Can you imagine inviting friends over for a nice dinner at your house and not offering dessert? The dinner might taste great, but it would be more satisfying if you went the extra step to enhance your meal with a sweet treat.
That may seem obvious to some people, yet I see so many companies doing the same thing with video. They finish their video and consider it done rather than going the extra mile to promote it properly and get more bang for their buck. If you produce a video without thinking through the distribution and promotion, you miss too many opportunities to increase its audience and effectiveness.
Don't Stop Working When You Finish the Video
Producing a video is a huge endeavor, which may explain why it's so common to treat completing the video like it's the end of the project. After all the energy spent on pre-production, planning and story development, all of the effort involved on the day (or days) of the shoot, and all of the time devoted to post-production editing, graphics, and revisions, it's tempting to look at the final edit like the end of the road.
But it should really be the start of your promotion journey. Even if you only intend to show it to a very specific audience, like at a big event, why wouldn't you spend some extra time on a video marketing strategy to figure out who else should see it?
To use a sports metaphor, treat your video production timeline like it's the regular season and the video promotion like going to the playoffs. What you do to promote that video and how well you execute can be the difference between just playing in the tournament and winning the championship. It's the difference between just showing the video at your event or posting it on your website and making sure an extra audience or audiences see it.
8 Best Ways to Promote Your Videos
Clearly, different videos lend themselves to different tactics, but most organizations should be able to leverage at least some of these video promotion ideas. Start by dreaming up "who else" you'd like to see your wonderful production, and then use these techniques to get it to them.
1. Use Social Media
This step seems obvious, but people often skip it. If your organization posts anything on Facebook, Twitter, etc., why wouldn't you post your video there? Your friends and followers want to know what you're doing.
Whether it's the video from your big fundraising event or a new product video, they probably want to see it. Post your cool video on your social networks and some of them might even share it for you.
Remember, no matter what types of
2. Post a Teaser or Shortened Version
If your goal is to get the audience onto your website, posting a teaser of your video is a more sophisticated way to use social media that can work really well. Along with your video, include a link to the full video on your site. This also works well when you have a series of videos, which can be posted as a gallery on the linked page.
3. Run a Video Campaign
You probably paid a lot of money to produce your video (even if it's an in-house production, there are a lot of man-hours involved), so why not spend a little more money to promote it?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all offer options for promotion, and most allow you to get very specific. Want to target people with a certain job title, go for it. Want to re-target visitors to your website, sounds great. Decide the audience you want and get your campaign rolling.
4. Use Your Email
Go through your marketing email lists and send the video to anyone who would find it interesting, useful, or relevant. If you're a nonprofit, send your event video to everybody who couldn't make the event. They're more likely to treat it like you're keeping them in the loop rather than bugging them. For a company, the lines might not be as clear, but I'm sure you'd like to show your nice new video to at least some of them.
Be wary of just mass emailing your whole list. If your video is introducing a new product, start by sending your video to people who have purchased similar products.
Don't forget about email nurturing as another way to use your videos. After all, including videos in your emails can triple your click-through rate!
5. Invite People to Engage
This is the personal side of email marketing. Send a personal email or social post to influencers with a link to the video and politely ask them to share it. Sound awkward?
It doesn't have to be if you're sharing the video with somebody who's passionate about your product, business, or cause. Pick and choose your spots, but when you pick the right people, the results can be huge.
6. Repurpose the Video for More Uses
The bottom line is that video is an eye-catching value-add just about any time it makes sense on the screen. Think through all of your digital assets and look for places to take advantage of your video production.
7. Don't Forget the Share Button
I know, it's another obvious suggestion, but you'd be surprised how often videos are posted without one. Social sharing is the easiest way to get more views, so make sure it's easy for people to do.
8. Organic Video Promotion
In case you haven't noticed, the internet is huge. Literally everybody is online, and just about everybody watches video. That's why video marketing is so attractive. But with so much traffic, and so much competition, posting your video online is just the start of the process. If you want your video to get found, you'll need to optimize your video for search engines.
Post it on YouTube and Optimize It: YouTube is the go-to spot for posting video and the 2nd largest search engine on the internet, so you know you have to be there. But with all that competition, your video still won't get found unless you start doing things to make it stand out.
You can start standing out from some of the YouTube traffic by optimizing your video. There are tricks to get found when people type in the YouTube search box, and it starts by optimizing your video for the same kinds of keywords you'd use to get found on the web itself.
You should also select a category for the video that's related to your keyword phrase, use a custom thumbnail, add the video to a YouTube playlist of your other videos, and link it with annotations that also use that keyword phrase. Adding closed captions and uploading a transcript that contains your target keywords will also help in YouTube search.
Target a keyword phrase in your title, and then be sure to repeat it in the following places:
- First 100 words of the description
- The video timeline
- Final paragraph of the video timeline
Post your video natively on other social networks: The next step should also seem fairly obvious, but you'd be surprised how often people post YouTube links (or embedded videos) on other social networks. Don't do it! Use the native video players on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other place you want to be found.
Those networks almost always show native videos more often, and with eye-catching autoplay, so why not take advantage of it? The great thing about video is that you can make as many copies as you want, so post a new one in each place. And if you want to get really fancy (and strategic), post a shorter, teaser video that links back to the video on your own website, instead.
Post your video on your blog or website: Business blogs are the foot soldiers in your war to win-over the internet (or something like that). There's got to be a decent metaphor in there, because blogs are the best tool (maybe I should consider calling them heavy artillery) to win the battle over every important keyword. Each new blog is an opportunity to rank (get found) for another keyword phrase, and since video tends to perform better than other content online, adding the video to your blog should be a no-brainer.
Optimize your video for search engines: Just like any other blog, though, you need to optimize it for search. Otherwise, it's just another lonely page on your website. Follow HubSpot's best practices for blog SEO by including your keyword phrase in all of these places:
- Blog title
- Page title and URL
- Meta description
- Alt-text for images
- Body of the text and headers
6. Transcribe the video: This is the one trick that people often miss. And if you really think about it, it isn't just a trick. It's actually really helpful. Transcribe your video, including the keyword phrase, to help in search. After all, without that road map, search engines don't know what's actually in your video. But it helps your visitors, as well. What would you rather see on the page, a single video box with a play button, or a video accompanied by a helpful script to see what's in it? Your eyes can scan the page in a few seconds to see what's on it, and what's relevant. And if you're interested, you're more likely to watch the whole video than somebody who's just blindly clicking the play button.
Consider the transcript your "teaser" to get the viewer to actually watch your video. Although in this case, it isn't teasing them at all, it's actually really helpful.
Don't just finish your video and show or post it. If you're going to spend time and energy to produce a video you're really proud of, act like it. Spend a little more time and energy looking for ways to promote it, and you're guaranteed to increase both the audience and the effectiveness.