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Putting the V In AV Marketing

Oct 9, 2009 12:13 PM, By Don Kreski

Why you should use video in your online marketing program.


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Jeremy Cleek, director of Tightrope Creative, does postproduction work on Tightrope’s inhouse videos for Carousel, its browser-based digital signage system, and CableCast, a TV station automation system.

Jeremy Cleek, director of Tightrope Creative, does postproduction work on Tightrope’s inhouse videos for Carousel, its browser-based digital signage system, and CableCast, a TV station automation system.
Photo: Amber Ward

With our industry tied so heavily to video display, you might expect video to play a prominent role in AV marketing programs. Not so. It’s rare that an AV contractor, dealer, staging company, or even a manufacturer produces any video materials.

Yet there are many reasons to consider video production.

“One good reason is that video can help you build a presence in the search engines, especially Google,” says Tim Grant of web optimization firm lunavista communications. “We’ve had great results with online videos.”

“A picture is worth 1,000 words,” says Steve Israelsky, vice president of sales and chief marketing officer for Tightrope Media Systems. “It was easier and more effective to create videos that show what our products do than to work in any other medium.”

“We have had nothing but success from our video program,” says Kip Davis, president of Audio Video Systems (AVS), an AV integrator based in Angola, Ind., that works mostly in residential markets. “Not only do the videos drive people into our business, but we can tell exactly who has seen them because they ask very specific questions about our work and what we can do for them.”

A great way to show what you do

According to Israelsky, Tightrope Media got started with video production in order to explain its two core products: Carousel, a browser-based digital signage system, and CableCast, a TV station automation system.

“We had found that it’s hard for a person to understand all that Carousel can do by reading about it,” he says. “So we created a beautiful 3-minute video called ‘Carousel in Action.’ If people watch this video, either on our website or during a dealer presentation, they instantly understand what it’s capable of and how they can use it.”

Tightrope went on to create several more short videos explaining the basics of its CableCast product plus longer training videos explaining CableCast and Carousel in detail. “We know from our site reporting package that a large number of people watch these videos, including many who do not own the products but are using the training videos to get detailed information about how they work,” Israelsky says.

Davis says he decided to produce the AVS videos—a series of nine 5-minute segments explaining the basics of residential AV, security, and other systems, including central vacuum—to provide something for the builders he works with to hand out to potential clients. “We produced a DVD that explained things that potential buyers were intrigued about so they could learn about them in their own homes without pressure,” he says. He also included a large number of photos of jobs his company has done. “Most of the time, people can’t visualize what they want because they really don’t know what they want,” he says. “But nine times out of 10, someone will see a picture and say, ‘That’s it.’”

Once AVS had the videos, the company used them to redesign its website (avsinstall.com) and made them extremely prominent there. The videos actually reside on YouTube, but they play within a window on the site. That helped in two ways: AVS’s web provider could house the company website on a server with a slower connection because YouTube handled the videos, and AVS gained viewership from people searching YouTube and Google.



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