The explosion of Internet video proves one thing-you don’t have to be a professional producer of video content to reach a huge audience on the Worldwide Web. If you have expert knowledge about something that can benefit customers, you can be the star of your own how-to-do-it video product line.
Decide what kind of video product you want to create: educational, motivational, inspirational, “how-to-do-it” and comedy are popular genres of video products for sale on the Internet. Don’t pick a genre just because it sells for other people. Pick something you’re passionate about. Your passion-or lack of it-will always show in whatever you produce, and this is true whether you’re standing in front of the camera or behind it.
Suppose you build houses. You may want to create a promotional video to persuade companies and individuals to hire your services. This is the type of video product that you want potential customers to access freely at your web site or blog. Another type of product that can create a good revenue source is an educational video. As an independent contractor, you know all the ins and outs of the business. An educational video product aimed at teaching customers everything they need to know before choosing a contractor and beginning a construction project can give people valuable knowledge that they are willing to pay for. And of course the do-it-yourself home improvement market is one of the largest revenue producers in the United States.
Let’s take the example of an independent contractor one step farther. Every tip that you can present and package in a 15 to 30 minute “how-to” video can generate a significant revenue stream that makes money for you over a period of several years. Think of how the do-it-yourself home improvement market has exploded on television over the past few years. The Internet opens up this huge market to anyone with a camera, a computer, and expert knowledge of how to do something that adds value to consumers’ lives.
Always remember to talk about benefits
When you stress the benefits that come with successfully completing a project, you add value to your customers’ lives. And when that happens, you create a force of “customer evangelists”-people who are eager to tell others about how you created something of value for them. Whenever you make customers happy, always ask them to give you a testimonial to use for promoting your product or service. Businesses know the value of written testimonials, but think about the benefits of filming testimonials to put on your web site.
In fact, if you have no experience in the creation of video products, a video testimonial from a satisfied customer is a great way to start. You don’t have to go out and look for acting talent-the best talent is a real person who can be natural in front of a camera and just talk about the benefits of your product or service. Post this as free content on your site and watch your sales increase.
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It’s easier than ever to create a video product for sale on the Internet. All right, I know you can’t compete with the big media corporations if your dream is to produce the next Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (In that case, your goal should be to get a job at a production studio and work your way up.)
But creation and distribution of online video products has become so easy-and so economical-that anyone with an Internet connection can become a broadcaster of video content for the Worldwide Web. (The faster your server connection, the better-a broadband connection is ideal for uploading video content to the Internet.)
As an Internet marketer, you need to be aware of what you can achieve by creating video products for sale on the Internet:
* The sale of video products lets you launch an online business with a minimum cash investment.
* If a video product is unsuccessful, it’s easy to pull it off the market without running up losses-you don’t have to invest in inventory to launch an Internet video business.
Find a vision for your video product. The keys to creating a successful video product are the same as the keys to success in any business venture: establish priorities and stay focused on your goal. Your vision must be to create a video product that adds something of value to your customers’ lives. Inspirational videos and how-to videos accomplish this goal-one of these areas is a good place to start. Keep these simple tips in mind as you start to develop a video product for sale on the Internet:
Focus on your strengths. Find one thing that you do well and build your video around it. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to fix your weaknesses-we all have them. Successful people spend most of their time doing what they do best-they concentrate on their strengths.
Stay in touch with your customers. Businesses fail when they stop listening to what their customers are saying. Always approach your video business as a system that needs to be constantly improved to maintain your advantage over the competition. Stay focused on your customers. Concentrate on creating a video product that adds something of value to their lives.
Test the market. You don’t have to quit your day job to start creating video products to sell on the Internet. Most people think that great companies are established by entrepreneurs who risked everything to test a business idea. The truth is that many successful Internet entrepreneurs launch and test their business systems without quitting their jobs. You can create a video product without leaving your job, test the market on your web site or blog, and tweak the business system until the profits tell you when to plunge into the new business full time. Your chances of success can be greatly increased by making a gradual entry into an Internet video business.
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If you have a camera phone and a computer, you can create a video product and distribute it on the Internet as free or paid content. Video podcasting is the simplest and least expensive way to create and distribute a video product on the Internet. Anyone with a broadband connection and some simple tools can create an Internet channel today to broadcast content to a potential audience of millions.
