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Community involvement

Be it social projects, sustainability projects, or a sports team; don’t forget to write about it on your companies web site! For very important programs, commission a film about the effort, these films are great information for your web site and YouTube, you have a YouTube channel don’t you?

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Sustainability: What is your company doing?

If you currently have no sustainability plans for your company, then how are you going to show your customers, your community, that you are part of the solution, and not part of the problem?  Having a sustainability plan and actually doing something is a great way to interact with your community.  Making inroads to a more sustainable company is a great reason to write PR articles for your website and an even better reason to make a film about your initiatives, to “show” you are doing something for us all.

Are you constructing a LEED certified building? Show it!

Energy savings strategy?  Show that as well.

Not all marketing efforts are directly related to sales of products, there is value in “selling” the idea of your company as well, build your brand as a responsible corporate citizen in your community, and show how you are doing it.  Never miss an opportunity to tell the public about something good you are doing, the news agencies are always ready to slam you for what you do wrong!  Build a good reputation.

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DIY vs spending money?

Who is going to produce a film about you, you? Your employees? Your kids?

Are you really going to spend the time it takes to LEARN how to do it?

Will you have the time it takes to finish it?

Will it be a low priority and never get finished?

Did you build your own house?  Program the software that runs your computer? Repair your own car? Change the tires when they wear out? Make your own clothing, shoes? Do your own dentistry? Surgery?

But DIY is so popular! Sure, DIY for things that don’t negatively affect your businesses bottom line, cook your own food, clean your own house, etc. DIY things for your personal life, if you make a mistake, fine, you can easily get over it and try again, you cannot do that in business, make a mistake, loose a customer.

Just because you know how to watch TV, does not mean you can create it.

That’s why you hire me to do it for you.

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Let’s make a viral

Great idea, “let’s make a viral” and then everyone will see our video…

“Everyone” does not have to see your video/industrial film for it to be successful, only the target audience needs to see your video.

When you have some time to waste, really waste, go to youtube and see what are the most popular videos.  If you can promote your company by making videos of cats dressed in clothing, or kids picking their noses, go right ahead.  Just don’t ask me to watch, though if you really want me to it’s $200.00/hr for a review.  I don’t waste my time.

Unlike most other forms of marketing, viral video makes a claim that it can almost never live up to: It will be so compelling that people will want to share it.

To simply call a video ‘viral’ because it is intended to shared virally – much like calling a video ‘amazing’ because it was intended to be ‘amazing’. Whatever your definition of viral there many factors that can mitigate against the success of your video project.

So why do viral marketing projects fail?:

Great Expectations: Creating a hit viral video is like creating a hit record. It’s very difficult. Of the hundreds/thousands of viral-intended videos created every year for businesses only a handful truly go viral.

Viral video is free and easy! No it’s not. It takes time, expertise/talent and facilities/equipment to develop a good viral video. Having more is always preferred in all three of these production resource categories (in spite of the ‘do less with more’ mantra.) ‘More’ costs more, always has, always will.

Viral videos promote themselves! No, usually they don’t – they need help. ‘Video seeding’  is a common practice now for large scale viral videos where companies will help seed the market with videos by encouraging or paying influential bloggers, PR outlets and other influencers to promote a viral video. There are a growing number of companies that offer this service. Most popular corporate viral videos had a significant seeding component that contributed to their success. Is this in your budget?

Viral video is not risk free. Just grab a Flip and start posting your video online, right?  What if your video is embarrassing or just plain bad and it goes viral anyway? Would Apple or Coke or Nike allow this to happen? Does how you present your company to the world matter? Just who is going to make your video? Your teenager? Your child may be “cheap labor” but would you trust your accountants teenager to do your taxes? Doubt it.

It is very difficult to measure success of a viral video. Is 167,000 YouTube views a success? Are any of those viewers your audience? Did they associate anything in your video, in a positive way, with your brand? Will that video affect their behavior or attitude towards your brand? Can you measure any of this? Look at the most “successful” you tube videos, they are stupid, and pander to the lowest common denominator of society, they are generally made by children for children, they are not going to sell your product to your prospects demographic.

The ‘viral’ label is a distraction. “…and we’d like the video you’re going to create for us to be viral as well.” Clients want any video they do, regardless of the market, message and purpose to have a “viral component.” The way to create a successful viral video project is to start with that purpose in mind – the video is so compelling that people will want to share it. You can’t throw in ‘viral’ as an add-on to the project. Not only will the video not be viral, you may take away from the primary purpose of the video by trying to amuse, shock or bewilder people. If you really don’t care about your public image, make a “viral” video.

The term ‘viral’ is misused. I have read a number of recent articles that interchange the terms ‘web video’ and ‘viral video’ as if they refer to the same thing. A web video is any video that is consumed on the web. Viral video is a specific type of video that is intended to be so entertaining, or remarkable, or shocking that people will be inclined to share it with their friends and colleagues, again this will probably not bode well for your public image.

There’s a fine line between selling and entertaining. If no one remembers or associates your brand with the video then you’ve wasted your money. Conversely, if the video looks like a two minute product demo no one is going to share it. A great example – Coke does a nice job (as usual) in straddling that fine line between promoting the product – the whole video is about a Coke Machine!, and entertaining – brilliant. What do you think Coke’s budget was, I bet it was wayyyy north of $100K

To truly succeed viral videos have to be great. There is extra pressure on viral videos to be really entertaining, or shocking or… something. Some of them are great and some of them are just plain awful. A viral video has to great in order to spread virally. Good usually isn’t good enough. The advantage of promotion through disruptive advertising (TV) is that your television commercial can be absolute crap and people will still watch it. With the budget of “crap” commercials in excess of $500, 000, how do you think your $10,000 “viral” will have a chance? Oh, wait, you thought it was going to be made for free, by a teenager? Good luck.



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You are a broadcaster!

With YouTube you are your own television network.  You are your own channel and you decide what to do with it.  “Programming” is also your responsibility, what are you going to say to your “audience” how frequently will you update your programs or create new content?

Your “channel” is not for a general audience as is CBS or NBC; your audience is those people who are interested in your company or looking for the services you provide.  It is a much more targeted approach than “broadcasting” really, the best term for what you are doing is “narrow-casting”.


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Marketing your company with video

Why make video’s about your company?

To tell your story, in your own words.

No announcer or actor has the same credibility as you do.  People respond positivity to truth to a greater degree than a film that looks like it was made with actors.  For small to mid-sized businesses this is crucial, as you probably do not have the millions it takes to launch a brute force marketing campaign.

Show & Tell, it was my favorite part of grade school, because it’s VISUAL we all respond to visual stimulus over other senses as our eyes provide us with the most information about the world, it’s how we are programmed.

Except for meeting someone in person, a film is the closest way we have to present ourselves to others and convey trust.


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