Producing and Selling Special Interest Videos
Esta es la segunda parte del articulo Pruducing and “Selling Special Interest Videos” escrito por Kim Miller. La primera parte la pueden encontrar en la ediccion de Octubre-Noviembre de Punto Magazine.
This is the second part of the article “ Pruducing and Selling Special
by Kim Miller. The first part is also available on the
October-November EDITION Punto Magazine.
October-November EDITION Punto Magazine.
How has the internet changed the industry?
When I started in this industry, the primary way you reached your customers was through distributors, catalog publishing and direct mail campaigns. The former eats into your profit margin and the latter two are very expensive and prohibitive for the small producer. The internet has leveled that playing field. With the advent of internet marketing, i.e., email, SEO, blogging, pay-per click advertising, and social media, there are much more economical and new marketing avenues for the small producer.
Now about 98% of our orders come in online. Many of them arrive overnight or while we’re away from the office. We rarely have to talk to a customer, although we maintain a toll-free number. When you offer downloadable products, it gets even better! The customer gets the video immediately and you get payment directly into your bank account with no time or money spent packaging, shipping or handling.
The internet also changes the way you can research and reach your target market.
Although it takes commitment, time and work to producing and selling your own videos, the key to being successful is to pick the right topic, have a well-targeted audience and a good marketing strategy.
How do I pick the right topic?
Word of caution: do NOT start planning your production until you’ve DONE SOME RESEARCH. I can’t stress this enough. You are going to be spending a lot of time and manpower in your video production and marketing efforts and speaking from experience, nothing is more discouraging than having your dream production not sell.
First you need to research your idea. If you already have an idea in mind, great, you can go to the next step. If you don’t have an idea, I recommend taking out a pen and paper and start brainstorming. Ask yourself questions such as what are your hobbies, your interests? What do you know about your area of expertise? What problems do you know how to solve? Do people ask you if you know of a video on a certain subject? These are just a partial list of questions to ask yourself. The key here is to get your creative juices flowing. Make sure you write all of these down.
Next, brainstorm every person, group, business, organization that you think would want to watch and buy this DVD. Be specific here. For example, if you wrote down that you know how to keep your plants from getting eaten by deer, write down all the people and groups that struggle with that problem you know how to solve, like nurseries, gardeners, etc. These will be your target markets. The point of this exercise is to determine if you can identify and reach your potential customers.
After that, research each target market. Then research specific niches within that market. Find websites, publications, newspapers, etc., already marketing to each of your potential target markets. Read what they offer. Write these down. You want to find possible competitors, joint venture partners and resources where you can market to in the future. Find out if the market is saturated already with similar products. You need to find out if there are already competing titles out there. Better to know now, before you invest the time and expense to produce your video.
Talk with members of this group – ideally, face-to-face, if possible. Ask them questions about their problems , interests, passions – what do they want? Listen for what they complain about because these will define what products you offer. Take complete notes. NOTE: your goal at this point is to listen and not try to sell to them…that will come later.
Then choose one target market and go further and choose the one niche within that market that you will be able to deal with.
Resist the urge to have more than one target market…at first. Once you’ve successfully sold to one group and your systems are in place, THEN you can branch out and service more related target markets. But in the beginning, make your life easy – stick with one niche. Picture a dartboard. You want to start at the bulls-eye and work your way out. The bulls-eye also happens to be where the highest points, i.e., profits, are as well.
Provide a title that people want and will pay money for in order to be successful. You want to become a big fish in a small, accessible pond – not a small fish in a big, crowded pond. The more you refine this, the better, especially if you plan on selling and marketing your videos yourself.
What Do I Produce? How Are These Productions Different From Others?
With any SIV production, it is good to have a plan in place first. You should think about how your final video will look, its style, then write down all the steps that will be involved. Some of the steps you need to think about are: determining the breadth and depth of your content, your budget, shooting locations, crew, script writing, shooting permits for locations, usage rights, storyboard, packaging, delivery methods…the list goes on. Trust me, the more you are organized in this area, the easier it will be.
Another key decision you will make is on the style and format you feel will best match your topic and audience. The style you choose for your SIV production will determine the level of difficulty, equipment required, time involved and cost. For example, an SIV can be made from taping a seminar, workshop, etc. This level of production is usually simple, and probably requires the least amount of specialized equipment and production experience. But you still need to work on ensuring good audio. Lighting in many of these circumstances can be a nightmare if you are not able to control this during the presentation.
Or your production can be a simple tutorial or training video where you follow someone through a process, documenting their actions. This can be done very simply as well.
When you start adding elements such as voice over narration, on-camera narrator, re-enactments, dramatic settings and lighting, this increases the complexity.
Dramatic presentations usually are the most difficult, requiring talented actors, a director, lighting and sound crew. You will need a good script and possibly a storyboard. You will also need to be a good director. While these types of productions are many videographers dream, you don’t have to go this far to have a title that sells well.
Although you don’t need to use costly production techniques to produce a successful video, you should pay attention to some your audio and lighting quality. There is no excuse for bad audio in an SIV. After all, half of good video is sound. Also adding good light to any production will greatly improve the visual quality, even outdoors.
One final note, do not use ANY copyrighted material without permission! This should be truly your own creation. You can’t make much profit if you have to remove your video from distribution due to a copyright or usage issue.
How do you market?
If you are going to set up an eCommerce site, you will need to drive customers to your site. I’ve learned the hard way that just because you put a website out there, doesn’t mean droves of people will find it and come running. As in your video service business, you have to advertise and promote your website and your product line.
Marketing to a potential customer is not that different from marketing to a video service client. You can use all avenues, such as advertising, networking, PR, etc., but to make it the most effective you have to keep this key marketing concept in mind. You need to do is step into the customer’s shoes and ask, “why would I buy it?” You need to sell the benefit of watching the DVD and answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” It’s what gets people excited about buying your video.
For example, your video is on an innovative technique you discovered on losing weight and you have outlined your target market. But before you start marketing, think about this; the people in this market aren’t really buying losing weight. What they want is the BENEFITS of losing weight – i.e., they look good, they feel good, their health improves, etc. So, keeping that in mind, when you write a benefit, you can work in both the problem and the solution your video provides. For instance your copy can read:
Frustrated because the scale has been stuck at the same number for MONTHS no matter WHAT you do? In this DVD, you’ll learn my secret for smashing through that plateau and getting back on the weight loss track.
See how this is much more powerful and enticing than copy that focuses strictly on the features of what is included in the video, such as stating this is an exercise video that is an hour long.
If this article has excited you and you want to produce and sell videos, today’s market and delivery trends definitely make it easier for you than in the past. Video has exploded on the market and I feel that the reason it holds such a dominant place in our society because it is a powerful way to learn and experience the world. In fact, I’ve read recently that one-third of the population are visual learners. Given that, and the fact that engaging all senses in the education process greatly enhances learning, may explain why many people would rather watch a video than read a book. That you can now reach your audience more quickly, economically and profitably presents fabulous opportunities for you to get started in the non-fiction video publishing business today.
Kim Miller is an award winning video producer and co-owner of Panorama Studios in Cambria, CA. Also, along with her husband/partner, she runs several successful internet businesses, selling videos, books and information products. She helps other videographers get started in video publishing at her website, HowToSellYourVideos.com. If you’re excited about the possibilities, sign up for your FREE access to “How To Sell Your Videos Starter Kit.” You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.