How Video helped a Start-Up Land Shelf Space at Wal-Mart

I guess everybody here is waiting for me to write an article about the public launch of Google Plus.  Well, I’m going to hold off on that for another week. Instead I want to tell you about an article I read on Monday on the Wall Street Journal online, titled “How a Start-Up Landed Shelf Space at Wal-Mart.” 

The piece profiled an entrepreneur who spent $40,000 to develop the Orabrush, not a better toothbrush mind you, but rather a brush that you use on your tongue.  To make a long story short, they offered this device to a number of big box retailers.  You want to guess how many sales they racked up?  That’s right a big fat goose egg. 

Now desperate to try anything that could possibly leverage a sale or two before the company went belly up, the patent holder approached a marketing professor at Brigham Young U, who was so impressed with the product that he promptly passed the project along to an undergrad student.  This student volunteered to create a 2-minute YouTube video for the company for $500.  After spending forty grand, the guy behind the Orabrush figured, “What do I have to lose.”

So I guess you’re wondering how effective a two minute video about a tongue brush could possibly be?  Today the company’s YouTube channel, called Cure Bad Breath, has racked up nearly forty million views, making it the third most popular after Apple Computer and Old Spice. 

Not only did the company get that coveted shelf space at Wal-Mart, but before the big box could sign them on the dotted line, Orabrush had sold in excess of one million units online.

So if that’s what a little online video can do for the inventor of the tongue brush, just think of what it can do for a business like yours.

If you want to read the article in its entirety, click on the link .

Carl Weiss specializes in viral video marketing and video SEO.  To view his video knowledge base, go to Access-JAX and Jacksonville Video Production

Turn Online Content to Cash

Everybody listens to the same radio station: WIFM – “What’s In it For Me?”  You’ll want to remember this if the main purpose of your website, social network and blog content is to get read and get customers.

First You Need to Get into the Game and Onto the Playing Field

One of the things that make the Internet so versatile is the fact that it creates a web of content that cross connects your websites, blogs and social networks to the search engines.  Once you understand how to feed the six hundred pound gorilla in the room named Google, then you will find that generating page 1 results can come from any and sometimes more than one of these marketing nodes.
Therefore, to maximize response you must treat every post as a marketing page.  Bearing in mind that Google is gaga for blogs, one of the quickest ways to generate a page 1 result on Google is to strategically target your titles.  It isn’t at all unusual for a blog post to appear on page 1 in as little as 24-48 hours.  If you really want to put your post on steroids, cross pollinate them by reprinting them in their entirety on a number of social networks that encourage blogging, such as and  You never know which link will get Google’s attention.  Of course, you also want to post links for your blogs on Facebook and Twitter as well.

To Whom does Your Site Cater... and What Do They Want?

Once you have created a means to attract hundreds of eyeballs you can get down to business, right?  Well yes and no.  Before you go for the jugular and grab for the cash, keep in mind that in order to succeed financially, blogging should be 9 parts content to every one part advertisement.  In other words, before you start pitching the prospects, you need to convince them that you are the man or woman for the job. 

Lead from the top - Your headline should promise something of interest or solve a problem.  If you want the mouse to take a nibble, you’ll need to provide some cheese. When reading headlines, potential readers are looking for what a page might do for them. They are looking for benefits and if your headline does not deliver, they are gone.

People don't purchase a drill because they are impressed with its power or color. People purchase a drill because they need to make a few holes.

    • Features tell, benefits sell - tell the reader what the content will do for them.

    • Don't try to be clever or make the reader think too much.

    • Don't force readers to read the entire story in order to understand the headline.

Your First Paragraph is the Second Most Important Content Element

The lead paragraph needs to be as succinct, clear, and uncluttered as it can possibly be.

If a visitor shows enough interest in your headline to read on, the last thing they want to encounter is a long drawn out explanation of everything that the writer hopes to convey over the course of the article.  So don’t try to explain everything in your first paragraph. Instead, try to find the most important idea you want to put across. Then give the reader a couple of compelling reasons to read yet further.  (In the headline you showed the mouse the cheese.  In the first paragraph you want to briefly describe where the cheese is located.)

