Apple Feels The Guilt from “Songs of Innocence”

October 6th, 2014

U2-iTunes-02Along with the announcement of the iPhone 6 came another announcement that Apple thought would excite its customers, when in fact, it did exactly the opposite.

Apple released the new U2 album, “Songs of Innocence,” for free to all iTunes and iPhone users.

In theory, this is a great idea! It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved! Apple wins by tacking its sales onto a profitable source of human entertainment. U2 wins because, well, money, and the consumers win because they get a new U2 album absolutely free of charge (not to mention legal, considering the pirating landscape of the Internet now).

Sounds great, right? Look at how well it turned out for Jay-Z and Samsung! The phone company partnered with businessman/rapper Shawn Carter, AKA Jay-Z, with the release of their Galaxy 6 phone. The deal basically stated that Samsung would offer one million Samsung users the opportunity to download the album for free to their Samsung smartphone.

This technique is similar to what Tom Petty recently took on with his new album, Hypnotic Eye, and it seemed to work really well for him! So what went wrong with U2 and Apple?

The key difference between this tactic and U2’s route can be defined in one word: offered.

In Tom Petty’s case, the consumer could choose to not opt in, as opposed to requiring you to opt out.  Apple’s big mistake with this project is that the sense of opting in was not an option. Holding an Apple account automatically opts you in to get the album. On a certain level, this is more of an issue of digital privacy than content of music (not to say that’s not a factor either, but I’ll get back to that later).

Digital privacy is a huge controversy. This action of offering a free album and giving it to all iTunes users made some users angry. You could argue that iTunes is Apple’s jurisdiction and they did nothing wrong. iTunes is completely run by Apple, and the iTunes store is their domain to do what they please with. However, the issue arises when Apple has the ability to modify the digital contents of your personal phone.

The notification within the phone indicated that you have the opportunity to download the album from your Cloud. Apple put the album in the user’s Cloud storage. However, with the controversy regarding privacy within the Cloud, including the leaking of naked photos from hacked celebrity iCloud accounts back in August, to the controversial security potential of Apple Pay, a breach of digital “privacy” like this only scares consumers more.

This issue flared up to the point that Apple has created a mini-site dedicated to removing the U2 album. iPhone users were calling Apple support nonstop trying to figure out how to get this U2 album off of their phone. Even though it was free to them, they didn’t want it.

This came as a surprise to Apple. With a technique so apt to go viral and the beautiful promotional videos that came along with it as TV advertising, they thought it would be a smash hit. Obviously, their theory did not correspond to their execution.

This begs the question: What about U2 made users so angry to have this free album on their phone? Why not just listen to it and move on? Had a more relevant or popular artist (Frank Ocean, for example, whose highly anticipated follow-up to his debut Channel Orange is expected this year) released a free album for us to enjoy, would users be so angry?

Over the past few years amongst social sites online, such as Reddit, a trend of hate has occurred amongst certain artists. This is the reason for Nickelback’s universal disdain on the internet. This is the reason why “The Big Bang Theory” is one of the most detested television shows shows amongst the social web. There’s a trend on the Internet to hate, and unfortunately, Bono is one of those targets.

Not to mention that a big demographic of iPhone users would not even be slightly familiar with U2 and other artists of that generation. The millennials aren’t learning about older forms of rock like they used to, and it’s a risky demographic decision considering the audience of iPhone users.

Fortunately, this does not harm Bono in any way. This album, regardless of what people think of it, will go platinum. Why? Let’s go back to Jay-Z. Jay’s album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, went platinum before it even came out. This is because to offer a free album to the 213,000+ that hold Samsung Galaxy phones, they’d have to buy well over the amount of copies it takes to go platinum. The same applies to U2. This album is platinum status regardless of the outrage.

There’s no definite reason this all happened. Maybe it’s due to privacy issues. Maybe they’re marketing to a generation who isn’t familiar enough with Bono to understand why his album is suddenly next to the new Pharrell album in their phone. I think the true issue is that no one asked for this. Having the album forced upon us like this is naturally going to cause opposition, and I personally think U2 was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Video Experience: Part Five – Promotion

October 3rd, 2014

Twitter-3Every business should have a niche. Here at the Primeau companies, our niche is professional speaking and explainer videos. Our main business activities are video production and video marketing. Most likely your company also has a niche. It is our belief that businesses have to recognize their niche and position their strength and passion toward that niche.

If you are marketing your business to the world, which you should be, no matter how large or small your niche might be, you have to keep in mind the vast differences in the cultures and populations of the world. The differences in culture translate into the differences in interests.

