Day 783 – Monday

I want a way to draw more people to my marketing email list.

One tool for this I’m building is a survey people can take that will diagnose for them what they need to do next to more effectively send emails to their customers. At the end of the quiz you get to see a video that shows you the next step to take based on what you answered in the quiz.

And to see the results, you have to give me your email address so I can email you the answer. That is the point where I get to grow my list.

It’s sort of like a choose your own adventure.

Today I recorded a bunch of the videos. I think there are two left to do. To make it fast, and based on advice I got, I’m not scripting anything. I get a short set of notes and then I just talk at the camera for a few minutes and it’s done.

Since I do actually know the material it works ok. I needed the reminder about the “knowing the material” part before this really started to work.

Also, part of my Saturday project was figuring out how I wanted to manage the videos.

Normally I’ll upload videos as unlisted videos on YouTube when I’m sharing with clients. Problem there is at the end of a YouTube video you get presented with a list of videos to watch next which are normally based on your watching habits. (I end up seeing videos for EDM DJs. Maybe you see videos for cute cats.)

For my marketing thing I don’t want that. So the usual option is you start using a paid video hosting platform like Vimeo or Wistia. But I’m cheap and don’t want to add $30-$50/month to my marketing budget to host a few short videos.

So I found what I needed to do to effectively host the videos at Amazon Web Services.

Brief geeking out begins here:

Normally you wouldn’t want to just store the videos on Amazon’s object storage cluster (AWS S3) because it isn’t really meant for streaming.

Except if you put the videos there in the right format, and have the right stuff on your web page it works acceptably.

So there’s a JavaScript video player called Video.js that is well supported and free which I can stick on my web pages to play the videos. And then for best results store the videos in both m4v and WebM formats.

So I export my videos from my editing software in m4v and then run a tool to re-encode them as WebM. And upload both of those to AWS S3. And grab a video frame to use as a preview image and upload that as well.

And put the 3 URLs of those 2 videos and 1 picture into the video player on the page.

And push some buttons and it’s done.

I can automate the re-encode and upload bits to one command.

The frame grab I’ll have to do by hand plus I might want to add instructions to the frame grab (like “click here” with a cutesy arrow pointing at the play button).

And if I was using a 3rd party service I’d do that part anyway.

Pricing will be a few extra cents a month.

Oh and I can modify the video.js version I’m using to post events to Google Analytics as the video is watched so I can track viewer performance. But I don’t need to do that yet.

This is all bordering on that dangerous part where I do more tech stuff than I should. But I think this is on the safer side. (Much safer than writing my own LinkedIn prospecting engine from scratch.)

Anyway, done geeking out.

Another event was meeting a business contact in the real world.

He and I had talked about doing some business and since that might entail going into business together I felt it was good to meet in person before I go back to California.

First thing I realized is I had not left the house / property in over a week. That was a little disorienting.

It’s also REALLY green here.

We had agreed to meet in a park to allow sufficient social distancing. He’s quite a bit older than I am so we both want to be safe.

It was a good conversation. The ultimate goal is he’s looking for marketing help to get his sales and marketing training system available for money to more people. It’s more complicated than that but that is a good summary.

At the end of our 90 minute talk, he still wants to work with me and I still want to work with him so we’ll keep talking and figure out what to do.