This recession is like a bad movie that goes on too long. You want to leave the theater, but your car is parked behind that blue Pontiac with the flat tire, so you’re stuck, at least for a while longer. So you sit back and try to enjoy the movie. But you can’t help wondering. Could I do any better? Of course you can! But you could be forgiven for wondering if all this talk about social networking and business video is just hype. Does viral video marketing really translate into dollars and sense? Yes, you wonder and you doubt. Then you decide to find out once and for all. Hey, you came to the right place. You may well have doubts, but a growing number of businesses are casting theirs aside in favor of action. They’re making videos by the fistful.
So what’s the big deal about online video? Video has been around forever. But it has never been so popular. MSNBC just ran this article as though video is something that has never been tried by anyone. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30887005/
More Americans than ever are watching online video. In the first quarter of ’09, video views rose by 13%. Pretty impressive when you consider that there were 5.1 billion videos watched in the month of November of ’08. Why? Who really knows, dear reader? All we can do is wonder at it all and theorize until the hard research is done.
Until then, here are the 7 factors I see at play.
1. The “Fat Pipe Factor.” Broadband levels are increasing steadily. You need broadband to enjoy video online.
2. The “Relaxation Factor.” Video/television has always been a means of relaxation. Goodness knows we can use that right now.
3. The “Snack Factor.” We’re so stressed we can’t take in any more information that forces us to think. We like to have our information pre-digested at times. Video fits the bill for a quick and nutritious information “snack.”
4. The “Popularity Factor.” As video becomes more predominant on the web, more of us want to get involved. It seems like a cool thing to do. And it’s only getting cooler.
5. The “Rising Bar Factor.” Online video is becoming a perfect way to differentiate a small business and raise its profile.
6. The “First Page Factor.” Online video gives a business a 53 times greater chance of showing up on the first page of natural Google search results. And when was the last time you went to the second page?
7. The “Early Adopter Factor.” When you’re the first in your market to take advantage of a powerful new marketing technology, you could get a respite from the intense competition that goes on at ground level all around you. Online video is just such a powerful new technology.
What does all this have to do with the recession? mean for business today? It’s always good to strike while the iron is hot, and today the iron has rarely been hotter. You now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve the coveted position as a thought leader in your market. Video helps you establish that kind of credibility.
The economy may be lousy, but customers are still out there looking for you. Video will help you find the best ones, the ones you’ll want to keep. How? It needs to have the following attributes to make it big on YouTube, or even on your own site:
1. Passion – Yours. You don’t have to be Leonardo DiCaprio. You only need to let your feeling for what you do come through. Sometimes quiet passion is the best.
2. Personality – Yours. Are you serious, funny, quiet, off the wall, boisterous? It doesn’t matter. Be who you are and you’ll attract those like you.
3. Education – Notice I didn’t say information. Information is what people need to click on a Pay button. Education is what they need to get in order to want to take another step in your direction.
4. Packaging – The image must match the company. Don’t make it look like you’re sitting at a webcam under interrogation, or making a confession. Rhythm and tempo, the right music, the right overall length, the right level of polish. Yes, packaging is important. It’s how we buy cereal and it’s how we buy a vendor.
5. Testimonials – Social proof is important. It will probably always be important. People need to know what it’s like to work with you before they extend themselves and take that risk. Testimonials reduce risk.
When you put all these elements together, you end up with a mini-documentary, about one minute in length.
Next time we’ll look at many of the ways in which you can make your video go viral. We’ll look at what works, what doesn’t, and what you can do right now.
Yes, the recession is here. But there is always a yin and a yang. That means that there is just as much opportunity as there is difficulty. Now is the time to try new things. Now is the time to be more determined than ever. And when it turns around, you’ll be in a better position to capitalize on new opportunities.
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Article written by Steven Washer
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