Archive for January, 2007

Marketing Instructional / Special Interest Videos

January 31, 2007

Stephanie Chandler Information Product Marketing ExpertAs many of my clients want to successfully distribute the instructional and special interest videos we create for them; I thought it appropriate to engage an information product marketing expert.  I was introduced to Stephanie Chandler through my friend and PR mentor, Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound. 

Stephanie Chandler is a small business expert and the author of FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, EBOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS. She is also the founder of www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of free resources for entrepreneurs.

Stephanie, I am conducting this interview because I have a number of clients either interested in creating information-based special interest videos or they already have videos.  Many of these clients need a better understanding of how to effectively market their information-based products.

What is an infopreneur?
An infopreneur is someone who sells information. This can come in all forms: books, videos, audio files, e-books, etc.

If someone wants to distribute an information-based video what are some of the things they should consider to generate interest?
First, I would suggest focusing on building a high-traffic website. If you want to be successful selling products online, you have to reel in the buyers.

Second, send out an e-zine. It is relatively inexpensive and is one of the best marketing tools available online. Consider using a service such as Constant Contact. You should send it at least once a month, but twice a month or weekly can be even better. Make it easy to subscribe by putting a “subscribe here” box on every page of your website. You can also offer incentives for new subscribers. For example, you could give away a brief report or list as a gift to anyone who signs up.

Also, make sure to generate great sales copy for your products. Explain all of the benefits for the buyer (people like to buy solutions to problems). Include testimonials and offer a money-back guarantee. If your products are top-notch, you should rarely if ever have to send a refund.

What are some specific tools video infopreneurs can use to market their products online and offline (creating streaming trailers, YouTube, Courting the press)?
Ideally you would want to implement some viral marketing campaigns. Viral marketing is what happens when people start talking about your products and forwarding them to friends. Videos are an excellent platform for viral marketing since you can post short clips on places like YouTube and hope they catch on. Humor is always a winner so if you’ve got funny content, get it out there!

Publishing articles is another great way to promote your business and your products. Your articles should be related to the topics of your videos. You can submit them to industry-related websites or content sites that allow others to publish articles in their own e-zines and on their websites. My favorite content sites are www.ezinearticles.com and www.ideamarketers.com. Make sure to include a good bio and a link to your website with each article, then periodically Google yourself to find out where your articles are showing up!

What resources would you suggest for budding video infopreneurs?
The key to success with online product sales is to learn as much as you can about online marketing and publicity. I recommend signing up for Joan Stewart’s publicity newsletter at www.PublicityHound.com. Joe Vitale also publishes all kinds of information on hypnotic marketing: www.mrfire.com. Incidentally, I interviewed both of these people in my book. I also send a monthly newsletter with lots of business and marketing tips at www.BusinessInfoGuide.com.

How can your Infopreneur book help this group?
The book is loaded with information on how to create all kinds of information products including books, ebooks, teleseminars and more. If you have already captured an audience for your videos, it might be worthwhile to sell other types of products. For example, if you sell Yoga videos, you could sell an e-book on “How to Maximize Your Yoga Experience.”

Also, each chapter concludes with an interview with a successful infopreneur. These add a lot of value to the book since you can read some first-hand accounts of strategies that worked!

Stephanie, thank you so much for lending your time and expertise.  As we both know, beyond having a good product; the key to success with instructional video is creating a sound marketing and promotions plan. 

The clip below is an example of one of our client’s instructional video trailers.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=145332&dest=8105]

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Martin Luther King in Images

January 29, 2007

My company had the pleasure of supporting the H.L. McCrorey Family YMCA’s annual Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast in Charlotte, North Carolina.  As it is appropriate for both the King holiday and Black History Month; I am posting a montage of images we created for the prayer breakfast.

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King in Images
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Video Production That Solves Big Hair Problems

January 27, 2007

Hairstyling VideoSome time ago we (Eastonsweb Multimedia) produced a video for a local cosmetologist who had a dream to help parents manage their young daughter’s hair.  “PROPER” hairstyling techniques used to be passed down from older generations but detached family structures and other realities have interrupted this knowledge transfer.  This problem is exacerbated for single fathers and biracial parents.

My client, Millicent McMillian ran with a great idea to educate needy audiences using the only truly effective tool short of 1:1 training, a video (Watch the Trailer).  Her instructional video guide really fills an educational gap, as there are a few books out there but hairstyling is not a skill that lends itself to book instruction.

The bottom line here is; meet a need with the right solution and create a business opportunity.  We can all learn a bit from Millicent.

Your Own History Channel Video Broadcast

January 20, 2007

Your Own History Channel BroadcastThe History Channel is one of the most popular channels on cable television.  This is proof that people are very interested in the history of just about everything including your industry, your products and services.  You can use this interest to your advantage by producing a short history of “what you do” and inexpensively distributing the program through partners who reach your audience.  History Channel productions like American Eats, Modern Marvels and others often profile related companies in the process of teaching history.  Why can’t you do the same?

What I am suggesting is to produce a short 5-8 minute video that outlines the history of your services or industry.  When the program advances to “present day”, you showcase your company as the example of how the featured product or service is currently produced.

In addition to historic content layer in script copy that speaks to reasons why companies or consumers use your product.  This content will serve as a passive incentive for prospective customers to contact you.

Soliciting a good mix of partner distributors for your program could yield direct inquires from potential customers, garner great P/R through press release notification, and potentially spread virally as viewers pass your video onto friends, family and associates.  Likely distribution options for your program might include:

  1. Trade association websites:  Your industry trade association would love this content but it would also be useful to complimentary industry trades.  For example the marketing trade is a great compliment to my industry’s trade (multimedia production).
  2. Your company website
  3. YouTube, Google Video and other web video distributors
  4. Product manufacturers:  Let’s say you are a hair stylist and produce a program on the history of hair styling.  Suggest to a curling iron manufacturer that they include a DVD copy of your program with every curling iron set they sell.
  5. Cable or Cable Access distribution
  6. Local schools and colleges:  Especially good if you sell a product or service targetted to high school, college or other students.

Every day I see companies profiled on the History Channel and similar programs.  When I visit these companies online I usually see no reference to their feature.  The linked video (click here) is a perfect example of a missed opportunity.  Messer Construction Company is featured in a Mega Movers episode and there is no reference to the program at the Messer website.

You can be smarter even if the History Channel does not contact you.  Invest in your own history program and get your prospective customers excited.

Public Speakers, Get Your Video!

January 16, 2007

Speaker VideoIf you speak at corporate functions or conduct seminars make sure you get a copy of the event video tape.  If the host is not taping the event, consider hiring your own professionals to cover your portion of the event and even capture some user feedback (testimonials). 

Public speaking is a great way to position yourself as an expert and in the process, generate business leads.  Video disitribution of your seminars can exponentially expand your audience.  Here is a link to one of my seminars (click here).  Your taped seminar can be broadcast from your website, uploaded to YouTube, Google Video or other web video broadcast service at no cost.

You can also slice the video into several 5 or 10 minute chunks and offer the video modules for web broadcast to partner organizations that serve your audience (Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, etc).  If you work with partners, be sure they provide a link to your website in return for the free video content.

The bottom line is that you can turn your speaking opportunities into education-based marketing powerhouses.