Online video advertising is on a major upswing in Canada. According to the Videology Group, video ads have increased by almost 150% in the last two years. And from a business perspective, it makes sense. Video offers the chance to pitch directly to potential customers, packaging the strengths of your company in an engaging medium that requires little work from the viewer. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a video can be worth infinite. Furthermore, the Internet as a whole is moving towards video as its preferred form of communication, as it accounts for 57% of the world’s Internet traffic and is expected to hit 86% in three years, while Canada specifically is second worldwide in total hours of video watched per person. Overall, people are more likely to pay attention to your pitch if presented in this format.

Now, there are plenty of ideas out there about what your video could be. Let’s say you’ve already made one, intended for public rather than internal use, and you want to share it with the world. What do you do now?

First, let’s assume you’re using YouTube to host your video. It’s the most-trafficked of the video sites, the most user-friendly for both viewers and uploaders, and its videos are ranked higher and more often in parent company Google’s search results. When uploading to YouTube, it’s important that your video have a relevant, short, but descriptive title. Searchengineland.com suggests using keyword tools to research what phrases people will use when looking for whatever service or product you’re selling. Anything important that didn’t make it into the title can be worked into the video description, or into the keyword tags section, all of which influence search results to a lesser degree. Also, feel free to see what tags competitors have attached to their videos, and follow their example.

With that done, it’s not enough to leave your video there and expect it to get attention on its own. While YouTube is great for dumping content onto, it’s still rare that someone will simply stumble onto your video while browsing the web. Furthermore, even if they watch your video, it’s unlikely they’ll return on their own if you put up any more; the overall number of visitors to a YouTube video dwarfs the number of people who then subscribe to the uploader’s channel for future updates.

The point? For your purposes, YouTube is not a community website. It’s a hosting website. Every video you upload must be shared to other outlets for the sake of exposure. Where appropriate, you can embed it on your website (ideally near the top of the front page, so it’s one of the first things people see when they visit the site), attach it in an email signature, place it as an advertisement on more popular web videos, or post it to social networks. Remember to diversify which networks you share it with: Facebook may be the most popular, but its growth rate is slow compared to others such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. Depending on the video’s content, some sites may even be a better platform to share on than others (LinkedIn values business-oriented information; Pinterest is a virtual product catalog). If you’re trying to get the attention of people already following your social media accounts, feel free to link to your video multiple times, so long as you vary the wording of the message and the time at which you post. Also, consider how user behaviour on each of those sites influences the best days and times to post updates.

Now that the video is out there, YouTube offers a wealth of free analytics to track how well it does. This includes who’s watching your content, how they found it, at what point they may have stopped watching, and other information for you to consider when rolling out your next video.

As online video advertising becomes even more integrated into marketing campaigns and brand management, it’s important that your video reach its intended audience. Stay tuned for our next entry  where we take a closer look at transmedia marketing strategies and how to use multiple platforms to not only reach a wider audience, but use the different advantages of each outlet to increase viewer engagement.

By Rob Moden

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