It’s no secret that YouTube is one of the greatest things to happen to the Internet since Mozilla Firefox. The world is YouTube-nutsy: a recent statistic revealed that 500 years’ worth of videos is watched on the site every single day!
Mind-bending time comparisons aside, YouTube has been a staple source of Internet lulz for many years in South Africa. We’ve all been called over to someone’s desk at work to watch one, and had them sent to us via phone and email. It’s a rare day indeed if you don’t spot a few YouTube videos in your Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Businesses have realised that missing the opportunity to post videos of their own is akin to missing the Ark departure, and many have started filming anything and everything in sight to get in on it.
But before you get trigger-happy with your handycam, do everything you can to get your video looking professional and share it with skill. It’s got to stand out, or it’ll be engulfed by the ocean of rubbish that’s uploaded every day.
• Some YouTube users are trolls of the lowest order, and they’ll quickly shoot your contribution to smithereens with brutal comments if you give them the chance. Get some honest feedback from friends, colleagues, family members, and your pharmacist before you upload your video.
• If you don’t have access to professional editing software, get to know the free YouTube Video Editor. You can use it to string different clips together, add background music or text, trim it down, and process it in HD. It’s no 20th Century Fox, but it’ll do in a pinch.
• This is arguably the most important tip of all: Keep it short! The average video is 4 minutes long, and anything longer has to be spectacular. Take a hacksaw to it and cut out every mere nanosecond of blah-ness.
• Did you know that YouTube is the number 2 search engine on the web? Use the right video tags to make sure your video will be found by your target audience. Remember that YouTube tags are single words, not phrases. Anticipate the words your target viewers are likely to search with, and combine them carefully.
• There are few things more skull-poundingly boring than watching a talking head. Integrate some movement and colour into your video with animations, or even just photo montages. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there talking, or else you may as well have created a podcast.
Remember to link your YouTube channel to your Facebook fan page and Twitter account for maximum exposure, and put a link to it on your blog and in your latest email newsletter. If you’re chatting on an online forum, embed it. Make it an extension of your arm.
Don’t be scared to flog it shamelessly, because it’s likely to be the single most popular piece of content you ever produce. And if all else fails, here’s a tip that won’t: try again!
Got any tips you’d like to add? – Inge