Now, just because your niche corresponds to an audience doesn’t mean they’ll react. Audiences need to be engaged by content. Your content has to be attention grabbing, unique, and most of all, entertaining. This circles back with the concept that your video must be creative, which will attract more attention than a blaze video.

If your video is recorded with a smart phone camera, with poor audio and shaky shots, unless it is brilliantly creative, no one is going to engage. The shaky shots can cause people to become too dizzy to continue, and your audio may cause viewers to search elsewhere for the professionalism they’re looking for. You must make sure your content is clean, crisp, and visually appealing for your audience. In other words, creative!

Above all, the information communicated must be valuable. If your audience does not find value in your content, they’ll never respond to it. It’s important to keep in mind what people can learn from your business, and to cater to that with your content. The Internet is a never ending universe of useful information, and most audiences won’t waste their time if there’s not value to be taken from it. Create content that is beneficial for those who want to learn more about your niche.

Social Media Promotion

Social media provides endless opportunities for promoting your body of work. Within the past few years, social media has become a crucial part of online marketing for any industry – music, film, video, and business. Its universal platform has pushed companies like Dollar Shave Club into the spotlight.

Each social media site has its own set of characteristics, and learning those characteristics can be a great way to strategize how to utilize social media. Let’s look at the 6 biggest social media networks.

Facebook: Facebook can provide the biggest reach for your content. With over 500 million users on Facebook, this platform can help push your content to the widest possible audience. Not only that, but Facebook has great advertising services/opportunities that coincide with niche audiences.

YouTube: Although we mentioned YouTube in our last post, we figured it needs an honorable mention in this section as well. Aside from being the #2 search engine in the world beneath Google, YouTube is also one of the strongest social environments there is. With its vast community of commenters, subscribers and likers, YouTube is a great way to build a social following, especially when relying on video.

Twitter: The beauty and the beast of Twitter is it’s instantaneous nature. Its speedy nature requires content creators to remain consistent in posting and browsing/interacting, but also creates a platform for the most recent news and stories. The name of the game with Twitter is persistence. Building your business on Twitter may take more time, but its immediacy also allows for speedy notification of an urgent product, service, or promotion.

Instagram: Instagram’s success follows the logic of blog sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest: a picture is worth a thousand words. People would rather be visually stimulated than read, and that’s where Instagram shines. Not only are you able to upload photos, but Instagram allows content creators to upload 15 second video clips. This creates another channel for video sharing, but on a more social platform. Regardless, this is another opportunity for sharing your video content.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn provides a professional network for those in any niche. Above all, LinkedIn is for making professional connections, and finding clients who are looking for your services. Though this platform may not be the best for sharing content, that doesn’t mean it can’t. Just make sure your content can conform to the business-like, professional atmosphere that LinkedIn emphasizes.

Google+: Though Google+ is the underdog in the social media world, that doesn’t mean it lacks value. The real value of Google+ lies in what it can do for SEO authoring. Those who connect their blogs/content with Google+ have the ability to be shown as the author in Google Search Results. This lends credibility to those searching, as they’re able to take a look at your content and build some sense of trust with a real mind behind it. Though it’s a little behind in the race for the top, Google+ is a very valuable social tool that still has potential to take over the market (Facebook’s reputation wasn’t built overnight; many were stubborn to join after so many years with MySpace.)

There are plenty of social media sites that can offer a platform for promotion, and new ones pop up every day, so don’t limit yourself to just a few platforms. The success of the big six, four of which started independently, shows that the right platform at the right time can do wonders for a business of any kind. Keep your options open, but also remain conscious that each of these sites offers a new opportunity for your content to gain exposure. So learn the proper techniques behind using each particular social media site, and you’ll benefit in the end from your strategy.

If you’ve made it this far and read all five parts to this Video Experience blog series, congratulations! You’ve picked up the basics of what it takes to create a successful video and video marketing campaign!

We truly hope that this blog series was useful, and that you put this knowledge to good use when designing your video marketing campaign.

If you have any questions, feedback, concerns, or further interest in video production and video marketing, feel free to give us a call, drop us an email, tweet, or Facebook post, and we’d be happy to discuss anything you’d like to learn about video marketing beyond the content in this blog series. Our contact information can be found at the bottom of the page.

The Video Experience: Part Four – Publishing

October 2nd, 2014

Now that you’ve produced your video and have a vision of what your video marketing strategy will be, what do you do next? There are so many options and strategies available for your video marketing campaigns. Primeau Productions begins by publishing video content on several different platforms, such as social media and article based marketing sites, as well as video-friendly websites.

