Today we are going to take video marketing and put it under the microscope. By the end of this post we will have thoroughly explored every facet of this new SEO, what I (quite cleverly I might add) have coined Vid.E.O where we will answer questions like:
- Can You Build Backlinks With Video?
- How to Rank a YouTube Video in Google.
- What are the Best FREE Tools for Creating and Editing Video?
- What Elements go into Creating a Successful Video Marketing Strategy?
- and What MISTAKES to avoid if you want to be Successful in your Campaign.
Why Video Marketing?
There are a thousand points that support the use of video over typical written ‘content’ – everything from how engaging and creative you can be, to the fact that it’s faster to churn out more ‘content’ this way… the lists go on (and on and on) but I only need to show you one thing to really answer the question I posed a sentence ago…
With that in mind I feel the discussion around the subject ‘why video marketing’ has now been put to rest.
Can You Build Backlinks With Videos?
To put it simply – NO. (But putting it simply is boring, and we’ll have none of that around here thankyou very much!) No you cannot build backlinks with video, but before you get all uppity about it, let’s look a little closer at what defines a ‘backlink’
- OK so you cannot build links into a video (not until Google learns to read flash)
- OK so any link that could be read would be a nofollow link anyway… SO?!
What is the purpose of a backlink? To tell Google you are important. Why? So they can rank us higher and send us…. PEOPLE, you know – the (and I quote) “800 million unique users [who] visit YouTube each month”
All Video Marketing does then is cut out the middle man; Bringing targeted traffic directly to your doorstep.
BUT (and it’s a big awesome but)… These visitors provide more ‘linkjuice’ than any one link ever could, and it’s all because of a wonderful thing called the ‘Description Field’. In fact don’t even call it that. A better phrase would be ‘Advertising Space‘ because really, that’s exactly what this field provides you with.
By taking advantage of the description field to provide our website URL we are getting free advertising to our site. This is something that affiliates have been doing for a long time, ranking videos in Google promoting products, and then providing their affiliate link in the first line of the description, in fact, the example screenshot I have provided below is a perfect example of getting the best of both worlds. Because I am using MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate link cloaker, I am able to have an affiliate link to the product in question AND freely advertise my blog AlexWhalley.com for (so far) over 23,000 people!
*I am not writing this post to sell you MBP Ninja Affiliate plugin, but I have to admit that if there was ever a good argument for purchasing it, this is it!
As you can see from the screenshot above, the URL (in this case affiliate link) is clearly visible. YouTube are one of the few video sites that actually hyperlink this URL so always remember to add the http:// bit or it won’t be a link per se.
*This link here to my Video on Metacafe shows how the URL has not been hyperlinked within the description field – adding more weight to the fact that you NEED a cloaking service/plugin that allows you to use YOUR domain in the description field.
Viral Marketing is NOT a buzz word. Despite what you may think, viral marketing works – and it is here in the world of videos that we find it the most. Why?
Because people want to be entertained. Entertain them and they want to fulfill their second need – to share that ‘moment’ with others.
Sharing is not a social media thing, in fact believe it or not, sharing has been around longer than RSS (I know, hard to believe) People love to share – stories, photos, colds and flu… and of course videos they find even remotely interesting.
Then their friends share, and so on and so forth… and azah! Viral Marketing blossoms.
Now imagine all that going on whilst your URL is pasted front and centre
How Can I Rank my YouTube Video in Google?
I guess this question is a little ambiguous, but for the sake of a good post I will attempt to answer it as best I can. Again I will point out that although videos ARE easier to rank than websites, it still comes down to assessing the keywords, the competition, and of course the quality of the video in question. Assuming you’re not posting a video of you grooming your 19 cats and trying to rank it for ‘car insurance’ let’s take a look at the steps we might take to rank a YouTube Video in Google.
Optimizing Your Video for the Search Engines
- Submit the Video Directly to YouTube (or whichever Video Site applies)
This may seem like an obvious step but if I don’t put it here then you might go and do something stupid like use a piece of software to automatically submit your videos. Or something. Good Video Optimisation begins with you actually submitting the video yourself – especially when it comes to a site that is owned by Google!
- Optimise the Title and Description Intelligently!
I know you already know about Keywords in the title and tags and all that but when it comes to the description try and remember that people have to read it. Apart from adding your URL or affiliate link to the first line – make sure, actually think of it this way: Treat your description field like you treat your Blog Post Titles. You want something memorable (funny if applicable) that catches their attention and gives at least a hint of what the video is about.
