With the advent of broadband Internet access and the proliferation of free video hosting sites like YouTube, Blip.tv, Revver, and Veoh.com, today anyone with a camcorder and an Internet connection can produce a video. and share it with the world. Web video production can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Some benefits include:
o Free or low-cost advertising and exposure for your business
o Instant access to a worldwide audience on the Web, 24/7
o The ability to use the HTML code from your video hosting site to add the video to your own website
Here are 4 simple steps to get your video on the web:
1. Produce a short video
“Short” is the keyword here, for several reasons: First, online viewers have a much shorter attention span when watching Web video. Second, longer videos mean larger file sizes. Most free video hosting sites have a limit of 100MB; some even less. For great DIY online video tools, visit Serious Magic and check out their inexpensive “Vlog It” software. Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio software can also meet your simple video production needs.
2. Broadcast your video to view online
Once you have your video, it still needs to be encoded and compressed to make it “internet friendly”. Video files can be huge, but compression software reduces the size of the video file so it plays better on the web. Remember to save or export your file to a supported size online, which is 320 X 240 resolution; and compress it to be less than 20 MB, if possible. Be sure to save your video file in a format that most video sites accept, such as a Quicktime movie (.mov), a Windows movie (.wmv), or a Flash file (.flv). QuickTime Pro (for Windows or Mac) is ideal for compressing your video and transferring it to the file format of your choice (Windows, Flash, MPEG).
3. Upload to various free video hosting sites
Now comes the fun part: you can upload your video and share it with the world! Most popular video sites have relatively easy upload instructions: First, you’ll need to create an account for each site. Video hosting sites usually have a two or three step process that allows you to browse your video file on your computer; add a title and description; and then click “upload” to post your video file. Most sites will also give you options to add a thumbnail photo, select your gender or category, or, in some cases, sign up for revenue sharing. I suggest you go beyond the obvious sites like YouTube and Yahoo, and upload your video to some of the newer, more feature-rich sites like Veoh, Revver, iFilm, and Stickam. Visit the individual sites for easy loading instructions.
4. Promote and share your new “online TV channel”
Once you’ve uploaded your video, video hosting sites provide the option to “share” your video by giving you a link/URL that you can email to your contacts. Most sites also include a great feature that allows you to copy the HTML code and “embed” the video on your own website or blog. Simply cut and paste the provided code into your own site. Finally, use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to offer “subscriptions” to your online videos.
Follow these four steps and you can have your own video on numerous video websites and on your own home page as well!
Sidebar: Beyond YouTube…: Everyone has their own favorite video site, from Bolt.com to Lulu.tv, there are dozens of video hosting sites. I find the most “user friendly” sites to be Blip.tv, VideoEgg and Veoh. For a more business-oriented video hosting site, visit Brightcove.com.
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