I’m back with the fifth installment of my Going Virtual series of posts in which I zoom in on a specific aspect of marketing a business in today’s fast-moving business world and show you exactly, step by step, how you can get on top of this one topic, even taking it to the next level – all with the help of virtual staff.
In this post I’m going to show you how to outsource your online video marketing, to become super productive and way more successful than you thought possible, when it comes to this particular medium. Online video is huge, we all know this, yet so many small business owners that I sit down and chat with, still haven’t got started utilizing the power of web video and what it can do to catapult their brand, and ultimately increase their profits.
My goal in this post is to help YOU get started with online video marketing, by sharing with you the following strategies for producing and promoting videos. We are going to discuss brainstorming ideas for content, all important video SEO and how you can free up your time while growing your business with the help of a virtual assistant focusing on helping you with your online video focus. Let’s begin.
Brainstorm Ideas For Video Content with your Virtual Staff
One of the reasons why many small business owners are shying away from creating videos is because they don’t know what topic they’re going to present to the audience. To me, it’s very simple. Just like in blogging, you should give a solution to a problem that plagues your target market. In my case, I get emails asking for tips and information on where and how to hire virtual assistants, how to work with them, resources and tools for doing so, etc., so I’ve created a lot of videos just on that topic alone.
Brainstorming with your staff to find out what your customers and your target market need help with (they might have seen is the first step. List down everything, and I mean everything, because this list will be your source of video content (as well as podcast and blog content, too!) for the coming months, or even the year ahead. Organize the topic ideas into groups and see if you can come up with a video series that can help grow your list, too. Think of the most common questions you get asked over and over and then consider making a video series to answer these questions.
Let’s use a fictitious blog and brand on the subject of interior design to come up with some cool video content ideas. Right away I see videos entitled:
- How to Hire the Right Interior Designer
- How to Go Shopping for Window Treatments
- The Importance of Space Saving in Small Homes
- Why You Need to Redesign Your Living Room NOW!
There are so many possibilities for you when you get into video marketing.
You can do presentations, screen-castings, voice overs, product reviews, walkthroughs, screen recording tutorials… the list goes on – we’ll discuss some more ideas in a bit. In the meantime, once you have your list of ideas for your video marketing campaign, the next step is to ‘confirm’ that there is indeed a demand for such content (other than the odd question coming through to you).
Have your Virtual Staff Perform Keyword Research
In this day and age the best way to go about this is to do some keyword research. Thinking about it logically, you wouldn’t start a business if there was not money to be made by selling your products or services, so there’s no need to spend time creating content, unless there’s a genuine need for it.
You can check out the new Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool (perfect for those just starting out) and find out if people are going to search engines to find the type of information you’re thinking about recording. To access this free tool, you must have an Adwords account set up with Google.
If you want to take things up a notch, then there are also keyword tools like Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro which do a lot more than just give an approximate CPC’s (cost per click) and search volume results. When you have these tools you can see statistics like exact, broad phrase search traffic and also analyze competition.
Keyword research can be really time consuming. So this is the part where you start going virtual with your online video marketing. Ask your VA to do some keyword research based on the list you compiled from the brainstorming session. Have your VA put the primary keywords into Market Samurai and sift through them to find good titles, phrases and possible related keywords for your videos and articles. Ideally you are looking for long-tail keywords, because that’s what’s people are typing in into Google.
Example of Long-Tail Keywords:
- Best Place to Find Fabrics for Curtains in Boston
- Top Paints that Include Waterproofing
- Recommended Interior Designers in London
In my case, I ask my VA’s to find 4-5 related keywords/keyphrases per content idea, so that I can maximize the search results, not just on Google, but also YouTube – the top video marketing platform online. Search for long tail keyword phrases that you can optimize posts for with some solid SEO principles.
The more your VA’s research keyword phrases in your niche and find good keywords phrases to put in your headings, video descriptions and to include in your URL’s (for your blog posts), the better. You could be missing out on some valuable traffic just by using the wrong keyword phrases.
