Business Owners: Get More Mileage out of Your Videos

Does Your Business Have A Video?

More and more businesses are creating videos and seeing the value. Videos are a great way to demonstrate a product, detail a service, or introduce people to your staff. Videos can be time consuming to create, and expensive to make. While we have observed a growth in the number of businesses making videos, the majority of them fail to think about the next step: How do you get customers to see it?

We see the video process as having two parts: Production & Distribution. Production is the planning, shooting and editing of the video. Distribution is taking the finished video and putting it in front of people. While there has been a great increase in attention paid to the production, distribution is something many forget to focus on.

Where Are You Putting Your Finished Videos?

So where do your videos go? How do you get them seen? How do you measure the success of a video you’ve made? These are all questions you should ask yourself.

We’ve found that many business owners take a “Field of Dreams” approach to video distribution. The famous quote from the movie, “If you build it they will come”. If you build a great video and throw it on YouTube, you will soon find that your intended audience will not find it automatically.

It’s similar to printing fliers. Just because you’ve printed 100 fliers and have them stacked in a box, doesn’t mean people will seem them. You have to do the work to get those 100 fliers into 100 prime locations to reach your desired audience. Video works in much the same way. Even though you aren’t passing out physical videos, you do have to think about how to place them in front of people you want to see them. Youtube, your website, community pages etc. are all places you can start. We have found a primary space for these videos should be on TV in your business location(s).

Putting Your Videos on TV

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This doesn’t have to be your TV solution.

Having your videos on TV will draw more attention to them.  It will get them seen by customers that are more likely to act upon your messaging.

There are many ways you can get your videos onto TVs in your locations. We have details the top methods in this article: 3 Ways to put your videos on TV.

The problem with most display solutions is that they loop. Unless you have a large library of content at the ready, people are going to watch the same thing again and again with no break and nothing new. Maintenance and upkeep are also issues – often needing to brave a utility closet full of wires, re-load physical drives or USB sticks, or having to hire a specialist in order to update or fix what’s on the TV.

Making the Most out of Your Videos

Putting an easy-to-use system in place that will play your videos and mix them with other TV programming is key.  It’s Relevant TV takes the majority of the work away- providing your business with relevant TV programming, and a way to make the most out of your media.

It’s Relevant is a cable alternative that provides businesses a TV solution in the form of a living network of short-form content. IRTV’s library of videos is broken up into categories for you to choose from based on your customer’s interests, and gives you full control over what’s on your TV. The service provides compliments to your own videos as well as complete management of one or multiple TVs. IRTV tracks everything so you can know how many times each of your videos were displayed, along with specific timing and location.

The big difference between It’s Relevant TV and other solutions is in the content. IRTV provides interesting and entertaining content while inserting your own messages and real-time social media for people to see while engaged.

Visit itsrelevant.com to learn more about the easy-to-use and cost effective TV solution.

Replace the DVD Player In Your Business

If you’re a business owner with a TV in your business, it goes without saying that at some point in time you sat down to consider what to have playing on it. Whether it’s basic cable, a DVD player or Netflix, an Amazon Firestick, or even a regular old USB drive with pictures and a slideshow, sometimes it’s time to revisit old tech and consider newer alternatives.

People say “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” And this is true – no one should fritter away money on a whim. But at the same time, there’s a risk in the comfort of long standing familiarity. People who are happy with what they have seldom consider alternatives – less out of alternatives being better and more out of avoiding the hassle of change.

Out With The Old

It’s not unusual to want to get the most mileage out something, but it’s also important to recognize when something is worth revisiting. Even if it isn’t necessarily old. DVD players, services like Netflix, and external devices such as Amazon Firestick and USB Drives have broadened the options for ways you can put things on your TV.

DVD Players Are Outdated For Businesses

DVD players are great – at home. When it comes to DVD players in businesses, two common uses rise to the surface: DVDs, and looping slideshows. Regarding the former, playing a commercially available DVD, like a movie or TV show can result in a heavy fine. The reason is that even though you own the copy of the DVD, you don’t own the license to play it in public. The following article delves deeper into the risks involved when choosing to display content in your business without the rights: “Using Netflix in your Business, Don’t Put your Business at Risk!”

