Not on YouTube? Are You Dead?

Everyone is on YouTube.  The Pope is on YouTube. The Royal Family is on YouTube.  If your business or nonprofit organization is not on YouTube, you are missing a tremendous opportunity to share your message with a national — no, make that global — audience.

Today, people expect to see online video when they visit a website.

  • Nearly all online users have watched and shared online video.
  • comScore found that 25% of all Google search queries are for YouTube videos.
  • Online shoppers watched 40% more retail videos last year, and those who did were more likely to buy the products and to return later.
  • Among marketers, online video is one of the marketing expenses least likely to be cut from tightened budgets.  While they are scaling back on print ads and online display ads, they’re moving forward with online video and email marketing.

Yet, I see very relatively few sites using online video.  My guess is that companies and nonprofit organizations think they can’t afford it.
Too Expensive?  Hardly.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s easy to put up quality online video content for your business.  Production, editing, and compressing video for a variety of online formats are not skills you can pick up overnight.  And yes, it’s often worth it to bring in a professional.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be expensive.

There are HD video cameras that cost $8,000 and there are HD video cameras that cost just over $200.  The quality of your video image is important, but the quality and meaningfulness of your message is what will make your video a success.

We’ve had quotes for 30-second online videos from videographers ranging from $1,800 to $5,000.  Fletcher Prince can, in many cases, produce a video for a client for about $750, however.  One reason we can charge less is because we understand that it doesn’t take a fancy studio and a hired crew to create compelling video — just smart planning, great lighting (very important!), and skillful editing.

How to Use Video for Marketing

Just as with email marketing, effective marketing videos deliver content that is useful, relevant to the viewer.  When appropriate, it can also be entertaining.  Importantly, the video should reinforce the brand and key messages of the company or nonprofit organization.

And, just as with email marketing, online video does not have to be one-way communication.  You can use online video to engage your viewers by asking for their feedback or suggestions in the comments section.  You can sponsor contests, offer discounts, or ask for video submissions.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on April 17, 2009, in YouTube Video Tips. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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