Learn how you can use video, one of the most effective content marketing strategies, on your website to market your services.

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The following excerpt is from Robert W. Bly’s book The Digital Marketing Handbook. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

One of the most effective content marketing strategies is the use of video. Let’s take a look at how you can use video on your website to market your services.

Thanks to faster internet speeds, online video has exploded. The video-sharing site YouTube now has more than a billion users, or almost a third of all people on the internet. According to venture capital firm KPCB.com, online video now accounts for 74 percent of all online traffic. MWP Digital Media says that 55 percent of website visitors watch videos online every day, and 59 percent of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they’re more likely to choose video.

The reason for video’s popularity is simple. It reaches out to different learning styles. Some people learn better by reading something, still others by seeing something demonstrated or hearing about it. Video combines all these distinct and separate learning styles into one shareable package. Video also lets your viewers see you; it shows them there’s a real person behind the business and encourages them to get to know, like and trust you.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Suppose you’re an interior decorator, baker, resume writer or book cover designer. You could produce and share how-to videos featuring design tips, a tasty gluten-free recipe or how to make a book cover using PowerPoint. This would highlight your expertise and get people to know, like and trust you. Such videos also feature helpful content, which encourages sharing via social media.

The best part is that you don’t even have to appear in these videos. Using voice recorder and screen capture software on your computer, you can simply record your voice as you walk through the steps of writing an effective resume or guide viewers in how to make an attractive book cover.

Another popular video type is the video log, or vlog, which is a lot like a written blog post but done as a short video instead. Almost anything you’d talk about in a written blog post is also ideal fodder for a vlog, as long as they’re short.

Related: 4 Ways to Market Your Business for Free

That’s just a small sampling of the types of videos you can do, depending on the service you’re offering. Now, let’s look at some effective ways you can use video to market your service-based site:

  • Offer value. Every video you create should provide something of value to your prospective clients, such as a tip or a how-to demonstration. Never create videos just for the sake of having videos on your site.
  • Include a CTA. What action do you want prospective clients to take after viewing your video? Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Share your video with their friends? Visit your website? Whatever it is, ask them to do it. Never assume your viewers will automatically know the next step they should take in their relationship with you and your busi­ness. If your video is focused on how you can help them — in other words, what’s in it for them — they’ll do it.
  • Tag your videos. Add relevant keywords to your video titles and descriptions when you upload them to sites like YouTube so users can find them easily in searches. Give your videos a descriptive file name rather than a bizarre designation gener­ated by your computer.
  • Include your URL. Make sure every video you produce has the URL directing people to your website. This can easily be done with most video-editing software.
  • Upload the videos to your site. After uploading your video to YouTube, make sure you also post it to your website. This makes it easier for your prospects to find your videos and gives them a good reason to check your site often. Once your video is uploaded, click on the Share button beneath your video and copy and paste the provided link onto your site. If you have a blog on your website, post the video there as well as on a specialized page on your site designated just for video.
  • Keep it short and sweet. People who aren’t familiar with you or your work won’t sit through a long-winded video about you. Keep your videos short and to the point. Tell your pros­pects who you are, what you do and what’s in it for them. And do it in under two minutes. Videos that are educational, instructional or how-to tutorials can run five to 10 minutes or even longer.
  • Share. Share your videos far and wide. Post them on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage others to share them. Include share buttons for the various social media platforms to make sharing your content that much easier.

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