If you’ve ever made an online video before, you know the level of work that goes into it. But creating a compelling video is just the beginning of the process. Getting your video seen—and by the right people—takes just as much work, if not more.
Crossing your fingers that your video will “go viral” is a bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you learn absolutely nothing about what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some ideas for distributing and promoting your video online.
1. Optimize Your Video for the Web
If your video was made for an event, it might not fly online. Repurpose your video for the web by making it short and to the point, and by including a call to action. If you’re making a video for online use, consider how you’ll distribute the video before you make it. Building the distribution into the video itself may inform what kind of video you make.
2. Recruit Your Email List
When you link to your video in an email, include a screenshot of the video in a video player to raise interest. Ask your supporters to share the video with their friends and give specific instructions about what you want them to do—email a link, post to Facebook, leave a comment.
3. Get It On Your Site
This is an obvious one, but many organizations don’t know where to put their video. If you have enough content, you might consider creating a Video or Media section on your site. Otherwise, connect your video to other relevant content on your site, like a popular article or a call to action.
4. Create Relevant Tags
Tagging is crucial for SEO because it includes some of the only metadata that will help get your video into search engines. Look at your site analytics and determine which keywords people are using to find your content, then use some of those as tags. Also look at other videos in your field and see which tags they’re using.
5. Don’t Stop at YouTube
YouTube is by far the biggest video-sharing site, but it’s not the only one. Create accounts on sites like Blip.tv, DoGooderTV, Vimeo, Veoh, Viddler, and Metacafe to extend your reach. Besides serving as a hosting solution, those video sites also function as active communities where users discover new content. Sites like TubeMogul allow you to update and manage many different accounts effortlessly.
6. Reach Out to Bloggers
Find bloggers passionate about your issue and share your video with them. Bloggers are constantly searching for engaging content, and a video makes their lives a lot easier. Frame the video around a campaign or story from inside your organization.
7. Talk About it Offline
Your video may live online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t promote it offline. Talk about your video at conferences, show it at your next event, or include an easy to remember URL on your next mailing.
8. Run Online Ads
Truth is, sometimes you have to pay for distribution. If you have a Google Grant, try running a Google ad campaign around your video. It’s not the most cost-effective solution for every organization, but it’s absolutely worth testing.
9. Link Link Link
Consider all your touch points and include a video link when possible. That means putting it in your email signature, posting on Facebook and Twitter, including it in your next byline, and sharing it in forums, online communities, and comments.
This article was written by Elliot Greenberger, the Communications Manager at See3 Communications, a firm that provides interactive media and marketing to nonprofit organizations. To learn more, sign up for their free webinar, “Crafting a Nonprofit Video Strategy” on August 26th.