The buzz on the internet regarding YouTube and video marketing is taking the internet by storm…and for good reason! YouTube has over 80 million visitors per month and on average YouTube viewers spend 164 minutes online everyday. Several industry developments in recent years have contributed to these changes, for example, broadband high-speed internet is becoming readily available and more affordable for most households. The cost of consumer video equipment and video editing software is reaching affordable levels bringing down costs running around to the point where a very good quality home studio can be assembled for under $500 and comparable video editing software for your PC or MAC can be purchased for as low as $100. There are several video sharing websites such as Vimeo, Flickr that make hosting videos relatively low cost or in some cases free. In addition, many newly designed smartphones and iPhones are capable of creating short fairly good quality videos and many people are using their mobile phones to upload their videos to video sharing and social media websites.In some cases, as outrageous as it sounds, you don’t even need video equipment or software, as video creation business services such as Animoto will combine current pictures, images or mini video clips from your business and create compelling 30 second to 10 minute videos with sound and sophisticated transitions that you can than use to promote your business or service. If you are a solo professional, freelancer, independent contractor or small brick-and-mortar business you should consider including video marketing in your small business marketing mix and it makes more sense now more than ever!And contrary to most people’s perception, the buzz is not all hype, you can find real results and social media statistics regarding developing video and other rich media tools reported by social media industry websites like Mashable or eMarketer that report industry information regarding the growth of video marketing and consumer video usage. According to eMarketer, in 2009 over 178 million viewers were watching 33 billion videos online and many were downloading them on their phones! And 42% of these same mobile users accessed the internet through their phones. Most small businesses should be able to find ways how they can be included in this vast viewing audience.A compelling short video will help your small business in the following ways:1) Build Credibility. Create informational and how-to videos for your product or service. Make sure the video’s content answers the problem, pain or predicament that your client or customer needs answered. Your objective should be to create value for your target market and the subtle benefit is that your video will position you as the expert or go-to guy or gal who can provide the solution that your client or customer is looking for. Statistics show that including video in your web landing pages and long sales letter microsites can double your conversion rates. You can also create video DVDs that you can give to your customer or client. For example, a wedding photographer can sell wedding these videos to his clients or a salesperson can use good quality customer testimonials to show prospective clients.2) Build Visibility and Improve Google Ranking. Google loves videos especially those that are posted on the most popular video sharing sites, but the biggest one of them all is of course Youtube, now owned by Google with more than 80 million visitors per month. Video content improves your ranking 52 times more than written text. You can promote your website by including linkbacks to your site via your videos and distribute and promote your video with services like Tube Mogul and Traffic Geyser. And with YouTube building your video “channel’ is relatively easy. There are a growing number of good books on Amazon or at your local bookstore that can help you get started with planning, creating and editing your marketing videos, one excellent resource for beginners is YouTube for Business:Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller.3) Build Community. You can create a video for your business and by using the most popular social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or MySpace promote your business or service via these platforms. Posting your video on these sites creates linkbacks and contributes to your overall website Google ranking as well as improves the conversations you can start with your current customer base.While video marketing should by no means be your small business’ only marketing tool, for some businesses traditional offline marketing methods may be more effective, but the time has arrived that you can definitely find compelling reasons to include video marketing in your online and offline marketing mix.
Home improvement projects must have a plan. You wouldn’t build a home without blueprints so why would you attempt a home improvement project without a plan? But, where do you start?Getting the Best Professional HelpFor a home improvement project, often your best bet is to start with an Interior Designer. I’ll explain my reasoning in a minute. First, let’s review the specialties of various home building professionals:
Design/Build General Contractor: These folks typically have a lot of varied abilities and can provide more services under one roof. They may lack some of the depth that the specialists may have, however. General Contractors (GC) are most often used for major projects like large remodels and building a home from scratch. Even when using a GC, it can be an advantage to start with an Interior Designer to help you get what you want.
Architects & Residential Designers: These professionals specialize in the look, size, style, and major structural materials of your home while preparing blueprints from which to build. Again, these professionals specialize in bigger, more complicated projects that involve major structural components. If this is you, you may still want to start with an Interior Designer before going to an architect.
Interior Designers & Decorators: The lines have blurred between decorators and designers. Traditionally, the designer is often better trained and credentialed but often decorators do the same work as designers do. They work inside the structure, focusing on color, room sizes, furniture, ambiance, and livability. As you can see, all of these various projects can benefit by starting with the professional interior designer. The goal is to provide a superior living experience inside the dwelling. The proper lighting, color, space, and balance really have major effects on lifestyle and even people’s health.An Interior Design SpecialistWhether a decorator or a designer, these professionals sometimes specialize in working with builders and architects. This can be a real advantage to you in preparing for your home improvement project.The best interior designs are based on great home designs. If you start your preparation with an interior designer who is familiar with and works with builders and architects, you can get the major advantage of designing the home around furniture, light sources (windows, etc.) entry and exit ways, room locations, and the general flow you’re trying to achieve.The cost for a designer can be quite minimal and depending upon your project and how the designer works, you may find that the designer saves you money overall.Minor vs. Major Home ImprovementsWith a major home improvement, there may be interior (or even exterior) walls that need to be moved to accommodate your project. Before you go to the builder or architect to draw up these plans and blueprints, it’s often wise to consult with an interior designer to clarify your desires so you can convey those ideas to your architect and get the plans drawn correctly.Simple home improvements may require only the interior designer without needing an architect. Either way, using an interior designer or decorator can aid you in deciding what you want for your home improvement, then getting it.
After some time, the furniture and their arrangements in your house may seem weary. It is time to take action – decorate and re-decorate your interior. Here are some simple tips for Do-It-Yourself home improvement to get you started.o Use odd number of objects.
Although it is not symmetry, odd number of objects used seems to be better than using even number of objects. It provides informal feelings to the surrounding. As in Japanese style, odd number of objects or accessories is used in order to generate natural and organic feel in the atmosphere.o Proper use of paint
Proper use of paint and color plays an important role in enhancing liveliness of the atmosphere. Furthermore, it also reflects the mood and the taste of the house owner. A variety of techniques can be use for different walls. Sometimes, color selection can be useful to hide the flaw of the room and exaggerate its better characteristics. In general, use bright colors so that a smaller room looks bigger. On the other hand, dark color could be used to induce comfortable feelings.o Suit your decoration to your lifestyle
Choose your furniture and accessories based on your lifestyle. If you have your own property, and you plan to stay there for a very long time, you may have a wider choice. For those people who frequently move in and out, they may need the type of furniture that can suit different house design as they move from one town to another.o Hang paintings and pictures at your eye level
Hanging wall decorations at your eye level makes it easier and nicer to look. Hang it so that the middle of the paintings or pictures rest at your eye level. Smaller pictures are suitable to be displayed lower so that they could be noticed easily.o Do some research
It is not easy to define what you really like to do with your interior. Do not worry since there are an abundance of references around you. You can get ideas from visiting your friend’s house, show rooms, reading books, magazines or from the World Wide Web. Gather some photos and try to do your own sketching; it will be fun!With all these tips for Do-It-Yourself home improvement, you can start your planning today.