There are plenty of sites that can offer a solid platform for Video Production. From the world’s second biggest search engine, YouTube, to social video sites such as Vine and Instagram.

For now, let’s focus on the big two: Vimeo and YouTube.

Vimeo and YouTube have been around for a while now. Both are great platforms for exposure, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Here are some evaluations between the two.

YouTubeVimeo

For more exposure and advertising, YouTube is your best bet. For embedding video content in blogs and web pages, post your video content on Vimeo.

The best way I’ve heard the comparison described is by setting. YouTube is like New York City; a huge sample of our entire population covered in advertisements, where an individual can get lost amongst the chaos and lights of Times Square.

Vimeo is more like a college town. It’s much smaller, the streets aren’t as busy, and it’s much easier to find what you’re looking for. It’s harder to get lost amongst the crowd because the community is supportive and appreciative of it’s artists. Making this decision is just a matter of understanding what you are looking for.

Homepage Video

One placement strategy for your video marketing campaign is to post your video on your company’s website. Placing video content on your website homepage makes it easy for prospects to understand your company very quickly which is much easier than reading a lot of text. Homepage video can be a great way to introduce people to your products or services. Many businesses utilize these videos at the top of their homepage so that people can have a proper understanding of the benefits of doing business with your company.

Here’s an example of a home page video produced by Primeau Productions for Filsorb:

Filsorb XP80 – Oil Purifying Reagent from Primeau Productions on Vimeo.

Another content idea for home page video is client testimonials. Testimonials inform your prospects what customers and clients have received and learned from your company.

The best testimonials are sincere, genuine and honest. If the message seems forced or staged, then the connection a testimonial can make with a potential client can be severed. People like seeing raw, human emotion. You want to capture sincere honesty and genuine words about what your company has done, because people will respond to that.

Here’s an example of a testimonial from Bob Danzig about working with Primeau Productions:

Bob Danzig Primeau Productions Testimonial from Primeau Productions on Vimeo.

There are plenty of places online to publish your content. With YouTube and Vimeo’s accessibility for embedding, these videos can be distributed to virtually any platform, including Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, and other social sites. This allows you to spread your message practically anywhere on the Internet, which allows almost anyone to pick it up. This can lead to article based sites, such as digital newspaper publications or blog sites, picking up your content.

Similarly, the ability to upload video to specific social platforms is always expanding. Social image sites such as Vine and Instagram now allow users to upload video to their easy to use platforms. Facebook is allowing direct video upload now, as well. These opportunities offer even more exposure potential for spreading your message.

So during the publishing phase of your video marketing is where the video experience begins for your company. Prospects are looking for an experience when shopping for companies to do business with. By now, you should have a basic understanding of what we mean when we use the term ‘video experience’ and have some thoughts on how you can create that for your company. If you feel stuck or lost with ideas for video content and video marketing strategy, give us a call. We would be happy to help.

The Video Experience: Part Three – Your Body of Work

October 1st, 2014

Steve RizzoDetermining what you will record can be a challenge. Primeau Productions likes to ask our clients about their “body of work.” Your Body of Work can be defined as the published and non published knowledge and experience you and your company have gleaned over the years and the various forms of content around those experiences. Content can be in the form of articles, journals, video, film, reports, white papers and any other documentation of industry experience.

Everyone and every business has a body of work. We have helped our clients identify their body of work and applied it to their business marketing strategies. For example, if a steel manufacturing company that was founded three generations ago has information about processing steel based on their experiences; that is a piece of their body of work. There are people out there who will be interested in learning what you have learned. This learning is communicated in a video because videos are easy to share and people like to easily learn from video.

If you are a printer and have a knowledge base of experience to share, this is a valuable body of work. Those experiences are valuable to people wanting to learn about printing. This experience translates very well into a video series and video marketing strategy. Prospective customers will be interested in reading and learning about your experiences which in turn gains you visibility. That content also adds value to your business and increases your friends and fan followers in social media.

Your business may have been interviewed in the news, published an anniversary magazine and have several internal communication newsletters. Gather this information and review content for a video series. You can also have it ready for your professional video production team to help you with the video production creative process.

During the creative process, we are able to identify marketing videos for your website and video marketing based on that body of work. For example, once the creative team begins to understand the steel business, we then help create a series of videos that will be useful to potential prospects and help you successfully grow your business.

The most successful companies in the world have taken their body of work and applied it to their business, creating video content and video marketing campaigns. The idea is to identify the things that make your company shine, and then develop a video marketing campaign that supports your strengths and expertise in your video productions.

