How to Launch Your First Online Course!

Are you ready to create a course but don’t know where to start? Follow this simple process and you will get your course done in no time flat! 

Step 1: Define your Marketing Position 

Ever heard the story that if you have a day to cut down a tree you should spend 7 hours sharpening your ax and one hour cutting down the tree? That is exactly what this step is!

Before getting started creating 300+ power point slides and 20 fillable PDFs, make sure you identify WHO your course is for and what result (transformation) they are going to get or achieve after taking your course. Here are some questions you should be able to answer:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Who is not our audience?
  • What are their hopes, desires, dreams?
  • What are their fears, frustrations, & pain points?
  • What results do they want? What transformation will your course give them?
  • Who are your competitors? 
  • What have they tried and why hasn’t it worked?
  • How can you solve the problem better?

Answer these questions in detail and everything else you do will be easier.

Step 2: Map Out Your Modules 

The biggest mistake in course creation is trying to teach too much.  You are an expert in your area and you have a burning desire to help people so naturally you want to give them all of the information they need to be successful. Unfortunately this is a losing proposition. If you give away too much information and create a 25 hour course, most people will never finish watching all of the videos, and even less will take action.

You can solve this by giving away just enough information to keep it high level, and use weekly live coaching calls to fill in the gaps. (Which can also be recorded, transcribed, and uploaded as bonus content to your members area!) 

A good structure I have found, is this: 

  • A course has 6 modules of about one hour each. 
  • Each module has 6 lessons of about 10 minutes each.

That means that a course will have about 6 hours total of content and it will be laid out in an easy to consume format! 

What I have found that is also very helpful, is to write out a bullet point for each lesson in a “sales language” format so that I can use those bullet points on the sales page. 

Step 3: Write Your Sales Page 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the next step is not to record your course, but to write your sales page. This will help you to further narrow down what you are going to be teaching and make sure that the course you have in mind is actually an appealing offer. 

After writing your sales page you can add it to your site, let people know that it is currently closed but they can join the wait list, and start capturing leads. This is a great way to also gauge interest for a course before you go to all the work of building it!

Step 4: Record Your First Module or Pre-Training Material 

You don’t make money in draft mode! Get your first module done or pre-training material ready and then get ready to sell! If you are doing this for the first time and will be doing live coaching calls as you move through your course, you are going to be able to customize your training for your students. Each week let them know what you are going to be teaching the next week and ask them what their biggest questions are related to that topic. Guess what! You now have your lessons mapped out for you! Take their questions and incorporate them into your lessons and your content will create itself. 

Step 5: Time to Sell

Don’t let that course sit on your virtual shelf too long. Once you have done steps 1-4, get busy selling! 

What questions do you have about course creation? Let me know in the comments below!

The Guide to Instagram for Video Marketing

Instagram video marketing

You’ve probably heard of Instagram or are maybe even using it to share images. But did you know Instagram can also be used to create videos you can share. Instagram is fast and fun way to freely share the memorable moments in your life.

Instagram video lets you take a video and transform how it looks with several built in filter effects. You can instantly post those videos with your friends and family and to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare.

Instagram is an app available for both Android and iOS systems.

How to install Instagram

If you haven’t already installed Instagram, it just takes a few simple clicks.

Begin by going to Instagram.com. Download the Instagram app for your iPhone/iPad from the App Store or download if for your Android in Google Play. Click on the install button.

Once you have the app installed on your device, tap it to open. Register your account and fill out the profile. Click done.

How to Record a Video

You can begin recording video almost immediately after you download the app.

To record a video, tap the blue button at the bottom of the app and then tap the video button to switch from camera to video.

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Press and hold the camera button to begin recording. When you are done recording lift your finger from the video button to stop recording.

Tap Next to add a filter and share your videos your videos. You can add your cover clip by moving the Choose Cover Frame slider to where you want it. Press the green arrow to save it.

Now you are ready to share your video.

Sharing

Sharing videos on Instagam doesn’t have to be with new videos. You can share videos that you’ve previously recorded on your phone.

Upload a video from your phone to Instagram, by tapping the camera icon at the bottom of the app on your phone. Tap the video camera icon to switch from camera to video.

Tap the box in the bottom-right corner to show your phone’s video album.  Choose the video you want to upload. (On the iPhone, you need to tap the Next at the top.)

Choose the 15-seconds of the video you want to share by putting your finger on the video strip along the bottom and them sliding it to the left. This lets you set where you clip starts playing.

Drag the blue slider bar across the top of the video strip to set where your video clip will end.

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Tap Add on the iPhone or the green next arrow at the top on the Android.

Sign into your social media account if needed, and click done.

For iPhone, you can combine more than one clip together to make a single 15 second video. Go back to your phone’s video album and repeat the steps or record a new clip from the app.

Marketing Idea

Use Instagram to create How-to tips and demos of your products. You’re an expert in your product or field. Show samples of your expertise to tease your audience into wanting to see more.

Get your audience excited and involved in your brand by offering them a contest to enter.

Add a Filter to Video

There are several filters you can use to make your videos stand out.

After your video is recorded, tap Next. There is Maven, Gingham, Ginza Skyline, Dogpach, Brooklyn, Moon, Helena, Asby, and Charmes available at this time. Select the one you like, tap Next to continue on to the share screen.

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Marketing Tip

Instagram videos can be up to 15 seconds long. In comparison to the Vine app which is only 6 seconds long, you can create a quick promotion that showcases different elements of your business such as a special offer, a new product, the footage from an upcoming event or even a live video of your tradeshow or conference booth.

Or how about showing the daily work life of your brand or business.

