Archive for online marketing

Making Video without a Video Camera

Creating your own video content online is a great way to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and increase findability for your site or service. Shooting and editing video is getting easier all the time but there are other ways to get video content online without picking up the video camera.  

Here are two sites we have used to create video content for the PuddleDucks YouTube channel.

1. Animoto

Animoto creates video from photos. It couldn’t be easier. Just upload your selection of photos, select the display sequence, select a few of the photos that you would like to be specially highlighted and select your music soundtrack. Hey presto! You have your video.

Here’s an example of one of our own Animoto videos.

2. Xtra Normal

The tag-line of Xtra Normal is “if you can type then you can make movies”. It allows you to create video with animated characters speaking the lines that you have typed. You can also change the camera angles, add sounds and add character gestures. It is so easy to use and fun to make.

Here’s one we made earlier …

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Seth Godin on Tribes

Here’s an interesting and entertaining  presentation from Internet marketing guru Seth Godin about Tribes – leading and connecting people and ideas. He argues that the days of mass marketing are over and the new way to affect change and to get your ideas across is through building a community of like-minded people.

In our own small way at PuddleDucks,  we try to create and connect a tribe or community of our customers – people who like our products and are happy to spread the word about them to others. Word of mouth referrals have always been our main source of new business. We often read on our new orders that people have heard about us from ” a mother in the park”, ” a family of the beach” , ” a lady in a shop”, “friends”, etc.

The ways we currently build up our community are through the “PuddleDuckers” section on this blog – where customers tell their own stories, our Facebook Fan page, our presence on IGOpeople and by having  customer reviews on the PuddleDucks website. As stated in the presentation it’s no longer “a mass thing” and that with only 1000 true fans who believe in your products and are happy to spread the word, you can create and run a viable business.

This talk was given by Seth Godin in February 2009 at the TED conference in Long Beach, California. You can read Seth Godin’s blog here – it always makes interesting reading.

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PuddleDucks on Pix.ie

 Inspired by an talk by Krishna De at a seminar last October, I set up a PuddleDucks page on the Irish photo-sharing website pix.ie.

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The idea was that we could show off the lovely gift wrapping that Suzanne does for customers wishing to send our PuddleDucks waterproof gear as gifts to friends or family.

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Suzanne takes great care and pride in the gift wrapping and I think the photos of them look good when collected together. Click here to see all our photos on pix.ie.

The gift wrapping service costs an extra €3 (gift wrap) or €5 (gift box) and can be selected as an option when ordering online. A complimentary card with the message of your choice is also included.

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Animoto – Turn Photos into Video

I’m a big fan of Animoto – it does what it does really well. It’s very easy to turn your photos into a professional looking video. Here is the first one I made from a few of the hundreds of photos we have taken for the PuddleDucks site.

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How it works:

Sign up free on Animoto.com. Then either upload your photos directly or point to your photos on sites like Flickr or Facebook. Select your soundtrack and hey presto – you have your video. It’s free to produce a 30 second video. Alternatively pay a $30 annual charge for unlimited full length videos. I did this as 30 seconds did not seem long enough. Once produced, the videos can be uploaded to Blogs, Facebook, YouTube, emailed and shared. You can also add text to videos. And there is a paid Animoto for Business service with added functionality which I will try next.

Overall I’d give it 5 stars – it is a great way for businesses to get into the video production and is another valuable tool in the online marketing armoury.

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