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Video Promotion 101 for 2014

Imagine, for a moment, you’ve just wrapped up video production on the most exciting and persuasive content your company has ever created. The excitement is palpable. The finished product is in your hands and after receiving rounds of applause from your colleagues, is ready to be uploaded to your website. You organise the new page to house the video, craft clever copy, take a deep breath, and publish.

You know visitors won’t find it right away, so you decide to control the urge to watch your video’s views rise in real time and resolve to check back in one hour.

Time drags by. You work on other things but keep one eye on the clock. 58 minutes… 59 minutes… 60 minutes. Okay! You excitedly load your video page and see:


“How can this be?” you wonder, “is something wrong technically?”. “This doesn’t make any sense.”

This situation is surprisingly common, unfortunately. And I think most experienced marketers have had a similar experience just like this (I know I have). So what was the problem? In short, every video you want people to see needs a video promotion strategy.

Creating a Well-Planned Video Distribution Strategy

In today’s information overloaded world, we marketers can’t just expect an amazing video to promote itself – we have to take the initiative to get the word out. In this post, we’re going to look at how to create a video promotion and distribution strategy that will get your video exposure to its target audience.

Video Network Distribution

If your overall goal is to get the most eyes possible on your video, then your first step is to distribute it amongst the best channels. You may start with uploading it to your own website, but don’t stop there.

YouTube is the obvious choice for most video distribution. Owned by Google, it’s the network that is most likely to get your video in search results (more on that in just a moment), and it has an audience of 1 billion unique visits per month.

If you’re going to upload to YouTube, be sure to set up your YouTube channel first. This way, if your video gets popular, you’ll be able to introduce your business to viewers who click through to your channel to learn more about you. Also, be sure to include your website link in the video’s description, especially if you are promoting a product or service within the video.

Vimeo is also a great network to distribute your video on. While not as large as YouTube, their network has higher quality HD and professional account features that YouTube doesn’t offer.

Outside of these top two video networks, there are over 60 more, depending on the language your video is in and features you’re looking for. You can see the list on Wikipedia.

YouTube Video Advertising

Too many marketers overlook the inbuilt advertising options available with YouTube video ads. Powered by Google’s AdWords platform, YouTube video ads enable you to target visitors by:

  • Gender, age, interests and location: want to promote your video to the entire nation, or perhaps just a particular city or state? A certain age group? Smart filters will allow you to do it.
  • Search query: people who search for keywords related to your business can see your ad as the first result
  • Interest and topic: tap into demand for your topic by showing your video to users as they watch similar content
  • And more

YouTube video ad options include ‘beside videos’, ‘before videos’ (a.k.a. pre-roll) and ‘in search’.

Video Search Optimisation

As you are uploading your videos to different distribution channels, make to optimise them for search discovery. You don’t have to be a SEO professional to do it. Start by filling in the following.

I want people who search for ________ to find this video.

Make ________ something like your brand name, a two to three word phrase, or a sentence like “How to ________ a ________.” Whatever it is, make sure it is in the video’s title and description on any site you submit your video to. This way, when someone types your brand name, keyword phrase, or sentence into search, they have a better chance of finding your video.

Also, if the video network allows you to categorise your video, add keywords, or specify a date / location, be sure to do those things. The more details you give the video network about your video, the easier it is for the network to show your video to viewers searching for it.

When you place the video on your website on its own page or blog post, keep the search engine optimisation coming. Title the page or blog post with the keywords or sentence you want people to discover it with, include it within the text on the page, and tack your brand name on at the end. This should help you receive more search engine traffic.

Social Media Promotion

Regardless of whether you have a small or large social media audience, you can utilize it in the promotion of your video in two ways.

1. Organic Promotion

Organic promotion simply involves you posting the video to your social profiles in the following ways.

  • Posting the YouTube video to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
  • Pinning the video on Pinterest.
  • Uploading the video directly to Facebook and Google+.
  • Creating a shorter segment of the video for Vine (7 seconds) and Instagram (15 seconds).

If you have audiences on these networks, then you give your video the chance to reach them on the networks they use the most. If you don’t have an audience just yet, you can go with the second option.

2. Paid Promotion

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have paid advertising solutions that can help you reach your target audience with your new video. Facebook will likely have the most reach for videos targeting both businesses and consumers, whereas LinkedIn is best for those who are looking to reach businesses. Twitter’s targeting options, while improved, are not as defined as Facebook or LinkedIn, but can help you reach Twitter users via Promoted Tweets.

The key to paid promotion on social networks is knowing who you are targeting and why. Are you targeting a large audience just to help make the video viral, or are you specifically targeting potential customers of the product or service you are advertising? Make sure you know your goal before starting a paid advertising campaign so you can target your video promotion accordingly.

Blogger Outreach

Want to get people talking about your video? Then reach out to bloggers in related niches. You can use Google to find blogs that have shared similar videos, sites like Alltop that list the top blogs covering topics from A to Z, or tools like Pitchbox or GroupHigh to find bloggers in specific verticals.

The key to blogger outreach is to make it personal. While you can get results from cut and paste templates, you’ll get more valuable results with influential bloggers by crafting a personalised email that shows you know who they are (address them by first name) and you know what their audience likes (include a reason such as “Your audience liked the video from ____, so I’d be they’d like our video on ____ as well.”).

Press Release Distribution & Journalist Outreach

To tap into major publishers and news networks, you will want to write up a quick press release for your video. Press distribution networks like PRWeb and PR Newswire can help you increase your video’s exposure significantly.

For an even more targeted approach to reaching journalists, reaching out via social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus can be effective. You may only get one chance to get this right so make sure you’ve done your pre-game research into what the journalists you’re targeting look for and enjoy writing about.

There are several tools available to help making social network searching more precise. We recommend Followerwonk, which allows you to search Twitter bios for the keywords you’d like within a certain location. E.g. “real estate journalist” in Sydney.

Twitter bio search using Followerwonk

Video Promotion 101 Wrap-Up

Viral videos don’t just happen – people make them happen. There are plenty of ways to help your video go the extra mile in terms of promotion. Be sure to try these strategies with your next motion picture to help them reach the largest audience possible!