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Seven Insanely Affordable Video Marketing Tactics

Selling and branding your product or company with video has become a necessity. Thankfully, it has also become much easier. While most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don't have the budgeting resources of major brands, they really don't need a huge budget to use video. Small business owners can build a brand or promote products quickly with web video by creating and uploading their own videos and taking advantage of user-generated content (UGC) in their video promotions.

YouTube is not only the most popular video search site; it has earned a place in national broadcast news. We've all seen a viral YouTube video on the evening news, right? ComScore reported in April that 174 million U.S. internet users watched online video content in March for an average of 14.8 hours per viewer, thereby engaging in more than 5.7 billion viewing sessions throughout the month.

Going beyond UGC videos, Americans viewed 4.3 billion video ads in March, with video ads reaching 43 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 33 times during the month. The latest trend is for big advertisers to move ad dollars from TV to web video, and you can get on the web video bandwagon too by creating web video on a budget.

In this article, we'll discuss seven low-cost strategies for launching a robust video marketing program.

Consider the benefits of UGC on YouTube

A great low-budget tactic for SMBs to promote their companies and products is to use UGC in video promotions. It is easier than ever to create quality videos because UGC admins are offered through many of the video hosting providers, including Blinkx, Flickr, Vimeo, and YouTube, to name a few.

UGC video submissions to YouTube provide your site with a great way to interact with its users while also improving the content displayed on the site. Instead of storing files locally on your web server and using server processing power to transcode videos for playback, it is much easier to submit videos to YouTube. YouTube will host the files and take care of transcoding while offering a universal way to play back your videos. Instead of having to integrate a JavaScript script player into your site, YouTube supports iframe embed code that takes the guess work out of video playback.

By using an iframe, the choice of player is determined by YouTube, which has an HTML5 player and a traditional Flash player for older browsers. When you host your videos on YouTube, you aren't restricted to any specific file type, and you don't have to encode your videos because YouTube does the transcoding for you. By hosting UGC video content on YouTube, you can:

• Increase brand awareness and SEO juice by hosting videos on your own company YouTube channel
• Save disk and bandwidth costs by hosting videos off your local web server
• Save CPU by no longer having to do video encoding
• Shorten development time without having to decide which video player to use on your site to support all browsers and video types

Run a UGC video contest

You can run a video contest on Facebook as long as you comply with the site's promotional guidelines. You don't have to be a Facebook advertiser to run a contest. However, any promotions administered on Facebook must be done through an application, and the app must comply with Facebook's platform policies. To ensure you comply with these policies, you might want to use a third-party application such as Strutta or Wildfire.

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