Produce your video
The easiest way to capture video content is to shoot it with a digital video camera or camera phone. If you want to create the highest quality, you can use a webcam. And if your digital still-camera has a recording feature, you can shoot video clips with it, too. If you have a Mac, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro to capture a video directly from your camera. If you have Windows XP or Vista on your PC, you already have all the basic video capture and editing software you’ll need, so you can get your feet wet without investing additional money in software. If you decide to invest in software, Adobe Premiere Pro is the best program to use to upload video to your computer.
The marketing power of viral video
The majority of video content on the Internet is transmitted virally and downloaded freely, so you may want to consider the advantages of producing viral videos as well as paid video content. Viral videos can dramatically increase traffic to your web site or blog. Popular viral videos featured on the YouTube homepage can bring millions of new visitors in just a few days to the site that the video links to.
Viral video is one of the most effective and powerful tools that you can use to increase traffic to your site. If you’ve designed your site to achieve a good conversion rate of visitors to sales, then you should always consider the creation of viral video content as one of your key marketing strategies. People come to your site because they liked one of your viral videos; when they visit your site, they find out about paid video downloads, eBooks, and other products and services you offer.
You can post your video content on YouTube and Google Video for free. Include your web site or blog URL at the beginning of the text description of your video. If viewers like it, their comments will achieve a high ranking for your video. When your ranking increases, you may find it featured on the YouTube home page. Other web sites and blogs will want to link to your video, individual viewers tell their friends about it, and then you have a popular viral video, which spreads over the Internet to an audience of millions. This can bring a dramatic increase in your traffic and sales.
Build your community of users first, talk to advertisers second. When you have more traffic, be sure that you know your demographics. When you know how many people are visiting your site-and something about them-you’re ready to show the figures to advertisers.
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Even if you’re only planning to create a 30-second video clip to post on YouTube, never underestimate the power of rehearsal. Rehearsing gets the actors relaxed enough to be themselves, or to take on the specific personalities called for in the script. If you plan to be the host or demonstrator of your own motivational or do-it-yourself video, rehearsing will let you become comfortable in front of the camera. If you have decided to create a how-to video, the hardest task is learning how to be yourself in front of a camera. Rehearsing is the best way to get over your nervousness and connect to your audience effectively.
Rehearse in different ways to find out which style of delivery works best for your project. Talk as you move and stand on the set, sit and talk, talk as you show how to do something, and talk in a voice over as your actors demonstrate how something is done. And remember: Whatever type of video product you decide to create, it’s important to make sure you have good lighting and plenty of space. Rehearse in different types of lighting to see what works best, and move around the set to make sure you have enough space.
When hosts stand or move on the set as they talk to an audience, they can transmit great energy and power to viewers. A host will sit and talk to create a laid-back atmosphere that encourages the audience to relax and feel at home. Just think about the most popular programs on television. What is the difference between a great host and an average host?
All great hosts stand as they deliver an opening monologue to an audience. They know how to use their hands, and they know how to keep their bodies poised to communicate exactly what they want their audience to remember. The best way to create great-selling video products is to study popular hosts and powerful speakers. Learn from them, imitate their techniques, and practice in front of a camera.
Ask your friends to give you their honest feedback. Were you convincing in the video? Did you connect to your audience? Did they stay focused on what you were saying? The most important question to ask your “focus group” of friends and family members is: What message did they get from your video? What do they think you’re trying to say? What are viewers motivated to do after seeing your video? Answers to these questions are the best measure of the effectiveness of your video product.
Most of us are in for a shock the first time we carry out this experiment. We think we have covered a topic completely, only to find that our audience cannot say with certainty what that topic is. Leave your pride out of it and you’ll be on your way to learning how to create great video products. Listen to your customers and potential customers. Listen to their feedback. Ask for suggestions about how to be a more effective host or speaker. Practice, practice, and keep on practicing.
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YouTube is a popular online website, which allows internet users, just like you, to share videos or watch an unlimited number of them. While a good portion of the individuals who post videos on YouTube are just posting videos that they have laying around, there are many more who actually make videos with the sole purpose of uploading them to YouTube and sharing them with other internet users. If you are one of those individuals, there are a number of points that you will want to keep in mind.
