Hey everybody, just a quick post letting everybody know that the VEGAS VIDEO NETWORK is online!
The Vegas Video Network is an online broadcasting network that specializes in insider news and expert views about Las Vegas.
We built the VEGAS VIDEO NETWORK to end the struggle of finding Vegas-related video that is centrally located, professionally-produced, timely and relevant. We’re driven upon three key principles:
- An easy-to-use website
- The sophistication and live aspects of Broadcast TV
- Las Vegas experts who promote the city and are actively engaged with their viewers
We had our Launch Party last Saturday. Lots of folks in attendance, both at the studio and online (15 states, UK, Germany, Canada and Russia). It went out live (naturally) and the video of the festivities is now available as a video-on-demand file.
Please take a moment and visit the site. We’ve got a bunch of great shows lined up on the network – something for everybody.
Our first show to go live will be “Pub Crawl”, which premiers this Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7:30PM. Come by and see what we’re up to!
Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Voice’ Article: Using Live Streaming Video to Increase Website Revenue
Some time ago, Carmen Gigar, the Director of Marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, asked me to contribute an article to Business Voice, the Chamber’s monthly publication. After some email talk about what I should write about, she was very enthusiastic about teaching the Chamber’s members about the potential of Live Streaming Video productions.
As a new Chamber member myself, I just recently received the March edition of Business Voice (my first!), which includes my article. For those thinking about whether or not a Live Streaming Video production might make sense for you and your business, I’ve reprinted a copy of the article below.
Using Live Streaming Video to Increase Website Revenue
It’s interesting…websites have been around for over fifteen years…yet the websites of today aren’t performing any better than the websites of the mid-nineties. The reason? We’re still creating what amounts to a bunch of electronic brochures. And nobody cares about our electronic brochure.
Here’s the rub – the goal of every business website is the same: increase the probability of engagement with your visitor while at the same time reducing the risk of “exit” – leaving your website, and heading off to the competition. Unfortunately, the average amount of time somebody spends on a website is ONE MINUTE, and half those people leave in eight seconds or less. (Which is bad news if you have a story that takes more than eight seconds to tell.)
There’s another bit of trouble as well. It has to do with a company’s perceived approachability.
Most people think approachability is a big-company problem. And it is. But it’s actually a problem for ANY COMPANY that has a website.
Before you had a website, if I wanted to learn about your company, I’d pick up the phone and speak to somebody who had been taught how to help me understand who you are, what you do, and the problems you solve.
Today, your website acts like a brick wall. I never have to talk to an employee when deciding whether or not your business will make my short list. Instead, I’ll judge your company’s capabilities based on the 8-60 seconds I spend on your website.
It’s a Question of Impact
Instead of doing the same thing online as your competitors, ask yourself this question — Which do you think has more impact on your customers and prospects – reading about how great your company is, or seeing and hearing from the very people who make it great?
A Live Streaming Video Production (LSVP), when done correctly, delivers the kind of personal one-to-one (or one-to-many) experience that has been the cornerstone to effective sales. It will separate your company from the competitive herd and completely change your website from “brochure-ware” to a tool that accelerates the sales process.
Video + Chat = High ROI
To get the biggest return on investment, your LSVP should include both live video plus live chat. Offering both human-enables your website and breaks down the wall between you and your website visitors. Imagine how much more effective your website would be if you could interact with your viewers in real-time–answering their questions, providing advice, and establishing your credibility, not by claiming it but by demonstrating it.
LSVP: What Are They Good For?
There is a long list of ideas that would make for a great LSVP. Here’s a few of the 40+ ideas we give to our customers:
- Enhanced Webinars
- Trade Shows
- Distance Learning
- New Product Launch
- Talk Show
- Tips & Tricks
- Customer Interviews
The transformation we see when producing a professional-level LSVP is amazing. A few examples:
- Become Approachable Online: People want to buy from people they know. A LSVP human-enables your website.
- Accelerate the “getting to know you” phase of your sales cycle
- Reduce the chance of being skipped in favor of a competitor due to a lack of “connection”
- Extend Engagement Length: A LSVP gives you an opportunity to take your time and deliver a compelling, results-driven message.
- Increase time to move people from a passive need to an active need.
- Decrease risk associated with visitors only spending seconds on your website before moving on.
- Establish Credibility: Claiming your own credibility is the weakest way to establish it. A great LSVP allows you to demonstrate your expertise and credibility, the strongest way to establish it.
- Enhance perceived expertise in the eyes of your customers and prospects
- Lessen problems associated with trying to convince somebody they should work with you.