For example, Primeau client Steve Rizzo spent the first 18 years of his professional career working to become a stand-up comic, and he was very successful at it. Rizzo had Eddie Murphy, Tim Allen and Drew Carey opening for his comedy shows.

Rizzo’s body of work revolves around laughter. He has said that even early on in life, making people laugh was what he wanted to do with his life. The joy and the feeling that he felt from hearing people laugh was the reason he did what he did, and it became his passion; his body of work developed from there.

Today, Steve Rizzo is still performing, but on a different platform. Rizzo used the experience he received in standup comedy to become a professional speaker.  He took the experience and strength he acquired from being a standup comic and applied it to a medium to teach people that laughter is the key to living a stress-reduced life.

Don’t Let The Laughter Fool You – Steve Rizzo – Video Resume from Primeau Productions on Vimeo.

Now, how can you identify your body of work and develop your Internet presence using video? What makes your company really stand out? What is the strongest part of your business that you feel people could benefit and learn from? Maybe it’s the friendly, supportive, and creative environment of your workplace. Maybe it’s a product or process that can help people live better lives. Maybe it’s a source of entertainment to help people wind down from their stressful lives. You want to showcase whatever it is about your company that you think will do the most good for the audience you hope consumes it.

The Video Experience: Part Two – Three Phases of Video Production

September 30th, 2014

lightbulbWhere do you start when creating a video? First and foremost, you’ll need something to talk about in your video.  In the last post, part one of this blog series, it was discussed that in order for your content to really stand out amongst the competition you’ll need to share something your business does better than anyone else. We believe every company does something better than their competitors. You have to identify what that is with your company. This will help your professional video production company create a successful video for you.

Write down all your ideas on a sheet of paper. There is something about the power of pen and paper that really helps the creative process.

Next, is there anyone on your team who has some acting background and would make a great spokesperson? We know from experience that people buy people. That is why you see companies like American Express with Tommy Lee Jones acting in their television commercials. If you decide to create what is called a ‘talking head’ video, you will need an on-camera spokesperson.

Years ago we consulted with a local Metro Detroit area window replacement company and advised retaining a local celebrity as its spokesperson. That person is still the face of that company and all their marketing and advertising video, which is growing every year.

Three Phases of Video Production

Pre-Production is the process of planning every step of your video production and beginning to think about your video marketing campaign. With the assistance of your professional video production company, begin by collaborating on a concept or creative design for your video and a strategy for the video marketing campaign.

The beginning portion of this blog post touched on some pre-production steps and activity to take when beginning your video production process. Conception and creativity are the focus of the pre-production phase of ‘The Video Experience’.

A script and/or storyboard will help you develop your creative design for your video or series of videos.

This aspect of pre-production seems to intimidate some. Time and time again, I have heard people approach storyboarding and scriptwriting with one of the following mindsets:

A. “I’m not a writer! I can’t write a script! Screenwriting takes years of experience I don’t have!”

OR

B. “I can’t draw! I’d never be able to create an accurate storyboard.”

It’s okay! This process is all about throwing creative ideas out on the table. Just because you’re not an experienced writer or an excellent artist doesn’t mean you can’t have creative ideas! A script/storyboard is as simple or as difficult as you perceive it. Try drafting out bullet points for messages you want to convey in your script. Utilize stick figures or basic shapes to convey your message on a storyboard. You don’t have to be an expert writer or visually artistic to accomplish this, you just have to be creative.

The key is to start with a creative core, and expand that idea as far as you can go. If you still don’t feel confident in your abilities, an established production company such as Primeau Productions can assist with making your creative ideas come to life. If you come up with some ideas, a creative team will be able to collaborate with you and get to the message that you’re trying to convey with your campaign.

The production phase is when you record video content for use in your video production. This involves video recording at your location, in studio, or at another location. This is also when you design the look and feel of your images and other graphics. By now you probably know what tools you need for successful video production.

Post-Production: This phase is all about editing, motion graphics, recording any narration or voice overs and mixing music into your video and audio post production. This is the phase where your creativity, content and conception all come together.

So, now that you have an understanding about the three phases of video production, start to think about how these phases apply to your business. Continue to develop your creative muscles and write down all your creative ideas. Give us a call if you have any questions about any aspect of production.

