Getting Started with Pinterest

Social-Media-Ideas-GirlPinterest is a relatively new social networking site with a twist.

It’s all about creating and sharing collections of images that you find around the web or create yourself. They call it themselves a “Virtual Pin Board’ and their members use it to organize recipes, plan home improvement projects, share favorite books, plan weddings and more. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Pinterest currently has about 25 million users and about 80% of their audience is female, but there is definitely male representation on the site.

Register

Pinterest Login Screen

If you go to Pinterest.com, you can click the “Join Pinterest” button.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be greeted by this message.

Pinterest Login Screen 2

 

Setting Up Your Account

In order to use Pinterest, you have to either register with a Facebook or Twitter account. They say they do this because they believe it makes it easier for people to find you, cuts down on spam and you can easily share your updates with those sites. It doesn’t matter if you start by registering with Facebook or Twitter, you can link both accounts at a later date.

We’re going to go through the process by signing up with Twitter, so we click “Or sign up with Twitter.”


Don’t worry about Pinterest doing things with your Twitter account that you don’t want it to. You have complete control and if you don’t want Pinterest to update anything on Twitter, you can set it that way too. If it sounds good, click “Sign In” as shown above.

On the next page, you’ll see that Pinterest automatically grabbed your avatar (we’ve blacked out this one for privacy reasons). Then you can choose a username, add your email address and password.


Click “Create Account” when you’re done. Next you’ll be presented with 28 categories that you can choose as being related to your interests. Pinterest uses this information to automatically follow people with common interests. You have to pick at least one category to continue.


 

When you’re done choosing, click “Follow People” at the bottom of the screen.


On the page page, you’ll be able to see who you are now following and remove them, if you prefer. If everything’s a-okay then you can start creating boards.


 

On the next page, you’ll see five suggested boards you can create. You can edit these, delete these or do whatever you want. If you’re not sure about all the boards you’re going to create, you can just start with one and add as many as you want later. You can also see further suggestions to the right. If you click one of those, it will automatically be added to your list.


 

 

Click “Create” when you’re done deciding on your boards. Again, you can add whatever you want or delete any boards later too. Now you’re ready to get started with Pinterest!

Low End Video Camera Comparison Chart

NOTE: Comparison chart was created based on available information and features are subject to change.

 

Flip Ultra HD

Kodak PlaySport (Zx3) HD Waterproof

Toshiba CAMILEO® S30 1080p HD

Sony Bloggie Touch

Samsung HMX-E10 1080P Pocket Camcorder

Price

$109

$134.95

$111.72

$134.99

$86.39

Size

1.2 x 2.2 x 4.2 inches, 6.1 ounces

2.4 x 1 x 2.7 inches,1.2 pounds

4.3 x 0.8 x 2.4 inches,2.8 pounds

2.7 x 4.9 x 2.7 inches,9.8 ounces

0.7 x 4.3 x 2.3 inches,8.8 ounces

Battery Type

AA Rechargeable (included,) accepts AA standard.

Lithium Ion, Rechargeable

Lithium Ion, Rechargeable

Lithium Ion, Rechargeable

Lithium Ion, Rechargeable

Resolution

1280 x 720

1920×1080

1920×1080

1920×1080

1920×1080

Built In Memory

8 GB Internal

128 MB built in, SD/SDHC slot expandable up to 32 GB

128 built-in, 64 GB expandable SD/SDHC

8 GB Internal

MicroSD (not included)

LCD Display

2 Inch Screen

2 Inch Screen

3 Inch Touch Screen

3 Inch Touch Screen

2.7-inch Touch-Screen

Recording Time

2 Hours

10 Hours of HD Video @ 32 GBs

60 Mins per GB  at 420p resolution, 20 mins per GB at 720p

4 hours

No data from manufacturer

Additional Features

Includes proprietary movie-editing software

Waterproof to 10ft

Self-Timer, Auto-Focus

12.8 MP Stills while filming, image stabilization

270-degree swivelling lens

Optimizing Videos Embedded on Your Site for Search Engines

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If you’re in the habit of putting embedded videos on your site, how can you help make sure those videos get ranked?

