Sheila with Flip camera (courtesy Julie Tereshchuk on Facebook)I saw a question by a New England DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) in the LinkedIn Group “DMAI Convention and Visitors Bureau Network” about how to best use online video – they had a few ideas but wanted to ensure that they “maximized potential reach.”

In the spirit of reusing content you’ve already made, here is my answer to them, made into this blog post:

Are the videos available on your YouTube channel?

If so, they can help you with SEO if they are titled, described and tagged with the applicable keywords for each particular video.

Make sure you allow sharing.  As a blogger I like to occasionally share good videos, either embedded in a blog post of my own – like I did with a Guerrilla Packs video in this year’s Passports with Purpose prize post – or, if it’s tourism-related, on our business Facebook Page.

I’d also recommend captioning them for the deaf/hard of hearing – the transcript attaches to the video description, which also helps SEO. Google offers an auto-transcript for some videos that are in English, but the voice recognition is a work in progress (to put it charitably) so you’ll need to heavily edit the text to make it accurate.

For more help with web accessibility issues like captioning, I cannot recommend Glenda Watson Hyatt enough – she’s dynamite.

Videos do very well on Facebook, especially if they’re short, and you can tweet about them as well (the shortened URL will open and play right in TweetDeck, for example, so I’m more likely to watch it if I see the tweet.)

If the video would appeal to meeting and event planners, put it on your LinkedIn Company Page for your DMO. You can always get more out of LinkedIn than you think.

I’d have a blog post to go with every video, and of course that post itself will help with SEO. Nothing elaborate; just a little background about the video and then the embed box. Always include a direct text link to the video’s page on YouTube, in case someone is looking at the post via RSS (which won’t show embed boxes) or the embed box goes on the blink.

Once you have the permalink URL to your blog post, go back and add it to the video description on YouTube.  That’s one more way to close the communications loop so if someone finds the video directly on YouTube, they can click through to your blog from the video description. The link is No Follow, but humans can follow it, which is what really matters.

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