How to Advertise Online Video Production Services

A reader wrote in recently, asking how he could get exposure to his online video production services:

    I am a local video producer and would like to advertise my services to businesses on the Web using self-produced video spots. Do you know of any cost-effective cost-per-click ad programs where I could run a local or B2B campaign? –Thomas, NYC

What’s exciting and terrifying about advertising online is that there are endless possibilities, directions, and decisions to be made. I admit, I get more than a little overwhelmed when I think about all of the new tools available to me today, often at a low cost or no cost at all!

Building a business and selling a service can be cheaper and easier than ever. The most difficult part is actually deciding which tools to use and how to start.

So to help answer Thomas’s question, I’ll first give an overview of some online video advertising tools that cater to small companies and individuals. From there, I’ll get into some options specific to video producers.

One-Stop Spot Creation and Distribution

For big businesses and brands, I’m not a fan of creating interruptive spots for online video advertising. But these spots aren’t going away anytime soon. And for individuals and small businesses that don’t have the money to launch a brand content platform or robust video program, creating a spot and distributing it online has become easier and cheaper than ever.

Over the years, a number of online companies have emerged that offer prepackaged video ad offerings for both online and television placements, such as Spot Runner, Visible World, Additall, and EZ Show, to name a few. Individuals who don’t already have content can build a campaign from scratch using online editing tools and asset libraries. From there, each company also offers a varying degree of self-service tools and professional assistance to help build a marketing strategy, distribute the campaign, and track it across multiple networks.

People who have already produced video content can simply upload their existing spots and use available online editing tools for basic versioning. But most likely the campaign building, tracking, and optimization tools will be most useful.

Prices vary, and it’s worth looking into each company’s offering to see what best meets your needs. To give you an idea: placing a video on Spot Runner that will air on a targeted local network starts around $2,000. Not bad when you think about how much a TV spot and media buy normally cost.

Joining in the Conversation

It may be easier than ever to create and distribute a spot both online and off-, but the most effective way for a video producer to showcase his services is by building an online presence.

That doesn’t mean you have to create a blog on video production or build a flashy destination site to house your reel and résumé (although they’re always good to have). Rather, it’s about seeking out existing sites and relevant communities where you can make yourself and your services known. Join the conversations that are already happening online!

For instance, in addition to helping small businesses create video ad campaigns, sites like Additall also offer producers the opportunity to upload their finished spots for advertisers to purchase. Nothing can advertise your video production content and talent better than someone using it for their own video ad. Sure, the message on that ad might be selling car parts or health insurance, but if the production is top notch, other companies will naturally seek out your services. Why advertise how good your production service is when you can just as easily show it?

Second, a whole new breed of video-centric sites are opening their doors to content creators. Sites like PixelFish and VIMBY are always searching for new talent to add to their growing pool of producers, directors, writers, and shooters. And the kind of content they’re looking for goes way beyond the :30 spot.

Participating in and submitting content to such communities online can bring several results. You not only build your online presence and reputation but extend your business way beyond local reach and make valuable connections in the process.

Remember, the Web is much more useful than just serving as another channel to place advertising on. Use it for networking. Use it to get feedback on your services. Be open and transparent to the audience you’re trying to reach, and listen carefully to what they want and need.

Then it’s simply about putting your best foot forward and creating a video product that people will ask for because it sells itself.

Do you have a question about online video advertising? I want to hear what’s on your mind and write about it. E-mail me and I’ll feature questions and answers in coming weeks.

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