Short, 15 second bursts of video capture interest and hold short attention.

To get your point across in the brief videos while keeping your audience’s attention, focus on images and create quick, interesting headlines.

Miscellaneous Tips

Previous clips can be deleted by tapping the X and then tapping the trash can to confirm you want to delete.

Take multiple clips by lifting your finger off the record icon during the recording process. This pauses the recording. Tap and hold the button again when you are ready to move to the next clip.

The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 come with the built in Cinema feature that allows you to stabilize your video after you have taken it.

Sound                                                                       

Sound can be set to play instantly or be turned off by default on your Instagram videos.

On the iPhone/iPad, adjust the setting by going into your profile by tapping the speaker in the bottom corner. Tap gear/settings icon in the right corner to access your settings. Swipe down and tap Mute. Choose to always play with sound or to turn sound on and off with your ringer switch.

5-dotsOn your Android, adjust the settings by going to your profile page and tapping the speaker icon in the bottom corner. Tap the three vertical dots icon in the top-right corner.

Swipe down to the sound setting. Tap the setting to turn the sound on or off.

If the sound is off you can turn it on for individual videos simply by tapping the top right of the

You’re already using Instagram photo to share images. Now you can use Instagram to create videos to share. Instagram is a fun and creative way to freely share what is happening in your life and business.

The Vine Way – How to Use this Popular App for Video Marketing

Vine

Vine is a mobile service that lets you create and share short looping videos. The Posts on Vine are short little windows showing the lives of people, the settings, ideas and objects you find in your life every day. They can be fun and quirky or seriously businesslike.

Vine is a part of Twitter, so using the app is easy and free to install. It lets you instantly post your videos on Vine and quickly share to Facebook, Twitter and many other social media sites. Any videos you post to Vine appears on your profile and in your followers’ timelines.

You can find, follow and interact with others on Vine while exploring trending posts, editor’s picks and featured hashtags.

Install App

2-deviceInstalling the Vine app to your mobile device is easy to do. Go to Vine.co and click on the “Get it on Google Play” for android devices or “Download on the App Store” for iOS devices.

You’re taken to the Permissions page where you see what the app has access to. Choose your device from the list. Any devices you own show up here. Click ”Install”.

You have just installed Vine to your device.

Getting Started

Now that you have it installed on your device, sign in with your Twitter account or you can use an email address.

If you use an email address you will need to enter your name, the email address and a password.

If you sign up with Twitter, you will need to enter your name.

Now that you are logged in you can go to your feed of people your follow, activity of what you are doing, explore other people’s videos, or go to your profile.

Adding Video

To add video, tap the “Activity” tab. Your first time you open this, you won’t have any videos here. To create a video, tap the camera icon at the top of your menu bar.

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Tap and hold the screen to record a normal 6 second video.

The 2 arrows at the bottom of your screen switches your camera from front to back.

Tap the grid option at the bottom to help frame your shot perfectly. The focus button (the target icon) lets you pinpoint an object in the frame.

The ghost icon allows Vine users to create stop-motion videos. Tap the ghost function and a small ghost shows in the last frame of your video and stays on the screen so you can perfectly line up you next shot according to where you left off.

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When you upload a Vine video add a category by pressing the new button below the add location.

Marketing with Vine Tips

Vine tipsUse Vine to motivate your customers to contribute by reaching out to them and asking them to submit their ideas about a specific idea you give them.

Take advantage of Vine and Twitters alignment to show off your campaign hashtags, letting people know about new products or services.

Take people behind the scenes of your brand. Give them a chance to see the environment behind of your business. This works great for covering events and conferences you attend.

Put your product in motion. Vine’s stop-motion video function is perfect for showing off your product. For example, if you a food brand, make your food fun by playing with it or if your brand is fashion, play dress up with your products.

Give your customers a sneak peek of a giveaway item. Post a quick clip of what they could win in an upcoming giveaway you are promoting.

Finding People

Quickly find people you already know who are on Vine by using your device’s address book and on Twitter for the people you follow. You can search for people on Vine or invite others through text message or email to join you on Vine.

Tap the menu button at the top left corner of your Vine App. Select “Profile” and then tap on the two people at the top right corner.

Finding Posts to Follow

Use the Explore section to find videos on the Vine community. Tap the “Explore” icon at the top of your menu bar. You can choose either “Popular Now” or “On the Rise” posts, Vine Channels and Trending Tags. Select specific people or hashtags here as well.

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On the rise posts are recently uploaded posts that are getting a lot of shares.

Channels are particular categories that include art, comedy, cats, dogs, family food, health and fitness, nature, beauty and fashion, music, special effects, news and politics, sports, urban and weird.

Term to know: Revining– sharing other people’s posts with all of your followers in one simple tap.

Sharing

Vine posts can be shared to Twitter or Facebook from your profile settings. Add a Twitter account or Facebook account under the Social Networks tab.

To share a video you posted to Vine onto Twitter or Facebook, tap the Share button (it’s the arrow pointing up and to the right) shown under your post. Select Twitter or Facebook to share it along with a caption of some kind.

Sharing someone’s Vine post can be done as long as the user hasn’t protected their posts from being shared.

Embed Vine Post

A public Vine post can be embedded on your website.  Tap the “Share” button below the Vine post. Tap “Embed”. You will get an email with the embed link.

Security

Your posts will naturally be defaulted as public and can be viewed and shared by anyone on Vine. Vine allows set the protection your posts. You control who sees your posts, meaning only people you approve to follow you can see them. If you protect your posts, you are the only one who can share them to Twitter or Facebook.

