The popularity of social video sites like YouTube, Yahoo Video, iFilm, blinkx is undeniable. YouTube alone receives more than 65,000 video uploads and plays 100 million clips every day. By 2010, video enthusiasts will consume 44 billion user generated video clips. This represents 55% of all the video content viewed by US consumers.
In the future, user generated videos may even end up on your television screen through the cables and satellites. YouTube has already announced incorporating the revenue sharing possibility with the creators of these video streams. Other sites may follow soon. You will be able to monetize your video contents and allow others to discover your skills and talents for better jobs or other lucrative offerings. To maximize the impact of your creativity, you need to know the kind of contents you have to produce and effectively present those contents in the video sharing sites.
The social video optimization is not about optimizing your videos for high search engine ranking (SEO). It is about making your videos for others to enjoy and learn from (providing benefits to people) and publishing those videos in social video and social media websites for viewers to easily discover, bookmark, and share for a viral effect.
1. Provide benefits. Offer something that will benefit others. It may be funny video clips, a series of “how-to” videos, an unusual moment, etc. Don’t upload any violent clips. Though these clips are popular in video sharing sites, most of the time they don’t provide any real value to the society. Unless the violence has journalistic value, don’t embrace it for amusement.
Funny clips are popular. Kids and pets provide plenty of opportunities to capture hilarious moments. If you have plumbing skills, offer a series of short “how to” videos on fixing things around the house. A computer geek can channel her skills in developing short videos on how to setup a home network. Plenty of opportunities are available. Find your niches and work in those areas. If you are comedian, create short stand-up comedy routine videos. The bottom line is to create themes and produce a series of videos based on each theme.
2. Provide enhanced viewing experience. People do not want to watch a full-length movie in a video-sharing site. A clip should not be more than 10 minutes long. Buy a cell phone with a good quality camera for capturing those unexpected moments. Otherwise, use a digital video camera for making your clips. Use a free online video editing sites like cuts.com for cutting video scenes, inserting title and sound effects, etc.
3. Create your brand. Companies spend millions to establish and promote brands. Why should not you? Brand recognition is very powerful and it may set you apart from others. Insert a few frames at the start and end of every video you create to introduce yourself, your skills and talents.
People like to associate with real persons rather than some unknown entities. Tell them what this video is all about. Make it short. Setup a blog and provide your blog URL in the introductory and conclusionary frames. Make the blog URL short for people to remember it easily.
4. Make it discoverable. This is like marketing your video on the video sharing sites. If you don’t do it properly, your contribution will be lost in the sea of video clips. Provide a short and catchy title with keywords related to your video. Relevant keywords will help locate your clips when people do a search. A catchy title in the search results will draw viewers’ attention.
Learn from the titles others are using by doing a search using your keywords in YouTube and other similar sites. The same goes for the description. Use relevant keywords but make it interesting to arouse curiosity. Write in the natural language and avoid adjectives. Let the users decide the quality of your presentation.
Tags are everywhere now a day. It is a keyword, not a keyword phrase. You should provide tags for your uploaded contents. If your titles and descriptions are relevant to your videos, you already have a few tags.
Besides the tags you have already collected from your title and description use one or more tags to closely identify your content to the categories available in the site. For example, on YouTube you have categories like “autos and vehicles”, “comedy”, “howto” etc.
If your video is about how to fix a flat tire, use additional tags like “tire”, “car”, etc. Add a few additional tags to describe the least important thing in your video. In the “fix a flat tire” video example, you can add tags like “stems”, “valve”, etc. Use as many tags as you can accommodate in the tag text box.
5. Relax and enjoy. You may be wondering why this is a rule. This is a rule because you do not want to feel the burnout. Enjoy what you are doing. Have a passion for your creative works. Don’t think about how much money you are going to make by producing these videos.
This is not going to make you rich overnight or within a very short time span. What is important is that you are pursuing something that you like. If the society is benefiting from your creative works, you will get adequate monetary rewards.