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New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog

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Roy Schneider
New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 8, 2015 at 5:49:51 pm

Hi All:
In short, I would love to start a discussion about Marketing ideas for the Video business.

I have a full-time editing gig, but have always run my own Video Production/Web Marketing Business on the side (vintageproductiongroup.com). At Vintage Production Group, we do Music Videos, Local Commercials, Web Video Marketing or any other tidbit we can get out cameras on. For the most part, our business has been from word of mouth, and that has been great. It has been very slow and I now find myself looking for ways to reach potential video clients.

We are highly experienced, and always work for a fair price. We are not Cheap, but always give our clients way ,ore then they pay for.

http://vintageproductiongroup.com/index.html

I would love to hear some ideas to get the message out and market todays video businesses.

Long Live the Cow
Roy Schneider
Executive Producer
Vintage Production Group
516-659-4596


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Mark Suszko
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 8, 2015 at 9:50:05 pm

If you did event videos, I'd advise hooking up with a local radio station that serves your target audience. Not so much to run conventional spots, but to be there to document and be and active part of some of the staged events a "morning crew" of air personalities might put on. For example, if you did wedding videos, you'd set up a live morning event like a wedding cake race, and cover it like a sporting event, posting highly-crafted edited pieces to the web and social media, all with your branding tied to the morning air personalities and the radio station. You'd run a *few* conventional spots on the air, but the bulk of your media buy is to buy time to "hang out with" the air personalities and get mindshare in the customer base as as someone respected, competent, and in demand. Putting you "top of mind"for when the potential client gets around to thinking about a job that needs you, is the goal. Radio stations are always looking for seasonal promotions, so you never run out of free or manufactured event opportunities. The stations get some synergy out of the extra, pro video coverage that points back to their programming, so it's a double-win.

To reach a B-to-B market, manufacturers, or marketers that need "explainer" videos or online promos... That's a different area. But there you might find an introduction by working with charities that the target company supports. If they back a 5-k run for cancer, you can make some short edited montage-like pieces for social media, and try to get them to link to it. It's a foot in the kitchen door, versus the front door, where their guard is always up and the answer is always "No, go away".

I think there's a stupendous online market these days for advocacy videos of all types and levels.


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Ned Miller
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 9, 2015 at 2:04:19 pm
Last Edited By Ned Miller on Oct 9, 2015 at 2:09:22 pm

Since you have a staff job and "supplement" your income with the side video business of Vintage, you may not have noticed and felt the disruption of our biz since The Crash. You wrote:

"For the most part, our business has been from word of mouth"

I am a producer and freelance DP. We all love referrals because they are effortless and free, however, there is an incredible amount of new, cheap competition that has entered our biz so your prospects are now inundated with video vendors, some willing to work for free or peanuts, some as a hobby, many are DIY. Unlike 20 years ago ALL companies now have "someone who does IT" and these guys are tech savvy enough to figure out how to "run camera". At my local chamber of commerce there's a not half bad producer who will do any member's video for $350! I get requests from clients asking how to get good audio into their iPads so they can do it in-house. It's now quite common for prospects to ask about my "hourly rate".

My success rate for winning cost estimates has plummeted in the last few years and when I inquire as to why they went with someone else, the answer 90% of the time is cost. There is a new paradigm of "good enough". You wrote that you are "not cheap", well good luck, that's what the market has decided: Video is Cheap.

As to drumming up your own projects by pitching ideas, I and partners have done a ton of that over the years and it's a gamble, takes a lot of lead time. You have to have an inside pipeline to the decision makers which now is nearly impossible. If you do independent video services full time there's only so many hours of the day you can market "ideas" and pitches to them but you need to find Real Paying Clients Who Are Not Cheap. That's like finding hens' teeth. Much easier said then done. So selling prospects on ideas is not a sure thing and an easy way to slowly go broke.

If you want to pump up Vintage nowadays you have to spend money on marketing: SEO services, Google Ads, a website optimized for mobile, ads on directories, direct mail pieces, blast emails, the humiliation of bidding on posts at crowd sourcing sites, be active on Linked In and learn how to use its Advance Search function, do person-to-person networking. It's a constant hustle, no more sitting back and getting "word of mouth" clients. It's now a new world of marketing for us video vendors and I have seen a decline in folks like yourself who keep a toe in the water with a side biz, perhaps for the tax write offs. We are all now competing against 25 year olds with a $3K camera and Premiere, who have zero expenses and can do a "not half bad" marketing video for $1500, which ten years ago would have been $6-$8K easily. In fact, $1500 now seems to be a magical number: One day (solo) shoot and one day edit = $1500. Anything under four minutes they don't want to spend more than that. My guess is that's an easy number to get department approval for a video spend? I get a lot of calls and emails for a video for $1500 now. Yet it may be a two day shoot, some crew members, a pro narrator and some graphics/animation, but they were told to find a video producer to "do a video for $1500." And then they have the audacity to ask if I throw in a drone. Plus they all expect two cameras now for the interviews. So obviously a freelance pro can't do it for $1500 but thanks to the crowd sourcing sites they will definitely find someone "good enough".

