Illegal downloading is forcing the music, movie, publishing and other entertainment and information sources to adapt to the new technology. Most importantly it’s making content more affordable and accessible.

The problem is that big media companies are fighting this change instead of embracing it and riding the wave to the new era of distribution. Hounding fans, gathering lawyers to fight impossible battles, and doing everything in their power to clutch on to the old system. The system is bad, the people have spoken, it’s time to move on.

After all, how bad is illegal downloading anyway?

Read the full story at videoarmy.tv

My latest blog post, what do you think?

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Posted on March 29, 2010 by CJ Bruce // View Comments

We are bombarded by hundreds of advertisements a day and when it comes down to it, most of them want our money. People on the street asking for money are operating in a similar way. What separates the winners from the losers? It’s all about how you ask.

The range of questions varies. Do you have any spare change? I need a dollar for XYZ. I just got laid off/fired/divorced/discharged. Need money for food/beer/drugs.

These are the common questions that get lackluster responses at best and usually a reactionary “I don’t have any”. Advertising for your business works the same way.

As your potential customers work their way through life online and offline they are constantly being presented with products, requests, deals, sales, bonus packages, limited time offers and unbeatable deals! What can you do to separate yourself from the pack? Capture their attention and provide value.

The other day I was walking down the boardwalk in Venice and a guy stopped me. He said “I can tell you how old you are, where you are from and when you will die for a dollar”. I was like “All that for a dollar?”. I gave him a buck just to see how this would work. Then he says, and I’m paraphrasing, “You’re as old as the universe, born from creation and will never die because your energy will live on outside of your physical being.” He got me.

The point is that by using that approach, he stood out from everyone else and was actually able to capture my attention. That’s the biggie, capturing the attention of your target audience in the midst of thousands of others trying to do the same. While he didn’t answer the questions in the way I thought, it entertained me and my friends which was worth a dollar.

What are you doing to separate yourself from the competition? Do you have an interesting story about how you cut through the clutter? Or a story about how someone cut through to you? Share your experience in the comments below.

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Category : Tactics

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small businesses e1269542467463 200x130 Video = Fastest Growing Website Feature for Small BusinessesIndeed, small businesses have been racing to get their websites video-capable over the past year – and those same small businesses are spending more on paid search advertising.  According to a new report, small business advertisers spent more than twice as much on paid search and nearly 4 times as many of them reported having video on their website vs. a year ago.

Local online advertising firm WebVisible just released the second installment of their study, “State of Small Business Online Advertising,” which examines trends among their nearly 12000 small business advertisers and represents around $22M in Q4 2009 U.S. small business advertiser spending.

While there are a lot of nuggets of data about where SMBs are headed with online advertising, I thought I would take some time to highlight the aspects of the data that most apply to our readers: video, search, and conversion.

Read the Full Article at reelseo.com

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Clients Say Shops Are Too ‘Reactive’

Poll finds execs concerned that agencies aren’t proactive enough

March 15, 2010

– Andrew McMains

adweek/photos/stylus/130384-businessmen-meeting.jpg

The complaints are all too familiar, but a new poll of client executives finds that agencies still aren’t proactive enough and need to make more of an effort to grasp the business challenges that clients face.

Asked to identify their top sources of frustration with agencies, the execs pointed to “more reactive than proactive” above all else, followed by “poor communication,” “not understanding our company’s business” and “insufficient creativity or originality.”

Among the words of advice they offered in response to another question were “act as a partner, not only a provider,” “try to become more knowledgeable about the product category than your client,” “talk less” and “make sure you have the required expertise in the industry that you care selling to.”

Some 327 marketing execs took the poll, which research company Ad-ology conducted online in January. The resulting report, “Attitudes on Agencies,” probes everything from the top factors that marketing leaders consider when selecting shops to how their marketing budgets will likely change this year.

Fifty percent of the respondents expect their budgets to grow in 2010, though 21 percent of those projected an increase of just 1 to 5 percent. Another third of the sample said their budgets would be flat, and 17 percent said they’d be down compared to 2009.

This year, respondents plan to spend more on digital marketing and customer relationship management efforts and less on trade shows, conferences and promotions.

When asked which types of ad efforts will likely receive more funding, the execs pointed to social media initiatives, direct marketing, online video and mobile marketing, among others.

Cost considerations aside, marketing leaders cited creative capabilities as the top factor in selecting an agency, followed by the caliber of past work, an understanding of their consumers, category experience and responsiveness.

