We’ve been out there talking to a good many companies about video strategies for their websites and we’re finding there’s a lot of questions about return on investment surrounding Internet video, and even more so; around social media optimization. The Internet has brought on many new fads and there has been a lot of hype around varied technologies and websites and web services; so it’s no wonder that managers should feel a little skeptical and question, “what is real… and what is not.” The great thing about video is that it’s been used as an effective marketing tool since VHS tapes got cheap. I started my career in a video production house and that’s one of the things we did; make commercial videos, run hundreds if not thousands of dubs and deliver them for shipment to customers. In the late 90′s, when Real Audio suddenly transformed into Real Video, it didn’t take us long to see and seize the amazing opportunity. We could go from hundreds of viewers to hundreds of thousands and not for $5 per–just pennies! And there we were sending choppy 160×120 images down a 56K modem. We were sold, even if the rest of the world wasn’t. We’ve come a long way since then and the train certainly isn’t even close to pulling into the station. Having been in and watched the industry evolve, there have been plenty of indecisive moments about where the technology was headed but at least for now, there are a few nice solid pegs that we can hang our hats on. Such as: most Internet users have a broadband internet connection, they have widely accepted video and understand how to operate a video player, Flash video player delivery has become the top-standard, content delivery networks can move broadband content all over the world at a decreasing expense. The fact is that video is highly effective and really inexpensive within the confines of certain uses, but that still doesn’t solve the problem that every saavy business leader has to solve… ROI.
Here are 5 ROI hooks that can serve as the foundation for starting the discussion about your company’s video streaming strategy. I think you will find that these are solid concepts that will help you to form some ideas and see Internet video as a powerful business tool. As you read through them hang onto the basic assumptions that online video has the capability to reach a massive, even global audience, that it’s not expensive (especially compared to mailing DVDs), and that anyone can shoot a video and post it on YouTube.
1. Get more leads: You or your people can proclaim to be the industry experts at whatever it is you do and to really sell that idea, launch a webcast and invite all of your customers and prospects to participate. Build an online interactive archive of videos that address issues within your industry, and of course; how your products and or services address those issues. Read, “Time to Start Your Own TV Channel.” You’ll be amazed at just how easy it is.
2. Video can be used to sell a product better than a brochure (or flat brochure-like website) but not better than a good salesman. Unless… the good salesman is on the video. Not personal enough? How about live video. Here’s a scenario: a potential buyer sends a question or inquiry about a product; sales follows up with an invitation to view video that addresses the question (which is one that gets asked often, no doubt); then with a simple hyper-link and a click the salesperson is on the customer’s desktop and phone fielding questions and objections in a personal conversation. Customer service could work the same way. The return on investment? A trimmed up travel budget and the ability to connect with buyers face to face (well..virtually) and in real-time. Also, it is important to think outside of traditional sales and marketing. Personal communication is dwindling. I’ve spoken with the director of marketing at one of the largest auto dealership syndicates in the country and he tells me it is their biggest challenge trying to figure out how to integrate the traditional sales role into the new Internet way of buying cars. People just want the Internet price and a test drive without the hassle of a salesman.
3. Intra-company training and communications.
Ecropolis has been chosen by Dr. Pete Hilgartener to launch a new business with an exciting mission, to educate people on how to create lasting transformations in their lives. Dr. Pete is a Leesburg based Chiropractor, his wife, Lolin, is a nutritionist. Dr. Pete and Lolin and their practice have already helped hundred of people improve their health, not from just a chiropractic stand-point, but overall health and well being. I’m particulary impressed with Dr. Pete’s good heart and energy and have seen first hand and heard from his clients about how their health and outlook on life has changed as a result of thier time spent at Dr. Pete’s practice.
Dr. Pete released his first book last year, “The Secrets of How to Feel 20 Years Younger in 90 days or Less,” which is already underway towards becoming an underground viral success. As part of Dr. Pete’s new initiative, we are going to market the book as a free enticement for allowing Dr. Pete to share his information and build a following.
