Online Video

January 20, 2010

You Don’t Have to be a Hollywood Director to Make a Great Video

director-boardVideo on the web is growing at an astonishing pace and becoming more popular than ever.   YouTube is now the fourth most visited site with one BILLION views per day and 41 million views per hour!  One recent statistic even revealed that it would take you 9,000 years to watch every single video that's available on YouTube today!  (Who has that kind of time!?!)

So how do you make YOUR video stand out among the billions of videos on YouTube?  Simple.  Just add some Hollywood sizzle!

As video use has grown, video editing has also become easier and more accessible.  The fact is, even with the most basic editing - such as adding a title or music to your video - you can look better than 95% of the content out there.

Video editing - also called post-production - is anything you do to enhance or improve your raw video footage.  Editing includes things like graphics, titles, transitions, music and effects.   Fortunately, you don't need to be a Hollywood producer to edit your video.  Simple and affordable editing programs are available to make the job easier than ever.

Here are a few of the more popular editing programs available:

For the PC:

Windows Movie Maker (Free with  Windows)

Free is good and simple is better.  Windows Movie Maker makes it relatively easy and intuitive to add background music, graphics and a handful of special effects.  If you're new to video, it's a great place to start.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9 ($100)

Sony's Vegas software is another popular choice.  Their "Platinum" version has a low, entry-level price tag, but you'll have to pony up if you decide to make the jump to Sony Vegas Pro 9. ($600)

Adobe Premiere Elements 7 ($100)

If you're ready for a step up from Windows Movie Maker, Adobe's Premiere Elements is a good choice.  The software has reasonable price tag and is not overly confusing to anyone with some basic computer experience.

For the Mac:

iMovie '09 (Free with new Macs)

The latest version of Apple's iMovie is user-friendly and simpler than ever.   As a professional editor who uses Final Cut Pro, I used to thumb my nose at iMovie.  However, I find myself using iMovie for smaller editing jobs more and more.  It's drag and drop simplicity also makes iMovie a great choice for video newbies.

Final Cut Pro ($1,299)

Final Cut Pro is the top of the line editing system, but it requires a bigger investment and a much steeper learning curve.  When people ask me how I add all kinds of bells and whistles to my videos, the answer is Final Cut.

Final Cut Express ($199)

Final Cut Express is Final Cut Pro's little sibling, but it still packs a punch for the very reasonable price tag.  If you're willing to take on the learning curve, it's a great alternative.

If you'd rather not bother with editing at all, you can send your raw footage to a pro (like me!) and get your video professionally edited with all the bells and whistles that will make it stand out online.   You might even want to check out our turn-key video sizzle packages at!

Whatever direction you take, you'll find that video editing has become something even the video novice can tackle with confidence.

loubortone-91Lou Bortone is a long-time marketing and branding consultant who helps entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet, with services such as online video production, video branding, coaching and creative support.  Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles.  Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach. Visit Lou's website at and you can see many of Lou's videos at

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December 15, 2009

How To Get 139 Million Views for Your Viral Video

youtube-logoWho are we kidding?  Getting millions of views for your video is like catching lightning in a bottle.  It's time to come clean on the truth about viral videos.   Anyone who tells you that they can produce a viral video for you is lying…or at the very least, greatly exaggerating.  The reality is that viral videos cannot be manufactured.  They are nearly impossible to fabricate, because viral videos require a "perfect storm" of circumstances.   In fact, most viral videos are a happy accident - and many never earn a cent for their creators.

Viral videos are those elusive videos that get gazillions of views on YouTube, spread like wildfire, and often become an overnight sensation.  You know the ones:  the Evolution of Dance, the Wedding Entrance Dance video, Charlie Bit My Finger and, more recently, The Muppets doing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.  Who wouldn't want a video that gets millions of views?  It's online marketing nirvana!

The fact is that the secret ingredient of viral videos is almost entirely outside of your control.  There's a lot of luck involved, along with what calls "Internet serendipity."  That said, ReelSEO identifies several key factors that videos need in order to even have a chance at going viral.  These videos need to be most - if not all - of the following:

  • Unexpected
  • Unusual
  • Original
  • Humorous

I would add to this list that your video must also be short and sweet.  Few of the top ten viral videos of all time are over four minutes in length.  One other thing to keep in mind:  The Dance Dance Evolution video, with almost 140 Million views, and the second most viewed video on YouTube ever, certainly helped its creator's career, but even his follow up video garnered only a fraction of the views of the original.  If the creator of The Evolution of Dance video can't replicate his first hit, what are our chances?

However, there is good news for entrepreneurs:  You do not need a viral video to become an online sensation - or, more important, to make money from your video.  You simply need to be "viral" with your target market.   Your video has done its job if it attracts and engages your intended audience.   I'll take a video that's seen by 500 coaches in my niche over a video that's seen by 5 million people who will never become clients or never buy anything from me.   It's not about reaching the most people - it's about reaching the right people!

So make your video with an eye toward having it easily spread and shared, but be sure to create your video so that it appeals to your target audience.  You want to engage your prospects, and get your customers to take action.  Don't get so caught up in the numbers that you forget your target market.


Lou Bortone, Group Mastery - Online Video Expert

Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles. Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach.  His website is at:

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August 4, 2009

Boost your web traffic with online video

You don’t want to miss this free call I’m doing with my great pal, Lou Bortone of Online Video Branding.


August 6, 2009
1pm ET

How to Boost Your Business with Online Video

Register NOW

I know you’re nervous about doing video and you're ready to learn how to make it work for you.

Lou's da guy! He's well-known online for producing adorable, funny, powerful and effective videos.  He's branded his business and is ready to show you how to brand your business with videos, too.

Yes, you can make your videos go viral and boost your web cred easily and effortlessly.  I'm talking to Lou and he's sharing tips and tricks to get you started.


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