Top Tools to Produce Online Video in 2017

01/18/2017 08:16 am ET Updated Jan 18, 2018

Video will be the #1 marketing tool of 2017, but you need to know the right platforms and tools to leverage it the right way. Recording a video isn't hard -- but producing a quality video that represents you brand well should be your top objective. Lighting and good audio are key to quality video production. Once you have a video series ready, your next questions will be what platform should you use to share to grow your business? A video with no audience is useless! But with the right channel, video can be your most valuable marketing strategy.

Here's a list of the top tools to promote your online videos and how to use them.

Go Live on Facebook
If the big splash this live-streaming tool made with its debut in 2016 is any indicator, we're going to see even more adoption in 2017. The sheer number of Facebook users makes this an appealing and easy entry into the video marketing space.

What's great about it:
Facebook Live's in-the-moment quality appeals to tons of Facebook users, and you can reach far more than just those that follow your brand. Anyone can tune into your video while it's streaming. Even better? Once it's over, you get the archived video on your Videos page, where it can continue to attract viewers over time.

How to best use it: Save your Facebook Live videos for events that feel very "in the moment." That could be a question and answer session with your company CEO, a behind-the-scenes look at an event, or even a product demonstration. Just make sure to alert your brand's followers that the video will be live at its designated time so they'll tune in.

Wistia
Rather than relying on the old standby to upload your videos, try something that will allow you to build your email list: Wistia not only allows you to upload your videos online, but also has unique features that help you turn a video watcher into a qualified lead.

What's great about it: Wistia has a Call to Action feature that gives people the option to do something specific, like ask for email address to give people access to content or you can develop teaser video intro that drives people to sign up for your email list or visit a landing page, in order to see the rest of your video. This is great for converting viewers to leads or sales.

How to best use it: Leverage Wistia's in-depth analytics so you understand how successful each video you create is in reaching your intended audience, then tweak your video marketing strategy from there.

A Branded YouTube Channel
Rather than haphazardly post videos to YouTube, consider creating a branded channel. Doing so helps -- you guessed it -- brand your business and gives YouTube lovers a destination to return to for more great content on your niche.

What's great about it: Having a YouTube channel is like having a television channel: it's all your content, all the time. People can subscribe to your videos and get email notifications as soon as your next video is uploaded, which increases your viewership exponentially.

How to best use it: Customize your channel so that it matches the colors and graphic elements you use to brand your business. Keep the videos centered around one central theme so people know what to expect. And keep a steady cadence of videos. If you can produce four videos a month, mete them out every Wednesday so people know when they can see your next video.

YouTube Live
In response to the popularity of Facebook Live, YouTube also now has its own live-streaming version for its mobile app (technically it's been around a while, but it's pushed harder in recent months to establish a foothold). The ease of recording live video and attracting a large audience has plenty of potential for your business.

What's great about it: YouTube will remain the king of video, with its 1+ billion users. Tapping into that has sizeable opportunity for your video to be seen far and wide. Plus, many say YouTube's infrastructure makes its live streaming faster and more reliable than the competition.

How to best use it: Use it in the same ways you would Facebook Live, but give it a little extra marketing, since it's not baked in the way it is on the social media channel.

Snapchat
If you're trying to reach a younger demographic, Snapchat could be your best option for video marketing. Because each video "self destructs" after 24 hours, you can never have too many posts.

What's great about it: Snapchat is all about casual videos, not carefully curated, expensive-to-produce creations, so it's perfect for small business budgets.

How to best use it: Check out Snapchat Stories, which let you tell more about your brand. These tend to get more views, so it's worthwhile to combine a few videos and/or photos to tell a story.

Video is powerful. It's the best way to make a connection with potential customers online. Marketing your brand through brief videos should be a focus in 2017 You will see your sales rise using at least one of these channels in the new year. Make some goals for your video marketing and the watch results roll in!

This article was originally published as The Best Tools to Promote Online Video in 2017 on www.succeedasyourownboss.com.