Legality aside, throwing a movie or the latest Disney Pixar flick up on the TV still isn’t that great of a solution. Feature-length movies can be as long as 90-120 minutes – built around characters and storytelling. Unless you’re waiting for a car to be serviced, there are few instances where putting something like a movie on for the enjoyment of visitors is going to be relevant. People don’t have the same focus to devote to a movie in a waiting room, restaurant or retailer as they do at home – and there’s no guarantee that people won’t arrive in the middle of story, or walk in on spoilers of a movie they were waiting to see. It just isn’t a good fit for businesses, and it carries the risk of disappointing visitors.

Movies aren’t the only thing that a DVD player is good for. Business owners who know that it’s illegal to show unlicensed videos, or don’t believe in playing videos in general, lean towards another option when it comes to what’s on their TVs – and that’s custom DVDs.

Custom DVDs & Slideshows Get Old Quick

It’s not uncommon for business owners to put together personal videos or collections of pictures for their TVs. While this alternative is certainly cheaper than basic cable, it isn’t without its flaws.

Custom videos loop constantly. Unless the business owner has a dedicated staff member with a lot of free time on their hands to put together a large library of content, people visiting are likely going to see the same things again and again. This can get boring, and depending on the setting in which people are waiting, the comfort of your visitors can have a large impact on their satisfaction and overall opinion of your business.

DVDs and USBs packed with videos and pictures plugged into your Smart TV lack a crutial level of customization. In order to update or make changes to either of those platforms, the devices need to be manually removed – and in the case of DVDs, new ones need to be made or switched out by hand. This is inconvenient, and in an age of innovative technology, shouldn’t be an option you have to settle for.

Another heavy loss at the cost of using custom DVDs or slideshows is the lack of live intergrations onto your TV. Features such as the local news, weather updates, and even recent posts from social media, aren’t able to be streamed and put where people are going to see it. So what else is there?

It’s Relevant TV is the Next Generation, Here Today

It’s Relevant TV is a custom TV service made for businesses. It gives you access to a vast library of short-form content to be played alongside your own videos to get people interested, and engaged. All of the content is licensed for public display, so you can avoid legal issues of playing commercial DVDs. Everything is divided into set categories for you to pick and choose from to keep the programming “relevant”.

The platform is easy to use and fully customizable – you can easily upload videos and images from your phone or computer straight to your TV. And best of all, it’s always fresh. Without you doing a thing, IRTV constantly changes the programming to keep it all interesting for your visitors.

Do away with the old, and embrace the new. It’s Relevant TV will provide your business with so much more than a DVD player can. IRTV is constantly evolving and provides business owners with the control they desire.

Free TV Services: What’s the Real Cost to a Medical Office or Business?

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
and there’s no such thing as a free TV service.

Nothing is free, including TV

If you’re using a TV service or platform that’s free, sooner or later you’re going to feel the cost of it – even if you didn’t put a single cent down. Even a homemade slideshow, or video that only cost the time it took to make it can bring detriment in the long run. The structure of such a video or slideshow may stand out as unprofessional and tacky and do more harm than good.

What’s the Cost of TV?
Cost runs a little deeper than money. The initial cost of cable, for example, might be a some-hundred dollar subscription for an inclusive package – but that’s not all there is to it. There are many hidden costs of running cable in your business. The lack of program control, contributing to visitor anxiety or showing competitor ads all can harm your business.

Everything has a cost, but not everything has a strong level of return. Cable is an expense that gives nothing back. Industry-specific TV providers, like the ones often seen in medical offices, benefit pharmaceutical companies while showcasing drug ads and medical information that tends to raise anxiety among patients.

What’s the alternative?

You can do better than free. Business owners are moving away from paying for TV as a utility, and are instead putting It’s Relevant TV in place to generate revenue from their TVs.

It’s Relevant is an alternative to cable that is less expensive, gives you control over what appears on your TV, and is comprised of short-form content that’s family-friendly and structured with business settings in mind. The service gives you access to a living TV network, not a loop or slideshow, that pulls videos from a vast library of licensed TV programs. It’s interesting and fun.

The IRTV platform generates new revenue by promoting additional services, specials, and events that people might not have been aware of. The service represents a significant return on investment (ROI), and is focused on customer retention – getting customers to spend more, and come back more often. So while there is a monthly subscription cost, the value and benefits far outweigh it.

