Every digital marketer these days know that long-term SEO is all about content. But which ones to use? You have plenty to choose from: blogs, Ebooks, whitepapers, podcasts, images, etc. And then there are videos. Unlike one – or even two dimensional – content like blogs or podcasts, videos are twice as effective in delivering a message because it communicates to more than one of our vital senses. Combining visual imagery with sound, they quickly capture our attention and have the tendency to linger in our memories far longer than any other type of content. If used on social media, they become unstoppable. Don’t think that videos are merely for entertainment. They have a wide variety of uses that all kinds of businesses can take advantage of. For one, it can be one of your biggest sources of income. Youtube star Felix Kjellberg (more commonly known online as ‘Pewdiepie’) does exactly that. In 2013, it was reported that he earned about $4 million in revenue from ads on his videos. But you can’t start earning if you’re not famous. Which brings us to the great thing about videos: the content itself has viral potential. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 should be proof enough how anyone – whether a celebrity or an average Joe – can become an instant hit. Plus, it raised awareness for a once rarely heard of disease. Videos also have wide appeal. Your only problem is which market segment to target. For example: Dunkin’ Donuts Super Bowl Vine in 2013 was made specifically for fans of the game. But it appealed to other audiences due to its cute and creative presentation. This type of content also works great for non-commercial purposes. Thanks to live streaming apps such as Periscope, you can now ‘see through other people’s eyes’. Where To Host Your Videos A common problem for many social media marketers is WHERE to upload all those amazing videos. There are many platforms of course, but here’s our suggestion of the top three: Youtube Vimeo Vine We’re all familiar with Youtube and their free services. Problem is, it’s a huge ocean out there. While you can reach a bigger set of audiences thanks to the platform’s popularity; you might be beaten to the punch by bigger, more aggressive competition. There’s Vimeo though, another big name in the video-sharing industry. Unlike Youtube, Vimeo does NOT run ads. That’s a thumbs-up for professional video creators and brands looking to establish themselves professionally. However, they don’t have free access. That’s a thumbs-down for businesses on a budget. Vine is another useful platform for those looking to penetrate younger markets. Think of Vine as a video counterpart of Twitter: with 6-second posts featuring everything from funny skits, to quick recipes, and even political aftermaths; it’s clear that the world can’t get enough of Vine. The time limit may dissuade many businesses, but those who dare will find that it’s one of the best platforms to showcase a ‘slice of personality’. When choosing between Vine, Vimeo, or Youtube, don’t forget to go back to your corporate goals. Videos may be the trending content these days; but jumping onto the bandwagon without a plan can leave you empty-handed. Integrating Videos on Social Media Let’s assume you already picked a video hosting platform. Now it’s time to select the right social media networks to share your content on. Here are the top three websites where your brand or business will benefit from the most: Facebook Twitter Instagram Since the social media giant focused more efforts on videos last year, it definitely paid off now that Facebook may very well beat Youtube as a top choice for video advertising. With more than 1.3 billion monthly users and about 890 million daily active users, the real question is: why shouldn’t you be posting here? Another strong contender is Twitter. Especially right after they recently acquired Periscope, we expect great things from the iOS app that claims they are ‘not building a live streaming company, but a teleportation company’ (as mentioned by co-founder Kayvon Beykpour). Oh, and did we mention Twitter now supports beautiful slow-motion videos from iPhones? Let’s not forget the brand magnet Instagram (also owned by Facebook). With more than 75 million active users every day, it’s an awesome place to find out what’s hot and what’s not. Although images are still Instagram’s cup of tea, videos are breaking barriers and turning heads. Banana Republic’s sponsored video was one of the first; receiving millions of positive feedback from fans all over the world. If you’re thinking about leveraging this platform, check out Instagram’s tips for better videos to make the most out of those few seconds. Get Your Game On When crafting your videos, ALWAYS start with the end in mind. Step 1: Plan Ask yourself: ‘what do I intend to achieve by making this video and posting it on the Internet?’ Who will help you? What’s the concept? When’s the deadline? What’s your target audience? Have an idea and play around with it. Create a story around a traditional theme. Get creative! Have a backup plan in case your video receives negative feedback. How will you respond? Step 2: Produce The most powerful moments are the smallest ones. Learn to work on limited time. Hire professionals if you need to. Don’t forget the element of good music and/or sounds Step 3: Upload Choose ONE platform first and focus all efforts there. Be open to user feedback (remember the backup plan?). Engage! That’s what videos are for. Step 4: Measure and Record Pay attention to the numbers you’re getting. How did your video fare compared to competitors? Was your boss happy? Are YOU happy? Step 5: Follow-Up If your video was a huge hit, why not make a sequel? Take note of what you did right. Rinse and repeat. Go back to step #1 and prepare for your next viral video. Innovate! Don’t stick to just one video style. Don’t stop with plain videos. Remember that plenty of platforms these days allow for embedding. After you upload, see if you can embed it on your on-site blog or social media profile. It’s just one of the ways to level-up your other content and spice things up! Final Words We don’t think it will stop with videos. The possibilities are endless for digital marketing. Who knows what could be on the horizon (holographic ads, perhaps)? But for now, we’re looking forward to the next Pewdiepie. Hopefully, that would be you. Images: Author’s Own _____________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? 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