Marketing your MindBite Part 1 - On MindBites

by Huntley in Author Tips, General, Selling Video Online / 05.22.09

In this article we offer 13 tips on how you can improve your lesson by: Describing it to Attract Traffic, Packaging it to Convert Traffic to Sales and Pricing it to Sell.

DESCRIBE IT - So “They” can find it:

Your first step in marketing anything is to make it easy for people who are looking for your product to find it. This is especially critical online, where millions of webpages are competing for searchyour potential customers’ attentions. Moreover, web video is at a disadvantage to web text since search engines can only see the text associated with the video (and not any of the actual video). Thus, your first step in marketing your video tutorial should be to describe it as extensively as you can so that users can find it.  On the web, this is typically known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Findability, and MindBites has built its platform to give you some easy ways to improve the findability of your content:

1. Lesson Titles

Titles get extra credit in the determination of search result order.  Your title should be specific and should include words that people search for (keywords).  I use the SEO Tools Website and Google’s keyword tool to research search terms.  Type in words/phrases to see which are searched most.  Google’s tool also recommends related keywords.  Usually, highly-searched keywords are hotly contested, so you’ll be competing for traffic.  Thus, include both specific niche terms and bigger-ticket ones.

2. Lesson Descriptions

While your title has the most impact per word, your lesson description really has the broadest impact for improving the findability of your lesson.  Your lesson page has two audiences: customers *and* search engines. Unfortunately, search engines don’t know ‘exercise your butt’ means ‘workout your rear.’  Thus, make sure to include keyword variations and synonyms in your lesson description.  Try to include as many phrases that users may search for as you can.  It’s also wise to think through and include specific questions answered in your lesson (that users also might search for).  Last, bigger is better for descriptions - we suggest 150-200+ words. We can’t stress it enough - Write a detailed 2 paragraph description!

3. Lesson Transcripts or Outlines

By including a transcript, you essentially make all of the specific text, key phrases and content of your lesson crawlable by search engines and thus findable by your potential customers.  Transcripts also enable users to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered.  Oftentimes, an author may not realize that people are looking for portions of the information he/she is presenting and may be happy to purchase the full lesson just for these parts (e.g. not just how to make your own baby food but also what foods can be introduced to your baby in what order).  A transcript will ensure that they know these parts exist.  A transcript is better, but if you’re short on time or wary of giving too much information away, a detailed outline can suffice.

PACKAGE IT TO CONVERT - so “They” decide to buy it:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  - unknown

“But it looks so professional and good, I want it!” – your subconscious

Packaging matters.  And by packaging, we don’t mean cardboard and plastic wrap.  We are talking about everything that surrounds your content when it’s presented.  If book-coveryou go in the bookstore and a stack of papers stapled together is sitting next to the same content in nicely produced hardback book, which would you prefer?  You need to make sure your product has its best foot forward.  In marketing, this is known as packaging, and your goal is “conversion.”   Here are some easy things built into the MindBites platform to allow you to package your video instructional content to optimize conversion (the % of visitors who purchase):

1. Title Images

Your lesson’s thumbnail is its book cover; users shouldn’t judge based upon it, but they do. MindBites captures one automatically, but, as with any auto-generated video snapshot, it may be ill-timed, fuzzy, or just plain ugly.  Consider uploading a different image. You don’t want blurry, dark, cluttered or indecipherable images (even when they’re in their smallest form - 110X83 pixels - or roughly 1-by-0.75 inches).  Descriptive images are best (not just a picture of the title screen) given that the lesson title shows up with the thumbnail.

2. Lesson Previews

Just like most book buyers would first pick up a book and flip through it, most potetial buyers for your video tutorial will watch your video preview first.  The MindBites platform automatically creates a preview of the first 60 seconds of your video, so this is where you want to include a solid and intriguing overview of your lesson.

3. Supplementary Materials

Supplementary materials can make the purchase of your lessons more compelling for users.  Think through whether there are audio or text files that might be helpful.  Make sure to mention and describe included files in your lesson description (as they will only be available to users who buy the lesson).

4. Author Profile

Another thing people want to know is who you are.  Just like you would flip to the back of a book to see who the author is, your users will want to know who they are learning from.  So, upload a picture or logo and tell them who you are and how you learned what you’re going to show them.  Edit your author profile under your My MindBites tab.  Your author bio and picture shows up on your profile page and the bottom of your lesson and series pages.

5. Ratings & Reviews

People want to be assured that others have bought and enjoyed your lesson.  This is why we have ratings and reviews.  You can get friends to buy/watch and then rate/review your lessons to make sure there is an external assurance that your lesson is worth the price.  You may even want to price low initially to build up credibility through ratings and reviews. You can always raise prices later.  Pay attention to feedback in reviews.  Consider answering questions or addressing concerns expressed in reviews by revising your lesson, adding supplementary files or editing your description.

PRICE IT TO SELL: So “They” will buy it

The rubber hits the road when a consumer is deciding whether to fork over their cold hard cash for your lesson.  Once you get to this step, both pricing and how you bundle and package your pricinglessons become very important.  These two attributes drive people to purchase and determine how much they purchase.  In the world of retail, their average purchase amount is known as your “average ring” (think cash register).

1. Pricing

MindBites allows you to price lessons from $0.99 to $99.  Obviously many considerations factor in to pricing: length, quality, price of alternatives, etc.  While it’s hard to generalize about price, we would say, in general, to start low and raise the price over time as warranted.  Starting with a lower price lets more users access your lesson, and (hopefully) this will help drive favorable reviews and good word of mouth promotion.  Over time, as you get a following, you can consider moving your price up.

2. Reference (& link to) related Lessons

Mentioning and linking to related lessons in your description will help potential buyers locate and navigate among your lessons. Especially in instances where instruction is broken up over multiple lessons, help users to understand what is covered in each and where other lessons can be found.

3. Creating Series of Lessons

If lessons are related, create a series (like a bundle or an iTunes album).  Discounts vary, but we usually suggest a 15-20% discount for a series relative to the purchase of each included lesson individually (to entice users to buy all lessons up front versus one at a time).

4. Promoting with Freebies
Consider creating and linking to a free video introduction of yourself or a free video tutorial that teaches something relevant and introductory.  These freebies can show users that you know your stuff and can teach it, which will whet their appetite for more.

NEXT STEPS
Now that your lesson page is set up optimally, it is time to drive traffic to your lesson and optimize for search external to MindBites.  If you have your own website or blog, start there.  And, we have the perfect blog post to get started with Part 2 of this blog series, which covers marketing your videos on your own site or blog!  If you don’t have your own site, you can still have an online presence through Facebook, forums, answer sites, Twitter, etc, and we’ll talk marketing your videos in these and other online communities in Part 3 of this series on Marketing your MindBites.

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2 Comments

  1. Josh, May 22, 2009:

    Interesting article. Do you feel it’s wise to work with social networking sites to further develop ways so “They” can find it?

  2. Huntley, June 5, 2009:

    A resounding YES to promoting via other social networking sites, like Facebook/Twitter/etc. These are great ways for you to find ‘them’ and in turn help ‘them’ to find your content. We actually have a couple blog posts in the works on the nuts and bolts of promoting lessons off of the MindBites site - using social networking sites, youtube, common interest forums, answer sites, etc. We’ll try to get it finished up and pushed out asap. :)

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