The Video Experience: Part One – Three Ingredients of a Successful Video

September 29th, 2014

The Video ExperienceSo what is ‘The Video Experience’?  It is a passive 24|7 vehicle for your prospects and customers to experience the essence of your business. Video is a tool to help your prospects and customers ‘feel’ your business. I believe feeling helps motivate people more than logic. When businesses can provide a feeling or experience for their prospects and customers, they increase their chances of earning their business. 

Video is one of the most valuable tools for Internet marketing. Thousands of businesses all over the world create video content to represent their company, and with the viral nature of today’s cyber culture, video is the most effective way to generate prospects.

We have noticed over the last 30 years in the video production business that the main reason companies do not create video or implement a video marketing campaign is that they simply don’t know where to begin. They either don’t understand the process or they don’t have a relationship with a professional video production company. They may also lack the creative vision necessary to design a video campaign to position their business online through video.

At Primeau Productions, we take our clients’ video marketing campaigns seriously. We know what it takes to promote your brand through video. We want to share some of that knowledge, because we truly believe in the power of creativity. Learning how to creatively convey your message is the single most important ingredient in a successful video. That is the purpose of this five part blog series: to help you understand where to begin with a video marketing campaign.

From time to time, with the help of my team, I create video of me speaking about some aspect of audio and video production.  I am about to record the second iteration of videos that reinforce our brand we like to call ‘The Three Ps of video marketing,’ Produce, Publish, and Promote. The Three Please help our clients begin to visualize the video marketing process. At Primeau Productions, we live by these three steps and guide our clients through each one, taking their businesses to heights that basic Internet marketing cannot accomplish.

Where to Begin?

It is a proven fact that video is the most powerful marketing tool available for businesses today. Video is the best method of sharing information about your company.  But how do you get started creating video content and creating a video marketing campaign?

Have you looked around on the Internet to learn what your competitors are doing with video? This can always be a helpful step. We advise our clients to review if or how their competitors are utilizing video before the creative process begins.

We suggest you think about creating video that helps your viewers solve a problem. Try to stay away from video that is self-serving and over the top, bragging about the success of your company. Rather, share useful information that will position your company as an expert in your field.

Three Ingredients in Successful Video

Professional video production companies who possess the three ingredients are worth their weight in gold. They charge accordingly for their services based on three components: creativity, equipment, and talent. The first and most important ingredient is creativity. Creativity is the invaluable ingredient responsible for the success of any video.

I polled my team regarding where they felt creativity came from. Some said that they have to be in a creative ‘mood.’ When you work with a professional production company like Primeau Productions, plan on 30 to 60 days production time to complete your video and marketing strategy. Creativity cannot be rushed.

My creative team also said that location can impact a creative flow. For example, some said that they get ideas in the shower. I suspect many of you reading this can relate. Personally, I believe that one of the controllable ingredients in creativity is to quiet your mind in order to let creative thoughts in.

My team will also use different websites to aid them in their creative process. Stumble Upon or Pinterest are great sites to generate ideas from.

Another comment was that creativity cannot be quantified. Simply put, creativity cannot be measured.

I feel that the following video makes a statement about creativity. It is very motivating and a great example of how creativity ‘works.’ This man started a business and is very creative in his designs and this video.

Ugmonk by Jeff Sheldon from Ugmonk on Vimeo.

The second ingredient of a successful video is modern equipment. Professional video production companies keep their equipment well maintained and up to date. It’s nearly impossible for amateur video content creators to keep up with the trends in video technology, nor for them to have the capital to invest in the equipment necessary to produce professional video.

There are cameras, lighting instruments, green screens, microphones, monitors, headphones, speakers and software programs that must be state-of-the-art in order to produce professional video.

For those that create video with their smart phone – there is no comparison between such a video and a professionally produced video.

Do not use your smart phone to create company video content. It will not help your company at all! What you could use your smart phone for would be client testimonials or brief video clips to use in conjunction with professionally recorded video content.

If you were to buy all the equipment you need to create professional video, then you have to learn how to operate it. Ask yourself this question, “Do we want to make money doing what we do best or do we want to get into the video production business?”

Let’s say you decide to get into the video production business and buy all the right gear to get started. You take the time to learn how to use that gear. What guarantee will you have that you will create a video that builds your fans and followers and eventually prospects? We have learned through 30 years of experience that it’s a good idea to bring in an outside company to help develop your video marketing content rather than do it yourself. An outside professional can identify strengths and benefits about your company that you may overlook.

As for the equipment that you decide to purchase, make sure that it is from a reputable company and that it has features that will benefit your business. Primeau Productions uses Canon DSLR cameras.

DSLR HD video cameras are sleek and portable, making them easy to transport for remote location video recording, as well as quick to set up for in-studio video recording.

