Jul 23, 2018 9:29 PM
This blog was originally published on July 25, 2017
Brenda and I were watching TV the other night, when I spotted something interesting... "Hey," I said to her, "that commercial looks just like some of the videos we're making for local businesses!" Oh, it wasn't exactly the same, but the style was just like many of the videos I've put together thus far.
That's when something else struck me... For sure, we make videos for Tampa area companies, and for sure they're intended to market one of our clients towards enhanced online visibility and SEO. But they're much more than that, really.
With that, I suggested to Brenda that we have to: 1) start thinking of our videos as more like television commercials, and that we have to 2) start producing them with that in mind. In other words, we don't want to just create a "video" for a local mobile mechanic (for example), but we want to create a "commercial", that has him sort of a starring in front of Tampa area viewers. And, to even stretch the point a bit, we'd like to make him (or her) a celebrity in our area, not unlike the Diamond Store couple or the local law firm, Morgan & Morgan. Is the latter possible? I think so, just by virtue of our audience seeing a personality, over and over again, or enough times so that our client becomes a household name or face. So, as you're watching TV over coming days, see if you spot what Brenda and I have been noticing lately. Once you do see a "commercial" similar to what we do, I'm sure the whole thing will make sense to you.
Jul 23, 2018 8:51 PM
This blog was originally published on July 19, 2018
:) Okay, I apologize that I can't repeat the above title verbatim; nor can I give exact credit -- I only know that I heard it on one of a half-dozen business oriented podcasts I listened to this afternoon. To paraphrase, though, here's a rough idea of how it goes...
"The best advice one can give to small business owners is that they leave promotions to the geeks, and spend their total energies on satisfying customers better than others can."
As an aside here... I was recently asked to put together a video for a Facebook fan page. There was a reason I chose a young lady as a mascot for that video -- or the "person" to star in it, and I'll share that reason in a future post.
I know you or any other client wouldn't accept just any mascot to represent a company, nor would I do that in the video I was preparing. So, I actually created one that few others could ever copy.
The program I used was quite similar to the "cut-out paper dolls" my younger sister used to play with. (You can see some of those cut-out parts I've included here.)
I then went about creating a voice to match that new and unique mascot.
How much time did that all take me? Well, because there were some complications, my work on that project spanned close to an entire day.
Of course, there's likely a big difference between you and me -- or in the amount of time we can devote to such a project. Seeing a new video all the way through -- beginning to the end -- is what I do. On the other hand, losing an entire day creating and then fixing and re-fixing a video to fit special parameters might keep you from beating your competition. And that's why that Internet guru suggested you leave it to the geeks -- like me? :)
Jul 23, 2018 8:41 PM
This blog was originally published on June 22, 2017
Here's how this post came about... It started with me receiving a few emails -- or more like newsletters, billed as "daily digests" for folks in the Tampa Bay area. By now, regular readers should know the kind of group I'm talking about, because I've mentioned such in some earlier posts: “My Neighbors Need Help“ and "Can You Help More of Our Neighbors?" As my earlier posts probably suggested, I sit and ponder what I read within those newsletters, staring out a window, thinking and thinking. Mainly, of course, that's because I'm so deeply into Internet marketing nowadays, and because the questions posed in those newsletters could ultimately have to do with Internet marketing. My thinking took a slightly different tack this afternoon, however, adding yet another factor into this equation. For, you see, I belong to a dozen or so Facebook groups, and most of them are filled with business people who are trying to make themselves known to new potential customers. (Frankly, I think they're wise to do that, although I'd probably do things a little differently.) Okay, so here's where the interesting part comes in...
One of the emails I received today included several pleas for help, including one stating, "Need reliable, reasonable lawn care..."
I've tired of worrying whether my Facebook business friends would connect and help such neighbors, but I instead had another thought: what would that lady discover if she searched her phone or computer for lawn care help in her area? Hmmmmmm... Here ya go...
The highlight of another email featured a guy saying, "I need estimates on exterior house painting. Anyone have recommendations?"
And, once again, I went online to my favorite search engine, plugged in a request for info on an exterior house painter, and here's what I arrived at...
Snooze-you-lose on this next one, because the lady who asked, "Does anyone know a good pool service that can work on your pump if you need it..." was immediately greeted with an offer to do her pool service henceforth.
No matter, I couldn't resist the fun just because of that. So, off I went, to do another Internet search...
Now, those are only sample searches. However, while you're maybe sitting there and rubbing your chin, and wondering where you fit in the search engines, let me offer a few thoughts...
I believe you have to put yourself in a needy person's shoes as you go about designing your website and Internet marketing strategies. Lots of potential customers are even in a panic -- looking for quick help with an electrical problem, a serious plumbing problem, a legal matter, etc.
