One of the least used tools for getting leads for list building for email marketing purposes is web video marketing, and the Content Samurai online video maker speeds up the process of creating professional quality videos.
Why bother using software to make videos?
Because it takes far less effort to rank a video on YouTube and in Google than it takes to rank a website or page in the Google search engine.
Bing and Yahoo have their place as search engines, but Google still has the lion’s share of search traffic.
And, since YouTube is owned by Google, they’re going to rank pages on one of their own properties highly, aren’t they?
How To Grow Your Email List With Video
You may be wondering
video since you can’t place a squeeze page directly in your video.
Start by placing a link to your squeeze page in your video description on YouTube. Make sure that your link is the first thing in your description. If you put it further down, a viewer will have to click the Expand button to see your full description and link, so not having it front and center is a missed opportunity.
Always use the http:// or https:// prefix in your link. If you leave it out, your web address won’t be hyperlinked!
Make your link pretty. Ugly links tend to make people wary. Use a (free) WordPress plugin like Pretty Link Lite to create a link that’s on your website and has a relevant name (e.g. joescamping.com/camping-tips-newsletter).
Write a good video title that contains at least one relevant keyword. This is for SEO purposes.
Create a detailed description for your video in YouTube. I usually place the text script for the video in the description. This aids in SEO and helps others see your video in the search results when they do a search on Google or YouTube.
Use tags in your video setup on YouTube that are related to the topic of your video. These too will help your video show up when people are looking for stuff about your topic.
Finally, don’t rely on YouTube to pick the best thumbnail image for your video. If you have an image editing app, create a thumbnail image yourself and include the title of the video in that image. Upload to YouTube and make it your default thumbnail image.
You can also add Cards (as they’re called) into videos that provide hyperlinks to external websites. You can add links to your own website or to your squeeze pages and landing pages.
All the above suggestions make it more likely that your video will appear in the search results for specific keywords which, in turn, will direct more traffic to your squeeze and landing pages.
And that, of course, leads to you getting more subscribers.
And the best bit? You don’t have to pay anything for those leads! 🙂
Making Videos For YouTube
YouTube is the largest video site on the planet, so it makes sense to put your videos there so they get the most exposure. You can then add your videos to other sites like MetaCafe.
If you want to know how to make videos for YouTube, there are three basic formats to consider:
- Putting yourself on camera
- Recording over-the-shoulder style videos
- Creating text based videos with music soundtracks and/or voice overs
Many people don’t want to appear on camera even though it’s now the easiest way to create videos since every smartphone has the ability to record video.
The over-the-shoulder style videos are created to teach or demonstrate something on the computer. For quality results, this type of video requires a tool like Camtasia. It may require you to record a voice over explaining what you’re doing. And, again, some people don’t like the sound of their own voices and would prefer not to have to speak on video.
The third type of video can be considered a marketing video. It speaks directly to the viewer, putting text on slides. To spice things up, background images and music can be added, and text can be displayed with a variety of animations.
My Content Samurai Overview
What Is Content Samurai?
Content Samurai is an online video maker. Since it’s a web-based tool, it doesn’t require you to download any software to your PC or Mac. You could even use it on a mobile device, though I haven’t done that personally!
Ease and simplicity of use is key here. You provide this video marketing software with a text script and it then creates easy-to-read slides with your text.
I find that one sentence per line gets the best results.
The software highlights keywords and phrases in your text as it creates the slides. It then automatically selects background or associated images to use on your slides that are related to the text on that slide.
You can always manually edit the text on your slides, change the text layout and change the images used on them, so you have full control of the final result.
To add some dynamism to videos, images can zoom in or out. It’s well-known that dynamic displays attract the eye much more than static ones (it’s why you often see them in store windows). This is the video equivalent of that.
You can also add video clips between slides.
My Content Samurai Dashboard
Originally, Content Samurai only created videos in the 16:9 (widescreen) format but a recent update to the tool allows for the creation of square videos which are more popular on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Google Plus.
There’s a library of several 10s of royalty-free music tracks that you can add to your videos.
If you want to add a voice over to your video, you can record one directly in the software or upload a prerecorded one.
One neat feature is being able to set the duration of a given slide. This becomes more important the more text is on the slide and if a voice over is being used. You can delay the slide transition to the next one until the voice over has spoken the words on the slide.
Here’s a video I created using Content Samurai:
The obvious person to record a voice over for your video is yourself. But, if you don’t want to do this you can always hire a professional voice over artist on the likes of Fiverr.
Professionals charge by the spoken word and usually charge $5.00 per 25-50 words spoken. So the longer your voice over, the more you’ll have to pay.
