Producing a great video is only half the battle. Once you have it, SEO, promotion and paid advertising will allow it reach as large an audience as possible.
Also consider these tips if you have an existing video that still speaks to your audience but is not getting as many views as it should.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is defined by Wikipedia as “the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results.” Most are familiar with using SEO on web sites, and some may have also read that video can increase web site SEO. What you may not know is that your video itself also needs SEO.
Below are some tips to improve your video’s ranking in search engines:
- Upload your video to popular platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook. Much of your traffic will come from the platform itself, not from a generic web search, so do a little research and take the time to be sure it is set up to attract viewers on each specific platform. Some, like Facebook and Twitter, give preferred treatment if you upload directly to their platform. Some set time limits on videos. Some prefer square over landscape.
- The title and description of the video are extremely important and should be tailored to each platform where they are posted. Make sure to include important keywords, but don’t just “stuff” these in. They need to be interesting, descriptive of what is actually in the video, and long enough to provide plenty of relevant information, if the reader is interested. The first part of the description will show in search results, so make sure it is attention-grabbing. Include a link to your web site on an annotation or in the video description.
- Include a video transcript, preferably in a format that will allow captions to show as people watch the video. This will not only broaden your audience, but also help search engines understand the topic(s) it covers.
- Add a custom “thumbnail” that is interesting, attractive and readable even when shrunk to a small size. This won’t directly increase search engine ranking, but will heavily influence how many people actually click to view it, which will indirectly improve rankings.
- Embed your video in page on your web site, making sure the page is relevant to the topic of the video, and that the video is featured near the top of the page.
- The YouTube channel where you upload your video will influence its success. If a channel has lots of subscribers and an active community, your videos are more likely to be recommended and viewed. As a result, the same SEO attention described above for individual videos also should be applied to the channel where they are posted. Include a “Subscribe” call to action at the end of every video. Encourage comments on your video and reply to them quickly.
Promote Your Video
Another inexpensive way to extend the reach of your video is to promote it.
- Announce it to your email list and in newsletters.
- Share it on social media & encourage viewers to watch, comment, like and share it further.
- Embed it in your blog posts and on your web page.
- Watch for relevant questions and opportunities to share it on forums and Quora.
Market Your Video
- Social Media Ads: Experimentation is key for success with social media advertising, as trends and the expanding audience changes constantly. To really get the most out of social media advertising, don’t just stick to one social media platform — utilize the big ones: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The big sites will of course vary by country, so keep abreast of what people in your location gravitate towards. Each site gives breakdowns to how to advertise on them, so an extensive search will lead you to how to get your ad up and running.
- Influencer Marketing: Connect with social media influencers who can promote your video on their networks. The influencer(s) you work with should match your brand, cause or topic, and be able to deliver an authentic message to the audience you are trying to reach. Many influencers are paid, and there is a transparency movement that may require and regulate disclosure. Instagram is currently the biggest platform, but influencers are active on blogs and other platforms as well. Watch the video below for a testimonial on influencer marketing.