All of the blogs I’ve written so far are designed to help someone making their own video for the first time, and this one will be no exception. However, I’m not going to offer any advice on production but instead I’m going to stop and consider what we do with our videos once they’re made. How do we get them seen? How do we use them when contacting potential customers?
Some of my colleagues have written excellent articles about social networking and placement of videos on the web. So Instead I’m going to consider a few alternatives.
The good old fashioned business card has a lot going for it. When you give one to someone they feel like they’ve gotten a gift, it means something, and they have a physical object to remind them that you made contact. What if that business card is a tiny business card shaped DVD? DVDs, of course, can have menus, additional data, games, as well as video content. Imagine the possibilities.
What if your business card has a QR code on it that will take your customer straight to your video, but still has your contact details on the other side? Would that be a more personal form of contact that allows you to use the power of video, with people who are still reluctant when it comes to digital content?
Then what about physical displays? You can play your video on a loop on a screen in your premises, or your shop window, or on a smartphone or a tablet when talking to your customer, or perhaps you can pull out a pico projector (linked to your smartphone by bluetooth) and project your video all over your customer’s wall. That would make quite an impact. How about mounting a floor projector in your shop/premises so that your video content is projected all over the floor people walk on? Or projecting onto the outside of your building at night? Do you remember FHM magazine projecting an image of Gail Porter onto the houses of parliament in the 1990s?
Of course you can always optimise your video for the web so that it is small enough to look good, but be easily transmitted, and email it to customers. This can often be construed as spam and therefore be off putting to customers who have not requested the video, so it’s something that needs to be done with care. Easier still is just to email a link to a hosting site where you have your video. BUT, what if your video is made with interactivity in mind and you’re inviting your clientele to take your video and re-edit or just play with it? You need to be able to distribute the video file in these circumstances.
And what about the future? Those of us now heading for middle age are acutely aware of just how fast technology changes. In the last 5 years mobile web access has become ubiquitous, in the last 10 years home broadband has spread to almost every home. Read this BBC news article from November 2000 to remind yourself how much things have changed.
E-paper utilises e-ink to create a page of text or an image on a page. Power is only used when the image changes. You’ve probably already seen it used in a Kindle or similar book reader. There are already prototypes of e-paper that plays video in colour. Imagine covering the wall of your front from with wallpaper that changes colour and pattern whenever you want it to? Then imagine that it replaces your television. Now imagine covering your car or van with the same stuff. “I’ll drive a red car today please… no actually I’ll make it blue” or better still play videos on your car doors as you drive a long… that may prove a bit distracting and irritating, but this world is coming. Shop windows that are now covered in vinyl images to advertise their wares will soon be covered in transparent e-paper, which can display any message, and then play any video content.
Maybe now is the time to do something a bit different and get ahead of the curve before everyone else is doing it too. Video will be everywhere, the thing is to get used to making yours now. Most people won’t be able to make their own videos to the standard they need and will have to hire outside production companies, but this is becoming more and more affordable for small & medium sized companies. Maybe now is the time to start using the power of video to sell your business, so that when the ubiquitous video world arrives, it will already be part of your business plan.