Here’s the first snip from our series Demystifying You Tube for Business. Thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll post more clips soon, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the sessions.
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.
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.
- Want to DIY? We can consult with you for a better look
- We’re ready for HTML5 are you?
- We also have a voiceover studio, and we do VO around the world
- We always bring more than we need
- We arrive early 95% of the time
- There’s never enough light
- We own three royalty free music libraries
- We know some really talented web designers
- We know some awesome marketing experts
- We’ll be adding more experts on the Video Secrets page very soon
- We were the first to totally specialize in small business videos for websites.
- We always try and add a little showmanship
- We know some really cool video tricks
- We also know what NOT to do
- We can help you relax on camera
- Watching other folks’ videos with bad sound and bad lighting drives us stark raving crazy
- You can fix bad sound and bad lighting if you know how
- We put our name on our work
- Our first website went online in 1995
- We’ve never been to Vegas, but the name of our editing software is Vegas
- We know the most important thing to put first in your YouTube description
- We have web pages on our site dedicated to different business categories
- Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy likes our videos
- We have a 230 square foot green screen ready to go
- We learn something new with each project.
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.
Over the past two weeks, I won two different clients specifically because of two different videos on my website.
Someone asked me recently if quality matters for web videos. I replied that quality is the top 5 things that matter for web video.
Quality, quality, quality, quality, quality.
I just invested on a new professional HD camera with which to shoot.
I know, most websites play videos in small screen players. But there’s something that folks forget: sales of Internet ready TVs are increasing steadily.
Think about that amateur video being played on a 46 inch screen. If you thought shaky, hand-held camera shots were distracting on a small screen, wait till you see it magnified. Now, add in that low, or not-quite right light. Is anyone still watching after 30 seconds?
Major newspapers, television stations and networks are all putting video content on the web. Any poorly-produced DIY video will have to compete with that.
Anyone can upload and share anything. It’s what is driving the explosion of social networking. It’s really, really cool. However more people want to connect with businesses and brands than ever before. Done right: with basic, well thought-out shots and a little showmanship, you can not only connect with customers and prospects, but they will stay on your website longer. That gives you more chances to convert them.
Coming soon – more about how your competition uses video.
That’s a wrap.
Tonight, a friend passed a referral to me. I went to look at the company website – we’ll call them “LLC.com”. Their web design firm has posted some videos about what a great place this company is to work for. Now, defining your corporate culture is an excellent use of video in today’s climate. Google has done it with the Life At Google series on YouTube. The Google series is shot well, and has compelling themes.
The videos I watched tonight on the LLC site were
• Grainy – if I didn’t know better, I’d think they were shot with someone’s camera phone.
• Used the on camera microphone – a very big no no. Sound is as important as picture, and since all of these shots were extreme close-ups, to have the voice sound like it was coming from a barrel is quite rude from the position of a viewer.
• Looked cheap. One of the persons were shot sitting in front of a window. The light coming from behind washes the subject out.
Another web designer called to tell me about a client who needed video. Before I could respond, however, he called back to say the client had shot the video himself. He said the quality was just “OK”. The webmaster wouldn’t offer his opinion, and unfortunately, his client may suffer.
Producing videos for businesses is a lot more than Point And Shoot. I completely understand the DIY point of view, BUT. . .
• You have to have an external microphone, period. No discussion.
• The basics of 3 point lighting are simple to learn. So use room lamps, and buy some Perfect Daylight bulbs so at least your colors come out right, and your subjects look like somebody you would want to watch.
• Seriously consider using a professional. The expertise we bring in storytelling and getting the right message across with the right pictures and edits can make all the difference.
If you’ve made an investment in an attractive website, it’s only right to make sure your content stands out as well.
———- That’s a wrap.
So, I starting reading one of those articles about “What Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell You” and I got less than a quarter of the way thru it when the author mentioned how a listing’s photos and videos can be misleading because of Photoshopping or creative editing. I wouldn’t deny that those things take place, but not in my experience.
First of all, real estate agents are notoriously…(how shall I put this)…frugal. Many of them take their own pictures, and some even make their own videos.
Secondly, the kind of photo manipulation or video editing really takes some time to master. Many agents are known to be…impatient.
Actually, real estate videos can be rather quick to produce. Most agents simply want a walk through to show prospective buyers the layout point of view. Any additional editing, whether in amateur software or on a professional level, is an expense of both time and money. It’s been my experience with real estate videos that if the home is attractively staged, a video will do a much better job of selling the property than photos. It’s real. You don’t need Hollywood effects or deceptive editing to make it work.