- Submit a Video Sitemap to Google
As we all know, Google cannot read the contents of your video and as such relies on the title, description and tags you provide. By creating and submitting a video sitemap to Google you can give them access to the contents of your video and thus turn it into readable keyword rich information. To learn how to Create and Submit a Video Sitemap to Google simply follow the link.
- Embed the Video on Your Site (with Content)
When you upload the video be sure to actually embed it into your site/blog as well. (don’t simply provide a link to it but rather ‘embed’ it so it plays on your page. *There are plugins that will do this for you) The reason we do this is because when you embed a video Google counts any views that occurred on that page and includes them in the total ‘video views’. Be sure to add content before and after the video, providing as much relevant text to support the ‘SEO’ of your video as possible. If you have a transcript of the video then that is even better, paste this underneath and add your introduction above.
This step is important because Google’s algorithms take into account how many times a video on YouTube has been watched.
Building Backlinks to Your Video
Before we even delve into various backlinking techniques to rank your video I want to make sure we are on the same page.
When you upload your video and have your shiny new link ready I want you to treat it much the same as you would a web 2.0 property, because in effect that is exactly what it is. When you start building backlinks to this URL (video) don’t just throw a bunch of social bookmarks and spamesque blog comment links at it, consider what you would do if you had just built a Squidoo Lens; For example:-
- Each time your write a post that can link to your video for reference, do so.
- If you were planning on writing some articles for Ezine then change the Resource box so that one of the links points to the video and not just to your blog and your ‘list’
- Blog commenting – when done manually is STILL one of the most powerful ways of building quality links. Start adding the URL of your video to the applicable box (and use the keywords if there is luv there)
What I also recommend you do is buy some social bookmarks and web2.0 link wheels. Yes I know I said NOT to build cheap links – but if you are mixing this with quality manual link building then it’s perfectly white hat. The only two resources I recommend you use to get these ‘services’ done for you are:
- Fiverr. I have been using this site for years now and have never had a problem. Great value for money, and something I recommend you do monthly (just mix up what SEO link service you get)
- Warriors for Hire on the Warrior Forum. These guys know what they are doing and more importantly , have a reputation on the forum that keeps them honest.
What are The Best Sites to Submit my Videos to?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of video directories that will freely accept your video, but like the article marketing world only a handful are actually effective, and really – after ‘so many’ you are just doing more harm than good (and wasting your own valuable time I might add) Keeping that in mind, here is a list of the 6 (yes only 6!) top video sites I recommend you include in your Video Marketing Strategy.
I could have included more, but to be honest I have found these to be the most relevant to Google and they also get the most traffic – which is really what we are after. Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the bigger video sharing sites simply syndicate their content, thus ensuring it ends up on a number of smaller video sites around the world wide web.
Click here for an article listing the top video sites by traffic, pageviews, Pagerank, and other random statistics (if that’s your cup of tea).
Effective Video Marketing Strategies
There is no point learning how to use the best editing software money can buy and then creating 50 profiles on every video submission site known to man if you do not have an effective strategy in place; Like any good battle, if you hope to win you need a plan of attack. I don’t promise to have a definite guide to this, nor do I pretend to have all the answers – rather what I want to do is outline some strategies and resources you can use to help get your videos to rank in the SERPs.
I have already gone through what needs to be done both on and off the page in terms of Search Engine Optimisation but what about an actual plan of attack? Should I create 10 videos, should I create a 1000?! Do I promote affiliate products in every one and ‘hope for the best’ or do I possibly leave money on the table by providing my own URL? Let’s examine these options and more.
What Elements Make up a Successful Video Marketing Campaign?
- Quality and Consistency.
There is no point going to all the effort of executing a well planned video marketing campaign if you’re using crappy videos that even you wouldn’t watch. Being Consistent goes with saying – but even if your not building a ‘brand’ per se, your videos should all still have the same general message and overall feel.
- How Many Videos is Too Many?
If you are creating the videos yourself (to a point) and the quality is good then there really is no limit to how many videos you post. If you have the time and the resources, and more importantly – the motivation then go nuts, it’s one sure way to get yourself (and your links) noticed!
- How Many Video Sites is Too Many?
