5 Video Marketing Predictions and Past Performance Indicators

Just a few more hours to go before we start a New Year. While many, myself included are looking forward to the new doors and opportunity’s that await us for 2014 and beyond…many are still trying to summarize what lessons they can take from 2013? While others, will still be trying to ascertain how success eluded them and where exactly, did they miss their business cues…and moreover, how do they get back on track to achieve the New Year’s goals that they will be setting tonight?

Whew that’s a lot of thinking and strategizing there. Well since we are all about Video and working within the SMB community to get their business noticed…we have put together this bite size article that is well worth your reading tomorrow with that Black Coffee and Aspirin ….right?Black Coffe

A lot of talk has been going on in Social Media realms about Facebook vs. Google Plus (G+) wars. While Google+ is making steady inroads this year…the one area it lost too FB was Social Media Marketing and more specifically – Video.

According to the team at Viral ad Network:  Facebook and Twitter are way ahead of the competition when it comes to video sharing in 2013, but they’re not the only contenders. The past 12 months have seen over 5% of shares of the top trending virals come from Google+, with Stumble Upon now the 4th most popular source of viral chart video shares.

2013 video sharing sites - stats


helpoutsOk, I can hear all my fellow Google Helpout aficionado’s s and the growing leagues of Google Hang Outs and (HO) and Hangouts on Air (HOA) and YouTube Live eventers….start to groan.

As we all know Google, has come on strong in the last half of 2013…and is positioned itself very well……to  dominate the Video Sharing Business in 2014.


Now onto the 2014 Digital PREDICTIONs… this is where it gets interesting.  The team over at Millward Brown, that  includes some of the most talented market researchers, and consultants within 56 countries from around the globe provides this compelling look into the future of marketing trends, and multi-screen is hot…hot…hot

1. Brands will experiment with micro-video platforms, like Vine.

Micro-video became a force in 2013, with Coca-Cola, Oreo, and Red Bull experimenting with short videos or animated GIFs on Vine, Instragram, and Tumblr. The key for marketers is to combine creativity with simplicity. Branded Vine videos are four times more likely to be shared virally than traditional online videos, it notes.

2. Spending on mobile media will increase, especially for youth brands.

When trying to reach young people, smartphones are the only screens that matter, says Millward Brown. Since this audience is especially fickle, marketers need to connect when them on their level, using their language and youth-centric style. Constant innovation will be the key in 2014.

3. Marketing budgets will continue to shift from TV to online video.

For TV marketers who wonder whether online screens can deliver like TV, Millward Brown says don’t worry. It studied the effect of moving 40 percent of a campaign’s TV budget online in China, and found that reach increased 20 percent. In 2014, video campaigns will need to work well across all screens. Look for marketing agencies to be restructured since it will no longer make sense to have separate TV and online divisions.

4. Marketers will experiment with new screens, such as smart watches and Google Glass.

We’ll see new screens hit the market in 2014, such as Google Glass getting a general release and Apple unveiling the iWatch. Those new screens will represent new opportunities for video marketers. The challenge, Millward Brown says, is to learn what wearers want from those new screens and offer something useful.

5. The line between TV and online video will disappear.

The screen won’t matter to the viewer in 2014, and it shouldn’t matter to the video marketer, either, says Millward Brown. Viewers will be happy to start watching a program on a smartphone and resume it on a big-screen TV. Video marketing needs to move just as fluidly, and marketers will need to do greater research to understand who’s watching.

All of this points to a REAL BANNER YEAR for anyone working with Video…..if they Do It Right.  This is where SMB’s will need to seek out Professionals that have worked with these mediums, to help sort their way through the DIGITAL noise. There are quite a few Google + pros out there and a lot of hopefuls….It’s great to experiment on your own personal level, but when it comes to your Business…you really need to study the waters before jumping in.

Of course that’s why Virtual Interactive Systems is here. We believe the video paradigm has shifted in a good way. We are quickly learning how to Navigate the Waters so you don’t have to do it all alone.  Contact Us any time and we can help point you in the right direction.

Are you a Christmas or New Year Dummy?

candy caneFor all you PC folks Happy Holidays or for the non-pc Merry Christmas and soon to be Happy New Years.

