Tag Archives: Do It Yourself

IF YOU MADE VIDEOS IN 2018, FOLLOW THESE STEPS RIGHT NOW


Frankly, I hate resolutions. I resolve to be different. How’s that?

But the new year is a time of renewal, and if you have videos that you’re hosting on YouTube, there are some Start-Of-The-Year chores you should do to keep your content relevant.

1. Review and update the titles of your videos. Your video titles should be engaging, include keywords, and reflect your message and goals. If your marketing strategy has changed in the past 12 months, maybe you should reflect that in your video titles. Titles are easy to change from within your YouTube video manager. Try something to get visitors to click. Some of the words that show up big in search include: How To, Steps, Tutorial, Best and Funny. Can you include or re-write a title to include those?

2. Review and update your video descriptions. Start with your website in the description field. Make sure it’s a page that reflects the subject of your video. It may not be your home page. YouTube allows 5000 characters for a video description – that’s about 800 words. Be sure your keywords are towards the beginning of the description. And yes, you can add hashtags here.

3. Review and update any tags. Tags don’t show up when the video is being played, but it definitely helps in search. Use one word keywords. Use multiple word key phrases. And don’t leave out generic tags, like your city.

Time to get some fresh eyes on your content. These steps can engage more viewers, and make your videos show up in front of more of your prospects.

–that’s a wrap

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Get a FREE Video Buying Guide at Videos ON Your Website – Cincinnati and Dayton Video Production Guide.

Thumbnailed It – Good Views Season 2, Episode 3

What makes someone want to watch your video, aside from all the interesting and compelling information you have, that is? Well, one very important element is the frame that shows in your video player. That frame is also called the thumbnail.
YouTube gives you a choice of three different thumbnails you can use to showcase your video, but there are also ways you can (and should) make and upload your own.
In this edition of Good Views, I’ll show you some of the most important qualities of thumbnails, and a couple of easy ways to make your own. I hope you enjoy it.
Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (3:04) Link to transcript
Location: Cliff Hardware, Sharonville, OH
Guest: John Houston – Spectrum Business

HOW MUCH DOES A VIDEO COST TO PRODUCE?

How much does video cost to produce?
Businesses can spend $300 a month to have a coupon on the back of a grocery receipt. They can spend $2,000 on a newspaper or magazine ad. A successful broadcast campaign can run five figures. These are the folks who have not yet discovered the power of online video.

How many ways are there for a business to communicate, market and entice its prospects?
Basically, there are only three: Broadcast, Print, and Online. Each medium has its own advantages and limitations, whether intrinsically or monetarily.

Broadcast is radio and television. Companies buy advertisements. Those ads take up a finite amount of time in the broadcast day. The more successful the outlet, or in many cases the daypart, the more expensive the ad. Nighttime radio in a small town can be had for a few dollars, while a 30 second spot on the NFL Championship game could cost upwards of a half million dollars. Many local broadcast stations produce their clients’ spots for free. National campaigns can have a feature film budget. And in both radio and television, the clusters of spots have gotten longer. But the twelfth commercial in the set pays the same as the first.

For print, size matters. Full page, and 4 color display ads run into the thousands. But print can also cover the direct mail pieces, or the backs of grocery store receipts. Those vehicles tend to be more reasonable for small business depending on the length of the contract and the area of distribution. There is usually a setup fee for the printing.

Online banner ads and platforms such as Google AdWords have been around almost since the inception of the modern day internet. Advertisers pay each time the ad is clicked, or for a particular action (a lead or a conversion) and the rates fluctuate wildly. Production costs vary too, from graphic design to video production for “pre-roll” advertisements.

Here’s what many companies miss: you also must determine the shelf life of an ad and figure that into the cost as well. For radio and television, when your 30 seconds is over, it’s gone. For print, if the ad doesn’t catch the eye, the page is turned, the coupon is thrown away, the envelope isn’t opened, you’ve failed.

But what if there were a way to actually ATTRACT prospects to your message in a way that they found entertaining and informative no matter where they are or when they search? There is.

But it’s not advertising, at least not in the traditional sense.

Folks who search you out are aching to have their questions answered. To find out what you do, and how well you do it.

The CONTENT you put in your online presence is accessible 24/7. It doesn’t disappear like broadcast. It doesn’t get tossed in the garbage like print. So its shelf life is as long as it needs to be. And that decreases the overall cost.

The companies who advertise on the backs of grocery store receipts, or in the neighborhood value magazines, or in the direct mail coupon packs are perfect clients for me, because I can do a better job of delivering their message at about the same price they are currently paying.

Yes, there are video production services out there charging $1,000 per finished minute. In my world, that could be three months worth of compelling content videos.

Consider the message. Consider the audience you’re trying to reach. Consider the shelf-life of the message. One of my original clients just refreshed his video after seven years! It was working extremely well for him, but he wanted to use it on his mobile website, and the video was in Flash format, instead of MP4. This time we shot two specialized pieces and testimonials. His clients love his service, and now he’s poised to grow the business even more.