Although it's not always easy, one has to at least attempt to envision what a person in need is likely to plug into a search. You might have noticed that I even had to make some choices in the samples above -- like putting in "exterior house painting" for my search, instead of several other possibilities.
Like my beloved Boston Red Sox ( :) ), there's a HUGE difference between being number one in the standings versus anywhere else. (Actually, where would you prefer to be?)
All that said, local business owners might try their own tests now. It's likely that the result you receive on each search will be slightly different, but I doubt one word is going to move you from a back page to the top spot. And, of course, if we can help with your Local Video Marketing (and more), just complete the form off to the right.
Jul 23, 2018 8:20 PM
This blog was originally published on June 21, 2017
I promised in my last blog post -- "Leave It To The Geeks", that I'd let my readers in on an interesting secret. So, here goes...
Before I get going, though, I wonder if you liked the "talking avatar" that greeted you to this post. Actually, after listening often to the two avatars I use on my major sites, I find I like the one here best.
Is there some science to that? Hmmmmmm...
Well, as it turns out, there have been some studies done in that area, and they've pointed towards more online listeners preferring females voices over males ones.
That bit of news has influenced my work -- plenty. I've used more and more lady characters in my work, and I've stocked up on more female characters than guys.
That doesn't mean that I'd necessarily avoid using a male to act in a rugged kind of business. I'm not one to buck science the rest of the time, though.
So, just in case you're thinking about using someone to do a voice-over in your local video marketing, consider sticking with what studies tell us, and go along with the voice listeners seem to prefer.
PS: I was thinking of an earlier post here this afternoon, when a business newsletter hit my inbox. I mean, I loved this quote:
"The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither." - Confucius
Jun 19, 2018 8:15 PM
This blog was originally dated June 16, 2017.
My guess is that all our Facebook friends who own "fan pages" received a notification as shown above and off to the right. It's a little small and muddied, so I'll repeat
"Tell more of your story Instead of a cover photo, now you can use a video..."
Then it goes on to tell some basic parameters.
Actually, the above pics were gathered from Brenda's fan page, "Better Health And Wealth", and she was the first to notice Facebook's new video option. Once she let me know about it, though, all I could say was, "Wow!" Ya, I mean Wow! I've been reading for a long time, that Facebook has wanted to see more video used within its pages. So, while "Live" was one major step towards that end, encouraging the use of a video in each user's fan page is yet another biggie to me. I'll tell my faithful readers something else, too -- or, I'll share a pretty educated guess here, in that a Facebook page with video is going to gain a lot more visibility than those with the old static photo. Said yet another way, if Facebook likes video, there's going to be something in it for those who add video to their pages. You have to know that I went scrambling to be among the first to have a video on my page. And I spent the afternoon creating the following...
Now, something you ought to know, if you plan on creating your own fan page video. I had to learn it the hard way, but that's what I do...
What I'm getting at isn't so surprising -- if you've worked much with Facebook. In other words, they don't often make matters easy for their users, and they hardly ever give us all the information we really need.
So, what I discovered after an hour or so of producing my video was that it didn't exactly fit the space provided. And, no sliding the video around was going to help at all. Ugh.
If you'd like to see how my second attempt came out, take a look at my fan page: "Local Video Marketing" (and please Like it while you're there -- :) ).
Give it a try, though, and see what I mean.
Of course, if you don't really want the hassle, you know I love that kind of challenge. And I'm willing to satisfy Facebook's new video option for you. Just complete the Contact form off to the right, and let's talk.
I have a feeling Brenda is going to be asking me to produce a video for her Facebook page tomorrow. And I'll show you how that looks as soon as I'm done.
Apr 6, 2018 2:44 PM
This blog was originally posted on June 13, 2017
Loving my work as I do (or as sick as some might think me -- :) ), I listen to selected audio programs as I awake each morning. In other words, I regularly gather six or seven mp3 files or lectures having to do with my latest studies, and I listen to them each morning over a week or so, to really ingrain the information. The latest audio programs are on SEO -- or search engine optimization, and more specifically on improving a WordPress site for the best search engine results. One of the things that jumped right out at me this morning was a beauty, and it was something I thought I might share with my faithful readers. Actually, it's why I wanted to try this rather interesting search engine test, hoping you might help me with it. With that, I wonder if you'd watch the following video towards that end...
4 Now, although you were in no way compelled to watch that video -- a little or a lot, or from beginning to end, did you watch the entire 1-minute program? Actually, I gave you a very short one, but I'm guessing you did watch it all the way through, and you'd have probably done the same with a 2- or 3-minute video. And, that leads me to what I'm calling my little search engine test...
What the specialist in this morning's audio program surprised me with, was the fact that Google and other search engines somehow measure the amount of time each visitor spends on a given website. And those search engines evidently give a lot of credence to sites that hold visitor attention for fair amounts of time.