What makes a video page rank, while others don’t?

 

Let’s examine some of the most important rankings factors, along with how you can get your embedded pages to the top of the search engines.

 

Step 1: Optimize Your Video Title Tag

Take a look at the keyword data for some of the main keywords in your market. You should try to target some of those keywords, especially to “how to” keywords and the “video” keywords.

For example, if you have a fly fishing website, you might target keywords like:

  • How to put a fly on a hook
  • Fly fishing video
  • Fly on hook video
  • How to reel a fly fishing rod

And so on and so forth.

Once you’ve selected your keywords, make sure the keyword is in the title tag of your website. Lead with the keyword, then have the title of the page after it.

Make sure your title tag is less than 66 characters. Why? Because after 66 characters, your title tag is cut off in the Google search results. The rest of the title will be replaced with “…”

Step 2: Optimize Your Video Meta Description Tag

Your description tag is what search engines will use to describe your website, directly below the title tag in the results.

video

To change your description tag, add or edit the meta description tag in your HTML <head> tags.

Step 3: Get Your Video Transcribed

As amazing as Google’s technology is, they still can’t “listen” to a video and understand what’s being said. Therefore, anytime you just have a video embedded on a page, Google won’t know whether you have a content-rich page or not.

You could either write a complete article to go along with the video, or you can just get the video transcribed. Just go on oDesk or eLance to create a job posting or to find a transcriber.

Many transcribers in India or the Philippines can be hired for as little as $5 an hour. It takes about 4x as long to transcribe as the video length, so a 5 minute video will take about 20 minutes to transcribe.

Here’s an oDesk screenshot, search results for “Transcriber”:

video

Step 4: Get Increased Distribution

To get more traffic to your main videos on your site, it often helps to distribute a few peripheral videos to other video sites like MetaCafe or Vimeo. There are literally dozens of such sites, and while none of them have the kind of traffic that YouTube does, combined they’re a formidable source of traffic.

Instead of distributing the videos by hand, the work will be much faster and less tedious if you used a service like TubeMogul (free) or TrafficGeyser (paid) to distribute your videos.

Step 5: Embedding Mini-Videos to Increase Page Views

One powerful way to get more views to your video is to place a small video on every page in your website. Every time the video is loaded, whether it’s played or not, will count as a view on the video.

Let’s say you run a career-related website. In the sidebar of your website, you embed a small 100 x 75 pixel video. The user can click play to watch the video if they want, but the majority won’t.

Even if they never click play, the mere act of loading your video (because it’s on your sidebar) will increase the view count by one. Every time someone visits a page on your site, it’ll load the video count by one again.

This way, your video count will go way up utilizing traffic you already have.

Step 6: Offer a “Put This on Your Site” Code

One of the factors that YouTube looks at when deciding how your video ranks is how many other people embedded your video. If many people are taking your video and putting it on their sites, YouTube’s going to assume that the video should be ranked higher.

You can make getting embeds easier by offering the embed code on your site.

Simply put the embed code below your video, with the heading “Put this video on your site!”

video

If you want, you can even hide the code so people need to click a button for the code to show.

Step 7: Getting Backlinks

Backlinks play a very large role in getting pages to rank. Some would even say it’s the most important factor of all.

Deep linking, or the strategy of linking to specific pages rather than the home page, is often more effective than concentrating all your links in one place. If you have many videos, try to build a number of backlinks to each of them.

Here are a few potential sources of backlinks:

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Web 2.0 Properties
  • Article Directories
  • Guest Writing
  • Press Releases
  • Resource sections on other people’s sites

The most effective backlinking strategy in the long run is to simply put out top notch content. Other people with websites on your topic will then link to your videos as valuable resources.
Optimizing your embedded video page isn’t that different than optimizing a web page for search engines. Follow good SEO practices in your title tags and backlinking strategy. Make sure you always have text content as well as video content. Distribute your videos using a distribution service to get more exposure, and try embedding your videos in main pages to get more view counts and higher rankings. Finally, offer the embed code to visitors to help spread your videos through the web.