Ad-ology lead analyst Michelle O’Brien declined to identify the companies represented in the survey, but the sectors they operate in include retail, banking, healthcare, technology, entertainment, travel and automotive.

This was Ad-ology’s first such survey of client sentiments about agencies, and the Westerville, Ohio-based company plans to conduct the poll annually going forward, according to O’Brien.

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Investing in Colombian Oil

Who Will Find Oil in the Jungle?

By Christian A. DeHaemer
Friday, February 26th, 2010

The last time I gave serious thought to Colombia, I was wearing red pants and white socks. My stereotype ideas were formed by a mixture of Miami Vice, the movie Romancing the Stone, and historical documentaries of the Medellín drug cartel.

Colombia, as most of us “know,” is a third-world hellhole where the rich ride around in bulletproof cars and have bodyguards to protect their families. Cocaine warlords rule the country, buying politicians and killing judges and prosecutors with impunity.

But like most stereotypes, things aren’t what they seem…

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In fact over the past ten years, the Colombian forces of law and order have made significant progress over the leftist rebels like FARC. And on the flipside, many of the right-wing paramilitary groups have been dismantled.

Uribe for King

Since President Uribe was elected with 63% of the vote in 2002, the country has seen dramatic improvements in both security and the economy. Uribe increased military funding, stopped negotiating with the rebels, and boosted foreign investment.

The guerrillas have lost control of vast amounts of territory… the homicide rate has been cut in half…kidnappings have fallen from 3,700 in the year 2000 to just 172 in 2009… the total number of insurgents has also been reduced to 8,900 from 16,900.

This turnaround has been remarkable — and the stock market reflects it.

If you had bought Bancolombia SA (NYSE) about eight years ago, you’d be up 2,900%. Take a look:

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It is no wonder that the President has a 85% approval rating…

Global Crisis

GDP in the country was growing at more than 7% in 2007 before the global crisis hit. It contracted 0.2% last year and is expected to grow at 2%-3% in 2010. Inflation remains moderate at about 4.06%, according to BusinessWeek.

The local currency (peso) is at 1,942 to the U.S. dollar. So far it’s up 5.2% this year, boasting the biggest gain of the 26 most-traded emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

In other words, Colombia isn’t your father’s banana republic anymore…

Snow and Oil

Tomorrow, I’ll be braving the so-called “snowicane” in Manhattan to attend a meeting on Colombian oil.

The forecast is calling for 15 inches of snow and 70mph winds in New York City. If the train gets stuck in Newark, I will be pissed.

But it will be worth it if I can get you the real scoop on what may be a very fine investment indeed: Colombian oil.

Have you ever wondered why Venezuela is the United States’ fourth-largest supplier of oil… yet right next-door, in a very similar geographic location, Colombia is not even part of the conversation?

The reason: violence.

Oil explorers are a bold lot, but even they didn’t want to spend five years tied up in the jungle listening to Marxist rants and waiting for their families to come up with some money.

That has all changed over the last decade. And those oil companies who got in early will make a fortune.

According to Oil and Gas Journal:

Colombia had 1.36 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves in 2009, the fifth-largest in South America. The country produced 600,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil in 2008, up from 540,000 bbl/d in 2007. Colombia exports about half of its oil production. The bulk of those exports (155,000 bbl/d) to the United States in 2007.

But the feeling on the ground is that there is a lot of oil in the hinterland, on the border with Venezuela, that is just now being discovered.

Welcome, Foreign Investment, Welcome

For the past ten years, Colombia has taken free market measures to increase its economy and develop its natural resources. They allow 100 percent foreign stakes in oil ventures and have a lower royalty rate than most countries.

They have sold shares of their nationalist oil company Ecopetrol (EC) on the New York Stock Exchange. The changes have worked and in 2007 — when oil was pushing $150 a barrel — there was a “gold rush” in Colombian oil fields. There is now more exploration and development drilling than ever before.

Black Gold Cartagena-T

Colombia’s oil production is centeredin the Andean foothills and the eastern Amazonian jungles. The old fields, like the Cusiana/Cupiagua complex and Cano Limon, have been in decline for years.

It is in the vast and unexplored hydrocarbon-rich areas deep in the jungle that the oil boys are looking today. These are the areas that share geological features with Colombia’s neighbor and OPEC member, Venezuela.

