Video Tips: Buying in and Reaching Out

Aim, Shoot, Post. But First Get Some Equipment

Last week, 3D, the DMA Daily Digest, led us to a website called Target Marketing that published a nice piece on “Creating and Promoting a Viral Video.” (More on that below.)

Fortunately—since you definitely need some equipment before undertaking these videos—SIPA’s June Hotline published an article by Alan Prochoroff, editor and publisher of Insurance Compliance Insight for ProBusiness Publishing LLC, to help get you started in the video realm. The article compared the Flip Ultra HD camcorder and the Kodak vi8 (now available as the zi8 HD).
Here were some of his findings:
* Price: Both about $199 list, but generally available for about $149;
* Resolution: Kodak – full 1080 high def, with option to use 720/30 frames per second, 720/60 fps, WVGA or a setting still photos; Flip – lower 720 high def only;
* Zoom: Kodak – 4x; Flip – 2x;
* Display: Kodak – 2.5 inches; Flip – 2 inches;
* Storage: Kodak – replaceable SD or SDHD card up to 32 GB (up to 8 hours); Flip – 8 GB fixed flash storage (2 hours);
* Microphone: Kodak – internal microphone, with option to use stereo-supported external microphone; Flip – internal microphone only;
* Battery: Kodak – replaceable Li-Ion battery, recharges in provided AC charger in 2 hours; Flip – AA rechargeable battery pack, recharges in optional AC charger in 3.5 hours and also can use standard AA batteries as an alternative;
* Interface: Both have built-in USB 2.0 connections that tuck away when not in use for downloading and HDMI slots for connecting to high-def screens;
* Tripod mounts: Both have one;
* Dimensions: Roughly the same size and weight.
Complete specs for Kodak camcorders
Complete specs for Flip camcorders

So once you have your camcorder, then you can go back to the Target Marketing piece. Peter LaMotte, president of GeniusRocket in Bethesda, Md., wrote the article and listed some rules to keep in mind when creating your videos.

1. “Production quality matters.” Like anything else on your Website, you want quality.
2. “Entertain or engage viewers.” There’s the rub for anything we do.
3. “Forget the clock.” LaMotte says not to worry about keeping to a certain time limit (within reason). Like a good movie short, just say what you need to say and get out.
4. “Know your audience.” Again, this comes into play with everything we do.
5. “Consider your source.” Some SIPA folks have had success asking for videos from customers (in exchange for some sort of prize or free subscription). Understand what’s involved with that before you proceed.

Here are his rules as far as promoting your videos:
1. “Understand relative virality.” Most SIPA members have niche markets. So this is not the time to stray from those. Being viral in your niche is the goal.
2. “Share and promote.” Well, you know the routine – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube. Get it out there.
3. “Use available resources.” LaMotte mentions “firms such as TubeMogul and HeySpread that offer automated tracking systems.” You want to know where your video is being shown.
4. “Foster a community.” Again, like the other things we do, you want a forum for people to start a conversation and engage other potential customers. The more chatter the better.
5. “Relax.” In musical parlance, it’s not the end of the world as we know it if the video does not take off. You’ll make another, even better than the first. It’s a definite learning process.

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