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Friday, February 26, 2010

Rapid advances in online video offer opportunities for e-commerce companies

This just came across the radar: From Internet Retailer Mag

An alluring video of a model showing off the latest fashion can spark I-want-it consumption lust in many a consumer. U.K.-based retailer Marks & Spencer is offering its web shoppers instant gratification by placing Buy buttons next to videos for products that appear as a video progresses. And quite a few are clicking.
Clicking on a Buy button takes the viewer to the product page for the item displayed in the video. That’s just one change in online video technology that’s helping online companies use moving pictures to move more goods.
The video technology from Brightcove  has helped boost the click-through rate as high as 30% for some videos, Marks & Spencer says, driving sales increases on some products by as much as 90%.
And, there are other technologies that can help e-commerce companies when adding video to their web sites. 360Media Inc., for example offers ViewZoom, a program that enables companies to stream YouTube videos to a custom player on their web sites. The player appears on a site as a small thumbnail that expands and plays in a separate window when consumers click on a button. That way, the YouTube video doesn’t take up too much valuable page space.
360Media says the technology also can help boost companies’ rankings on Google and YouTube because each time a visitor mouses over a video it counts as a user view on YouTube. This, the vendor says, increases viewing numbers more than if the video were only on YouTube, and thus drives up the video’s ranking. The player also allows for comments, which also can boost a video’s ranking with YouTube and Google, 360Media says. Purse retailer uses the feature on its e-commerce site.
A video isn’t valuable unless it loads quickly and seamlessly for consumers, and Brightcove offers a service that addresses that requirement. Once a company creates a video and uploads it to the Brightcove site, which hosts the content, Brightcove provides a small snippet of code that a company adds to its site to present the video. However, because a consumer’s Internet connection speed can range from broadband to dial-up, Brightcove provides six types of video code. The Brightcove technology detects a visitor’s connection speed and presents the content in the most appropriate format.
Brightcove also offers analytics data about videos as part of its offering. Companies can, for example, see points in videos when consumers most often drop off. That way a company can adjust a piece to put the most captivating scenes first. And in its more robust packages, Brightcove offers video integration with an e-commerce company’s content management and inventory systems. This could provide helpful features such as automatically removing the Buy buttons when a product is out of stock or enabling a company adding a new product page to automatically add to the page videos related to that product.
Brightcove’s services start at $99 a month for 50 videos, 40GB of bandwith and one user on one account, rise to $199 per month for 200 videos 100GB of bandwidth and two users for one account, and increase to $499 a month for 500 videos 250 GB bandwidth three users and one account. Prices for more robust professional and enterprise accounts depend on the features customers add such as geographic filtering, the amount the player is customized or branded, and the amount of bandwidth.

Great Example Of Multi Platform Video Marketing

This one was brought to our attention by Jeff Grimshaw, creator and anchor at  website and one of our Linked-In group contacts.
Click on the link to see Jeff talk about the Nationwide Insurance viral campaign. Watch the fourth segment in the "Sales, Marketing and Trends" report section. This is a good example of a well thought out viral campaign:
Here's the link:

Remember, You lose out on 100% of the opportunities you never go for!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Linkedin
If you would like to learn more about Jay personally, visit Jay's Facebook page.
You can also follow him on Twitter, see the link at the bottom of the page.
You can see some Of Jay's photojournalism work on Flickr:

If you are interested in production work with WPI:
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Visit us at:

Does Online Video boost conversion rate?.....

OK,  we've been saying it for a while, (read through our earlier posts) but if you need more incentive then read this:

Fom an article in The February, 2010 issue Of Internet Retailer magazine:

The sales conversion rate for shoppers who watch video at web-only retailer is 45% more than the site’s average conversion rate, the retailer says.
Behind the numbers is’s ability to provide a differentiated online shopping experience, said Jimmy Healey, product marketing manager.  “We want to give shoppers insight into the fit and feel of the product, show its intended use and give it a touchy feely experience,” he said.  
That means that the videos—whether on a product or category page—are aimed at the online retailer’s customer base. “Our New Balance customer isn’t necessarily the same customer who is buying New Balance shoes at,” he said. “So we use video to talk to them so that we convey to them that we know who our customer is and what her hang-ups may be.” That may mean helping customers understand how to determine whether they need a wide shoe (19% of the shoes on the site are wide shoes) or how to train for a 5-kilometer race. 

Now in its third year of producing videos, has seen a 359% year-over-year increase in monthly video views, the retailer says.

Given these kind of numbers, it should be no surprise that will be increasing its video production output—from 300 videos a year to nearly 1,200!

So, what's to be taken from this?
Well, we get asked a lot, "Does this stuff really work"?
The answer is YES... IT WORKS, And it works well!
The considerations are that you utilize professional production quality with meaningful content. When stepping into the online video realm, the quality and content of your video is the public face of your says a lot about how you will be perceived. We are not talking Hollywood Blockbuster here but  a point and shoot video camera operated by your savvy teenager just aint gonna cut it either. High quality sound and video is crucial to success. This doesn't mean it has to cost a fortune to produce.  Here at WPI, we are utilizing new production equipment and post production technology that allows us to produce remarkably high quality content at a fraction of what it cost just a few years ago. So, jump in, why just tell them when you can show them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fed Releases Internet Use Report

February 17, 2010
Interesting Article From Communications Technology Magazine:

"As part of the government’s research in preparation for its National Broadband Plan, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released a report about broadband usage in the United States.

The report is entitled “Digital Nation - 21st Century America’s Progress Toward Universal Broadband Internet Access.”

The findings are based on data collected in October 2009 through the U.S. Census Bureau, with a sample size of approximately 54,000 households and 129,000 citizens.