When it comes to making a YouTube video, one of the things that you will need is a video recording device. Popular video recording devices include camcorder, webcams, as well as cell phones with video recording capabilities. If at all possible, you will want to try and use a webcam or a camcorder, as these video recording devices often produce the best quality. If you are looking to make your YouTube video be a hit, quality is something that you will want to take into consideration. Many YouTube video viewers dislike watching poor quality videos; in fact, not everyone sticks around to finish watching them.
Editing is also something that you will want to take into consideration. YouTube actually encourages you to examine your video before uploading it to their site. If you notice anything that you would like changed, you are advised to edit your video before uploading it to YouTube. Of course, you don’t have to edit your video if you don’t want to, but editing your video is also likely to improve the overall quality of your YouTube video. It is also relatively easy to do. Most computers come with movie editing software programs already installed. It may even be a good idea to play around with a movie editing software program and your YouTube video; you may be surprised just how fun it can be.
It is also important that you think about and examine the content of your video, especially if you are planning on doing a comedy video. Comedy videos are popular on YouTube, but you need to remember that a large number of people visit YouTube for entertainment. Many of those individuals are from different races, sexes, and religions. You will want to be cautious of offending any of your viewers, intentionally or not. Keep in mind that comedy means different things to different individuals. Of course, you have the right to make just about any type of YouTube video you want; you are advised to use your best judgment. Should you be good at making YouTube videos, you may be able to make a name for yourself on YouTube, but you will want it to be a good one.
It is also important that you examine safety when making a YouTube video. As previously mentioned, comedy videos are popular on YouTube and so are video blogs. Video blogs are where internet uses recite their blog in front of a camera, instead of in print. Video blogs are fun to do, but many video blogers, both on and off of YouTube, make the mistake of giving out too much information about themselves. For your safety, you will want to avoid giving your real name, especially if you are showing your face on your video blog. It is advised that you do not mention your real name in any of your YouTube videos, but you definitely do not want to mention your address or any of your phone numbers. Not divulging your personal information is for your own safety. You need to remember that you never really know who is watching your YouTube videos or what they are thinking.
The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind, before making a video which will later be posted on YouTube. In short, aim for quality and keep internet safety in mind and your YouTube video could end up being a hit.
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2007 is starting to look like the year of the vlogs. An explosion in Internet video is taking place, and in large part it’s an explosion based on video blogs. A massive online industry is gearing up around video sharing sites like YouTube and Internet video platforms like Brightcove.com. Television is moving online, and Internet TV may soon replace your favorite TV programs.
If you’re an independent producer of video content or an Internet marketer interested in learning how to take advantage of the revolution in Internet video technologies, a good site to visit is Rocketboom (www.rocketboom.com). This site is marvelous in its simplicity; it has already grown into one of the most popular sites on the Internet. Rocketboom focuses on what’s happening in the world of Internet news and technology. Its content is presented in a light and highly entertaining format.
The quality and simplicity of Rocketboom illustrates how fast the revolution in Internet technology is transforming delivery systems. Licensing and distribution costs used to require an investment of millions of dollars to get a broadcast TV channel on the air. Rocketboom is created with a consumer-level video camera, a notebook computer, and a simple set. It looks and feels like a commercial TV broadcast, but it has no budget for advertising. The videos are produced on simple sets, but the content is as smooth and as professional as anything broadcast on television. The cost of storage and bandwidth space on the Internet is so cheap today that a video channel like Rocketboom can be launched with virtually no investment at all.
Like most popular video sites on the Internet, Rocketboom is distributed through a technology called Real Simple Syndication, or “RSS.” This technology lets viewers subscribe to your channel and receive alerts every time you make a new video product available on your site. And like so many other new technologies that are connecting people on the Internet, RSS is a free service.
Paid downloads of your video products is only one of the many revenue streams that can be generated for online video content. When your audience grows and you have the demographics to show advertisers, you will start to see what a powerful force video is for driving your business. Offering both free and subscription services is a good way to build a large community of users around your video products.
If you aren’t creating video products for both free distribution and sale on the Internet, you aren’t reaping the full benefits of connecting your business to the Worldwide Web. You may be impressed with how Internet has become a great tool for gathering and transmitting information, but creating video content for a potential audience of millions on the Internet is the best way to take your business to the next level.
Check out Rocketboom and then come back to this article. When you do, I think you’ll be ready to create your first great video product for sale on the Internet.
