3 Amazingly Simple Ways to Use Video for Link Building

video-ipadWhile content marketing continues to be exceedingly important, it’s not all about articles or resources, as you may have discovered. As we kick off the new year, the most important thing you can do to help your SEO efforts is to bring about more diversity in your efforts, so definitely plan to include video in your link building arsenal.

According to comScore’s recent study, 182 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 40 billion online videos just in the month of November, up by 3 billion from their October study. In fact, the study showed that 85.5 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed some form of online video, with the average length being five minutes. Clearly video is popular with audiences, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to engage your target viewing segments.

Often people dismiss video as being time-consuming or too expensive to bother with. That’s really not the case. Clever usage of videos can tremendously boost your link building efforts and make good content more digestible and engaging for your consumers.

Here are three great ways to use video for SEO.

1. Video Infographics

We all remember the infographics boom that dominated much of late 2010 and the early half of 2011. Infographics became the silver bullet du jour and everybody and their mother were publishing them.

While some well-researched, high quality infographics can still enjoy success, why churn out stuff that almost everyone else is doing? Let’s take something that has worked well to engage people in the past and give it a new avatar to breathe new life into the tactic.

Thus, consider creating a video infographic. A good way to start is to take an existing infographic that has done well in the past and have an animator turn it into a fun short video. Instantly the same content you created gets a new lease on life and reaches out to a fresh new audience.

Take this example of an infographic created on surviving the zombie apocalypse. Created in early 2011, it was an immensely popular link bait, even scoring a link from Wired.com.

zombie-apocalypse-infographic

Turned into a video and timed for the so-called "end of the world" in December 2012, it became a fresh tactic that once again earned high quality links and a host of social media shares.

extreme-zombie-apocalypse-survival-video

Don’t stop with just re-creating old infographics. If you have a list of new ideas that could work well as infographics, create the copy and turn them into videos. These don’t have to be expensive; a good online animator with voiceover talent could create a high quality video for just a few hundred dollars.

2. Videos on Landing Pages

Make your landing pages work harder to convert customers by adding some video to them. A product page, for example, could be greatly enhanced with the addition of a customer review video.

Amazon uses this tactic very cleverly with its video product reviews option. Take this example of a simple kitchen tool Amazon sells, a corn kernel remover. Under the reviews section, the very first review is a video of the product in action; the video instantly showcases for the viewer how easy the tool is to use.

corn-kernel-remover-video

A tactic like this can greatly increase the conversion rate of the product page by not only showcasing the product in action, but also adding the crucial element of persuasion – social proof.

Google does a great job of showcasing their advertising options by explaining how they work and their core benefits through nifty short videos. Here’s a great example for their AdWords for video advertising option.

google-adwords-for-video-video

This short video quickly showcases all the key benefits to advertisers and explains how this method of advertising works. It then encourages the viewer to consume further information to learn more and get started. Simple, powerful and easy, it works extremely effectively to explain to the viewer something complicated in an easy, digestible manner.

Probably one of the better-known examples of product demos done well appears on the "Will it Blend?" website. Go on, admit it; we were all captivated to see Tom blend things like an iPad or DVDs.

will-it-blend-demo-video

Raise your hand if you watched the video for fun but came away impressed by how powerful that blender was and even considered purchasing it. This is a truly powerful example of a video campaign that gets links and also converts.

Video provides the opportunity to really showcase your brand or product in a fun and helpful way that truly resonates with your target audience. Rather than simply reading a dry page of benefits, seeing it in action is a much more powerful motivator for audiences.

3. Video Resources

Chances are high that you have this content already created. You have manuals or articles on the best way to use your product, tips on getting the most from it, or case studies on what your brand has accomplished.

Showing, rather than telling, is the key here, and your sales will be all the better for it. Any product can benefit from simple videos that showcase tips, demos and how-tos.

As the earlier example from Amazon also showcases, the product needn’t be super exciting to justify a video. Take for example a binding company, who say they have created all their videos for under $50 each. While binding is admittedly not the most exciting subject on the planet, their videos section has resonated with their audience and helped not just their SEO but their sales as well.

my-binding-video-library

Brainstorming Tips: How to Come up With Ideas for a Video

Coming up with ideas for videos is the truly fun part. With a little bit of thought, anyone can create a great share-worthy video. Good steps to follow include:

  • Look at existing content: You likely already have some immensely popular blog posts or other content that could work extremely well as a video.
  • Turn to your customers: Host a video testimonial contest if you have difficulty sourcing videos from customers. The chances of getting something in return are high.
  • Look at your FAQs: Each of these could be turned into individual videos or combined into one power-packed video.
  • Look at your sales pages: You’ve already done the hard work to create content that converts; why not put all the core benefits and features into a video?
  • Do a YouTube search: What are some of the most popular videos that show up on YouTube for your key terms? Those could be great sources of inspiration.
  • Look at your competition: How are companies in your area promoting themselves either via commercials or through sales pitches on their websites? This is rich information ready for sharing.
  • Turn to social media: Peruse the trending videos on sites such as BuzzFeed, HuffingtonPost, or What's Trending to get an idea of what people are really responding to. While the videos tend to fall more on the humorous side, they may still spark some creative ideas.

Video Production Tips: How to Get It Done

It’s really not that hard to get a video produced, especially if you start with an animated one.

You will need:

  • A video script, which can be edited from existing copy.
  • A video animator.
  • A voiceover artist.
  • Two to three weeks to get it all produced.

You don’t have to use an expensive production company; sites such as Elance or oDesk are rich with talented people from around the globe who can produce videos relatively inexpensively. Alternatively, contact local colleges with film programs and hire an intern for a couple of months. He or she will be grateful for the experience and expanded portfolio and you’ll be grateful for the impact to your SEO efforts.

Make sure to:

  • Scan the past work and demo reels of all animators and voiceover talents to ensure you find a style that works well for you.
  • Get all rights to the video signed over to you; the last thing you want is multiple copies of the video floating around before you’ve had a chance to launch your campaign.
  • Post the video on YouTube after you're done, with an outreach campaign for added boosts. Create rich descriptions that contain your keywords and link back to your site so that people searching for your key terms can discover your video and potentially visit your site.

Summary

Video is a great SEO tool that is still surprisingly underutilized. Get ahead of the competition and give your link-building efforts a much-needed boost in 2013 by reaching the consumer where they already are – consuming videos online.

Have other tips or ideas for creating videos? Share your comments below.

About the author

Purna Virji is the Director of Communications at Petplan, leading providers of pet insurance across North America, where she heads up SEO, content marketing, community building, branding, and PR.

With more than 8 years of inbound marketing multichannel experience, both in-house and agency, Purna specializes in SEO, PPC, social media, brand building, e-commerce, direct response advertising and web analytics.

Purna regularly travels across the country to speak at different marketing and search conferences, such as SMX, ETail, and Affiliate Summit and is also a member of the Vistage community.