by Gary North
I don't know if Lew Rockwell is a marketing genius, but I know this: he keeps stumbling into gold mines. Well, gold standard mines, anyway.
Two years ago, I watched him pull off an amazing coup. I decided to steal his idea. I invite you to do it, too. I'll explain what he did shortly. But, first, give me 45 seconds to show you my heist job. You may even want to give me more time, once you see what I've done. But all you need is 45 seconds. Click here:
Did you watch at least 45 seconds? What do you think?
OK, I admit it. I made a mistake. Did you spot it? I wore a dark suit. Behind me was a dark background: a book case. Result: a true talking head. There is my head, suspended in mid-air on top of my tie. Shoulders? What shoulders?
Oh, well. Nothing is perfect. Especially on YouTube.
But what Rockwell did originally is about as close to perfect as you'll see anywhere.
The Mises Institute in 1996 produced a superb 45-minute movie on the Federal Reserve System. It is the best introduction to what the FED really is and how it operates that I have ever seen. Yet I never saw the movie on a movie screen or a TV screen. I didn't even know it existed. I came across it through a search on Google Video. Here is the link.
This is a first-class documentary. Yet the Mises Institute never got much mileage from it. Then it posted the movie on Google's video site. The result? Over 100,000 people have at least begun viewing it.
The ones who finished viewing it have a better understanding of monetary theory, monetary history, and the Federal Reserve System than 90% of Congress. (OK, maybe 95%.)
What did it cost the Mises Institute to post this video? The time of one technician. What does it cost the Mises Institute for bandwidth? Nothing. Google pays for this. In short, once the video was on-line, Mises became a free rider on Google's nickel.
This kind of innovative marketing of libertarian ideas — pre-YouTube — is a good reason to send the Mises Institute a tax-deductible nickel. Maybe more. Do it here.
Now, what about you? Do you have a project or an idea that is worth promoting in a video? If so, I'll show you how. Read my article, How to Get on YouTube in One Day.
If you watched my entire video, you saw what I did at the end. I verbally asked the viewer to forward the video to three friends. I also posted this request on the screen. You heard my request, and you saw it, word for word as you listened. This is reinforcement: audio and video.
Then I ended the video with a screen of text. If you saw it, you know what the appeal is. Notice that I qualified my request. The closing screen is quite specific as to why to forward it and what the benefit will be.
I am trying to create viral distribution. If just 10% of those people who view the entire video will forward it, the video will keep being viewed. This keeps the number of viewers growing. It's positive feedback.
Once a video gets into positive feedback mode, it costs you nothing to keep your message in front of the public.
Maybe you didn't wait until the end. If not, view it again if this marketing strategy interests you. Then think about how you can imitate my closing screen.
THE ENORMOUS EDUCATIONAL POWER OF VIDEOS
Millions of people don't like to read. They are visually oriented. They learn this from the day they walk down Sesame Street.
A video speaks directly to the television generation.
Some things must be seen to be understood. Try to write instructions on how to tie a shoelace. Not easy, is it? But a video can show this readily.
I still don't understand how a sewing machine works. I'd like to see a slow-motion video, preferably a cartoon of the needle going through the fabric and looping the thread.
The fact is, most people identify more easily with people than with printed words. If they can see and hear someone, they are more likely to respond favorably, if that person is personable.
Because of YouTube, Google Video, and a dozen other sites, we can now post our messages on-line, free of charge.
THE #1 PROBLEM
Posting a video doesn't guarantee that anyone will see it. In fact, hardly anyone will see it initially. It's getting harder and harder to get people to view one. People post several thousand videos every day on YouTube. Yes, there are 100 million downloads a day, but not for 96% of the posted videos.
So, you have to come up with creative ways to get people to click the link and view your video.
You need to jump-start your video, once it's posted. If you're using it as a way to provide proof for something you are selling, or arguing, or whatever, all you need is a link to the video in your article.
Say that you're trying to sell a piece of real estate. Your goal isn't to get your video in front of a million viewers. Your goal is to get it in front on that one buyer who is ready to buy a property just like the one you are selling.
You can use conventional and unconventional methods to get the video in front of prospective buyers. But first, you must have the video. I have written an article on how to produce an effective real estate video, dirt-cheap. It's posted here.
You can use this as a guide for whatever kind of video you are thinking about producing.
What the Mises Institute did with Google before YouTube came on-line, you can now do easily in a few minutes.
Try this today with a home video. See how the procedure works. Don't edit it. Just post it. Make it something short: 60 seconds will do just fine. You can close access: friends only. Basically, nobody is going to see it unless you send out the link or post it where people can see it.
Once you see how easy this is, you can begin to get your message out. Start here:
Log in. Create an account. Then upload a video.
By the way, you can post audios this way. You can use a screen capture program to do this. Outline the audio on your computer screen, or in some way provide useful information: who is talking, when the recording was made, who published it, what the topic is, or whatever. Then create the combined video/audio. Here is a free screen capture program.
Don't use someone else's material without written permission. But just about anyone will give permission for free publicity.
January 30, 2007
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com