Articles, Video Blogs and Entertainment

Online Marketing to Resource Sector Companies

We just closed a Video Production and Website development project with an up & coming manufacturer of products targeted at the Mining Sector. I won't release who this is just yet but when the website launches I will issue a blog on its development. For me this project is especially interesting. In a previous life, I gained over 25 years of experience in selling products to the Mining Sector in Canada and around the world ranging from underground LHD loaders, pumps, wear plate and buckets to radio control systems. I deeply understand how the selling cycle works and would like to share some basic information with you.

The Mining Market in Canada!

Things are much easier today then in the 80's when I was operating because the internet gives us the base listing of where the mines are at. Here is a free gift for you - a full listing of mining clients from the Mining Association of Canada . You will see that it lists 1,120 operating mining establishments in Canada. We are only interested in Hard Rock Mining so we will subtract 720 gravel pits, 285 stone and refractory pits and 70 peat mines. We are left with 45 operating Hard Rock Mines in Canada, which is not a large number of clients. Extrapolating this worldwide I estimate you will have approximately 1,500 operating mines!

The Selling Cycle!

In most cases Mines are spread across the WILDERNESS and are simply hard to get to - BUT they all have internet access via satellite or land line. They rely upon the internet and to a lesser degree attending Trade Shows, to glean new information about products and services. This is often how a bid is assembled. Vendors are selected based on information from websites and forwarded to the purchasing department for solicitation. Other factors enter in such as reputation, previous sales, personal contacts etc., but the core selling cycle still revolves around gathering information and competitive bidding. At the end of the day YOU NEED TO BE ON THE BID LIST! Once on the list you can bring more traditional sales approaches to bear because you have been invited to bid and at the very least, you have made contacts for future business.

The Selection Process!

The quality of your website, which is it's ability to convey to a client who your company is, how believable it is and what your products and offerings are, will determine whether or not you get selected for further inquiry and make it to the bid list. If the website looks unorganized, is poorly laid out and does not perform well - you just lost marks! Remember this - it's not the artistic merit of your website, although that helps in creating an impression of professionalism, but rather the quality of the content it provides and especially the clarity with which that content is presented that effects human decision.

Here is a quick list of what is absolutely necessary on your website:
  1. Your company story - this qualifies who you are and why the client can trust what you say - a video says it best but write it out as well and create a .pdf download with this story;
  2. Your products in Video and Print. The video is the most powerful way to let your clients experience the product but you must also have a .pdf brochure that can be downloaded and printed out by the client;
  3. Case Studies - nothing speaks CREDIBLE like a story showing the product in actual use - Video is best with a downloadable .pdf Case Study;
  4. Points of contact - email, cell, phone, fax. A dedicated contact page is best with a form input to email you.

I could go on and on but these are the basic marketing tools every company needs to market to the Mining Sector. I have not mentioned social media yet because this is another whole blog but I suggest you get enrolled in LinkedIn ASAP and start there.

Until the next blog - Dan Thomson

Webcasting Road Trip

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I just came back from a week long road trip through Northern Ontario. In case you don't know this is a "big distance" province - check out my schedule:

  • Sunday drove from Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie (3.5 hours) - Set up webcasting gear.
  • Monday webcast all day.
  • Tuesday drove from Sault Ste Marie to Timmins (6 hours) set up webcast gear.
  • Wednesday webcast all day. Wednesday night drove from Timmins to Sudbury (3.5 hours).
  • Thursday webcast all day.
  • Friday spent organizing the sold-out (1330 people) Michael W. Smith concert in Sudbury; and
  • Saturday - managing the concert venue until 2am Sunday morning.

Today I am writing this blog to you from Manitoulin Island where I am recovering my senses and de-stressing from the previous week. In my Blog I like to share lessons learned during my travels so here goes.

Plan Your Packing!

7 times I loaded or unloaded a full webcasting kit, ie. 3 cameras, computer, monitor, video switcher, tripods, cables and accessories. The money I have spent on road cases makes this task so much easier. It also protects the equipment and helps to organize the myriad of cables that come with webcasting.

This is a Big Distance Province!

I often get calls from Toronto or out-of-province to go to Timmins or Sault Ste Marie for a shoot followed by a statement like " it will only take you 2 hours to shoot" ! CHECK THE MAP PEOPLE. I did a one day turnaround from Timmins to Sudbury and can tell you that I was crazy tired during the Sudbury webcast. The lesson learned is to plan a travel day in Northern Ontario.

Internet is Sketchy!

Internet speed in major centres such as North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste Marie and Timmins averages 20MBps download. Not fast but fast enough for a 720p web stream. Outside of these centres it varies widely from 56K to 2MBps - its all over the map. During our webcast we use multiple upload feeds with different bit rates. In our case we used a 360p (400kbps) and 720p (1.5MBps) stream. Our CDN offers a video player that supports multiple speeds, which allows our clients across Northern Ontario to see the show regardless of the quality of the Internet speed.

Plan for failure!

The mark of a professional is the fallback strategy in place if an equipment failure occurs. Because we rely on the internet, we always carry a secondary device to allow us to use internet feeds over cell towers if the primary feed fails. It's not cheap but it assures success. All our equipment has backups and we can reconfigure our systems to work around equipment failures.

It was a great trip and the webcasts turned out great - Till the next time, Dan

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