You’ve created an awesome video to market your business. Congratulations. Now you have to market it. The only problem is that you’ve no idea what to do first.
Without a good marketing and distribution channel, you don’t stand a chance of getting your video seen. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do yourself, even if you do end up having to hire an outside agency for promotion.
Upload Your Video
Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook Video are all popular platforms to advertise your video. These sites will host your content for free. All you need to do is abide by the site’s terms and conditions. Don’t worry, they’re usually pretty easy-going. As long as your video doesn’t contain any illegal content (i.e. stolen video) or you aren’t publishing nude video or pornographic material, you’re usually going to be fine. For business-related topics, just about any video will make the cut.
Understanding Video SEO
Video SEO is not that different from “traditional” SEO. You still have to focus on creating valuable content that is engaging. You must publish the content in a way that can be easily indexed by search engines, and you have to describe the content in a relevant manner. Your videos should speak to users, not search engines. Like written content, users can spot fake videos a mile away. With video, it’s actually easier. SEO’ed videos that are clearly meant to draw search engines in and are there purely for ranking purposes just don’t get watched. Video tends to cost more to produce than written content, so you’re just wasting a lot of money if you don’t follow SEO best practices.
Creating a Video Sitemap
Creating a new sitemap for your video helps search engines and users find your content on your site and on 3rd party sites. In effect, it tells search engines, like Google, about your video when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to find it on the web. While a basic sitemap will tell search engines about pages on your website, a video sitemap tells search engines about the video’s running time, category, and whether it is “family-friendly” or not. When creating video sitemaps, you must include the video’s title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL, and raw video file location.
The easiest way to create a video sitemap is with a sitemap generator. These generators function as plugins for a WordPress site though 3rd party solutions do exist if you’re using a platform other than WordPress. Google XML Sitemap for Videos is a widely used plugin that creates a video sitemap for all your posts that have embedded YouTube videos. Cool Video Gallery is a highly rated plugin that helps you create a gallery and subsequently creates a video sitemap. Unlike the Google plugin this works with many video formats. If you are not using WordPress, you could try some online services. XML-sitemaps.com has a paid version, but you will be able to explore the functionality and produce working video sitemaps with their free version as well. If you have plenty of time yet little money, do a search for the EZS3 sitemap generator. You manually input the details, so it can be time consuming but it does produce a trusty video sitemap.
Video Metadata Optimization
Choosing good metadata for your video is important. It’s done a little bit differently for videos than for written content. Basically, the title of your video should use the keywords you want to target near the beginning of the title while using branding at the end. Titles are shorter than for blog posts and ironically don’t affect search results as much as titles do in written content.
Descriptions for videos are longer, and can be used to advertise other videos or highlight points in your video. A “video summary” can be effectively used to prep users for what they will see in the video. The YouTube playbook advises putting the most “compelling” information at the beginning, using keywords, and including your video and channel information in there somewhere.
Finally, to optimize tags in your video, check out other videos in your niche that are related to your own. Use similar tags or the exact tags found in your competitors’ videos and you’ll have a higher chance of appearing in related videos. In the world of video (especially on YouTube), relevance is often determined by user engagement and entertainment value, not an algorithm.