Add Promotional Text to Video: Windows Movie Maker

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
When using video to market your business, you can get more bangs for your buck by adding promotional text to your videos.

It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes using Windows Movie Maker software. Here’s how.

You will need:

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Previously Created Video
  • Promotional Text

Step 1: Open Movie Maker

When you open Movie Maker, here is what you’ll see.


Step 2: Import Video to Project

Click the Add Videos & Photos icon in the home tab navigation as shown above.

Locate your video on your computer. Select it and click open.


Your video should now show up in the story track on right side of Movie Maker as shown here.


Step 3: Select Slide to Edit

Click the slide in the video that you want to add the promotional text to. As you click each slide, you’ll get a preview in the left side of the screen.

In our case, we want our promotion to show on the last slide to direct people back to our website. Therefore, we’ve selected the last file in the story track and we see here the preview of that file.


Step 4: Add Promotion

On the home tab, next to the snapshots icon, you’ll see a list of three editing features.

  • Title: Adds a new title before the selected item
  • Caption: Adds text that displays over the existing video or photo
  • Credits: Adds the credits, director, stars and location to the video


Click the Caption icon and you will have a new text box added to the slide you’ve selected. Simply click to enter your promotional text and click away from the slide when you’ve finished.


Once you add text, you will see a Text Tool tab option open up. Here you can change the text format to suit your needs.


Step 5: Save Video

At this point, the editing is done. But before you do anything else, you need to save your video as a project in case you need to edit it later. Click the small arrow next to the home tab and then click Save Project As. Name the project and click save.


Now that the project is saved for future edits, you can save your video in a format suitable for viewing. Again, click the arrow at the top left of the screen and this time you can do one of two things:

  1. Publish the video to the web (to places like Facebook, YouTube, etc)
  2. Save the video to be viewed on the computer and/or uploaded to the web at a later time.

We want to save the video and upload it later so we mouse over Save Movie.

The next step is to select the size and quality of the video being saved. The most popular settings are pre-defined and include:

  • High Definition: The highest quality and creates a movie at a 1440×1080 pixel resolution.
  • Burn to DVD: The next highest quality creates a 720×480 resolution video.
  • For Computer: Videos with this setting will be of medium quality with a resolution of 640×480.
  • For Email: This is the lowest quality and has a 320×240 resolution.

There are also settings for viewing on mobile devices and manual size settings that you can browse through at your leisure.


Once the movie is finished saving to the new format, you’ll get the following dialog box where you can play to preview your video.


 

Optimizing YouTube Videos for Search Engines

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YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, larger than even Bing or Yahoo.

It’s by far the world’s largest video search engines.

A well optimized video can easily get you tens of thousands of viewers – Each. A video that goes viral can get hundreds of thousands and even millions of views.

Here’s how to optimize your videos for YouTube.

 

Step 1: Determine Target Keyword Volume

Much as you would if you were optimizing for search engines, the first step to optimizing for videos is to determine both the keyword volume and the competition for each keyword phrase.

Use the Google Keyword Tool to compile a list of potential keywords. You should target a variety of keywords, some of them high volume and high competition, others lower volume with lower competition.


 

Step 2: Determine Strength of Competition

How strong are competing videos? Do as search for your target keywords and analyze them by:

  • Number of views
  • Number of comments
  • Number of replies
  • Number of likes
  • Number of video responses
  • Percentage of people who liked the video, out of total viewers
  • Channel subscribers

To view the number of likes, just open a video. It’ll be right under the view count:


To count the number of comments, click on “View All Comments” at the bottom of the page:


The comment count will be right above the comment box:


Put all this data, along with the total number of views, into an Excel spreadsheet. Do this for at least 20 keywords.

Match up the number of views to the strength of the competition. Look for the weakest competition, as compared to the highest number of monthly searches. Then select the keywords with the best volume-to-competition ratio to optimize for.

Step 3: Write a Keyword Optimized, Attention Catching Headline

The headline has two jobs:

  1. To get the video to show up when someone searches. Google uses a relevance check to make sure the videos that show up are relevant to their search.
  2. To convince people to actually click on your video once it shows up in a search.