Note on SEO: For a lot of people this subject flies right over their heads. I used to be like that, but I’m here to say it’s not as complicated as you might think. Understanding SEO principles is important, but you don’t have to be an expert on the subject (you can hire and work with VA’s that are!). I’ll also be including a super easy-to-follow post as part of this series on SEO soon, but in the meantime you can also check out my podcast chat from NBP Episode #12, with Neil Patel for more SEO tips and information.
Now that you’ve got some subject / topic ideas, and you’ve confirmed that they are worth the work, it’s time to scream ACTIOOOON!!!
Recording the Video (AKA: The Bit You Can’t Outsource!)
This is the one part in the entire process that you can NOT outsource.
The reason why you can’t do this is because the content itself has to come from you. It’s your experiences, your expertise, your know-how that people are tuning in for. Getting someone else to put your video content together for you is a cop out. There, I said it.
However, with that being said, another reason why a lot of small business owners are not using video in their marketing is because they’re not comfortable in front of the camera.
Listen carefully – there’s absolutely no rule that says you’ve got to be in the videos themselves. Really, you don’t ever have to stand in front of the camera to start using video to promote your business. You can ask one of your employees to do the videos for you. Or, if you’re a one-man operation, hire some freelance talent to star in your videos.
Plus, there’s also no rule that says all your videos need to have people in them. There are several different kinds of videos that you can use in your marketing. I recently published a video post (embedded above) of my own that highlighted 11 different video content ideas, check it out – but, in the meantime, here are a few ideas:
Tutorial Videos – If you are good working with WordPress, for example, or designing logos, or organizing files on your laptop, or using a piece of software, or an amazing Google search freak with lots of cool tips to share, you can do a screencast showing your audience how to do all those these. The list is endless. Just use software such as Camtasia, or Screenflow to record your computers screen and audio.
Product Reviews – Perhaps you’re in a business where you’re selling a physical product, or maybe an Amazon affiliate. You can just record a video of whatever product you are selling while it is being used and give your review on camera (or ‘behind the camera!).
Behind the Scenes Footage – Give your customers a look at your operations. If you sell crafts online, then you can give a tour of your workshop. Whatever you are selling, people always feel more comfortable buying from a person whom they know and trust, so show them that you’re real, and that your methods of manufacturing are trustworthy.
Interviews – Great for bloggers, podcasters, travelers and all forms of online business hustlers. Getting someone in your niche who is established as a professional to have a sit down interview with you on video is gold. Whether you’re in person recording the footage together, or doing a split-screen interview, this is always great content. As you can see, there really is no limit to the type of content you can create to utilize in your online videos. Just get creative, and hit the record button – but, always shoot with your viewer (read: customer) in mind.
Now that you’ve got the raw footage, it’s time to make things look a little sexy.
Have a Video VA Edit and Export the Video
Now we’re back to your virtual team. Once you have the raw file of the video, you can ask your video VA (or hire a video editor on oDesk) to trim the edges, add titles, transitions, music and even some cool intro’s and outro’s (which helps people to remember your brand) to your video so it’ll be as entertaining and engaging as possible. Don’t forget to add calls to action at the end of the video, e.g. click on the link to subscribe to my channel, tweet me a question, etc.
Once the video editor VA is done, they can upload the file to Dropbox (or provide a download link) for your General VA to download, so that they can take over for the next part in the marketing process – publishing!
Have your General VA Upload Your New Video
If you must upload the video to just one site, it definitely has to be YouTube. Some people recommend Vimeo because videos looks better on there, but in terms of reach, YouTube is still the best (nothing stopping you using both, either!). YouTube is the second most popular search engine, next only to Google, so you’re videos have the potential to be exposed to millions of viewers daily.
Plus, have you noticed that when you search on Google, the results only contain videos from YouTube and not Vimeo? Why is that? It’s because YouTube is owned by Google… There’s no two ways about it – YouTube is the place to upload your videos. Now, you could always upload the video to YouTube yourself and add the titles, tags, description, etc., to optimize your video, call to actions and get ready to promote it – but, as this post will suggest, you don’t need (and shouldn’t BE, as a business owner!) to do this type of work.
Your GVA can handle it for you.
Your GVA will now upload the file that your video editor VA put in Dropbox. They’ll also add a keyword-rich title, description, and tags and put your video in the right category. While at it, your General VA can also add annotations to your videos, to make it easier for your viewers to subscribe to your channel, or view a playlist, equalling to more more views, too.