To protect your post, go to your Profile tab. Select Settings and then Your Content. Check the Posts are protected button. This will apply to all your posts.

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More Tips

You must deliver a clear message within 6-seconds. Use time lapse to all the required elements of your story. Highlight your products or services in a smooth flowing clip.

Make every second count to show your personality. Show creativity, uniqueness and originality but be authentic.

Showcase your content by creating a video teaser for a new eBook, blog post or book. Include visual elements that visually showcase your product and engage viewers.

Vine is an excellent mobile service to add to your video marketing plan. It lets you create and share short looping videos. The Posts on Vine are short little windows showing the lives of people, the settings, ideas and objects you find in your life every day. The videos can be fun and quirky or seriously businesslike.

How to Incorporate Video to Your Marketing Strategy

3-videoOnline video’s popularity has grown exponentially in a short time, thanks to video sharing sites such as YouTube.  The increasing availability of high-speed Internet has also had a hand in making video so popular, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. More than 1 billion unique users each month to the site shows us we need to pay attention. Add to that, including video on your website can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience.

Live streaming video is a great tool for online tutors and others who can benefit from a high level of interaction with their visitors or customers.  It makes it possible for you to communicate in real time, do live demonstrations, and answer questions with ease.  For your audience, it’s the next best thing to being there with you.

Recorded video can also be a tremendous asset to your website.  It’s much easier than you might think to make professional-looking videos to showcase your products and services.  Your site visitors can watch these videos at their convenience, and if they like them they will often recommend them to friends and colleagues.  For added exposure, you could make your videos available for embedding with YouTube or another video sharing service.

Ways to Use Video

Video is a very versatile medium, and it can be used in a number of ways.  Here are some ideas:

* Make viral videos.  These are usually entertaining clips that include a plug for your business and appeal to a broad audience.  As a promotional method, viral video is not usually very targeted, but it can result in a huge amount of exposure at a relatively low cost.

* Hold online video conferences.  These provide an unparalleled way to reach out to your target audience. You can use tools like Google+ Hangouts to easily hold your online events.

* Make how-to videos. Create them on topics relevant to your website’s subject matter.  Providing informative video content will generate buzz about your website, potentially resulting in an increase in traffic.  It will also help you establish yourself as an expert.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sharing Sites

 stop sign

YouTube site makes it easy for anyone to upload videos to share with anyone with a computer who cares to watch them, and it provides viewers with a wealth of entertainment and education opportunities. It’s easy to do with a mobile phone, from your computer or just about any device. Sharing your videos on YouTube and other sites definitely has some advantages.

YouTube’s immense popularity can potentially result in lots of people viewing your videos.  If they find videos they like, they can embed them onto their own sites or blogs.  That will result in an even greater audience, and some of them may choose to embed your video on their sites as well.  You can see why some marketers love the idea of video sharing.

There are, however, some disadvantages to putting your videos on sites such as YouTube as well.  One of the biggest concerns of marketers is that video sharing doesn’t require users to come to your site to view the videos.  That means that while your videos may be wildly popular, they might result in very little traffic to your site.  It’s important to give viewers an incentive to visit your site once they are finished watching the video. Alternatively, you can change your videos’ settings so that they can’t be viewed on the YouTube site or embedded elsewhere, but that will limit your viewership.

Make sure you use YouTube’s handy tools to include promotions in your videos, clickable links and more. This will help bring more of your YouTube watchers back to your own site.

The sheer power and excellent features of YouTube likely outweigh and concerns you might have.

Embedding Video from Your Own Server

Video1

Those who do not like the idea of uploading their videos to sites such as YouTube can upload them to their servers and embed them from there.  This gives you more control over your videos and ensures there is no “YouTube” logo on your videos.

But before you jump into that, it’s important to remember that video files are usually very large.  Making them available directly from your server can take up valuable file storage space, and it can also drain your bandwidth.  When you upload videos to a video sharing site and embed them from there, you use that site’s storage space and bandwidth.

Whether you should upload video to a video sharing site and embed from there or keep it on your own server depends on several factors.  If you don’t mind having another website’s name pasted on your videos and don’t want to overtax your server, video sharing could be the best option.  But if you want to ensure that users have to come to your site to see your videos and prefer not to provide free advertising for a video sharing site, hosting your own videos might be the best way to go.

Getting Started With Sony Vegas

 

video6

Sony Vegas is an all-purpose industrial grade video editor. It runs extremely fast and has a wide variety of export formats. It’s relatively easy to learn (compared to FinalCut or Adobe Premier.) If your main purpose is editing simple web videos or DVDs, you can learn everything you need to know about Vegas in under a week.

Its only drawback is that it lacks sound editing, which needs to be done in external software like Audacity. It doesn’t have many special-effects type of filters and is primarily a video editing program, not a motion graphics program.

All that said, Sony Vegas is a great all around pick for video editing. Here’s a basic guide to using Sony Vegas.

 

Step 1: Understanding the Interface

A good understanding of Vegas’ interface is imperative for being able to edit efficiently. Here’s the basic layout of Vegas’ interface.

1-Layout-Guide

1) Media Box. This is where you can view your existing media, add new media, manage transitions or effects.

2) Volume Bar. This is where you adjust how loud or quiet the volume is. It also allows you to watch the sound levels visually while previewing a video.

3) Toolbar. Select what kind of tools you’re using to edit your video.

4) Preview Box. Play the video and see how it’ll look after it’s rendered in this box.

5) Timeline. Move forwards and backwards in time in your video. This is where the majority of your editing work will take place.

 

Step 2: Importing Media

In order to edit video, you first need to import video into Vegas. Do this by browsing for media either in Windows Explorer, or in Vegas’ built in explorer.

2-Importing-Media

Anytime you see a video you want to import, just drag and drop it into the timeline. This works from both Windows Explorer and Vegas’ explorer.

 

Step 3: Navigating the Timeline

Editing involves constantly moving forwards and backwards in time, previewing how the video looks like, making changes and repeating the process. In order to edit well, you need to be very comfortable with moving through video.

Here’s how to navigate Sony Vegas’ timeline.

3-Navigating-Timeline

1) Basic Controls. This is how you Play, Stop and Pause video. You can also “Play from Start,” “Skip to End” or “Skip” to Beginning” with these controls.

2) Selection. You can select areas of video to apply effects to, to render or to cut. The area between the yellow triangles is the area that’s selected. Change your selection by dragging the yellow triangles.

3) Cursor. Your cursor determines where playback starts and stops. As you play your video, the cursor will move along showing you where in the timeline you’re currently at. Simply click anywhere on the timeline to move the cursor.

4) Playback Rate. You’ll often want to play your video faster or slower than normal. This will allow you to speed past parts that you don’t need to edit, or drastically slow down parts you want to edit so you can get to a specific frame. The Playback Rate allows you to adjust this speed.

It’ll really make your life easier to learn three keyboard shortcuts. These three shortcuts are:

J      K     L

 

J – Play backwards.

K – Pause.

L – Play forwards.

Double Tap J – Play backwards at double speed.

Double Tap L – Play forwards at double speed.

Triple Tap L: Play forwards at quadruple speed.

 

You’ll find yourself playing video forwards and backwards constantly throughout the editing process. Learning just these three keys will cut hours from your editing time.

 

Step 4: Basic Editing: Moving Clips Around

Now that you know how to navigate the timeline, let’s get into how you actually edit video.

To move video around, simply click and drag a video clip. For example, if you’re starting with this video clip:

4-Drag-Original

If you dragged the right clip to the right, it would look like this:

5-Drag-to-the-Right

If you dragged it to the left, so that it overlaps the first video, Vegas will automatically create a transition called a crossfade. Basically, the two videos would fade into each other, giving it a smooth transition from one clip to another:

6-Drag-Crossfade

 

Step 5: Basic Editing: Splitting Clips

Let’s say you take a 20 minute long video on your iPhone. In that 20 minute clip are 5 sub-clips that you want to edit separately, put transitions between, apply different effects to, etc. In order to do that, you’ll first need to split that one clip into several separate clips.

First, position your cursor where you want to make the split.

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Then either go to Edit > Split or just hit S on your keyboard. The clip will then be split where your cursor was positioned.

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Step 6: Basic Editing: Adding Text, Backgrounds and Other Media

Often times you’ll want to add in things that aren’t already there in your video clips. For example, subtitles, text transitions, colored backgrounds, special effects and so on.

To do this, first navigate to the Media Box in the upper left corner. In the bottom tabs, click on the tab most appropriate to the media you want to create. For example, if you wanted to create text, you’d click on Media Generator, then Text.

9-Generate-Text

Drag and drop the text style you want onto your timeline. When you do, a text edit box will pop up.

10-Text-Edit-Box

Edit the text to look the way you want it to. The changes will automatically be saved.

The same can be repeated for special effects by going to the “Video FX” tab. Transitions can be inserted by going to the “Transitions” tab. Transitions must be dragged and dropped onto overlapping video.

 

Step 7: Using the Video Preview Tool

To see how your video will look when it’s finally rendered, use the video preview tool in the upper right corner.

You can change the resolution of the video by clicking the drop-down menu. By default, Vegas uses “Preview (Auto)” to save memory and processing power. If you need better quality previews, change the quality.

11-Preview-Box

To see the video preview in a larger screen mode, just drag the video out to the center, drag the corners to enlarge it and set the display mode to “Full” or “Half.”

 

Step 8: Rendering Video

Once you’ve finished editing your video, it’s time to take your edits and turn it into a real video file. The process is called rendering. During this process, it helps a lot to turn off other programs, as it’s very processing intensive. If you have a particularly long video, you may have to render overnight.

To start rendering, go to File > Render As.

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The “Render As…” box will pop up, with a number of options.

13-Render-Box

First, name your file in #1.

Tell Vegas whether to render the whole file, or just your selection in #2.

You can change the render template by selecting from one of the many selections in #3. These templates are generally all high resolution renders, meaning you’ll have files in the gigabytes, not the megabytes, even for short videos.

This is great for DVD-quality work. If you’re working with DVDs, it’s as simple as selecting the format you need to burn the DVD in and choosing that template.

However, if you’re editing for web, you’ll need to customize your renders. Generally speaking, you’ll want to render out a small sized video that’s highly compressed with decent quality for web work (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

To do this, click Custom, then click Video. Select the Sony YUV Codec.

14-Render-for-Web

If you want to get into the technicalities of video editing, there’s a lot you can learn about compression, codecs and how videos are encoded. That knowledge comes in handy when selecting how you want to render your video.

For most people however, Sony’s YUV codec is more than adequate for web videos. The NTSC DV setting is a good choice for DVD editing.

Click “OK” when you’re finished.
Congratulations! You now know enough to do basic editing in Sony Vegas. You now know how to import media into Vegas and edit that media by splitting it up and moving it around. You’ve learned how to move through the timeline by positioning your cursor or playing the video at 2x or 4x speed. You learned how to create transitions, how to add text, how to add effects and other media. You’ve learned how to change the quality of the preview as you’re editing. Finally, you learned how to render a video in both DVD quality and web quality.

