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Tell and Sell

January 2nd, 2007

A year and a half ago, Mike Stewart and I were on the phone talking about possible business uses for Internet video.

He pointed out that by simply using an online video to demonstrate how to set up a phone-recording unit he sells, he got a huge boost in his conversion rates.

Makes sense, right?

How many times have you shied away from a purchase, especially in the realm of consumer electronics, where you had the money and the desire, but just couldn’t figure out which model to buy?

I don’t know about you, but it happens to me all the time.

"Why don’t the consumer electronics companies train prospects to use their products with Internet video? Talk about a slam dunk and a massive ROI," I blurted out.

Well, either they were listening in on our conversation or great minds think alike.

Sony tried it (with help from a Austin-based company called Powered.) The result? Visitors to Sony’s online customer training site convert to buyers at the rate of 25%.

Now Sony is starting to syndicate this content to its retail partners like Circuit City.

Not all multi-billion dollar ideas need to be rocket science.

Hwo can YOU use this?

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  1. January 3rd, 2007 at 05:47 | #1

    This is even more evidence that not only is Sony on the right track, but they are finally catching on to what Ken Evoy and you Ken have been promoting for years … pre-selling copy that renders a highly useful service.
    ‘Training’ is a perfect example. I guess they sure must have been listening in to your’s and Mike’s conversation. 🙂
    Best wishes for 2007

  2. Brendon
    January 3rd, 2007 at 06:01 | #2

    Couldn’t agree more, i’ve been wanting to do it for years since ’97 in fact).
    I could have done this blindfolded.. i’ve done tonnes of internet video (ex non linear editor all round post production ninja) but integration into a physical product store was always a “gunna do” project for me.
    point is.. don’t think it’s out of reach people.. even those that CAN don’t.
    It’s easy to get caught up in the “howto” when Technology really isn’t your biggest obstacle.

  3. January 3rd, 2007 at 06:54 | #3

    As a 40 something who’s been involved with computers and the internet since 1997 it’s great to see that the technology is finally catching up with my dreams and wants of years gone by.
    But … just when I get confident with the technology someone moves the goal posts.
    How long will it be before online video is at 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 is ‘old hat’ and we need to cater for the mobile marketplace?
    Let’s face it … the younger generation who have expendable income live and die for their mobile phone.
    3G communication is now a way of life and I personally think that to ‘really’ keep ahead of the curve, learning to produce video for mobiles is the smarter starting point.
    Ken .. thanks for keeping us well informed and updated. A happy and prosperous 2007 to you and your team.
    Kev Polley

  4. January 3rd, 2007 at 07:06 | #4

    Used it Ken & loved the results!
    Rolling it out further in a big way in 2007!
    Thanks Mike Stewart – Definitely the Internet Audio AND Video Guy.
    Once again… thanks for a very informative blog.

  5. January 3rd, 2007 at 07:42 | #5

    Old Dog, New Tricks and Laugh and Sell
    Hi Ken, I agree wholeheartedly.
    This old dog (56) who only started making videos (and uploading them) 3 weeks ago is now creating one to sell his house. The house is 45 miles out in the country and video allows me to bring it into the city nearby. Every detail.
    This all started with you and your post regarding a Pure Digital camera. Thanks for jolting me into action – and jolt it has been, with 17 videos on YouTube and 30 on Google Video.
    Am I effectively monetising yet? Not in a huge way, but I am having FUN and learning a ton with both my serious and my silly videos. I’m just getting started here folks 🙂
    Example – a video I put up yesterday of my ridiculous cat at
    now has YouTube honors today of
    #24 – Top Rated (Today) – Pets & Animals – All
    #23 – Top Rated (Today) – Pets & Animals – English
    (If you take a look vote on it, maybe I can be #1 today 🙂
    Why would a silly cat video be of any interest to a serious marketer ?
    It’s something I am very interested in and I call this “Laugh and Sell”
    If you think silly can’t sell, you must see the videos “Will it Blend?” that Blendtech puts up. In their latest they blend an ipod in their $400 blender. Yep, an iPod.
    Waste of time? Crazy?
    Crazy like a fox.
    Their iPod blending video has had over 2 MILLION views!
    Think maybe they sold a few $400 blenders?
    Take a look
    Now think about their expenses.
    YouTube = FREE. The production cost maybe a few hundred bucks.
    They wisely registered willitblend.com and all their “silly” videos lead folks there. They blend rakes, golf balls, cell phones – what have you!
    It is an example of pure marketing genius and they get my vote for innovative dirt cheap marketers of the year, 2006.
    Have I got your brains going folks?
    Video has opened possibilities for imaginative marketers almost beyond comprehension….
    Ed O

  6. January 3rd, 2007 at 08:47 | #6

    I think this guy is the first to use video on eBay.
    See the URL Below
    Happy New Year!

  7. January 3rd, 2007 at 09:49 | #8

    In our increasingly complex world, manufacturers, retailers and online service providers benefit by teaching us how to consume their offerings.
    And let’s face it: we need the help!
    How many VHS decks would have flashed 12:00 for years if only they came pre-loaded with a tape that SHOWED you how to program the timer?
    Video is the perfect education medium for this job and the Internet is the right delivery channel.
    The dawning of this age also offers opportunities for companies to produce those educational videos.
    Keep on rockin’ Ken!

  8. January 3rd, 2007 at 10:44 | #9

    Excellent post, Ken. Many thanks. Is anyone using the tell and sell approach for marketing information, where the “how to use the product” angle is perhaps less relevant?

  9. January 3rd, 2007 at 11:47 | #10

    Hi Ken:
    I’ve been following your posts on video since you first started mentioning them. I did a bit of research, and found some sites through a news release from Internet Retailer that showed even a home video could increase sales.
    In Portland, there are hundreds of wanna be videographers. I put an ad on Craigslist and was swamped with replies.
    To do the job right, i had to do a storyboard first, but my guy sat down with me and helped get it done. Now i have 6 short videos that demonstrate my products. You can see them at http://www.allaboutmassagers.com or http://www.allaboutchi.com. We are first on Google Video with some of them.
    It’s the only thing i did in 2006 out of all the advice i got that i totally know made a difference.
    Thanks for your advice.
    A Stomper,
    John William Johnson

  10. January 3rd, 2007 at 11:59 | #11

    Hi Ken and video completely turned up my sales conversions, especially once more & more folks got a high speed connection.
    I have a tennis instructional website, so video is a natural. All I have to do is simply demonstrate a specific stroke.
    That video for a potential buyer creates “hope” that my product can help them achieve their vision for solving their perceived challenge and attaining true improvement.
    Best to you Ken in 2007. Brent

  11. January 3rd, 2007 at 17:35 | #12

    Hi Ken,
    You are always one step ahead of the game. Thanks for your great info.
    I just noticed Brent’s comments about selling tennis lessons online. I’m just in pre-launch of an online golf lessons program where we create video lessons for web and iPod. We are calling it Accuracy Golf Training e-School.
    We are podcasting and getting a large subscriber base very quickly doing that. We also have an affiliate program that pays $191 / year for referrals.
    I’m wondering where you might suggest we post our video content to get more traffic.
    You can see our site at http://www.golftrainingaidsreviewed.com
    The video golf lessons will be ready about January 20th and we have a free trial registration until the 15th.

  12. January 3rd, 2007 at 20:47 | #13

    Thanks for your timely articles. We offer an executive seminar in Indianapolis for our local prospects. An idea I have is to stream this event live on the web, since we have a prospect list that comes from all over the world.
    Do you know of a service that can handle live streaming? Or is it better to tape, convert to flash and put it on the site for playback?

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