Developing an Effective Video Strategy for Your Website
The best way to spread your word to the world is to do it in new, fresh ways. Developing an effective video strategy for your website will allow you to put a face on your message and interact with potential customers in a more personal fashion.
Anyone can whip out a video camera and start pitching a product, but if you really want to make an impression on your audience, then some critical steps will need to be taken along the way. After all, it’s called a video strategy for a reason!
Here are five fundamental guidelines that can help you get an idea of how you’re going to initiate your video campaign:
Select a 3rd Party Video Platform
The first step in building a video strategy is deciding where to host your video. The two obvious choices are: you can either host the video yourself or go with a 3rd party. Don’t even think about touching the former. No, you stop it! Stop it right now!
Okay, let’s be serious here. If you’re currently reading this article because you need to learn more about developing a video strategy, do you honestly think you’re prepared to host your own videos? This would involve a lot of technicalities such as harvesting your own metrics, adapting your own video player (we’ll actually talk more about this later), hosting the files and more. Basically, it’s a bunch of stuff that is better entrusted to a well-established 3rd party platform.
It then becomes a question of what platform to go with. You can, of course, select one of the mainstream platforms—YouTube, DailyMotion, Yahoo! Video, etc.—they all work just fine and they receive plenty of traffic on a daily basis. Then there are some of the more “professional” platforms that you have to pay for, due in large part to all of the extra features that come along with them. Examples of these types of platforms include Brightcove (fairly expensive), Wistia (less expensive) and Kaltura (fairly inexpensive).
If you do decide that you’d rather host your own videos, just make sure you’re ready for the responsibility that comes with it. It’s important to have a formidable website already established and plenty of knowledge on how to collect and analyze your own metrics. You can also harmonize both approaches, which can actually be quite effective. A lot of experienced advertisers will attach smaller “bits” on a mainstream 3rd party platform such as YouTube and then call viewers to action by encouraging them to visit their website where they can find full-length videos. It’s really up to you.
Put Consideration into Your Pitch
There’s no doubt that your product will be showcased at some point in your video. However, you need to be tact about how you introduce it to the viewers. The simple fact about video advertising is that it works well because people are drawn to it—not by the appeal of a product—but rather by the appeal of a particular notion, learning experience or form of entertainment. If the first image they see is you sitting in front of the camera holding your product for the world to see, odds are the majority of clicks you receive will be ones hitting the close button.
This concept is precisely why a video strategy is as much about the message as it is about the product. Instead of making a sales pitch, put some consideration into why you want people to know about your services. What can they learn? What problems in life can you help solve? Does your audience have certain goals that you can help them achieve? These are the questions you want to address in your videos. Only once you appeal to the audience with some real humanity can you finally veer towards your product, website, service or whatever it is you want them to ultimately interact with.
A great way to come up with ideas for an approach is to spend time watching other people’s videos. Hunt around for strategies that you believe are effective and jot down some notes about why you think they work well. From there, you’ll want to harmonize your admiration for the works of others with your own personal ideas so that you can produce something original.
Make Your Video Easy to Share
The great thing about making a great video is people will want to share it. Don’t make this hard to do! Incorporating sharing buttons into your video clips is fairly simple, especially when you’re using a 3rd party platform. Make sure each of your clips have unique URLs that you can spread around—these make it easier for people to share and they also boost your SEO scores when used as backlinks.
Customize Your Video Player
It was mentioned earlier that customizations of the video player merited further discussion. This is actually paramount—you need to find a way to “brand” the experience the users have when viewing your videos. Even if you’re hosting on a 3rd party platform, there are many ways in which you can add a personal touch to the aesthetics of the video, including the interface and the content. If you embed a video into an external website, make sure it’s complimented with a boarder or “casing” that represents your brand. Viewers need to be reminded that they are interacting with you and not a 3rd party platform.
Collect Metrics, Analyze, and Adapt
Of course, you can’t initiate any sort of marketing campaign without collecting and analyzing data. The good news is that analyzing video strategy metrics is fairly easy—you just have to pay attention to which videos are effective in reaching people and which ones are just plain lousy. Once you have a formidable process for collecting data, you can take note of certain approaches that seem to be magnetizing people towards your website and adapt your campaign accordingly. You’ll want to pay attention to multiple metrics—number of hits, how long viewers stick around during the video, and which types of content lead to interaction.
 http://www.seomoz.org/blog/creating-online-video-strategy (Retrieved 5-12-2012)
 http://www.seomoz.org/blog/seo-for-video-content (Retrieved 5-12-2012)
 http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/pages/5-tips-to-improve-web-video-strategy.aspx (Retrieved 5-12-2012)
 http://www.mequoda.com/articles/new-media-trends/3-top-online-video-platforms-used-by-publishers/ (Retrieved 5-12-2012)