Digital Salon: Making Videos Work for You and Your Brand

April 19, 2012
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By Deanna Utroske
Video Camera"Video appears to have made the leap from fancy bell-and-whistle to reliable, significant stream of revenue" wrote Ioanna Opidee in The Value of Video, a recent article. And she heard from former Forbes CEO Jim Spanfeller that video is no longer tied to TV format: It now presents "an opportunity to have more one-on-one interaction" with the consumer.
Derek Halpern, founder of the marketing blog Social Triggers, seems to agree. He gave the following guidance at the members-only Apr. 19 Digital Salon: Making Videos Work for You and Your Brand, hosted by Meredith Corporation.
Video Strategy
  • On screen, amplify your real characteristics: be "me x 3!"
  • In accordance with the law of social proof — people go where other people already are — upload videos to a single place. Uploading to multiple sites breaks up your audience and lowers view counts.
  • Use YouTube for content videos. It's the most popular video hosting site and the second largest search engine.
  • Use Viddler for selling paid services. You can embed videos on your site only, eliminate links to off site content and brand your videos.
Five Types
  • Use screen cam videos, the number one type of video, to demonstrate something that you viewer can replicate on her computer screen.
  • Power Point, or keynote, videos scroll through slides without showing the speaker's face.
  • Animated videoscan be cost prohibitive, with production costing from $5,000 - $20,000.
  • White board videos, the number two type, use any chalkboard-like surface for visual demonstration. These videos can be hypnotic; people watch the hand or pen that is writing.
  • Talking head videos
The Formula
  • Get Attention. Use the first 10-15 seconds of a video to get your viewers’ attention. Videos on, from marketing and lifestyle expert Marie Forleo, are a good model.
  • Deliver Content. Deliver content in your own style. Tell stories and eliminate jargon.
  • Provide a Call to Action. Rather than asking viewers to purchase something, offer something in exchange for their email address.
Attract Viewers                                                                                                      
  • Video traffic comes from your email list, through social media, because of quality content and via search engines.
  • If you want people to share a video on social media, say something specific. Try using ClickToTweet, a free service that lets people retweet your quote with a single click.
  • Draw traffic to your videos by interviewing people with an existing following and with good search results. Network your way up to interviews with A-list people: "I just interviewed your friend…do you want to do an interview?"
  • YouTube rankings are based on how many comments, how many ratings and how many video responses your video has. Help other search engines find your YouTube videos with tags and by upload a transcript of the video.
Start Today
  • Video an interview with someone similar to you, just not someone with competing services.
  • Solve a specific problem in a small demonstration video. Share it with people, A-list if possible, who have that problem. Those people will, in turn, share your solution even without being asked.
  • Create a lead-generation video that finishes with a strong call to action. Give something to your viewer in exchange for her email address. For instance, if you sell web design, offer your viewer a guide such as "Five Things to Consider before Hiring a Web Designer."
Video Sells
  • Ask your viewer to complete a lead-generation form. (If you're particularly concerned that competitors might appropriate your expertise, model your form on Hubspot's Public Relations Kit).
  • Sell with a demonstration video. Demonstrate your services on a client; show what you do, not how you do it. Your viewer should wonder if your advice applies to her.
  • The best way to sell with video? Be the first to market with your particular service, as Al Ries and Jack Trout advise in Positioning: How to be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace.
Be Bold
  • Cold traffic responds to aggressive video content, the kind that makes your viewer keep watching.
  • Use a teaser: one paragraph and an incomplete summary of what your viewer will get from the video.
  • Attention spans are short for bad content. Be engaging and start by making and sharing 2-5 minute videos. Then inch your viewers up the ladder of attention with longer pieces. 

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