OK, so it’s been quite a while since I have posted anything new to the Virtual Interactive Systems site, and if it’s been some time since you have been here you will notice a whole new look and feel to the site. Welcome to those of you that are first time visitors and please keep checking back as this will be getting updated on a weekly basis from here on out.

I wanted to wait till the New Year before officially relaunching the site….as I still have a few tweaks here and there to make.  Being a perfectionist can really be a Bit$$ some times!

However, in updating my site and in working with another venture soon to be launched – SMBsocial (more on this in a future post) I came across some really good…ok EXCELLENT information, that I had intended on using as a base for some video Tips here on Virtual Interactive Systems. In fact I am still working on them.  Then I got to thinking, with a lot of people home for the Holidays…..and with many doing last-minute Christmas shopping…..what a better way to let you know about some of the BEST RESOURCES for you to learn about and to Share with others. After all that’s a lot what Holiday’s are for –  sharing with Family and Friends right ?

Even better, is that this information is in the form of Digital Downloads that are FREE!  Yep you heard me FREE.  This content is FREE just for an email address. It comes from the folks at Dummies….You KNOW the extremely Popular Dummies Brand  wileyowned by Wily Publishing?dummies

It gets even better…the Authoritative Figure in this Freebie is non other than the Team at Limelight Networkslimelight networks

This is so good not to share. They have NOT one but TWO (2) FREE Books in the Dummies Format that you can down-load  RIGHT NOW!

The first book is Online Video for Dummies – This just came out recently and is “chock full of the best tips for becoming a true STORY TELLER in today’s online video venues”.

That’s Nine (9) full chapters in the famously easy to read and comprehend style, that has made the Dummies format famous for years. I can tell you personally that out of this book, I have at least (20) Pages Bookmarked for REFERENCE …..and I am pretty knowledgable about Video and Video for marketingonline video for dummiesg….that’s how well written and up-to date this is!  …

Now that I have your attention….There is a second FREE offering from the same team at Limelight…. Digital Presence for Dummies

If you didn’t know it…”Digital Presence” is THE buzz word for 2014 and any Business that wants to stay competitive – especially in the SMB community NEEDS to READ this.

Digital Presence for Dummies

Now how about an applaud and a shout-out for the guys behind these (2) excellent books. Jason Thibeault and Ryan C. shout-outWilliams.

Oh and before I close this out…..let me remind you….that the Online Video book….is really a BOOK too…and for the small price of sharing your MAILING address….they will send you the real BOOK for FREE too….. Now That’s an AWESOME present…..to yourself or a friend.

Now you have Two Great Sources of information to ramp up your Business in 2014…..and you can read them during your Holiday down time so no one can call you a Dummy, when it comes to Video Marketing and your Digital Presence.

Solutions Summit a Hit


Greetings to fellow attendees of the Solutions Summit 2013 from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  We hope you enjoyed and got as much out of the Summit as we did?  Mr. John Reardon of Info Trends  provided the opening Key Note address with some interesting statistic’s regarding Paper Consumption, that is the uncoated variety often used in copiers and printers.  With the ever increasing usage of Tablets and Mobile on our work forces and digitization of our society on a Global scale, the usage of printer/copier paper has actually declined significantly over the last several years. As a direct result Image and Printing firms…have seen a concurring decline in their services.PGA national Palm Beach

On the bright side of this, is the increasing demand and need for Document Scanning, Storage and Management Services associated with our ever increasing reliance on archived data. Whether that data is from your own storage systems or some type of cloud systems, storing and accessing the information will be the key indicators of success as the work force continues it’s adoption of Mobile computing platforms.

Another area of discussion was along the lines of increasing BPA opportunities (Business Processing Automation).  As many of us know this is huge in the health care sector and will provide additional opportunities in the market to merge services with one vendor vs. multiple to gain efficiencies, decrease costs of operations, maintenance and ease of use for the end user.

So where does Virtual Interactive Systems fit into all of this ?  True we are not in the office equipment industry, but we do have a big leg up in the business process segment. That segment deals with those of us that attended the Summit.  One of the vendor sessions from LMI Solutions hit on it quite amicably. That is “the Marketing of your firms” to get you better known among your peers, current clients and potential future clients by showing how you are an Authority in-your realm. This starts with updating your presence on the web. If your site is an old static site where you have relied on the old sales funnel model, then it’s time to update and stay abreast of the times. Times have changed and as a result the linear sales funnel we all knew has gone away. The increasing customer centric involvement brought on by Social Media Marketing and wide adoption by consumers, means you  have to change or risk your sales margins erode and get picked off by your competitors that were early adopters within the Social Media paradigm.