For video, Facebook Live, Periscope, and other apps can bring an immediacy that other mediums can’t touch. DIY video can be alright, depending on where it is going to be used. If you’ve invested a thousand or more into your website, you may not want your brand to be represented there with an amateurish video.

Professional video can be added to your website or blog for just a few hundred dollars. If you’re looking to build a content video library, regular monthly or semi-monthly shoots can lower that figure even more. It’s an investment that will pay off. It’s an investment you want to make in your business before the competition does.
— That’s a wrap.

5 Reasons Video Intimidates Businesses

I get it. After all of the statistics showing how well video performs online; after more and more case studies on businesses who use video to inform, educate, and market to their customers, you’re still on the fence. You’re not alone.
Video, from how to use it to how to deploy it, is still intimidating.

1. I don’t like myself on video. — It doesn’t have to be about you. Your customers or staff can bring compelling case studies and testimonials. There are dozens of scenarios where your “screen time” can be minimal or non-existent. I see this occasionally, but with patience, the client can open up and start to have fun.

2. I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m not good at memorizing a script. — a good producer will have multiple ideas for you, and multiple ways to present them. I shot a great video last year a few sentences at a time then pieced it together. I have some clients who need prompters. Prompter devices are simple to set up. Anyone who shoots business videos should have one. They make you look really good. If news anchors can use them, you can too.

3. I don’t want to end up with a video that’s too “Hollywood” . — Sure, in a lot of cases, simple is better. But you need the professionalism of good lighting, great sound, and a non-shaky camera. Those are the first priorities for anything that is going to represent you.

4. It’s too expensive. — costs for professional video vary widely. It’s very possible to produce some nice testimonials for less than a couple of hundred dollars. But they’re yours. They don’t vanish into thin air like commercials, or get thrown away like flyers. If you’re on a really short shoestring, do them yourself. Just remember the three principles in the previous paragraph.

5. I don’t know what to do next. — put them on YouTube, on Vimeo, on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere and everywhere. Be sure there’s a call to action and it links back to your site.

Don’t allow your fears to get in the way of stepping up communication with customers and prospects. No matter what you sell or who you sell it to, adding video content is something you can’t delay.
— that’s a wrap.

Three Deadly Mistakes Videos Make When Selling A Service

I’m in marketing and advertising. I’ve been doing it for the past thirty years. And I’m a sucker for a good headline.

Yeah, I’ll click on your blog post and skim it to see if there’s any new information. I’ve kept track, and actually only 8% of the time will I find something new, compelling or share-worthy. And when there’s a great headline that announces “More To Come – just click on the video”… my itchy trigger finger goes to work on my mouse. Unfortunately, I usually soon run into a roadblock or two.

It’s always a video for someone selling a service. They’re usually so passionate about what they do (and for the most part, that’s a good thing) but in reaching for that compelling factor and trying to build suspense for the point where they turn you from a viewer into a customer, you’re going to find one or all of the following deadly mistakes:

1. Poor Audio – What part of **Don’t stand across the room and think your camera’s microphone is sufficient** do they not understand? It’s hard to listen to someone trying to convince me of something when they’re talking from the bottom of an echo-y barrel.

2. Too Long – After I click on a video, I watch the timeline to see how long the thing is. THIRTY MINUTES?? Nope, I won’t be staying around. Why not break it up into manageable chunks? With three or four videos, you can break them into chapters and provide a description of each chapter. That will help not only your viewers decide what to watch, but also your search engine optimization for those videos.

3. Death By Powerpoint – I’m watching a video. I don’t necessarily want to read. Honestly – is there really anything THAT compelling on those slides? Why not strip the audio out of it, make it downloadable to someone’s iPod, and offer to send them a link to the slides. Hey! And now you’ve harvested email addresses for future marketing!

Marketers and business coaches are especially guilty of these. Watch for these deadly mistakes next time you click on a How To or an explainer video. And if you find anything like that on your own site, give me a shout and I’ll show you hot to fix it.

–that’s a wrap.

How To Make You Tube Work For You

Many businesses who use videos don’t have the time or the tools to host their videos on their own server, so they opt for loading their productions on You Tube and using the embed code. If you really don’t have any other options, it’s still better to have something on You Tube than nothing at all. So here’s a list of tips and tricks. The more of them you can accomplish, the better off you will be in placing your content where the search engines will find and display it.

GIVE YOUR VIDEO A GOOD TITLE. Use keywords. Make it compelling. No one will watch, nor will they search for “October video.mp4” But they will watch “How I Saved Money and Solved My ——- Problem In Three Steps.” Get the picture?

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DESCRIPTION FIELD. The very first thing should be http:// and your website. Not just your homepage, but a page that gets the viewer closer to doing business with you.

