Monthly Archives: March 2011

26 Ways to Use Online Video

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Courtesy of OneMarketMedia.com

“Online video”, “web video” and “Internet video” are terms that will soon fade from our lexicon. They will simply be shortened to “Video”. While the portable bandwidth of DVD’s and now Blu-ray will continue to be used for some time, faster broadband and wireless speeds will result in all media moving “online”. Broadcast television will become just one piece of the Internet. Video will be the dominant marketing media format for business. Throw rich media and social media into the mix and the result is a profound transformation to the way that companies promote themselves.

Your company website will soon house a variety of different video and rich media assets that will be used to differentiate your offering, educate your customers and influence your influencers. Here are 26 examples of how video is being used by companies today to help move their businesses forward:

1. Customer Testimonials
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services and explaining how you helped them achieve their business goals.

2. Video Success Story
It is often challenging to get customers to agree (especially larger customers) to go on camera to talk about your company. You can still present the customer success with your own presenters speaking specifically about the customer win or talking more generically about a company win in that industry.

3. Video Case Study
A video case study combines customer testimonials with more a more in-depth explanation of how your company’s products and services helped your customer be successful. These case studies usually incorporate two voices – a narrator and the voice of your customer. These usually follow the “Problem, Solution, Benefit” format – very similar to their print equivalent.

4. Product Demonstrations
Show how your product works – highlight the features that differentiate it from your competitors. A software walk-through, a 3D cut-away, a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works.

5. Product Presentations
Product demos shows the details of how your products work. These are best used in helping your customers and prospects differentiate between your products and services and those of your competitors. Early on in the sales cycle you need to talk more about benefits – from the customer”s perspective. Product presentations explain how your product can help your customers solve their business problems. Determining where your customers are in their buying cycle is just as important as segmenting your audiences.

6. Corporate Overview
Corporate overviews are often the starting point for companies using video to promote their services. Corporate overviews are usually brief (2-3 minutes) and can include a short history, some location/facilities shots and introductions from your senior management team.

7. Executive Presentations
Whether you are preparing for a quarterly update, responding to a major event in your industry or making a regularly scheduled presentation there is great value in presenting the “face” and “voice” of your leadership team to all of your constituents.

8. Staff Presentations
Social media and other Web 2.0 trends have caused companies to reconsider how they communicate with their external audiences. Your senior leadership team should not be the first and only consideration for representing your company. It is becoming more important to consider showcasing the people that drive the day-to-day operations of your company. Customer service representatives, technical experts and legacy workers are all valuable considerations for this new category of corporate video. Surveys show that there is more trust associated with these employees than with senior management. When you are selling to influencers in organizations – versus economic buyers or the decsion makers it is especially important you represent your company with people that your customers and prospects can relate to.

9. VLOG
Video blogging has been gaining popularity on personal and expert blog sites and is now carrying over to corporate blogging as well.

10. Corporate facilities or equipment tour
While corporate overviews serve many purposes a corporate facilities or equipment tour can be used to highlight the unique characteristics of your building, and infrastructure, to show the breadth of your operations and reach or to highlight special equipment that sets you apart from your competitors. (Uniqueness is certainly a key to success here)

11. Post sale support and maintenance videos
No one reads manuals. You can save thousands of dollars of post sale support by creating informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.

12. Overnight expert videos
If you serve a large geographic area or sell through channels then it is well worth the effort to put together short overnight expert sales support videos that highlight the key selling points, features, benefits, objection handling and follow-up issues to consider by your direct or channel sales force.

13. Training
Corporate video first gained prominence with training (service, support, sales, personal development etc.) and continues to be one of the best uses of video. Online Video is a cost effective substitute to in-class training. You can also integrate video into online training management tools.

14. Health & Safety
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of minimizing these costs.

15. Internal Communications
In larger companies no one has the time or interest to understand what other groups or functions within the company do or why they exist. Internal videos that highlight activities, procedures and best practices can save money and lead to more effective communications. They are also a great way to show off your local hero’s.

