Video Essentials

5 Free Online Resources for Video Marketing Teams and Creators

Online video production and marketing expenses can add up, but there are ways to get savvy and save a few bucks. The following is a list of 5 free online resources and some tips that can lead to more visibility and engagement with your online videos—all at no extra cost to you.

YouTube Hashtags

As the largest online video platform to date, I thought it would be helpful to share a few tricks for distributing your videos to YouTube.

For starters, many publishers forget that YouTube is a social platform and that it’s also the second most popular search engine behind Google. Using hashtags with YouTube videos is a great way to increase both conversation and on-channel SEO. I should note, hashtags work differently than tags on YouTube. Hashtags appear within the video title or the video description, while tags are submitted to YouTube on the back-end and aren’t shown publicly.

The idea here is to approach hashtags as topics for conversation. Brands and people can’t technically own a hashtag, so they’re open to any creator or viewer. Hashtags are great to use around keywords or topics that are relevant to your industry.

YouTube recommends that publishers insert hashtags in the video description. This lets users to click the hashtag to see other videos in that category. While it may sound counterintuitive to take viewers away from your video, marketers should note that the longer a user spends on YouTube in general, the more your video will be rewarded by YouTube search.

5 free online resources

YouTube refers to this as watch-time, so it’s not a bad thing to have people watch other content that’s related to your channel. On the flipside, there’s a chance that users can come across your video when viewing other users’ content filed under that same hashtag.

Tracking Performance

Furthering the conversation on hashtags, check out some of the free features available through Keyhole. It offers tools to accurately measure real-time and historical social media data, illustrating metrics in easy-to-read graphs and layouts to simplify reporting and strategizing.

Keyhole’s real-time dashboard shows how many people posted with your hashtag, along with the number of retweets, likes, and impressions your campaign is generating. Aimed at agencies, marketers, and journalists, Keyhole lets users track URLs, hashtags, keywords, and @usernames on Twitter and Instagram.

Keyhole does sell different packages and options, but you can gather a lot of free information and stats through its Hashtag and Keyword Tracker along with its Account Tracking searches.

Metrics like account statistics, top posts by engagement, optimal post time, and follower growth are some of the items its dashboard measures in charts and numbers. You can even review and analyze the competition, if you want.

Simply enter any username in Keyhole’s search to uncover stats you want to track. You can view video hashtags, metadata, titles, optimal posting times, and what type of content works best on Twitter. The paid options open up results for Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Screen Recording

Webinars, online training sessions, and how-to videos are commonly shared online. There are many great tools to record your screen when producing a training or demonstration video. A fairly straightforward program for Microsoft Windows that I recommend is CamStudio.

CamStudio records screen and audio activity on your computer to create AVI video files using the company’s own lossless codec. It also lets you add captions or annotations to your recordings. The quality of this free tool is impressive. I’ve loaded its files into video programs like Adobe Premiere for further editing, and have always been pleased with the results.

On the Mac side, users can actually get some stunning results by recording their screen with Apple’s QuickTime Player. Simply navigate to File in the toolbar menu and select New Screen Recording.

This launches the screen recording capability with additional options for editing. A simple Save As at the end of your session gives you the output of the recording.

Music for Videos

There are two worlds out there when it comes to music libraries. First, there’s the high quality route that sounds great, but can be very expensive after licensing.

Second, there are free libraries that give you permission to use their music, but these are often not what you’re looking for in terms of style—or else they’re used way too much in other videos.

A solution I suggest is using music from artists on SoundCloud. The platform is renowned for its unique content and features, including the ability to share music and connect directly with artists. It’s an open platform that connects creators and their fans across the globe. Many of the artists on SoundCloud are looking to monetize their music, but there’s also a good amount who will share the rights to their music for credits.

Publishers can even search for royalty-free music through SoundCloud to see only free options.

It goes without saying that publishers should thoroughly research the terms and any disclaimers that these artists put in their profiles. However, I can personally state that there are many free options across this site that allow for use on YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular video platforms.

Video Review

Brands are publishing more videos now than ever before. With increased distribution, video workflows can seem tangled, especially in large companies with multiple departments.

One free way to simplify the video review process is with ProofMe, an application that offers digital tools for managing feedback and reviews during the creative process.

The program lets creators upload their work, whether that’s video, PDFs, photos, websites, or other types of media, and share ideas to get feedback in real-time.

Dashboard tools allow creators to upload proofs and get revisions from collaborators. Files can be uploaded from your computer or by adding links via Vimeo, Google Drive, DropBox, and more. Their system allows for easy integration with many other software applications and it’s mobile-friendly, too.

These 5 free online resources keep budgets down while increasing quality and efficiency. Give them a try with your future online video productions.


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