5 questions to ask about your online video
Can you find it?
If you go to the trouble of making a video and uploading it to the web, you want people to be able to find it, right? So you need to understand that videos that you embed on your site are invisible to search engines. To overcome this, create a video sitemap to capture the details about your video so web browsers can find it.
YouTube will automatically sitemap your videos which is useful. But then the search will point to YouTube and not to your site so you need to think about how to work with this. It might be a good idea, for instance, to use YouTube for videos that build general awareness of your brand while making sure that videos which build product awareness can lead browsers back to your site.
What’s it called?
It’s obvious that the title needs to be accurate enough to point to what the video’s about. However, in the cyber logjam of online searching, the title also needs to be clever enough to be appealing and to stand out. Before you post, think ‘would I click this?’ If you’re not sure, test it with colleagues and friends.
What’s your plan?
Before you post, think about what you want viewers to do once they view it. What pathway will they take? Is there a call to action which will lead them back to your website? Do you want them to ask for more information, sign up for regular posts or buy a new product? Take another look at what you’re about to post – is there enough information there for the viewer to take the next step?
Does it start a conversation?
If you’re posting a video, think about posting it to a range of platforms, starting with your own website and Facebook, for example. But if your viewers can see it through a range of media, vary the context. Don’t just have the one standard caption or accompanying text. Aim to start a conversation and then keep it going. Think about editing your video into several short teaser videos and post with text that looks at the content from different viewpoints.
Are you making the most out of YouTube?
Remember YouTube is more than just a storage platform. It is a social media platform as well as the second largest search engine on the Internet. Think about how you can create greater engagement with it by connecting with similar videos on other channels to start a conversation. Take it beyond just uploading – start talking about it.
Video snippet is the thumbnail image for a video which comes up in a Google search next to the link. Google has changed the way it does things so that now only videos posted on YouTube and websites for large companies show video snippets in search results.
Video sitemap is a document to tell Google about all the videos on your website so it can index them correctly. If you use YouTube, Vimeo or a similar platform to store the videos on your site, Google will direct searchers to that storage platform, not to your website. It won’t index them as part of your site unless you have a sitemap. So the sitemap is an important tool for making sure your video content can be read by search engines and for targeting your audience and leading them to you. Ask your web designer or IT consultant how to make this happen, if you want to make the most of your video marketing.