Then you can relate to the reader your experiences and mastery of the subject, always bearing in mind that people purchase benefits, not features.   When you're busy creating content, it's easy to forget that your website and blog exists to sell your products and services to select groups of people.  These people all have problems to be resolved and needs to be fulfilled.  If you want your readers to do business with you, first they must get to know and trust you. 

By creating compelling content that addresses your audience’s wants and needs, you will be perceived as a trusted authority.  This trust can then be a lever to generating leads that can ultimately be converted into cash. 

So place your ads where they will be seen with the understanding that only a small percentage of readers will respond at first.  For the remainder of the crowd you will have to work a bit harder. You'll have to use your pages' content to make them consider coming back another day.  Of course, this is what social networks and blogs are best at performing…the vaunted follow up.

Carl Weiss has been working the web professionally since 1995 with an eye toward generating results for himself and his clients.  If you are looking to transform your website from an e-brochure into a lead generating, cash register ringing machine that works 24/7, goto and and connect with Carl’s blog and social networks.   

Social Networking for Business

Many business owners still labor under the assumption that social media is a necessary evil that only the younger generation understands.  But this philosophy flies in the face of reason, since social media is rapidly becoming the dominant  promotional tool for businesses large and small.

All too often, social media activity for many businesses boils down to nothing more than posting links on Facebook , Twitter and Linked In to articles and videos that might relate to their business. Likewise, online public relations activity is usually relegated to a smattering of press releases that are arbitrarily distributed to the masses, or posted to newsfeeds. How can this style of haphazard marketing hope to develop followers, establish personal connections, or encourage redistribution by the general public?

In the first place, 99% of press releases aren't all that newsworthy.  This means their chances of going viral are slim.  Just as with news in general, if a press release, blogpost or social media post is neither timely, humorous nor solves a problem then the marketing effort becomes all but moot. 

In order to punch up your marketing  and make your blog and social network posts “newsworthy” you need to bestow them with a little sizzle.  How to identify the “Sizzle Factor” isn’t as hard as you might think.  Every business possesses an element that could be considered unique. The problem is being able to identify, quantify and market it.  For example, most businesses claim to offer the "best solution," the "best service," or the “best prices in town”.  But these timeworn slogans do little to highlight a firm’s uniqueness, let alone present a tangible benefit. 

If you put a little thought into the process, I am sure there's a niche, a solution or an offer that could set your company apart from the crowd? For instance, if your company vends vacuum cleaner parts, your offer could include “FREE Vacuum Cleaner Bags with Every Order”.  If your business is service oriented, you could offer a “$10 discount coupon good for your next purchase.” You may also elect to create a “Free E-Book” that highlights some facet of your business, such as “The 10 Shortcuts to Online Success,” if you run an internet marketing firm, or “The 5 Best Leaf Peeper Vacations on the East Coast,” if you run a travel agency. The secret to breaking out of the herd is not to try to "sell" the whole enchilada, but find one morsel that is yours alone.

Believe it or not, these kinds of offers work well to “Push” traffic to your website, blog, or social networks.  What’s equally surprising is how few businesses are utilizing this technique.

Once you have determined your uniqueness factor, the next step is to publicize it.  To do this requires you to research relevant blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of those who would be directly affected, or could be interested in the unique niche that you have identified.  If your business is health related, you need to seek out those bloggers and social networkers who are working the opposite side of the same street.  So if your business and uniqueness factor concerns weight loss, you could easily appeal to non-competing companies in the nutrition, dietary supplement and exercise industries.

If you want to add a PR element with a real punch, you may also elect to target your press releases toward news organs, publications and charities that best relate to your topic. 

As a bonus, blogging and social networking is also a great way to increase your website’s SEO potential.

Granted, social networking isn’t the be-all, end-all of Internet supremacy.  But it is one vital and extremely cost-effective means of building an audience for your growing business.  If you are looking for a way to find the fast lane to the Information Superhighway, don’t short sheet the growing impact of blogging and social networking. 

To view an interview with Access-JAX social networking guru Hector Cisneros, click here