It's Just Vzaar!
I have been aware of the Vzaar video embed service for eBay sellers and Internet merchants since they started back in 2007. Not being a big user of video though I really did not spend a lot of time checking the company out. To tell the truth, this could be one of my biggest mistakes in the last 2 years!
(I apologize to Captain Jean-Luc Picard - I couldn't resist!)
Everyone is now aware of the power of video for product presentations, for engagement of the audience and to more effectively present any service on a website (or in this case any eBay listing) in a fashion that is accepted worldwide. Viewers may not speak your language but a video can explain your product or service to them - it is that effective.
A picture may be worth a 1000 words! What is the extrapolation for video? - a Billion words?
Yet I have not paid as much attention to video as I should have. Frankly I was blithely wandering through life with my own little writers mentality enjoying ignorant bliss. Wow, did I miss the boat on this one!
Jamie Parkins of Vzaar tried to show me the way at eBay Live in Chicago 2008. We met on the solutions floor about, oh... a dozen times it seems. Jamie was actively trying to get my attention for his product and to be honest he had a great story to tell. I listened, I watched and I found it all very interesting but I have to admit something... In the back of my head was what I thought was a huge question about this paid video embed service...
What about YouTube or Viddler?
...or any of the other free services out there allowing people to upload and share videos on websites or even eBay?
This was the dreaded objection never heard by the marketer, never expressed objections are one of the biggest killers of sales in any trade show atmosphere. I did not give Jamie the chance to answer my objection, which was somewhat unfair to him and his company.
I thought I had the answer to what about YouTube and Viddler and that answer would be that they would be the services of choice - free is always good... right?
Free is Not Necessarily Good
Jamie Parkins has diligently stayed in contact with me since eBay Live and eventually after much delay and several conversations... I presented my objection to him. Wow, what was I thinking?
Jamie's answer to "why use Vzaar when free video services like YouTube and Viddler are out there" was as true to basic principles of business as is my answer to prospective website clients for "why not use a free website builder"?
The answer goes beyond "You get what you pay for" in ways which make a great deal of sense for anyone thinking of using video to market any product or service online and even more so for marketing on eBay.
I will let Jamie Parkins speak for himself and Vzaar on this question:
So many businesses and eBay sellers we speak with are well aware of YouTube and ask, why don’t I simply use them? It is a fair question but one that we are confident in answering when you look at the ways that businesses want to represent themselves and their brand online.
How do we differentiate ourselves from YouTube?
The core difference is rooted in our business models. YouTube don’t charge their users to use the service and at vzaar we do. Remember though, nothing is ever really free. vzaar’s founding principle is to provide ecommerce merchants with a service that enables them to use video to merchandise their product or service. We are not a destination site for people to come and watch video, we are a tool for businesses to use to power video on their site.
We also offer our users access to:
- an unbranded video player
- use of our Search Enhancer tool that submits users videos into Google search
- the ability to add video to hundreds of eBay listings in a few clicks of a button
- multi sized video players (coming soon)
Vzaar users own their video and their video player. They have control over who sees it and where it’s published. They also have an unbranded video player so it looks smart and a seamless part of their site. YouTube sell advertising space on their site and video player, so a client’s potential buyer will be exposed to anything YouTube decide to display and the “owner” of that video has no control. Not ideal if you are selling let’s say a vacuum cleaner from Hoover and YouTube sell advertising to Dyson.
Our integration into eBay through their API also makes us stand out as we are the only approved video provider that allows eBay sellers of any skill set upload and add video to their listings quickly and easily in a matter of clicks. We’re very proud of that service and it continues to be a popular one with our users.
Pretty darn good answer - right?
So... Now I am thinking, yeah but .... is it expensive?
The Vzaar Pricing page on their website answers that question.
Upon reviewing the pricing page on Vzaar.com I did some digging around the internet and I found the competitors seem to charge a great deal more than Vzaar for branded video players and embed capabilities. Some charge as much as a $500.00 setup and a minimum of $100 - $1500 per month for the same service Vzaar is providing for $0 - $200 per month with no setup fees!
Yes I said $0.00 dollars - As In Free!
Anyone can use Vzaar for Free! - It is a modest amount of bandwidth at 2GB included on the free account and the player is branded by Vzaar but this is a great option for merchants to try out the service on their website, blog or in eBay listings (I think it will even work in Bonanzle or Etsy listings - but you have to use the embed code - this could be real easy with the Bonanzle Bulk editor).
The next step up from FREE is only $10.00 a month, which gives the user a clean video player without Vzaar branding and 5GB of bandwidth. Check out the Vzaar pricing page link to see more about the other more advanced packages.
Branding Smanding Whats the Difference?
When I have a website client ask me to place YouTube videos in his/her site I sometime cringe. Why do I cringe?
Well, it depends on the situation really but if the client is selling a product or service which has competition, that competition may be found on YouTube. (if they are not there when you send your video up to you tube, they will be soon after - especially if you announce your YouTube videos to your competition by placing them on your own site).
In addition, when embedding a YouTube video in a website project I am in effect helping my client to send traffic off his or her site (or suggesting to the surfer to look for more information on YouTube). This does not make a lot of business sense in my mind.
Of course, if your goal is to bring viewers from YouTube to your site, uploading videos to this destination site with specific website branding is a good idea. Just when these new surfers from YouTube do land on your website or eBay listing - it is a better idea to keep them there with a different set of branded videos which cannot be found on YouTube. Vzaar recognized this strategy a long time ago and they have built the tool to allow merchants to keep customers engaged longer. Keeping your audience engaged with fresh and exciting content - this is the holy grail of Internet marketing.
What if I don't want to star in my business videos?
Vzaar has teamed up with video spokesperson agencies and production companies all around the world. Vzaar offers this service to help merchants produce professional branded and produced ad spots they can insert anywhere offering products or services presented by a professional spokesmodel (men and women) for a fraction of the cost of normal video production. (click image below to learn more).
No Pretty Face
My readers are aware that I have a face made for radio and sitting behind a computer screen banging on keys... So this kind of spokeperson service is perfect for me. Besides, everyone knows how shy I can be <sic>....
So what is the verdict on Vzaar?
Vzaar is an easy to use, easy to utilize and effective video embed marketing tool. A tool that allows any merchant the ability to keep his/her viewer interested in in his or her product and not go wandering off into the video surfing darkness.
Vzaar is cost effective, easy to setup and allows eBay sellers to embed videos in hundreds of live eBay listings with a click of a button.
Vzaar is worth a try - take a look at the videos in the sidebar here on the Trading Assistant Journal to see how people use Vzaar to sell things like used Guitars or to see how easy Vzaar is to setup. What have you got to lose when the initial cost is zero and the upside is you could start engaging your customers like never before!