5 Tips on Using Video from the Top Video Services on Your Business Blog

When it comes to sharing videos on your blog, you don’t have to be a pro cameraman or have a film archive. Business bloggers shouldn’t overlook the top video sites to source videos for their blog. The best videos are those that help communicate your own message without directing viewers to your competition.  

When you start searching for video,  it’s likely you’ll be surprised by what’s already available online that matches your blog’s communicate points.  You may find videos of products you sell and even videos posted on traditional media websites that feature you!  I have blogging clients who found and use videos of nationally known experts who support their position on an issue, while others post their own television appearances and  interviews on their blogs.
How to get started? Follow these 5 tips to start finding and sharing online video.

1.       Search the top video sites.  When you search YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Veoh  you will find videos that can be shared on your blog. If a video can be shared there is an “embed” code readily available on the page where you are viewing the video.

2.       Look at how the video is set up. Since videos are posted by all levels of expertise, use your judgment—carefully weigh if the title and still image people see before launching the video, will complement your blog’s message.

3.       Calculate whether the video conflicts with your marketing. Watch the whole video to be sure from beginning to end its consistent with what you want to communicate on your website or blog.  You may decide against using the video if it directs viewers to a competitor or projects a philosophy that conflicts with your business. Some video have ads at the beginning while other have them at the end, so watch the whole thing to see where viewers are referred by ads and links. Be sure you are comfortable with these links.

4.       Check the dimensions.  Most video services give the user the ability to set the dimensions of the video for posting on the web. When you post a video, preview the post on your blog to be sure the video isn’t so large that it covers up features of your page or moves around page components.  If it’s too big for the page, simply reset the dimensions and embed again to keep the site tidy and looking good.

5.       Grab the URL.  In the browser window you’ll see the URL for the video. It begins with the video service address , like “http://www.youtube…”. Copy the entire URL and create a text link in your blog post. Your subscribers will love that they can click the link in their RSS feed to see the video.

Social Media: The Participation Plateau

There have been several articles lately about declining Facebook numbers.  Inside Facebook revealed that despite a record 7.8 million new users added in May, there was a huge June slump with only about 320,000 new members.  Does this mean that Facebook is on a decline?  Our opinion is a calculated “No”.  The usage numbers are better described as “The Participation Plateau.” The Plateau effect occurs over time as users’ interests and lives demand change. The plateau also explains the complaint we often hear from users in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s—they just don’t have enough time to Facebook.

To understand how Facebook has plateaued, it’s important to understand the composition of users.  Teen and twenty-something users were the first to convert to Facebook.  Inside Facebook statistics show that this segment still makes up about 50% of all Facebook users. If you look at usage amongst 18 to 44 year olds, this larger group comprises about 75% of all users.

PEW Internet , studying the use of Social Media by Generation Y, concludes “by 2020 Generation Y … will have ‘grown out’ of much of their use of social networks.” Yes, in ten years these users will have aged from their teens and twenties into their thirties when family and career demands will dramatically increase in their lives.  Simple logic explains that increased life demands diminish the time allotted for Social Media.

Social Media usage, particularly Facebook, is divided between reading and posting. Youthful users check their news feeds, post their status, and comment on their friend’s status more frequently than other age groups.  They have time to click and explore and share events and news among their friends and followers.  When full time work and family replace schooling, less time is available, so these activities shift as users age into more demanding lives. This also explains why retired users are increasing quickly – freed up from career demands, they have more time available for social media pursuits.

Even with a dramatic 96% plummet in new user growth between May and June of 2010, Facebook usage is not slowing down.  And Facebook, like other Social Media, is not going away. It could be that Facebook is finally reaching the top level of interested people with computer access and this kind of plateau is part of any normal business cycle.  While the numbers may fluctuate, new users are still coming into Facebook.

So if you have teeter-tottering about the value of getting active in Social Media we still recommend this highly valuable marketing method to stay in touch with customers and prospects, as well as being a fun social outlet!

Inside Facebook: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/07/06/facebooks-june-2010-us-traffic-by-age-and-sex-users-aged-18-44-take-a-break-2/

PEW Internet: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Future-of-Millennials/Overview.aspx?r=1

“I’m Ready for YouTube. Now I just Need Some Video!”

When was the last time you priced a videographer? If it was for your wedding or your off-spring’s, you may feel you can’t afford video for your website. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a production. The video for your website can be fast, fun, and very affordable.

There’s an app for that. Really. If you’ve got a video camera on your phone or any other handheld device, you’ve got a camera and the means to get you on YouTube. 2G iPhone users can download an app for video in a format ready for YouTube. Know what you’re going to say because this swift little camera also picks up audio!

Use the buddy-system. If you’re doing an event or attending a large venue, buddy up with a vendor or customer to share the cost of professional lighting and videotaping. You may find the opportunity to partner with several people to share the costs and get several videos to use on your website and your vendor and customer sites too. How’s that for social media?

Crank out the photos. You don’t even need video. That’s right, you don’t need footage to have an impactful video. Services like Animoto (http://animoto.com) can take your digital photos or scanned photos and turn them into a video that can be used on your website or YouTube.

At Design to Spec we have plenty of web savvy ideas to help you into the age of online video. We know that video is one of the hottest social media trends and will help you find the easiest way to leverage it’s marketing power.

Workshop: Secrets of Successful Interviewing

Who knows the secrets? Penny Pearlman is the author of  Pretty Smart:  Lessons from Our Miss Americas

What does Penny know? I tracked down and seduced 22 former Miss Americas into talking with me about how to be a winner in any field.”

Interviewing skills are invaluable for obtaining the kind of stories and information that adds color to fiction, non-fiction and news articles.  Getting the most interesting stories and comments from interview subjects is an art. 

When: 7 pm – 9 pm, May 12, 2010

Where:  The Editing Company  at  933 Post Road,  Westport, CT

 Telephone: 1-203-454-4522

 Cost:       $20

Registration: tish@theeditingcompany.com