Internet Programs – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

So, you’ve decided to try an online opportunity. After all, they are quite the rage. But, before you sign up for just anything, know that Internet programs come in three types: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s pretty obvious that the good programs are the only ones worth considering. To find a program worthy of your time and efforts, look for the following features:

They Use Innovative Technology: The old ways of marketing are just that: old. Cold calling went out with the invention of caller ID, email solicitation declined with the onset of SPAM blockers and simply having a webpage suddenly became simply not enough. This makes the use of innovative technology in business programs extremely important.

A bad business program will have outdated marketing: it might rely on keyword driven traffic or only blog writing. A good business program will rely on much more. By using social networking, pod casts, and videos, good business programs utilize all the tools the web offers.

They Offer Training: Unless you are blessed with omniscience, chances are you don’t know how to do everything. If you are joining a new business, you need training. Without it, your success is compromised.

Good business opportunities will not only offer you training, but they will offer you training you can pursue on your own. Instead of waiting for someone to have to the time to tell you what to do, legit training programs allow you to roll up your sleeves and dive in as much – or as little – as you want.

They Don’ Require You to Have “Seven Friends”: We’ve all been there. We get a call from a long lost friend who says he’s calling just to say “hi.” Just as we are about to get off the phone, he tells us about a great opportunity he wants us to join. The only thing we need to do: get seven of our friends to join as well.

Pyramid schemes, though they run rampant, simply don’t work. They can only be sustained by talking others into joining, a task that grows increasingly harder in a poor economy. Avoid any business opportunities that parallel a pyramid scheme and stick to the ones where you benefit from your efforts.

They Don’t Require a Huge Deposit: If you had a ton of extra money lying around, you probably wouldn’t be looking at business opportunities in the first place. Chances are, if you lay down a huge deposit, you’ll never get it back. Instead, look for business opportunities that either require you to invest nothing monetarily or very little. You’re in this to make money, not the opposite.

They Make Sense: There are certain business opportunities out there that simply make no sense. You read the fine print once, twice, three and four times and you are still scratching your head as to how it works. If it’s that complicated, it’s probably a trick.

Certain businesses try to “sneak one by you” through confusion. This makes it a good rule of thumb to stay away from programs that are ridiculously longwinded, or ones that force you to read the entire dictionary, just to understand what they are saying.

Video Marketing 101: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’ve done a simple search on Google lately, you might have noticed that they are now including more videos in the search results. Latest statistics from YouTube tells us that they get more than a billion unique views every month. If you can just imagine the amount of traffic you can get from just a fraction of the billions of unique views then you now know the power of video marketing.

Or maybe, you already know that. You just don’t know how to do it yet.

Don’t worry my good friend. You, along with a lot of other people (amateur and professionals alike) are still clueless as to how to make a working video marketing campaign.

#1 Create a video worth watching and sharing.

First, you have to embrace the fact that video creation is 90% of the whole process. If you have excellent material, you will realize that it is easier to make your video go viral. No matter how hard you promote a bad video, it will really be bad so there is no point marketing it. Fifty percent of the videos created everyday reach some kind of virality as long as it is “good enough”. There is also the idea of luck and other intangibles. Just make sure you create something worth watching and sharing.

#2 Don’t make it a commercial

Most people think that video marketing is all about selling things. Well, there is always another way to do it. If you are selling hair products, make a video about “10 Different Hairstyles for Summer” or “16 Tips for A Healthier Scalp”. Provide information for your customers. You can make it funny or even controversial to get more attention. Don’t just limit your videos to “selling” your products.

#3 Maximize exposure

Before your video gets viewed, you have to upload it on YouTube first. Make sure you complete the profile and include your website URL in your profile.

As soon as you uploaded your video, there are some things you have to do so you can receive as much exposure as possible.

1. Find 20 other videos on the “Most Watched” list that are on the same topic as your video. Post your video as a reply to all the 20 videos.

2. Create a playlist with all the 20 videos you have collected and use a title that includes the keywords that people might use when searching for such videos.

3. Don’t forget to use “tags” on your video and on your playlist. You can also put additional keywords on the description fields.

#4 Drive traffic to your site

If you created a video good enough to be watched then you can be sure people will go and view your work from time to time. Question is, how do you make them go to your site? Well, you can always put a call to action on the description field of your video (or put it at the end of the video). Just make sure you don’t become too “salesy” with your pitch or your viewers will just turn away and leave. Play around with their curiosity and fleeting focus. If you created your site well enough they will be as good as converted when they arrive on your site.

Video marketing is not as hard as it seems. All you have to remember is that you have to create a video that should be of value to your viewers. Do a bit of tweaking to maximize exposure and then lure browsers into your site. Just follow the simple steps above and you will start feeling your video marketing success in no time.

Five Reasons Why Business Videos Fail

I’m often surprised when I hear about organisations that have tried video but consider it didn’t work for them. After a bit of digging it appears most had a poor experience due to one or more of the following:

Concept

The number one reason a video fails to get the right message across to the right audience is a bad concept. It needs to be relevant, engaging and if at all possible original. Also will your message actually work on video? Any kind of video should be viewed as a potential advertisement for your organisation and like an advertisement it has to be planned carefully and executed with precision.

Time should be spent developing a script and/or a storyboard that will help all parties visualise what is required and what will be delivered.

Actors & Presenters

Yes we know John in sales is a great talker and customers love him but how will he come across in front of a camera. A quick screen test will let him know what he’s in for and tell you if he’s the right guy. Too many clients paint themselves into a corner by insisting on a particular presenter, then have to ‘make do’ on the day.

If no one in an organisation is suitable then professional presenters and actors aren’t that expensive and they take away the risk. Alternatively you may consider just a voice-over.

Filming

A lot of video production companies bang on about their equipment… ‘my camera cost £10,000, we have the best lights’ etc etc. Yes, having good equipment is important but it should not be the sole reason for choosing someone to work with. Do they have experience in your industry or something similar? Ask to see relevant examples of their work.

When it comes to the filming (or more accurately the videoing) where it is done is very important. A studio is fine but filming on location will add another dimension and will enable viewers to put your message into context. Using a mixture of studio and location will break up the video and help maintain levels of interest.

Editing

Most people have a limited attention span, and that seems to be getting shorter by the year. They want information presented in small digestible chunks, if your video is too long viewers will simply get bored. Most online video players show the viewer how long the clip is even before they hit the play button – too long and they simply won’t watch. For most businesses the ideal duration is 100 seconds, if you have more to say simply chop it up into multiple videos.

Good editing, graphics and music will also add energy and dynamism to the production, but unless it is relevant steer away from anything too artistic or with too much movement, you don’t want your viewers feeling nauseous.

Delivery

Don’t go to all the trouble of shooting a video and then hide it away somewhere on your website. Have a clear strategy on how you will use it before you start filming. Of course put it on your website but why not on the home page? Does your organisation use social media – post links to the video on there and also upload it to all those sites that can accommodate video, it will help with your SEO.

Are there any events planned such as a conference or trade show where you can have the video running in a loop? Why not include a link in all emails, and not just those sent from the Sales department. If you are doing online advertising consider links from banner ads and MPU, some sites will also allow video ads. You can also link to the video from print ads by using QR codes or Blippar. USB memory sticks are very popular give-aways, why not put your video on them?

Your strategy should also include re-edits of the video, to freshen it up and add new content, this can be done for a very modest cost but will prolong the life considerably.

There are many other reasons why video does not work for organisations, but if you address these five to start with you are well on your way to a video that delivers results.