Ultimately, a great Live Streaming Video Production will allow your website to do one (or both) of the following:
- Make Your Business More Money
- Motivate Your Visitors to Take Action on Your Behalf
And when it comes to your website, wasn’t that the point in the first place?
Scott Whitney is president of PodWorx, Inc., an Internet broadcasting company that specializes in podcasts and live streaming video productions. Visit his website at www.PodWorx.com.
I’ve written a bit about the show we produce for Stronger Families, a non-profit organization that advocates for healthy marriages and strong families. The show (Stronger Families LIVE with Jeff Kemp) does an outstanding job of picking the brains of marriage experts with a variety of special skills.
We worked hard to deliver a Pay-Per-View program that added a great deal of value to our viewers, but we wanted to further extend what we could offer people in need of this kind of content AND further increase revenue.
I just got a peek at the results of one of my favorite tips for increasing the revenue brought about by any Live Streaming Video production; that is, by creating an “available-for-sale” DVD.
By working with our DVD/CD manufacturing partner (Acutrack), Stronger Families took their Pay-Per-View episodes and packaged them into this retail-quality DVD seen on the right.
For the first four episodes we produced, they plan to create two DVDs—each with two episodes.
Doesn’t this look great?!?! They did a wonderful job putting everything together and have successfully created THREE revenue streams from the Stronger Families LIVE pay-per-view production:
- Live Pay-Per-View
- Post show Video-On-Demand
Who is Buying?
What’s interesting about the DVD is an analysis of who is buying. As expected, people who attended the live event and wanted to preserve what they learned for further reference have purchased a DVD. But two other groups have been added to that first group of buyers:
- Live Pay-Per-View customers who attended
- Live Pay-Per-View customers who were unable to attend the live show
- People who missed the live event but still wanted the content
What’s great about this is that the investment in the live event will be paying dividends to Stronger Families for years.
Total Income Streams
If you add up all the income streams from this production, you’ll get a total of FIVE:
- Live Pay-Per-View
- Post-show Video-On-Demand (Non-PPV Signups)
[PPV Signups were allowed free access to the Video-On-Demand)
- PPV Attendees
- PPV Signup, Unable to Attend
- Non-PPV Signups
By adding a video-on-demand and DVD option, Stronger Families has tripled their income options for Stronger Families LIVE. Pretty nifty.
You Can Do the Same!
The key to increasing your revenue OR marketing value is to ensure you are recording your live streaming video production in such a manner as to allow for the reuse as either a high-quality video-on-demand offering or a DVD. This means that recording your live event as a FLASH video is not good enough. Be sure to record in a non-Flash format that is capable of being eventually rendered in a quality suitable for DVD.
As you can tell, I’m excited about all this. How about you? Are you considering producing a live streaming video production and adding a DVD component to the overall offering? Have you already done so? Let me know. . .I’d love to shine a flashlight on others with similar success (or concerns).
Last week was very exciting for PodWorx. While we’ve been doing Live Streaming Video productions for awhile now, at 6:30PM Pacific last Wednesday, we produced our first pay-per-view event!
The show (which is ongoing. . .we have another broadcast coming up on Thursday) is called Stronger Families LIVE with Jeff Kemp. It’s hosted by the ex-NFL quarterback and features an interview with an expert in family matters, followed by a live question and answer session between our guest and the live audience.
I’m happy to report that the show was a big success. Stronger Families saw revenue well in excess of
$1K $3k and the feedback we’ve received has been outstanding. Here’s five reasons why I think we were successful:
One of the most challenging aspects of Stronger Families LIVE (SFL) was attracting great guests to a live streaming video production that was completely unproven. We knew it would be a great show. We needed to help others discover that fact.
Stronger Families the organization had never done anything like this before. So, to establish credibility where there was none to demonstrate, our first step was to write a Joint Venture Proposal that resonated with these potential partners.
We covered many things in the proposal, to be sure. We were especially interested in explaining the problems we were going to solve using this form of broadcasting and the benefits to the partner. In our research, we knew that extending a partner’s brand awareness, providing access to an untapped audience, participation in this new broadcasting method, adding additional revenue to their bottom line and no need to travel would be interesting.
To date, 100% of the people we’ve approached have accepted our offer.
Besides a strong JV Proposal, we needed to craft an Effective Sales Page that would help potential audience members discover how SFL could assist those seeking help with their marriage.
The sales page featured a natural, unscripted video by Jeff Kemp and was followed by a sales letter written from Jeff’s perspective. It described the problems folks may be having in their marriage, what they’ve likely tried to do to make things better, and ended with our solution. Towards the bottom of the page, we made it very easy (AND OBVIOUS) how to sign up for the show.