For a personal look into how It’s Relevant can draw in more business for your business, check out our ROI Calculator and see for yourself how much of a return you can expect from our service.

 

 

 

Amazon Fire Stick: Don’t Risk Sticking Your Business

Technology is Changing TV

Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, and Smart TVs are steadily emerging over the horizon, more so now than ever. With access to services like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Go and devices that allow you to stream those services on your TV, cable is on its way out.

TV has come a long way since the 1920’s, and as we get closer to 2020, looking back on the history of television during the last one hundred years and seeing how far we’ve come is pretty amazing. Today, televisions are just about everywhere you go. Everywhere. And they have been for a while. That’s because TVs are a staple of technology – we use them to reach out to one another, stay informed, and keep ourselves entertained.

If you’re a business owner who caters to crowds, or often has people waiting or sitting for lengthy periods of time, then chances are you’ve got a TV within sight for the exact reasons just listed above. Which is great, the comfort of your customers is key – but in this rapidly advancing world of technology, it’s easy to get carried away when trying to build an inviting waiting room experience.

Between all the technology available to business owners coupled with the drive to maintain customer satisfaction, the ease of putting something up like Netflix powered by an Amazon Fire Stick is second nature. So why wouldn’t you do it? The answer is simple. Because it’s illegal.

NETFLIX TERMS:

The Netflix service and any content viewed through our service are for your personal and non-commercial use only. During your Netflix membership, we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, license to access the Netflix service and view Netflix content through the service. Except for the foregoing limited license, no right, title or interest shall be transferred to you. You agree not to use the service for public performances.

Using those services with a “set it and forget it” mentality without regard for the licensing terms and conditions can be dangerous for your business. The people who enforce the rules on media licenses take this very seriously. For more information regarding why you should think twice about setting up services like that in your business, check out this article on using Netflix in your business.

Personal Use is Different than Business Use

In the end, the licensing rights tied with those services only applies to personal use. Setting them up in your business is a no-go. But if you think about it, TVs and plug-ins like Fire Stick and Chromecast were designed with the home setting in mind, not business settings anyway.

fire

So you can’t use a Fire Stick in Your business to deliver any real TV content. Up until recently, this left you with only one real choice: cable TV. And while it’s legal to run cable in a business setting, cable TV isn’t designed for the benefit of your customers and your business. It’s Relevant TV is.

Custom TV from It’s Relevant

It’s Relevant TV bridges the gaps between TV, customer satisfaction, and business messaging using unique digital sinage software – creating a more inviting place for visitors. The service provides businesses with content and control that makes for an all around better TV experience. IRTV creates a custom TV network for each business with access to a vast library of original content divided into a number of categories you can pick and choose from. On top of the TV content with more meaningful controls, your business also gets room to advertise additional services, reach out to customers, and share your latest social media posts. It’s Relevant TV turns your television into a tool for your business.

Introducing Trump Block from It’s Relevant TV

“April showers bring May flowers, but what does It’s Relevant bring?”
“TRUMP BLOCK”

It’s the beginning of April, and normally that’s free range for April Fools shenanigans, but we’re not kidding here. TRUMP BLOCK from It’s Relevant TV is actually a thing, and it can improve your business.

President Donald Trump: Like him or hate him, it doesn’t matter.

There’s so much coverage on Donald Trump that you can’t go an hour without hearing his name, even if you’re nowhere close to a TV or smartphone. At some point, enough is enough. Hopefully you haven’t gotten this far, sighed at the sight of another Trump article, and are currently making your way over to the X… WAIT- trust me, keep reading.

From the makers of Competitive Ad Block®, which blocks out competitors’ ads in order to prevent loss of business, comes a tool designed with that same spirit in mind: Trump Block. With Trump Block, you’ll do just that, block all coverage on Donald Trump. The good and the bad.

Trump Block isn’t Anti-Trump, it’s Pro-Business

A respectable business model puts its customers first, and It’s Relevant designed Trump Block with the customer’s comfort in mind. It doesn’t matter if you personally like him or not. The question is what affect does TV coverage of him have on the attitude of people in your place of business. Sure, people that didn’t support him during the election don’t want to see him – but we’ve also found that the people who did support him are also frustrated by the overwhelmingly negative coverage and would prefer not to see it.

So why drag him into your business?

