By Andy Zimmerman published July 14, 2010

Getting Started with Multimedia Marketing

As we all know, the Internet has enabled a wide range of marketing channels and methods. And ever since YouTube burst onto the scene in 2005, online video has become one of the leading methods for distributing marketing content.

ReelSEO.com reports that in the course of 2009, the percentage of small businesses incorporating video into their websites shot from 5% to nearly 20%. Many experts believe that before long, video will be as prevalent on the web as text! The phenomenon isn’t all that hard to believe. Studies show that we retain about 20% of what we see – double the retention rate for hearing alone. But what happens when we combine voice and visuals? Our retention rate skyrockets to 65%!

So if you’re not currently using video in your marketing mix, now is the time to consider the best ways to integrate it. Here are five easy steps to do it the right way.

Share expertise, don’t sell

As tempting as it is, you must avoid simply uploading a series of sales pitches. Use multimedia marketing as a way for potential customers to get an appreciation for the value you or your solution brings. This means providing “bite-sized” pieces of interesting, engaging, and useful information to your viewers. Check out the “Learning Content” area on myBrainshark.com to see a variety of examples of how people are doing just this…with short, informative and educational online multimedia presentations.

Use exceptional content

Because you’re sharing small “bites,” remember they need to be tasty morsels. The impact of each piece of content needs to be significant and the quality high! You need to hit your viewers with high impact content that oozes expertise and know-how, so that potential customers are compelled to learn more. Think of reeling your audience in the same way a trailer does for a major motion picture. They don’t show the whole movie, but rather just a couple cool explosions or funny quips. You get the idea….

Utilize your own market research

A great way to figure out what content to put into multimedia form is to first gather feedback on some written content. Write a series of short articles (around 500 words each) on topics pertinent to your solution or area of expertise and then publish them on a few popular article sites. Then check which are the most popular and take those and turn them into multimedia presentations. Pay close attention to the comments viewers leave on your published content. And while you’re at it, be sure to address them. Use the comments section as a platform for reshaping subsequent releases and respond positively to both praise and criticism with comments of your own. This shows people you care and that you take a personal interest in the topics you cover.

Embrace social media

If you can get your content into the social media stream, it has the potential to reach countless numbers of viewers. But it’s not just about getting a text message out there; it’s about ensuring your message is seen, heard and retained, which makes multimedia especially important. Some ideas:

  • Embed or link to video content in your blog posts.
  • Include a link to your video or presentation in your Tweets
  • Upload and share it with Twitvid if you have the video.
  • Attach links to videos on your status updates on LinkedIn and Facebook by simply entering the URL for your hosted video or presentation. Both services will grab relevant data like a thumbnail image, title and description for you.

Get paid!

An effective online video marketing program will certainly help the bottom line. But what if, in addition to increasing your sales, you could also directly monetize your content as well? If your content is professional, relevant, and educational, there are opportunities out there for you to put a price tag on it and generate a new revenue stream. Scribd.com, for example, lets you sell articles and e-books online and myBrainshark.com lets you sell on-demand presentations and videos. Imagine making money from something you should be doing anyway. Marketing can pay!

On a final note, one of the most important things you can do in the whole process is to stay committed. Don’t be discouraged if your video marketing efforts don’t immediately drive new business. Treat each video and promotion technique as a learning experience and keep iterating and improving. With enough trial and error, you will eventually figure out what resonates the most and what drives results for your business.

Author: Andy Zimmerman

Andy is the VP & GM of myBrainshark.com, a leading multimedia presentation creation and hosting solution and a sponsor of the Content Marketing Institute. Prior to Brainshark, Andy was SVP of Sales & Marketing at Theikos, a leading Salesforce.com partner (now part of Astadia Consulting), where he helped drive its rapid growth and launched multiple sales-related software products. Andy earned his BA from Brown and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Follow him on Twitter @mybrainshark.

Other posts by Andy Zimmerman

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