 

The most important thing in writing the title tag is to make sure your main keyword is in the title.

 

The second most important thing is to make sure that your title has well written copy that gets people to click.

Step 4: Get as Many Favorites, Likes and Comments as Possible

The number of likes, favorites and comments you have are some of the most heavily weighed factors for search engine rankings. The more likes, favorites and comments you have, the more YouTube is going to think you have a good video.

How can you increase your number of likes, favorites and comments?

One method is to ask people to do so in your video. You can either hard code into your video, or you can do it in annotations.

To do it in annotations, click on “Annotations” when you’re editing a video.



Click the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” to choose what kind of annotation to add.



Finally, craft a mini-sales message to get people to add comment, like or add your video.


Step 5: Ranking for Related and Suggested Videos

Two potentially lucrative sources of traffic to your videos are related videos and suggested videos. What are they?

They’re the videos that show up when someone else finishes watching a similar video, or the videos that appear on the right hand side of any video you’re watching.


How do you get your videos to appear for on related or suggested videos? Especially other high trafficked and relevant videos?

First, work on the credibility of your own video. The more views you have, the more comments you have and the more likes you have, the higher your likelihood of showing up in suggested or related videos at all.

It’s hard to get a new video to show up in suggested or related videos. But after you have a few thousand views, it really makes sense to try to get them to show up.

Start by copying all the keyword tags that other videos in your industry are using. Having closely related (but not identical) keyword lists tells YouTube that your videos are on as similar subject.6

Then, try to also duplicate the same keywords they target in their title. Of course your title tag should be completely different, but having the same main keyword can really help you land in suggested or related.

Finally, make sure you pick a good video snapshot for your video. In addition to your title, your snapshot is what others will judge your video based on. The higher the CTR to your video from a related video, the more YouTube will think your videos are related and the higher your video will show up in the future.

Step 6: Getting Backlinks

Much like getting rankings in the SEO world, getting rankings in videos requires getting backlinks. The more backlinks, the higher your video will rank.

How do you get backlinks?

The first and most important thing is to have a truly original and high quality video. If you create a video like that, it’s only natural that other people will want to link to your video as a resource.

In addition however, you can do quite a bit of manual link building.

Use sites like Squidoo and Hubpages to get high quality, relevant backlinks. Link to the video from your own site(s). Use distributed articles to get a high number of backlinks.

 

To wrap things up, it’s important to remember that the majority of YouTube users never try to deliberately get their videos to rank. If you’re focusing on video rankings, you’re already in the top 1%. In time, if you follow the tips outlined in this report, your rankings will very likely beat your competitor’s.

Checklist for to get Better ROI on your videos

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
YouTube success isn’t just about getting views.

 

It’s also about making sure you maximize the amount of revenue you generate from those views.

 

Here’s how to get the best ROI on your online videos by optimizing videos.

 

 

Step 1: Optimize Your Video Thumbnails

YouTube by default doesn’t let you upload a custom frame. Only YouTube partners, highly trafficked consistent uploaders, can choose their own images.

They used to let anyone upload custom thumbnails in the past, but marketers abused the privilege by uploading unrelated pictures designed just to get clicks. Today, YouTube only lets you select from a number of frames taken from within your video.

To change your thumbnail, click “Edit” to enter the editing menu:


Then scroll down and choose a thumbnail in the “Video Thumbnail” box on the left.


If none of these thumbnails matches what you want your thumbnail to be, trim a few seconds off your video and re-upload it. YouTube will re-sample the video and have a few new thumbnails for you to choose from.

 

Step 2: Watermark Your Videos

Watermarking does several things. First, it builds your brand throughout the video instead of just at the end. Second, anytime someone embeds your video, you have a chance of getting them to come and visit your website.

To watermark your video, first create a logo in an image editing program like Photoshop. Make sure you save it as a PNG, which supports transparency without aliasing. JPEGs don’t support transparency at all and GIFs don’t do transparency very well.

