How to Use Web and Internet Video to Market and Communicate

IBM Uses “Do It Yourself” Video to Communicate and Market

“No more long, cumbersome marketing documents – no more boring presentations. Video is how companies and business should communicate,” says Mark Leaser, Worldwide Offerings Manager, IBM Software Services for Lotus. “You can do it yourself and save thousands of dollars.

IBM Software Services for Lotus is using video in a wide variety of ways – for internal education and communications as well as for external marketing and customer relations.

Internally, Mr. Leaser and his department are using video for sales training, communication where they want to propose a particular course of action, and to provide training of their technical solution architects and solution specialists. They also are doing internal case studies – talking head interviews and lots of screen capture using their own LotusLive web conference solution and mixing it with live video.

IBM is also using video externally to promote and market their assets and solutions worldwide. The video messages are designed to help customers select, purchase and use the appropriate business solutions.

To speed up the production process, and to ensure a consistent look and feel, Mr. Leaser has developed an effective standardized format to deliver these external messages. These external communication videos usually start with a short teaser – essentially a one to two minute video introduction to a business solution then followed by an action step that is designed to steer viewers to specific online IBM landing pages with much more detail.

Combining the best practices from successful eCommerce and eTailing sites, these landing pages use even more video to further educate and market products and services. A typical video landing page will include links to additional content including additional video and product information. The landing page can also include “infomercial” type videos, as well as videos on how the products work and where to go for more info.

IBM uses video as a means of attracting interest in something that they are doing. The video segments have to be more than a commercial – they have to offer content with value, information of how their solutions will help their customers’ business, and tips for using particular solutions.

IBM Saves Money by Producing In House

Currently IBM uses outside production services as well as internal teams to create their videos. The customer case studies and/or reference videos are usually produced by an external company but increasingly, a larger percentage of the videos are being produced internally. Many of the videos are shot at tradeshows and events where IBM’s various technical and product experts are in attendance. Rather than hiring an outsider who charges $10K to $15K to produce a video, IBM found that they can do it ourselves, single camera, for a small fraction of the price, and it is just as effective. Over a year, they save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Some case study videos are shot multi-camera but 90% of all productions are single camera. Most of the videos are captured using standard HD prosumer camcorders (recording onto 16 gigabyte SD cards) with flat lighting from a single large lightbox. For capturing audio, Mark uses professional Sony lavaliere microphones and Audio Technica shotgun microphones. Mark says, “Simple works. One of the most important technical details is to make sure we have clean audio.”

To improve the efficiency of the video editing and production process, the video is captured in a native Quicktime format and then inputted into Mac computers running Final Cut Studio. Mark has settled on h.264 and DVKitchen for compression and distribution over the company’s intranet as well as over the Internet. Mark usually compresses at the standard Apple TV settings (h.264 at 1280×720 with a 4800 kbps data rate) but DV Kitchen makes it simple to provide a variety of compression templates for various viewing and distribution options.

In many ways, their video production process is just like producing a document using Microsoft word. They use standardized formats and templates, and standardized technical specifications that allow a “producer” to easily cut and assemble a video without having to know a lot of technical details.

Once the video is done, the IBM team can share it in a variety of ways. For internal videos, they often use their own internal media servers or YouTube where the videos can be viewed using the standard YouTube video player.

However, for their external marketing videos, they were not satisfied with embedding YouTube in their public facing pages because there was too much clutter and not enough brand control. To give them more control and present a more professional look, they use outside video hosting companies and video platforms that can be customized.

Authoring video in house works for IBM because their current generation of IT decision makers understand the video language and often don’t have the patience to wade through a white paper or technical presentation. To properly reach them, information needs to be presented in a lively, colorful and high-energy mode that can only be conveyed via video.

SIDEBAR

Three reasons your business should use video to communicate

1. Use video – it works. The impact is phenomenal. Following the lead of the direct marketing industry which claims a 4x improvement in response in video versus text, Mark says that short videos with links is the most effective way for establishing powerful outward bound communications and building brand equity. Your audience expects video and you need to give it to them. An effective business presents information in a manner that is most receptive by their target audience.

2. Learn how to do it yourself. Modern video technology and solutions are easy to learn and very affordable. In many ways similar to cut and paste word processing, DIY video production has become the baseline for business communications and marketing. It is similar to the past evolution to word processing from executives relying on secretaries. The stratified and inefficient business architecture of the “Mad Men” TV show is long gone. Similarly, a new business communication paradigm is occurring now with video. Word processing is being supplanted by video. Long documents and boring powerpoint presentations are being replaced by video. Because DIY video is so efficient as a communications tool, it should be an integral part of your business.