TVs are a great way to keep your customers informed or entertained, and most business owners we’ve spoken with have said just that. However, the double-edged cost of this convenience comes to light when something like the 2016 election happens. A story so all-encompassing that coverage on the subject saturates the news – and even bleeds into talkshows, comedies, and pop culture.

n-TRUMP-WWE-628x314

116481-078What was once meant to be informative and interesting becomes annoying, and frustrating. And when that something is as big as Donald Trump, you can’t escape it. It’s there when you get coffee in the morning. It’s there when you’re passing stores in the street. It’s on the radio when you go to work, and it could even be in the office itself.

Your customers’ moods matter.

Put simply, your customers are likely tired of the Trump coverage. Seeing him on TV, hearing his voice, and even hearing his name can disrupt the moods of people and remove them from a purchasing or relaxed mindset. So why not block it out? Whether it’s the TV in a restaurant, waiting room, lobby or employee lounge- enough is enough. Don’t let the endless coverage take its toll on your business. Contact It’s Relevant TV to learn more.

It’s Relevant TV
203-588-1689
support@itsrelevant.com

It’s Relevant TV is uniquely designed to bring your business up-to-date television programming that focuses on the interests of your customers. Business owners have control over what types of programs are shown and are able to filter out any topics or keywords that they feel may hurt their business environment.

Dentist Offices: Playing the Waiting Game

“The waiting, is the hardest part…”

-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

You don’t need to appreciate classic rock to agree that waiting rooms take their toll on more than just time. We’ve all been there, the rows of padded chairs with wooden armrests, the piles of magazines, the TV, and the plant in the corner that may or may not be plastic. It’s these elements, and more, that make up the traditionally dull waiting room experience we know so well.

Empty Medical Waiting Room with Chairs
Empty Medical Waiting Room with Chairs

But does it have to be dull?

Sure enough, plenty of businesses and offices work hard figuring out how to make a waiting room more inviting, and put forth a lot of effort into improving their lobbies for their clients. But no matter where you go, whenever you end up having to wait for more than a few minutes you’ll likely see a TV.

And there’s a reason for that. TVs are an effective distraction. TVs draw people’s attention, and they’re a familiar element that we’re used to looking at on a daily basis – providing a quiet atmosphere with the comfort and white noise of what’s on. While televisions are great in that respect, there are many reasons that cable and satellite TV are not the best options for your office.

When you’re waiting to be seen by someone, you aren’t necessarily invested in a long program when you’re expecting to miss some, or most of it, as soon as you’re called away. And in the case of having the TV turned to any one station or giving visitors control over the remote, with a waiting room full of people it’s impossible to cater to them all and it’s likely that someone is going to get alienated.

So what’s a business owner to do about that?

It’s Relevant TV for Dentists and It’s Relevant TV for Medical Offices work to address those issues and more. Each custom TV network airs original content pulled from a vast library of categories tailored specifically for the practice it’s in. The segments run for two and a half minutes on average – meaning they’re brief enough to cater to an audience with limited focus, and the categories are varied enough that everyone is bound to see something that interests them on some level.

IRTV compliments an atmosphere in which people are looking for a distraction and aren’t there to be entertained. Going beyond aired content, the service can also be used to reach out to those people in waiting. Posts, photos, and even videos from your social media can be uploaded and played for visitors to see.

Whether you’re introducing your staff, highlighting local events, or even showcasing other services your business provides; it’s worth taking a look at: It’s Relevant TV.

 

Dental Education Through TV: Brushing Up on Hygiene

“Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Once in the morning, and again before bedtime. And don’t forget to floss…”

– Every Dentist & Mother

The words every kid grows up hearing a thousand times. The very same words people often seem to forget despite the constant reminders. How is it that kids, and even some adults, throw oral hygiene out the window and neglect this most basic routine?

It all comes down to delivery. Good oral hygiene starts at home, and extends to the dentist’s office. From parents passing on good habits to their kids to dentists educating them on proper dental care. But how do you do it? How do you get the message across and stress the importance of taking care of your teeth? Aside from the words we all know, dentists use a number of aids to educate patients.

