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Apple And Rich Media Production

January 31st, 2012 by Seth Kenvin

Some enticing tools for beautiful content, and some striking oversights

Apple’s launch of iBooks Author ups the ante for what’s achievable in content creation. It appears to be a fluid and elegant tool for bringing together text, animation, video, images, audio and interactivity. Certainly seems more fluid and elegant than my use of WordPress right now to craft this blog post. Providing environments for content creation, we at Market7 are pleased by enhancement of how people can extend rich, media-based experiences to other people. Yet, the iBooks Author launch also exposes several areas that could be improved:

  • There is the well covered limitation of distribution techniques via iTunes and to iPad devices for consumption. It is indeed ironic to leverage technological advances in order to elegantly bring multiple types of media together, and then unnecessarily restrict how the results can be consumed.
  • Collaboration is vital in bringing together substantial works, and especially in mixed media situations because of the varieties of skills and perceptions related to the different kinds of content, but currently collaborating on iBooks Author requires saving and sending files for teammates to work on in isolation.
  • While iBooks Author may be great for bringing media together, it’s more for high-level assembly of content built in other applications, and is not a comprehensive or consistent suite for the different types of content in isolation. Granted this is an unfair criticism of a new environment sure to take on more context and deeper functionality over time, but this tool coming from Apple does cast highlight on the fact that the same company has gutted its Final Cut franchise that had emerged as the leading environment for accessible work on video content, and that never seemed to benefit from the same stewardship prioritizing great usage experience that seems clear in the results of Apple’s newest applications.

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You Have Great Content – Get It On Video!

September 30th, 2011 by Brian Baumley

Using Video To Bring Existing Content To Life For Marketing

Marketing teams in companies of all sizes are faced with the constant challenge of keeping website content fresh, finding new ways to connect with and engage visitors, and creating recurring site visits.

There are some tried and true techniques, many of which focus on keeping content fresh. This often means creating newsletters from scratch, running a blogging program, writing white papers – you name it. But sometimes, getting this new content created can be a tall order. Usually, a team has to decide what the content will be, who will create it, what the messaging will be, deadlines, and on and on. This is a necessary evil in most cases, but it doesn’t have to be the only way content gets cooked up by your company.

Your company could well be sitting on content you don’t know exists. And video can help bring it to life.

Speaking Engagements

Companies of all sizes often participate as speakers at various industry events. A lot of time and energy is poured into creation of presentation content, rehearsing and travel. Only to have content reach the end of its life as soon as the event ends. To let the content live on and reach many more people, hire a local videographer to come record your presentation. Be sure to get the event organizer’s permission. Most will be fine with this or have their own videographer from which you can buy a copy of your session. Finding a local videographer is as easy as doing a Google Maps search. You’ll have many choices in most major cities. And you’ll probably only end up sending hundreds.

Customer Presentations

If you have a standard customer presentation that could translate well to your larger customer base, take the time to get it on video. Sure WebExes and in-person presentations are sometimes preferred, but consider whether the content you’re sharing could just as easily translate to a video session that can be shared with your customer. Keeping in mind how many times one company might give the same presentation over and over, what’s one more time to get it on video when you can completely control the message? Also great for certain startup fundraising activities.

Give More Context to Website Content

A white paper or brochure will serve its purpose, but consider the additional context you can provide by having a company exec introduce it with video. The video could also help to market the written content via YouTube, Twitter, in a company newsletter, etc.

Reach Remote Workers with Company News

This doesn’t really fit in the “reach your customer” category, but still makes good use of video for communication. Many companies, of all sizes, hold “all-hands” meetings to talk about major company initiatives, progress, challenges, etc. These companies also usually have scattered workforces who either don’t attend the meetings or are forced to listen in via teleconference, which is a less than ideal experience. Capture these meetings on video and stream it online in real-time or post the raw footage immediately following the meeting so remote workers can stay in the loop.

Customer Events/Parties

Many companies hold customer events or parties for customers. Want to help grow attendance? Capture some fun moments on video and create a montage that can be shared. Even if you’re not throwing Sean Parker-style parties, yours are probably still appealing to your base and showing them what they’re missing might help ensure they make it next time they get an invite.

Tradeshow Demos

It’s always helpful to be able to read about a product on a website. But seeing it in action adds a whole new level of understanding and engagement. When your videographer is done recording your company exec speaking at an event, have them head over to your booth to capture some live product demos that can be put up on the Web.

As always, not all of these ideas are for every company. But when you’re thinking about new ways to engage with customers or create fresh content, keep in mind that you may already have what you need waiting to be caught on video!