16. Recruitment Videos
Finding the best employees is the single most important function of any company and yet comparatively small amounts of time and money are allocated to this critical task. Recruitment videos that feature company employees, highlight corporate culture and promote the direction of the company can be very influential.

17. Employee orientation
Once your new recruits are on board employee orientation videos are a great way to get new staff up to speed. Company history , structure, procedures, policies and codes of behaviour can all be communicated effectively with video.

18. Marketing
Outbound programs like email marketing and direct mail are taking advantage of video and rich media as a more engaging way to capture and keep the attention of customers and prospects.

19. Landing pages and other web pages
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a content element on many corporate websites. Landing pages can offer a more compelling call to action with video.

20. Event Video
There are many ways to leverage the considerable amount of time and money spent on events and trade shows with video: Capture demos on camera while you have your experts assembled in one location. Capture speaking opportunities from your execs and re-purpose them on your website. Use the opportunity to video short testimonials from your customers while they are at your booth. Capture the event or trade show activities and share with the employees back at the office.

21. Video Press Releases
The standard four paragraph press release is now being supplemented with video and rich media to tell a more engaging story.

22. Viral Video
Many companies are testing viral video as a means of promoting their brand. Striking the balance between maximizing entertainment (pass along) value and minimizing blatant brand promotion is the challenge.

23. Commercials
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online entertainment, online sponsorships, games, event sponsorships and in-theatre are starting to take the place of broadcast and cable commercials. Expect more and more video screens to crop up on every building, device and structure offering an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities.

24. Company Lobby Video
HD video screens are popping up everywhere – why not in your lobby or reception where you can get a jump start on first impressions.

25. Market research, focus groups and polling
Market research firms are now capturing the anecdotal feedback along with the raw statistics of their research. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video of your customer describing her likes and dislikes of your new product is priceless. Go to YouTube to see how people are describing your products and services.

26. Community relations
If your company is out working in the community, being good corporate citizens, helping the environment, contributing to valuable causes – you should be capturing those efforts on video.

Problems Emailing PowerPoint Presentations

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Courtesy of SLIDEROCKET

Emailing a PowerPoint presentation seems like it should be a simple thing. But all the slide design stock images, video and audio that can make a PowerPoint compelling are the very things that make emailing PowerPoint slideshows so clumsy. Those assets quickly balloon a PowerPoint’s file size, which is where the trouble begins.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the presentation online? This way when you email the presentation you’re just sending a link. How easy is that? Try SlideRocket for free and find out.

Emailing a PowerPoint – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Emailing anything but a basic PowerPoint requires a fair amount of preparation, communication and wizardry. But everything should go as planned so long as the following criteria are met:

1.Your recipient has PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer
2.You properly embedded any audio files in the correct folder
3.You properly embedded any video files in the correct folder4.You made sure the file size doesn’t exceed your email service provider limit
5.You know what file size your recipient’s email provider will accept
6.You ensured your recipient has a matching version of PowerPoint, or the proper compatibility pack
7.You didn’t zip the file using self-unzipping executables which can set off alarms on your recipient’s computer
8.Your recipient isn’t trying to view the PowerPoint on an iPad
And have you ever emailed your PowerPoint slides and then immediately wish you hadn’t? You forgot to update the pricing on a quote. Or forgot to delete a slide from your last client presentation? Online presentations let you make those changes, even after the slides are emailed. Heck, they even tell you when your recipient views the slides so you know if you still have time to make changes.

Bring on the PowerPoint Email Widgets
I suspect there’s a PowerPoint plug-in, widget, zipper, converter or drop-box out there that tries to resolve the challenge of emailing a large PowerPoint file. To try and compress the file size, while at the same time hoping it looks the way it’s supposed to when it gets to the other side.

You may run into the same kind of problems when looking into how to embed a YouTube video in PowerPoint. It can be done, but usually requires help. An entire industry has emerged designed to try and stretch PowerPoint’s capabilities to match how people use presentations today.

Presentations rarely just sit on a computer waiting to be presented to an audience anymore. People share, email, upload and collaborate presentations. They want to use video and audio, the ability to make presentations available to broad audiences, and view them anywhere, including presenting from an iPad.

