Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So Blog Again - I will

I am committed to continue to tell stories about Action Television | Action Media and the work we do. So this week has been spent preparing for a television show shoot in Dallas, Texas at an Edwin Watts store. We will be shooting Golf Life Holiday presented by the aforemented Edwin Watts Golf. The program will be a well rounded look at new equipment for 2012, gift ideas for golfers, tips and drills to help in the off season and some winter travel ideas to get out of the snow.

When you begin a project like this it is obviously key to have a distribution platform to work from. Fortunately, we have worked directly with the folks at FSN and Comcast Sports Net for some time and they have come to trust our programming. In fact, we started our first series just over 18 years ago and I'm excited to note that we will hit 20 years in January of 2012. So the ability to have our shows seen in key timeslots is really what makes this thing tick. I still believe anyone can do this if they put their minds to it. Television is still important and a great catalyst to everything you want to do with online, mobile and connected TV.

So back to our shoot. We will be hitting the ground on Tuesday morning and here is where the reality of cable budgets hits hard. We are going directly from the airport with the gear we are carrying and meeting up with a full crew we have never worked with to shoot at a golf course I have never seen. Now most producers would lose their minds to think of such a reality. Mine is that we do this all the time and somehow it works out. In my estimation - you must trust your instincts and have solid conversations to assess who you are hiring. Then you must clearly communicate your intentions and needs to the keeper of the location you are going to be using - in this case a golf course. My gate man is a very nice head golf professional (whose name escapes me currently) and he has chosen to shut down one hole on his course for us. Very nice of him, he has been around a while.

The real challenge in doing this type of show is to visualize the segments. Don't get trapped into one style of segment, make sure you think of different ways to get your message across. In our case - I've put together a running script that allows for a lot of interview driven segments and a few hosted pieces. As this is a half hour show - I don't want to bore my audience with a completely host driven piece. It gets too heavy with the host and becomes boring. Also in terms of production, it becomes laborious to setup the two shot all day. So use your host sparingly, more as a transitional element, than a main presenter. Let the host come in and out of the show and move things along. This works for me and makes the coordination of each segment in this show much easier to navigate.

I'll post more about this shoot later... thanks for the tune in.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Check out BrandVision Explained Video!

Here is a quick little video to help you understand how our BrandVision toolset helps your brand use video better. Enjoy!

We are happy to answer any questions following the show!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How companies can leverage video assets online

These days you hear so much about how Social Media can help your business. We know from experience that you can have some positive results if your content is targeted, using social media to communicate with your existing audience. You may even grow your audience by hundreds or even thousands. You also hear a lot about search optimization and again we have experienced how video can really help drive search online. Having a good SEO and Social strategy is important today. If you really want to have success, consider using TV as the driver to really power both of these aspects of your online strategy.

Ok – I know if you read this far you are trying to figure how TV has anything to do with Social Media or SEO. Well let me start with SEO. The success of search optimization is related to the keywords you are targeting. Obviously you know that having a well structured website and an active blog are key to growing search penetration for those keywords. More and more companies are having great success using video to also drive search. In general, the key to targeting keywords is to create content structured at capturing those searching for those words and phrases. TV can help with the content you need and help setup the search of keywords into the mentality of those watching. More on this in a moment…

Social media is a great place to engage with your audience. It’s a great place to support people and to drop promotions or offers that your social group will share. It’s also a great place to share video. We produce TV programs and video for the golf business for much of our work. And we always tell our clients in this space that it’s important to realize that social media is still quite limited when you want to grow a significant golf audience, those who are spending money in the game. The same can be true for many vertical markets, especially if you know many buyers are older. I guess the question you have to ask is if your intended audience really spend much time on Facebook and Twitter looking for your products? In reality, the numbers are still quite small in comparison to traditional media audiences.

Also small to medium size companies need to be careful to not place too many dollars into social media. Particularly when well-planned media dollars can help you have much larger reach. TV has become more accessible if you have a good plan and quality content. Let’s face it, targeted TV still has the best chance of reaching people over the age of 40 than any other
medium. In our case, good golf shows on TV provide the opportunity to embed your products in program reaching golf viewers. These viewers are folks with the expendable income to purchase golf products. In many cases you can reach hundreds of thousands instead of a few thousand people by simply using TV effectively.

This is why considering TV is so important; consider the chain of events that can really lead to success in finding customers. Content is key for success in online media, whether social, blogging, sharing to information leaders or even engagement on your own site. If you listen to most social media and web optimization firms, video is becoming very important to be successful online. Our experience is that groups who have a solid plan to produce video for TV and online distribution are going to have more success in their overall electronic marketing efforts.

The other thing to consider here is just how TV can be a catalyst for your entire strategy. Here is how it would work for you. Let’s say you have a product that has five key selling points. If you were to produce one good video on each of your selling points – you could also gain one or two good commercials from this same effort. Having someone experienced in video communication is key.

Considering you have the right team and good messaging, you could affordably produce several good videos for each key selling point. Plus you could gain a series of instructional videos in the same effort. This would allow you to release one video each month for the entire year into your social media platform and on your website. Further, you can write new blog posts about the content in your videos. One strategy we use is to create a web show with different segments every two weeks. Each show provides content that we can write about over the two weeks in our social and blog tools. In fact the scripting process for the videos will help you with content for blogs, social media posts, and updating your website. Again the TV process is helping drive the social engagement platform and our web content.

So the question is where can you place TV advertising and gain success? There are several good options out there. First, consider placing your new commercials in key golf markets through spot cable. Comcast Spotlight can provide your company an affordable way to test your spots on News or Business channels into key markets. You can even get affordable ROS spots running during MLB on networks like FSN and Comcast Sports Net. Here’s the thing, if you now have great video content, it is easy to test different messages and pricing to see what is working best.

There are also good regional programs that can help you reach your audience with solid TV spots. Again if you have great video from the above-mentioned efforts, many of these programs will consider using your videos inside the shows. This is especially true if the video is informative with high quality. I can tell you having produced 200+ hours of TV shows over the past 20 years Action Television is always interested in good content we can write into our shows. Plus, these programs can provide a lot of reach and penetration with plenty of frequency to get your message across. For example, we have a show here in Colorado called Best Golf Colorado that runs in prime timeslots and does very well with reach because it is targeted to the market. There are good shows in a lot of the key markets in the US.

There are also a few independent national programs that have extensive television reach and established online penetration. Shows like Golf Life, the national golf series we produce for FSN and Comcast Sports Net, can guarantee an audience of well over 500,000 golf viewers through each episode. These shows reach large golf audiences through consistent airtimes and upwards of ten to twelve repeats of the show. If your product is featured and you develop a social media enticement, you now have a chance of getting direct sales. At minimum the TV message can help grow traffic to your social platforms that can become customers through further efforts.

One additional benefit of a solid TV plan is that you can redistribute video from your television production that can be used online to help grow your search engine optimization. Some of these shows like the aforementioned Golf Life have very well established video channels targeting golfers on places like iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Apple TV, Roku, Vimeo, AOL, Yahoo and Google Video. Your informational videos or how to videos using your products can be posted to these online golf video networks with your keywords. These leading sites help you grow your search ratings if done correctly. In many cases you can leverage a media buy on the TV programs to gain additional reach within the online offerings. This can also be done with print media purchases, where print media firms have solid online video options as part of a print package.

So consider that a solid TV plan and production of great informative video content can really help you across all of your online content needs. Start with good content and your social and online marketing strategies will work much better. We would be happy to discuss how we apply these strategies for many leading companies who we have worked with recently.