If you want your GVA to put this part of your marketing process on steroids, they should check out OneLoad – a video distribution service for brand advertisers and content creators who want to easily send their videos to the top video and social networking sites – you can start with a free account to get going, and see how things work for you.
Not for everyone, but definitely worth checking out if you’re wanting to get serious. Your GVA can also upload a transcript of the video (either done by them, or another one of your team members) and add it to the description, or caption of the video.
Having Your General VA Handle Your Video SEO
The Search Engine Optimization you apply to your videos is just like SEO for your website.
With any piece of content you produce, you should be thinking of your audience first. However, just because you do that, it doesn’t mean that you should completely forget about being smart and having your VA’s work on a few simple, but effective SEO principles, too. They did the research earlier on, so we should follow through here.
Have your VA make sure that they include all of the following after they’ve uploaded your video:
Title – when adding a title, it should be concise and catchy like an advertising headline. The description should provide enough information for people to decide whether they want to commit to viewing your video. Your VA should also include your main, primary keyword here, too.
Description – in the video description field your VA should include a short description of the video content, along with the details of your business, such as website, Facebook, Twitter, phone and all relevant contact details, if you want them in there – but, at the VERY LEAST include a link back to your website, or blog. Be sure to have your VA include some of your keywords, too – especially the main one you’re wanting to rank for.
Tags (Keywords) – your VA must be sure to also enter your tags (keywords) that you believe will get your video found more often than not. Include your company name in the tags, as well as your personal name, too – if you have a brand attached to the things you do online, like I do.
Video Thumbnail – YouTube recently ‘opened the books’ and allowed pretty much everyone to become a member of their partner program. One of the biggest benefits as far as I’m concerned is allowing you to upload your own video thumbnails for each video. Your VA can do this, too, obviously and it’ll help your videos standpoint. If you don’t want to do this, no problems, your VA can select one of the three captures that they automatically take from your video.
How Your Virtual Staff Can Promote Your Online Videos
We’re nearing the end of the process and I hope you’re still with me. So your video is up on YouTube, now what? Don’t just let it sit there and gather dust, promote it. You don’t even have to do it yourself.
You can just ask your virtual assistant to handle pretty much all of this part of the process, too. Such as sharing your videos on social media channels – here’s a snap shot of a recent video I shared on my Google+ page.
On can also have your GVA share your video on Facebook, Twitter and if appropriate, on LinkedIn.
Following this, they can then submit it to social bookmarking sites, such as StumbleUpon, Reddit and Delicious. They can also ‘pin it’ on Pinterest – Pinterest will even grab the thumbnail of the video for you!
If you’ve got a transcription of the video clip (I don’t do this with every clip, but I do with more important ones that I hope will bring in some solid, on-going traffic), you can have your VA upload the transcript to document sharing sites (such as DocStoc and SlideShare) and link back to the video in YouTube.
Don’t forget you can also embed your videos on relevant blog posts, too. Just like I did with the video I embedded on this post, above. As long as it’s relevant, then embed it – it’s additional content for your audience to enjoy, and Google loves these types of multi-media blog posts, too. And finally – always tell your email subscribers about your new video content.
They signed-up for updates because they like your stuff, always be sure to let them know about your ‘new stuff’. It’ll mean that they a) come check it out, and b) your YouTube views will increase – which means you’ll get listed higher on the search rankings, etc.
So, there you have it – my simple to follow, but highly effective guide on how to outsource your online video marketing. This is not a be-all and end-all approach, obviously. There might be some steps you want to skip, or even add into the mix – the most important thing here is that you realize that you don’t have to do it all yourself – that’s the whole point of this entire on-going series.
In the next post of the series I’ll be showing you how to take this whole video malarkey to the next level, specifically by turning over the management of your YouTube channel to your VA. It’s total, hands-off goodness, that’ll free up tons more time for you to focus on continuing to grow your business!
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you started with your video marketing yet? If so, do you have any tips to share (either outsourcing related or not). If you’ve not got started yet – why not? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll promise to help as much as I can, as always! Thanks.