Also, the relatively small size of the DSLR camera is much less intimidating to clients who may be a little camera shy. We find that many people confronted with a big camera feel uncomfortable and nervous. The DSLR’s diminutive design can really put your on-camera talent at ease.

However, the camera alone cannot make a shot look great during production. Each shot must be expertly lit using professional lighting instruments. You’ll never know what a modern DSLR camera can really do until you see it used with professional lighting. And lighting means more than illumination; surrounding the subject with bright lights is just as bad as no lighting at all. Key lights, fill lights, soft lights, back lights and spot lights are used to create a mood with light that complements your message and brings out the best features of the subject or products on camera.

An established video production company like Primeau Productions not only has all the equipment necessary to create professional quality video, we will also collaborate with you on a creative design for your video, as well as take you through the three phases of production that we have outlined as Produce, Publish and Promote.

The third ingredient in successful video is talent. Professional video production companies have people on their teams who are very talented. Talent is both learned and developed. Talented people have a passion for their work, and they work hard to build their creative muscles. Talented teams create amazing videos that generate interest and are viewed by a lot of people. Talent is not learned by gaining proficiency with video editing programs. Talent is developed after software programs are mastered. Talent comes from experience.

So where do you begin your video marketing campaign? Begin with a great video production strategy. Think about the ways you can flex your creativity muscles. Also, think about the one thing that differentiates your company from all the other companies considered to be your competitors.

Write down some ideas and then join us for part two of this five part blog series, ‘The Video Experience.’

What Potato Salad Can Teach Us About Viral Marketing

July 15th, 2014

potato-salad-newBy: Brad Finegan

Kickstarter is a great way for startups to raise some quick cash and generate interest in their ideas. It’s a community of believers, where no new idea is too far out. And with the power of that community, any dream can be realized. But, as of last week, it’s been undeniably proven that literally anything can be accomplished with the right community.

Even making potato salad.

Don’t worry – your eyes are fine. You read right: a man put up a Kickstarter page in hopes of raising money to make, (wait for it), potato salad. The Kickstarter page, posted by Denison University grad Zack Brown, had a pledged goal of $10, just enough to buy all of the ingredients to make a good potato salad. Not surprisingly, he accomplished his goal. Surprisingly, the Kickstarter campaign still has 22 days left, and as of right now, he’s made over $44,000.

That’s right, $44,000. Enough to make over 4000 potato salads. Hell, you could probably buy a modest Idaho potato farm with $44,000! Either way, this kid made a lot of money trying to raise funds for something as basic and uninteresting as potato salad.

When I brought the idea of the blog post you’re now reading to Primeau Productions founder Ed Primeau (AKA, my boss), we were baffled. We both knew that there was some sort of lesson here; that this guy had to have some sort of golden key to viral marketing. After a short and mutually confusing discussion about this, Ed told me, “I like it. Go ahead and write it.”

So here I am, writing this blog post, and even now, as I’m sitting comfortably at my desk on this gorgeous day in July, brainstorming about what it is that this miraculous endeavor is trying to teach us, frankly, I’m finding myself at a loss. Maybe it’s a lesson in simplicity in marketing? Maybe the power of dry humor in advertising? Maybe the ability to tap into a clandestine network of … potato salad enthusiasts?

Whatever the lesson, the fact still remains: a guy got over 5,000 people to back his cause to create Potato Salad (something Brown admits he’s never even made before). What’s the secret? At the end of the day, I don’t think he had a secret. There was no extensive marketing scheme, there was no hilarious video to entertain you enough to donate a few bucks, and there was no true initiative at all for anyone to contribute to this, let alone contribute to its own viral tornado.

I think what content creators should really take away from this is: the Internet is a bottomless chasm of mystery and unpredictability. The combined power of the Internet community has done things that the general population wouldn’t have ever imagined, even if that’s contributing almost $50,000 to a hungry college grad trying to make some potato salad.

Companies can use as much data, statistics, and planning as they want to, but the truth of the situation is that viral marketing does not work in a straight line. No one can ever truly predict what will and will not go viral, and we should all just learn to accept that. Once we accept that the Internet is a living, breathing organism with a mind of it’s own, we can understand that anything (even something as simple as potato salad) can become a hit amongst thousands and change the history of the Internet forever.

Some might see the absurdity of this story as discouraging, but I personally find it inspiring. I think something this unanticipated, this inexplicable, proves that any of us have the opportunity to launch a successful viral marketing campaign. But that is not for us to decide. It’s up to the community.