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Long Tail Programming I Saw Promoted Today At NATPE

January 27th, 2010 by Seth Kenvin

There’s An Audience For Everything

  • Religiously oriented mixed martial arts competition
  • Kids learn simple & safe cooking from talking appliances
  • Documentary footage of the world’s largest house of horrors
  • A world-trekking scuba diver who celebrates local alcoholic spirits
  • Home makeover emphasizing reduction of toxicity
  • Women in bikinis swimming through mud-swamps in Germany
  • Roadtrip of 3 boys with a chef who dictates quality food (no junk) they must eat

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Market7 CEO Champions Better Video Production On Spidvid Podcast

October 22nd, 2009 by Brian Baumley

Seth Spills Some Video Collaboration Knowledge On The Spidcast

Spidvid founder Jeremy Campbell recently asked Market7 founder Seth Kenvin to participate in brand new podcast series Spidcast. Hop over to the Spidcast site to check out the pretty in depth interview covering the genesis of Market7, Seth’s philosophies on the collaborative video space and what challenges/opportunities are coming down the road. Warning: Seth’s vocal chops get seriously upstaged by those of great interviewer Michael London.

Hear a portion of the interview: [Spidcast interview snippet], or listen to the entire interview here.

Lastly, Spidvid themselves have some pretty cool thoughts around collaborative video efforts and you should definitely take a look at what they’re up to as well.

PS – Hey, nice to meet you all. I’m M7’s faithful PR guy and you’ll hear from me every now and then with updates like these moving forward!

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Quit Being a Player, Start Being a Manager

November 5th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

Independent producers in this economic client are facing some tough challenges. Much like a once storied ballplayer whose career is in twilight. What should this great player do? Become a manager!

That was the major theme from Philip Hodgetts session on the future of Web Video Business Opportunities here at the DV Expo. Philip (recently reclassified from “resident alien” to “resident” – congratulations Philip) is a prolific blogger, speaker and author on a variety of independent producer topics.

Philip had some great advice on where the market for independent producers is heading and how producers should reframe their mindset as entrepreneurs. According to phillip, our focus as content producers should be on creating business opportunities (Manager) rather than waiting for opportunities to present themselves (Player). Managers study the tape for upcoming games. Locating niche opportunities to exploit (audiences hungry for content on a specific topic).

The player just waits at the plate for the pitch: The producer calling upon an agency or enterprise to see if there was commercial opportunity (“Have any work for me?”).

The manager anticipates the pitch and puts the right leverage at the plate to create an opportunity: Create content around a niche interest, develop an audience and leverage the value (“Wait until you see what I have for you!”).

Yes, this is more difficult but it’s also more lucrative. You are cutting out the intermediaries that might suck the profitability out of your hard work. Also, you get compensated for recognizing a trend rather than waiting for someone else to ask you to act on it. Who do you think will come to come to next time?

And if you have trouble finding someone interested in your idea, you can always monetize it yourself (10 to 99 cent range). If you have chosen wisely, you have content that people want and will pay for. The “Big Hit” will continue to decline and the long tail (niche content) will continue to rise. Additionally, how and when content is consumed will diversify along with storytelling formats.

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Pixar Loves a Good Story and So Should You

June 27th, 2008 by Shannon Newton

We took the kids to Pixar’s WALL-E tonight and it reminded me of the importance of a good story in every bit of content. (BTW, an excellent film, I highly recommend it). Many companies mistakenly believe that weaving a good story comes second to the information they are trying to convey.

Nothing could be further from the truth. We, as humans, have been learning in the form of story for more years than most of us can imagine. Using that built-in instinctual way to learn is the best way to convey information.

Here are the major parts of a story and an example of even a mundane piece of content, like a CEO’s quarterly earnings report, can follow the story process.

Market7 Mascot

  1. Exposition: the beginning of the story where the stage is set. The situation of the characters in the story is explained to include the setting.
  2. Rising Action: a series of situations that builds tension toward the final conflict for the main character of the story.
  3. Climax: the turning point in the story where success or failure for the main character hinges. Often a lesson learned during the rising action pays off here.
  4. Falling Action & Resolution: (aka denoument) The final conflict is worked and the struggle is finished. A new “normal” is set as a result of the result of the climax and life continues.
  • Exposition: “We began this quarter with a strong belief we could do better than last quarter’s disappointing earnings”
  • Rising Action: “We were off to a rocky start with the economic challenges in the US. We adjusted our pricing strategy and still did not see the up tick in sales we expected. We knew we have a great product and our efforts were just not paying off”
  • Climax: “We realized if we were going to truly impact sales, we had to go door to door with every employee demonstrating our benefits. Nothing we had done in the past was going to work. Everyone pitched in”
  • Resolution: “As a direct result, we doubled sales, our fortunes turned, and we had a great quarter”

Taking the time to write your content in terms of a story will pay off in both attention and retention.

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