Post-visit, your dentist might sit with you one-on-one and go over the proper ways to brush your teeth. They might ask what kind of toothbrush, or brand of toothpaste you’re using, if you’re flossing, etc; maybe they even pull out that big pair of plastic teeth. Some dentists even hand out brochures on dental care or have them available in the lobby for all to see. And in this age of technology, you might even find blogs written by the dentists you visit.

But how effective is that in the long run?
Are patients seeing your content?

Reaching the patients is the key

Without being able to reach patients effectively you can’t pass on whatever it is you’re trying to say.  It’s Relevant TV provides a unique and alternative solution to this problem…

dental-tv-custom-marketing-platform

Offices, waiting rooms, and even operatories, are often equipped with a television.  Dentists’ TVs are usually tuned into something like the news, weather, or a talk show for white noise or casual comfort. In short, a custom Dental TV can run those same kinds of programs for less than it costs to run basic cable – and do more for your practice at the same time. With It’s Relevant, you can not only air those key channels, you can run original content you yourself produced and show it to the world.

Have a video introducing your doctors, or staff? A lovely office tour of the practice featured on your website? You could have that aired on your waiting room’s television – as well as any promotions or events you want to share with your patients. Connect with them, and present a more welcoming experience through a dental television network.

So going back to oral hygiene and getting the message across, how is TV a better platform for this? The answer is pretty straightforward, people watch TV. They watch it, and they pay attention to it – sometimes moreso than face to face.

TV has a lasting impact

Speaking from my own personal experiences, I recall a time years ago when I was young and my mother was bringing me to a new dentist. And in her motherly attempt to relieve me of anxiety, she casually mentioned that the dentist I was going to see “Has a TV in his office, so you can watch it during the visit.”

The comfort and distraction that the TV provided turned an otherwise dreadful experience into something less so, which is precisely why it was there in the first place, and are often found in waiting rooms and operatories today.

As a kid, or even an adult, that period of time in which you are at the dentist, you are always looking for something to take your mind off of what’s going on. The patient is invested, and focused – and can be entertained and informed with the programs you choose to put on the TV.

If you’d like to create a better environment for your patients, and connect with them more, it can be as simple as changing the channel on your TV. Schedule a free consultation with one of our TV experts to help reach your goals. You can call 203-588-0994 or email: sales{at}itsrelevant.com to set up a conversation.

 

Utilizing Television to Benefit Your Business

Your Customers Didn’t Come to Watch TV

If you print a sign to promote a new service, and then you never hang it in the business, you’re missing an opportunity, right?  That seems pretty clear, and yet business owners think nothing of buying a TV and filling it with useless programming. But how is that helping your business and customers?

Reality Check

There is an important reality about including a TV in your business location: your business is not the customer’s living room.  They have a TV in their own living room and they have complete control over that one.  Having a TV in your business with the remote freely available is not going to draw anyone off their own couch to come sit in your waiting room.

You may have a television in the waiting area of your doctors office or automotive service center.   And you might leave the remote out for your customers to pick what they want to watch, but why?  Did a customer ever say “I feel like watching the Steelers game, so I’m going to the doctor’s office”? Of course not!

Additionally, leaving the channel selection to your customers poses some risks.  What will they choose to watch? Will they be annoyed by the preferences of the other customers?  Some business owners who hold the remote at the desk or behind the counter complain that dealing with changing the channel wastes time and frustrates employees also.

Customization is your Right and Duty

The truth is that you designed your business location with purpose.  The paint color, the flooring, the lighting, the furniture: you selected these to create a certain feeling in your space.  Until now there were very limited options to customize your TV with that same care, but now you can.

Your TV can influence your customers to spend more money, come back more often, and follow your business on social media.  Choosing the right programming is all you need to do to make your TV worth something.  With It’s Relevant TV, your TV is an asset that helps drive greater sales.

TV People MagnetMagnetic Television

Whatever channel you have on, your customers will look at the television at least once – it’s human nature.  But how can you keep them looking without giving them the remote?  Keep changing the type of content every few minutes automatically!  

If you have national news, sports, travel, gardening, food/cooking, fashion, kids programming and more available to mix at all times, you’ll have something for everyone.  It’s Relevant TV is the subscription service that provides you this flexibility.  The system automatically mixes content from categories you choose so your customers are never bored or frustrated with what’s on the TV.

