When it comes to content creation, video producers understand the importance of sufficient time and planning as well as anyone. All too often though, content creators and managers allow their hard work to stop with their final cut. To really make your video work to its maximum potential, your audience has to actually see it. In this blog, we’ll give you some key tips to keep in mind when you’re looking to get your hard-earned masterpiece in front of the eyes you want.

1. Promote while you work.

Just because you’re still building your video doesn’t mean you can’t start building the hype around it at the same time. A well-made video often takes extra time, money and resources to create, so why not invest some extra effort letting others know what’s coming their way? It will give you a chance to test the waters among your target audience (prospective students, current students, alumni, etc.) and provide them with something to look forward to in the future.

2. Package it up nicely.

Before you post your video somewhere, make sure you add all the relevant metadata users will need to track your video down through search. Give your video a category, add some tags relevant to your topic and include any links to other content you may have referenced in the video.

From here, it’s time to add the bow.

YouTube lets almost anyone these days upload a custom thumbnail for their videos, so it should be a no-brainer to try and pick one that works for your video. What you choose to upload here can vary greatly, but at the end of the day, your custom thumbnail should:

  • Provide the viewer with an idea of what they’ll get in the video.
  • Showcase people, places and things that catch the viewer’s eye.
  • Use text (if it’s needed in the first place) that’s legible and stands out from the video’s background.

3. Ship your video where search engines will find it. 

You’ve spent a while crafting the perfect video, but all of your effort will go to waste if your audience can’t figure out where to watch it. In almost any case, the only video sites you’ll need to worry about will be YouTube and Vimeo.

YouTube is a crowded place, but outside of Google, there’s no other site searched more frequently. Because YouTube is connected to other Google services like Google+ and GMail, users who watch your video will have simple ways to share with friends.

Depending on how creative your video might be, Vimeo might also be a great site to upload your video. Typically considered the more trendy of the Internet’s two biggest video sites, Vimeo is a place where your professionally produced content has a better chance to shine.

The chances are pretty good your university might already have a presence on YouTube or Vimeo. If that's the case, you'll be in good shape for the next tip. 

Note: Try to avoid uploading your video directly to Facebook, unless it’s an embedded YouTube or Vimeo video. Facebook is already fighting problems with too much ad clutter, and the last thing users want is something they perceive as ad clogging up their newsfeed. 

4. Push your video through the right social channels.

Here’s another no-brainer, right? You’ll have all the usual methods available to get the word out – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. – but don’t be afraid to go old school as well. Blogs, email and even word of mouth can be effective ways to get the word out for content as engaging as video. 

Remember that it’s never too early to get the word out about your video, either.

5. Rinse and Repeat.

Depending on the subject matter your video addresses, it can have a pretty long shelf life – and that’s a very good thing. Because of this, make an effort to revisit your video every now and then to ask yourself the following:

  • Are your tags, links and video descriptions still relevant and up-to-date?
  • Is your metadata sufficient enough to make your videos easy for users to find through search?
  • Does the actual video need to be revised or updated?
  • Are there new demographics who might benefit from seeing your video?

If your old videos' subject matter isn’t really important or relevant anymore, use your best judgment on whether or not it's best to keep it up. If you opt to keep the video in place, make it as up-to-date as you can and plan for a full refresh in the future when resources are available.

Just like when you were creating your video, promoting your work takes time, planning and effort to really work well too. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to get the word out, but following these general steps will help make sure your target audience gets a chance to see your work. If you've got a question about how to promote, create or plan a video, reach out to us today. We'd love to hear from you.