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The best video products always have a natural look; the action seems to unfold spontaneously. But as anyone who has ever worked on a professional video project can tell you, it takes great planning to produce a feeling of spontaneity. Experience teaches that most problems encountered during the creation of video products are caused by bad planning-or a total lack of planning.
You’ve probably seen the short videos that cisco.com is using in its campaign to promote the “human network.” In one of the more memorable videos, a kid named Myles dances in his kitchen. An older male (probably his big brother) points a camera phone at Myles and says, “Do something cool.” Myles performs some nifty dance steps as the spot shows people all over the world watching the 30-second video on their camera phones and laptops. Finally we see a child, about the same age as Myles, in a crowded street. He looks up in awe at the big screen in Times Square as the Myles video plays in the heart of New York City.
This is an excellent video. And what makes it excellent is that everything that goes on in it seems so spontaneous. Whenever this happens, you can be sure that a lot of careful planning went into those 30 seconds. I hope you get the chance to see this video. If you haven’t seen it yet, just go to www.cisco.com. If you are thinking about creating your first video product, you can learn a lot from studying spots like the Myles video.
If you’re serious about creating video products for sale on the Internet, one of the best things you can do to learn how to plan and produce great material is to consciously study and analyze your favorite videos. If you have it in your blood to create video products, I’m sure this is something you’ve already been doing. If you’re just starting to think about how to create your first product, develop the habit of watching your favorite videos from a different point of view. You’re no longer a consumer of video products-now you must watch as a producer or broadcaster would watch. When something works, always ask yourself why it works. And when something flops, ask yourself why it didn’t work.
Before we leave Myles and his road to Times Square, the first thing you should do is plan a 30-second video product. Approach the project as seriously as if you were doing it for hire. Shoot it with your camera phone-or with somebody else’s camera phone if you don’t have one-and do it for the purpose of posting it on YouTube or any of the other video sharing sites. The important thing is to get started.
When you think about how easy it is to get started as a creator and publisher of video products, you can’t afford not to take advantage of the power of video to drive traffic to your web site or blog. With a little practice you’ll soon be selling professional quality video products on the Internet.
The revolution in Internet technology has made video publishing possible for anyone with a camera phone, a broadband connection, and a few widely available tools that in many cases are completely free. And what a revolution it is-we used to be producers of content, but new technologies and platforms are empowering us to be broadcasters of video products for distribution and sale on the Worldwide Web. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when you create your video products.
Why your choice of topic is so important
The most important factor in determining the success of your video is your choice of a topic. If you can’t cover the topic in 30 minutes or less, you need to focus on a single theme within that topic.
Always remember that your goal is not to show people everything you know about a subject. Your goal is to identify one problem, one thing you think your viewers need and want to know how to do, and then focus on showing them the best way to solve that problem. Don’t add on another topic-keep it for your next video product. Strip away all the excess baggage until you narrow the focus to a single topic. Then give it to the viewers without going in other directions at the same time.
Keep it simple – Keep it moving
Once you have chosen a topic, you’ll need to consider the length of your video. The most successful videos are no longer than 30 minutes, which is a good rule of thumb for thinking about how long you’ll be able to keep the viewer’s attention.
Pace is very important in video production. You know more about pace than you think-just imagine all the times you’ve switched away from a slow-moving TV program, or all the times you’ve fallen asleep during a movie. When you start wishing that a movie or program would move faster, you have identified a problem with the pace of the show.
It’s hard for experienced professionals to maintain an interesting pace for 60 minutes. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your video-don’t try to handle more than 30 minutes on your first attempt. Keep it simple; a shorter video can be much more powerful and effective if you are careful to keep it moving at an interesting pace. A lively 15 to 20-minute how-to video will be much more successful than a longer product that seems to drag on and on. A lot of short videos (10 to 15 minutes) sell for up to $14 or $15 dollars on Internet sites. Longer formats (60 to 90 minutes) sell for anywhere from $40 to over $100.
If you already have experience with short formats and want to try a more ambitious project, set your sights on a sixty-minute video. Think of ninety minutes as your maximum duration for a how-to feature, but only after you have been successful with shorter video products. In all cases, start small and work your way up to longer formats.
