[This article was written by guest contributor Kate Morris of www.longhornkate.com .]
When MTV went on air in 1981, the first video it played was "Video Killed the Radio Star." That marked the beginning of a revolution in television and music for an entire generation.
Today there's a new revolution happening: YouTube is killing the MTV star. MTV and cable television is steadily being replaced by online videos produced independently by high school kids in their bedrooms, software executives with senses of humor and millions of others.
As a consumer, you no longer need to wait on your couch to see what the vee-jay plays next. Videos like this one mocking the Backstreet Boys spread across the web like wildfire.
Anybody with a video camera has a chance to get the world's attention. The power is no longer in the hands of production companies and professional artists. People have a real say in what is shown, what is popular, and what's just plain bad.
All this creates a huge opportunity for you as an individual and as a marketer. With quality videos, you can reach a broad audience, and become part of the independent production movement replacing MTV.
So how do you produce quality videos that spread? Here are my top five tips:
1. Be Memorable -- Video marketing is a powerful tool that can take your business to the next level, but also runs the risk of getting buried with everyone else's videos. You need to make sure that you stand out in the crowd and reach who you need to talk to. (Example: Will It Blend )
2. Stay Relevant
Making a wildly popular video that has nothing to do with your business or doesn't talk to your customer will create traffic on your site, but no business. That is ultimately what you DON'T want (in most cases). (Example: PlumberSurplus Viral Campaign )
3. Make Your Point
Why make something if it's not going to benefit your company in some way? Make sure people know that you are behind the awesome videos you create and give them a way to find you.
4. Don't Be Pushy
While you need to make your point, you can't "sell" people too hard. Make your video something fun, something people will want to see and share. Let it sell your services for you.
5. Make it Known
Just as if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, you can't hide your video on your site and tell no one. Put it on YouTube, tell friends, send out an email, use other mediums to announce it. Buzz is king, and to get buzz about your video going, you have to start it yourself.
If you have the right product or idea, the traffic and buzz will come to you. The key is to stay on top of trends and reach people where they are. Let them have the power and be rewarded in return.