Does that make sense? It surely does to me. In fact, I know that I visit numerous sites over the course of a day, and I leave many of them within a matter of seconds. Then, of course, there are those that capture my attention, and hold me for a good long time.
As for my little search engine test, does it also make sense to you that visitors stay longer on a website to watch a video (or to even listen to a talking avatar)? You don't have to take my word for that, however...
That was the opinion of the guy I listened to on my mp3 player this morning.
It seems a matter of common sense to me.
And, it's likely that you proved it a little earlier, if you watched that video all the way through.
To be honest, I think all three of the above points make sense. However, the middle one -- having to do with it just making common sense -- is a biggie to me. After all, it makes sense that a video tends to grab and hold a visitor's attention a lot better than a collection of pictures and text. In closing, I'm always open to arguments or a discussion on anything suggested here. And I truly do welcome reader comments down below.
Apr 3, 2018 10:03 PM
This blog was originally published on dated June 10, 2017
Now, let me start by saying that this being a "sample" sports program ad might be a stretch to some. In other words, I created the following video in 2009, or at a time when online video had to be in the old 4 by 3 aspect ratio, and it was in was rendered in the faster loading FLV format of that time. So, as you watch the following, please allow for the graininess, etc...
Please notice that I did dub this post a sample "sports" program ad, because I know it could be used to promote or recruit for any kind of sport. I played baseball and football through semi-pro -- and I coached them some, too. So I know I could have created just as good an ad, if I had the necessary video footage or photos. As much as I apologized because of the old format, understand that my video pulled a ton of students. I mean, I had to turn people away, for a lot of years, and for a lot of reasons...
Sure, my reputation around the Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas -- and word of mouth -- helped plenty. However...
If you think about it, that video was out and working for me around the clock. And, I have no doubt that the action clips and the included information caused many parents to return to and watch it a lot more times than just once.
Knowing the sport as I do -- a lot like you might know your sport or business, I could focus on the things that really tend to matter with new hockey parents.
Yet another beauty was that I always prepared this kind of sports program ad far, far in advance of a clinic's start. My brochures were out in local pro shops early, and they included a link to the site where that video could be found. My fairly large emailing list also contained a link to that site, as did all the snail-mail we sent out. Better yet, my secretary had the luxury of pointing telephone callers towards that video in any way they preferred.
All that said, I wonder if you might be envisioning right how you'd put together a similar kind of sports program (or business) video. For sure, anyone producing such videos nowadays can do them in hi-res and in the new 16:9 ratio. I had the luxury of many years worth of video footage, but anyone could create just as stirring an ad using great photos. (I'm picturing right now an automotive repair shop, a hair salon, different kinds of professional offices and more.
Just because I mentioned photos up there, don't start thinking what I often label a "snooze fest", or a static website. No, moving the pics along quickly to some fast paced music and a narrator's voice is a lot more exciting and attention grabbing to any site visitor.
In closing, I hope I've provided enough advice to help some visitors create their own sports or business promo video. I don't mind sharing what I can, while I still stand waiting, in the event you'd like me to create a similar kind of video for you.
Mar 7, 2018 8:51 PM
This blog was originally published on June 9, 2017.
I know I've previously mentioned being an ice hockey coach for 45+ years, and that I started working with video way back in 1979 or '80. And, while i used it to analyze players and teams in the earliest years, it wasn't long before I started making my own instructional videos. Not long after that, however... Ya, not long after that, I realized that video could be an unbelievable recruiting tool, be it for my weekly clinics, my summer hockey schools, or my college team.
As an aside here, I came to Florida several years ago to be a part of a new Junior hockey league that ended up failing before it ever got underway. I knew what I was doing when it came to recruiting, however, and my team had close to a full roster before the rug was pulled out from under us.
Folks missed the best of what I'd planned, though... For, I'd spent as much time recruiting my future teams as I did my current one. I mean, I was collecting video footage whenever I had the chance, initially grabbing clips of our home rink, the city, as well as the nearby attractions Central Florida had to offer. What I never got to add to that collection were clips of our practices, our locker room, our bus trips, and special game action.
I'll get back to that stuff in awhile. For now, however, I'd like anyone who runs a private school, Junior team or league, or minor pro league to take a look at the following video. I'll add more on the flip side...
I created that fictitious "Whitman Warriors Hockey" logo just for fun (making those are easy for me). Most of my best video footage is stored with my super-professional studio more than an hour away. If I had my druthers, though, I'd have included some travel footage, more game action, and some intimate stuff. (Can anyone envision the bus scene and theme song in the movie Slap Shot?) And, of course, if I created a "trailer-type" video for your organization, it would be far more personalized.
As yet another aside... I had some interviews a few years back with the possibility of being a Junior league's commissioner. I knew that some forward looking organizations within those leagues would have their own recruiting videos. Still, what I also wanted to create was something that highlighted the league's members, league activities, etc. Was it a good idea? Ya, I think so. And, it could only help -- everyone.
As other "hockey nuts" can imagine, I could go on and on with this theme. However, let me end for now with a reminder of some things I did and didn't mention in the above video:
Kids (of all ages) love fast action and music to match. Hey, they've been brought up on digital media.
Hockey parents need to be assured they're making the right choice when it comes to picking a given team or league. And, I think the right kind of video can accomplish that.
It's hard to explain many of the things that can make your team or league different, but it's easy to show viewers with photos and video.
Or, as I said at the end of that short movie, "Video is worth more than 10,000 words" -- much, much more.
So, please complete the Contact Form off to the right, so we might talk about working together.
Mar 6, 2018 11:34 PM
This blog was originally published on June 5, 2017.
To me, there is nothing more fun than being creative in my work. I published several books in my many years as a hockey coach, I invented some drills and training devices that have been used around the world and even in the National Hockey League. And, as I hinted at in my very first blog post -- about "Video Marketing and SEO Go Hand in Hand", I enjoyed well over three decades of working with both analogue and digital video production.
Actually, I often share what I believe to be a comical story about conversations I had with my old Radio & TV Production professor.
He was a great guy, but he'd retired to teaching from a major television company, and I sensed he only knew the finished product a professional crew used around him. I, on the other hand, having returned to college after much time out in the coaching field, told him often how I'd found ways to recreate pretty sophisticated video production techniques in my consumer level studio. I mean, it was early in the 1980's, and I was including some awesome special effects in VHS videos that were actually selling around the world.
:) My prof would shake his head and tell me those things were impossible outside a kzillion dollar studio, and I was smiling and telling him, "Ya know, where there's a will, there's a way."
Little wonder I was all smiles again, when my wife and I started talking about doing some video marketing experimentation for her work. Actually, though, we got to combine our experiences in a way I'll explain right after this video...
(Did anyone notice a slight typo in that video? Of course, if that video had been for a paying customer, we'd have fixed it in a jiffy. We'll live with it for the time being, though, and fix it as soon as we can.) Actually, I kicked off and then ended that video with the handwritten text known as "whiteboard". That was just a lead-in, however, to Brenda performing her magic in our own version of PowerPoint. Yup, she did the narration, and she created all the accompanying motion graphics (pretty neatly, I'd say). So the video marketing experimentation continued in yet another video...
Did you notice us opening with the logo video I created for Brenda long ago (as seen near the top of our Home page)? I also found a way to squeeze it in at the end of the video, too. Of course, my fun didn't stop with what's obvious. No, I have more royalty free background music than one can count, and I also have hundreds of royalty free sound effects for whenever the need arises. Not everyone can get the equivalent of PowerPoint into a video format but, that's only a small reason why I do what I do nowadays. With all that, Brenda and I talked over coffee this morning about some further video marketing experimentation for her work. So, as they say in the Radio & TV Production industry, "Stay tuned!"
Mar 6, 2018 9:50 PM
This blog was originally published on June 3, 2017.
As is said about the animated business owner in the following video, "Sam has a problem... He's unhappy, he wishes more people would use his business... And, Sam realizes he has to have a way to let more people know about his company..." Ya, for sure, that's a problem many of us business owners face. But, let's watch the video, to gain a better understanding of what a video commercial might do for your business...
Oh, man, have I been where Sam has been, and done all that... In fact, I've been sick to my stomach numerous times over 40-plus years of running a hockey business, and knowing my costly newspaper or magazine ad was ending up underneath the parakeet's cage, under the puppy's bowl, or wrapped around some leftover fish. And I'm pretty positive that those advertisements from long ago didn't get shared or retweeted like a video commercial of today.
Just think about that... I have something like 20,000 contacts spread over social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. And it's kind of exciting to think about where an interesting post, graphic or video travels once I and my friends start sharing.
Frankly, I find it ironic that some Tampa Bay businesses have a shortage of customers, owing to what I mentioned in two previous blog posts: "My Neighbors Need Help" and "Can You Help More of Our Neighbors?" I mean, while I hear every once in awhile that a painter or fence installer is short on work, I know there are folks all around my neighborhood who are dying for their kind of help. Anyway, I sure would like to discuss the prospects of producing a video commercial for your business. To be honest, I don't know if I can help every kind of business in the Tampa Bay area. However, a lifetime in sports has made me tough as nails, and the type who sticks to it when a job needs to get done.
Please fill out the simple Contact Form. That done, I'll share prices and more.
Just so you know, there's a good reason our prices aren't openly published right now...
As we're getting these new offerings off the ground, I want to keep some leeway whereby some discounts or deals can be offered on the spur of the moment.
Then, within a few weeks, I know that creating a video commercial for your business is going to have to double in cost.