As an industrial video producer I am constantly looking for ways to improve communication between my clients and their customers, or at least "would be" customers. Video has so many facets especially in today's high tech world that it's easier than you think to deliver your message, but if marketers don't stop and think creatively, it's also easy to miss opportunities that are easily within the grasp of most people.
I have come up with nine innovative uses of video to help small businesses and non-profit organizations. I'm guessing most business people have not heard of these before. Some of these ideas can be put into play by low tech individuals, while some require more professional expertise, and some may even have the tools they need stored away on a bookshelf or hard drive.
DIGITAL PICTURE FRAMES
If a picture is worth a thousand words then digital picture frames are worth millions. Well, they could be worth that to you, anyway. They have been on the market for years, but only recently have begun selling well for Father's Day and Christmas. For much less than a hundred dollars you can set a digital picture frame on your sales counter. You can either take your own sales pictures hyping your services and products or have a professional video production company make a nice video that will sell for you either with sound or without sound. The same video production (in an altered format) can be used for distribution on DVD and the internet. You can also use the Digital Picture Frames as a poor man's kiosk to sell individual products. Video and photos are stored on a basic memory disk just like you use in a digital camera.
LARGE SCREEN PLASMA VIDEO DISPLAYS
Large Screen Plasma Video Displays can show off your company from the walls of your showrooms, offices, reception area, or product displays. The larger the screen more video commands the eye. Movement of your products on the screen creates interest and lets people know you have a dynamic business.
VIDEO BULLETIN BOARD
Just like some supermarkets allow people and businesses in their community to post business cards and flyers on their bulletin boards, why not work a reciprocal agreement with other businesses. You show their videos if they show your video.
If you have a product that would lend itself to sales "as seen on TV" then you should consider producing an infomercial. This is a program length presentation about your product with phone numbers and website posted on the screen. Broadcast time can be purchased either on traditional broadcast stations in different cities around the country or program time can be purchased on a wide variety of cable channels either locally or around America. This is not really an innovation, but not too far in the recent past television stations turned up their noses at paid programming, but now those same TV stations are searching for revenue streams.
Most of the cable companies are now going digital and are offering "On Demand" video for viewing. In addition to regular programming from A&E, The History Channel, The Food Network, and other popular channels, quality video productions offering interesting information on the community are now being made available. This is a god-send for non-profits and an opportunity for commercial organizations as well. There is no need for program length production with "On Demand" and organizations could design programming that would both help the community and benefit their business. This is also an opportunity for organizations that have produced video in the past to rerun these programs to a greater audience. For organizations that spent thousands of dollars for videos that are no longer part of current campaigns this is like having money in the bank.
YOUR OWN VIDEO BILLBOARD
A large screen plasma video display next to a picture window facing the sidewalk or the street of heavy traffic is like having your own Video Billboard. Relying on movement and animated graphics your sales and marketing video lets you narrow cast directly to those who see your office space or storefront everyday but don't know what you do. Inform them with video.
FREE CD-ROM GIVEAWAY
If you set up a free CD-ROM display in your storefront you can send home information on your products, services, specials, and more. A CD-ROM can store sales brochures, sales videos, and coupon offers. You give them away free to customers for the asking. They take them and view them from their desks and print out or view what they need. You save printing and mailing costs. It's a win-win situation.
Most people don't know what you do, but if they could benefit from your products or services a video production with professional talent and well-written script can create a desire and need for your product. Sales and Marketing DVDs can be given away, sent by direct mail, or placed on the internet.
SEARCH ENGINE RECOGNITION
Internet video may not only help your company as they provide information online to viewers, but may also help find more viewers. Submission of sales videos directly to video search engines help develop a wider scope of traffic for online storefronts.
Well, there you go. I've given you nine innovative ways to use video to increase your bottom line. I hope these suggestions have stirred your own imagination and delivered some worthwhile video project ideas to help you market your organization.
Don Doman is a published author, video producer, and corporate trainer. He owns the business training site Ideas and Training (http://www.ideasandtraining.com), which he says is the home of the no-hassle "free preview" for business training videos. He and his wife own PNW Video Productions (http://www.pnwvideo.com), which produces outstanding corporate and industrial video productions.