Maybe yes, maybe no. But don't underestimate it!If any of you need an animated marketing video, get in touch with my friend, Radim Hladis. He owns a company called Playou. They create animated videos that are just spectacular!
Radim, like many of my friends, decided a few years ago that he wanted to do his own thing....be his own boss....master of his own ship....captain of his destiny.
Radim enjoyed the IT business but wanted to do something more creative.
Eventually Radim sold the IT business to his colleagues and headed for more colorful pastures. He started a marketing company called "Big Family" to work with small and medium sized companies designing web-based marketing and advertising campaigns.
Radim found that animated videos were a particularly effective sales and marketing tool and Big Family started providing them to clients. He become particularly adept at designing and producing the videos. He also discovered, somewhat to his surprise, demand for animated marketing videos is increasing. He rebranded Big Family into Playou.
Radim can talk at length about what makes a good animated video and why his videos are particularly good. You can get some insight into his philosophy if you see his blog about video productions produced by studios he has come to admire.
We'll get into the why's and wherefores about the appeal of animated marketing videos some other time. Suffice to say for now that with a combination of client referrals and targeted marketing campaigns Radim has begun to develop a healthy growing business.
Keep Reading! We're just getting warmed up.That's where I come in to the picture. Radim paid a surprise visit to our offices at SymCredit recently. Radim faces the typical problem that many entrepreneurs with growing businesses face. Demand for his services is growing and he's had to hire more staff. This places pressure on working capital, so Radim wanted to learn more about how a P2P loan can help his business.
Of course, I told Radim the truth, that he had knocked on the right door and SymCredit would happily serve him should he decide a P2P loan was right for him. Watch the SymCredit site and maybe you'll soon see his loan listed :).
Since Radim is a web-marketing expert I decided to pick his brain a little and asked him about good ways to market. Radim told me - "Google Ad Words is a must and being on page 1 of the search is even a bigger must!"
How can that be? I wondered. To my naive thinking, pay-per-click advertising campaigns surely result in
many wasted dollars. Customers who really are serious about finding a supplier will search past page 1. They'll also read online magazines and they'll gather references.
Second in a village like the Czech Republic everyone seems to know everyone and there are not so many video producers to choose from. The better producers benefit from word of mouth - the best form of advertising I think I know of.
Third, isn't it better to develop a referral network? That's what doctors do. My friend David Wertheim is a pediatric allergist. He knows lots of general practitioners. When one of them needs an allergist David's phone rings. David has developed a reputation over the last 20 years of practice. His phone rings often. David doesn't need to pay Google. Radim knows a lot of marketing specialists who could send video business his way, so why should Radim need to pay Google?
Finally, the conspiracy theorist in the back of my mind tells me that a savvy competitor (or worse....Google) can help you waste your money by finding ways to inundate you with wasted clicks.
My business is financial services. Specifically, I run an Angel Investment Fund, a P2P Lending Fund, a P2P Platform and a corporate finance advisory business. Investing in my products is not like running down to the store to buy a bottle of milk. When someone wants to invest in P2P Lending Fund will they really just search Google to find me? Will paying to have more people find me on Google really drive more business my way? Or will I wind up paying for clicks and watching my bounce rate on Google analytics soar? Aren't my clients far more likely to find me because they read my blogs or because they saw me speak at a conference or because they saw me mentioned in a news article or because they found me in a product focused database? Won't I propagate into Google naturally if my site and products are mentioned on lots of other websites?
Why should I spray and pray and pay for clicks I don't need when the clicks I need will find me anyhow?
Radim tells me that as many as 50% of his clients find him after they did on-line searches for video animation companies. He tells me that his phone rings more often when he runs an on-line campaign, especially using AdWords.
The most surprising thing I heard when Radim paid me his visit was that he actually starts to get enquiry from the US market. Imagine that! He's sitting in some small Moravian town and he gets enquiry from the US. So Radim is starting to seriously consider investing in an AdWords campaign aimed at the US market.
Rounding the Final Bend and Heading Home
Is Google a Marketing Must? I think the answer is....it depends on the the product and service you sell and how your customers are likely to find you and the decision process they are likely to go through before buying your service. Probably the need for Google AdWords and similar services is inversely related to market size and product complexity.
Investing is a highly personal business. Few people invest serious money with someone they don't know. The bigger the investment, the more serious thought they put in before making a decision. Advertising needs to be highly targeted and coupled with publishing, word of mouth recommendation and personal engagement. Paying for clicks and directed search engine visibility is probably not so important as simply being in the right place to meet the right people at the right time.
Video production is less personal. There is a virtual crowd of video production companies in the global space. Radim is a smart, talented fellow, but he still has to compete to get noticed. Unlike the investment space there aren't publications and databases dedicated to ranking video producers and discussing their most recent quarterly results. Radim probably needs to use powerful tools like Google AdWords, banner ads and other ways to generate clicks.
My conversation with Radim forced to do some serious thinking. I'm not running out to start a Google AdWords campaign. But there is a lot more to be said about how to e-market alternative investments smartly. Stay tuned!
To find out more about Radim Hladis. Click here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about my P2P Lending Fund or my Angel Fund, visit symvest.com or e-mail email@example.com.