3. Video is easier than people think. It is no longer some mystical technology. Yes, 20 years ago, video was complicated, expensive and required an advanced degree. However, with the advent of simple to use video nonlinear “cut and paste” editing programs and affordable high definition digital camcorders, high quality production is now attainable by almost anyone. You can hire someone out of high school who has all the skills. Remember – for business, simple works best. It is all about communicating ideas and information, not fancy effects or 3D explosions.

eCommerce and Business Online

Advancements in technology have opened up a whole new way for people to do business. Now, it is possible to launch an international business with just the click of a mouse. The word eCommerce is becoming more and more popular. You may have already heard this word but you are not really sure what it means.

eCommerce is a word that simply refers to doing business online. There are many ways that people do business. What are some business transactions that you do in the physical world? You go to the bank to deposit money, you visit stores to purchase items, you eat at a restaurant and pay for your food. These are just some of the things that represent business transactions.

One business may transact with another business. They can either exchange services or purchase items from each other. Businesses usually send invoices which indicate the amount that they need to collect. However, they do not expect to be paid upfront. They usually set dates when payments have to be made.

For online businesses, transactions are done pretty much the same way as they are done in the physical world. Various technologies are used to bring everything together. eCommerce is becoming very popular because it offers convenience and speed, and a large network of individuals and businesses are using this method.

The more customers a business attracts, the more successful it can become. Now that people use the Internet not just for searching information but making purchases as well, a lot of businesses are using this avenue for improving their sales. However, new businesses have to gain their customer’s trust first. This can only be done by carefully studying the intricacies of starting an online business.

eCommerce is the main source of income for businesses that are purely online. However, for offline businesses, eCommerce is another way to expand their customer base. This method allows businesses to offer their products globally. The Internet offers businesses a wide range of potential customers coming different various niches.

The benefits that eCommerce can offer is sure to make you rush in on the trend. But before you do anything, make sure that you understand that doing business online is simple in theory. The actual implementation is harder than most people think it is. If you want to be successful, make sure that you do as much research as you can about eCommerce.

You need to have a good plan and strategy before you start an online business. Joining the eCommerce trend entails making a lot of important decisions. But do not despair as there are many resources available that can help you get started.

Do not take these resources for granted. Utilize them wisely as they can greatly help you as you do your online business. Resources range from those that will tell you how to set up your site to those that will help you successfully market your products.

Buying Ecommerce and Internet Marketing Products Or Sevices

Anyone out there looking to start an internet marketing business of some sort must first beware of the landmines that exist to grab the newbie and just take your hard earned cash. These landmines or scams exist in all facets of marketing and for everything you will undoubtedly need to proceed and build a successful online or eCommerce business.

First and foremost be sure to be ready to do your homework and research every part of doing business online. Internet marketing products and all things needed to do business online can and will need some research from eBooks on step by step guides for doing business to hosting, shopping carts to collect your payment, wholesalers, dropshippers, software to help automate your business. Also things like building opt in email list and running your newsletter, autoresponders, mailing list management are also important.

For every marketing product you need watch out for the programs that promise unbelievable results, like 1000s of optin email lists in days and weeks, these programs and promises generally are scams. If it sounds to good to be true It Is! There are great and useful products out there find the ones you can and should trust first. From hosting to software products and eBooks you can find great information and trustworthy products, just do it right the first time and you will not get frustrated and quit or give up on your dream.

From personal experience I was looking for a product some time ago to take advantage of Google AdSense and there are 100s of products out there. Now the one I did some research on sounded amazing and I could build sites with 1000s of pages of original content and rank well in the search engines for. The sales page even showed how these websites ranked for competitive keywords and would get all the search engine traffic you could ever want. When I checked out these statements and looked farther into these domains they were no longer found in any of the big 3 search engines. What this proved to me was that these programs did nothing to impress the search engines for the long haul and that is what an internet business is not just a temporary quick cash grab.

I also visit a lot of forums to see what products and marketing programs that people are talking about. You can learn a lot by joining some of these marketing forums, just do a search for “marketing forums” and join. On and AdSense forum I had been visiting for some time I read a long sad post by a marketer who had been making 1000s every month from Google and all of a sudden his income dropped to $800 in one month. Now he was getting his checks from Google by Fedex I believe and you only get that treatment if you are making over $10,000/month. Obviously his sites built the fast, easy way no longer impressed the search engines. So like I said do it right the first time and stay in for the long haul.

Obviously there are many great and trustworthy products from hosting to ebooks and more out there, just find the right ones by doing your homework. Check out review sites and forums and ask questions of members on certain products or services you are interested in. Most people are more than willing to give advice or their results good or bad for any product you may be interested in. There are great review sites out there that you can visit and read reviews that are unbiased and that you also con give your own reviews on products and services that you have purchased or used to help other newbies to this business and help them not make the mistakes or send them on the right road to success in the ecommerce and internet marketing business.

In closing, do your homework, research and most of all remain focused on your dreams goals and never quit it may take some time, but if you persist and do the hard work into anything you try you will succeed in the long term. Imagine how you will feel and be able to brag to your family and friends that your efforts have paid off.