It seems everyone is trying to earn income from the Web. There are several ways to leverage the Internet to find clients, make a name for yourself and sell your wares.
Developing a marketing strategy is crucial to the success of your online video business. Figure out how you will put your videos out there so that people will be able to see them. Once you find a way to do this, you've accomplished one of the most important aspects in making a profit through online video.
People look online for everything. If they searched for your video production business, would they find you there? If not, make sure that they do. Learn to create your own website or blog, and do a bit of search engine optimization (SEO) so you'll be found through Bing, Google, Yahoo or other searches. Include text and keyword descriptions, such as "online video" and "video production," so search engines can find your site. Link to other websites. Start a YouTube or Vimeo channel. The more you link to other sites the more you're going to see your position rise. Put your business demo reel there and then place a link to it on your site or blog.
Another good place to list your video services is on craigslist. It's free, and it's one of the first places people check out for all sorts of services from plumbers to hair stylists. If you are a service providing videographer or a video production company, you should be on craigslist, too.
The Yellow Pages aren't just a telephone directory anymore. Sign your production company up with www.yellowpages.com and similar online directories like www.servicemagic.com and www.yelp.com and other companies that service just your local area. Look at what other companies are listed locally, along with production companies, and if you shoot weddings or events, make sure you get listed on their sites, too. Do some online video marketing strategy research to find out what works in your market.
Share your Work
Let's face it. Your video production business is your livelihood - your pride and joy. As the owner, you want to tell the world all about your business and generate clients. There is no better way to do that than with an online video presentation about your business which, at the same time, can show prospective clients the quality of your work. When you share videos online, include scenes that will showcase the services that you provide, such as wedding productions, corporate videos or product demonstrations. Show video testimonials from real clients, and, if you add a "share" feature next to your video, people who like what they see, will be able to quickly share your video on social media sites like Digg, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter and others. Remember, you don't have to post entire videos, just a sampling of your work, even a watermarked video or one with a lower resolution can pique their interest. If they like it, they should find an easy way to follow up with you - make sure your name and email are loud and clear.
But why wait for others to share your video on Facebook? Take matters into your own hands and create your very own Facebook business page. There, you can not only post your business demo reel, but also post clips with samples of videos you have produced for clients and products.
YouTube is full of online video presentations from video producers and production companies trying to develop an online video marketing strategy that will get people to notice them and their work. Many video producers and production companies have their own YouTube channels where people can go to check out their online videos and what their business is all about. If you post a demo reel, prospective clients can get a glimpse of the quality of your work. Set up your website or blog so that users of Vimeo and YouTube can share your videos with their Facebook and Twitter friends.
If a picture paints a thousand words, video paints a thousand words and then some. There is no better marketing strategy that will show the world what your business and your products are all about than moving pictures and sound in the form of online videos.
Grow a Following
When you create your very own YouTube channel, you can grow a following of peers or viewers who like your videos. The same goes for Facebook. Gather as many Facebook friends as you can. Add them to your marketing strategy. Let them spread the word about your video business through connections within social media sites. Are your customers happy? They'll likely do the work for you by creating a buzz about your video services, much like you'll read emails from close friends and family before you read email from a company you've never worked with.
Another way to grow a following is to start your own blog. Post demo reels and other online videos your company has produced. Ask people to comment and share their thoughts and ideas. Create a community that will give you feedback about your business and your online videos. Become friends with your followers. Invite them to post their own videos on your blog. This is a good way to not only gain followers, but to also make friends with them.
The Web is also a superb option for distributing your work. With a little bit of technical knowledge, you can deliver your produced online videos directly from a download. Because this can be accomplished instantly, potential clients can see samples of your online videos right away without having to wait for the postal service to deliver them on DVD.
YouTube is one of many sites that pays you if you get lots of clicks. Let's say a company wants to advertise their services on your YouTube channel, website or blog. Whenever visitors to your channel or site click on their ad, you get paid by YouTube simply for bringing viewers to the host site. Post online videos that generate a large enough audience and soon you'll be contacted by large corporations about running their ads next to your videos and you'll find you're earning rather than paying to be online! Some people are making big money using this as a marketing strategy.
Chris Pirillo, who has the LockerGnome channel on YouTube, has been using this marketing strategy for years to profit from his online videos. On his YouTube channel, he posts videos about technology. His following is so large that he now has ads on his online videos from top companies who will pay him top dollar every time someone clicks on their ads.
Another example of how online video can be a verifiable marketing strategy is Rhett and Link. Rhett and Link are a couple of childhood buddies who started a business producing online videos for clients and then posting them. They have created online videos for top corporations, including McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Taco Bell. They have been so successful at it that they have now branched into filmmaking, as well as creating an original video series for NBC Universal and TV Guide.
Video Resumes and Actor Reels
The competition is fierce in today's job market. That's why it's good to stand out above the rest. With an online video résumé your client will be able to find you before your competition. If you decide to get into the market of making video résumés for clients, post a video résumé showing clips of several résumés on your website or Facebook page, with your subject's permission of course. This will help spark more requests for this type of service from potential clients.
Similarly, actor reels, are another marketing strategy which will give an actor an edge over all other contenders. Actors and on-camera talent need a way to showcase their specialties. If you provide this service, post an actor's video reel on your site or channel to show other on-camera talent that you provide this service. You can even add a heading to the video of how many job offers the actor has received since you produced his or her online actor reel. Or, even better, a real testimonial from the actor, telling of how he/she could not have landed that special role without the help of your online video reel.
Show Me the Money!
The Web is full of ways to make a profit online. If you are a video producer you already have the skills and know-how to create a top quality video. All that's left to do is to put it out there in the form of an online video. Aim for Pay-Per-Click ads to generate even more cash from top corporations.
People tend to remember what they "see" better and longer than what they read or hear. This is why online video is such a powerful marketing strategy and one you should use if you are running an video production company. With online video as a marketing strategy, you can show people your work and make money at the same time. How cool is that!
Teresa Echazabal is a freelance video editor, writer, and producer.