Sunday, September 30, 2012

Using Video to Get More Traffic to Your Website

One thing that has happened over the past couple of years is the dramatic increase in the popularity of video on the web. This has happened as more and more people get faster and faster connections and video compression, hosting, capture and marketing capabilities have improved.
So, as a marketer, what can you do to integrate video into your site and how can you use video marketing to get more traffic to your website?
That's what this article is all about...
The Quickest Easiest Way To Create Video
There are tons of video cameras out there in the marketplace, and as time goes by they are getting easier and easier to use. However, of all the fun and easy cameras I've seen, there is one that stands head and shoulders about the rest, and that is the FLIP camera by PureDigital. You can find them by doing a search on Google, and I have to tell you that once you get one and start using it, you're going to get addicted!
The FLIP is perfect because you have so little that can go wrong. It has a big red button that you punch to start and stop recording, a little video screen to monitor what you're filming, a great built in mic that captures the sound, and that's pretty much it. Push the button, point the camera like a point and shoot digital still camera and you're shooting video! Pretty simple, huh?
Getting Your Video Onto Your Computer
Video capture, getting it from the camera to your computer, can be a hassle with some cameras, which is another huge advantage of the FLIP. The FLIP has a button you push and wooooosh, out pops a USB connector that you can plug directly into any available USB slot on your computer. And... voila, you are connected.
Transferring Your Video To Your Computer
Having plugged your FLIP camera into your USB slot on your computer, now you just open like any other external hard drive and copy the files over to your computer. Easy as pie.
Editing Your Videos
You can edit your videos using the software that comes with the FLIP camera, but I prefer to do it using video editing software that already comes installed on your Windows computer. Go to your Start Menu and under programs look for MovieMaker. It's a very cool, east-to-use program that you can figure out how to work without a manual and you can use it to cut, split, add titles and do other cool stuff to your videos.
There are other video editing programs out there. You can download a free copy of Vegas as a trial download from Sony's website, and Adobe makes a great video editing solution that includes timelines, tele-prompters, stock music and other goodies. It's called Visual Communicator (silly name, but great software) and it can give you a really polished look. But, hey, I like free stuff, so for me MovieMaker works just fine.
For you Mac types, there's iMovie, which is the bomb diggity MacIntish editing software for ease of use and lack of high cost.
Once you have your video shot, captured and edited, what's next?
Pushing Your Video To The World
After you have your video in the format you want it in, the next step is to get it out to the world so everyone can see what an awesome director and videographer you are, oh, and also they can see your stuff and hopefully like it enough to want to go to your website and find out more about you and whatever you are marketing.
Of course, you can upload your videos to YouTube, and you definitely should. Word on the street is that a full 10% of all web traffic these days is going to YouTube. Even if you don't have the appeal of a video like "The History of Dance" (you have to search that one, it's amazing), or the intrigue of a skateboarding dog, you can still find your niche, and your viewership.
Be sure your video doesn't contain any inappropriate content (see the YouTube guidelines) and be sure that it is under 10 minutes in length. If you find your video is too long, just go into MovieMaker or iMovie and split it into two videos.
Follow the easy upload instructions on YouTube and as soon as it's uploaded and processed, you can start watching it online.

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