s get into some of the meat of the presentation, now you know my background and my motivation here. I see several categories, and there are probably more, but these are the one that I’ve seen up here. Let’s go through them.
One, which is the area that I mostly work on which I call the Talking Head, it’s either straight-on where somebody’s talking to the camera, they’re talking about a topic or it might be an interview format where one person’s interviewing another and they’re just responding. I find that what that does is it really is very effective in conveying authority. It also allows the person, the professional, to get their personality across, their likability. And it allows them to really demonstrate their know-how on a topic.
The second one is a product or sales pitch or service pitch that you’ve probably seen out there where it’s specifically on a product. It might be a short, infomercial-type thing. It’s meant to educate and stimulate and through video and screen casting to explain what the product is to get the person to make the next move. The other one is a narrative. I call it a narrative. It can be a documentary. It might be a wedding. It might involve e-Learning. It’s more of an informative, persuasive or it might be an emotional attachment. That’s a third category I see out there. The fourth is a more of an artistic, where you do things like a music video or a short movie or a short segment or a sketch or some comedy and it’s meant really to entertain or engage.
These are not mutually exclusive, there’s some overlap between each of them. I tend to focus mostly on probably the first two, actually more number one, which is the Talking Head. I do do the narrative when I focus on e-learning. I typically don’t do things like weddings. That’s not my area, but the balance of this presentation is on how to use something like a talking head approach to really get your message across and to get your client to sign up or purchase from you or engage with you or to move to the next stage.
Here we go. We think you should have video, but there’s also an argument that you should avoid video. Let’s talk about specifically the reasons behind each of those. Here’s an argument that you should avoid video. People find it expensive to produce. There’s some truth to that depending upon what you want to achieve. And again, depending on what you want to achieve with your video it can be quite complex, labor intensive. I agree with those. Mine takes a fair amount of work, but I think the payback is there. Finally, video, depending upon, with all the multiple platforms and multiple browsers and compression technologies it can be quite fussy and sometimes clients in high volume on your website might not be able to play it back. I’ve encountered that problem with certain providers. I think I’ve addressed most of those problems over the years, and I think that problem has now diminished, but it still exists out there and there are still some hiccups.
I think that there are very strong arguments, depending upon your business, that you should have video and you should use it. First of all, it has a very long shelf life, as like text content it can stay there, it’s not flipping through like social media-type things but it really can stay out there. It is searchable. YouTube itself is the number two search engine. I think a lot of people already know that and I think that they’re really improving the sociability of the video content that’s out there. I think it does a fabulous job, at least in our case, of communicating our story. It allows you to get your personality, which is important in a lot of types of sales. It allows you to show your authority, your authenticity, communicate your brand and also your positioning. It’s a very effective way to communicate to an audience; people really engage with video when it’s done properly. Like I said earlier, it compresses the sales cycle when done properly because a lot of things get communicated over that video that are saved on a one-on-one phone call with the client.
Now let’s talk about work flow. I’ll talk about my specific work flow, and I have seven steps. I didn’t realize I had seven steps until I put this together, but I have seven steps in my procedure and how that works for me.
Let’s start with the first one. Let’s talk about preparation. The first part of preparation is really thinking about what your message is and “brevity is the soul of wit” from Shakespeare. Basically, you’re really condensing your message short because people, as many of us know, have very short attention spans, so if you can get it in within… There’s no, I don’t think that there’s really a strict time limit, whether it be 1-minute videos or 10-minute videos. You can have videos that are on these sites that are very long that engage people. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve; but if you can get your message quite tight without a lot of repetition, you’re going to be more successful. You want it to be a compelling message so get your message correct is the first thing within the preparation. Think carefully about you’re going to shoot and say in that video. Think about it from the point of view of your calendar too. You want to treat your videos like your overall content strategy. When you establish your blog and you’re out communicating with the audience, you probably want to set up a content plan and a content schedule and video should, I think, in many cases should be part of it so factor it in that way.
