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Powerful Digital Video Clips Outperform Broadcast Media

Jan 1, 2008
The Dangers Of Over Thinking The Obvious

Just a few months ago there was nobody making commercials to support their brand. In fact, in the Midwest it was somewhat of a hard sell. This idea of creating an "instant" commercial to support a product or a service seemed a bit daunting. The concept was too remote to be taken seriously. But since September 2007 this has all radically changed.

I first attended the LBN, (Local Business Network) from an invitation of mine from a colleague. I was of course winded after a trip to New York City and had a bit of a sinus infection. I didn't take a close look at the topic of that morning's breakfast network meeting. The presentation centered around the idea of getting a group of people together and cutting video commercials and then putting them on a low wattage television station. I sat there with a complacent smile on my face and watched the proceedings.

I couldn't help but grin after knowing I had just come back from the Digital Life conference at the Javits Center in New York City. I had just seen technology clock in at the speed of light and had come across many different styles of Web 2.0 tools and services. These included shooting digital video and then distributing it on a whole network of channels via http://www.HelloWorld.com. This technology would allow you to send out video emails, your own web tv shows, and a whole host of subscription options where consumers could pay you to view your content. Now I had to sit here and watch this presentation about getting your own commercial off the ground using traditional equipment and going through a television station. There would be traditional fees associated with this including buying your own airtime.

Web Video Comes Of Age In 2008

As I sat listening to this presentation I had my own commercial ready and processed in my own pocket. I carried my commercial in a video IPOD. I viewed this product as the ULTIMATE business card because it carried my complete message on it. The other thing is that it is web video and can be sent onto many networks and be viewed upon by many people and I pay zero airtime fees.

It has a built in RSS feed so that means I can load it up with popular keywords that explain in depth what I do for a living. Since I can get in touch with people who want to hear from me this has the tendency to be found by the exact people I am trying to reach. Think of it as advertising in reverse. Instead of using traditional search engine methods this type of technology does all the work for me. I can get into tight niche OPT IN environments and gain my fair share of subscribers. They in turn will decide if they want to hire me or not as they view my marketing material.

This is a radical shift in how we gain customers. In the old days we had to work long hours and do many money wasting activities to acquire a small result. In short, it could be very tedious and our outcome would be shy of greatness. This is especially true for companies who are used to shelling out $40 grand for a three month radio contract with WJR Radio in Detroit and the Clear Channel. The same can be said for companies who are advertising on television and spending a small mint on airtime.

The reason why you would want to get involved with web video should be obvious. It costs a lot less than traditional advertising and customers can subscribe directly to you via RSS feeds, (Really Simple Syndication). The real hard costs boil down to getting a good digital camera with a big enough chip to record crisp images, a full light kit and some kind of shot gun microphone, (so you can pick up sound up to 25'). Sounds expensive? That's the beauty of it. Doing it yourself is actually very affordable. Consider picking up some digital video editing software by Adobe and you're looking at spending anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for studio costs.

This is peanuts when you consider what traditional advertising and video houses charge. Just a year ago I was doing research on getting together a video job done. I had to pay for a "story teller" from the east coast and all the studio time associated with getting a 7 minute clip off the ground. There was also a charge for a truck roll out, light set up, director fees and the bill came out to $65,000. Keep in mind this was all for a 7 minute clip. They had no idea on how to distribute this online or how to generate any kind of traffic from it from a web site perspective. The project ended up never getting produced and no business ever materialized from these long and extensive planning sessions.

My advice: do it yourself.

Surviving In A Selfish Economic Culture

I was waiting for a train in Penn Station, NYC on May 22, 2007. I was looking to get back home from yet another business trip. I noticed something as I walked around 34th street and the surrounding area in front of the train station. Everyone had these mobile devices. These included phones, media players, video ipods and these people seemed to be detached from others around them. They were in their own worlds getting stock tips, weather, sports scores and a whole host of other information. I was somewhat astounded by this because I this was when I saw true potential. There is a wide range of business possibilities associated with this type of technology.

It didn't bother me that these people were selfish and lost in their own worlds. As a marketer that is precisely where I needed to be. My goal, at this point would be to figure out a way to get my messages in front of them and get them to make some form of commitment. They could either subscribe to my news, visit a web site, watch a video and to take the next step of scheduling an appointment or making a purchase.

Rude Awakening

When I came back to the Midwest I was somewhat surprised at the reaction concerning Mobile Media. The perception, however false, contended that mobile devices were for entertainment purposes only and was viewed upon as a kids market. From this angle kids could download video games and music. Ipods and Iphones and other forms of mobile media were not being taken seriously on a business level.

As I watched this presentation unfold and talk about the long process of getting a producers license and buying airtime I smiled. The revolution and getting your videos seen by the right people in your target market is as simple as learning how to point and shoot a camera and acquiring a few search engine optimization, (SEO) secrets.
About the Author
Ted Cantu runs i-Mobile Media and can be found at http://www.1seomichigan.com. He shows companies how to establish 8 out of top 10 Google rankings, create their own web video content, and raise customer participation online and offline.
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