 

 

Top 10 Video Marketing Mistakes

video

Video marketing is an extremely powerful yet often overlooked channel of marketing. People often (mistakenly) think that succeeding in video marketing is a matter of luck. That you just put out a video and cross your fingers and hope that it “goes viral.” That’s not how video marketing works at all.

Just like any other marketing tactic, video marketing involves taking systematic steps to create a desired result. Video marketing, when done properly, can bring in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors. This happens deliberately, not by accident.

Yet most people who try their hands on video marketing don’t ultimately succeed. Why is that? It’s because they make one of these ten traffic-destroying mistakes along the way.

Mistake #1: Relying on One-Hit Videos

If any part of your business plan relies on your videos “going viral,” you’re out of luck.

Yes, a small (miniscule) amount of videos do go viral every day. But the amount of videos that make this mark are so tiny that shooting for it at all is completely unrealistic. If you’re spending any amount of time or energy on trying to go viral, you’re running yourself in circles.

If you’re going to get into video marketing, expect to be in it for the long haul. Yes, you can and will drive a lot of traffic. But it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to happen from one video.

Mistake #2: Not Developing a Channel

Having a YouTube channel allows anyone with a Google account to subscribe to your channel. It allows you to build your brand by customizing your background. It allows you to sequence your videos however you like. It allows you to lay out your page in many different formations.

Each of your videos should be a part of a larger plan for your entire channel. Don’t just publish standalone videos. It’s impossible to “follow” a standalone video. If you’re just publishing single video after single video, you’re not going to build an audience.

Work towards building a channel. Spend time perfecting your channel’s layout and design. Your channel’s followers are your core viewer base.

Nicole Munoz Youtube

 

Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Fancy Effects

Fancy special effects are a fantastic add on to your videos. If you want to add a flashy intro sequence, if you want to “blur in” your subtitles, if you want to “explode” out of your video at the end, that’s all great. But special effects should never become to focus of your video.

You should also never let special effects hold up the production of your video. If it’s going to take forever to get a special effect intro done and you’re ready to launch now, then you’re probably better off just saying “go” now.

Special effects, more often than not, are done primarily for the video creator’s ego. They don’t truly add any value to the end viewer’s experience. Focus on the content, not the effects. If you can get effects in without too much time or money, go for it. But don’t let your product get delayed special effects.

Mistake #4: Getting Hung Up Over Video Equipment

Video2The world of video equipment can be incredibly confusing. Should you get a wide lens camera or a long lens? What about telephoto? Should you get a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone? What about wireless – Should you go with a lavaliere mic or an over ear mic? How do you avoid static? What about lighting? How many lights do you need and do you need to purchase a lighting kit?

The questions go on and on and on. You could literally spend days researching the perfect video setup and still have questions leftover.

The reality is, for most people who’re doing their own video setup, a simple setup will do. You can go very far with just an iPhone 5 camera and a dynamic microphone. Your whole setup can be done for under $200.

Give yourself a deadline. If you’re setting up a studio from scratch, give yourself two days to do all your research and buy what you need to buy. No more. Don’t spend weeks and definitely don’t spend months figuring it out.

If you really want quality high enough to warrant months of setup, you’re better off hiring a professional to shoot for you than trying to set it up from scratch yourself.

Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Audience

checklistThe kind of content you think your audience wants can be very different from the kind of content they actually want. For example, you might have a YouTube channel geared towards real estate agents. You might share some of your personal best tips for closing sales and feel great about sharing. But your audience’s main problem might not be closing sales – It might be getting leads in the first place.

If you don’t know where your audience is at, it’s very difficult to produce the kind of content they’re looking for. So how do you know where your audience is at?

Ask. Ask them what kind of content they want. Respond to their comments. Better yet, respond in the video itself. Acknowledge them by name, read their question then answer it for them.

Get to know your audience. Don’t just share what you want to share. Instead, aim to actually figure out what your audience wants and needs and give it to them.

Mistake #6: Expecting Results Too Quickly

It’s quite rare that a new channel starts up and instantly gets hundreds of millions of views. Instead, you’re more likely to start off with just tens or a couple hundred views. Then your second video will get a few more viewers. Your third will get even more.

As you publish more videos, more and more people will join your audience. Your reach will have a snowball effect. A few months or years down the line you’ll be able to publish a brand new video and have it get hundreds of thousands of views instantly. But that takes time.

Expect your video marketing efforts to take at least six months to pick up.

Mistake #7: No Call to Action

Does your video tell people what to do next, or does it just give them the content then leave them there?

When you create a high quality video, you create a lot of goodwill. But in order for that goodwill to translate into clicks, into leads and into sales, you have to have a call to action.

Your first call to action is probably going to be to “click here” or to direct people to an address on your website. Make your call to action as clear and as powerful as you can. Then use other call to actions to move people through your sales funnel.

 

Mistake #8: Being Afraid to Spend Money

money-fitnesIt’s very hard to create a high quality video without spending any money. Here are just some of the things you’ll probably want to invest in:

  • Getting a professional intro sequence done.
  • Video editing.
  • Having slides put in.
  • Editing software (if you’re doing it yourself)
  • Audio quality enhancement
  • Etc

Yes, it is possible to do it all yourself and not spend any money. But the result will probably be a lot of wasted time and an inferior video. Trying your best to spend as little as possible is a terrible way to create a video.

Instead, focus on how to intelligently invest your money. Invest in things that’ll really make a big difference.

