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.
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.
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:
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!