Online Video Killed the Television?

Is cable television dead? Are the days of sitting down and turning on the television soon to be a thing of the past? Yes, these are heavy questions and ones we’re sure television executives really wish weren’t viable. The reality is that television might actually be on its way out. All thanks to the Internet. Oh and a very popular website called YouTube.

Yes, YouTube. YouTube has only been around for six years – but given its wide-reaching impact and effect, it really feels like longer. YouTube was officially launched on Feb. 15, 2005 when founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim  registered the domain. After posting a few short videos on the site, it didn’t take long for retailers, specifically Nike to recognize the potential of online video. On October 21, 2005 the first Nike commercial launched and was viewed on YouTube. The official launch date for YouTube was Dec. 15, 2005 but the website was quickly gaining steam before the “official launch”.

YouTube has now grown to a site that sees in excess of 1 billion visits a day. Yes, 1 billion. Companies, everyday people, advertisers – everyone has embraced YouTube. Basically if you have a way to capture video, you now have a way to access millions – maybe even billions of people. In fact more and more people are turning to online sites such as YouTube for the entertainment and news.

What YouTube did is show us how easy it is to post video on the Internet. It also spawned an entire industry of folks who can now use their creative talents to create compelling digital online video advertising, movies, television shows, and video podcasts. This has wide-spread acceptance of online video has flowed over to mainstream television stations now making their shows available online, providing live streaming of events (recently the World Track and Field Championships), and of companies making video part of their social media strategy.

A couple of weeks ago, the Danny MacAskill video titled Industrial Revolution was posted on YouTube and as of this minute has been viewed 2,116,392 times. And this is for a video of a guy doing some very cool stuff on his bike! Imagine the power of this medium to advertise products, spread messages, make your movie or book a bestseller – yes, pretty much infinite.

And now thanks to various websites, people are even dropping their cable and choosing to download television shows (often free of commercials). The need for the television cable subscription package really may be going the way of the dodo. So what does this mean for your big 50 inch flat panel television? No problems, simply hook your computer up to the television and watch your favourite shows, movies, YouTube videos, Vimeo videos, and live streamed events.

Do we think the days of cable are long gone? No -not yet. But it is up to the cable television stations to really get with the times and recognize that the cable channel subscription package is not really a viable business model. Why pay for 300 channels when you get your entertainment on the Internet and not have to worry about commercials and you can pick and choose what you want – when you want it. All thanks to a small start-up called YouTube.

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Print vs Digital Marketing

As a business owner you are approached daily about buying ad space in your local newspaper, trade magazines, flyers and the yellow pages. This traditional print advertising does have its place – but it is very important to weigh the pros and cons of such an advertising campaign. Most consumers these days, throw out the weekly flyers and likely don’t even really notice the full-page colour ads in their favourite magazines.

Yes, there is the a chance that someone might read your ad in a magazine or even look-up your company in the yellow pages, but the thing is you’ll never really know. That’s right, it is pretty much impossible to track the rate of return on print advertising. You don’t know if your customers are coming to you thanks to the latest print advertising campaign that include magazine, newspaper, mail-outs and flyer inserts. There is no way of measuring this.

This is where digital advertising and marketing has the upper hand. Everything we do on the Internet is measurable. For example, we can use analytics to find out if you’re reading this blog post in an RSS reader, through an email subscription or if you searched for some keywords and found our site. Every time someone clicks on a link for Vinyl 21 Communications, we know. This is where the strength of digital advertising lies.

You can find out, measure and understand how and why people are responding to your digital marketing campaign. You can learn for example if people are likely to click on a pop-up ad for your latest product before reading an article on a new site or if they are more likely to click a link to your company that is place within a well-written article.

The additional strength of a digital advertising and marketing campaign is the flexibility and personalization. You can completely tailor your marketing strategy to meet your customer demographic. For example, if you sell rubber boots and umbrellas, you can make sure your ad only appears on rainy days and target very specific websites such as the weather network.