Mistake #9: Not Tracking and Analyzing

analyzeYouTube offers a fairly comprehensive analytics package. It can tell you how far along people watch in your videos before leaving, it can tell you what your traffic sources are, it can tell you about who’s watching your video and more.

A lot of people completely ignore YouTube’s analytics. Even people who’re fanatical about website data for some reason seem to ignore YouTube data altogether. This is a huge mistake.

YouTube’s analytic package is a gold mine waiting to be explored. Using this data, you can hone in on exactly what’s working and what’s not. This will help you create more home run videos in the future.

Mistake #10: Not Promoting Your Videos Enough

Another mistake is thinking that you just put your videos up on YouTube and they’ll promote themselves. That’s not how it works.

In the early stages, most of the traffic that comes to your video is going to come from you and your existing audience. In time, your YouTube audience and YouTube’s traffic will bring you a lot of people But when you’re first building up your following, you have to be the driver of traffic.

Promote your video(s) on your website, on your list, on your Twitter feed, on your Facebook page and on anywhere else where your audience is. Get the word out about your video(s) and start driving those view numbers.

These are the top 10 video marketing mistakes people make. Video marketing can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you approach it right and give it the time and energy it needs to flourish.

How To Get Better ROI on Your Videos Checklist

Side view of group of young creative people wearing casual clothes collaborating at meeting in office and smiling looking at laptop screen

YouTube success isn’t just about getting views. It’s also about making sure you maximize the amount of revenue you generate from those views.

Here’s how to get the best ROI on your online videos.

Step 1: Optimize Your Thumbnails

YouTube by default doesn’t let you upload a custom frame. Only YouTube partners, highly trafficked consistent uploaders, can choose their own images.

They used to let anyone upload custom thumbnails in the past, but marketers abused the privilege by uploading unrelated pictures designed just to get clicks. Today, YouTube only lets you select from a number of frames taken from within your video.

To change your thumbnail, click “Edit” to enter the editing menu:

1-Click-Edit-Video

Then scroll down and choose a thumbnail in the “Video Thumbnail” box on the left.

2-Choose-Thumbnail

If none of these thumbnails matches what you want your thumbnail to be, trim a few seconds off your video and re-upload it. YouTube will re-sample the video and have a few new thumbnails for you to choose from.

 

Step 2: Watermark Your Videos

Watermarking does several things. First, it builds your brand throughout the video instead of just at the end. Second, anytime someone embeds your video, you have a chance of getting them to come and visit your website.

To watermark your video, first create a logo in an image editing program like Photoshop. Make sure you save it as a PNG, which supports transparency without aliasing. JPEGs don’t support transparency at all and GIFs don’t do transparency very well.

In a video editing program, just put your PNG file above the video file and wala, your video is watermarked.

Here’s what a watermark might look like:

3-Watermark-Example

 

Step 3: Begin Your Video With a Quick Promo

Ever notice how most popular YouTube channels have a quick, 5 second promo at the beginning? It’s similar to how The Simpsons or Family Guy has a 1 minute song intro in the beginning.

The purpose of the intro is to set the vibe for the rest of the video. It’s like welcoming someone to your brand, your video and setting the expectations for what the rest of the experience is going to be like.

Furthermore, it also makes the video look more professional. Especially if the intro is very well done.

How do you create an intro? It could be as simple as a fly in text with a carefully chosen background. A combination of Photoshop and a basic video editor should do the trick.

 

Step 4: End With a Call to Action

What do you want someone to do after seeing your video? Do you want them to visit a link? Sign up for a newsletter? Become a subscriber to your channel?

Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it clearly. Put the call to action at the end of your video and make it a good 10 to 15 seconds long.

Why? Because the moment the video ends, YouTube is going to put their own promo for other people’s videos at the end of your video. Instead of sending your traffic to someone else’s video, just put a long call to action at the end.

That way, a visitor would have to stare at the call to action for a good 15 seconds before they’d be presented with the “related videos.”

Here’s what a call to action might look like:

4-CTA-Example

 

Step 5: Link to Your Channel or Videos in Your Video

Instead of having users go to other people’s videos after watching yours, why not direct them to your YouTube channel or another one of your videos?

You can make links and annotations clickable in your videos. Here’s how.

First, go to “Annotations.”

5-Click-Annotations
Then in the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” and select the type of annotation you want.

In the bottom right section of the “Add Annotation” box, click the checkbox named “Link.”

6-Click-Link-Box

Then select which type of page you want to link to.

7-Choose-Link-Type

Note: Unless you’re a YouTube partner, you can’t link to an external page.

Finally, enter the target URL into the URL box.

 

Step 6: Put a Link in Your Descriptions

Having a link in your description makes it easy for anyone to click on it, even when there’s no link on screen.

YouTube gives you 1,000 characters to write your description with, a generous allocation by any standard. Great descriptions can help give visitors additional information that wasn’t provided in the video.

The link however should be provided in the first 27 characters. YouTube will automatically display the first 27 characters without cutting anything off. Anything after 27 characters will automatically be truncated and followed by an ellipsis.

This is what a link in the description should look like:

8-Sample-Link-in-Description

Anything beyond 27 characters will be cut off. If your link can’t fit into 27 characters, consider using a service like bit.ly or tinyurl to shorten your URLs.

These are some of the most important factors to getting your videos to convert on YouTube. Remember, it’s not just about the traffic. You can easily earn more with a video that gets a few thousand views than from a video that gets hundreds of thousands, if the former is better optimized.

 

Optimizing Videos Embedded on Your Site for Search Engines

 

video5

If you’re in the habit of putting embedded videos on your site, how can you help make sure those videos get ranked? What makes a video page rank, while others don’t?

