Video is BIG! 100 million internet users watch online videos every day and 100 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute. Whether it’s a technical demonstration of how to use a microscope or a cat falling out of a tree, people around the world are the flocking to video sharing sites to consume content.
Whatever your target market and target audience, there is little doubt that video could be a valuable addition to your content portfolio, but I wanted to focus on how and why video is a particularly useful channel for international campaigns.
Add Subtitles and/or Voiceovers
Utilising subtitles and voiceovers enables you to take one video and use it multiple times. There are a wide of different options and levels, which unsurprisingly vary a lot in cost however it is likely to be cheaper and easier than reproducing a video in lots of languages. YouTube enables you to upload basic subtitle documents, with time coding, and users can then select their preferred language. So this is a great option to get started.
Of course, not all videos would be suitable for an international audience. A video containing lots of references to one country, or talking about something specific to a market such as laws, healthcare or education systems might not be relevant, and therefore interesting to all, but generally informational and entertaining videos can be appealing across multiple locales.
The great thing about videos is that they are very visual, and can be effective with few words. The type and purpose of the video will affect how feasible this is, but if your goal is to generate brand awareness, create a buzz around a product or generate social sharing why not be innovative with images and find a new way to share your message that breaks language barriers.
Go Beyond YouTube
When most of us think online videos, we think YouTube – understandably given that it is the second largest search engine in the world. And while it has users in pretty much every country on earth, it isn’t the only video site, nor is it the most popular in every country.
Investigate which sites are commonly used in your target market and utilise them to share your content. There is the obvious benefit that you will reach a wider audience, which in turn will increase the likelihood of your videos being shared on social sites and between users. It may also give you the edge over your competition – especially international competitors who might not have ventured beyond their familiar sites.
Here are just a few video sharing sites you should definitely check out:
Youku-Tudou: This is by far the most popular video site in China, with over 300 million videos viewed each day. And remember that YouTube is banned in China, so you have no choice but to find an alternative if you want to reach that audience.
RuTube: There are 30 million unique views on Russian video site RuTube each month.
NicoNico: Japanese site NicoNico also gets about 30 million unique monthly views.
Dailymotion: This video site was created in France but has spread globally to now be available in 35 countries, and 18 languages. In total, 2.5 billion videos are viewed here each month.
Be Visible in International Search Engines
You’ll know from your own searches that video is ever more present in search engine results, and this is the case across all of the global search engines.
You can upload titles, tags and descriptions for each language version of your video (and on each video sharing site you use) which can be optimised to contain relevant and popular keywords in that language. This is a great way to get fresh content into the local SERPs without having to create new written content.
Search engines Yandex and Baidu both have their own video sites, Yandex Video and iQiyi, which are also worth considering using as they are likely to perform well in search results.
When you’re working internationally, it’s likely that you will be serving a large proportion of your audience remotely. While that is increasingly easy in today’s world, building trust with that audience is still a challenge and can be a barrier to success. Video can be a useful tool to help you connect with that remote audience and build a relationship with them.
You could film your employees talking about your products/services – or even about themselves. Or how about making a video showing your offices/shops/warehouses? By sharing the real-life people behind your business and giving it some context, you give more credibility to it and help users in a different country to build up a picture of you and see beyond your logo.
And that’s definitely going to be cheaper than a global roadshow
Lights, Camera, Action!
It’s over to you now. There are opportunities to make videos for any product, services and organisation and to make these videos work on an international level, whether your budget is large or small. Video marketing is only going to increase in importance, so don’t get left behind.