Since Shmuel does video and I do social media marketing, our work overlaps in some places. Like on Youtube, the #2 search engine in the world, after Google, which owns Youtube. If you’re not on Youtube, you’re not ON.
I recommend putting your videos on Youtube rather than on Vimeo, because the more views you have on Youtube, the more you’re found on Youtube, and thus the more you’re found on Google.
If you’re still back at square 1 wondering if you really need to have videos online, check out this statistic:
64% of people watch a 30-minute infomercial to the end, and only 20% of people finish reading an article.
So. You have your channel, and you’ve posted a video on it. What now?
Describe your video clearly in your title, but use words that people would click on. Use Google Trends if you need to (for an explanation of how to use this, click here). Use keyword research. Don’t worry about making it too long.
a. Keep it short. Leave a bit of mystique so that people have to watch your video to find out what happens.
b. Even if your organization is solemn with a serious cause, de-boring-ize your description. No one will watch the video for your fundraiser dinner. If, however, you have Alan Dershowitz speaking at it, talk that part up, and include his name in your title.
Controversy is sometimes the key to getting seen. The key on the other end of the spectrum is comedy. Celebrity also holds sway. If your video has elements of any of these, highlight that.
c. Put a link to your site in the first line of your description. ”More: www.shmuelhoffmansblog.com.” This way it will show up in a search engine results page’s truncated descriptions. Youtube can give you some nice back-linkage, and your goal is to get people to your site. Right? That’s where you make the sale.
3. Tags, Beloved Tags
Choose no more than 3 tags, as the power of your tags is distributed evenly between the tags.
The tag is to your title as your title is to your description. Each is a shorter version of the last. Choose the three most clickable topics of your video, and make them your tags. If your video is for mothers of the bride, and it happens to be about a dress that Oprah wore, don’t make your tags the name of your company and the fabric the dress is made from. Your tags should be “mother of the bride, wedding, Oprah.” Stuff that people will look up.
Remember, you’re writing this info for Google as well. Video links that show up in a search engine results page will be clicked on more than pure text links.
4. Annotation Nation
An annotation is an annoying bubble that pops up while you’re trying to watch a Youtube movie. The bubble says something like, “Click here to watch…”
a. You won’t be annoying about it. In fact, you solemnly swear. Here’s how NOT to be annoying while still benefiting from annotations:
1. have no more than 3 annotations per video
2. each annotation shall last no longer than 5-7 seconds
3. don’t block important people, places or things with your silly annotations
4. spread them out throughout the length of the video
Not everyone will watch till the absolute end of a video, so I place one 5 seconds in, one about halfway, and one about an inch before the end of the progress bar.
b. An annotation can only link to a Youtube URL. I normally create one annotation linking to Shmuel’s channel, with a call to action telling people what they’ll get: “For more videos by Shmuel Hoffman, click here.”
c. Then I find one or two related videos in Shmuel’s portfolio, and I link to those in separate annotations. ”To watch Shmuel’s latest Tiferet video, click here,” or “Watch last year’s Aish movie here.” You must tell people to click there, because they don’t know that they have to. People need to be told what to do.
d. A nice annotation to end with is a “Click on the subscribe button” annotation, reminding people to subscribe to your channel. I wouldn’t use the arrow annotation for this one if you’re embedding the video onto another site. You can also write something like “Like this video by clicking the like button beneath the screen.” Again, explicit directions will get you far.
For step-by-step instructions on how to annotate your videos on Youtube, click here.
Using these techniques has doubled my clients’ views in less than a week. And the numbers keep steadily growing. Once you’ve optimized your videos, please post the link to your channel in the comments below so we can all learn from you!
PS. Thanks to @feldbum for a good chunk of the ideas in this post, and to @CharlieKalech for hosting the event last year.
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You might also like: How to Edit Video: An 8-Point Style Guide.