As a result Virtual Interactive is in the midst of a huge transition our selves. Video has morphed in multiple delivery platforms, avenues of creation and our old model of business has changed too. We still create compelling stories for our clients with video but it’s so much more than old infomercials were in the past.  As such we have huge changes coming to this site. We have been actively working with clients to update their sites to more robust Content Managed Systems, but neglected ours for some time. So Virtual Interactive is splitting into (2) Groups. SMBsocial (launching later this month) will work with clients to develop and build out a custom Branding Platform across all the major Social Media Networks that will of course include video offerings from Virtual Interactive. VI will continue to focus  on the broader aspects of video production for our clients, telling extraordinary stories, but we will also become an aggregator or source of referral for all things related to video.  This site will be undergoing huge changes within the next week to 10 days, so be sure to check back and see what we are doing.   More to Follow!

2012 New Year – New Venue

2012 VISIN

Its a New Year and a lot has transpired in the Video Realm during 2011. Additionally, we have been very active in SMB media and as any one can tell from visiting the site this last year, we have not been too active in publishing content to our own Virtual Interactive Systems site! Well I can say that all the changes and challenges we faced in 2011 have had dramatic effects on our business and that has resulted in a complete overhaul of our business for 2012. Within the next month you will see Visin.com move to a total Video Aggregation site as we move into assisting more of our SMB clientele into the How To process of Internet video along with copious amounts of relevant data on Internet marketing on our new site SMB Social that will have its official launch in February 2012. So 2012 is shaping up to be the Video Year for Business and we will dominate this arena.

Google Plus – the bandwidth HOG

SO why does it take G+ so long to load (20 minutes and counting) ??? Once again we are down to (1) Fiber line or so says MIT (Magic Island Technologies) . Life sucks working in the Middle East especially with regards to internet access. Most users in the US and other places abroad take their high speed access for granted. We pay $65.00 a month here with no guarantee of up-time and lately its been down more than up. That’s partly the reason for the large load time of G+. However, it’s also appearing that Google has not load balanced their apps very well. Even though we have what amounts to Dial-Up access, I would think Google with their co-located servers all around the World could do better than this ?? I can access Facebook and Skype which can be heavy on servers at times and I can even access the back-end of my system here at Virtual Interactive Systems, to create this post with very little latency.  So why is Google Plus taking such a long time to load the Streaming portion for updates ?? I ran a TRACERT and we are connecting to the servers at Google, but it’s a SLOW PROCESS, and my bet is G+ is not properly load balanced or optimized to deal with the rest of the world yet ?


Ok, Google you can spend BILLIONS to  buy-up Motorola , but you can’t even get your own system to work properly on low bandwidth…. hows that working for ya ? Cause it’s not for me, so for now your Google -1  (MINUS one) to me!

Time to Change the Channel on Netflix

Netflixsux Time to change the channel on Netflix ? Customers irate because of new pricing model. Some media pundits support Netflix based on their signing new deals with NBC . Netflix in my opinion is not providing the services that warrant a price hike of this magnitude. Their streaming services serve up OLD & outdated movies…..August 31, will be a bitter pill for Netflix to swallow.. Kiss your IPO adios

Current users need to drop NetFlix and new subscribers should look elsewhere. NetFlix is raping loyal customers and they don’t care!!!!!!
Mark Orton
July 14, 2011
Netflix’s 60% Price Hike: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me!