2. More Marketing
Having a great sales page is one thing, but if nobody shows up, what good is it? To drive traffic, we relied on several online marketing techniques, but our biggest push came via E-Mail Marketing.
We crafted a series of emails that were sent out at specific intervals to introduce people to SFL. Our goal for the email was not to explain how great SFL would be. Instead, our goal was to create curiosity. From a sales perspective, a curious prospect will engage, a non-curious prospective will not. So, the tenor of our email was quick credibility establishment + curiosity creation.
Stronger Families also did a GREAT job in highlighting SFL on their Home Page. They created two different areas that feature graphics meant to drive visitors to their sales page.
They also created a series of web banners and flyers for their partners to use as additional sales/marketing content.
After bringing together all the audio and visual content needed for the show, we practiced, practiced, practiced.
This was a bit of a challenge because Jeff was not able to rehearse AT ALL until the day of the shoot. Nonetheless, we used stand-ins for both Jeff and our first Skype-based guest and rehearsed our opening, guest introduction, question and answer session, and show close. We spent hours ensuring we knew our cues, sound levels, camera angles, and chat participation methodology to ensure that when Jeff (and Stronger Families biz dev manager Noel Meador) arrived in Las Vegas, we were going to be able to focus our attention on coaching Jeff and Noel (Noel was our conduit between the chat room audience and Jeff). They were VERY IMPRESSED with the level of professionalism we displayed. . .this was no accident.
4. High-Quality Production
Starting with the two customized destination webpages we developed for SFL (one for individual audience members, one for group access), the design was clean, with no distractions that are found on your typical live streaming video environment (Ustream, Livestream, etc.) The design featured just three things:
1. SFL Branding
2. Live Streaming Video Window
3. Chat Window
The design allowed the audience to see the live video and their chat room on one screen. There was ZERO advertising, ZERO popups, ZERO distractions.
Equally important, the quality of the streaming video was outstanding. We use a robust Content Delivery Network that has over 20+ points of presence in two continents. The lag time between live and stream was about 3 seconds. The video clarity was great, as was the sound. As you can see from the video above, it looked great. When our special guest was introduced, we used directorial techniques found in broadcast television (transitions, two-shots, lower thirds, etc.).
5. Audience Engagement
To be honest, this is always a concern. I’ve done live streaming video productions where audience participation has been very high and almost non-existent. The good news is, for SFL, we were overwhelmed by questions from the audience!
This, in large part, was due to several factors:
1. GREAT CONTENT: Jeff and our special guest did a great job in delivering content that people wanted to engage with.
2. PROMOTION: We made it clear in our advertising that one of the big benefits to attending SFL was to have the opportunity to ask questions. This is an opportunity that is usually not available to the guests we booked.
3. REMINDER: I had set up a reminder prompt within the chat room to periodically send a global message in the chat room on how to ask a question.
4. PARTICIPATION: Noel, from Stronger Families, was an active participant in the chat room, acknowledging questions, interacting with those in the chat, and providing direction.
A final thought – another big bonus to our audience—one that we highlighted in our sales copy—was that they didn’t need to attend the live show to benefit from its content. A video-on-demand version of all Stronger Families LIVE episodes are being made available soon after each show is completed. We believe this was a strong motivator as well.
Have you thought about developing a live streaming video production? If so, I hope these tips are helpful to you, regardless of whether it’s a pay-per-view or no-cost production. I’d be interested in hearing what others have done to create a successful show as well. Let me know!
Why Would You Encourage Business Owners to Incorporate Podcasts and Videos into Their Marketing Strategies?
Last week, I was interviewed by Crystaltech, the company that hosts all our websites/blogs/podcasts/live streaming video productions, for their latest newsletter and blog. The interview covered a few different topics, but I felt the answer to one of the questions posed during the interview would be helpful to readers of this blog.
Why would you encourage business owners to
incorporate podcasts and videos into their marketing strategies?
My answer had less to do with podcasting and video specifically and more about the problem all websites have created. For me, rolling out a podcast/live streaming video production isn’t about how cool either of those things are. It’s about whether you recognize the problems traditional websites have created and if you are interested in solving those very same problems.
Here’s what I said in the interview. I welcome any comments!
First, I don’t think podcasting and live streaming video is a fit for every company [emphasis added]. I think a certain type of embedded video is a fit across the board, if done correctly.
That said, when considering your online marketing strategy, you first need to take a hard look at your website. Truth is, the websites of today aren’t performing any better than the websites of the mid-nineties. The reason is because we’re still creating what amounts to a bunch of electronic brochures…and nobody cares about our electronic brochures. And the numbers bear this out. The average amount of time somebody spends on a website is one minute, and half those people only last eight seconds. Unless you have a story that can be told in eight seconds, you have to figure out how to keep people engaged longer so you can speak to the problems you can solve, and separate yourself from the competitive herd.