Unlike the last question, there IS a limit to how many sites you should use in your campaign. The process of adding a video is easy and also far more important from both a Sales and SEO perspective (because every piece of copy matters) Creating accounts on every video site you can find is not only overkill, it is also time consuming. I listed 6 sites above and I recommend you don’t use anymore than that. *I personally only use 4 video sites in my campaign.
- Should I be promoting myself – or a product?
If you have the ability to cloak your affiliate links with your own domain then take the ‘best of both worlds’ option. Of course not all videos are created to promote a product so it goes without saying that any you create simply to entertain or send a message should include a link to YOUR OWN personal blog or site.
- Can I automate any of this process?
NO! I recently saw a WSO promoting a product that would create multiple videos by spinning the images and content you gave it and then auto submitting these videos to YouTube!? If you want to get yourself banned from YouTube AND be the producer of the spammiest looking videos on the web then sure, use automated software to help you in your video marketing efforts.
- Can I outsource any of this process?
Yes, in fact I recommend it. I personally use Fiverr to find people to create video reviews for me – giving me a real person to review my ‘product’ or ‘service’. If you don’t feel comfortable creating videos then look at building a relationship with your fiverr video friends – after a few jobs you can work out a ‘private deal’ between you. (not officially sanctioned but everyone does it)
Free Tools for Creating and Editing Videos
So you’ve got some great ideas, and more importantly you have a camera. Yay. But not yay, because now you realise that as grand as your delusions were, the truth is that your videos are going to suck – especially when you compare them to the ones that make you ‘LOL’ and ‘Share’. What we need are some tools to help us create and edit these videos, luckily for us there is … Google! (Well YouTube to be precise)
The YouTube Create Center (www.youtube.com/create ) really is your one stop shop when it comes to Free* Video Creation and Editing Software, providing you with the following tools:
*Keep in mind that although they ARE free, like most free tools available, you only have limited functionality and or usability (unless of course you UPGRADE )
Vibop makes your videos shine with just a few clicks. Add an animated intro, a vintage filter, a cartoon look, a silent movie theme, and dozens of other effects.
- Magisto – Video Editing In a Click!
Magisto will analyze and understand your video, select the best parts and make it look amazing on YouTube!
- Vlix – video effects and text
Create great videos by applying video effects and adding text. Select from a variety of effects – fix effects, time altering effects, artistic effects and fun video borders.
- One True Media video creation and editing
One True Media, simply powerful video creation. Robust, fast and easy video editing with real-time preview. Clip video and combine it with photos, transitions, effects, text.
- Stupeflix Video Maker
Tell a story with your digital content. Mix photos, videos, maps, text, music and watch Stupeflix produce a stunning video in a few seconds.
- YouTube Video Editor
The YouTube Video editor lets you make quick edits to your uploaded YouTube videos. You can combine multiple clips, incorporate Creative Commons footage, enhance your clip.
GoAnimate is a fun app that lets you make animated videos, for free, in just 10 minutes, without having to draw. You can even create your own cast of characters.
WeVideo is a cloud-based video editing platform. Edit movies in your browser, with media files from any device. Combine clips with music, effects, titles, transitions, animations..
- Xtranormal Movie Maker
Xtranormal lets you to turn anything you type into a fully-animated CG movie. Set up your scene, type in your script, and animate it instantly. Easily share something funny… by Xtranormal
I also recommend Animoto as one of the better free video editing/creation tools around. Again this is a situation where you have limited functionality (max. 30 second videos for eg) unless you upgrade.
*Check out this video I made using GoAnimate. I did it to test the software for this post, the whole thing took me about 10 minutes to make, including the tiny learning curve. I highly recommend this one and already have some ideas as to how I can incorporate this cartoon style into some of my other niches. Enjoy the video (for educational purposes of course) and please accept my apologies for the attempted humour, I was trying to be quick OK!
Video Marketing Take Away.
Although you cannot technically build backlinks with video, it is still a necessary part of any good SEO campaign. When you look at the statistics and you take into account how much the world wide web now relies on social interaction and ‘word of mouth’ it is impossible to ignore just how important it is to get your videos on these sites. How you choose to link to and from these videos is entirely up to you – just so long as you have some sort of presence there.
With sites like fiverr providing cheap video creation services, and the amount of free tools available today it is not hard to create professional looking videos that wow your colleagues. Get over to YouTube Create now and start playing with some of the tools they provide, what’s the worst that could happen?!