Making the most of video
Most of us are looking for ways to reach out and really pique the interest of the people we serve. Between traditional marketing, the Web, and all things social media it seems like the bases have been covered.Not quite.

VIV: Very Important Video

Did you know that almost 90 percent of U.S. police departments are using interactive social media? Here in Canada, many police forces across the country, including the Toronto Police Service, are rolling out their own social media strategies, too. Why? Because it’s instantaneous. Social media allows for direct and immediate engagement with a target audience and not only is it effective, but it allows members of that audience to communicate back to local law enforcement authorities. It is, in short, an unprecedented kind of interaction.

The Internet is a great medium to communicate with people, so why not really engage them by posting interactive content like video to your website or social media pages. Consider the success of YouTube®: “[It] has become so popular and powerful that it receives more visitors every day than the company that owns it, Google®.” More people are reacting to video. Take advantage of the trend by making a video your community can react to, too!

You likely won’t be awarded an Oscar for your production, but that’s not what matters. Concentrate on your content. What information do you want to share? What do you want your audience to do upon seeing it? A flip camera or digital camera will do the trick but if you can, try and find an external mic to use in order to record quality audio. For editing purposes, Windows® Movie Maker or iMovie by Apple® are both easy to learn for first-time users.

Once you’ve made your video, you’ll need to post it to the Web. When you do that, do a little digging about the art of tagging people or places, which allows your video to show up on those individual or place pages, too. Another idea is to use keywords when you’re writing its description in something called search engine optimization. That way, it’s likely to show up nearer the top of a results page when someone types those words into a search engine to find it.

Viewers for your video
Finally, you’ll want to drive traffic to whichever platform you’ve chosen to house your new video, be it your organization’s website or your social media pages. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you’ve chosen to house your video on your website, tell people about it on your social media page by linking one to the other.
  • Encourage visitors on your site to “comment” on your video and share it with others.
  • Start with your own team, or your own agency: Distribute a techie-esque gift like a mouse pad or a gadget grip to get the word out that you’ve got an exciting new digital medium.
  • Then, work on spreading the message within your community. Use flashy marketing like reflective light key rings as a personal safety reminder and a way to share the news about your online video.
  • Use brief radio and TV advertising to make sure your community knows about your new Web-based video. For the first users who visit view your video and share it, offer a free lanyard as an unexpected reward. If they are among the first to register to receive automatic updates about new video content, consider sending them a simple tech gift like a USB drive.

Ultimately, video will appeal to people much more so than anything they have to read. It is a powerful and dynamic feature that will only enrich their experience with you and your agency. Make the most out of video today!

Cops’ Secret Weapon in Catching Criminals: YouTube, Facebook” TODAY – Top News Stories, Video Clips, Recipes and Guest | Today.com. MSNBC, n.d. Web. 6 July 2012.

Gray, Meaghan. “Building a Social Media Strategy: The Toronto Police Service Experience.Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Web. 03 Aug. 2012.

Renee. “The Benefits Of Video Marketing Are Worth The Effort.” SEM-Answers.com, 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 06 July 2012.

Allen, Kevin P. “Product Videos Easy to Produce, Inexpensive | Practical ECommerce.Ecommerce Know-How: Product Videos Easy to Produce, Inexpensive | Practical ECommerce. Ecommerce Know-How, 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 18 July 2012.

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