In a video editing program, just put your PNG file above the video file and wala, your video is watermarked.

Here’s what a watermark might look like:


 

Step 3: Begin Your Video With a Quick Promo

Ever notice how most popular YouTube channels have a quick, 5 second promo at the beginning? It’s similar to how The Simpsons or Family Guy has a 1 minute song intro in the beginning.

The purpose of the intro is to set the vibe for the rest of the video. It’s like welcoming someone to your brand, your video and setting the expectations for what the rest of the experience is going to be like.

Furthermore, it also makes the video look more professional. Especially if the intro is very well done.

How do you create an intro? It could be as simple as a fly in text with a carefully chosen background. A combination of Photoshop and a basic video editor should do the trick.

 

Step 4: End With a Call to Action

What do you want someone to do after seeing your video? Do you want them to visit a link? Sign up for a newsletter? Become a subscriber to your channel?

Whatever it is you want them to do, ask them to do it clearly. Put the call to action at the end of your video and make it a good 10 to 15 seconds long.

Why? Because the moment the video ends, YouTube is going to put their own promo for other people’s videos at the end of your video. Instead of sending your traffic to someone else’s video, just put a long call to action at the end.

That way, a visitor would have to stare at the call to action for a good 15 seconds before they’d be presented with the “related videos.”

Here’s what a call to action might look like:


 

Step 5: Link to Your Channel or Videos in Your Video

Instead of having users go to other people’s videos after watching yours, why not direct them to your YouTube channel or another one of your videos?

You can make links and annotations clickable in your videos. Here’s how.

First, go to “Annotations.”


 

Then in the drop down box next to “Add Annotation” and select the type of annotation you want.

In the bottom right section of the “Add Annotation” box, click the checkbox named “Link.”


 

Then select which type of page you want to link to.


Note: Unless you’re a YouTube partner, you can’t link to an external page.

Finally, enter the target URL into the URL box.

 

Step 6: Put a Link in Your Descriptions

Having a link in your description makes it easy for anyone to click on it, even when there’s no link on screen.

YouTube gives you 1,000 characters to write your description with, a generous allocation by any standard. Great descriptions can help give visitors additional information that wasn’t provided in the video.

The link however should be provided in the first 27 characters. YouTube will automatically display the first 27 characters without cutting anything off. Anything after 27 characters will automatically be truncated and followed by an ellipsis.

This is what a link in the description should look like:


Anything beyond 27 characters will be cut off. If your link can’t fit into 27 characters, consider using a service like bit.ly or tinyurl to shorten your URLs.

These are some of the most important factors to getting your videos to convert on YouTube. Remember, it’s not just about the traffic. You can easily earn more with a video that gets a few thousand views than from a video that gets hundreds of thousands, if the former is better optimized.

Checklist for Choosing Screen Capture Video Software

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Ready to create your own screencast?

 

The first step is to select which video software you want to use.

 

There are a number of different screen capture video software programs out there to choose from. This checklist will help determine which is right for you.

 

 

#1 – Your Price Range for video software

Screen capture video software programs can range from free (CamStudio) to as much as $799 (Adobe Captivate) with most being somewhere in between.

#2 – Editing Capabilities on your video software

Do you have video editing experience? Do you have your own video software?

If you already know how to edit video in third party software, then the built-in editing components aren’t that important. Most video editing software will be more powerful than built-in systems anyway.

However, if you don’t have video editing experience, the built-in editors can really help make things easier. You’ll be able to cut video, add annotations and subtitles and edit sound tracks without too much difficulty.

#3 – Output Quality & Formats from your video software

If you intend on burning these screencasts to DVD, you’ll probably want to use software that can save to a high resolution format. Many of the lower end programs only export to Flash, which is compressed and difficult to edit.

On the other hand, if you just intend on using it to create YouTube files, then having Flash formats will work just fine.

Take into consideration who the audience is when you’re determining what output quality you need.

If your video is going to an audience that’s paying for your screencast, you might want to put out a higher quality video. On the other hand, if it’s for free videos, then it’s probably okay to use a lower resolution video and save the money on the software.

