In your freelance or Virtual Assistant business, do you think of yourself as a celebrity? If you use online video to share your message, you are! And if you haven’t yet, you still can be!
When I was in high school, a local cable TV station interviewed me about some miniature sculptures I’d made and displayed in an art festival. They asked me how I made them and gave me a chance to share my thoughts and creative process.
It was the early ‘90s, so the show aired at a certain time, and students walking through the school hallways caught a glimpse of it on TVs hung in the corner. My parents recorded the show on our VCR so we could watch it again.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
After the interview, I enjoyed a small burst of popularity. People said they saw me on TV, and they were interested in learning more about my art. For a while, I was seen as a bit of an authority on miniature sculptures.
Fast-forward to today, and being on TV still has that sparkle and excitement. It gives a person star power and 15 (or more) minutes of fame. In the old days, you had to catch someone on your TV set at the right moment. But now online video is available 24/7. You can catch someone live on your mobile device, or watch on demand from the palm of your hand.
It’s a great way to share your message with the world in an accessible manner. If I had been making those sculptures now, I wouldn’t have had to wait for someone to request an interview. I could have created my own instructional videos and broadcast them over the internet. And it would have been possible to get a lot of exposure.
The online videos would also have a longer shelf life. I have no idea where the VHS recording of my old interview is, so I have no way of replaying it. My miniature sculptures have been long forgotten.
But your message can be long remembered! Wyzowl recently published some eye-opening statistics from their survey on “The State of Video Marketing 2018.” They discovered that 83% of consumers would consider sharing a branded video with their friends if they enjoyed it. And 72% would prefer to learn about a product or service through video, given the choice of both video and text on the same page.
So the time is ripe to leverage this important content marketing channel in your online business! And to help you get started, here are five of the most popular video platforms people are using to broadcast their message with the world.
When choosing a platform, consider these two factors:
• Which one will most effectively reach your target audience?
• Which one provides features that suit the types of videos you’d like to create?
1. Facebook Live and On-Demand – https://live.fb.com/
Screenshot via https://live.fb.com/about/
If your target audience hangs out on Facebook, you may want to use Facebook Live. This platform lets you connect with viewers instantly and interact with them in real time through your Facebook Page or profile.
Your followers can receive a notification when your live broadcast begins, and you can respond to their comments either verbally or in writing. You can also see people’s live reactions throughout the broadcast – their “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” and other sentiments.
After the live broadcast, your recorded video can remain on your Page or profile, allowing followers to watch it on demand. If you’re a student of VAClassroom University, you may have seen co-founder Craig Cannings’ Facebook Live sessions that take place once a month. We look forward to these sessions as a way to hear Craig’s message and interact with him through comments either during or after the broadcast. It’s a great way for both Craig and students to be heard.
Facebook Live is free with a Facebook account.
2. IGTV – https://business.instagram.com/a/igtv
Screenshot via https://www.instagram.com/
If you use Instagram as a social media marketing channel, you may already be familiar with Instagram Stories, where you can post photos or short one-minute videos that disappear after 24 hours.
IGTV is a new Instagram feature available through a standalone app or on the web. It lets you upload vertical, full-screen videos that can be up to an hour long, and they won’t disappear. Instead, they remain on your IGTV page. Each page is called a “Channel,” and viewers can search for channels to watch through their regular Instagram app.
An Instagram Business article titled “Introducing IGTV” shares the exciting potential of this new platform:
“As with stories, IGTV is built on Instagram leveraging a global community of more than 800M people. When your followers open IGTV, they will instantly see original content from you, and new people can also discover your brand.”
IGTV is free with an Instagram account.
3. YouTube Live – https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard_splash
Screenshot via https://www.youtube.com
According to Statista’s “YouTube: Statistics & Data” page, this online video platform has “almost 1.5 billion users worldwide,” a figure that’s “projected to grow to 1.86 billion global YouTube users in 2021.”
So, if your target audience is on YouTube, your message can have a wide reach! If YouTube were around when I was creating miniature sculptures, I could have started my own channel and broadcast tutorials to my classmates.
For your freelance or Virtual Assistant business, you can reach your audience through the “Stream now” option, where you spontaneously “jump online” to share your message. Or you can schedule “Live events,” where you can control when to start and stop the stream, and preview it before you go live. You can also reply to your viewers’ comments during the live broadcast.
If you’d prefer not to broadcast live, you can create videos beforehand and upload them to your YouTube channel to be watched on demand.
Screenshot via https://www.youtube.com
YouTube is free with a Google account.
4. Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/
Screenshot via https://vimeo.com/
If you enjoy being part of a video creation community, but with higher video quality and no ads, Vimeo might be the right choice for you and your business. According to the Vimeo site, you can “distribute your videos across devices to 240M+ creators, viewers, and fans.”
This platform provides an ad-free player that supports HDR, 360 video, and 4K Ultra HD. You can easily publish videos as native posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, or you can embed a playlist on your website. The Vimeo player can be customized and branded with your logo.
Another great feature is you can integrate Vimeo with tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie, Slack, Squarespace, and more, uploading videos from your devices. The Premium paid plan lets you use live streaming to reach your audience in full HD 1080p. Live streaming (up to three events at once) can take place simultaneously on Vimeo and Facebook or YouTube.
With a Business or Premium paid plan, you can add email capture to your videos for lead generation, and sync your captured emails with Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, or Constant Contact. Videos can end with a call to action, sending viewers to any desired link.
The Vimeo Basic plan is free with limited features. Paid plans start at $9/month CAD, and a 30-day free trial is available for any annual plan.
5. Wistia – https://wistia.com/
Screenshot via https://wistia.com/product
Another option for video marketing is Wistia, a popular platform built specifically for businesses. This platform is also ad-free, and it doesn’t show related videos.
You can customize the player, as well as the video thumbnails, and add calls to action and email capture elements. Wistia also includes video SEO elements so your videos will rank for your website’s pages rather than for YouTube.
Wistia can be integrated with tools like MailChimp, Infusionsoft, and Constant Contact, as well as HubSpot, Zendesk, and many more.
By installing the free Wistia for Chrome extension, you can upload and distribute videos from within your browser. You can share a video via Gmail and include it on a Squarespace or WordPress website. And you can share videos via social media.
In addition, Wistia offers a free or paid Soapbox Chrome extension to create quick presentation videos.
Wistia is available as a free plan with a 3-video limit. Pro plans start at $99/month USD. The Soapbox Chrome extension is available for free, or you can access Pro features for $150/year.
So there you have it, five best ways to share your message on video! There’s a star power to traditional TV, but it’s hard to beat the personal connection you can build with your target audience through online video.
And the sky’s the limit – it’s YOUR message, so be unique and tailor it to your own particular Virtual Assistant or freelance business. The tools are there to expand your reach far and wide.
Have you used these video platforms in your virtual business? Are there any others you’d recommend? Please share your thoughts below!