Advertising for videography
I've recently started a small videography house along with my business partner (a sound engineer). We've recently been offered a loan from a family friend towards giving the business a kick in the pants through advertising.
What would you guys recommend as the best way to market for a fledgling video business? We mostly specialize in video for musicans (live video, music videos etc) as well as promo videos for businesses and coporations. We're tried online listings and have a website under construction (here: http://twoheadedsnake.co.uk/ but we need some ideas as to how we might best spend money to attract potential clients. Any advice, pointers, or even links to articles or sites that specialize in this area would be greatly appreciated.
You don't market this kind of service like you do normal consumer services, like a carpet installer or roofer or whatnot. If you want to work with bands, go where band go. Music trade shows is one idea.
But I also think the thing that works best for this particular niche is word of mouth, references from happy customers, buzz from people who are fans of the work... so you should think more in terms of public relations work than advertising. What I mean by that is think about throwing screening parties in a bar or club, getting your work seen and commented on. Put a lot of samples up on vimeo. Try doing a promotion with a local radio station, making a free video for the winning band in a battle of the local bands kind of thing. Enter a lot of contests. Do quirky, creative shoots in interesting, perhaps news-worthy places, (legally of course) and see what media coverage you can pick up.
Thanks for the advice Mark, some good tips there which I'll definitely be trying. Does anyone know though how best to apply this money to get customers? Or is there really no point spending a large amount of money to advertise videography?
A wedding or event videographer, maybe. Not a company focused on making music videos for bands.
A TV commercial is a game of percentages. Because it airs a limited number of times and is "push" media, it works best for large, mostly generic aggregations of potential customers. Kids. Housewives. Guys losing their hair. People that use common products. If you are serious that your niche is marketing to bands, then tell me; just where on the TV schedule do you put a commercial that will reach band members with money to pay you? What "day part"? Your target market is not a mass audience. Not the kind served well by a TV spot. You'd do better by plugging your service on radio, frankly. Or putting print ads in musician-oriented magazines and web sites and music stores, or on Spotify, etc.
Rather than doing a traditional advertising spend, have you considered putting the 10K to a promotional project?
Find a track you have a great concept for and go ahead use the money to make the type of video you'd want people to hire you to make.
If the band is small enough, perhaps you could even contact them about having it be their official video.
1) make a few music videos as calling cards and make sure people see them. They get old quick so keep making them.
2) contact record labels, producers, video producers, possibly other video production houses, musicians, etc. You will have to do this a lot. You will direct them to your site.
3) Be the expert on your niche. Start a blog, vlog, podcast, etc. and explain why this or that choice in the video worked and then direct people to the relevant video.
4) start hanging with the music industry folks and make sure they all know you're the music video guy. This is a long game. After they see you do music videos and you're serious, they will want your input, advice, and they will want to hire you. Have a current video nobody's seen ready on your phone, tablet, or website.
5) get a mailing list going. Send out regular updates on what videos you've made and how amazing they are.
6) Do a few videos for free. Actually, you may have to do a lot of these for free if you are unknown. It's a mutual back-scratch: they get a video and you get demo material.
Use the money to get a great website, great business cards, put together an awesome demo reel, and get ready to live lean for a few months.
You don't have to do any of these, but maybe give it a shot.
Save early. Save often.
Second the sentiments here.
In the wider sphere of Marketing, traditional broadcast style advertising (even if done on the web) is generally best for products and services that are widely used by mass audiences. It's kind of inefficient to pay to get a message in front of a big aggregate audience - when only a small sliver of those you reach will ever want or need your services.
What you really want is narrowly defined target marketing. You want to reach qualified potential users of your services as directly as you can.
Really, if you want to make music videos - think first about where the people who need those hang out. Music stores? Bars? Performance venues?
Gorilla marketing to those smaller groups - stuff like literally showing up and getting to know the key players in your market (musicians, promoters, club owners, etc, etc, etc,) and use your marketing dollars to do stuff that helps them remember you. And think broadly - buy a bucket of imprinted guitar picks, pick up the tab for a round of drinks when your hanging out with musicians - if you know both Band A and Band B - and they don't know each other - but the guy who introduces them to each other. - really just become a part of the community. Don't start out pitching your products or services, just get to know everyone. That's what moves you from "stranger" to a known community member and starts the word of mouth.
Really, today "marketing" is EVERYTHNG you do. Your whole approach to presenting yourself.
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