Part 3 of a series.
In the Part 1 (http://zuzamam.com/online-video-power-1/) and Part 2 (http://zuzamam.com/online-video-power-2/) of this series, we’ve discussed the effectiveness of online video for your corporate marketing and how to produce your videos. Now it’s time to get your videos seen! In this post, we’re going to provide a very basic introduction to hosting your videos online so people can start viewing them.
YouTube: free, fast.
The shortest path to video publishing is to put it on YouTube. YouTube makes it very easy. First, you’ll need to create an account, which really means creating a Gmail account.
Once signed in, the next thing you’ll want to do is create your YouTube “channel.” This is the page where your videos will be viewable on YouTube, with its own URL. YouTube gives you various options to “style” your page with your own branding to make it match the look of your other marketing communications. To fully customize your channel, you may need to have some basic knowledge of web building, but it isn’t difficult. Here’s what ZUZA’s YouTube channel looks like: http://www.youtube.com/user/zuzamarketing
Now you’re ready to upload your videos. The videos you’ve produced should be in .mov or .mp4 (mpeg) format, and ideally, compressed to under 100 MB for faster uploading as well as faster streaming, meaning, online playback. You’ll want to strike a balance between lower file size and adequate viewing quality.
As your video uploads, YouTube lets you enter very important information about your video: Title, Description and Tags. Use these fields to enter the keywords that will allow your videos to be found most quickly by your viewing audience, as well as indexed appropriately by Google and other search engines.
Click save and your video will be live and ready to be discovered.
Hosting your YouTube video on your corporate site.
Now that your video is uploaded to YouTube, from your upload page, copy the “Embed Code” by clicking the “Share” button under your video, then the “Embed” button. A window will drop down with some HTML code to copy. This is your Embed Code. When you paste this code into the code of one of the pages on your own corporate site, that page will display a YouTube player window with your video, ready to view!
YouTube gives you the option to grab the standard “iframe” code, which allows your video to be viewed on more platforms including mobile devices like the iPad; or to click on “Use old embed code” which provides code that can be more easily indexed by Google, thereby driving more traffic to your corporate site to view the video, as opposed to viewers only finding the link to your video on YouTube. Your Webmaster can assist with how best to embed videos on your website.
Alternatives to YouTube for free hosting.
YouTube, while the 800 lb. gorilla in free video hosting, is not the only choice out there. Vimeo (http://vimeo.com) is an excellent alternative. Blip (http://blip.tv) is another one. Like YouTube, Vimeo, Blip and other platforms like them allow you to create “channels” and copy embed codes to display videos on your own website. The advantage to using these alternatives over YouTube is that they give you much great flexibility to customize how your video player looks (YouTube gives you very few options here) as well as many more choices for choosing the “thumbnail” — the static video screenshot that viewers will see before clicking on the video to play it.
Driving traffic to your site, not YouTube.
While getting lots of views of your video on YouTube is wonderful, ultimately, you want people engaging with your brand on your own website, especially if you are a B2B company. At a minimum, be sure to include a link to your website in the description field of your video, so people can visit you after they view your video on YouTube (or Vimeo, Blip, what have you). But ideally, you want your video page on your corporate site to come up first in Google searches. To do this, you’ll need to create what’s called an “XML Video Sitemap.” Your Webmaster can assist with this. If you are a do-it-your-selfer, here’s a link that will explain more about how to do this: GO »
If you want to take your video marketing to the next level, you should consider a paid hosting platform, such as Wistia (http://wistia.com/) or Brightcove (http://go.brightcove.com/). These services give you many more options for displaying your video, can assist you with boosting the SEO of your videos, and provide very rich analytics of viewer behavior, which can help you tailor your marketing efforts. These platforms will also assist you with the heavy lifting (i.e. coding) of getting videos on your corporate site and indexed with search engines (again, SEO), saving you a lot of effort.
In this blog series, we’ve covered the very top level of implementing video for your corporate marketing program. The next steps are for you to define how video can play a strategic role in your multi-channel marketing program, assemble your team to execute, implement, measure results over time and adjust as necessary. You’ll want to have members of your marketing, web and sales teams involved in the process.
We invite your questions and comments about the material in this blog series.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you next time.