From wikis to blogging to YouTube, user-generated content has gradually changed the way we consume news, media and entertainment. Today, anyone can post a “home video” on YouTube for millions to view and share. Entertainers like Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon post video spoofs to generate laughs and publicity. Big companies have even joined the club by streaming more polished videos laden with corporate messaging. But what about all of the other smaller businesses nationwide that have shied away from jumping on the web video bandwagon because of their fear of embarrassment or potential bad press from a botched-up video gone wrong? Well, that is all about to change. In today’s New York Times, Bob Tedeschi, talks about a new batch of online start-ups that are helping companies create commercials and distribute them on the Internet for a low cost. Small businesses of all kinds across all industries are letting their guards down and getting on board with this new kind of marketing and branding support. One of these start ups, The Talk Market, dubs itself the QVC of the Internet, giving consumers a new way of shopping online – different from the eBay or Amazon experience.
The company helps professionals shoot, edit and post videos to the Web for free. And by free I mean that the company takes a five percent commission whenever someone purchases the video. But there’s more. The company also provides an online tutorial that teaches professionals how to shoot product demonstration videos – such as how to choose the right lighting, change camera angles, or project your voice. Users then create a short video by splicing clips together and using background music and graphics from The Talk Market. The videos can be posted to The Talk Market and the users’ own websites for their target audience to view.
This kind of marketing is not limited to consumer businesses. Real estate companies, for example, have created mini-documentaries for clients to help sell buildings. These videos can help capture the essence of what a small business has to offer without eating up tons of money on expensive television ads. And, they’re easy enough to do yourself without worrying about producing or distributing a video mishap. In fact, these kinds of videos could be a great alternative to the traditional, predictable PowerPoint presentation. It’s a user-generated world [wide web] out there, let’s embrace it.