Using video in online PR
|28/01/2011||Posted by Chris Lee under Online video||
At the bottom of this blog is my presentation from a recent presentation I did on the value of online video in Manchester, which helps build the business case for video in online marketing, but to give it some context, here are my top tips for using video as a part of your marketing mix.
Building the business case
We live in an era where young people are watching less TV than their elders, probably for the first time since TV went main stream. What are they doing instead? They’re making, watching and – most significantly – sharing, video content online. It’s not just the young, either. The average social media user age is now 37. YouTube receives two billion hits a day, twice as much as 2009 levels, and 24 hours-worth of video is uploaded every single minute – again, twice as much as in 2009. In a nutshell, not using video is now a conspicuous absence from your marketing portfolio.
Video is great for customer engagement and extending the PR opportunity beyond just words. Given that only seven per cent of communication is actually what’s said and the rest is tone and body language (experts say), then surely video is the perfect medium to express yourself.
Video is also 52 per cent more likely to appear on the front page of Google search for keywords than word. There is far less competition, but you have to name/tag the content correctly.
Before you start
Know what your objectives are and how you’re going to measure that success/failure of the campaign. What kind of content are you going to aim for? What social media platforms are you going to push it via? What’s your time and financial budget?
Content could include video tutorials, virals, press announcements, customer testimonials, video blogs or company presentations brought to life using tools such as Camtasia or Screencast. Think about the length of your content. If you want to create a viral that will spread for pure eyeballs, make it short and compelling – usually funny – such as the 2010 Old Spice ad, watched more than 15 million times online. If you’re looking to create a tutorial which interested people will be searching for, make it longer, but even then keep it to less than five minutes.
How to create online video
Firstly, you need ideas. Think of what would appeal to your target audience and what generally works as a viral – a spoof, or something compelling – usually funny. If so, get a script writer on board.
Luckily, the Web has done away with the demand for high quality, but great cameras are out there which can do the trick cheaply. Look at the Flip Video or the Kodak Ki8 in the circa £100 bracket, decent camcorders retail for around £200 while even the iPhone 4 comes with a decent film camera and downloadable editing suite.
Editing suites can be free – such as the Windows Movie Maker or Mac iMovie – or you can pay for more ‘professional’ suites, such as the Nero series. You may need a file converter, too, downloadable online (look at Aiseesoft, for example) to get the desired .mp4 file for YouTube. You don’t need a professional necessarily to produce your film, but if you take that route your end product shout be better, but spend SHOULD be in the hundreds – not thousands – of pounds for a short film.
Optimise your content
Once you’ve set up your channel on YouTube or another channel, make sure you apply basic SEO best practice to tag your content. This means make sure your title includes keywords; any introductory text is optimised, and use accurate tagging.
Be careful if you’re posting the same content on both your own site and a third party, because third party sites will probably have more authority than your domain make sure you use your keywords on your own site for better search rankings and experiment with peripheral, long tail search terms and titles on third parties. Remember to provide a clear link through to your home page on those third party sites or the traffic is pretty much worthless. Any third party viewers – however useful – are still a click away from your site, where you really want them.
Spread the word
Video not only helps add life to your site, but also – using third party video sites such as YouTube – can help get eyeballs on your product or service. Let the public be your brand advocate – create something that they will share with friends. Let them subscribe to your channel. Think of your audience, what video sites will they be looking at? The creative sectors like Vimeo, whereas VideoJug is aimed at self-help guides. Also, look at using syndication sites like TubeMogul to avoid a lengthy manual upload process on multiple sites.
Make that content sharable, give users the option to share it on Twitter, Facebook or Digg, for example, give them the option to embed it too. Push it via whatever platforms you’re using, too. If you allow people to ‘grade’ your video and also allow – but filter – comments, you can make it far more sociable and therefore sharable.
Measure and test
At the outset you will have decided how you were going to measure the success of your video marketing campaigns. These metrics could include numbers of views, channel subscribers, number of tweets/shares/embeds/blogs, in-bound traffic or link backs. Use analytics tools such as Google Analytics or YouTube Insights, if you’re hosting on YouTube, or other tools that tell you where your content is being mentioned, such as Addictomatic, SocialMention or BoardTracker.
Keep it short and compelling
Make it socially sharable
Measure, test and adjust accordingly
Use audio/video content you have no right to use
Use same keywords on third party sites if hosting on your own
Take yourself too seriously
Here’s a great case study on how video can be used to promote a small business brand.
Finally, my presentation. Enjoy: