by Lou Bortone
Video marketing has become an incredibly powerful tool for increasing visibility, credibility and profitability. But when you combine the impact of video with the reach of social media, you create a killer combo that can supercharge your results.
If you really want to leverage the power of video and social media, you must first change the way you think about video. Stop thinking about online video as “technology,” and start looking at it as a simple and effective way to communicate and connect!
Combining video with social media allows you to make meaningful connections, improve engagement with your audience and develop a more personal relationship with your clients and colleagues.
Another perception you may have to shift is that “video” does not necessarily mean a talking head. Video comes in many forms, from slide shows and photo montages to webcasts and video email. Think of your videos (and your social media posts) as “digital assets.” Open yourself up to the possibilities and expand your frame of reference when it comes to video.
The good news is that virtually any of these video formats can be “socialized” to give you a bigger “pop” for your post. Here’s a social media roadmap to follow for more reach and greater distribution:
1. Start with YouTube
If you’re going to leverage video and social media, you’ve got to start with the site that does both. Obviously, YouTube is the Big Kahuna when it comes to video, but I’d argue that it’s the perfect social network, as well. YouTube is the ideal platform for making connections and expanding your social presence.
Aside from the fact that YouTube is a traffic juggernaut (with 2 Billion views a day), the number one video site and number two search engine, it’s is also a very social medium. Not only can you share your videos with one click to Facebook and Twitter, but YouTube also allows you to like, vote, subscribe, friend, share, email, embed, comment, post a video response and even start a Google+ hangout. If that’s not social interaction, I don’t know what is!
Take advantage of YouTube’s dominance by posting your videos there first, and using it as a hub to share and spread your video. Use the easy, one-click sharing options to send your video from YouTube to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and even LinkedIn. Just connect the accounts once and one-click sharing is enabled. You can continue to share your video by emailing the link, or by using the embed code that YouTube provides to add the video to your website or blog. YouTube is the ultimate “upload once-share everywhere” platform.
2. Pick a Player
If you’re using YouTube to host your videos, that’s fine (and free!) However, at some point you may want more control over the video environment. That’s when it may make sense to look into your own video hosting, using a service such as AmazonS3, and invest in a paid video “player” option, such as Wistia, Easy Video Player or Easy Web Video.
These (paid) services allow you to customize and control where and how your video plays. Each service has its own unique feature set, but all provide the ability to add social share buttons (a must), control what happens at the end of the video, or even add pop-up “buy” buttons at a given time. If you’re doing video on any kind of regular basis, you’ll love the control and customization these sites provide.
3. Fast Forward to Facebook
You might be surprised to learn that Facebook is the third largest site for video viewing online. Facebook is not only where many people are discovering videos, it’s also a great place to post video for audience engagement, and the perfect platform for generating comments and starting conversations.
Facebook is very video-friendly, and it’s ideal for posting video montages featuring your clients or colleagues. Create video montages for birthdays, holidays or just as a shout-out to folks you want to highlight. Of course, the added benefit here is that you can tag people who appear in your video, so the video appears on their Facebook page, as well! As you can imagine, these video montages generate a great deal of buzz, since the people you tag will often comment and share. It’s another great way to give some viral power to your videos.
You can use an easy video creation site such as Stupeflix.com, Animoto.com or OneTrueMedia.com to assemble your photo montage. These services each have a free version, which offer more than enough features to produce a professional-looking video. Best of all, you can create these videos without appearing on camera! (I reveal several other tools and tricks for “off-camera” videos here!)
4. Talk It Up on Twitter
Twitter drives video viewing, so don’t forget to promote your video via Twitter. In fact, one auto-shared tweet results in six new YouTube sessions! Remember to shorten your video links to make sharing easier. Also, when sharing your video from YouTube to Twitter, viewers can pull up and watch the video directly in Twitter.
5. Pin Your Video to Pinterest
Pinterest represents yet another opportunity to make your video more visible. Just take a screenshot of your video, “pin” it to Pinterest, and link the photo back to your video. When people click the image, they’ll be taken back to your video. Even better, if you pin your video from YouTube to Pinterest, the video will play within Pinterest! Pretty cool!
6. Lastly, Show LinkedIn Some Love
Folks often forget that you can get even more social exposure by adding video to LinkedIn. The trick is just knowing how to do it! The easiest way to add some visual appeal to LinkedIn is to add the Slideshare.net app to your LinkedIn account (LinkedIn recently purchased Slideshare), then use Slideshare to add your presentations – and videos – to your LinkedIn profile. Adding video to LinkedIn via Slideshare makes your profile pop and gives you get another platform to share and spread your videos.
Combining video and social media is all about leverage. Save yourself tons of time and give your videos a better chance of being seen by sharing your video to as many platforms as possible. With so many “cross-sharing” opportunities, it’s never been easier to spread the love. And the more places your video is seen and shared, the more visibility, credibility and profitability you’ll enjoy!
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