Defeat video phobia: 3 YouTube tips

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Video phobia still torments many communicators. How else could we explain those who basically ignore 1 billion YouTube users and have yet to embrace online video?Here are three ways to overcome the usual qualms so you can confidently shoot and share videos on the world’s second-largest search engine:

1. Try off-camera methods. Unless you’re a news anchor or a Kardashian, you’re probably not used to being on camera every day.

“Camera shy or ‘video-phobic’ PR pros can get around the on-camera challenge by using animation, screencasts or other off-camera methods to communicate their message,” says video expert Lou Bortone.

Effective “off-camera” videos include PowerPoint to video (i.e., narrating your video presentation via Google Hangouts, for example), as well as various animation programs.

Among Bortone’s favorites are VideoMakerFX, because of its ease of use in creating animated presentations, and AdobeSpark, a free iPad app that enables you to create professional graphics and match music to the text you insert.

Register for PR Daily’s Sept. 8 webinar Dominate YouTube: Create a Popular YouTube Channel with Winning Videos” to launch or improve your video presence.

2. Avoid mistakes by following the “Three C’s.” Bortone says mistakes are a part of the process when organizations first jump onto YouTube. You can, however, avoid the most common YouTube blunders by remembering the “Three C’s”:

  • Consistency : Many businesses have an inconsistent presence on YouTube. If you’re going to commit to developing videos and posting on YouTube, you have to post regularly.

Bortone suggests creating a video editorial calendar with a regular schedule for your videos to you on track. “Think of it as an extension of your regular marketing and promotion calendar,” he says.

  • Content: Bortone recommends repurposing your assets—such as blog posts, articles, interviews and appearances—into video content for YouTube.

Jimmy Fallon and ‘The Tonight Show’ producers do this well,” he says. “They simply repurpose their interviews and comedy bits as shorter videos and clips for YouTube.”

  • Call to action: The third cardinal sin in video content marketing is neglecting to include a specific and direct call to action in your videos.

“With so many distractions on the platform, you have to tell your viewer exactly what you want them to do next,” Bortone says.

“The Tonight Show” does this quite well. “They close every online video with end card graphics,” he says. “This gives viewers direction on what to do when the video ends.”

3. Attract audiences with v-mail. Video email is an effective way to connect and engage with clients or prospects. However, many mistakenly believe that it is complicated or involves special software.

Actually, low-cost services such as MailVu.com and BombBomb.com make it “point and shoot” simple.

Bortone says BombBomb is a bit more sophisticated than most email services—and a bit pricier, starting at $39 per month—but it offers an easy way to record and send email from your webcam or smartphone.

“You can also brand your emails with your logo or banner to really impress your recipients,” he says.

MailVu, starting at $2.50 per month, enables users to send video emails via desktop or smartphone with its iPhone or Android app.

“Either way, even a brief, 30-second personal greeting will break through the usual inbox clutter and get you noticed,” Bortone says. “In addition, you can upload pre-recorded videos—like your YouTube videos—and send those as video emails.”

Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Lou Bortone will share more tips in PR University’s Sept. 8 webinar, “Dominate YouTube: Create a Popular YouTube Channel with Winning Videos .”

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