The Internet is a giant place, and depending on what you want to use it for, it can seem confusing or downright overwhelming. If you’ve just made a business video, there are a whole lot of ways to go about promoting it—but some of those methods might be ineffective. What ways will yield you the greatest reach? These tips below will shed some light on some effective strategies for promoting your online video.

1. Create content that people want to share

A video becomes viral because it has a compelling element that makes people want to share it with others. But there are a few metrics you should have in mind to structure the content, all of which play a vital role in the virality of your video. For example, your video probably shouldn’t be too long. The Associated Press notes that a person’s average attention span is only 8 seconds. Extrapolate that a bit more and you’ll find that the average length watched of a single Internet video is 2.7 minutes. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see too many viral videos that are 10 minutes long!

A viral video should also try to focus on the “usefulness factor.” If you start out by posing a problem and then proposing your particular service to the audience as a solution to that problem, people will have a frame of reference and be able to recognize the importance of what you’re offering to them.

2. Share your video with your current clients, leads, and contacts

You always have an audience in these three groups of people, so you would do well to take advantage of it for self-promotion. Of course, it’s never a good idea to bombard them with content—especially content that always focuses on you, because that might leave a bad impression—but every once in a while is good, indeed even necessary for a business to thrive.

Using a mass-mailing service like MailChimp, Constant Contact or any other is ideal for accomplishing this task. It’s compatible with most of the big CRM tools, so the integration there will eliminate the hassle of reaching out to your contacts on those databases.

3. Make it easy to share your video with others

Make sure that sharing options for your video are enabled if you’ve uploaded it to somewhere like YouTube or Vimeo. If you use a service outside of those two for whatever reason, check to see if it has social media integration—for example, buttons that allow you to tweet the video, email it to a friend, or post it on your Facebook wall.

4. Make your video optimized for search

An intuitive list of tags and a comprehensive video description will be two of your best friends when it comes to promoting your video. Aside from just increasing the likelihood of being found in a YouTube search, being covered on these fronts will also help with Google Search visibility, as well as most search engines in general. Forrester Research notes that video is 50 times more likely to show up in search results than a text page.

5. Formulate a plan to promote your new videos

Consistency is the key, especially when you incorporate it into a regular schedule. Have a plan of which networks you want to share your videos with and how often you want to do it. If you have a large social media presence that spans across multiple networks, using an all-in-one management tool like HootSuite or any other would probably go a long way in helping you keep things straight. It’s also good to have a unique strategy to pursue for each individual social network. Take Twitter, for example—you can tweet back at people who are talking about things related to your industry. On the other hand, you could take the first step and begin a trend by doing #businessvideos, as an example, to get some discussion going around that topic.

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