9 Tips for Building Site Traffic with Video Marketing

Web video is a hot commodity. So hot in fact that in countries where the primary means of connecting to the Internet is through a cell phone, people are watching videos on those tny little screens. Some age groups are even claiming – according to polls – that they’re watching more web video and less TV. So web video is, to put it mildly, important online content.

Movie companies are realizing that as theater and DVD profits sink, there’s a mostly untapped web video market available, and for the right medium of delivery and price, they could profit from web video. Instead of shunning it, thereby helping pirated copies of their movies thrive on Google Video and other sites, they could control the copies.

Many TV networks now air shows online, at least in North America. (They get the benefit of knowing where viewers are from, approximately, and can block viewers geographically, if they want – and they usually do.) Including such shows, according to comScore, 138 million Americans watched 9.5 billion videos online [via NewTeeVee].

Benefits of Using Web Video

You can make web video work for you, and you don’t even have to produce the content. Here are some of the benefits of using web video, either on your site or at video sharing sites.

  1. Visual texture for your blog, if you’re embedding content.
  2. Used effectively, video content can help build traffic to your blog in a number of ways:
    • Web traffic from multiple video sharing sites.
    • Traffic from other sites that have embedded your video.
    • Traffic from search engines that have indexed your pages on video sharing sites.
    • Traffic from social media sites where you or someone else has either submitted your video page or a web page with your video embedded in it.
    • Increased repeat traffic from visitors who are attracted back to your site thanks to video content – especially if it’s useful/ fun/ entertaining. Exclusivity can also help but isn’t guaranteed.
  3. Opportunity to monetize content, depending on which video sharing site you’re using.

Types of Web Video

Here are a few subcategories of web video to consider.

  1. Screencasts – motion video capture from a computer screen using software such as Camstudio (free) or Camtasia Studio.
  2. Vodcasts – live video usually shot straight with very little after production. Vodcasts might or might not be streamed live. If you’re a popular figure in your blogging niche, live streaming might be an option. If you’re not, you have some work to do before you’ll get much of a live following.
  3. Animation, including stop-motion animation created by stringing together a sequence of still photo/image frames.
  4. Produced web video, which might have a mix of live content mixed with special effects and/or screencast content.

What works for your blog depends on the topics you cover. For example, tech topics just lend themselves better to screencasts.

Within the above categories, you should consider “how to” videos, if it suits your niche. Or do a series of live webisodes that are either parodies or commentary/ review. Explore what other video content producers in your niche are doing, then do it better. At least try something different, if you think that’ll give you an advantage.

Creating Web Video

There are increasingly more software options for editing web video. Here are a few software options, as well as a few tips:

  1. iMovie – Usually comes already loaded on Mac computers.
  2. MovieMaker – Usually already on Windows PCs.
  3. Free trials of Sony Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere and other video editing software that’s in the sub-$1,000 range.
  4. Camcorder – Get a reasonable DV video camera, if you can’t afford HD.
  5. DV capture card – Some DV cams have a memory card slot, but if you use DV tape, you’ll need a DV capture device, either on an internal card or an external box, such as those sold by Pinnacle.
  6. Lighting – Learn that good lighting has to existing up front and that it’s harder to fix bad lighting in your video editing software – unless you own a high-end system and have the knowledge and skills
  7. Green screen – Explore green screen/ blue screen techniques if you want to add a layer of professional production. This is also useful for animation.
  8. Tripod – Only the most steady of hands can shoot video without camera shake. Get a good tripod, or some sort of camera stabilization system. (Video magazines often have articles on how to build your own inexpensively.)
  9. Storyboarding – Learn to storyboard your work videos. This gives you a blueprint to work with and often reduces the amount of reshooting you’ll have to do.

Building Site Traffic with Web Video

There are a number of ways to use web video to increase traffic to your website or blog. Here are a few:

  1. TubeMogul. Use TubeMogul to simultaneously upload to multiple video sharing sites.
  2. Allow sharing. Let other bloggers and web publishers to embed your videos on their web pages. In fact, encourage it.
  3. Watermark your videos with your site’s URL. This way, if other sites embed your video content, you’ll still get some of their visitors over to your site.
  4. Produce quality video. “Quality” is a cliched word now, but it still matters. It could mean fun, useful or entertaining, depending on your niche, your audience and your intent.
  5. Be a profiler. Use the profile section of your video on each sharing site to link to your URL. Also use your user profile page on each sharing site to link to your site.
  6. Network.
    1. Build your network of friends on each video sharing site.
    2. Add friends.
    3. Subscribe to their content.
    4. Create and join groups connected to your area of interest.
    5. Participate in groups, to stay visible.
    6. Subscribe to other content uploaders/ producers who share similar interests. (Hopefully they’ll reciprocate.)
  7. Promote your video pages (and post pages with embedded video) on social bookmarking and voting sites, where allowed and appropriate.
  8. Tag yourself. Use multiple tags per video, and a keyword-rich description, to increase the chances of it being found through SEs (Search Engines)
  9. Publish often. Post more than just one video. Not only do you want to publish multiple videos, you want to do so from a structured approach. Start with a set of very basic videos to tease interest in a few topics that you cover on your blog or website. Follow up with a second set of videos that provide a bit more detail. Finally, publish a few more videos that go into great detail about specific topics. Each set of videos helps filter out the merely curious. The return viewers will be those people who are truly interested in what you have to say or offer.

For additional tools, visit LinkBuildr’s Video Marketing & SEO article.