UPLOAD A TRANSCRIPT / CREATE CAPTIONS This is a relatively new feature, but it is possible now to upload a transcript of your video to You Tube. There is also a feature that will let you create captions so the video can be watched, instead of heard. There is an entire list of best practices for these actions themselves, so ask for help, or search for tutorials. Big hint: don’t use WORD to create your files. Use WORDPAD so you can save them as .txt files without all the format encoding. Or, if you understand video time code, create a .srt file and you’re able to more precisely control your captions. The ability for the search engines to read videos due to transcripts is really a game changer.

CREATE A NEW PAGE FOR JUST THE VIDEO If you can whip up a single page on your site, and embed the video, surrounded by keywords and phrases that would be great. Then you can put THAT URL into the You Tube description field. If you have one video optimized for a key phrase, and a different video optimized for a different key phrase, you have increased your chances of being on top of a search and having that search lead back to you.

TELL EVERYONE. Put the You Tube Share code on every social network you can. Your promotion needs to run like a good ad campaign. Maybe not everywhere all at once, and maybe some places more than once. But get it out there and create some talk. Ask folks to share. Ask for comments. Ask for subscribers.

BRANDING. FYI, as part of it’s newly launched “In Video Programming”, you can upload an image that You Tube will use as a “bug” in the corner of your videos. You can also pick which corner of the video it appears in, and for how long. There is also a seldom used workaround for the You Tube embed code that removes You Tube branding.

Some folks don’t want to be associated with You Tube because of its “pedestrian” image. But You Tube is the second largest search engine. It’s a great place to put your videos. And by following some simple steps, it can be another tool in your arsenal for getting noticed.
–That’s a wrap.

This May Get Technical

Do it yourself video editing can open up a whole new set of problems for those looking for what they think may be an easy way in.
Take for example the newest consumer HD cameras. Many of them use a technology developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic called AVCHD. This is actually a professional MP4 format that was developed for use in Blu-Ray discs. It’s a big problem for do it yourselfers.
You see, AVCHD files take a lot of processing power just to play them back properly. A LOT. And before you even move the clips from your camera to your hard drive, you have to navigate the labrynth file system that comes with shooting in AVCHD.
On laptops, the video clips will look out of synch. You’ll need something with at least quad core processing to play your video. And if you cant play it, how are going to find your edit points?
Be prepared to shell out close to $3000 for an editing system with enough processing power, RAM, and the kind of video card you’ll need to edit with any kind of ease.
Most businesses who want to add video will turn to a professional – for shooting or editing or both. DIY can be fun, and somewhat inexpensive . And as they say, the devil is in the details, so if you’re going to edit professional looking video for your website, make sure you system is up to it.
–That’s a wrap.

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Videos On Your Website

  1. Want to DIY? We can consult with you for a better look
  2. We’re ready for HTML5 are you?
  3. We also have a voiceover studio, and we do VO around the world
  4. We always bring more than we need
  5. We arrive early 95% of the time
  6. There’s never enough light
  7. We own three royalty free music libraries
  8. We know some really talented web designers
  9. We know some awesome marketing experts
  10. We’ll be adding more experts on the Video Secrets page very soon
  11. We were the first to totally specialize in small business videos for websites.
  12. We always try and add a little showmanship
  13. We know some really cool video tricks
  14. We also know what NOT to do
  15. We can help you relax on camera
  16. Watching other folks’ videos with bad sound and bad lighting drives us stark raving crazy
  17. You can fix bad sound and bad lighting if you know how
  18. We put our name on our work
  19. Our first website went online in 1995
  20. We’ve never been to Vegas, but the name of our editing software is Vegas
  21. We know the most important thing to put first in your YouTube description
  22. We have web pages on our site dedicated to different business categories
  23. Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy likes our videos
  24. We have a 230 square foot green screen ready to go
  25. We learn something new with each project.

 

There Is No Trophy For Second Place

My wife loves to read. Both of us could browse thru Barnes & Noble or Borders all day.  But she rarely buys from them. Instead, she browses Amazon.

There are some items that I don’t bother shopping for at all.  I just look on eBay.

There are many places to buy books online. Ask someone, and see if Amazon isn’t the first thing on their minds. Same with auction sites.  Same with a lot of business categories. (Kleenex instead of tissues, Xerox instead of copier, PingPong instead of table tennis).

When you’re first at something, you can pretty much “own the franchise”. And when you can do that PLUS be outstanding at connecting with your customers, you can reach that Top Of Mind status reserved for the Amazon’s, and eBay’s and Zappos.

How many of your competitors are using video? If you said none, that’s your chance. It doesn’t matter if you are B2B or B2C. Your customers and prospects are searching for what you have to say.  Video was the most added feature to websites in both 2009 and 2010.  If you don’t know whether or not your competitors are using video, find out. Do it now.

Building your authority and your expertise should be one of your major goals this year.  If you’re in a business in which customers need to place their trust, you can’t afford to go forward without shoring up that trust with all of the compelling stories you can tell with video.

Hopefully, you can be the first.

That’s a wrap.