Ecropolis and Dr. Pete worked together to develop a simple roadmap… a strategy for success. I’m writing this post as the sun rises on phase 1 of the plan. What I would like to convey by this post is that as of now, we have no premonition as to how successful our efforts will be. From here, it’s a clean slate. We’re launching a new website on a brand new domain name, designyourultimatelife.com. As of this post, no one knows about it. In fact, just today I am hooking up our Google Analytics account so we can begin to measure our success. As part of the innaugural launch of this business, we’ve also planned and scheduled an intense two day workshop called, “Create Your Best Year Ever“, which we are marketing to draw followers, help us build a platform for creating video content that may become products or made into promotional material, and lastly to potentially raise some needed cash. The website is the gateway to event, the place to get information, to register, and to pay.
Here’s a simple outline of the process and where we’re at.
- Create our mission statement for the venture and the event and begin to build marketing copy around that mission.
- Shoot and edit a short video with Dr. Pete explaining our event.
- Build a website that serves as a landing page for marketing the event and gaining registrations. The website features the video.
- Seed the website with some relevant blog postings to build keyword density and give us syndication hooks.
- Create a series of creative advertisements for both web-based usage and physical distribution.
- Create SEO accounts, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
- Upload our video to every web destination accepting free video.
- Design an email template and begin sending emails to our personal sphere’s of trusted connections.
- We’re already forged some strategic partnerships that will allow us to expand our sphere into our partner’s trusted connections.
- Our primary market right now is local to Dr. Pete so our last step will be to hit the street with physical handbills and flyers going out to businesses and anywhere else we can get eyeballs without spending a lot of cash.
As of now; Saturday, January 30, 2010, we are working on Step 5. In the next couple of days the advertisements will be ready for review. I hope that you will take the time to return to this page to see how the project is coming along and most importantly, I’ll be using this as a case study to demonstrate a process, and also to continue to perfect it. For that reasons all comments are welcomed!
To see the website, go to www.designyourultimatelife.com
Ecropolis to Webcast Chip Heath, author of “Made to Stick” and upcoming “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard”
|March 25, 2010|
|12:00 pm||to||1:30 pm|
Ecropolis will be live, on location at the Stanford School of Business to webcast a special presentation given by Mr. Heath on Thursday, March 25 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM ET
Chip Heath is the Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Chip will cover topics from both of his books:
Made to Stick: Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? Chip answers these questions and will discuss the six principles of sticky ideas: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. These “naturally sticky” ideas spread without external help in the form of marketing dollars, PR assistance, or the attention of leaders
How to lead a SWITCH
Why do some big changes happen easily while many small changes prove impossible? The answer hinges on some of the most fascinating findings in psychology. Building on this research, Heath will reveal a simple, 3-part framework that will help you change things in tough times, whether the change you seek is at work, at home, or in society. All of us have things we want to change—in our families, our businesses, and our communities. But where do you start? And don’t people resist change? This program will explore some reliable ways to make change efforts stick.
This live webcast will also include synchronized presentational materials as well as live chat, to be moderated by Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles, Inc. and executive education firm in Ashburn, Virginia that provides services and training to the executives of fast growth companies, worldwide.
Ecropolis to Webcast a presentation by Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?”, blogger and associate professor
|February 18, 2010|
|12:00 pm||to||1:30 pm|
Ecropolis will webcast Jeff Jarvis’s presentation LIVE from New York on Thursday, February 18th at 12:00 noon-1:30 pm ET (US)
Jeff blogs about media and news at Buzzmachine.com. He is also an associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York’s new Graduate School of Journalism
In talks around his book, What Would Google Do?, which has been featured in BusinessWeek (cover story), Inc., Newsweek, Forbes, CNBC, The Daily Beast, and Library Journal, Jarvis has unpacked the strategic and operational principles that have underpinned the Google’s phenomenal success and applied them outward. In talks, he provides an indispensable manual for survival and success.
Jarvis underscores how critical it has become to see the world as Google sees it. “The question we ask is about thinking in new ways, solving problems with new solutions, facing new challenges, seeing new opportunities, and understanding a different way to look at the structure of the economy and society and how we relate to each other,” says Jarvis.
He explains how businesses can grow and prosper in what he calls our “new Google century” by following such laws as:
MANAGE ABUNDANCE, NOT SCARCITY
MAKE MISTAKES WELL
GIVE UP CONTROL
GET OUT OF THE WAY
LOW PRICES ARE GOOD (FREE IS BETTER)
DON’T BE EVIL