RSS Birmingham is a website created by Scott Wilson that profiles people and businesses in the Birmingham area. Each article is designed to focus on the positive things happening within the Birmingham community. Recently, Scott honored me with the opportunity to be featured on his website. We sat down for about a thirty-minute interview, during which time I discussed Red Fox Media, my thoughts on running a digital production business, the challenges I face, and my opinions and practices on using social media. You can read the entire interview and listen to the audio here.
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I believe the next big thing with regards to online video is interactivity. Companies are already starting to explore how they can use interactive videos to enhance their brands and bolster customer engagement. In essence, an interactive video is comparable to the old choose-your-own-adventure books. Click-able items within the video allow viewers to determine the outcome of a particular story, or affect the video in some way. Retailers can insert links within videos to take viewers directly to a products page where they can purchase the items featured in the video. The fashion company French Connection has embraced interactive video by creating a custom YouTube channel and uploading short episodes with links back to their website where people can buy the clothes seen in the episode. For inspiration on how you can use interactive video for your own marketing efforts, take a look at this article, “10 Incredible Interactive YouTube Videos.”
If you are a video editor, whether amateur or professional, no doubt you have encountered projects containing a wide variety of video assets. Sometimes these assets can come to you on PC-formatted hard drives or Mac-formatted hard drives. It’s your job, as the editor, to pull all of this material together into a cohesive whole. If you work on a PC and find yourself having to work with files stored on a Mac-formatted hard drive, might I suggest MacDrive from Media Four. After purchasing and installing the software, you will be able to view files on your PC from any Mac disc and/or drive. You can also partition and format for the Mac directly on your PC. And if you run Windows on your Mac, this software allows you to access the Windows files from within the Mac OS. It certainly makes workflow much easier if you have to work between platforms on a consistent basis.
Your online video is finally complete. Congratulations. Now you need to distribute it. YouTube is still the most well-known of the video hosting sites, but there are dozens more you should consider taking advantage of, if you want to create a large footprint for your brand. Of course, uploading one video to dozens of different sites is time consuming, which is why a service like TubeMogul is so appealing. With TubeMogul, you can upload your video once and the site will distribute that one video to several different video and social networking sites. TubeMogul also provides analytics for your videos so you can evaluate how each one is performing. Also remember to upload those same videos to your own website. Gaining a solid viewership on sites like YouTube and Vimeo is great, but the ultimate goal of any online video campaign is to drive traffic back to your site where you can encourage the visitor to purchase from your business, get involved with your non-profit, or hire your company.
I continue to be amazed at the ways in which brands can use video to get their message out to their audience. As mobile video continues to rise and the demand for video content increases, video producers are creating content at a rapid pace. And they are finding ways to exhibit it in new and creative ways. Take, for example, the iPad t-shirt. The shirt, which retails for around $50, has a clear pouch in the front which allows an individual to insert his/her iPad. This essentially turns the wearer of the shirt into a walking billboard. Artists can use it to show off their work or advertise an upcoming show. Brands can use it to display mobile advertisements. Bands can use it to advertise their latest single, or upcoming shows. Animators, graphic artists, illustrators, etc. can use it to show off a portfolio. Video producers can show off their demo reel. I don’t know how popular this shirt will become, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see brands paying individuals to walk around with these iPad t-shirts. Say good bye to the sandwich board.