While we were in the middle of the Outskirts Press Pre-Production series of blog postings in February, our Outskirts Press blog over at http://blog.outskirtspress.com introduced a video contest in association with Valentine’s Day, titled “Show Me the Love” where we asked our satisfied and successfully published authors to record a 1-3 minute video about either being a published author, their experience with Outskirts Press, or why they loved working with us.
The videos we received were great! We posted them all on Facebook as we received them. Then our Facebook friends “liked” them or commented on them in accordance with normal social media behavior. This allowed us to determine 6 “finalists” based upon the number of likes and/or comments each video received.
We then posted those 6 video finalists on our blog along with a poll, asking our blog readers and members of our social community to vote on the video they liked the best. The winner would receive a free Apple iPad 2. It was an interesting race, with two finalists battling back and forth in the polls up until the last hour, at which time, one was crowned the winner.
At the bell, Patricia A. Hawkenson, author of Magnetic Repulsion: 100 Poems From Desire to Disgust, was named our Video Valentine for 2012 for this creative video she submitted:
Video testimonials like these are valuable components to running successful online businesses nowadays, because people on the internet are now more likely to “watch” the Internet than they are to “read” it (and yes, I recognize the irony of making that claim in a manner that requires it to be read).
So how do you acquire video testimonials for your book or business? Well, our process worked pretty well, and it went something like this:
1. Use your social media community to solicit participation in a transparent, Web 2.0-friendly way
2. Encourage participation and comments
3. Yes, you may have to offer an incentive to participate. As popular as Skype may be, it’s still a taxing procedure for most people to create a video, and the likelihood of it being spread across YouTube and the rest of the Internet is not for the faint of heart — particularly for writers, the majority of whom are often introverted. In our case, we dangled an Apple iPad 2, but your gift could be something as easy as a signed copy of your book, for example, or a product or service that you deliver. For instance, our runner-up, received a free iPad edition of her book (which actually has approximately the same retail price as the iPad 2 itself, so they were both big winners).
4. Once you have video testimonials, use them. Nothing is quite as persuasive as seeing real people making really great comments about your product or service.
So, with that said, take a look at all six of our video finalists by clicking here. Pretty good arguments to use Outskirts Press, wouldn’t you say?