The cost of a digital advertising and marketing campaign is much more reasonable than that of a print campaign as well. And in throw in the fast turn-around time with getting a banner ad created and posted to a website compared with the time it takes to create a full-page ad for a glossy magazine and you can soon see that there are more pros than cons for focusing on a digital advertising and marketing campaign.

Does this mean print advertising is dead? Definitely not! It just means that as a business owner, it is important to look outside of your traditional advertising choices and think about how you can really reach your consumers. Yes people still read magazines and the newspaper – but how will you know that they read your ad and then decided to look up your website and buy your product? With a digital ad – all it takes is one click and your customer is at your site and purchasing your product.

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Blogging for Business

As a business owner or website manager, you might be wondering if a blog can add value to your website presence. Well, in a word – Yes!

This spot on the Internet has started to gain some really good traction and attention. We’re getting great feedback from our clients about the education and tips they’re getting from this blog. This is exactly why we blog – and why you should as well.

A blog gives you the chance to stretch your muscles a bit and add some different flavour and personality to your website. Your blogs can take any format you want:

  • witty and humorous looks at business or your niche market
  • analysis of trends in your niche market and business
  • a weekly update of company news
  • a personal take on what is going on in your market space
  • a way to communicate directly with clients – finding out what they like, don’t like and want from your company
  • a mix of all of the above


The value in blogging lies in being able to communicate and show your expertise – particularly within your niche and business market. The reality is that you have competition and you need to determine how to stand apart from this competition. Yes, a solid business plan and a proven product or service helps you stand out – but you need to take one step further. Get engaged and really show that you are an expert in your field.

Don’t stress, your blog posts don’t need to be deep literary pieces of writing – you can use whatever style you want and write as much or as little as you want. Though word of advice – try not to exceed 800 words – anymore than this and you will lose readers.

Should you worry about inserting keywords and terms?  While strategically incorporating keywords certainly helps in overall Search Engine Optimization, what is more important is that you blog regularly (2 – 3 times a week is optimum but once a week is fine) and that you provide your blog readers with some useful content.

What keeps people coming back to your blog is the opportunity to learn something new and useful. Your blog post content can be as simple as: How To Pack Allergy-Free Back To School Lunches or How To Fix A Flat Tire On Your Bicycle. Write as though you are speaking to someone- friendly, open and professional. Don’t try to be something or someone you’re not on your blog – this makes the writing stiff and too hard to do.

Blogging brings traffic to your website, gives your clients insights into your expertise and perspective and gives you a really easy way to connect with customers/clients – building a community.

The one downside to blogging is that it can be very time-consuming. We recommend that, like all other social media tools, if you don’t have the time to do it right, then don’t do it at all—or hire us to manage it for you!

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Basics of Google+

We’ve had a few weeks here at Vinyl 21 to get our heads around Google+, so we thought it was time to give you the basics on the latest in social networking. If you’re already an expert with Google+ well, you’ll have to wait for our next blog post… But if you’re new to the Google game and are trying to figure out if Google+ is something you should care about or even bother with, then this is the blog post for you.


It is all about the circles. Google+ uses circles organize your contacts. You can choose to create any type of circle, for example: work colleagues, family members, hockey team members, and university friends. Really, how you group your contacts is completely up to you.  The idea is that the circles make it easier to see how your contacts interact and it makes it easier for you to share information amongst them.


If you use Google Reader or another RSS reader then you’re familiar with the premise of Sparks. With Sparks, the difference is content is automatically delivered to you. Rather than adding URLs to an RSS reader, Sparks collates content for your bases on your interests. A Spark page is created for each of your interests – so you could have Sparks on topics such as: technology, cooking, travel, etc – these are automagically populated with the latest articles, photos, video, etc.