And While You Have Their Attention

When your customers are looking at something, you put your brand on it, right?  Custom water bottles, notepads, refrigerator magnets, this is a pretty common practice.  With your TV, you have the opportunity to do so much more!  Put your logo on the screen, add your own informational videos, and add your own marketing messages and specials as images next to the broadcast. Show off your social media posts to gain followers.  All of that would be impossible with cable TV.

It sounds like a promotional dream, but it’s very easy to achieve with It’s Relevant TV.  Get your customers to look, keep them watching, and harness their attention to grow your business.

Social Media on TV: Businesses Become More Social with their Customers

Businesses Need to Have A Presence on Social Media

The vast majority of consumers are on at least one, if not multiple, social media networks. For this reason, it is obvious that your business should be there as well. Every B2C business owner, no matter their industry, size, or location, has to think about using social media to reach their customers. But, using social media for your business is different than using social media for yourself. Business owners need to strategize how to best reach the people that are the most likely to utilize the business.

Social Media Followership Starts in Your Location

For a long time, businesses have focused on getting more people to “follow” or “like” accounts on social media. They target people on their computers and phones to get a “like”. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have ad platforms designed with that goal in mind. The problem that we’ve heard from our clients who have tried these ad platforms is in conversion (making those new followers into customers). In fact, the vast majority of the new followers you gain online never turn into actual customers.

We’ve found that getting existing customers to follow you is a much better goal. These people are more likely to purchase from you in the future, and to tell their friends about your business. Plus, they have already found you! They know how to get to your business, and they have enjoyed being there in the past.

Gaining Real Followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

But how can you get your customers to follow you from your physical location? Up until now social networks like Facebook have been promoted with physical signs and stickers. While it lets people know you have an account, it doesn’t give them a real reason to follow you. What will “liking” your business do for them? What kind of posts will they be seeing? A static sign just doesn’t show it.

facebook-sticker
Static Facebook sticker in a store window

It’s Relevant TV has the answer. Built into the TV service is an automated display of your most recent posts. Having all of our most recent real posts leads to more customers following your social media profiles. The service syndicates your posts from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to your televisions, in between TV programs. This lets customers not only see that you have social media profiles, but also gives them a “free sample” of what they can expect to see when they follow you. It’s a gentle way to prove to them value in following you.

Get a Demonstration

It’s Relevant TV offers live online demonstrations of the social media TV system. For more information, and to book a consultation please visit: www.itsrelevant.com

Television Decided the Election. What Decisions is it Making for Your Customers?

Regardless of  who you voted for in the presidential election, your decision was influenced by television. Between the constant TV news coverage and the paid ads that ran, everyone formed judgments and impressions based on what they saw and heard. TV makes a lasting impression. Let’s take a look at what this means for broadcast television, and for TVs inside your business.

24/7 News Networks Care About Their Businesses, Not Yours

Today’s 24/7 news networks turn a 1-day event into months of drama. They take the normal “coverage” and inject scrutiny, conspiracy theories, and sex scandals to bring viewers on a rollercoaster of ups and downs before the grand finale (election day). News feels more and more like entertainment, and that’s not by accident. Plenty of intelligent people have already pointed out that networks do this to boost ratings and generate greater revenues for the crowded networks. And while I would agree that revenue is a driver, I feel that the larger problem is a growing laziness among the people that design the format of these shows.

The News used to be a place that you would come for facts and knowledge. It was the work of large teams of people that spent days or even weeks to bring you researched programs that included quotes from actual experts and your trusted newscaster.  The best part was that you left each broadcast better informed than when you began watching.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite reports that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Trusted CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite

Things have changed. While the basic format of having a news anchor inside a studio reporting on the day’s top stories has been constant for decades, the pressures to do more with less money is changing the face of it. The fact of the matter is it’s much easier and far less costly to put a few people around a table to argue about a topic than it is to research and report on a news story.

News reporting can be extremely costly, especially for TV. I ran a video news company in the Northeast for almost 4 years, and we put a lot of work into each story the staff produced. From sourcing a story idea to setting up interviews, cross checking facts, recording the actual video, finding b-roll (cut-away shots), editing the video, fact checking, publishing and distributing the story – it took hours just to produce a minute or two of content. It’s hard to sustain a business with the kind of effort needed to do news reporting right.