Imagine my surprise when I opened an email from Netflix Tuesday to discover that my current plan is jumping from $10 a month to $16 a month. Sure, that doesn’t seem like a huge jump (come on, Sarah, it’s only $6), but it is a pretty large hike–60 percent, to be exact.
Netflix Raises Rates Again: Business Model Has Serious Challenges Ahead | CMO.com

Netflix announced that they are raising rates on monthly plans that allow customers to get unlimited streaming and one DVD out at a time.
Netflix Price Increase Infuriates The Interwebs

I’m sure that when the people over at Netflix submitted their blog post about the new prices yesterday, they expected some level of backlash. How could they not? In short, they turned a service that cost $10 into a service that costs $16 without adding anything new.
Netflix Backlash Explodes On Facebook

The upcoming Netflix price increases has the Internet in an absolute tizzy. Their blog post announcing the upcoming price hikes quickly filled up with the 5000 comment limit, and although every comment wasn’t sifted through, the word “backlash” is absolutely fitting.
Netflix raises plan prices by 60%, with 4100 negative comments and counting

Netflix on Tuesday announced significant changes to its pricing plans that include a 60% price bump on combination DVD and streaming plans. The new changes go into effect September 1 for existing members. Netflix customers, if you couldn”t already guess, …
Netflix price hike angers users, some drop plan.
Albert Hurt
July 14, 2011
Netflix users revolt over price increases [poll]

Yesterday, Netflix did something almost unthinkable in this economy — dramatically increased prices for many customers. I asked for your reaction, and, whoa, did you give it. To recap: Netflix separated its DVD and streaming plans. Under the old arrangement, subscribers could rent one DVD at a time and get unlimited streaming for $8.99.
Hulu or Netflix: In the game of streaming video, you win or you socialize

With over 23 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, Netflix has roughly 25 times more paying customers than competing online video service Hulu Plus. However, Hulu is by far the more dominant streaming service when it comes to social interaction, according to data collected by social media listening firm Mashworks.
Dear Netflix, Thanks For The Customers! Signed, Redbox

Talk about backlash. I’ve yet to see one comment anywhere supporting Netflix’s price hikes and for good reason. Netflix announced a new pricing scheme yesterday that effectively raised the price of a popular subscription plan by 60%. Instead of costing $9.99 for streaming and DVD rental, Netflix separated the services and priced them each $7.99, which results in a combined cost of $16.
Cancelled my netflix last night..greed is UGLY!
Julie Taylor-Hitchcock
July 14, 2011
Said goodbye to netflix lastnight. They waited till the movie stores went out of business then jacked their prices! Assholes! Same with walmart! They put Ames, Hills, and almost K-mart out and now their prices are not as good as they used to be.
Janine Shepperson
July 14, 2011
This Day in Tech: Netflix customers are angry birds

waynec_sf: Got a quick Skyline run in the GT-R, barely taxed its capabilities. Photos courtesy of @antgoo http://t.co/HsxoQ6Q cnet: Busy day? We round up all the top stories in This Day in Tech: http://cnet.co/oXzzYK CNETNews: This Day in Tech: Exclusive on Sprint confirming LightSquared deal; angry Netflix customers http://cnet.co/r5crfW crave: iLuv iSP110 review: Is this speaker case worth $15?
I must be very angry today-today is vent day!!!Netflix-good bye!!!!!thanks for managing to squeeze yet again more money out of people trying to make a living.Greedy Canadian company.Is there another company anyone can suggest to me to order videos by mail or stream videos thru the xbox?please let me know I am cancelling my netflix subscription today
Lauralee Oprey
July 14, 2011
Netflix Expands NBC Deal As Customer Anger Mounts | Technology News, Social Media News & Aggregated Tech Information From TeckTwo.com!

The renewed deal not only assures that content from shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Office will remain on Netflix, but it also expands the deal to include shows such as Leave it to Beaver, Psych and Law and Order: SVU. The deal also covers a selection of NBC Universal’s film library.
Netflix Expands NBC Deal As Customer Anger Mounts

Netflix and NBC Universal have renewed and expanded their live video streaming deal, bringing more content to Netflix. The agreement comes as customer anger mounts over a major price increase for Netflix DVD and streaming services.
Netflix overhauls subscription plans; splits DVD, streaming options http://usat.ly/qZw27m @netflix Time 2 CANCEL subscriptions!
July 12, 2011


Year End in Review

How time has gone by this year. As I am creating this post, I realize I have been very negligent to my once very high reader base. One of our main goals for 2010, will be to create more content to better help those wanting to include video and or social media into their business plans for the New Year. So what have we been doing and why have we not “eaten our own dog food” as the saying goes ?   Well the main reason is we have been creating content for clients and helping them gain community communication channels by co-developing Social Media Managed platforms, with video as a core tool. Our proudest accomplishment over the last 7 months and the chief reason for our negligence on posting here has been our involvement with a nonprofit organization, Operation Hug-A-Hero.  You can read our Press Release posted on the Fast Pitch site entitled Nonprofit OPERATION Hug-A-Hero gets Social Media Makeover.

We wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year, and look forward to a wonderfully creative 2010. We will be revamping the Virtual Interactive web site to better bring news and advice so that Small Business owners will have the tools they need to succeed in the new media realm.


Thomas Townsend
Virtual Interactive Systems
Tampa, Florida

Why Fortune Companies are embracing Social Media

dma_logoThe 2nd week of June the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Social Media Council (SMC) released their first-ever Social Media Survey.

The goal of the Social Networking Software Survey was to obtain industry awareness of how Social Software is being utilized today, as well as to get an understanding of future internal and external social media strategies. However, what they really were after was learning just how mainstream this going Social phenom has affected larger companies.

They surveyed over 3,000 companies in April – May 2009. This included close to half of the Fortune 100 companies. What they discovered during the process was that large companies are embracing social media,with about 40% of the respondents indicating they currently had social media trials underway.

Additionally they found that:

  • Over 70 percent of companies surveyed are already using external social networks for collaboration purposes.
  • Almost 60 percent of the survey respondents think social networking can have a high impact on brand awareness.
  • Of the top emerging technologies, companies surveyed believe external social networks have the most potential value to their respective organizations.
  • More than 45 percent of respondents believe social networking can have a high impact on capturing customer insights.

So as a small to medium business owner (SMB), this means that you need to really take a serious look at including Social Media in your marketing strategy, if you are not already doing so.  You can pretty much guarantee that your competition is! [Read more…]

The buoy in this economic storm is Search Marketing


In a new research report from E Marketer Inc, Web retailers and other online marketers will be spending much more time and effort beefing up their search engine optimization efforts over the next several years.

Search Marketing-buoy

In yet another report, this one from the Internet Retailers new search engine marketing survey, some rather interesting survey results revealed that more retailers are investing in search engine optimization as the economy worsens.

Moving forward through the severe recession, 55.3% plan to increase spending on search engine optimization to achieve better natural search results.

These numbers clearly show that retailers are turning their attention more to optimization to improve natural search results than focusing on getting the best keyword mix in paid search.

eMarketer’s report also indicates that 2009 spend will likely hit $14.7 billion and by 2013, total U.S. search marketing advertising will reach an estimated $23.38 BILLION, with marketers spending more on search engine optimization … [Read more…]

YouTube redesign outs User Generated Content


Is  UGC  (user generated content) headed for the digital dustbins  on YouTube ?

If you’re a small or medium business and have been running the do it yourself approach on Video promotions, your ROI (return on Investment) which at present may be  equal to the time you have invested in producing your clips and uploading them to YouTube, is fast approaching its end.

YouTube has been a great way for those without the skills or tools to get their content noticed, as well as some premium content too.  However, there is still a ton of plain old garbage that is uploaded to the site in mass quantities every day.   As a result YouTube is continuing to lose bucketfuls of money on the increasing bandwidth that it forks out every month.  Since it’s owned by Google, the share holder and investment community won’t stand for it to continue to bleed without some way turning down the spigot and eventually getting to a model that earns a profit.  Enter the new deals with corporate clients with the likes of Disney, CBS etc and now add to that the ubiquitous larger banner ads that are running on most of the USG content these days.

It appears that YouTube in many ways may want emulate Hulu that offers premium content that is professionally produced.

So what’s a small business owner to do?  Well I can say that adding video as one part of a Social Media Management Campaign can have a beneficial and lasting impact with recurring benefits to your bottom line.  For about the cost of a Yellow pages add we at Virtual Interactive Systems can pick up where a YouTube video leaves off. Now is the time to give professionals a serious look and discover what you’re missing.  Oh, you can call the folks that run the outdated and out modeled phone book.  They even do video ads that can only be observed on their site.  We know because we have done a few projects for them before we found out just how bad a business proposition it turned out to be for their clients.

If you want to get your business and or products noticed with a lasting and recurring theme that promotes you across the entire Social Media Spectrum then do it right and call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION.