Exclusive Features

tEDTV Grows In Popularity

By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine

To be honest, I really wasn’t sure how popular tEDTV was going to be when we re-launched the website almost one year ago. At the time, marketing through video was a part of the industry, and there were a number of companies that were using video extensively, but it wasn’t anywhere close to being a widespread way of spreading the word about manufacturers’ products.

A lot has changed in the past year.

tEDTV now has more than 500 videos from a wide variety of manufacturers.  It has 14 product categories, from lighting to fasteners to cable to data. We know of more than a few companies that have put tEDTV on their regular “to-do” list by submitting at least one video a week. Video is definitely becoming an extremely popular way to spread the word about the products that are available to this industry. We are seeing everything from weekly videos that are produced to keep distributors up to date on the products to longer-form, highly produced videos that are being used to market new product launches. 

I am often asked a few questions about videos for tEDTV. The most common deals with the length of each video. My teenage son Sammy is a huge soccer fan, and he will often send me links to soccer videos. Some are six or seven minutes long. When I see the length, most of the time I just don’t watch it. It might be the most exciting six or seven minutes of soccer ever captured on video, but I have this pre-conceived notion that it’s just too long. I also can’t tell you how many times I have watched a two-hour movie and thought it would be much better if it was 30 minutes shorter. On the other hand, you need to make sure you are telling your complete message so the viewer isn’t left with unanswered questions. The best advice I can give is to do everything possible to keep your tEDTV videos around the 2 minute mark, but do not be afraid to go a little longer.

The other popular question is about how much you should spend on a video camera and editing software. I have seen great videos shot off of smartphones, and even the ABC comedy “Modern Family” shot an entire episode on an iPhone. A lot of people shoot video on their tablets, which isn’t a huge expense, but it does have some drawbacks, like you can’t zoom in or adjust for lighting. Equally as important is sound. The good news there is microphones are not expensive and you would be surprised at the difference between natural sound and microphone sound. As far as editing goes, if you are just getting started, be prepared for a large learning curve. Some of the edit software on the market can do amazing things, but it takes time to learn all of it. Taking a class on it is highly recommended, because if you are teaching yourself, you aren’t using the software to its maximum capability.

We are going to be talking about marketing videos at the upcoming NAED AdVenture Conference in Chicago from August 10-12. The sessions will be helping both the novice and expert video makers. 

Either way, we are excited about the opportunities tEDTV is bringing to you and hope it will continue to make the supply chain stronger. To the manufacturers, I ask that you continue to build your marketing strategy around the use of video, and you continue to use tEDTV (which, by the way, is free) as a way to connect with distributors. And to distributors, I ask that you continue to check out our video website as a way to stay informed on all of the products you are supplying.

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