Guest post: Moving beyond YouTube to build event awareness

This is a guest post by Maureen Page, VP of Discount Security Cameras, your source for quality security cameras and security camera systems. Maureen offers some great strategies on how to get more out of promotional videos for your events. Enjoy!

Videos are an excellent way to promote any kind of business. From corporate sales to charity auctions to PR events, video promotions are a fast way to get the word out about your event. Before you start to upload promotional videos to YouTube, however, you should stop and think about what you are trying to accomplish.

If all you are looking for is awareness of the event, then posting videos to YouTube may suffice. People will find and view your videos there and learn about your event. But if you are trying to engage people at a deeper level and would like them to visit the event website to learn more and possibly register, then simply posting your videos to YouTube is the wrong strategy. Think about it: People view YouTube videos on the YouTube site. Even if you include your URL in the video, only a small percentage of the viewers will actually visit your site as a result of the video.

So what does one do? Your videos on YouTube get you great exposure but few actual visits to your website. Your videos on your own site attract traffic but will never get the traffic that YouTube does. The answer is that you need to do both.

It Starts With a Series of Videos

Start by coming up with a concept for a series of videos. This will give you enough videos so that you can post to both YouTube and your own site. The video series needs to be something of broad and general interest, related to the event. It should not simply be a series of commercials for your event—that will not invite viewership. Yes, it is all right to promote the event, but that should not be the dominant feature. Think about doing profiles of speakers, exhibitors, or things that will be happening at the event. You may also want to do a video promoting the city where the event is being held or information about the event facility.

Strategize and Execute with a Two-Pronged Approach

It is important to note that when creating a video series you need to promote the next video in the series at the end of the preceding video. Once you have created your video series it is time to post them and promote them. Here is where using both methods becomes relevant. Creating a video series allows you to post to both YouTube and your own site. You want to start by posting the first couple of videos to YouTube and then using the YouTube code to post them to your own website so that you get credit for views. The remainder of the videos you post only to your own website. The last video posted to YouTube should promote the next video that is posted on your own site, giving the URL of where they can find that video (e.g. yoursite.com/videos). You are now leveraging the power of YouTube’s traffic to help get your video discovered, and then funneling that traffic back to your own website.

Create a Video Sitemap

That last piece of the puzzle is that you should create a video sitemap for your video content and submit it to the search engines. A search of “video sitemap generator” will uncover several options that can help you to create a video sitemap. Once created, the sitemap should be submitted to Google Webmaster Tools (also see Submitting a Video Sitemap or mRSS feed). You will need a Google login to submit to Google Webmaster Tools. You can also submit your file to Yahoo (see Yahoo! Search: Submit Your Media RSS Feed).

Following these steps will:

  • Leverage the traffic of YouTube to get your video series “discovered” by interested viewers.
  • Funnel traffic and potential customers to your own site as people transition to your site to view the subsequent videos in the series.
  • Help your videos to appear in Google blended search results (results that show sites, pictures, videos etc.) and on Google Videos because of your video sitemap.