Will the Dot Com Kingdom Collapse?

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Courtesy of Internet Business Law Services

Once ICANN approves the new super-powered gTLD domain names, what will happen to the some 200 million strong dotcom domain name kingdom? Will the new gTLDs and their massive sub-domain traffic of unlimited brand extensions create global cyber identity chaos? Will global trademark wars erupt on several legal fronts? Will cyber-squatting hit the fan? Relax no such things.

Surely, the sudden influx of 1000 new powerful gTLDs will create the biggest buzz, as overnight hyper-visibility and marketing coups of various old and new brands will steal the show. Currently, a regular dotcom costs USD $10, but this new gTLD about USD $500,000 each. However the markets will face some serious questions about this new style of hyper-cyber-branding poised for global market domination.

After all, the new gTLDs are never supposed to be for everyone, as they can only be custom fitted to very special type of business ventures with very specific features and combinations. On the other hand, the fanfare of massive influx gTLDs will further infuse renewed interest in global cyber branding expansion, enticing new ventures, putting higher demands for regular domain registrations. The dotcom kingdom will shine even more. The drama of gTLD approval will unfold making front page stories around famous and unknown name identities incubated to their overnight meteoric successes showcasing their smart strategies; equally some failures will also provide disastrous experiences and separate the winners and losers.

The other primal fear of dotcoms losing their power is based on the structural differences between the two types of domain names. Current $10 dollar domain like Sony.com is a suffix-based name, while a $500,000 GTLD, is a suffix-less, domain root like dotSony. No need to worry as the global markets will learn very quickly as they did in differentiating the @ symbol for email and the .com as
a suffix of a URL. A good educational campaign from ICANN is anticipated to educate the global audience. How and why the usability of this new type domain will bring revolutionary powers to a brand, huge savings of costs and image expansion time, while changing the future of the internet requires a very special knowledge.

Nevertheless, the gTLD game is sophisticated and requires a strong qualified team to play. Branding industry and trademark professionals, over and above their special craft should consider acquiring world-class nomenclature skills, to manage name usability, suitability and marketability issues with deeper understanding of global naming in order to have any authoritative say in this competitive arena.
The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why so much fear is being created against the gTLD in the name of protecting global trademark owners? Say, if ICANN, somehow, allowed a third party a gTLD called .panasonic, will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful trademark holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a club and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. So are there enough empty
headed candidates to apply for such globally recognized and protected names? No, why would someone spend USD $500,000 and months to get such a name approved? The problem is not here, it is on the other side of the trademark spectrum where weak and deadbeat trademarks based on diluted names, but protected in narrow classification in search of a global presence are clashing with each other all over the world.

When ICANN issues a third party a gTLD ””””dot united””””, will all of the 113,647 existing large and small businesses worldwide using ””””united”””” name panic? No they cannot. Exclusive global ownership of the word ””””united”””” was never their cup of tea in the first place. It was always ””””disclaimed”””” in each and every one””””s trademark application for being a dictionary word.

They knew all along that there are over 100,000 identical names floating in the market place; United Airlines, United Bank, United Church, United Way, United Trust, United Bakeries, United Taxis, United Trucks, and United Logistics. Why will they hit the ceiling in rage now? They will not. Coy they will be, and embarrassed as they are, aware of the high dilution of their name they will stay mum. They will simply protect their own basic turf, under their specific classifications of trademark ””””wares””””, they simply cannot declare war and stop anyone using the name ””””united.”””

This is how the majority of the business names are. Open any trade directory in any city and the proof is right there. Somehow, the senior management always buries the name-weakness issues under the rug and keeps pushing the brand name even if it means losing its exclusive ownership in the long run. So long you can open a hotdog stand in the lobby of United Airlines, called United Doggies, as United Airlines has no exclusive ownership to the name ””””united”””” like ironclad
exclusive marks Rolex, Panasonic or Sony, diluted names are becoming a joke and a total waste of branding budgets.

