Everyone knows about Google – Googling is a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary and “Google it” is the most common answer to any question posed to a millennial. As a business owner in the 21st century, one must keep track of this sort of trend. But where should you focus your energy? Thousands of billable hours have been lost in vain efforts to master the elusive holy grail of Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the first installment in a series of blogs crafted by the brand and media experts at Tingalls Graphic Design to keep you up to speed on the who-what-and-whoa of the light speed web marketing industry.
The Number Two
What most people, even professional marketers, don’t know is that You Tube is the second biggest (most used) search engine on the Internet. That’s no coincidence – since Google purchased YouTube in October of 2006 (a rumored $1.65 billion take-out order). Since then, there has been tighter and tighter integration of the two services. Now, YouTube is second to only its parent company in number of searches performed per day. So, yes, spend some time making sure Google reads your site right, but don’t forget the runner-up.
It’s important to remember that a mere ten years ago, services like YouTube were all but in impossible. Video compression codecs, streaming media and over all bandwidth limitations prevented all but the most crude videos from being seen online. Now, 15 years into the bright and shiny future, we can literally pull movies down from the sky and watch them on our phones. Images are worth a thousand words, and video multiplies that by 29 frames a second.
If you’ve never used YouTube, go right now and check it out. We’ll wait.
Okay, you’ve seen the cat videos and amazing car crashes. But that’s just a single, tiny aspect of YouTube. Search for any how-to on any topic from home improvement to software development to the literary theory of descriptive grammar, and you’ll find it. YouTube is almost as comprehensive as Google, with a huge advantage – you don’t have to read. Societal implications aside, everyone would rather watch a video than read a manual.
How To Tube
You’re convinced. Now what? Well, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts when working with video. It only takes a second to spot a bad video, but a good one is much more subtle (dancing puppies and other totes hilarious content aside).
- Be creative. You’re competing with the world. Make your video worthwhile.
- Use lights. Look, digital video needs about twice as much light as you think. Just turn on a lamp or something.
- If you’re taking this seriously, get a microphone. A lavaliere or any omnidirectional will work fine.
- Take the time edit. If you can use Facebook you can edit video these days. A fade out is always nice.
- Jump Cuts – if you have a jump cut, don’t use it, or create a “dip-to-color” transition.
- Think about your content. Plan ahead.
- Write a script – even if it’s just talking points or notes.
- Rehearse – take five minutes to do a dry run. Trust us.
- Don’t waste time. A graphical bumper with a logo is a good idea, but a full on introductory animation is tiresome (you hear me THX?)
- Do not use special effects – you’re not Pixar or Industrial Light and Magic, so don’t cheapen your message by tying to be.
- Zoom – just… don’t.
- Hand-held – most of us don’t want a Saving Private Ryan beach scene sort of motion sickness when using video to promote our business. Tripods range in cost from $10 to a gazillion, and come in all sizes (even for iPhones) so find the right one for you.
You’ve shot your principal photography, be it a welcome from the boss or a time-lapse of your crafting process, it’s cut and canned – ready for the world. Login to YouTube, create a channel and upload your video. At this point, you tag your video with the appropriate keywords and phrases, and you’re good to go. Let YouTube bear the burden of hosting that huge file and the bandwidth headache of sharing it with the world. YouTube will provide you a HTML code or a link (as you prefer) to embed the video into your website, Facebook or G+ page.
They’re waiting for their close ups, Mr. DeMille.