You should also, you don’t have to get into a lot of detail on this, but you should at least mentally put together a storyboard of what it is you’re trying to put together. So there are no surprises when you’re shooting because it will speed up your shooting process if you kind of know between you and your talent what it is you’re trying to achieve. So story board it, think about what you’re trying to say. It’s almost like a mini rehearsal before the tape roles or the camera turns on.
Finally, make sure that, again, back to the content strategy, think about the key words. Treat it in many respects like text. Think about the key words that are going to attract and generate search volume for you. Treat them exactly the same. Go to your keyword tool, search on the thing, find out what are the topics that are working, and treat it exactly the same way as your text content. Here I have basically just a search on WordPress, to look at global search volume and it gives you an understanding, at least some metric to know these are the terms I want to show up, that I want my talent to talk about or show up in the text inside the video content itself.
After you’ve done your prep and you’ve laid out and understand what you’re doing, and it might not take a lot of time to do this, now you’re ready to shoot. You want to think about a number of things. You want to think first of all about your location and want to make sure it’s appropriate for what you’re shooting. Is it a business location? Or in this case you can see it’s kind of, it looks kind of grungy but would obviously be more appropriate for kind of an artistic shot if you were doing that kind of thing. Think about your location. Think about the lighting in the location and what the noise volume that’s around it. Will it be accommodating to what you’re doing? The second thing is, and this is the softer part of it, working with your talent. Your talent is the person on the other side of the camera. Some people are very comfortable. Like photography, some people are very natural and comfortable behind a camera. Most people are not. You might find yourself having to work with your talent. That’s where the story board becomes important. Think about what you’re going to communicate. Work with them, coach them through the process and just take note of what they do. Some people when they get in front of a camera just kind of get anxious, speak too fast or repeat themselves, any number of things. Pay attention to those things and coach the person through.
Then it’s choice of camera. I shoot quite often with two cameras. I do multi-cam shooting. That’s just me. It depends upon what the topic is. If I want to shoot a demonstration of a specific application of a specific condition, medical condition, I might do two ankle shots of the professional treating the patient, just to give the view point. Sometimes you do multi-cam just to kind of mix things up when you’re doing your editing so it keeps the viewer engaged. I shoot with both DSLR cameras and I also shoot with traditional video cameras. There’s an argument for both usage. They come with their positives and negatives, but I shoot with both and you really should need to find out what you’re comfortable shooting with. DSLR has become, obviously, very, very popular these days.
Which leads into the next thing, which is audio. Where DSLRs, I think, fall short today is how they manage audio. I use, over time I’ve basically, obviously I’ve used different micing options with your talent when you’re doing your recording but, and this has become very popular particular with DSLR is to create a separate audio capture through this H4N handy recorder from Zoom. I use this and I notice a lot of other professionals use this. This is a worthwhile investment. I found this really to be very positive, so I’m big on that.
Finally, think about the lighting. You might not need extra lighting, maybe the natural light is going to be quite adequate. I do use Lowell lighting and I’ll have a link to that on my blog to each of these resources, basically, but I use Lowell lighting. I today used Tungsten lighting, but I found that right now things have really improved. You obviously need continuous lighting for video content. Now what’s happened is LED lighting has become very popular and cost-effective. So if I had my time back, I’d probably do LED lighting because it also is what’s called daylight balanced. It’s balanced with daylight so you don’t have to do any adjustments. Today for now, I use a Tungsten and that was the investment I made a number of years ago so I’m sticking with it because it’s quite expensive to get it going. Do think about your lighting and make sure that lighting’s proper. These are, when you put these things together, location, talent, camera, audio and the lighting, that really, that mixture of things determines the professionalism of your video and what it is you want to communicate out there.