The War Between Your Content and Your Consumers

June 9th, 2014

TV Remote Isolated on White.As a Video Content Creator What Do You Need To Know About Your Consumer’s Viewing Habits?

Until 2007, cable was king. No one was providing entertainment quite like cable did. But something happened that changed all of that and this something has an impact on your company marketing.

The Impact of Netflix on Internet Video Viewing

Netflix changed the way viewers interact with their content.  This didn’t only change how we digest television content, but how we digest any Internet video content. Successful companies know that as video content marketers, they should become aware of these new consumption habits, and learn how to apply them to our own Internet video marketing strategy.

Take for example, the successful network FX. FX has created some very successful shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, Wilfred and Louie. The programming of that station was a hit, and considering that every program they aired generally went to Netflix and other On Demand services, the network exponentially gained popularity over the past 5 years.

Now, FX is a station that generally comes with your standard cable package. Due to its accessibility and the resulting popularity, FX became one of the only stations left where viewers actually tuned into their shows at the time during which they aired.

Last year, FX announced that some of their programming would migrate to a new station, FXX. Part of the reason for this decision was that their more vulgar programming could be aired with less censoring, but that privilege came with a price. FXX does not come with your basic cable programming. It is extra.

Similar to HBO, consumers would have to pay extra to access this content. Since some of it was too raunchy to be aired on basic cable, they figured that having another network with less censoring would provide FX more opportunities for publicity and programming.

Unfortunately, our digital generation did not like the idea of paying more. Hell, we don’t even want to pay for cable anymore. Since then, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s ratings have dropped substantially. Prior to this change, It’s Always Sunny was one of the highest rated comedies in history, and going in to its 10th season with two more seasons confirmed, the show is on its way to being the longest running comedy in history. So why did the ratings drop so drastically?

Because no one was watching.

No one wants to pay for FXX. As a consumer, this programming is inaccessible because we don’t want to front the extra cash for programming. Though FXX had a great idea, its execution is flawed for this generation. Had FX done this back when HBO went premiere, they may have made millions. The fact of the matter is we don’t want to pay for more TV. We don’t even want to pay for the TV we have.

We’re becoming a part of a culture where we like to binge our media. We don’t want commercials; we don’t want to sit on a cliffhanger until next week. We want to sit and watch a show as if it were a movie; uninterrupted.

This, obviously, can be attributed to all the streaming technology available today. We have the ability to binge watch shows without ads for $7 a month and we want to do that more than anything.

Companies have many lessons to learn from this business model. As content marketers, you have valuable information to share that will help ease your prospect’s pain. Your prospective viewers want to binge consume your valuable information therefore you should make sure your potential viewers are able to do this.

Content is Still King

Companies possess a body of work; information that can be shared through Internet video programming for prospective viewers. Produce multiple videos for content on your company’s YouTube or Vimeo Channels. Create playlists so viewers can easily view the videos in their necessary progression. Keeping a consistent flow of video content will keep prospective viewers watching more frequently.

Along those same lines, content marketers should remember why so many viewers turned to Netflix: it’s cheap. Unless the consumer has some serious incentive to purchase something, they won’t. With Netflix, the incentive is endless streaming media.

For your online content, generally, free is your best price. Allow your prospect viewers to check out your content whenever they want with no restrictions.

Companies need to become content marketers and create video content on a regular basis. As video is becoming the most valuable source of content, companies who market it should always remain aware of their audience’s relationship with your information.  Content is king but consumption is important to opening the door on the sale.

The Video Experience: Body of Work

May 13th, 2014

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing a concept we have coined; ‘The Video Experience.’ Video allows the web visitor an experiential opportunity to get to know you better than just plain text and pictures. Video has emotion and can set a mood that will help your web visitor pick you over your competition.

Video content not only provides a pleasant user experience, it also plays a huge role in defining your organization and the benefits you provide that your competition does not.

The concept of The Video Experience isn’t only expressed by the quality of your content; it is also expressed by the experiential value of the content itself. This applies to all businesses, entertainers, and just about every business you can think of.

So what does your video look like in your mind’s eye? Consider that even though you may not realize it or see it, every business has a talent that makes them unique or different. We call that talent a body of work.

We all have collective experiences from our own lives that are valuable. We all have something to offer and video is the best medium to share that body of work.

For some, it may be methods for plumbing. For others, it may be entertainment or it may be parenting. Everyone has something that makes them shine, and the collective experiences from your body of work have value to others. These experiences can help others save time and accomplish their goals quicker than if they did not have your perspective.