But I don't want to leave you depressed so here's my advice: Go only after B2B clients. Go only after execs with the keyword of Marketing in their title (that's the dept with the $!). Go only after industries that spend money on marketing like crazy (sports, pharma, financial services, etc.) Read the local business press to find out what specific local companies are growing. Go after prospects who definitely need QUALITY videos and would shoot themselves in the foot with homemade, cheap, videos such as medical device manufacturers who must create an aura of quality in their videos. Go after prospects who seem to need a steady diet of video rather than One Offs. Whatever you do, don't deal with the public or small, one man band entrepreneurs who are spending from their own wallet. Markets that used to pay well (realtors, lawyers, website videos) have gone incredibly cheap.

In sum, that's what I do, the northern suburbs of Chicago are full of pharma and health care related companies that want high quality videos, so on a slow day that's who I hit up, but just the marketing execs. Everything else is filler and getting cheaper and cheaper. I look for larger start ups (in the biz press) that are well funded because that means they're throwing money into marketing, which means videos. And don't forget hitting up marketing (not advertising) agencies since some companies won't hire us direct, they have a contract with an agency.

Last year a little before Christmas I got a call from a very large Fortune 100's marketing department and they wanted to know how much I would charge for 10 two minute, new hire vignette documentaries for college recruitment and if I could quickly submit that in writing and they would cut a PO. Sure I will! What I found out after New Years was that they had to spend down all their FY marketing budget or they would not get approved for their new year budget. My point is: target the marketing folks.

Well, I will practice what I preach until noon then it's off to the dog park. Good luck.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 9, 2015 at 3:51:18 pm

It depends on several factors:

What kind of video do you normally shoot?
What kind of video do you want or plan to shoot?
Commercial or consumer business?
Talk to your customers, find out what they like and don't.
Go through your target audience's life: what do they look for?
The idea is to target your advertising so you're not wasting time and money NOT reaching your core group.
What image are you trying to convey?
What is your current marketing?
Are you planning business changes that necessitate a change in marketing?
How is your logo? Has it been updated?
Are you hiring someone or are you doing it yourself?
How about your website? Does it have the same look as your business card, logo, website, and business identity?
Are you current sales from word of mouth, internet queries, a salesperson or marketer, your current videos?
Do you have a relevant blog your customers and clients want to read or watch?

Try to get a handle on your marketing and advertising so you have a consistent message. Confusing you customers is never a good thing. Did you know the majority of customers are sold or turned off iwithin a few seconds of seeing your logo, advertising, website or other marketing materials? Often, it has to do with basic things like color, shape, and design that you may not consider. I've spent years making logos and ads for all kinds of clients - keep it simple, aim to hit your target audience dead center and you will have the best chance of success.

Save early. Save often.

Jonathan Ziegler

http://www.electrictiger.com
520-360-8293


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Rich Rubasch
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 9, 2015 at 6:43:14 pm

SEO....have you checked your Google results with keywords that potential clients might use? Does your name come up in the top 5 results?

Google "video production madison wisconsin" and wea re fourth under the paid ones at the top (I had a client tell me they have NEVER clicked on a paid link!) Google "video editing madison wisconsin" and we are first under the paid guys (who will rarely get a click)

Get that fixed and see if the phone doesn't ring twice as much.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Ned Miller
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:26:01 pm

Rich, how do you get such great SEO?

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 11, 2015 at 9:40:59 pm

Hmmm....sort of my secret but it all has to do with the Title of the page....in the HTML code you give each page a title. Google looks here first, then looks on the page for words that match the title. Most companies just have their company name in the Title. I have an obnoxious string of keywords....each page, including each bio and portfolio page has a combination of different words in different configurations. Words in the text of the page match the title mostly.

One more tip...every JPEG element on a page can also have keywords assigned to them in the HTML code....Google looks here second.

Finally make sure you have videos on YouTube (google again) and use similar keywords on each video that match the site.

Bingo...Google love!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Roy Schneider
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:51:17 pm

Hey Y'all:
Thanks for the input. I am looking forward to working on getting my name out there a little better then I have been doing.
Thanks!

Long Live the Cow
Roy Schneider
Executive Producer
Vintage Production Group
516-659-4596


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Roy Schneider
Re: New Marketing Tips for an Old Dog
on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:48:45 pm

My SEO is terrible. I have a website, but am almost never found through it.
Roy

Long Live the Cow
Roy Schneider
Executive Producer
Vintage Production Group
516-659-4596


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