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RISMEDIA, November 2, 2010—Did you know that in the early years of television, TV’s didn’t have remote controls? You actually had to get up to change channels. There wasn’t even a mute button. And speaking of channels, there were only three—ABC, NBC and CBS.

Today, it’s a different world. Viewers have hundreds of options at their instant command. If something is boring, viewers move quickly on to something else in a split second. The same holds true of online video—with one exception. Viewers have literally millions of options. Unless you capture and hold someone’s attention, they’re gone in flash.

So what’s the bottom line? If you’re currently using video, or even thinking about using video to market yourself online, there are a few lessons to be learned.

First, quality content is one of the best forms of advertising. Why? Because people don’t have to watch it, they want to watch it. It gets their attention because you’re giving them something of value in return for their time. But you may be thinking ”easier said than done.” While creative programming can be a challenge, we have a suggestion—think local. Take a look in your own backyard for items of interest. Local market updates are a perfect way to keep in touch with your data base, featuring information about local interest rates, inventory levels, average time on the market, property values and more. In other words, information that may be difficult to find elsewhere. Plus, it can be updated every few weeks—giving viewers a reason to keep coming back.

Second, keep it short and simple. A common mistake when producing video is to assume your viewer has the time, or will take the time, to watch your entire presentation. It just isn’t true. Their finger is poised on the cursor, so you’d better keep it both brief and relevant. Anything beyond a couple of minutes and you’re getting on thin ice.

And finally, don’t forget that all important call for action. Invite the viewer to contact you for more information. And speaking of that, If you’d like more suggestions on local programming, including local market reports, or if you have a comment or question, we’d love to hear from you here at VScreen! Thanks for watching!

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at