Self-Produced Videos: How to Ride Bulls, Improve Traffic and Play Nice with the Google Knowledge Graph

A businesswoman recently contacted me and asked why her self-produced videos were not getting higher viewership numbers. I took a look at her videos and noticed that her title, description and keywords were not optimized to attract the right customers. If you are experiencing similar problems, here's what you need to know.

First off, I totally encourage my clients to produce their own videos - this is a numbers game and, unless you totally embarrass yourself, producing lots of videos can only help. However, you must create professional-grade videos as book covers for these videos, lest prospects and clients think you run a second-rate business. Put another way, self-produced videos help drive traffic, send the message that you are a real person and look great in your video library but the front page of your website should display your most professional-looking videos.

That said, I want you to be successful and to help you improve your self-produced videos. The two secrets to a successful video are:

1. People need to easily find your video.

  • It must have wide and targeted distribution. This is the equivalent of net-fishing and fly-fishing at the same time. Net fishing gets you bigger numbers but doesn't necessarily catch the kind of fish you want. With fly-fishing, you basically know which fish you are going to catch with which fly. Therefore, upload your video to the most-trafficked web sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion and to your industry-specific websites like MoveVideos for real estate or for DIY videos.
  • It must have a 
keyword-rich title blended with some mysteriousness. Titles are weighted pretty heavily in the search algorithm and just as important, if not more important, to the keyword tags. It is also important that your title be coded to attract the search engines as well as entice the viewers to press play once they arrive. So don't forget to add a teaser to the title.
  • It must have a 
thought-provoking thumbnail photo (which acts as the book cover). This is the first picture a viewer sees while they are deciding if they are going to hit the play button. People are visual...'nuff said.
  • It must have a description that tells you what's in the video and why you will want to watch it. Again, why should I hit the play button? Plus, and this is really important,
 your keywords need to be in the descriptionfield which adds more weight to them and improves the chances of your video ranking high in search engine results for the keywords you choose. Now that Google is placing a greater weight on relevant content through its 
Knowledge Graph, you really want to pay attention to how you code the description field.

  • It must have thoughtful
 keyword tags that intuit your customers search terms. Think about what keywords you actually use in the video and what keywords you might use to look for a video like this one. If you are serious about driving qualified traffic to your video, you will vet the keywords through the 
Google Keyword Tool which will offer you similar keywords you might not have thought of.

2. People need to like your video. No news here but your search ranking also depends on star ratings, comments and length of visit.

  • Your video
 content must be unique, relevant and educational. The video is not about you or your business - it is about what you do, how you do it differently than everyone else and how that benefits the viewer. Your video should solve a problem, reveal a process or entertain the viewers. Bonus points for hitting all three at the same time! There is no room for your ego - people can smell it in the first 8 seconds of the video, which incidentally, is the average viewership time and, ironically, the minimum time needed to score points in bull riding.
  • Share your video with everyone you know: database contacts, Facebook friends, Linkedin connections, etc. This is a great way to ignite the viral capacity of your video because these people are more likely to interact with your video than total strangers.
  • Have a call-to-action in the video, description field or on the landing page where you want to drive traffic. If you want to engage these people beyond the video, it is important that you give them a reason to do so. Contests, coupons, product pages or more videos are good examples of this.

I know this can all seem a little overwhelming but if you are going to spend your valuable time producing your own videos, then you got to spend a little more time optimizing your video marketing.


Eric Robbins, Chief Storyteller

Look Ma! Internet Video

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