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How narrow is too narrow?

February 19th, 2006

How narrowly focused can the subject of an Internet video be?

To answer this question, we need to go back about one hundred years.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to taking advantage of a new medium is to shake off the dust from the old one…

For example, when the first movies were made, directors simply set up
their camera and filmed theater performances
with a single, unchanging wide-angle shot.

It took a while for film makers to discover that cameras could move,
that close-ups created emotional intensity, and that frequent changes
of perspective (editing) made movies a lot more interesting to look at.

I think one of the biggest challenges facing folks who have an inclination to work with Internet video is the legacy of television broadcasting…

In the Beginning, there were Three Networks… ABC, CBS, and NBC.

There were no cable channels, no VHS tapes, no DVDs, and certainly no Internet video.

The old days were all about broadcasting, the only game in town.

Every program had to have the potential to appeal to millions so we had
soap operas, news, sporting events, children’s shows, and weekly
serials (often featuring cops and cowboys) – and not much else.

Often marketers ask me: "What on earth would I put on an Internet video?"

My answer is that today with Internet video, if the subject merits
writing an article about it, then it may well merit its own video – or
even its own Internet TV channel.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to drop whatever they’re doing and
start developing video content to complement their text publishing, but
if you have the time, the budget, and the inclination, it’s practically
impossible to go "too narrow."

In fact, the mistake many people are making with Internet video is trying to go too wide.

Your audience doesn’t need an Internet version of what they can already see on their television sets.

They want to see the things they can’t see on TV and that means highly
specialized, niche content that addresses topics too specialized to get
mass market air time.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. In fact, it inspired me to write this post.

Imagine an entire Internet television ‘channel’ for people who roll their own
cigarettes (and I’m talking about tobacco, by the way, not the funny
green stuff.) It exists.

When I first stumbled across it, my reaction was: "Whoa! Way too specialized."  Then I thought a minute and realized I was wrong. Not too specialized at all – for the audience who cares about the subject.

These programs would bore the average person to tears, but if you
happen to roll your own, this program that analyzes the pros and cons of
various brands of filtered cigarette tubes will keep you mesmerized for
its duration.

Check out this clip from Roll Your Own Magazine

Click on the white box on the upper right side of the page called "Tube Analysis."

Unfortunately it can only be played on a Microsoft Media Player. If you can’t view it, you should know it’s very simply and very well produced piece and I’m sure it’s a "hit" for its intended audience. 

How narrow is too narrow?

When it comes to Internet video, you can hardly push the envelope too far.

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  1. February 19th, 2006 at 21:53 | #1

    Hi Ken, how are you doing, thanks for your valuable time and support, I appreciate you.
    Utterly fascinating article you’ve put together, and on a personal note just wanted to say I trust your sage business advice, savvy tatics and straight shooter recommendations…
    Thanks a million, Ken!

  2. February 19th, 2006 at 23:57 | #2

    Hi Ken,
    Good topic.
    One thing for everyone to keep in mind is that all of the major SE’s will soon start serving up video results along side the other results. Plus people can search specifically for video results.
    This means there is opportunity to have your material (site and or media) show up very high in the results because by working properly with video NOW you are ahead of the curve.
    This is a perfect time to take advantage of the rush by many people to look for content in video form and supply it to your niche.
    Thanks again Ken,

  3. November 15th, 2006 at 03:11 | #3

    Great article! I recently posted several niche videos on Google video and Youtube to bring in traffic to my personal website and to bring in traffic for some eBay auctions.

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