This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com. The original blog can be found here: Larry King Embraces Internet TV–Should Your Brand Follow Suit?
Larry King is back…kind of.
The legendary TV host will be back in front of audiences once again, but this time it will be over the Internet, not over the airwaves. Ten years ago, the idea of a credible personality like Larry King launching a web-based show would have been laughable, but the fact that it barely raised eyebrows today indicates how accepted the medium of Internet TV has become. In fact, a 2011 study shows that over 70 million adults in the United States watch full-length TV shows online. That number is rapidly rising, and the same study projects that in 2014, over 190 million adults will be watching TV online.
The emergence of Internet TV has repercussions for business owners as well. Video is a fantastic way to connect with your audience while building credibility at the same time. I’ve received many questions from clients and others about the concept of Internet TV and whether or not it is worth pursuing, so today we’re going to take some time to evaluate the medium.
In December, I did an interview with Andrew Lock, a TV/video marketing specialist and an all-around marketing expert. He explains that the value of an Internet TV show really comes down to establishing yourself and your business as unique while at the same time establishing trust and building a relationship:
“The fundamental problem these days is being able to stand out from the crowd,” he said. “There’s no such thing these days as a unique business. And so, because it’s so easy to set up a website these days and to send emails and those kind of things online, everybody’s doing it, and so it is harder to stand out.
And so because of that, it really caused me to go back to basics and think what makes people want to buy anything, and really, it is all about relationships. It’s people getting to know, like and trust you. And the very best way to achieve that goal is to have a face-to-face meeting with people. Email is very impersonal, as is direct mail and other methods like that. And so the very best method is face-to-face, but it’s not practical to scale it.
So I realized that the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting would be videos, because people still get to hear and see you and look at your gestures, and really build a bond in a much more powerful way than these other methods.”
You’ve often heard me say that people prefer to do business with people that they know and trust… and as Andrew points out, connecting with prospects via video or Internet TV really is the next best thing to face-to-face.
In addition to being an effective way to form a relationship, there is no question that Internet TV has the potential to reach a huge audience. Larry King wouldn’t be putting his credibility on the line if it didn’t–and there are plenty of success stories that demonstrate the power of Internet TV. In fact, Mike Wolfe (currently hosting the popular show American Pickers) launched his program on YouTube and built such a following that the History Channel offered him a show on their network. (I’ll be speaking alongside Mike, discussing Internet TV and other tech-related subjects, at a private event in Nashville this summer–and I’m also excited about the opportunity to take a trip with him to his new store!)
Larry King’s latest venture, in addition to success stories like Mike Wolfe’s, have made it clear that Internet TV is here to stay. If you’re evaluating whether or not launching an Internet TV presence is worth the time and the resources, ask yourself this question: Will an Internet TV show allow me and my business to reach my audience? Like any marketing channel, Internet TV is not right for every business. But the rapid pace of technological innovation means that more of your customers are going to be moving online each and every day. If you believe that you can connect with your market via Internet TV, take the first steps now–don’t wait for your competitors to beat you to it.
Internet TV is an exciting and innovative way for business owners to reach their clients. It utilizes the power of face-to-face conversation, without requiring the massive budget needed to reach an audience through “traditional” TV.