In this blog at Target Marketing Magazine, we answer a few of the questions from folks who attended our webinar on Oct. 24. There were hundreds who registered and tuned in, and Perry Alexander and I thank you for your interest and support. If you missed the webinar and want to take in a replay of it, follow this link. These are questions that we believe have the most relevance to our blog followers. There is no particular order for the questions. In some cases, the topics of the questions deserve more than just a quick answer in the time available here. With that in mind, questions related to SEO, YouTube, and production are going to be addressed in a series of blogs over the next few weeks where we analyze a great, free tool, called the YouTube Creator Playbook and interpret how direct marketers can use this information.
So let’s dive into the questions.
Here are two questions that we’ll answer together:
1. “Does embedding YouTube videos on your website have an impact on total YouTube video views? Should you rather encourage people to watch it on a YouTube Channel?”
2. “When we embed a video into a landing page using YouTube, do we make the video public and add several tags to outsiders to have access if they search and find the video on YouTube?”
We recommend that you embed your videos on YouTube on your website for a lot of good reasons, and that you do make them public. Among those reasons are the analytics. Another is the SEO value and adding keywords and tags will help you. YouTube will tell you where the traffic to your video came from, that is, from YT video embedded in your website, referrals from another site, or organically on YouTube.
3. “How regularly would you suggest posting new videos? Once a week, twice a week, something else?”
Most important is to be consistent. If you have changing content, perhaps it’s once a week or once every couple of weeks. Set a day or publishing schedule. Most importantly, be consistent, and promote the fact that you post new video at that frequency.
4. “If sending an email containing video, does it warrant mentioning the video within the subject line?”
First, emails shouldn’t literally have a video embedded in it. While it can be done, not every email client or service can handle it. But if you have a thumbnail in your email that when clicks goes to a landing page where your video resides, then I’d test using the word “Video” in the subject line to see if it lifts your open rate.
5. “In regular direct marketing, humor is discouraged. Does that hold true for video, assuming good taste and wittiness?”
Using humor is still filled with potholes. There is risk you’ll offend or fall flat, rather than bring out a laugh. You have more leeway with video to use humor, but it seems still a risky path when you have other, less risky options. But, if you can turn a phrase and make it humorous, wink your eye at the right moment, or be light-hearted, if it enhances the video presentation, use it. If it seems a risk, then don’t.
6. “What if the person on the video isn’t a very good speaker?”
That can be a challenge. There are many CEOs of organizations that have done great jobs of being their own spokesperson. But not everyone can pull it off. I find myself from time-to-time coaching the person – a client – when I’m recording them. As that coach, I help put them at ease and bring out enthusiasm. Mostly we want authenticity. But if the person you are recording isn’t cutting it after some period, then you need to find other talent. Which, of course, raises another issue, and that’s if the person you’re recording is your client and if they didn’t do so well, you owe it to them to explain that you may have to find someone else to record.
7. “We are a B2B service provider. We have videos on nearly all of our pages on our website. Do you think they should auto-play or let the visitor decide to watch?”
First, congratulations on having videos on most pages of your website. As for auto-play, that’s a dicey situation, in our judgment. On my own website I have several videos, but none of them auto-play because it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do. We suggest that on your interior pages of your website that you let the visitor be in control. If seeing the video on your Home Page can really engage immediately, consider making just that one auto-play. But let your years of experience, along with a candid self-evaluation of your video, help you decide.
8. “Should we use a talking head or more of a slideshow with narration?”
Given that I’m a bit of a talking head on this blog, and you’re seeing text or images to one side of me from time-to-time, we really encourage you to use a person on camera. A human being, looking into the camera and connecting with another human being, is far more effective in making a human connection and building trust with a real person, and not a faceless entity. In fact, with our own videos we’ve produced, we find much greater audience retention when I’m on the screen from the start to the finish. So really, the question to ask yourself is this: would you rather watch a person, or scrolling words on a screen?
9. “With lead generation, how short a video would be successful, less than 15 seconds?”
It’s tough to generalize too much, but lead generation messages are often shorter. Yet, you have a story to tell and emotion to build so you achieve the call to action you’re seeking. Generally, we suggest that your lead generation be long enough to engage the viewer, build trust and anticipation, and move to your call-to-action—and not a moment longer. It’s not so much about length, but about the tightness of your story and edits. We suggest you go back to our October 17 blog titled How long should a video be? to get the full story.
10. “Do you concern yourselves that using Vimeo or YouTube channels for archived or embedded videos could result in Vimeo or YouTube arbitrarily removing the videos?”
YouTube and Vimeo do have the right to remove your videos, for copyright infringement or inappropriateness, according to their standards. But the occurrence is rare, and as long as your videos are complying with their Terms of Service, you should have nothing to worry about. Let’s face it, the value of having your video there far exceeds the risk it will be deleted.
11. “What is the best way to include a call-to-action in a YouTube video?”
There are multiple calls-to-action you can include on YouTube—it’s not just to “buy now!” You can also ask for comments, and YouTube gives you the ability to create annotations (that is, buttons or messages on screen that appear at times you control). We’ll get into this subject in a future blog post.
Finally, several of our viewers asked questions related to pointers for cameras, lighting, microphones, editing software, and related production questions. That’s a whole series of blog posts that we will dive into in the future. For now, though, It will be most efficient if you contact us directly and we’ll get a list of those resources sent to you.
By all means, post your questions and comments below on this blog or own our YouTube Channel. That will help guide us to know what’s of greatest interest for future posts.
Watch in the weeks ahead as we dive deeper into some of these topics as we interpret opportunities for direct marketers from the YouTube Creator Playbook. We promise you’re going to learn a lot.