Let’s examine some of the most important rankings factors, along with how you can get your embedded pages to the top of the search engines.

 

Step 1: Optimize Your Title Tag

Take a look at the keyword data for some of the main keywords in your market. You should try to target some of those keywords, especially to “how to” keywords and the “video” keywords.

For example, if you have a fly fishing website, you might target keywords like:

  • How to put a fly on a hook
  • Fly fishing video
  • Fly on hook video
  • How to reel a fly fishing rod

And so on and so forth.

Once you’ve selected your keywords, make sure the keyword is in the title tag of your website. Lead with the keyword, then have the title of the page after it.

Make sure your title tag is less than 66 characters. Why? Because after 66 characters, your title tag is cut off in the Google search results. The rest of the title will be replaced with “…”

 

Step 2: Optimize Your Meta Description Tag

Your description tag is what search engines will use to describe your website, directly below the title tag in the results.

2-Hire-a-Transcriber
To change your description tag, add or edit the meta description tag in your HTML <head> tags.

 

Step 3: Get Your Video Transcribed

As amazing as Google’s technology is, they still can’t “listen” to a video and understand what’s being said. Therefore, anytime you just have a video embedded on a page, Google won’t know whether you have a content-rich page or not.

You could either write a complete article to go along with the video, or you can just get the video transcribed. Just go on oDesk or eLance to create a job posting or to find a transcriber.

Many transcribers in India or the Philippines can be hired for as little as $5 an hour. It takes about 4x as long to transcribe as the video length, so a 5 minute video will take about 20 minutes to transcribe.

Here’s an oDesk screenshot, search results for “Transcriber”:

1-Description-Tag

Step 4: Get Increased Distribution

To get more traffic to your main videos on your site, it often helps to distribute a few peripheral videos to other video sites like MetaCafe or Vimeo. There are literally dozens of such sites, and while none of them have the kind of traffic that YouTube does, combined they’re a formidable source of traffic.

Instead of distributing the videos by hand, the work will be much faster and less tedious if you used a service like TubeMogul (free) or TrafficGeyser (paid) to distribute your videos.

 

Step 5: Embedding Mini-Videos to Increase Page Views

One powerful way to get more views to your video is to place a small video on every page in your website. Every time the video is loaded, whether it’s played or not, will count as a view on the video.

Let’s say you run a career-related website. In the sidebar of your website, you embed a small 100 x 75 pixel video. The user can click play to watch the video if they want, but the majority won’t.

Even if they never click play, the mere act of loading your video (because it’s on your sidebar) will increase the view count by one. Every time someone visits a page on your site, it’ll load the video count by one again.

This way, your video count will go way up utilizing traffic you already have.

 

Step 6: Offer a “Put This on Your Site” Code

One of the factors that YouTube looks at when deciding how your video ranks is how many other people embedded your video. If many people are taking your video and putting it on their sites, YouTube’s going to assume that the video should be ranked higher.

You can make getting embeds easier by offering the embed code on your site.

Simply put the embed code below your video, with the heading “Put this video on your site!”

3-Add-This-Video-to-Site
If you want, you can even hide the code so people need to click a button for the code to show.

 

Step 7: Getting Backlinks

Backlinks play a very large role in getting pages to rank. Some would even say it’s the most important factor of all.

Deep linking, or the strategy of linking to specific pages rather than the home page, is often more effective than concentrating all your links in one place. If you have many videos, try to build a number of backlinks to each of them.

Here are a few potential sources of backlinks:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Web 2.0 Properties
  • Article Directories
  • Guest Writing
  • Press Releases
  • Resource sections on other people’s sites

The most effective backlinking strategy in the long run is to simply put out top notch content. Other people with websites on your topic will then link to your videos as valuable resources.
Optimizing your embedded video page isn’t that different than optimizing a web page for search engines. Follow good SEO practices in your title tags and backlinking strategy. Make sure you always have text content as well as video content. Distribute your videos using a distribution service to get more exposure, and try embedding your videos in main pages to get more view counts and higher rankings. Finally, offer the embed code to visitors to help spread your videos through the web.

 

How To Add Promotional Text To Videos

When using video to market your business, you can get more bangs for your buck by adding promotional text to your videos. It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes using Windows Movie Maker software. Here’s how.

You will need:

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Previously Created Video
  • Promotional Text

 

Step 1: Open Movie Maker

When you open Movie Maker, here is what you’ll see.

1-open-movie-maker

 

Step 2: Import Video to Project

Click the Add Videos & Photos icon in the home tab navigation as shown above.

Locate your video on your computer. Select it and click open.

2-import-video

 

Your video should now show up in the story track on right side of Movie Maker as shown here.

3-video-imported

 

Step 3: Select Slide to Edit

Click the slide in the video that you want to add the promotional text to. As you click each slide, you’ll get a preview in the left side of the screen.

In our case, we want our promotion to show on the last slide to direct people back to our website. Therefore, we’ve selected the last file in the story track and we see here the preview of that file.

4-last-file

 

 

Step 4: Add Promotion

On the home tab, next to the snapshots icon, you’ll see a list of three editing features.

  • Title: Adds a new title before the selected item
  • Caption: Adds text that displays over the existing video or photo
  • Credits: Adds the credits, director, stars and location to the video

5-captions

Click the Caption icon and you will have a new text box added to the slide you’ve selected. Simply click to enter your promotional text and click away from the slide when you’ve finished.

6-text-caption

 

Once you add text, you will see a Text Tool tab option open up. Here you can change the text format to suit your needs.