It’s nice to see some popular websites for real estate professionals that agree with me: Homes.com reports that successful agents understand social media. And they add, “Video is another great way to promote your business and your listings online. After posting virtual tours or walk-thrus of your listings, start adding videos that discuss real estate trends and give advice. The better the content, the more it will be passed on.”
And PropertyGuru.com takes it one step further: “Keep your videos alive. Online video content should never be considered a final product. If the property doesn’t sell immediately, change the video to encourage new buyers and give them a different interpretation”
I have also seen actual customer emails thanking agents for providing videos, rather than just photos, in their marketing efforts. Even in the relocation forum City Data, one poster implores agents to “spend a few hundred bucks on a well shot and presented video tour and sell a six or seven figure home.”
There is a myriad of ways to sell real estate, even in a down market. But the wise agents and brokers would do well to discover the advantages of video marketing.
–That’s a wrap.
Videos for SEO, Videos for product demonstrations, and for customer testimonials. Videos to show your expertise to prospects or build credibility. They’re all great ideas. They’re ideas that can help and grow your business.
Unfortunately, there are times when using videos can be a bad idea. This all falls under the heading of “read your contract”. Here are some real world examples. I can’t believe there are companies who actually do this, but there are.
1. The video is not created specifically for your business. Just like there are templates for websites, a producer can create a video template. This usually has a minimum amount of your information. It’s built around pretty graphics, or generic pictures.
2. You don’t own your video. Can you imagine that? Anything you planned, pictures you took, ideas you might have had – they can all vanish, because you signed a leasing agreement rather than a sales agreement. Yes, it actually happens. And if you don’t pay for another round, they’ll pull your video.
3. You do all the work, and they get paid. I know of companies who want their clients to shoot the video footage, and then send them the files so they can edit. Or they want you to write the script. I mean, if you’re paying for professionals, shouldn’t you get professionals who can give you their expertise?
4. You have no control over the final product. “Double check your work carefully”, one video contract says, “If we have to make any changes after you sign off, we will charge you.” Really?? Even in a restaurant, if you don’t like the meal, they’ll make it for you again. What’s wrong with this picture?
There are things about technology and marketing that scare some folks. But if you’re making an investment in a professional looking website, ask questions, and make sure that it’s going to be more than an online brochure. Engage your customers and prospects with compelling content. You’ll find that it starts paying for itself quickly. And it pays over and over.
— That’s a wrap.
Picture this: a shot of the top drawer of a desk. A hand moves into the shot, and opens the drawer. We see – a pistol. What’s the next shot in this story?
-a closeup at a man’s reaction, surprised at his find?
-an over the shoulder shot of someone, an aggressor, standing in front of the desk?
– a medium shot of a man looking into the drawer. He is a police officer, and there are other police officers in the room, but in the background.
Each one of those tells a different story. It’s up to the editor to tell the story of what the cameraman has been shooting.
Even with business videos, I have to do the same thing. I have to ask myself, “Where do I want the viewer’s eyes next for maximum impact?” This is the main thing that sets amateur videos apart from professional videos: amateurs tend to want to get everything in one long take. And they end up with mistakes, and gaffes that need to be removed but aren’t because editing has a steep learning curve.
It is nice of Windows to add a Windows Movie Maker to every version of it’s operating system that is produced. However, editing with Windows Movie Maker is like trying to run a race in wooden shoes. It can be done, if you’re patient, but overall, it’s – clunky.
There are some very good consumer editing software on the market. The problem is, it’s not plug and play. There was a learning curve in video editing even for me, and I’ve been cutting audio for over 20 years.
The shots I make that tell the story but will have little or none of their sound used is caller “B-roll” These are the shots that are the demonstration, while a voice explains what’s going on. I consider my B-roll to be probably the most important footage I can shoot. Because while I cut away from the main speaker to show the demo, I can then edit the speaker’s AUDIO without making the video jump cut. That’s very helpful for taking out extraneous phrases or noises and making the person on camera seem more polished.
Morey: Ask me what is the most important quality of a great comedian
Henny: Ok, What is the..
I’ve always loved that bit of dialog. It’s so true, not only in comedy, but in anything that tells a story. And a good editor has a good sense of timing. You know when you’ve stayed on a shot long enough and it’s time to move on. Many amateurs stay on a shot waaaay to long. Unfortunately, if you look at much of the stuff that is posted on You Tube, you’ll find that the rule instead of the exception. The eye is quick, and the brain is quicker. Usually, three or four seconds is all you need before it’s time to change shots.
Watch your favorite movie or TV show again and pay attention to the editing., the scenes that were used and the decisions that were made to tell the story. I know you’ll see something that will open your eyes.
Now, what do you want for YOUR project? What’s the story you’re going to tell?
That’s a wrap.