As we say on our website, what’s really needed to increase the connection between you and your prospects is to stop producing yet another bit of written marketing collateral, and try something better–and much more impactful. You can turn the day-to-day efforts of your company into an ongoing story that gives your listeners a real sense of who you are, what you do, and how you are solving the problems facing your customers and prospects. That’s why our customers podcast.
Video, regardless of whether it’s live streaming video or on-demand, when done correctly, solves a major challenge most websites unintentionally create when it comes to a company’s perceived approachability. Remember, with a website, I never have to speak to a human. If you recognize that your employees are among your most valuable assets, not providing a window into these important people is bad business. Our customers use live streaming and on-demand video to improve their approachability in the eyes of their prospects and customers, thus shortening the sales cycle.
- Determine medical eligibility (are they physically fit enough)
- Managing fear
Simple enough. The problem is that “managing fear” is a sales objection that stops many doctors from being able to help their potential patients in the first place. This, naturally, has a negative impact on a doctor’s ability to fill his sales pipeline.
Interestingly, after a procedure has been completed, many patients announce that “it was nothing” or “it was much easier than I expected”.
A perfect example? LASIK.
Dr. Richard Rothman, the most experience LASIK surgeon in Nevada (over 30,000 procedures) and the owner of LASIK of Nevada, recognized that instead of trying to explain away that fear on his website (which, by the way, PodWorx developed), it would be more helpful for potential patients to actually see what a LASIK procedure is all about.
This coming Tuesday (6/23) at 5pm Pacific, PodWorx and LASIK of Nevada will do just that. We will present a complete LASIK procedure LIVE, via streaming video.
Featuring 104.3FM DJ “Cadillac Jack”, Dr. Rothman will pull back the curtain and show folks what the entire process is like. . .from the time Cadillac Jack arrives at his facilities, through the preparation and actual procedure, to the time he leaves, post-procedure, wearing his cool new Ray Charles sunglasses (and no longer having to wear regular glasses anymore).
And guess what? This will be covered live on 104.3FM as well!
But Wait, There’s More
Dr. Rothman has done many procedure on local DJs. One of the problems during these live remotes is that there tends to be a rush of callers listening to the show interested in getting LASIK for themselves. Occasionally, this rush of calls would overwhelm their switchboard, leaving potential patients to wait. . .and sometimes hang up.
We will solve this problem as well.
We have designed a live streaming video page that includes a simple form that folks can use to take advantage of the promotion LASIK of Nevada will be running during the live show. This way, nobody gets left out. A win for the listeners/viewers. And a win for LASIK of Nevada.
Here’s the info for the show. If you’ve been thinking about LASIK, or are even remotely interested in live streaming video, I’d check it out.
Date: June 23, 2009
Time: 5:00pm Pacific (estimated time)
Now, here’s my question to you – how can you use Live Streaming Video to remove a sales objection in your business?
p.s. Almost forgot to mention. . .guess what LASIK of Nevada will do with the video that we’ll shoot during the live event? Exactly. Use it to add fresh, entertaining and educational content to their website.
The problem with many online marketing efforts is the difficulty determining the Return On Investment (ROI). For PodWorx, our podcasts and Live Streaming Video productions are designed to help our customers do one (or both) of two things:
- Make More Money
- Motivate People to Take Action on our Customer’s Behalf
For our latest Live Streaming Video production (QBS Live Mondays), I wanted to see how (or if) the additional of this video offering would effect the performance of the customer’s email marketing efforts. Specifically, I wanted to know if adding video would lift their email open and click-thru rates.
I compared the performance of QBS Research’s May 2009 Newsletter (emailed to their list on 5/5/09) with the announcement of the QBS Live Mondays show (emailed on 5/28/09).
The company’s May 2009 Newsletter had a 17.6% open rate and a 11.8% click-thru rate. The email announcing the QBS Live Mondays live show improved both measurements:
- Open Rate: 22.9% (an increase of 30.1%)
- Click-Thru Rate: 17.1% (an increase of 44.9%)
I should note that there were other links within the email other than to the video content. Interestingly, the links to the video content accounted for 64.7% of all the click-thru within the email. In other words, close to two-thirds of all clicks went to the video links.
As I continue to measure the effectiveness of our podcasts and Live Streaming Video productions, I’ll be sure to pass that information along to everybody reading this blog. If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment below.
