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Get More Views: 10 Basic Tips for Posting Online Video

Jonny Elwyn

What’s the point of posting video online if nobody is going to see it? Up your views with these basic tips for posting online video.

To successfully use video online to boost your business, career, site traffic, etc. there are some very simple things that you need to get right. Some of these basic dos and don’ts might seem too obvious to mention, yet people seem to get them wrong anyway. As a film editor and blogger, these are the 10 things I’d consider pretty foundational to successfully using video online.

1. Do Make it Shareable

What makes the internet such a great place to put your video is the simple and obvious fact that a whole lot of people can see it. The chances of this happening are hugely increased by ensuring that your video is shareable through as many avenues as possible.

Ensuring that your video can be embedded on other sites is a simple one click process, but publishers often seem to go out of their way to make this impossible. Granted, keeping control over your online content might have its advantages (usually advertising revenue – if you have to watch the video on one site only, that site will get all the traffic) but this advantage is vastly outweighed by the extended reach to be gained by allowing the video to spread ‘virally’.

2. Do Add a Call to Action

Hopefully your video will be so good that people will want to do something as a result. A call to action might be as simple as a ‘like’ or as useful as a share, but do prompt your viewers on what to do next. If you want them to get in touch with you, then make sure that’s really easy to do. If you’re hosting your video on Youtube or Vimeo, make the most of the description area to provide all of your crucial information. Incredibly obvious, yes, but it’s astounding how often it doesn’t contain much helpful information.

3. Do Add an End Logo and Branding

Make sure your viewers know who made it. This could involve an opaque ‘bug‘ in the corner of the video, which is helpful for dissuading people from ripping your video and re-posting it as their own. Personally, I would aim for the best viewing experience for your audience and leave that off. Just add something to the end that also includes a memorable URL.

4. Do Track Your Stats and Shares

If your online video does find an audience, be sure to keep an eye on the stats, shares, and other places the video ends up. The people who liked this video might like your other videos, products, services, work, etc. Be sure to engage anyone who comments on or shares your work.

5. Do Use Copyrighted Material – But Only Under Fair Use Guidelines

If you’re going to use copyrighted material in your video, make sure you’re abiding by the Fair Use principles which most countries have within their legal framework. You can read YouTube’s helpful guide on it here. In the US, these four factors need to be considered:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4.  The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

If you’re so minded, you could add a Creative Commons license to your work in order to help others know how you would like it to be treated.

6. Don’t Use Copyrighted Music

This is one of the biggest give aways that a video has been produced by an amateur filmmaker. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and buy a track from a reputable and high quality royalty free music site, like PremiumBeat.com. There’s plenty of music to choose from.

7. Don’t Make it Overly Long.

This is a pet-peeve of mine for online video.  The maxim “less is more”  is a reliable rule of thumb. I’ve written more about why you need to make your edit shorter in my previous post: ”Why Your Editing Isn’t Good Enough”.

8. Don’t Make it for Yourself 

Be aware of your audience and make the video for them, not for yourself.

Instead of thinking “How can I communicate what’s so great about my work/product/business/idea/opinion/ etc?” consider “What is it that people want to know/feel/discover/buy etc?” The next point is a practical example of this mentality at work.

9. Don’t Give it an Obtuse Title

One of the most influential variables to the success of your online video is the title you give it. Think like a member of your target audience and label it in a way that would help them to find it. Think about the kind of search terms that you Google and you’ll know what I mean. How To…. and The Best… are always helpful starting points.

10. Don’t Give up After the First Go

If you’ve only just started making videos and sharing them online, don’t give up after your first attempt, even if no one but your mum watched it. Iterate and improve as you go. Incorporate feedback and suggestions and emulate the things that you see others doing successfully.

As I said at the beginning, none of these suggestions are anything but obvious, but yet if you lay a decent foundation in the details, the sky is your limit.

Do these tips work for you? Have any other foolproof methods to help your fellow filmmakers get more exposure online? Give us the goods in the comments below.