Okay, you’ve shot your video; now the next stage is taking it into post production, which is stage three. I use, and there are many tools out there, there’s Adobe has Premier, I use Final Cut Pro 10 as my professional editing tool, my non-linear editing tool. I won’t go into that in a lot of detail but it’s a professional editing tool. Some people are quite comfortable with iMovie. That’s a good tool, too, but I use Final Cut Pro. I’ve gotten used to it. I find I have to add to it. I use several plug-ins. One I use the most frequently is called Finisher by CrumplePop, and it allows me to make my images much richer, especially shots of the talent. When it comes to screen capture I use something called Screen Flow, which in fact is what I’m using for this presentation here. I use it and I capture, sometimes I capture screen images and I bring them into Final Cut and I mix them together. There are different things there. Finally, once the video is output, I put it out as completely uncompressed. I’m going to have to compress because I want to upload it to either Vimeo or YouTube or some other service provider or [inaudible 18:20] in that case, so I use Compressor from Apple. There are other compression tools out there but those are the ones I choose. When you go to people like YouTube or Vimeo, they do give you the settings that you put into your compressor, whatever tool you’re using, and use that, basically those settings to compress your video and then submit it to the provider.
Okay, you’ve gone through post and now your videos done and it looks great. You’ve done the compression, you’re ready to get it up there. You need to distribute and you want to distribute it the appropriate people. We use YouTube quite a bit. I think a lot of people do. We have a YouTube channel. Spend some time configuring your YouTube channel. They’ve done a lot of upgrades of recent. Obviously they’re putting a lot of effort into the thing and making it right. Here what you see is we post a video, we make sure the keywords are in the title, the description and then the tags that we want to get out there. But also the thing I do, and I found this to be very effective, I imbed a link inside the description, very first thing back to my site or back, actually, to the landing page I want the client to land at. So they found my video. I want them to link back and come back to my site. I find this very, very effective, by the way, this imbedding a link. It does drive in traffic and it drives in very high quality traffic that takes action, too. I’ll just zoom in a little bit closer, you can see where that is. You can see that we have melioguide.com/freecourse. That’s the action I want people to take when they see the video and I do find this quite effective.
Okay. I want to spend a bit of time talking about Vimeo, a few moments. I have a Vimeo Pro account. There are different types of accounts. There’s just a plain old, I think what they have is a plain old Vimeo account but they also have another kind of account that I can’t recall, but Vimeo Pro is the one that I use right, which I paid for. The reason why I do that is because a good portion of my video content I actually don’t want on YouTube. The reason I don’t want it on YouTube is because it’s basically content that, basically, it requires secure access. The only way to do it privately and to hold it privately and keep it away from the internet is to purchase a pro account, in this case Vimeo. So that’s why I use Vimeo. But also I find that they’ve really strengthened up their Vimeo Pro offering. They give me a whole range of thumbnails, they allow me to customize the thumbnails, so there’s a lot more customization available via Vimeo compared to say, YouTube. So I find them, from that point of view, much more customizable.
I will specifically talk about support at Vimeo when you have a Vimeo Pro account at least. I have had clients have problems accesses video and actually most of the times that they’ve had problems accessing the video it’s been my fault myself. But what I found is that when I contacted the Vimeo support people, the support tech people, they’ve been really, really good. I can only say positive things about them. They, in fact, go and contact my client directly and try and work things out, so I found that they’ve been very responsive and they provide excellent support. So there is a human being at the other end there and they do service and they are quite responsive, at least for the pro accounts. For me, it’s been a worthwhile investment.
Okay, you’ve got the video up there. You’ve produced it. It’s ready to go. It’s up on Vimeo or it’s up on YouTube or both, and you want to publish it. You want the universe to find out about the great video that you’ve done. We publish on our blog. We publish on WordPress. And we use WordPress for our blog and we quite often start off by writing some keywords around it. I just don’t publish the video itself. At least in my case, I like to write some text around it with the keywords that I think are important, so I make sure that I pay attention to that. I publish the video. You see the yellow box here. I actually use the imbed code. I go into the html and I center it and I put it that way. You’ll also notice here at the bottom I use the WordPress SEO plug-in by Yoast. I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about that because I think it’s quite important.
