Sunday, October 22, 2017

Facebook Pages: 3 Reasons Why Your Business Needs One

November 30, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts, Marketing

You’re probably getting this message everywhere; if you’re a solo entrepreneur or business owner, you have to get a business presence on Facebook.

But you may be asking yourself why? And how? As Facebook changes, morphs and grows, it is becoming a more powerful way to connect with customers and clients. There are many ways within this social media platform to do this and it’s important to see how each can benefit and work for you. Click here to continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving 2010 – Our Gratitude List

November 25, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts

Thanks!

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday dedicated to heroic feats of overeating, football watching, preparing for the Black Friday sales and avoiding all those touchy subjects with your relatives.

But beyond these traditions, the holiday is supposed to be about gratitude.

And since gratitude is something we practice daily in our lives, and one that’s been scientifically proven to make us happier, we’d like to share our gratitude list with you.

Maybe this will inspire you to add a few items to your own list. At the very least, it’ll give you something to talk about with your extended family other than politics, religion, or whether Bristol Palin should have made it to the finals on Dancing With The Stars.

And we can all be grateful for that.

New ways of doing business

I’ve heard it said that the internet is the world’s biggest printing press combined with the world’s biggest post office, both free.

That might be a slight oversimplication, but not by much.

Running a business (online or traditional) is never simple, but with the advent of the internet and now social media, there are so many new tools that have made it simpler.

Getting the word out, finding new customers, staying in touch with the customers we already have, creating new products … there are dozens of ways that information technology is making business better, more profitable, and available to more people.

The internet has totally changed not only the way we run our business, it’s changed the way we market ourselves and our products. It’s  pretty darn cool that we can sit here in our pjs, sip our coffee while watching the local deer forage in our backyard…and get orders from Australia, the UK and beyond! When they buy the products digitally, even better.

I’m going to let Rick, who is more technically savvy, talk about all that he’s thankful to have learned this year.

Grateful to be always learning

I’ve been fortunate this year to meet some amazing people in both the video and internet marketing industries. I had a marvelous three days in Virginia with Perry Lawrence and Thomas Roberts in October, learning all about the amazing new Canon T2i. If you want to jump into the HD DSLR world, this camera is an affordable entry point that if fully capable of making jaw dropping images.

I enjoyed going to DV Expo in Pasadena in September and seeing all the new toys, oops, tools. Isn’t it cool that after several decades in the video business I still find it like one big toy box. I hope you do too.

I was also priviledged to atted Streaming Media West, which I learn so much about on-demand and streaming video options that my head hurt. I’m very excited about developments here and just wrote one article about it, with another coming soon about ClickStreamTV.

Createasphere was another fun and educational experience. It was held in Burbank immediately following Streaming Media West. I’m still finding the time to write article about some of the equipment and technology coming your way that I discovered there.

It has been a privilege to attend these types of events and to write about and share my thoughts with you. I’m grateful to you for giving me an audience.

Now – back to Kim.

Amazing mentors

Four people in particular have really influenced our business (and bottom line) this year: Bill Myers, Perry Lawrence (formerly of AskMrVideo), and Jessica Swanson. Our sales are up 30% over last year, in large part to the information, connections and training they have given us. Thank you so much, guys.

I’d say something mushy about my husband, Rick, here, but he hates that, so I’ll just say thanks. It’s been a wild couple of years, and I don’t see us slowing down any time soon.

And of course, I have to mention how grateful I am to you, our subscribers and customers. You’ve made us feel, especially over this last year, that we aren’t alone in feeling passionate and excited about the video publishing industry.

Because of that, we felt confident to roll out our plans for our SIVAcademy.

A lot of people think that online marketing education is full of hype and bogus promises. We’ll show you that you don’t chase the latest “Internet Push-Button Cash System.” Instead you build real businesses, you take action, and you get amazing results.

It’s a privilege to hear how we’ve helped you so far.

So what’s on your list? Got a gratitude list going? Let us know in the comments what’s on your list this year.

P.S. We’re giving our blog a break this week. So if you still need a good distraction from your family, why not sign up for our weekly newsletter that comes with the How To Sell Your Videos Kit? It’s full of smart advice about producing, marketing and selling your own videos and other information products, and we guarantee it’s 100% free of holiday sweaters, nosy comments about your weight, or those green bean casseroles and yams with the weird tiny marshmallows.

Best Content Delivery Network To Sell Online Videos: How To Choose

November 23, 2010 by  
Filed under All Posts, Special Interest Video Biz

Keith Kubik from ClickStreamTV made his service to sell online videos powerful yet very easy to use.

