Eight ways to promote your video

Sharing your videoOnce a video is created and online, there is still much work to do to maximise its exposure. Naturally, you will initially share it on social media and maybe pickup some keyword based search traffic on YouTube and Google, but what next, and most importantly what are you missing. Promotion methods and sharing tactics may differ from one video to the next depending on topic, but hopefully some of the ideas below will offer some new opportunities.

Your own website and blog

Embedding your video on your website or blog is a great way to show off your new content. With existing targeted traffic already on your website, it is an easy way to clock up views, comments and the all important response to your call to action. Videos can be added to your news page, as a blog post (it is advisable to add a short description) and to support any page where where it will quickly add value.

Email

If you send out regular email newsletters you can add a link to your new video. A small image taken from the video (ideally with a play button overlaid), combined with a meaningful title, will assist potential viewers understand why they should click. The video link should generally be directed to the YouTube video page which will then auto-play, in some cases you may prefer to instead link to an embedded video on your website, however viewers will need to press the play button to start playback.

YouTube

If your video is on another channel (name for a YouTube account with a collection of videos), create a playlist and add the video in question. Add other associated, well ranking videos and write a good title and description. If your video is in your own branded YouTube channel, you should still consider playlists as they often rank higher than individual videos in YouTube searches. You will also have the option to view your videos statistics, this will tell you a lot about what is working and what might need attention. You can make small changes to your title, description and tags to help searchers find your video.

If people make comments on your video, try to respond as soon as possible with courteous and helpful replies, even bad comments can carefully turned around.

Twitter

When sharing a YouTube video on Twitter, it is generally best to use the direct video url (address shown in the browser bar). This is because a lot of Twitter applications will show you a thumbnail and instant play option. Linking directly to the YouTube video, means that video will generally auto-play if viewed on the normal twitter page. Don’t forget to include hashtags making sure you test them to see the quality and relevancy of the results. You can re-post your video every week or as often as every few days using different supporting messages. Consider the engagement opportunity in your tweet, you can ask for opinions, suggest your video as a solution, but ideally keep clear of uninspiring “watch my video on…” type posts.

LinkedIn

Your video can be easily added to your profile page with a title and description customised as required. LinkedIn will use the YouTube thumbnail, so consider a title that is slightly different if your thumbnail already contains the title graphically.

You can also post your video as part of a normal update. To do this, you need to paste in the YouTube video address and wait a few seconds until LinkedIn shows the video below the main comment box. You can now delete the link text and add your message to accompany the update. As always, careful consideration is needed to why a viewer might want to view the video, what is in it for them and why do they relate to your content. As with Twitter, you may wish to repost this video later on for connections that may have missed it.

LinkedIn groups offer a fantastic way for you to post your video to people who are not (yet) your connections. You can access topics, locations and other specific groupings of individuals who may be very interested in your content. On the other hand they may not, so it is advisable to tailor your message and your choice of video vs. group to ensure the best match.

Google+

Google+ is now tightly integrated with YouTube, even if you don’t have an active account you will most likely already have profile set-up and this may have you videos automatically listed. like most social media it makes sense to be in control. A quick profile customisation and then a little time spent building your ‘circles’ will help your video to gain more exposure. In interesting point to note is that any comments, views and likes (+1s) posted on Google+ will automatically be fed back to YouTube.

With Google so keen for users to adopt its own social media platform you can be sure that any activity will count towards better listings and therefore improved video exposure.

Facebook pages

If your audience is on Facebook, then you can post your video directly from YouTube with a custom message. Again consider the reason why people should watch your video, is it a problem solver, is it entertaining or something else? Many Facebook users will be in recreational mode, so a different approach might be needed to engage them. Facebook now supports hashtags, so try testing different keywords to discover the popular and relevant options. With comment dialog being such a powerful tool, it makes sense to encourage this type of engagement.

Pinterest

If your video suits the way Pinterest focus on products/objects and sits in the B to C category, you may wish to feature it on a relevant board. Pinterest is a predominately female audience, so this can be a very powerful opportunity for some types of videos.

Word of mouth and print

Your customers, prospects and associates can still be informed about your video offline. You can always follow up by email with a direct link or even use a QR code or short-link on printed materials. Combining offline marketing with the attractive format of online videos, can be a great way to transfer people to your social channels and ultimately your website.