You see here what it does is it finds the video and it gives me a snippet preview of what’s going to show up on the Google search results with the thumbnail and then some of the description. This is actually pretty effective. This has been a worthwhile investment. I purchased this SEO plug-in for a video from Yoast and I use it all the time on my websites. I’m going to talk about that in more detail. That solves a number of fairly complex issues that come with video publishing, and video publishing from the point of view of publishing on the web and making sure that people are aware of it. There are two or three principle things that you should be concerned about. One is basically what’s called a schema markup, schema.org, and that’s an html markup that can come with every video. The second thing is the site map, the video site map specifically. In the case of the Yoast SEO video tool, he solves both of those problems and you don’t have to deal with any of this stuff. It’s actually quite nice.
What we’ve done here is you see the xml video site map that gets submitted to Google and all the other search engines. It gets automatically generated so the Yoast SEO video tool plug-in goes through your blog and goes through and finds every video and does all this indexing for you and takes the sitemap and then submits it. It’s very, very cool. It saves you a lot of work, so it’s very, very effective. It also does all the schema markup which is something that you probably don’t want to be bothered with and you’d rather spend your time doing other things with your blog. This solves a lot of problems, so I wanted to show you that.
The other thing it does once you get yourself published, this is what you want to see happen, is if you look here, this raking leaves video that we did, you see when the search results come back you see actually see multiple instances of our search results, you’ll see that there’s the YouTube video but there’s also on the second one, you actually see what’s on the blog and you see the thumbnail there. So the snippet, the preview that you saw in the earlier slide is now appearing here. That’s quite powerful because when people see generally a visual, they’re more inclined to click on your link. So it’s very good.
One of the other things I do when I publish is I also take the text that the talent has generated, so I actually take it and get it transcribed. Depending upon the length of the video, that can generate 300 or 400 words for me which I just take then and put in my, I put an html wrapper around it and I put it actually into the blog. Not only do I write my own text and I can probably do 100 or so words. I don’t have to write a lot but I get my keywords up front, I embed the video and I take the transcript and I put that in so my keywords appear again. I’m getting deeper text. That’s very good, basically. I think it helps the viewer also so they actually get a transcript view of what’s being said. I then take the same transcript and I actually go back to YouTube and I go into the captions area, the captions function, and I submit the text that I have so that that then becomes closed caption playback. I think Google actually, and I think YouTube, uses the text, I think they actually use the text inside the video as part of the search results. Now I find that the translation of the transcription that YouTube provides is, depending upon the nature of your content, can be a bit strange results, so we deal with that. If you provide your transcript which is an accurate representation of what’s being said, then you’ve dealt with that problem. I encourage you to do that. The service I use is called SpeechPad. I think there are other ones out there. I’ve had a lot of success with them. I really like what they’ve done. I find that when it comes back it’s quite accurate. You have different pricing. Pricing is depending upon the number of minutes and also how quickly turn around you want. They can turn around in one day or up to five days. So if you’re in no hurry and you put it in five days, I think it’s about $1 a minute. I find it’s very much worthwhile. I encourage people to do it.
So now you want to promote. So how we promote it we have a pretty extensive mail list. We use MailChimp. There are many other mail providers out there, we use MailChimp. We put our email together, we do an email every week or so and we talk about “Now, please visit my blog and look at my video on…” I find this really, really effective. It drives in the traffic, people engage with your site, they share it, they like it, they do all those good things and it gets your traffic out there. Also, we post on our Facebook page and there are many others. I won’t go into every one of them but you can see that basically what we do as part of the distribution of the publication is get it out to the different distribution channels.
Once you’ve got your product out there and a period of time has passed, you’ll want to see how did that video content work. Over time you’ll want to find out what content, like any content strategy, you want to know what content worked for me, what generated the most engagement and you want to look at the different metrics. I’m going to talk about a few here. There are many, but I’m going to talk about two that I look at. If you’re on YouTube and you’re using it for publishing and you look here, we have a video that we did. There are many, many angles that YouTube provides within your video manager you can take a look, at in terms of the analytics that they have, and I think that’s getting richer all the time.
