YouTube is the number two search engine right behind Google (go figure). Everyday 3 BILLION VIDEOS are viewed on YouTube everyday.
Why? For me personally and I’m sure thousands of others would rather find a video on how-to fix a widget then read pages of text on a web page.
What Type of Videos
In my opinion, every social media strategy has to include YouTube, because of its size it has the ability to reach millions of people, which is greater than say a Facebook or Twitter. So what type of videos do you post on YouTube? Well, for a business like executive protection you could be posting promotional videos, or if you are training in the field of executive protection you could do short snippets of the training and perhaps some video testimonials of customers who have received training from your business.For a more daily video approach perhaps talk about executive protection industry in a news type format. Ideally, your focus should be attracting more customers and clients in your niche market. If you train High Net Worth CEO’s don’t show a video of you sniping in full camo. Make sense? Good. So here are my steps to get you started in making videos on YouTube.
Get a Camera
To start making videos you need a camera. Smart phone cameras are very good for simple short videos or video blogging (vlogging). If you don’t have a smart phone try a relatively inexpensive ($200 US) “point and shoot” camera that has the ability to record video in HD format. I recommend the Canon Powershot 300 HS for around $250 US.
Content is Key!
Time to start making videos! Well, almost. The key ingredient is content. What are you going to say? Create an outline with the points you want to make in the video. I don’t recommend improvisation because it extends the recording and editing time. However, you shouldn’t sound like a robot. Act like yourself. As if you were talking to someone at a business function – pleasant, casual, confident, businesslike manner. Being in front of the camera can be a little awkward. What I like to do is post the outline just off camera in pretty large font so I don’t have to stare at the words. Your message needs to be consistent with your brand and social media strategy. Think – what is the call to action I want for a person who watches this video. It could be as simple growing your subscribers.
Set Up the Equipment
So you have a camera and content. Next you need to set up the equipment. There are two things that tick off people when watching a YouTube video – sound and video quality. I recommend to do a couple of takes where you want to record your videos. How is the lighting? Too bright, too dingy? The ideal set up is 3 lights – overhead, to the right and left of you. Here is a great video to get you started. Now you don’t have to spend a ton. Try to bring in as much natural light has possible. If you are using artificial light you can remove the shades to expose the bulb or buy a halogen bulb. When you are running your light checks also check the sound quality. If it is poor you may need a stand-alone mic.
Camera, Content, Equipment, check. You are now ready to make your first video!
Several takes later you now have your first video. Next step is to move to the editing phase. The time in the editing phase depends on the type and length of the video. To edit a video you need editing software such as Final Cut Pro for the Mac or Camtasia Studio for the PC (and Mac). I personally use Camtasia Studio. Find editing software that is in your budget and one that you can use without a degree in engineering.
Posting Video to YouTube
After your editing you are now ready to post to YouTube. Go to YouTube (www.youtube.com) and log in to your account. If you don’t have a YouTube account follow the links to sign up. After you log in, at the top of the page look for the “Upload” link and click it. Click on the Yellow button that says upload video. At this point you also have the ability to set up Autosharing with various social networks.
Once your upload is finished start adding or adjusting the Title, Description, Tags, Category, Video Thumbnail, and Broadcasting and Sharing Options.There are several key components on this page that you’ll have to consider to help the right people (potential customers) find the video:
Title: Should be descriptive of what the video is but also contain keywords phrases that I typical potential customer would use to find your business. In other words, optimized for search engines and potential customer visits.
Description: Should always lead with your business website url – the full url ex. http://wxyz.com. This area should describe the video in greater detail, with specific keywords to help your niche market find the video.
Tags: Should contain single words or very short phrases to relate to the video.
Category: Make a selection that best fits the genre
Thumbnail: Choose the best thumbnail out of the three choices.
Broadcasting and Sharing options: various selections on whether to make your video public, have ability for users to post video response, rate your video, etc. Select which is best for your video.
So now you wait for the video to go viral and you get thousands of people knocking on the door for your product and services.. NO! You have have to promote it! There are several ways to promote a video:
Website or blog: You can embed your video in your website or blog. To do that go to your video on YouTube and click the share button beneath it. Right below the link click the button named “Embed”. After you click it you will see highlighted code and other options such as making the video larger or smaller. Select the options that are conducive to displaying the video in your website.
Twitter, Google +, +1, Facebook, etc.: When you clicked the Share button in addition to embed, YouTube supplies you with several other opportunities to share or promote your video in several social networking and bookmarking sites.
URL: Similarly, a real quick and easy way to share you video to your contacts, newsletters and social networking sites is the URL with a short description on what the video is about.
Another way to promote your video is through other video directories. TubeMogul will post your video to other video directory sites like Vimeo, Veoh, Flickr, DailyMotion, MetaCafe and others for free. Create an account and log in, upload your video, select what video you want posted and where. Same rules apply as stated above – Focus on Title, Description and tags.
Monitor Your Success or Failure
In YouTube, under the My Account settings, select “Videos.” Near the top of the page click the link called” Insight.” This is an overall dashboard view of your video statistics. You can view video views, discovery (how a visitor came to your video), demographics, community (comments, likes, sharing), and subscribers for your channel. Pay attention to these numbers. Where and how are visitors viewing the video? Is it from your website or someone else’s, maybe Facebook? If your demographics are heavy on the teens concentrate on making teen friendly videos. Above all else – if people comment on your video- answer them. If they need help – help them and in my opinion do it for free. Some videos will flop and others will succeed. I have created two dozens videos – some get under a hundred views and some receive a couple of thousand views.
Parting Words of Wisdom
Don’t get discouraged. Continue to monitor the stats and hone your speaking skills. Likewise you should continue to hone your message to your audience – what videos were successful and why?
You are very self conscious as you sit and talk to nothing but a camera and sometimes rather awkward. If looking at a camera is not for your liking create a how-to tutorial of video reviews of products. You’re still speaking but only into the microphone as you capture your computer screen. Continue to market your brand through YouTube.
YouTube Should be Part of Your Social Media Strategy
By Lawrence Snow
Lawrence Snow is the President of ISDA, Inc. and a Digital and Social Media Specialist for Protective Services Professionals and Law Enforcement