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Online Video Marketing: The Smart Way

Online videos are a simple, cost effective way to promote your affiliate marketing business, gain the attention of Internet search engines, and sign up new customers. Video-sharing sites like YouTube also make it easy for you to upload your videos and link them to your company site, blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, and other websites.

The reasons for using online video are compelling. With the total value of pay and ad-supported online video expected to surpass $15 billion by 2012, according to New York-based research firm ABI Research – and with a high percentage of search engines now listing online videos among their results – this marketing strategy is growing in popularity for companies of all sizes.

Kick off your own online video strategy by developing one or more interesting and informative video clips. Think about how moving pictures will help you convey information about your products, processes and success stories. The home-based business owner who wants to spread the word about a proprietary new procedure, for example, can develop a 2-minute clip that describes (to the desired level of detail, based on the competitive nature of the business) the process and shows customers how it can be applied in their individual projects.

As you develop your online video marketing strategy, remember to be professional at all times. There are a lot of poorly-produced videos floating around online, trying to lure in viewers. You don’t want your shows to fall into this category. Instead, be as professional as possible both during the development and uploading phases and you’ll reap much richer rewards from your efforts.

Step By Step

When developing your online video strategy, first identify the goals for your online video. Are you looking for new clients? Do you want to educate current customers on the latest processes and products? Are you interested in educating clients on why they should choose your for upcoming projects? The more you can narrow down your objective, the more effective your online video efforts will be.

When filming your video, be very specific about a single topic or subject that can be communicated quickly and clearly in a 3- to 5-minute timeframe. Avoid “rambling,” or going on and on about various subjects without ever coming to a clear point. Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind when producing your videos:

Start With a Good Concept: Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with the video, who you want to reach and what you’d like to say to that audience.

Keep it Short: Don’t try to pack everything you know into a 10-minute video. Instead, come up with four 2-1/2-minute clips that focus on a specific topic.

Get To the Point Quickly: Show the viewer what they want to see, and include a call to action that makes them “click here” or “call now” for more information.

Write it Down First: People typically speak at a rate of 100 words per minute, so use that rule to come up with a script of adequate length for the video you’re producing.

Come up with a Good Title: Create a catchy title for your video and use relevant keywords that ensure your show is found when people search for videos related to the subject you’re covering.

Don’t Use a Cell Phone Camera: Invest in a video camera that produces high-quality pictures and sound. Expect to spend at least $300 on this vital piece of equipment, and don’t forget a tripod for avoiding “shaky” images.

Integrate the Video with Your Website: Include a link to your website in the video description, where it will be “clickable” for viewers.

Tell Viewers What to Do: Include a call to action at the end of the video. “Go to website HYPERLINK (your website here) for more information, or “call today to set up an appointment” are both good options.

Use an Editing Program: Your options include Windows Movie Maker, iMovie (for Macs), Adobe Premiere Elements and online options like Animoto, to name just a few. These programs allow you to select the imaging, sound, text and other elements needed to get your video ready for prime time.

Add tags to your video (example: home business, make money, affiliate program, home based business, home based business opportunity, and so forth)

Record several videos targeting the many different search terms/phrases that people are typing into YouTube. You can look at the site’s “most searched terms” features to get an idea of what people are looking for.

Get backlinks to your videos and encourage people to rate your video to get found higher in the search results. These type of feedback will boost your rankings and ensure that anyone looking for related keywords will find you.

Once your video is shot, upload it to your company website and to public portals. YouTube is all the rage these days, so once your video is complete, be sure to upload it to the popular site for increased exposure. Also check out Google and Yahoo’s video sites, both of which are gaining in popularity. Uploading to these sites gives your product additional, free publicity. You can even use those Web sites to host your video for you, and link to it on your Web site (thus saving yourself the cost of additional bandwidth).

Uploading your videos to private websites allows you to embed messages in your videos that actually “stick” with your viewers and keep them engaged. Videos posted on your own Web site, for example, and that include auto-play and auto-load features, give you more control over the presentation than you’d get on YouTube or Google Video.