This collective knowledge and experience is known as your “Body of Work.”

Let’s take Primeau Productions client/Keynote Speaker Steve Rizzo for example. Steve was an up-and-coming comedian from Brooklyn for the first part of his career, opening for acts such as Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, and many, many more. As explained in this video, Rizzo decided that after years of bringing humor to peoples’ lives, he wanted to use his skills, talents, and experiences to help people throughout their lives. This is how Steve Rizzo became “A Seriously Funny Guy.” He applied those experiences working in stand-up comedy to help people live healthy, happy, and humorous lives.

Now, Steve Rizzo is presenting to crowds of thousands, aspiring to inspire their lives for the better utilizing his comedy and skills in public speaking from doing comedy.

In the case of Steve Rizzo, he took his knowledge and found a relative medium to help people and created content that others will benefit from in their daily lives.

This is an example of ‘A body of work.’

Everyone’s life path is different, and the experiences you have will always differ from everyone around you. Always play to those strengths. The things that make you shine naturally will resonate the most with people, and the experiences taken from them can provide audiences with a new perspective. If you shine in something that doesn’t directly pertain to your profession, relate it. When thinking about your content, always remember that everything is relative, and everyone can offer a fresh perspective.

The Video Experience: Experiential Product Marketing

May 9th, 2014

vinyl recordsWe’ve been discussing “The Video Experience,” whereas every piece of video content that you market online should create an experience for the viewer and the audience that you’re aiming for. This lesson not only applies to video, but can be applied to product marketing as well.

On Saturday, April 19th, an event was held that has become a holiday for music enthusiasts everywhere: Record Store Day.

Record Store Day is an event that takes place every spring at record shops across the globe. It’s purpose is to celebrate music culture, support local record shops, and, arguably most importantly, the importance of the physical music medium, especially vinyl records.

You might be thinking “Who still buys vinyl records?” The answer might surprise you. Sales on vinyl records are tallied every year during record store day weekend, and vinyl record sales in 2012 were higher than they’ve been in over 20 years. Even in the world of digital music we live in, vinyl records and their collectors have created a culture all their own over the past decade, not only due to collectors’ enthusiasm, but also due to the ever-expanding sampling culture of modern hip-hop and electronic beat music.

The resurgence of vinyl records is confusing to some, but if you take the time to really analyze why vinyl records have become so popular amongst music advocates, you’ll learn that a big portion has to do with experiential marketing.

I’ve been collecting vinyl for about 5 years now, and many ask me why. For me, and potentially many other collectors, purchasing records creates an experience for us.

I’ll set the scene: It’s Tuesday (the industry standard release day for music and other media). The latest record from one of my favorite artists has just been released, and I’m ecstatic to hear the new dynamics that the artist has explored in their most recent work. You’d think that my first action would be to find a digital version, either through iTunes, Amazon, or other digital music manufacturers, since this is the most efficient medium of hearing what I want to hear. For me, I’m thinking about when I can make it to my local record shop and pick up a copy.

Many would argue that this is wasted gas, wasted money on a dead medium, and overall, just worthless. Why would you want a vinyl copy when you can get the files at the click of a mouse? This is where the experiential side of things comes into play.

For me, buying a new record the day it is released is truly an experience.

You drive to your favorite local record shop (for me, UHF Records in Royal Oak!). You dig through the bins to find the new record, and once you find it, there’s a feeling of satisfaction no digital file can ever replicate.

You finish your transaction and anxiously await your return home to experience this new album. You get home, open the packaging, study the artwork and the design, and read through the production credits, lyric books, and any other included paperwork that may be included in the record. Then, you put the record on to hear for the first time.

There’s a special feeling you get when you listen to a brand new record. The full, warm quality of the analog transcription slowly grazed by a fresh needle. It’s a really special experience for music enthusiasts.

This is why vinyl records are still so special to so many people. Having a tangible, full canvas of a favorite record provides a sense of pride and joy that a digital file just can’t provide. This is why, I believe, vinyl records will stand the test of time.

Sure, you can get any album you want by means of digital download. Aside from nit-picky quality differences, the product of the album remains the same. It’s the experience of going to the record store, opening a new record, discovering it’s design and artwork, etc. that leads music enthusiasts to purchasing a physical copy of an album they love, as opposed to just having the files stored away on your computer.

This is a very clear example of experiential marketing. If vinyl records didn’t create the experience they do, everyone would be buying digital music. But the vinyl record industry is continuing to expand and evolve, and that shows how meaningful this medium of marketing a product can be, and how important experience truly is to the world of product marketing.

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