Here’s an interesting coincidence: as I was finishing this article, this morning’s paper had an article titled, “Perparing for DVD’s demise.” As an independent video producer, that certainly got my attention.

There is no doubt that the practice of purchasing and viewing videos online is exploding. Netflix is changing the landscape, and if you are a special interest (how-to) video producer, you should be very interested in this topic because video on demand services are in your future, like it or not. The ability to sell online videos is very attractive to me, as I have been selling DVDs for many years and would like to be free of carrying physical inventory.

To learn more about video on demand services, also called content management systems, I attended Streaming Media West in Century City (Los Angeles) in October. I came away confounded by the number of businesses offering variations on the theme of providing on-demand videos. So many companies offer similar but different plans, services and pricing that it was baffling.

Did I find enlightenment?

No, not yet anyway.

Heck, I’m still not sure what to call them; some call themselves an online video platform (OVP) while some call it a content delivery network (CDN) or content management system (CMS), even CDN aggregators. Sheesh, I didn’t have a clue what some of the companies were offering, they were so jargon-based that it was indecipherable to someone outside their industry (I think that is the result of inbred marketing).

I’m digging through the literature and looking at their websites to determine which will be the best fit for smaller independent producers with limited budgets. That includes me and, I assume, you.

I’ve been selling on-demand videos for over a year by simply using WordPress. There are several ways to do this, from placing the video on a password protected page (and sending the customer the password through an autoresponder), to placing it on a public but hidden pages which serves as the Thank You page following a purchase. This works OK, but doesn’t protect the video from unscrupulous customers who might want to share it with their friends, who might share it with their friends ad nauseum, and before you now it you have had hundreds of views but just one sale. That’s no good, so I’m look for a delivery system that offers more security for my videos.

What I want is a way to protect my on-demand videos from being shared without incurring a high monthly fee for the service.

Some of the companies I visited at Streaming Media West clearly are intended for enterprise applications, meaning BIG companies with big budgets. They aren’t interested in little guys like me, and their pricing reflects that. I need a service that will allow me to start with a small monthly cost that allows me to ease into this and is scalable to grow with me.

I found some content delivery networks offering a low monthly fee but an equally low amount of storage and bandwidth, almost too small to be practical, which means you might as well go ahead and budget on their higher service levels. Some offer a lower monthly fee which they offset by taking a percentage of your sales, while others charge more per month but take a smaller or no percentage of your sales. Personally, I don’t want them taking any part of my sales if I’m paying them a monthly fee, so that’s a factor I consider.

Some have lower monthly fees but offset them with a healthy set-up fee, while others don’t charge a set-up fee. Many allow you to create custom shops (store fronts) or media libraries, or you may simply wish to embed the code into an existing site. Some supplement their income by running pre-roll and post-roll advertisements, or even run ads during the video (not acceptable for my purposes). Many of them offer free 30-day trials.

Options you need to consider are how you will control your viewer’s experience. For example, you might include selling it on a one-time or multiple-time views, allowing it to be viewed for a certain length of time (day, week, month, forever), or allowing it to be downloaded. You might want a service that could detect the end user’s device and serve it in a suitable format, such as for a mobile phone user. I don’t want to have to encode for every possible use, but I learned that with both Kaltura and ClickStreamTV you upload one video format and it will serve it in many different formats, suitable for any end user. This solves a major problem because we have been encoding for Flash, but iPhones, iPads and iPods won’t play Flash.

With so many variables to consider, it’s no wonder I came away with a headache.

In my research I found pricing ranging from an astonishingly low $14.95 per month with unlimited storage space and bandwidth (EZWebPlayer) to thousands of dollars per month. Around $100 per month seemed to be the sweet spot for features and value.

Names you may be familiar with include EdgeCast, Kaltura, brightcove, ClickStreamTV, InterNap, voped and Sorenson Media. I particularly enjoyed talking with the people at ClickStreamTV and Internap, as they didn’t try to bowl me over with technical lingo and they were clearly friendly to small business. I was particularly impressed with ClickStreamTV‘s services and will be writing more about them soon. Less well known players who seemed friendly to small business included BuyDRM and Dyyno.com (with a free account with up to 1GB of storage).

I find this topic very relevant to my video publishing business and hope you see its impact on your future distribution plans. I’m going to dig deeper into this topic in future articles. If you want more information right now you might want to try www.vidcompare.com where you can compare the services of many different content management system providers.

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