Friday, May 16, 2008

Special Interest Video

Special Interest Video {S.I.V.} continues to grow in popularity and can be a good way for you to make extra money! When most people think of SIV they think of "How To" tapes. Yes, "How To" tapes are SIV, but there is much more. Documentaries, Weddings, Corporate and many more fall into the SIV category. Special Interest is any video that is marketed to a specific market, be it a family, club, group, business or "class" of people. By "class" I mean any groups who have a common interest.
From 'Girls Gone Wild' to 'Court Depositions', special interest video is in demand.
SIV is unique in that for most cases you don't have to over-produce the video. Your audience is far more interested in the content than the flash or sparkle of the video, though todays audience does demand quality.

There are a few Keys to Success in SIV:

• Pick a good project; The key to success as a videographer is knowing who is likely to watch your tape, and producing the tape specifically for that group. So the project you choose should be attractive to a specific group of people.

Let me give you an example. Let's say you want to produce a DVD on Motorcycles. This is good, motorcycles are popular and many people own and ride them. There are clubs and riding groups everywhere. But, motorcycles is far too broad a topic. Remember, you need to be specific. So break it down.

My advice to you would be to pick a specific motorcycle and produce a program on that bike. Why? Because you are zoning in on a specific target market.

Let's say you have or know someone who owns a Yamaha "Virago" motorcycle and you can work with him/her to produce the show. Yamaha produced the Virago bikes from the early 1980's up to the late 1990's and still makes the Virago 250cc bike. There are Virago owners groups and plenty of the bikes are being ridden everyday. Every owner of a Virago is a potential customer. And there are thousands of owners out there.

When you target a specific market, in this case the Virago owner, you are producing something unique to that individual.
Should a Virago owner see your DVD on a shelf, he will put the milk and bread back to grab that disc! It's not everyday he sees a DVD on 'his' bike! Sure there are videos of motorcycles, Harleys mostly.But there are none on his specific motorcycle. It's unique to him and will touch that special interest in him. He is a Virago rider and that tape is about his motorcycle.

• Subject Matters; The content of your video is far more important than the production of your tape. Don't try to be Hollywood. You don't have to and if you can't produce Hollywood magic, trying to may result in a very boring or laughable video. Remember, you are selling information not fluff. Make the tape entertaining and of high quality but don't try to make Star Wars. Show the subject and include as much useful information about the subject as you can. Plus show many varieties of the subject. Let your creativity flourish and make a little gem!

In our scenario above you'd want to show many Virago bikes, tricked out bikes, and give instruction on oil changes, best tires, keeping it clean and show-room quality, plus specific issues known about this bike. You may want to compare models, where to find parts, or show how to customize the bike. If possible give expert riding tips for this specific motorcycle. The information should be good basic material for the novice or the pro. So do your research.

• Marketing; You will want to locate and advertise in places where Virago riders will be watching such as online bulletin boards, magazines and club newsletters. Find the people that are riding this bike and market to them specifically.

Making Special Interest Video puts you in the drivers seat. You are your own boss. There is no 'client' dictating how you should create the tape. You are the producer and director. This can be a very liberating experience if you are used to making videos for other people.
Once produced, the DVD will continue to bring in money while you move on to other projects. All you need to do is keep it out there so buyers can find it.

If you'd like to learn more about Special Interest Video check out this excellent free online book by Studio One. It explains SIV in more detail and gives you a great introduction to the concept. A good SIV can continue to bring in capital for your company or you as an individual videographer. Enjoy the book and go make some video!

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