I spoke this morning to the Oakland Merchants Leadership Forum, an interesting group composed of district merchants and Oakland economic development folks, about web video marketing for retailers. The other speakers included Jody Colley, publisher of the East Bay Express, who will be launching some major new cool opportunities for local businesses online in the early part of 2010. They currently offer web video production services and display on their site, which Jody says has been getting great feedback from the merchants who are using it. Prices seem very good to me.
Stu Sweetow, of AVConsultants.com, was the other panelist and showed us the fun stuff he and his crew can do at their Grand Ave. storefront. Green screen on a budget! Cool effects! Web videos for as low as $175! Wow - all this from a very experienced outfit with lots of personal attention.
I pointed to the fabulous success of the Parkway Theater in using video for its business - its homegrown Coming Attractions videos which set the tone. Doing a search on the Parkway Theater in Google search, selecting videos, more than 300 popped up. None were made by the Parkway - which just shows what incredible word of mouth you can get from a fanbase. That's the kind of marketing every retailer should want.
It's interesting to consider how slow local retailers have been to adopt web video. (Or even web sites.) Don't they know where their customers are? Let's hope the light shines through - maybe this will be the holiday season they'll get online. Hope.
Shari Godinez is the program manager for OMLF. You can learn more about the organization here.
I have been asked by Shari to join the OMLF marketing committee - which should be a great way to get more involved in this vibrant community.