This is really just another way for you to do video chats with your friends. Instead of the standard text-based chat used in Facebook, you can now use video chat in Google+. Cool – but sometimes your hair is messy or it is 2:00 and you’re still wearing your pyjamas – maybe using Hangouts doesn’t always make sense for you!


Feel like having a big online chat with everyone in your hockey team Circle? No problem, with Huddles you can chat with everyone in a selected Circle. This is good alternative to the emails that often fly around and can get confusing when trying to organize a group of people. Now, instead, just get everyone on Huddles and the decisions can be made a little more quickly…

Instant Upload

If you’re using an Android phone, your photos are instantly uploaded to Google+. That’s it.


This is how you access Google+. When you’re logged into Google, you’ll now see a transparent grey bar with a +You link – click this and you’re in Google+.


If you have an Android phone, you can access Google+ with the handy Google+ app. Once installed you have constant access to Google+ wherever you are! We understand Apps for iOS and other platforms are coming soon…natural Android users get this service first given it’s Google’s very own mobile platform.

Want In?

So now you’re hooked – but how do you get on Google+? Well, right now it is by invite only. If you want to get in on the latest in social networking and media, well – we can invite you. Post up in the comments and we’ll get you connected.

Our Take

We admit, when we first heard about Google+ our immediate reaction was, “Not yet another social media channel!” and we figured it was Google’s attempt to take precious advertising revenue away from Facebook. But, so far we like what we see. Will Google+ be good for business? Time will tell and we’ll be sure to keep you posted.


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The “Social” in Social Media

Remember that conversation you had just the other day with your good friend? Chances are you both talked about your lives, asked a few questions, and maybe even tried to figure out how to solve world hunger. But the key to this conversation was that you were interested in one another – what was happening in one another’s lives.
This basic philosophy of friendship – open and two-way communication is exactly what puts the “social” in social media. Yes, even on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+ you have to be friendly and social with your followers. You may have never “met” many of your followers but if managed correctly, your presence on these social media tools will help you develop a strong professional persona that people can relate to and like.
We’ve seen it all too often here at Vinyl 21 – a company gets a Twitter or Facebook account and all of the posts and Tweets are sales and product focused. There is no back-and-forth communication or even an interest in what the company’s followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook are interested in. Soon enough, this company loses traction and people stop following the Twitter account and visiting the Facebook page. It’s certainly not intentional on the company’s part, and it’s tough when you are in the business of selling product as all too often you get caught up on promoting the latest deal or the newest model that just arrived in the store. It’s hard to take the time to remember the social aspect of social media when you are communicating with your followers.

Kind of like what happens when you call up your aunt Margaret and all she wants to do is talk about herself. Pretty soon you have no interest in making that weekly phone call (even though your mom is laying the guilt on big time). There is nothing worse than seeing a company get a Twitter account and only posting about themselves.

To be effective on social media, companies must remember that the key to this very powerful marketing and advertising tool is the word “social”. Be outgoing. Engage your followers in conversations. Ask for feedback on your products and organization. Post useful Tweets about things that don’t have anything to do with your business but will be of interest to your followers. Get to know your followers – see who they follow and what they Tweet about. You really want to develop “friendships” with your followers – this way your company and product are remembered – but not because all you do is bombard them with sales-related Tweets. Same thing for Facebook – hold contests to get your fans involved, ask for photos of what people did on the weekend, respond to the comments people make on your Facebook page and show that you are interested in them.
Just like that first day of 9th grade when you were at a new school and didn’t know anyone – you likely pulled out your favourite jokes, showed off your skills on the basketball court and smiled at all the pretty girls (or boys) – all this to make friends and create relationships. Same deal with social media. Be friendly. Be sassy. Be engaging. Be funny. Most of all – be yourself.
In any relationship, people want to be appreciated. The same holds true for social media. As a business, you want to inform customers about your product, but you also want to engage your customers/ followers and appreciate their perspective. Remember the “social” element of your social media campaign and you’ll be surprised how many new friends and followers your company might meet along the way!
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