Using Video to Sell Online – By Ken Price

by FeedFront Staff on May 13, 2009

Most of us know that online video is exploding, and want to capitalize on it. But before we think about how, we need ask why.

The only two reasons for posting video online are ego and money. Ego can be the desire for attention, to show-off, make someone laugh or capture snippets of life’s kaleidoscope. If you doubt this, one thing everyone checks after posting a video is the number of views. Views = ego.

Money is straightforward. Some create great content to monetize via advertising. Others use video to directly or indirectly sell something. This makes sense, because an online video can be like a virtual sales person. It’s an excellent way to attract, engage and inform customers.

This combination of ego and money is important to understand. If you are camera shy or uncomfortable “selling”, then video is not for you. Either that or you split the ego/money equation wherein a partner is in front of the camera and you just handle the money.

Also, we should understand the only two reasons people watch video. As Jim Kukral, the BizWebCoach, points out, it’s the same two reasons people use the Internet: information or entertainment – and that’s it.

We need to remember this as we ask the next question:

How can affiliate marketers use online video?

First, we can break up much of online video into two formats: long form and short form. This isn’t just about length of time, but about continuity of attention.

If a person is doing weekly “webisodes” with regular characters, vlogging, or hosting their own show (i.e. Gary Vaynerchuk), I would argue these are long form regardless of how many minutes each video is.
The value of long form is building audience over time and then converting that audience into revenue. This can be from ad revenue, affiliate commissions or speaking engagements in Las Vegas. All of which are viable.

Short form is more granular. It’s about three minutes or less, informs and/or entertains, and can stand on its own (no history or context is needed). This is the vast majority of YouTube videos.

If using short form to sell, there’s some corollary to traditional TV commercials, but you’ve got a little more time and can try the “mini Internet infomercial” route.

This is great if your video is atomic down to the product level (one video = one product). You also have the advantage that the video can be surrounded and enhanced with additional information such as images and text.

Unlike TV though, the screen format is tighter, and I would argue it’s even easier to click away then change channels. This is why you’ve got to keep “inform and/or entertain” in mind!

Lastly, you can try a “hybrid” approach. In this scenario, the videos themselves are atomic and stand alone, but you build a longer continuity of attention by establishing yourself within a vertical.

Ken Price is President and Founder of ShopWatchBuy.com, an affiliate friendly video enabled marketplace.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 5 here – http://feedfront.com/feedfront-issue5.pdf
FeedFront issue 5 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00category/issue-5

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

john May 15, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Terrible article. Really, really bad thinking here. Written for YouTube mounthbreathers? And why?
— "The only two reasons for posting video online are ego and money." Wrong. What are you thinking here? Sit for 10 minutes and come up with 67 different uses for video online.
— "If you are camera shy or uncomfortable “selling”, then video is not for you." Wrong. Some of the best, most persuasive videos don't have a talking head.
Very, very lazy thinking and writing here. Plus it's replete with errors. I bet my Labradoodle could come up with a better article.
Why write shit like this?!!! God knows we all waste too much time on drivel as is.

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