Quiet on the set Put your ad on the map with Google and YouTube

Posted by tom klein April 18, 2008 at 7:00 am

Not everyone’s ready to spend millions on TV ad production and media. There’s a new alternative.

Now you can embed a YouTube video into a Google map. When your potential customers find you through Google, they can watch a video that describes your business. Here’s an easy to follow example for a San Francisco bakery.

Ideally, you have already gone ahead and set up your business in Google maps, so prospects can find you easily. If so, here’s what you need to do: simply upload your videos to YouTube and ensure that the ‘embed’ option is turned on. Then, associate your video to your business listing through the Local Business Center.

For the cost of a simple YouTube video recording, you can ensure that web searchers find your video that explains in glorious detail why they should buy from you.

We talked about this capability earlier (see the article You goob!), but it was limited to Google Earth - an application with a much smaller following than Google Maps. This is just a natural step forward and another push for everyone to get smarter about video.

Do you sell a product or service that’s difficult to explain? Want to really communicate how you’re different in a way that sells? Looking for that extra edge against your competitors? Here’s an easy to use, free tool that’s just waiting for you. Get going.


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  TV is good for you Publish video in a custom player with Brightcove

Posted by tom klein April 11, 2008 at 7:00 am

Thinking about creating some great videos to share on your site? That’s a great idea. The tough question that surfaces . . . what sort of video player should you use?

When it comes to video publishing, Brightcove offers a service you might consider. It makes it easy for you to upload and manage your video library using a web-based video platform. With so many video players, it’s easy to think that they’re all the same. However, you should consider customizing the video player. Brightcove makes it easy to customize their video player templates, giving you the ability to control everything from the video player branding to the design of the user experience.

Check out CampJam videos for an example of what a Brightcove video player can do for you. Now you can go forth and video with reckless abandon.

This system also lets you monitor online video metrics to optimize what you show your site visitors. Options range from dashboard summaries to detailed traffic and transaction data. Even when it’s video, it’s still the web (and everything is trackable).

You know how people become complete zombies when you play a video or turn on a TV? Well, this same mesmerizing effect can now take place on your website. Buy a video camera if you have the dough and start experimenting. It’s usually the most powerful way to get your point across.


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  Newton would be proud Upload and share short videos with Flickr

Posted by tom klein April 10, 2008 at 7:00 am

Digital cameras have been able to record short snippets of reasonably high quality video for years. The question has always been, what on earth to do with them.

Flickr video is a new service for premium Flickr account holders that lets you upload and share short video clips (no longer than 90 seconds). Short, yes, but certainly enough time to demo your products or include a video testimonial on your site. If you want to get fancy, you could even add a little music and a nice introduction- a handy feature that Flickr includes.

What’s really nice about Flickr’s video integration is that it lets you organize your photos and videos in one premium service. The service treats videos like “long photos”- they appear beside photos on your Flickr page and can be embedded in your website or blog. Flickr videos can show up on RSS Feeds and photostreams too. Start recording – not just snapping.

Developers can utilize Flickr as the underlying platform for media-rich sites that need to incorporate both photo and video content. If you want an easy way to integrate a video and image gallery in a site, this new capability can help you bring everything together.

Flickr has a die-hard following and is regarded as one of the best online photo sharing applications (it’s part of that purple-loving company named Yahoo!). Loyalty to the true photo-enthusiasts and improving user experience is their driving force here- not taking on video giant, Google’s You Tube.


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  Domo arigato Convert images into widgetized slide shows with Animoto

Posted by tom klein March 18, 2008 at 2:30 am

Ever experience the torture of watching someone’s vacation slide show? While we all love great images, we love them more when they’re put to music.

Enter Animoto. It’s a tool that lets you take images (maybe that you have on Flickr, as we discussed in Do these make me look fat?), then choose some music (either provided or uploaded by you), and then converts the whole mix into a widgetized video. These videos aren’t just the Ken Burns effect over and over and over again (enough already!). Each one is unique, timed to the music you’ve selected.

If you have photos of your products, your customers, or anything related to your business and want a mini “music video,” here’s the bargain basement way to make it. The 15-second version is free … and once you’ve created it, you can use their tools to post it just about anywhere (Facebook, Blogger, etc.).

Animoto presents a remarkably easy way to take simple images and convert them into what might actually pass for music video like advertising. Creating a 30-second video is free, but longer ones cost $3 each (or $30 for an unlimited annual subscription).

If you’re looking to connect with a young target, consider combining brand images with cool music to make your brand more relevant. Even Quaker Oatmeal images set to electronica can start to seem cool.



  Just shoot it Sell with video on eBay with Vzaar

Posted by tom klein March 13, 2008 at 2:30 am

You knew it had to happen. It was just a matter of when.

Here’s an easy way to integrate videos into eBay – a service called Vzaar. You might think, why not just embed a video from YouTube. Here’s why – videos from Vzaar’s video player are made to be used on eBay. It will link directly to the bidding tool, incorporate the user’s feedback rating, and even show how much time is remaining in the auction. Vzaar is able to do this because it’s been accredited by eBay (and therefore gains special access).

If you want a little box at the top of your eBay listing to help drive your auctions higher or to close your “buy it now” deals, just sign up, upload your video, and get going. Oh, and don’t forget, it’s free, so you’ve nothing to lose.

Vzaar has integrated pretty closely with eBay to offer this service. In fact, to take advantage of it, you will need to sign in to your eBay account, and in turn provide authorization to place your videos on your listings.

When it comes to using video to sell, the usual eBay rules tend to apply. Highlight the faults or drawbacks of whatever you’re selling, don’t turn into P.T. Barnum. This is the best way to build the confidence of your potential buyer.


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