Video opportunities Perry Lawrence, President of the Video Marketing Association, describes the web hierarchy as being Web 1.0 – a flat brochure, Web 2.0 – email, and Web 3.0 – interactive video. While this may not be the more colloquial technology definition of the various Web levels, it does suggest the upscale transitions for interactive communications. In discussing SEO – search efficiency optimization – Lawrence claims, “Google likes video much more than text.” With their recent purchase of YouTube it would make sense that Google would be tying video into their search criteria. Lawrence also has a consulting URL, www.askmrvideo.com, which helps newbies get started in generating their own videos. David Harbour, a RE Max realtor in Washington DC, presented several examples of how he is using videos to market his practice to clients interested in DC real estate but located some distance away. He advises adding a video to your firm’s periodic e-newsletter. “Also always offer Skype meetings” as a preferred improvement in customer service,” he remarked. Harbour feels that Video testimonials on your website automatically elevate your url above the mundane. The video commercial is quickly replacing the elevator speech of telling a prospect about your service in only a minute or two. The ideal video length is 2-3 minutes and must always include a “call to action;” give us your email address for additional information or download the white paper for more detailed implementation ideas. “Studio video capability is simply not necessary,” according to Harbour. “Nor is a written script,” opined Lawrence. When you are speaking in your core competency, the only scripting needed is an outline of points to be covered. Don't worry about not sounding as smooth as the 6:00 o’clock news anchor. Be yourself and enjoy a few sloppy successes. Harbour added that with the experience of doing only two or three videos you quickly develop your video voice and an obvious (to the observer) comfort level. The Jing Pro Help Center (www.jingproject.com) provides step by step advice in preparing videos for uploading to YouTube. For example, be sure that you record videos in MPEG4-AVC format. YouTube does not support SWF video format. Lawrence concluded, “Cover only one topic per video.” Include a few key words, a challenge or two, a problem resolution, and the call to action. Harbour concluded by reiterating that videos are excellent customer service tools without regard to their obvious selling assistance. In-plant take aways: The key strength of virtually every leading in-plant is its customer service. Clients know that the in-plant will hold their hand and resolve virtually any graphics imaging issues whether it be pre-flighting files, sending files to the FTP site or answering questions about Postal regulations. Helping clients prepare personal videos that might be promoting an upcoming departmental event is another prime example of an expertise that the in-plant can develop. The in-plant could start by having their own customer service or management personnel prepare a select few instructional videos on how to update your departmental website with current information, for example. When the client sees how much the visual aid helps their own understanding of the topic, they will be recruiting the in-plant to help them prepare an informational video.