As with all promotional methods, a degree of common sense and situational adaptation, will go a long way. Try to avoid the over played demands of “check out my video”, “please like my video” etc, and instead opt for genuine, quality engagement tactics and the promise of valuable information.

How to add a YouTube video to your website

Embedding YouTube videosAdding a YouTube video to your website as an ’embedded’ object is far better than a simple link, it is more likely to be played and can act as part of your page content. The video will have a ‘poster’ image (usually a selected frame from the video), a central play button and controls at the bottom to allow further adjustments to playback. Getting it on your website is not always straightforward – hopefully this guide will help.

What type of website do you have?

Depending on the way your website is controlled, there are different ways to add embedded video. Your whole website or specific pages may be static (not editable by you), have a bespoke content management system (built by your web developer) or be build on a standard platform (such as WordPress).

Static (non editable) web pages/sites

Quite simply you can’t add the video yourself. You will need to ask your developer to do this for you. You will need to send over a link to the video and any instructions regarding placement, size and any supporting content you may wish to feature. We would strongly recommend you ask your developer to disable ‘related videos’ from being shown at the end of the video, as these could feature unrelated videos or even your competitor’s videos. A good developer may be able to add a custom poster image (the static image that shows before the play button is pressed) and will also test the new video content for compatibility with different web browsers and mobile devices.

Bespoke content management systems

The ability to add video will be totally dependant on the capabilities of each system and the level of control you have been granted. If you are unsure, ask your developer if you can use HTML code, specifically the ‘iframe’ tag. If you have this options then visit the YouTube video page, click on the ‘share’ tab underneath the video followed by the ’embed’ tab. Untick the ‘Show suggested videos when the video finishes’ box, to stop other videos being shown after yours has finished playing. You will also need to choose a size that fits in your content area, ideally 640 x 360 or bigger. Highlight the code and copy to your clipboard (Control/Command+C). Your code should look something like this.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jSnhw5GkFx8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Paste this code (Control/Command+V) into the desired page as HTML code. You may need to switch to an HTML mode to be able to do this, don’t just paste it in with normal content as it is unlikely to work. If in doubt ask your web developer. Preview, test and finally publish your page.

WordPress

If you are using WordPress it is worth installing a plugin called ‘iframe’ (see http://wordpress.org/plugins/iframe/). This plugin allows you to use the iframe code generated by YouTube. All you need to do is change just the first and last brackets “<your code >” to “[ your code ]”. The code now would look like this.

[iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/jSnhw5GkFx8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe]

Visit the YouTube video page, click on the ‘share’ tab underneath the video followed by the ’embed’ tab. Untick the ‘Show suggested videos when the video finishes’ box, to stop other videos being shown after yours has finished playing. You will also need to choose a size that fits in your content area, ideally 640 x 360 or bigger. Highlight the code and copy to your clipboard (Control/Command+C).

You now need to edit your destination page in WordPress, paste in your amended iframe code (Control/Command+V) and amend the first and last ‘<‘ and ‘>’ to ‘[‘ and ‘]’. If you need to change the size you can use other sizes although they do need to be of the correct ratio. Standard YouTube sizes for widescreen content are 420×315, 480×360, 640×480 and 960×720. You can create custom sizes by dividing both numbers above by the same factor, just make sure the result is a whole number. For example 640×480 divided by two is 320×240. When you are happy with the video preview, publish the page and test well.

There are other plugins such as ‘WordPress Video Plugin’ which may seem a little easier to use, this does however not allow you to turn off related videos showing after the video has finished playing.

Although this may all seem rather technical, it is fairly straightforward and quick to do. As always, if you are unsure about anything, ask your web developer to help.

Latest TV advert for DCW for ITV

Bitpod have been commissioned to create a TV advert for Devon Contract Waste. The concept behind the advert was to promote the public awareness of Devon Contract Waste’s ‘Zero to Landfill’ system. The advert encouraged viewers to visit a Facebook page which discusses material recycling, object reuse and other energy efficient and clever ideas.

The advert uses an animation to show how everything that is delivered into their recycling centre can be sorted and sent off to be transformed into something else. The key message is that nothing is sent to landfill. With only 30 seconds to tell the story and direct viewers to the Facebook page, the concept needed to be simple, powerful and attention catching. The advert began showing on the 9th of September on ITV1 and will initially run for over one week. So far our client has received good feedback as well as likes and comments on their Facebook page.

You can also view the advert on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fwi43n5PhU