Using Video to Promote Your Public Library

One of the best ways to promote your public library in todays very visual society is to use video. Its a great way to reach younger audiences, who often gravitate to video, and an important benefit is that it can improve your ranking in search engines and help you rank higher in Facebook newsfeeds.

YouTube is the second most popular search engine, and while you might think of it as being a repository for funny cat videos, its most popular use is for learning how to accomplish a task. The top search in this category? How to tie a tie.

This makes it an excellent resource for training people how to use library resources, and for promoting the services that libraries offer.

The video below is excellent example. The New Jersey Association of School Librarians created this video (see below) about how libraries can help students learn better research skills. The video was produced with funding provided by an advocacy partnership with LibraryLinkNJ.

Easy-to-use and inexpensive video cameras and editing tools have made video creation much more accessible. You can create a video simply using a smartphone, but public libraries have other options as well. If you dont have the funds to hire a video company, consider tapping students in film school. Often, students will be looking for subjects and topics that will help them meet the requirements of a class or add to their portfolio.

However, you produce your video, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Always start with your audience in mind: What do they like/want/need?
  • Provide useful information that solves a problem;
  • Write and edit a script that is engaging and interesting;
  • Keep it short, ideally three minutes or less;
  • Include a call to action;
  • Make sure that every video has a title and a description;
  • Use keywords in your title and description;
  • Share your video in all of your social media channels and post on your Web site!

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.