Another option is to use a text-to-speech service to read your script in a human-sounding synthetic voice. Some of these voices are very good these days. I talk about how to do this in this post on my Wealthy Affiliate blog.
This video that I created showcases Content Samurai’s features and includes a synthetic voiceover created using the technique I outline in the above post.
Content Samurai Review
So what’s it like actually using Content Samurai in practice?
It’s actually very simple to use. You paste in your text script. Like I said above, the best results for your video are achieved by having one sentence per line, so break up any paragraph that has more than one sentence.
You then click a big button to start generating your video slides.
At the end of that process, you can add a background music track and/or voice over.
There’s always the opportunity to tweak your slides to get them exactly how you want.
When you’re happy with everything, you click another big button to create the final video.
You can then download the video and manually upload it to YouTube or have Content Samurai upload the video for you.
I prefer manually uploading videos as it gives me greater control over what channel I upload the video to. I always make new videos Private (hides the video on YouTube) while I edit the video title, description, tags and thumbnail image for SEO purposes. Once that’s done, I only then make the video Public (makes it available for anyone to watch).
Content Samurai also provides you with some licensing text to add at the bottom of your video description. This includes references to royalty-free use of the images and music used in the video. This can be important if there’s ever a complaint that you’ve used copyright material in your video.
You can render your video in rectangular and square formats if you want. You don’t have to create a separate project for each.
This webinar gives you an inside look at the Content Samurai online video creator and how easy it is to create videos with it:
- Easy video creation – it’s all point and click and copy & paste operations.
- You can let Content Samurai create the final video for you based on its default setting or you can tweak your slides before video creation to achieve the result you want.
- The latest feature gives you the ability to add motion video backgrounds (see below).
- Content Samurai will integrate with YouTube to make uploading videos easier.
- There is nothing to manage outside the service unless you download your completed videos (which I’d advise doing, just so you have backup copies).
- Since the tool runs in the cloud, you can access it and you video projects there anywhere you have an internet connection (and the Chrome browser)
- The software only works in the Google Chrome browser.
- This is a subscription based online video creation service. It costs $97 per month (see below for better pricing)
- Since the video projects are stored in the cloud, if you cancel the service or if it should go offline for some reason, you will lose access to those projects. That’s why I recommend you download your completed videos as backups.
- Obviously, with this being an online tool, you need a reliable internet connection to use it.
The Newest Feature – Adding Motion Video Backgrounds
In a nutshell…this newest feature means that you can now add cinematic full-motion video clips behind your text with just a single click of your mouse…
Adding full motion backgrounds to your videos is a fantastic way to:
- Create eye-catching content that demands attention and generates leads and sales for your business 24 hours a day.
- Produce viral videos for your own business or for your clients in less than 5 minutes.
- Explode your audience on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
The video above shows just how easy it is to add motion video backgrounds to your own videos for that added professional touch.
Content Samurai Discount Pricing
Content Samurai normally costs $97 per month so it is definitely on the expensive side. However, since I have a relationship with them, I’m able to offer my readers access to the tool for a 50% discount, so the fee is $47 per month if you subscribe through this special link.
If you’d like some good video templates to use for your video projects (even if you don’t use Content Samurai), these 5 templates are currently on an 85% discount flash sale ($7 instead of $49). The reason I mention them is that if you end up buying them, there is a one-time-offer to get access to Content Samurai for $297 per year. That means you’d be paying the equivalent of $24.75 per month for the service.
That is the lowest price the service has ever been offered at. Unfortunately, I don’t know how long this offer will last.
You can always test drive Content Samurai here, free, for 7 days to see if the tool is right for you.
Here’s a post which explains how you can rank higher by using videos if the idea of video marketing is new to you.
So is Content Samurai the best video creation software tool?
For creating quality marketing videos where you don’t want to appear on camera yourself, it’s certainly one of the top tools.
It has a range of features that make videos dynamic and engaging with its library of royalty-free images and music. Easy video creation is the name of the game here.
At first glance, the pricing would seen almost prohibitive, especially is you’re on a small budget. However, there is a 50% discount option available and even a 75% discount if you buy the front-end video templates and pick up the Content Samurai annually billed one-time-offer.
Videos are much easier to rank these days than websites and pages. They’re an easy way to drive traffic to your offers and to your squeeze and landing pages to get those all-important subscribers onto your mailing list.
So, if you’re looking into web video marketing and you need an online video maker that takes the pain out of making videos for YouTube and other video sites, Content Samurai is certainly one tool you should consider.