10 Tips to Make Fantastic Videos to Market YOUR Business

Written by on December 18th, 2008

Small and medium sized businesses can create professional videos!
Making the videos today is not only easy but it’s fun.  Video is expected to continue to explode in the next 5 years and with it will come a change in consumers behavior.  More content, brand and information will be delivered via video than ever before.  You need to start thinking today about developing a video business Internet strategy.

There are a number of different videos you could create.  Among them:

  • Testimonials of customers
  • Instructions that share about how to use you product
  • Advertising, sales or brand building
  • Educational videos about your quality, how your product is made

To help you get started here are 10 tips on how you can make extraordinary videos for your website:

1)  Make your video believable.

Your video should provide practical reasons what you offer will benefit them. Avoid overstating what you can do. You might say something like, “I’ve helped hundreds of people (whatever you do) and based on that experience, there is a good chance I can be of value to you!”

2)  Keep it short.

The good news is you don’t have to create a Hollywood or even Bollywood script. You only have fifteen to thirty seconds to tell a story in a typical ad. Refine your script so it tells what your customer needs to know. (…More…)

Should You Advertise in the Yellow Pages?

Written by on December 16th, 2008

Hedge your bets and do online and Yellow Page advertising

It happens every fall!

Just as the birds fly south for the year, the salmon swim up river to spawn, there is a certain time of year when a new edition of the Yellow Pages are produced and handed out.

They are dropped in apartments, homes and delivered to mailboxes.  A few months ago, my wife came back from our rural post office and told me that Brian, (local postal employee) had to put out an extra bin to handle the Yellow Page books being thrown away by the PO Box holders.  The Yellow Pages for decades was a powerful, and in some cases the only affordable tool for small business owners to advertise their business. Getting in the Yellow Pages was the first thing a business owner did!

But the world is different today.   Consumers behavior is being changed by the Internet.  Because of broadband, their computers are always on and they are learning to search for what they want, when they want and read reviews their neighbors have made about the companies and products they are interested in.  

The investment industry has taken notice of these changes and as a result the shares of two of the industry leaders, R.H. Donnelley and Idearc, have fallen 99 percent in the last year.   Ouch!

And there are predictions that their revenue is going to drop.  According to an article by Emily Steel for the Wall Street Journal:

Print and online ad spending on yellow pages will plummet 6.3% next year, more than double the rate of decline expected for broadcast TV, according to forecasts by Wachovia analyst John Janedis.

So if the Investment community smells a fire, why are small business owners still paying for ads in a book that not only gets thrown away, has more competition than ever and is being replaced by consumers whose behavior is being changed by the convenience of online search engines, like Google and Yahoo.

The Yellow Page industry is reporting more value for your advertising dollar!


Is Video Advertising Right for YOUR Business?

Written by on December 9th, 2008

One video ad can be re purposed on many different websites

Truman Show

I spent a greater portion of my business career in the photography industry. In my letters and marketing materials I repeated the time worn phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Now that we are living in a video world, the common person has nearly as many ways to capture the moments of their lives as Jim Carrey’s Truman Bank character in The Truman Show. Today, a video is worth 10,000 words.

Online video advertising is giving marketers another opportunity to reach targeted audiences with their messages. According to Borrell Associates, streaming audio and video ads now account for 19 percent of local online revenue and will rise to 59% by 2013.

Most marketers are having hard time thinking about adding video to their marketing tool chest for one reason: because in their mind, it’s still a very expensive and time-consuming marketing tool. They also have little to no experience with it, so they avoid it.

Video Advertising is as easy as 1,2,3

However, the Internet is changing all of that. Not only can anyone with a webcam, video cell phone, or simple video camera create a video and upload it to a Web site, it can be done within a matter of an hour without a budget! Sure, you can spend a great deal more time and energy at it, but I’m trying to break down some walls here and get you thinking about keeping it simple stupid! (…More…)

Should Washington Save the Yellow Pages?

Written by on December 4th, 2008

If the Yellow Pages go the way of dinosaurs and encyclopedias, how will you find new customers?

Yellow Pages

Now that the shock of the 750 billion dollar bailout is wearing off and Black Friday still generated about the same amount of sales as last year, everyone is taking a momentary sigh of relief.

However in Washington as you read this, a furious battle is raging, phones are ringing and businesses, organizations and even governmental organizations are trying to get the ear of congressional leaders in an attempt to get a few million (or billion) of the bail out money.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the Yellow Page industry, which led me to uncover up and coming “small business advertising products” provided by firms like Yelp and Reach Local. My research uncovered a lot of conversations and information about the demise of the Yellow Page industry.  That’s when I started imagining their lobbyists using their connections to find out what angle they needed to get some of the bailout money.

But only for a second.

Because the more research I did, the more evidence shows the industry, while still very competitive, is hugely profitable and they have customers who swear by the results.

Consumers habits are changing

But the talks of the demise are true. (…More…)

Online Communities in the Pioneer Days

Written by on December 3rd, 2008

Pew Report

Life before MySpace, Facebook, YouTube

I was reading a report produced by the Pew Internet and American Life Project called, “A Portrait of Early Internet Adopters. Why People First Went Online and Whey they Stayed”.  The report by Amy Tracy Wells is  a quick read and a fun reminder of where online social networking got started.

Surveys conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project since 2000 have shown that the majority of people went online for personal reasons (50%), followed by work (31%) and school (19%).

Amy reminds us that the early roots of social networking started in BBSs (electronic bulletin board systems) and Usenet, chat rooms and threaded discussion software.  To access these systems one had to fire up a modem and wait!  A really fast modem in those days crawled.  When I lived in Telluride, Colorado in 1995, I remember waiting about 8 hours to download a new version of AOL’s software! (…More…)