7-promo

 

Step 5: Save Video

At this point, the editing is done. But before you do anything else, you need to save your video as a project in case you need to edit it later. Click the small arrow next to the home tab and then click Save Project As. Name the project and click save.

8-save-as

 

Now that the project is saved for future edits, you can save your video in a format suitable for viewing. Again, click the arrow at the top left of the screen and this time you can do one of two things:

  1. Publish the video to the web (to places like Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  2. Save the video to be viewed on the computer and/or uploaded to the web at a later time.

We want to save the video and upload it later so we mouse over Save Movie.

The next step is to select the size and quality of the video being saved. The most popular settings are pre-defined and include:

  • High Definition: The highest quality and creates a movie at a 1440×1080 pixel resolution.
  • Burn to DVD: The next highest quality creates a 720×480 resolution video.
  • For Computer: Videos with this setting will be of medium quality with a resolution of 640×480.
  • For Email: This is the lowest quality and has a 320×240 resolution.

There are also settings for viewing on mobile devices and manual size settings that you can browse through at your leisure.

9-quality

 

Once the movie is finished saving to the new format, you’ll get the following dialog box where you can play to preview your video.

10-saved

 

 

Optimizing YouTube Videos For Search Engines

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND – OCTOBER 03, 2014: Youtube application close up on Apple iPad Air device.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, larger than even Bing or Yahoo. It’s by far the world’s largest video search engines.

A well optimized video can easily get you tens of thousands of viewers – Each. A video that goes viral can get hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

Here’s how to optimize your videos for YouTube.

 

Step 1: Determine Target Keyword Volume

Much as you would if you were optimizing for search engines, the first step to optimizing for videos is to determine both the keyword volume and the competition for each keyword phrase.

Use the Google Keyword Tool to compile a list of potential keywords. You should target a variety of keywords, some of them high volume and high competition, others lower volume with lower competition.

1-Keyword-Volume-Estimates

 

Step 2: Determine Strength of Competition

How strong are competing videos? Do as search for your target keywords and analyze them by:

  • Number of views
  • Number of comments
  • Number of replies
  • Number of likes
  • Number of video responses
  • Percentage of people who liked the video, out of total viewers
  • Channel subscribers

To view the number of likes, just open a video. It’ll be right under the view count:

2-Views-Likes

To count the number of comments, click on “View All Comments” at the bottom of the page:

3-Click-Comments
The comment count will be right above the comment box:

4-Number-of-Comments

Put all this data, along with the total number of views, into an Excel spreadsheet. Do this for at least 20 keywords.

Match up the number of views to the strength of the competition. Look for the weakest competition, as compared to the highest number of monthly searches. Then select the keywords with the best volume-to-competition ratio to optimize for.

 

Step 3: Write a Keyword Optimized, Attention Catching Headline

The headline has two jobs:

  1. To get the video to show up when someone searches. Google uses a relevance check to make sure the videos that show up are relevant to their search.
  2. To convince people to actually click on your video once it shows up in a search.

The most important thing in writing the title tag is to make sure your main keyword is in the title.

The second most important thing is to make sure that your title has well written copy that gets people to click.

 

Step 4: Get as Many Favorites, Likes and Comments as Possible

The number of likes, favorites and comments you have are some of the most heavily weighed factors for search engine rankings. The more likes, favorites and comments you have, the more YouTube is going to think you have a good video.

How can you increase your number of likes, favorites and comments?

One method is to ask people to do so in your video. You can either hard code into your video, or you can do it in annotations.

To do it in annotations, click on “Annotations” when you’re editing a video.

5-Click-Annotations

Click the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” to choose what kind of annotation to add.

6-Add-Annotation

Finally, craft a mini-sales message to get people to add comment, like or add your video.

7-Annotation-Example

Step 5: Ranking for Related and Suggested Videos

Two potentially lucrative sources of traffic to your videos are related videos and suggested videos. What are they?

They’re the videos that show up when someone else finishes watching a similar video, or the videos that appear on the right hand side of any video you’re watching.

8-Related-and-Suggested

How do you get your videos to appear for on related or suggested videos? Especially other high trafficked and relevant videos?

First, work on the credibility of your own video. The more views you have, the more comments you have and the more likes you have, the higher your likelihood of showing up in suggested or related videos at all.

It’s hard to get a new video to show up in suggested or related videos. But after you have a few thousand views, it really makes sense to try to get them to show up.

Start by copying all the keyword tags that other videos in your industry are using. Having closely related (but not identical) keyword lists tells YouTube that your videos are on as similar subject.6

Then, try to also duplicate the same keywords they target in their title. Of course your title tag should be completely different, but having the same main keyword can really help you land in suggested or related.

Finally, make sure you pick a good video snapshot for your video. In addition to your title, your snapshot is what others will judge your video based on. The higher the CTR to your video from a related video, the more YouTube will think your videos are related and the higher your video will show up in the future.

Step 6: Getting Backlinks

Much like getting rankings in the SEO world, getting rankings in videos requires getting backlinks. The more backlinks, the higher your video will rank.

How do you get backlinks?

The first and most important thing is to have a truly original and high quality video. If you create a video like that, it’s only natural that other people will want to link to your video as a resource.

In addition however, you can do quite a bit of manual link building.

Use sites like Squidoo and Hubpages to get high quality, relevant backlinks. Link to the video from your own site(s). Use distributed articles to get a high number of backlinks.

 

To wrap things up, it’s important to remember that the majority of YouTube users never try to deliberately get their videos to rank. If you’re focusing on video rankings, you’re already in the top 1%. In time, if you follow the tips outlined in this report, your rankings will very likely beat your competitor’s.