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6 Steps to Optimizing Your Video Online

The days of simply producing your video and throwing it out into the wild are over. Unless you are completely new to the idea of using video for business, there is no need to produce a video, upload it, have a launch party, and then wait to see if it performs.

This process was great – until there was a realization that viewers digest content differently at certain times, on different media, and with specific purposes each time they click the “play” button. To help you prepare for your video release, I’m going to share with you a few ideas on how to optimize your video once it’s produced and set for viewing.

1. Video Hosting

A simple idea is to just throw your video up on YouTube and hope it collects views over time. While this isn’t a wrong strategy, it also might not be the most constructive strategy for your business. Now there is truth that Google may index pages that contain YouTube hosted video content more prominently, but YouTube neglects many key features and tools that a hosting provider can offer.

The term hosting refers to which platform you upload your video to in order to share it on the web. YouTube and Vimeo are two popular platforms that videos are hosted on, each serving its own purpose for viewer digestion. There are many other hosting services out there such as Wistia, Vidyard, Cincopa, and BrightCove. All of these services introduce not just a more sleek interface for videos, but also loads of data and statistical compatibility pertaining to each one of your videos that you produce. You can use these services to track viewer plays, visualize video engagement, and even connect to your online marketing automation efforts. I highly recommend using one of these services if you’re serious about starting to use video for your business.

2. Site Placement

As said before, throwing your video on YouTube or Vimeo and praying that viewers will find it is an antiquated practice, so avoid doing it! A great way to get your audience to watch your video by creating a convenient platform and path to this video’s location. Introduce: Your website. Your company’s website is, or should be, one of the most visited resources in connection with your brand, so utilize it wisely. If you’re going for exposure for a promotional video, a great idea is to place it in a prominent location on your home page.

View a guide on how to decide what size your video embed should be, and which “zone” of your website it should fall in

Looking for engagement to connect with your audience? Embed your video within a blog post that the video relates to. Readers are already there looking to learn about a specific topic, so why not offer them an additional resource related to that post. The idea is to catch the viewer in the right place with the right content in order for them to most enjoy their experience on your site. Video is a great way to do this.

3. Social Media

While you should continue to host your video on your website, don’t be hesitant to share it across your social channels as well. One thing to keep in mind though, is that you need to design your video for social media in order for it to be effective. Be sure to communicate with your video producer about whether or not you’d like an alternate form of your video designed for social media. Remember, readers and viewers consume certain media differently with specific purposes across the many social networks. Understand that a three minute explainer video might not engage with a viewer on Twitter as well as it does LinkedIn, or Google+. It’s not that your video isn’t engaging, it’s just the reader has a different intent for that social media platform while browsing through his/her feed.

4. Closed Captioning

Closed captioning is quickly becoming an important factor to video performance. First and foremost, it provides viewers with a second-by-second transcript of the dialogue within your video, which is great for either understanding the content, or if the video is played silently (such as within social media platforms). The other important key worth noting is that closed captions make your video more searchable and increase SEO value of the page the video is hosted on. Providing a written .srt file within the video gives search engines one more bit of information to log, thus adding authority to your page and video. Talk to your video producer about providing these closed captions as well as if you’d like him/her to optimize this within your video hosting platform.

Tip: Fill out all Metadata on the video file you plan to upload to help add SEO value to your site

5. YouTube Cards

YouTube Cards is a new feature that offers users the opportunity to create calls to actions within the duration of your video that link to either Merchandise offers, an Associated Website, other videos or playlists, fundraising campaigns, or fan funding campaigns. As mentioned before, YouTube limits the amount of branding your company can do within it’s platform, but this feature can easily help you direct viewers to the appropriate site, link, or additional resource that fits to your marketing plan. For example, if you are doing an overview video of a product or service, create a card linking to your website with further details about a specific point of emphasis at that appropriate time during that video. The key is provide the best resource for your viewer when he/she needs it most.

Tip: When designing a YouTube card, use a clean image that is formatted 800px by 800px. This will ensure a polished delivery and compatible look.

6. Video Descriptions

The description of your video is often one of the most tedious parts of the marketing for your newly created video. It may seem like an easy concept, but you’ll be surprised on how hard it is to perfectly craft the perfect subtext for your video. The main goal of the description is to sum up what ‘s been created in less than two paragraphs. Note: This does NOT mean that you limit your description to only two paragraphs. This text is just to provide viewers with a quick summary of what they are about to watch. Following your two paragraph or less summary, I have found it is best to create a template of a sample description for certain types of videos. Within this template are links to ALL of your social channels, specific website links, or contact information. This provides search engines an appropriate direction to any of your associated websites and social media media channels. A few really great examples of these templates can be seen on Jimmy Kimmel’s Late Night Show channel, or any aspiring YouTube creator, like Caleb Wojcik. These descriptions perform well for SEO for your company, adding valid authority to your pages and videos.

Closing

The last step is to analyze and tweak accordingly! If possible, take note of your video’s performance based not just on views, but engagement rate (how much of the video your viewer actually watched). Check in after a few months it’s been up and make note of what viewers are watching and re-watching. If a certain part of your video is being re-watched, maybe the viewer likes they style, or needs a refresher on what has been said. With this information, you can tailor your next video’s style accordingly, or even make additional video that further explains what’s been said in the last one.