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Customers know fluff when they see it-nothing makes us angrier than discovering that we’ve paid money for a lot of hot air when we expected to receive content. Just think about the last time you walked out of a movie theater before the end of the film-you felt cheated. Don’t ever make your customers feel cheated, and they will repay your efforts and your time with their loyalty and their testimonials.
Choose the right topic
What do you know how to do that would add value to your customers’ lives if you could show them how to do it? If you can teach people how to build a cabinet, for instance, you have a great subject for a video product to sell on the Internet. If you lost weight and got into shape following your own exercise routine, or if you stopped smoking and have helped others to stop smoking, you have a subject for a video product that customers will want to buy.
If you have a gift for inspiring people with stories or motivational talks, you have a product that can give tremendous value to someone’s life. In short, whoever you are, whatever you do, you probably know how to do something that thousands of people would want to know how to do, too-if the product existed, and if customers knew where to find it.
If you don’t have an idea for a video product, but you have a strong desire to get into the business of video publishing on the Worldwide Web, you can partner with someone you know. Your partner provides the talent and you provide the management, which after all is the business model that allows almost all large video and film projects to be developed, produced, marketed, and distributed.
Believe in yourself and the customers will follow
Believe in yourself-be sure to guarantee your paid videos. Have the courage to do this, and you’ll start to build the type of customers that become a volunteer marketing force for your business. Let customers know they can get a refund if they aren’t completely satisfied. If you give your customers information of value to them, and if you have delivered the content in an enjoyable and entertaining format, your guarantee of customer satisfaction will act as a powerful marketing tool to boost sales.
Never try to cover up a lack of content by adding surface production values for cosmetic effect. No matter how good a video product looks to the eye, it will make customers very unhappy if they don’t find anything of value in the content. And never add on footage just to make the product longer so you can justify a higher selling price.
Give your customers a product that adds value to their lives, and they will become loyal repeat buyers and customer evangelists for your company or your blog. Believe in your video products and your customers will believe in them, too.
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Online videos have rapidly increased in popularity, especially over the past few years. Online, you should be able to find a number of different websites that are known as video websites. Two of the most popular video websites include Google Video and YouTube. With video websites, you are not only able to view videos online, but you are also able to make, share, and upload your own. If you are interested in doing this, there are a number of important factors that you should take into consideration.
One of those factors involves the content of your videos. Many people do not realize that what they write, say, or video tape literally could come back to haunt them, if not right away then in the future. This not only involves documentation the use of illegal activities, but your thoughts, views, and beliefs. As nice as it is to share something that you made all on your own, you need to be careful with the internet. Millions of internet users flock to online video websites just to see what they are coming across. Although many are there just for a laugh, others are there for a specific purpose.
If you are like many other internet users, you may be wondering how something as fun or as simple as an online video could cause you so much damage. Honestly, there are a number of different ways. Just one of those ways involves employment. When applying for a job, you will have to supply your prospective employer with information about yourself. This information should include your name, address, and telephone number. Unlike in the past, many employers are now using the internet to research their prospective employees. What they find online may be able to help or hurt your case.
Even though you may not be searching for a new job, it is still important to be cautious when making your own videos online. You need to think as a prospective employer. Would you want to hire someone who has an online video of them doing illegal activities, swearing, or being downright insulting? If you would not then chances are that no one else would as well. In addition to worrying about prospective employers, you should also be concerned with what your current employer would think if they saw your online video.
With employment, adults are the ones who need to worry the most about their use of online video websites, such as YouTube. However, everyone needs to be concerned, including children. In the short term sense, you may not have to worry about the impact your homemade video would have a prospective employers, but you should be concerned with your school. Due to the documentation of illegal activities and threats of violence, a large number of school officials are using the internet to keep tabs on their students. This watching often involves the use of social networking sites, but online video websites as well.
In some cases, but not all, there are little things that a school official can do, if they view one of your online videos and find it to be offensive. Being offensive is one thing, but participating in illegal activities, as well as treating other students or teachers is another. Not only could you be suspended from school and sports teams, but you could also be reported to your local authorities. Even if legal action cannot be taken, it is likely that you will be closely watched for a period of time.
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, it is important to remember that your actions may have consequences. So, the next time that you are thinking about making a homemade video to send into one of the many online video websites, you are urged to closely examine your video’s content. Although you may not mean to cause yourself any harm, you could do so without even realizing it.
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