Once your video is uploaded to YouTube, finding traffic from just being there might be hard to come by. Most of the popular videos you see have been embedded on other sites, usually because the creators submitted them to blogs where their content is the most relevant. You can also post your video to all the social media accounts and blogs that you run, giving your followers/friends the chance to spread the word outside of YouTube. Promoting your video outside of YouTube is absolutely necessary to make your fans become your secret marketing force. Again, great content helps.
Promoting Outside of YouTube with Your Website
The Advertiser Playbook has step-by-step instructions for embedding a video into your website. I'll go over that in a minute. For now, we'll talk about why you would want to put the video on your website. First off, a video on your website makes your website look pretty amazing. It's an instant eye-catcher. If you've gotten a customer to go as far as to visit your website, then clicking that video can't be too far behind. Plus, a video sort of marries itself to all the content on the website. So if you have any special deals or offers or anything of that sort on the website, all of your calls-to-action are sitting right there, with no need to click further.
For instance, here on ReelSEO we have a community of video marketers, video producers, etc. Every week we have official ReelSEO videos. We promote our site through the video and the site promotes the video with article entries discussing what great video tips you can use. Here's an example from last week's Creator's tip:
Also, anyone who follows Tim's videos knows that he is excellent about responding to people through comments on the article itself and on YouTube.
As for how a video is embedded on a site, here's the instructions for those who don't know how:
- Go to your video's page on YouTube.
- Click "Share"
- Click "Embed"
- Copy the code in the expanded box.
- Paste the code in your blog or website code.
Some blogging tools, like WordPress, will have YouTube plugins readily available for embedding video, and you merely have to copy the URL and paste it into the box the YouTube plugin provides. It really depends on what source is behind your website (WordPress, Blogger, etc.), and you'll want to go to their various Help sections to figure out how to post a video on those sites.
The Advertiser Playbook also mentions Google+, and embedding a video on your G+ page is as simple as copying the URL and pasting it into your stream. The same goes for Facebook and Twitter, which we'll discuss next.
Using Social Media and E-Mail to Announce Your Video
If you already have some fans, you can post to all of your social media accounts. The common ones are Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and you can post the video to each and every one of those. Once you post the video, you now have a bunch of fans exposed to the video immediately, and some of them might share it with their circle of friends if it's a particularly interesting video. This is one of the most powerful actions you can take when promoting your video. Your fans can share it with people you never dreamed of reaching, and those people can share it with others, and so on and so on. This is another instance of "knowing who your audience is" coming into play.
This is free advertising. Isn't that what social media is? Well, if we take the less cynical view? This is who you are, what you represent, and this is what I'm going to do for you. You don't have to pay a network to put this ad anywhere. You can just use free sites that lots of people already use. And this, combined with (hopefully) getting blogs to post your video can really get a lot of people interested in your brand in a hurry. If you're savvy and dedicated enough, the little bit of money you spent on this advertising can go a long way without spending much more. And that should be a huge incentive for small businesses not able to afford a sizable media blitz.
And hey, last time I checked, e-mail is still a thing. If you have people subscribing to an e-mail newsletter, you can provide links to your channel and video in the announcement. It's even better if they have a gmail account because then they can watch the video right there in the e-mail.
Along with this e-mail/social media activity comes comments and questions. Hopefully you have the time to give your fans responses to those interactions. There is an instant validation to that, when you take the time to come back with a thoughtful response. That's creating a relationship, trust, and ultimately, repeat business.
Promoting Your Video to Blogs and Other Sites
This can be a bit tricky, but it involves common sense. Let's say you're a restaurant. You make the best seafood in all of Oregon. You've just made a video touting that fact. Well, there are a number of general food blogs and seafood blogs you might want to send your video. You'd want to avoid specific blogs that don't have anything to do with seafood.
For the most part, blogs are looking for content to share with their readers, and if your video is a straight-up ad, you may have a difficult time getting that shared. I've also always had the philosophy that you might want to have a relationship with some of these blogs before you start asking them to post videos, but there are always exceptions. Some blogs are just looking for awesome content to share, and your video will be enough. But it's important that you know what their guidelines are for submission before you start hitting them with videos.
If you're lucky enough to get a blog or two to post your video, this is no different than when you post it to Facebook. Check for comments and respond. In the "Involve Your Audience" section of the YouTube Creator Playbook, they estimate that the social media aspect of your ad campaign will take more than hour of your time. I would find a day or two out of the week to be your "social media" day and spend one hour or more on this aspect, whether it's making new announcements or responding to comments.
Here's the Advertiser Playbook's steps on sharing with blogs:
2. Write brief, personalized e-mails to targeted sites and blogs. Introduce yourself, tell them what the video is about, why it might be intriguing to their audience, and offer a link with an embed code. Thank them for their time, ask their readers to share it if they like it, etc. There's a right way to do this, and pushy isn't it. You are making a request, no hard feelings if it's not something they're looking for, and who knows? Maybe if you show common decency during the process of a rejection, then they'll post the next one you try to submit.
3. Track the pick-up across the web. You can use Google Alerts to see where your video gets embedded. And it's always good to thank those who post your video.
One other tip the Playbook mentions is that blogs love being offered something exclusively. So if you find the perfect marriage for your video, you can always give blogs an exclusive. Although, I imagine this works better if you've already had a major hit or two.
Promoting Your Video Offline
This is anywhere you can stick a URL to promote your video. The Advertiser Playbook offers four different places you can get people to visit your YouTube site, but really, you can think of tons more. There is one really, really cool one in this mix, however:
- Business Cards and Letterhead
Self-explanatory. Just put the YouTube URL on the card or letterhead with all the other contact information.
- QR Codes
This is the cool one. "Quick Response" codes can be put on almost anything, and when someone scans the code they can be instantly transported to your site. They can use Google Goggles or the Red Laser application on their mobile phone to scan it, and the user can get loads of information from it.
- Print and Direct Mail
Back to the old and boring here. If you take out print ads or advertise through the postal system, putting your link on anything that goes out through those can increase your traffic as well.
I mean, of course. You can put the link almost anywhere you think eyeballs normally wander.
Promoting Your Video Outside of YouTube Is A Powerful Task
Yeah, you can put a video on YouTube, write amazing metadata, and have it catch fire...if the right people find it. And you have no idea who is going to find your video on YouTube, and just YouTube. What promoting your video outside of YouTube does is it widens the field of possible viewers. You aren't just hoping for random people to find the video, you are bringing the video to those who might be interested and you hope you did a good enough job so that they will also share the video. This is throwing out a wide net. You're going to miss a few, but you're hoping out of the sheer numbers you target, a few will be on board. That's what promoting the video outside of YouTube is all about.
Catch up on our other YouTube Advertiser Playbook posts:
- 4 Steps for Shooting Successful Web Video - The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 1
- Tips and Best Practices For Shooting Your Business Video - The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 2
- Basic Video Editing Tips for YouTube - The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 3
- How to Optimize Metadata for Your YouTube Business Video Ad - The YouTube Advertiser Playbook: Part 4
- Channel Discovery and Design for Brands: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook - Part 5
- Reaching Wider Audiences & Creating Discussion Through Video: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook - Part 6
- Kick-Start Your Video Traffic With AdWords for Video: The YouTube Advertiser Playbook - Part 7