Cheap Production, Free distribution, Using Video to Grow Your Business

You don’t have to have a big budget to be effective with video marketing.

Video production is cheap. Distribution is Free. If you are not video marketing online, you should be. The barriers to entry are virtually non-existent.

The Audience

Online Video continues to show solid growth – up 34.9% in time spent during 2009. (Nielsen)

The average U.S. Viewer Watched 6.4 Hours of Online Video During the Month of April 2009. (comScore)

Blenders

Blendtec YouTube views

Here’s two out of the 92 videos Blendtec has on their Youtube channel. (terrible screencap, must be the color scheme)

One case study that is constantly referenced is Blendtec. Their “Will it Blend” campaign on Youtube has been phenomenal.

If you didn’t know Blendtec makes blenders. Their YouTube videos have been viewed tens of millions of times.

Let’s look at their production costs: Apart from the fancy stage they have setup for a backdrop, you’re looking at a pair of safety glasses, a white lab coat, a blender and whatever they are blending (glow sticks, iPhone, laser pointers, silly putty, etc…). I can’t imagine it costs much to produce compared with the mileage the are getting.

Look at it this way, if a blender company can get tens of millions of views, just about any other business can generate interest in their product or service through online video.

Local Case Studies

You don’t have to produce viral videos that get millions of views to be effective. Here are a couple of examples.

Pine Harbor Wood Products

I shot a very poor quality video of Pine Harbor Wood Products’ old sawmill with a low resolution digital camera that recorded to a floppy disc back in 2000.

Since the sawmill is no longer in operation and kind of nostalgic we decided to post it on YouTube and embed it in their website. Knowing that the video resolution would be a quality problem, I uploaded the video in February of 2007 and it has over 18,000 views. That’s 6,000 views per year over 3 years for what is arguably a terrible video.

They are planning video walkthroughs of their production plant and product videos for their line of sheds for roll out this Spring.

Destination Realty

Every week Joe Arnao chronicles what happened with the Cape Cod real estate market. He covers over all the statistics on real estate sales as logged by the Cape Cod and Islands MLS and offers some non-real estate tips every week. The off topic tips give the videos personality, which in the real estate market is a good thing to have.

Now as far as I know none of Joe’s videos have been viral sensations, but he has positioned himself. Go to YouTube and search for Cape Cod real estate you’ll see Joe’s face all over the place.

These two examples prove that video can be effective for business without needing to be “a big production”.

Resources

If they say a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million words.

A list of 42 types of videos that can be produced by businesses with popularity and growth potential ratings:

New visual languages, graphic interfaces, rich media content, lower video production costs and shrinking attention spans are changing how businesses communicate. In-house or outsourced, video is becoming a standard delivery medium for marketing and communications activities.

From the Video Marketing Report (pdf) we get some good tips including:

Sales Page and Marketing Videos should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, with an absolute maximum of 4. Why? Most viewers want to get in, get out, and move onto the next video. You have to catch and keep their attention span before they find the next shiny object on the internet.

Video on your site:

WILL increase time-on-page

WILL generate useful feedback and comments

WILL capture more opt-ins

WILL convert more visitors into PAYING customers

Conclusion

Online videos don’t need to be tricked out, fancy or expensive to be effective.

Start up costs:

Flip video camera: $150

YouTube distribution channel: FREE

Like the blender company, you might even be able to come up with an interesting idea for your video marketing campaign that will take it to a level your website will never reach on it’s own.

One more thing, if you run TV ads and do not post these commercials online you are missing out on a larger audience that can be had for free.

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