Did you know that according to YouTube.com, nearly 800 million unique users visit YouTube’s website each month? Did you also know that in 2010, 28% of all Internet searches were for YouTube videos? In 2010, Alexa, a company which provides website metrics and analytics data, ranked YouTube as the third most popular site in the world and indicated that it trailed behind only Facebook and Google in visitation.
Clearly, YouTube receives more than its fair share of Internet traffic and its high-visibility secures it as an excellent vehicle for website and product promotion. The only drawback, however, is that YouTube doesn’t allow users to simply upload commercials for their products and that type of video is certain to be removed as a violation of the site’s terms of service. There are ways, however, to creatively and subtly promote one’s products through the use of demonstrations or informational sharing techniques. Videos that are well-produced and provide informative content or unique information are bound to peak the viewer’s interest and compel them to visit the website of the video’s creator.
Although I have seen some artists provide painting demonstrations, product reviews, or instructional methods to promote their work through YouTube, I have chosen to utilize time-lapse videos that depict the creation of several of my watercolor paintings. My videos aren’t time-lapse presentations in the traditional sense, however. Instead, each video strings together a series of still images that depict a particular painting at various stages of its production and then the images are slowly cross-faded together to create the illusion of a painting morphing to completion. If you would like to observe the technique to which I am referring, I have several on my YouTube Channel and the second image for each of the following paintings in my portfolio is a time-lapse video example:
- Snoqualmie Dew
- Sennelier Tulips
- Madder Lake
- Out of the Darkness
- Marathon Hydrangeas
- Point Defiance Dahlia
- Point Defiance Dahlia Two
If you took some time to view one or more of the videos in the above list, you will see that I have created simple slide shows of still images but the images slowly blend into each other as the film progresses. Eventually the completed painting is revealed. It is important to note that the beginning of the video provides all the information about me and where to find my website. I also revisit this information in the credits of each film in case people decide to view the video to completion.
Although I have created a couple of my YouTube movies exclusively using iPhone applications, most of the time I utilize Windows Live Movie Maker which I believe has been replaced by Windows Movie Maker. Once Microsoft Windows 8 becomes accepted by the personal computing community, however, there may even be another iteration of Microsoft’s free movie making applications to become available. I am sure that most video production software packages on the market support similar features so it should be easy to find a suitable substitute if one desires to produce a similar type of time-lapse video.
My movie creation procedure begins by simply taking a series of still-images of a painting during various stages of its production. I then proceed to load the images into Photoshop where I modify their perspective to ensure that each image is completely straight. I then crop and re-size each image so each slide of my video will have exactly the same dimensions. I load each image into Windows Live Movie Maker, choose to fade each image into the next, and add a title page and credits. I attempt to pick background music that will enhance each video and then I fit the film to the length of the music with which I am working. Often, I will try to adjust image transitions to coincide with measure changes within the music itself in order to create a more pleasing final product.
An important item to stress about creating any video which is going to be used for commercial purposes is to be careful about the choice of background music. Videos using music that is not properly licensed for this purpose could be deemed to be infringing upon a musical artist’s copyrights and may be removed and could possibly provide grounds for banning a user’s YouTube account.
Since it is always better to be safe than sorry, I recommend seeking out music that is provided through a creative commons license. This type of license often grants users the right to use music for commercial or personal purposes provided the user properly cites the musical artist and provides links to their website within a movie’s credits. Often, a small optional donation is requested in order to help support the artist. This is a small price to pay for the generous gift of music that is being provided.
Another important factor to seriously consider when planning a video’s production, is the attention span of its viewers. For this reason, I have found that short videos are more likely to be viewed in their entirety and shared throughout the Internet community. My ten minute movies at http://www.youtube.com/powersfineart are very rarely watched to completion while my films that are under two minutes are often viewed multiple times by the same visitor.
This type of marketing strategy is designed to simply relay information to the viewer through the quickest means possible. Not only do viewers get to see how my paintings are created, they are given the information they need to find and purchase my work online. I have seen large traffic increases to my main website at http://powersfineart.com/ by utilizing YouTube video and now consider it an essential part of my online marketing toolbox.
Hopefully the above information has demonstrated what a valuable tool video can be for promoting one’s products, art, or services. Not only can the videos be informative and entertaining, they can also be fantastic traffic generators for a main website or central marketplace. If you aren’t taking advantage of this technology, let the idea of increased traffic and sales be your inspiration for beginning your foray into simple video production. If you have already taken this step and are using video to promote your artwork or services, consider sharing a link to your site in the comment section below so readers of this article can see how you have chosen to implement this technology.Tagged with: ecommerce, movie, seo, video, website, youtube