#4 – Operating System needed for your video software

What operating system are you using? Some software only works on Windows, others on only Macs and some work on both.

Once you take the price point, the editing capabilities, the video quality and the operating system into account, you’ll have a pretty good sense of what kind of software you need.

Checklist for Buying a Video Camera

Digital Media - Buying a video camera - video
Buying a new video camera can be daunting, with all the thousands of different options available to you.

How do you make your choice? Your final pick comes down to what you intend to use your video camera for.

 

This checklist will guide you through a few of the most important points to take into consideration.

 #1 – Your Price Range for your Video Camera

Spending more money doesn’t always mean you’ll get a camera that’s better suited for your needs. Sometimes buying a lower end video camera that does what you need it to do better will have you better off than paying more.

That said, before you start shopping, get a good sense for what you’re willing to pay.

 #2 – What Resolution Do You Need in a Video Camera?

Do you need just a low-resolution video camera for shooting YouTube videos? Or do you need a top of the line high-def video camera for filming DVDs?

 #3 – Battery Considerations for your Video Camera

There are a few things to consider with batteries.

First, consider how long the built-in battery will last. Naturally, the longer the better, but it’s not the end of the world if the video camera has a short battery life.

More importantly, how easy is it to switch out the batteries for a fully charged one? What’s the cost of buying an additional battery? Can you use traditional AA batteries, or do you have to purchase another lithium ion battery?

 #4 – Optical Zoom on your Video Camera

It’s important to realize the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. Optical zoom is when your video camera uses lenses to enlarge light before it’s recorded digitally. Digital zoom takes the same amount of data and enlarges it digitally.

Any time you use digital zoom, you’ll lose quality. In fact, digital zoom can be done after filming in just about any video editing software.

In other words, if you want high resolution videos shot from a far distance, you’ll be better off with a camera that has a high optical zoom.

 #5 – Memory and Media in your Video Camera

There are many different kinds of storage media to choose from. On one hand, you can go with the strictly built-in memory cameras. These are particularly good for casual users who don’t want the hassle of dealing with memory cards.

On the other hand, for the pros, there’s everything from SDHC / Memory Sticks to MiniDVs to built-in hard discs. Each has different storage capacities, limitations and price stickers.

#6 – Other Video Camera Options

Other options to look for include …

  • Light detection. Some video cameras are able to detect what kind of lighting you’re filming and adjust accordingly.
  • Anti-shake. If you’re moving while filming, some video cameras can digitally compensate for it so the video looks as if you were holding it still.
  • Waterproof. If you ever have the chance to take your video camera underwater, you can get some truly spectacular shots.
  • Still picture shots. Some video cameras have a button that allows you to take still pictures while you’re filming.
  • Auxiliary mic. Some video cameras allow you to plug in a third party microphone to get better sound quality.
  • Widescreen. If you’re shooting for DVD or high-quality video, having a widescreen camera can give a very cinematic effect.

#7 – Return Policy on your Video Camera

Believe it or not, the return policy on a video camera is actually quite important. You never know if you’ll really like the camera until you’ve had a chance to take it home for a test run.

Some stores have a zero-return policy, or a return only if defective policy. Others have a 30 day policy, while still others have a year-long “no questions asked” policy. Naturally, the more lenient the better.

These are a few of the most important things to take into consideration when you’re buying a digital video camera. Once you’ve made your decision and made your purchase, remember that you can always return the camera and choose a different option if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted.

What to Do with this Multimedia eCourse

During this course we’ve talked about:


  • Adding audio to your website or blog.
  • Adding video to your website or blog.
  • Using video demos to capture attention.
  • Interview people for quick, quality content.
  • Hosting teleseminars.
  • Hosting webinars.
  • Podcasting.
  • Creating testimonials, reviews and case studies.

[Read more…]

Using Videos For Testimonials, Reviews and Case Studies

Want an easy way to add more content to your website while increasing your potential for sales? Testimonials, reviews and case studies are great sales tools that are easy to create and that visitors love to see.

Today’s lesson covers how to use these tools in your business. [Read more…]