About a year and a half ago, Colombia gave licenses to nine companies to explore this area, officially called the Llanos Basin. It is an area that is greatly unexplored but that has the potential to hold large amounts of heavy oil.

I hope to find out more about these companies — the Llanos Nine — tonight at my meeting.

Like Picking 10-Baggers off a Tree

As you are aware, small exploration companies that find hidden pools of oil in dark places can see their stock prices rise exponentially. I know of one such company that has proven reserves of 114 million barrels — with a low cost of extraction.

This is a Mongolian company. The President of Mongolia has recently been quoted as saying Mongolia has 8 billion barrels of oil. The company I’ve recommended to my readers could have the license to about a billion of those barrels.

It is already up 67% since I recommended last month, and it still trades for under $60 million — crazy cheap!

But it won’t be for long… You can read more about this time-sensitive oil opportunity — and your chance to cash in — right here.

Christian DeHaemer

Editor, Energy and Capital
Editor & Founder, Crisis and Opportunity

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Internet Video Marketing Experts Launch Premium Services for Agencies and Brands

The Internet’s leading video marketing experts are teaming up to offer full scale online video marketing services for brands large and small.

This partnership will allow us both to better serve individuals, agencies, small businesses, and big brands.

Newport Beach, CA (PRWEB) March 10, 2010 — ReelSEO, the leading information source for online video marketing news and analysis, has announced a strategic partnership with Video Army, a premier provider of end-to-end video production and marketing services. Marketers now have access to a complete range of premium video marketing services including: video production, distribution, and marketing.

Online video is one of the most powerful marketing and advertising options today. According to research published last year by Doubleclick and Google, ads with video were shown to outperform all other forms of online advertising by an overwhelming margin.

Not surprisingly, major brands have begun to embrace video marketing, shifting significant advertising dollars away from more traditional media advertising. According to eMarketer, US online video advertising revenues in the US alone are predicted to grow at at extraordinary pace from $734 Million in 2008 to more than $5.2 Billion dollars, or 700%, by 2014.

“We have seen first hand, the interest in video marketing grow exponentially over the past year. Our unique position in the marketplace allows us to connect marketers with the kind of white-hat, professional online video marketing services they read about on our site every day,” said ReelSEO founder, Mark Robertson.

The combination of ReelSEO’s leadership and Video Army’s experience, having worked on campaigns for Gatorade and the Obama 2008 Campaign, makes them an attractive combination of know-how, analysis and expertise.

“People go to ReelSEO everyday to read and learn about online video marketing strategies, but many of them cannot implement these strategies on their own,” said CJ Bruce, CEO of Video Army. “This partnership will allow us both to better serve individuals, agencies, small businesses, and big brands.”

Whether it is extending the life and reach of current video assets, producing new video content, or building online video and social media marketing channels, ReelSEO and Video Army can craft an online video strategy that suits a variety of needs.

For more information, please visit http://www.reelseo.com/services/

About ReelSEO
ReelSEO is “The online video marketer’s guide” – a destination for news, research, insight and best practices for online video publishing, promotion and optimization. ReelSEO maintains a staff of expert columnists who research and analyze the latest options, offerings and trends in an effort to guide marketers and businesses towards best practices and online video services that suit their needs.

About Video Army
Video Army creates videos for brands & provides marketing services to engage online communities and advertise to targeted demographics. Video Army’s services include high definition video production, social media marketing, online content distribution, web design and viral promotion.

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Press release detailing Video Army’s relationship with ReelSEO. Boom!

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Morris Business Development Company – OTCBB: “MBDE” has signed a Letter of Intent with Video Army, LLC to collectively provide new media and institutional financial services to American companies.  Dr George Morris states, “MBDE is an SEC reporting company where Congress directed Business Development Companies (BDC) to help both privately owned, and thinly traded public companies succeed.” The BDC provides access to capital and managerial support. This statutory mandate benefits both the client company and the BDC.

George Moseman, CFO of Video Army, is an investment banker and believes this is a time of great opportunity for early adopters. Moseman states, “More than 50% of all purchasing and investment decisions in the U.S. are made using the Internet, and that number will only grow dramatically. We are in the right place at the right time, with the right products. Video is simply the most effective marketing medium available today.”  Video Army provides end-to-end video marketing services including; production, distribution, advertising, social media, and web design.

The power of Video Army’s partnership with Morris Business Development Company is that it can make a significant impact for client companies, increasing their operating performance while creating high market exposure.

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