Eight ways to promote your video
Once 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.
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.
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.
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.
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+ 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.
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.
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.