No matter how fantastic your video creations are, it will mean nothing if you don’t market and distribute them effectively. Online video distribution should be a part of your video marketing strategy and is as important, if not more so, than the video production process. Not only do you need to ensure that you distribute your video to ensure it reaches a wide audience, you also need to measure the impact of your different distribution methods to inform future strategy.
A plan is different from a strategy. A strategy will outline what you are trying to achieve and why. It will also outline how you plan to achieve those goals and how you will measure your success. A plan is a practical step-by-step guide of what you need to do to. Your video distribution plan should be a detailed to do list for how you will get your videos to your audience. It is that simple.
Here I have devised a online video distribution plan for you to use and adapt to suit your own goals and needs. I would highly recommend attaching target dates to each item so that you know when you need to have completed each task by.
Please note that this distribution has been created on the assumption that you will use video sharing sites like YouTube. It is up to you to consider whether hosting on your own website is the most effective option for your own strategy or if posting to sharing platforms will be more useful – read this for more help on online video hosting or posting (http://www.mywebpresenters.com/articles/2012/06/video-seo-host-or-post-your-videos/).
Quick and easy online video distribution set up
Firstly we will go through some of the background work that you need to get done in order to set up your distribution channels. We will then look at some techniques for making the most of these channels.
a. Create a YouTube Channel
If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, create one. When your channel is set up, look to get subscribers to your channel. Upload your video content to your channel and make sure that the ‘embed’ function is enabled so that other people can post your video to their websites or blogs.
Take the time to brand your Youtube channel and think about your calls to action.
• You want people to subscribe to your channel so ensure that you give instructions in your videos (you can add links to your channel through using annotations).
• Write a solid description for the channel that really spells out the value that users can get through watching your videos.
• In particular, make sure that you include a title and description for your video and that you have optimized them for your target keywords – more detail on optimizing for video seo.
b. Embed on your own website
Embed your video on your own website. Ensure that the video is on a page with a good textual description around the video to explain what the content in the video is. Search engines can read and understand as well as index closed caption files from videos but they cannot yet fully understand the spoken word in video content so without text on the page your video will not have much chance of ranking in the search engines.
Ensure that the pages on your website that you embed the video on have social sharing buttons and if possible comments functionality – best option would be to put the videos within a blog on your website.
c. Use social bookmarking sites to promote the content on your website
Social bookmarking sites store, organise and manage bookmarks. If you post links to your content on social bookmarking sites you are creating inbound links to your content, which is useful in terms of search engines and improving your ranking. Social bookmarking sites encourage the sharing of content, which will also be advantageous in terms of reaching a wider audience.
There are a range of social networking sites available to use including Reddit, Delicious, Stumble Upon and Digg.
Make your content as easy to share as possible. So, where you have embedded your video on your website, to reiterate it’s importance – try to have social sharing plug-ins so that readers can easily share your page on a number of different platforms.
Here is an image showing the use of social sharing buttons on a website:
d. Share via social networking sites using Oneload or Heyspread
Oneload and Heyspread are video distribution sites which allow you to upload a video to multiple platforms at one time. This is extremely useful as uploading videos to different websites can be time consuming.
Both of these tools have an analytics tool built in which means you will be able to monitor how many times people have viewed your video on each of the different platforms.
It is a time consuming task to get all of your profiles set up on the different video sharing platforms – Youtube, Metacafe, Vimeo and Blip.tv etc as well as social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Though once they are set up then you have a distribution channel that is very easy and quick to use going forward.
Ensure that all platforms are set up to notify you when comments are left on your videos.
Online video distribution – the time consuming important stuff
Now that you have a basic distribution system set up you need to work hard at oiling the system to keep it running as if you have no friends on Facebook, no followers on Delicious and no subscribers on Youtube then unfortunately your content will not be going anywhere fast.
a. Building social networks
This is not a topic that can be given justice in a paragraph but the main things that you can do to get started here are:
1) Add your key 3 social profiles to every one in the organisations email signatures so that with every communication you are raising awareness and occasionally picking up new followers.
2) Use www.fliptop.com to input your email database and find out which social networks your customers/contacts are on. Then create a plan around emailing all of these contacts with social profiles asking them to connect with you on there – just promote one profile to each person. Give them an incentive/reason to follow/friend you there. These are your warmest contacts so you need to build out your social networks from these contacts.
3) Promote your social profiles on your website – use the Facebook social app as well as Twitter apps to get people going from your site to your social networks – seems counter productive but if you can grab a new contact on Facebook rather than lose them forever then it is worth doing.
4) Every time you receive a comment, Tweet, mention then you need to respond to it – be fun, friendly and open – that is what social networking is about.
b. Encourage partner organisations to share or embed your video
When you are distributing your videos you need to be able to call on partner organisations to offer their support. The best way to encourage this is for requests to be based upon prior-arranged reciprocal agreements i.e. you agree in advance that you will distribute their content to your audience if they can do the same for you. This may not always be appropriate but you need to be able to recognise when it is, and seize the opportunity.
Create a list of potential partners while writing your distribution plan and approach them one by one. Make it personal and specific to them and don’t send out mass emails – you are unlikely to get half as many responses if people feel they are being spammed.
A fantastic tool for meeting like minded bloggers and content producers is Triberr – you can form groups with others who create content on similar topics and promote each other through Twitter, Facebook and all of the other platforms. This is a great way to get solid social networking going and to get yourself recognised as central within your niche.
c. Measure your success
It is important that you monitor the impact of each of the above actions. The results should help direct your next moves and future video marketing priorities.
- Oneload has it’s own built in analytics facility.
- YouTube has Insight which can give you lots of details about who is watching your videos and can even show you drop off points (i.e. when people are becoming bored of your video!).
- Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to assess the impact your video is having on your own website. Check where your traffic is coming from and which of the channels are bringing you leads and sales – look into the referring site reports
d. Repost to give everyone a chance of seeing your content
Contentious topic here but….Twitter is a good example of when it is sometimes necessary to repost the same item. Users of Twitter will be ‘following’ a lot of people and therefore have pretty heavy home feeds. This means your posts will easily be lost to a lot of people, depending on what time of day you have posted. Strategic repetition of posts will mean that more people will have a chance to see your content. You can draw on different elements of your video for each Tweet or status update so that they are unique, yet all pointing towards your new video.
When it comes to online video, distribution doesn’t have to be expensive. If you use the correct tools you could actually complete a comprehensive plan *without spending a penny. The only investment will be your time and your enthusiasm to do the job well.
* OneLoad and Heyspread are paid tools.