So of the 100 thousand major businesses using United, who will end up owning dot-United gTLD and what will the other 99% do for their long term image expansion on the global front poses some very serious questions. The answer may not be forthcoming as the management of these organization were always convinced that they have been the true ””””united”””” name brand leaders, whether they exclusively own the name or not. Currently, 94% businesses around the world have such dysfunctional names and their branding agencies and law firms both have some serious responsibilities and challenges to find them the right strategies

Showrooms, not garages

If ICANN creates a gTLD garage, agencies should create cyber showrooms. ICANN, rightfully from its inception, is a very superior technical organization, surrounded by teams of highly intelligent people working on the long-term integrity of the Internet. Like a real high-tech garage full of engineers and mechanics designing high speed luxury cars, they are rolling out the great new gTLD program.

But what the image brokers and ad agencies now need are not garages but rather showrooms, where prospective customers could comfortably see the finished models, smell the interiors and take the cyber vehicles for the test drive.But there are two serious lingering questions, first, how to approach it with all the special prerequisite necessary to articulate such topics and what to recommend with solid and proven strategies to complete the full circle and close the deals.

It””””s all about this colossal shift of the old methods of branding and marketing communication to globally accessible, instantly scalable and almost free digital medium where the domination of globally workable world-class cyber name identities provide the spearhead and hyper-visibility. To play the modern games of massive new customer acquisition, it””””s about, eat-sleep-work-local & think-market-play-global. Unfortunately 99% businesses names are not capable to expand globally. This creates a major opportunity to educate the corporate leadership on this new global reality and bring in positive changes.

Therefore, as a starter the global corporate landscape urgently needs professional Name Evaluation Reports to professionally lay out senior level discussion contents and openly tackle the name identity issues. What better way for branding agencies to bring in a massive re-organization of the corporate nomenclature on a grand scale and start helping clients with new vigor and power, and assist them professionally with right world-class tools to win the next layers of global wars of image and
name identity domination?

END.

Naseem Javed, is recognized as a world authority on global naming complexities. He is currently helping corporations on ICANN””””s new gTLD cyber-platforms and lecturing on corporate nomenclature frontiers and global cyber-branding. Naseem is also conducting series of exclusive webinars on how to achieve iconic name status worldwide. http://www.abcnamebank.com .

The State of Video In E-Commerce

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Courtesy of WEBSITE magazine.

Online video solutions provider SundaySky recently released a telling report about how the Web’s biggest retailers utilize the power of video. Or, more to the point, how they are failing to do so.

According to SundaySky’s The State of Video in E-Commerce, released last month and citing data from the fourth quarter of 2010, nearly half of the world’s top 50 online merchants have no significant video presence. While many of them may have begun to add video on their websites – which the study concludes was the focus for many retailers in 2010 – few of them are taking proper advantage of the opportunities the medium affords them, which should be a primary focus of 2011.

In terms of conversion rates, online videos can lead merchants to higher sales on a wider range of products, increase their websites’ stickiness and reduce return rates, to name just a few advantages. For SEO purposes, video results rank higher in searches than other content and drives more traffic to retail sites. Finally, YouTube has been the world’s second-leading search engine since 2008 and is currently the fourth overall property on the entire Web.

Using YouTube as the primary barometer, 16 percent of the top 50 had fewer than 10 videos on YouTube, 42 percent had between 10 and 100, 34 percent had between 100 and 1,000, and 8 percent had greater than 1,000. If a YouTube presence is defined as more than 100 videos, that means that less than half of the top 50 retailers are taking full advantage of YouTube.

Three companies praised in the study for their use of video are Overstock, Newegg and Buy.com. All three are considered pioneers in the space for launching video portals alongside their main websites, and Buy.com ranked third behind the Home Shopping Network (72,556) and Systemax (3,537) with 2,731 videos on YouTube at the time of the study. Newegg, meanwhile, saw its views on YouTube jump 133 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the fourth.

Some of the suggestions for retailers offered by SundaySky include scaling product videos to include everything in one’s catalog; applying even simple video SEO methods such as proper embedding and a video sitemap, and syndicating videos to not only YouTube but also to other channels such as Facebook fan pages.

200 Years of Growing Wealth and Health in the World

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