You can see this video has had over 18,000 views in its life, so it’s reasonable volume. You can see its volume over time, but I like specifically this traffic source. You can see where the traffic’s coming from for this thing. Who’s generating this traffic? It turns out that over half of it is coming from what I call YouTube’s suggested video, so YouTube itself. Suggested video is basically the videos that show up on the right hand side. YouTube suggests those videos based upon the topic that you’ve searched on, so it presents the video result and then it comes up with some suggestions. There can also be a suggested video at the end of the video. At the end of a YouTube video you’ll see a panel of different videos that come up. Those again are suggested videos. It turns out in this video that over half of the volume, close to 10,000 views, have come from what YouTube suggested. The better job you do of creating content the YouTube likes, the better chance that you’re going to get your overall volume up and the more it gets shared and the more interaction occurs on your video content and also eventually your website.
The other thing I do is I actually look at my Google analytics. I like to set up goals on my site, specific things I like to have. I have to apologize. I had amassed some confidential information I didn’t want to share with the universe and I think, I’m sure you appreciate that, but I do want to show you that in the case of the video content that comes back from YouTube. So when people click from YouTube, remember I showed you that link, when they click on that link and they come back into a landing page and the landing page is basically “Sign up for my free course, my free client course.” You see that on average people will sign up at a rate of about 15% or 14.5% and that’s pretty good. Also, some sign up for another course, so in total it’s over 15%, almost 16% conversion rate. This doesn’t cost me anything, really. That’s all free conversions going on that get into my sales funnel and they start interacting with us. This has been worthwhile for us. Over time this can really pay for itself. In fact it doesn’t cost anything anyway, but basically it’s a very, very effective way to get people into your sales funnel and interacting with you, getting to know you and eventually leading to, hopefully, a relationship between you and the incoming client.
Okay, so just some other considerations before I wrap up. There are other things going on. Another way to generate content, and you’re probably saying, ‘Well do I need to go through all that to generate content?’ and the answer is, No, and it depends. And I think it’s changing quite a bit, but some people shoot video very fast and post it fast and they can be very, very successful. I don’t in my instance, because I like to control the content and want to represent it a certain way so I’m willing to spend the time on it. I get the mileage out of it and it’s worthwhile. There are things like Google Hangouts where basically you can record a Google Hangout between you and other people and then publish directly to your YouTube channel. So you’re generating content pretty fast, whether you’re doing an interview or it might be almost like a radio interview show or a discussion with somebody and you’re generating content. There are very fast ways that are out there now to generate content, one of which is Hangouts. Also things that are occurring, like Vine which is a six-second video. I’ve seen it and looked at it. It think it’s challenging to get your message across in six seconds. Generally a lot of those are oriented to entertainment.
Okay. And finally resources. Some resources I have that I find useful, I encourage you to take a look at Fstoppers. They have a category of video; they have a lot of video content. It’s not structured, but it allows you to look at some very good high-quality video and give you a sense of what the good stuff is out there and they have some good behind-the-scenes so at a minimum it’s entertaining to you.
If you are serious about learning more about video production and how it works, maybe using some of the editing tools, some of the basics of editing or video or video production, two resources I like and have used. One is izzyvideo.com. I’ve used that for several years and he has some structure to his stuff but he has just lots and lots of videos on content. I find it’s been a fairly inexpensive way to get access to his content and learn quite a bit. And he’s a very knowledgeable person. His name is Izzy. The other one is lynda.com, which has a whole range of online education, one of which is video. A little more structured than Izzy video and that’s a monthly subscription or an annual subscription.
I also encourage you to look at the Google Webmaster Tools for Video Best Practices. Just take a read at that, make sure you’re comfortable with that. Then finally, look at the Yoast SEO for WordPress. I’ll have other resources on my blog, in my blog article for this so please come to my blog, read up on it and you’ll find other resources that I like and have used in the past. That’s it. Again, feel free to contact me. Follow me on Twitter. Thanks very much for attending my presentation, and good luck with your video. If you have some interesting videos out there you want to share with me, please send them my way. I’d love to take a look at the stuff. Thanks. Goodbye.