The report said in October 2009, 63.5 percent (75.8 million) of U. S. households used a high-speed Internet service. This represented a 25 percent increase from two years earlier (50.8 percent in October 2007).

Classifying by household type, married couples with children younger than 18 years old surpassed all other household groups for broadband use at home.

In terms of gender, there was nominal difference with males at 59.3 percent, compared to females at 59.0 percent.

However, there were some substantial disparities between ethnic groups. Asian non-Hispanics led all other groups with 67.3 percent using broadband at home, with White non-Hispanics second in usage (65.7); followed by Black non-Hispanics (45.9); Native Americans (42.6) and Hispanics (39.7).

Americans in rural areas tend to have lower broadband adoption rates than their demographic counterparts in urban areas.

However, the gap between city mouse and country mouse has narrowed in the past two years. In 2007, 53.8 percent of households in urban areas were broadband users compared to 38.8 percent of rural households. In 2009, those numbers were 65.9 percent for urban versus 54.1 percent for rural.

U.S. households without high-speed Internet service totaled 36.5 percent in October 2009, with a larger proportion in rural areas.

The top reasons for no broadband access at home were “don’t need” (37.8 percent), “too expensive” (26.3 percent), “no computer or inadequate computer” (8.3 percent). Only 3.6 percent cited “broadband not available” as their reason for no broadband access at home.

However, “not available” accounts for more than 10 percent of the main reasons for non-use in rural areas but accounts for only about one percent in urban areas.

Some of the other results were rather obvious:
  • The highest broadband use at home was by those who were most affluent and the lowest use was by those persons living in households with $15,000 annual family income or less.
  • With householders 25 years and older, 84 percent of those with college degrees had broadband access at home, while only 28 percent of those with less than a high school diploma had such access."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Superbowl XLIV Proves

Well, the post-game cascade of surveys, polls and analysis has been pouring in. One of the consistent messages (even alluded to in The New York Times Advertising Section )comes as no surprise.
Nielson reported an average of 106.5 million viewers! That makes Superbowl XLIV the largest viewing audience ever for a television show!
So, what's the not so big surprise?
Of the commercials that ranked as most notable with the highest recall and BUZZ, many were suggested by consumers and or produced without the aid of agency professionals! That, of course, is not to say the spots were produced by teenagers with a consumer videocamera.
Now, bear in mind, we are not suggesting that you run out and immediately fire your Advertsing Agency.
What we are saying is that if your business is to thrive, you have to start somewhere and the Superbowl proved that content created by carefully engaging your customers really can work if you are willing to go about it smartly. And, that you don't have to break the budget to start the ball rolling.
By now you should be getting the message We've been trying to pound into your head. Regardless of the size or budget of your business, it's never been easier to build your brand.
We urge you to get started now! Start Blogging, Start Tweeting, (See our post about branding your Tweets for free!), use social sites to cross promote and link to your videos...etc. And definitely Start utilizing Video, it's crucially important in today's marketplace to show as well as tell. Shoot in Hi Definition quality formats and use quality codecs to amortize and future proof your content.
It's Easier than ever before, take advantage of it, your competition is. Get Going!

"Brand" your Tweets for Free!

If you are using Twitter to help market you brand, checkout this easy to use application.
It's called TweetBrand and it allows you to"brand' your Tweets" with your own website or company name.
Oh, It's also FREE!
Heres the link:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Advertising - Synergy Is the Game for Super Bowl Advertisers -

An interesting article from the New York Times regarding Super Bowl Advertising.

Another interesting statistic that you might find surprising is that 51% of Super Bowl viewers are watching for the commercials more than the actual football!

Advertising - Synergy Is the Game for Super Bowl Advertisers -

You start to see the trend We've been talking about...Don't You?
***Look for our post game post as a follow up to this.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Don't think Social Media has any impact?...Think Again!

Motrin Bows to Social Media Pressure From Moms - Removes Controversial Ad

motrin_logo.pngOne would think that few ads could be less controversial than ads for painkillers, but  McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Motrin, found itself in the middle of a major controversy on Twitter, FriendFeed, and other social networks. Motrin ran a web ad discussing the advantages of using the painkiller for mothers who 'wear' their babies close to their body with a sling or other baby carriers and who might suffer from back pain because of it. A lot of mothers (and fathers) were clearly not amused by these ads and Motrin has now decided to remove them and has issued an apology.
The ad, like a lot of ads,was perceived as offensive because it is boring and talks down to its target audience (and also because it stole its use of typography from a popular You Tube video (that has been removed from You Tube for copyright purposes). It is clear that Motrin clearly didn't understand its market, but it is also hard not to consider the 'outrage' over this video to be a bit of an overreaction as well.
None the less, this is also a good example of how much power a vocal minority can have thanks to social media. 
The point here is that Motrin had a chance to reconnect with its customers by using social media to reach out to them with an apology, but the company issued a standard press release-style apology on its site instead. That might seem old-fashioned, but for most companies, that's the only way they know how to operate.

However, more and more users expect companies to reach out to them directly through social media, so just having a social media presence is not enough anymore. When controversies like this one happen (whether deserved or not), smart companies will reach out to consumers directly to stop these fires right where they started. 

Unfortunately Motrin's simple and ineffective press release did more harm than good by alienating already upset customers and elongating what should have been treated as an opportunity to re-engage with It's current and potential customer base.

Hopefully you begin to see some of the New Marketing  trends here: Humanizing your brand and perhaps even more important: The ability to turn even a marketing mistake into a very meaningful Opportunity!

Move Over HDTV, Make Way For 3-D TV | Zoom In

Move Over HDTV, Make Way For 3-D TV | Zoom In

With HDTV screens having just entered their heydey in terms of affordability to the masses, it's unclear just how many people will be willing to retire their newly acquired sets in exchange for a brand new 3-D one.
Click the above link to read more.