In the past couple of weeks, we’ve signed on two more Live Streaming Video production services clients. This recent activity, combined with the outstanding feedback QBS Research has received for the show we launched yesterday (QBS LIVE MONDAYS, an amazing sales coaching program), continues to show me that the transformation live streaming video can deliver to a company’s online sales and marketing efforts is outstanding.
That is, if your live productions is correctly deployed.
I believe that whether or not you work with PodWorx to create a professional-level live streaming video production, all great productions help my business. To that end, to educate those interested in improving their website’s contribution to their bottom line, I have scheduled another live Business Brief on live streaming video productions for this coming Thursday, June 4th, at 10am Pacific. This will be our seventh briefing since April and the feedback I’ve received has been unbelievably positive.
By attending this Thursday’s briefing, you’ll receive solid answers to these questions:
- What is Live Streaming Video?
- How does it work?
- What’s the criteria for success?
- What’s the infrastructure required?
- What are the components that make up a Live Streaming production?
- What’s the best methodology towards deploying a successful show?
I will also share with your 30 ideas that you can use for your own live streaming video production. And finally, I’ll answer your questions live, “on the air”.
$1500-$5000 Free to Those Accepted
I am going to conclude the briefing with a first-time offer: for those accepted, I will offer a one-on-one strategy session to determine how or if live streaming video would work for your company. I charge between $1500-$5000 for these sessions (depending on the engagement agreement). Please note that this will not be available to all those who attend the live business brief. There will be an application process we’ll use to select those with the best chances of success.
Sign Up Today
For the details, visit the Ask Scott Whitney microsite. Because this is an invitation-only event, you’ll need to follow the easy instructions found on the site to receive the URL and password required for participation.
Here’s a reminder of the date/time:
Date: Thursday, June 4th, 2009
Time: 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
URL: Provided upon signup
Password: Provided upon signup
See you on Thursday!
Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, Sales Managers: ‘QBS Live Mondays’ is a Great Resource to add to Your Toolkit
I have been spending much of the last few weeks preparing for our next live streaming video production. Called QBS Live Mondays with Tom Freese, this program is a twice-a-month live sales coaching program featuring five-time author, speaker and sales trainer Tom Freese.
Delivered live on the first and third Monday of the month, each show is recorded before a live online audience and features sales strategies and a live Q & A session with Tom. I have been a big believer in Tom’s sales methodology for 11+ years. . .the content is outstanding.
As you can see from the image above, the show features a host (Tom) and producer/co-host (me). What’s especially helpful for Tom is that he’s able to link into the PodWorx video production studio via remote video access. In other words, while the video content is recorded and streamed out of the PodWorx studios in Las Vegas, Tom is on the other side of the country.
If you are in any way responsible for the bottom line of your business, either directly or indirectly, I promise this is a show you do not want to miss. Tom’s sales experience is second to none. . .and the fact that he is offering this coaching free of charge is an incredible opportunity for all those who join us live or check out the archive/podcast content when time permits.
Put this on your calendar, you’ll thank me:
After many days (and late nights) of planning, designing, coding, tweaking, and testing, the brand-new PodWorx.com website is LIVE and ONLINE!
The motivation behind this project was multifaceted – I wanted to:
- deliver more PodWorx-developed content about podcasting and live streaming video productions to our expanding audience in a manner that was easy for our visitors to find and consume
- Further improve our search engine optimization efforts by taking advantage of the blog-based/CMS platform the new site uses
- Create a website/hosting environment that better facilitates the variety of embedded media we are using (and plan to use in the future)
- Eat My Own Dog Food (if I recommend and implement this type of website for our customers, I should be doing the same thing.)
Given the growing interest in podcasting and live streaming video productions, we expect the new PodWorx.com will be a valuable asset to those tasked with learning about and implementing either (or both) of these online sales and marketing techniques.
The new PodWorx.com features:
- A clear description of what PodWorx does
- A glimpse into the results podcasting/live streaming video productions are delivering for our customers
- An introduction to the Four P’s of Podcasting®
- Educational Content, including an Introduction to Live Streaming Video, How to Access Live Streaming Video, Podcast Facts and Figures, and what an Intracasts™ is
- A long list of all the shows we’ve produced
- The PodWorx/Scott Whitney Blog
- The Podcasting for Business Podcast (with premium episodes)
- Online Ordering of training content and consultation offerings
- Links to all our Social Media efforts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, StumbleUpon and YouTube)
- An embedded video introduction to our next Live Business Brief
Whew! That’s quite a list! We hope you find the new website entertaining and educational, and that you return often. And many thanks to those of you who provided feedback during the design of the website. (You know who you are!)
So, what do you think of the new website? We’re still tweaking here and there so I’d love to hear your feedback!