Replacing the Reporters & Experts

Taking a look at most prime time cable news shows you see a familiar pattern these days. At the top of the hour you have the team of reporters and experts that are unbiased and reporting the facts of the day without forming judgments. All sitting or standing in the beautiful professional studio.

Then a few minutes later the professional journalists and experts peel away, and a panel of professional-looking people start to share their opinions – in the same space. Panel members can say whatever they want to say and their statements appear to be researched, authoritative and official. It feels like you are hearing from other experts when in reality you are hearing from surrogates (people that will stand by the candidate they support no matter what).

If you recognize any of the people below, then you have come across exactly what I am writing about:

clinton-trump-surrogates
Some of the many 2016 Election Surrogates

This Would Never Happen Anywhere Else

Imagine a doctor’s office for instance. You schedule an appointment with a well-established practice. You go to the office and sit down with someone in an exam room. The person gives you their opinion on your physical condition and makes recommendations on things you should do once you leave. It feels a lot like you just sat down with a doctor and got a medical opinion.

But what if the person you sat down with isn’t a doctor at all?
What if he/she wasn’t a nurse, or even in the medical profession?
What if you found out that the person you saw and heard from is merely someone that knows of the doctor, nothing else? Their medical opinion would hold absolutely no weight.

This is exactly the problem with the overuse of surrogates and non-experts in news programs today. They have the appearance of authority and are happy to share their opinion even though it’s not necessarily in your best interest.

Unbiased vs. Balancing Bias

For years the news industry has strived to be fair, factual and unbiased. However, in this election season we took one of the most noticeable turns away from that. The strive now seems to be more towards “balancing the sides”. Instead of sticking to the facts, these broadcasts allowed people to share their opinions much like facts, just as long as someone on the opposite side of the argument could do the same.

This created some real distractions within the campaign. Ultimately it may have created some single-issues for voters that moved them one way or the other in the election. Hearing that Trump “sexually assaults women”, or that Hillary “will be put in jail for deleting her emails” creates serious concerns for voters. But all of these kinds of things were being spoken countless times a day by people who looked to be authorities on what they were talking about.

You know it’s bad when the news broadcast has to fact check itself.

Television has Become Bad for Businesses

While television as a whole has more offerings than ever, and is seen in increasing numbers of stores and public places, it’s not helping businesses as much as it should. With endless channel choices at our fingertips, TV is great for the home. You can easily tune from one channel to the next when faced with something you don’t like, but not in a business.  More and more stores, offices, and public places are installing televisions simply because they can. Unfortunately, the programming the businesses choose to display on the screen often does more harm than good.

The bottom line is: even with endless channel choices, you can’t control what appears on any given channel at any given time. You could watch CNN for instance and enjoy a heartwarming story about one of the CNN Heroes.  But just one minute later you’re faced with disturbing images of war and terrorism half a world away. This can be off-putting and depressing to customers as they watch in a business.

Even when the topics aren’t disturbing in nature, they are often exhaustingly overplayed. It’s hard to forget the months of nearly non-stop coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370. With no new information CNN had to constantly improvise, bringing up new theories, even having anchors use toy planes.

cnn-malaysian-airlines-370-overplayed

It’s not just news stations that cause stress, discomfort, boredom or other negative feelings. I’ve heard complaints about even the most neutral of channels like The Food Network and The Weather Channel. People have different tastes, and leaving them with only one programming type for an extended period of time is a surefire way of losing their attention or worse: becoming a bother to them.

Take Control of the TV in Your Business

As a business owner, it is up to you to make the right choices for your business. You may have spent time choosing the colors of your walls, the hours you are open, the people you want representing your business, the type of music that plays, and the kinds of refreshments you offer to people when they visit. All of these examples are things that have some influence on the way people perceive your business. It’s the interactions your customers have with each element that dictates their overall satisfaction of your location.

TV has arguably one of the greatest abilities to shape how people feel. The combination of visuals and sound leave a lasting impression on people. What impression do you want your customers to leave with? How do you want them to feel when waiting at your place of business? What do you want them to know about your business, values, and offerings?

We’ve found that the happiest customers are the ones that get to see a variety of content.  They don’t want to feel like they are being bombarded by advertisements. For this reason, we created a platform called It’s Relevant TV that provides an ever-changing assortment of short-form television shows. The service blocks out competitor advertisements and gently brings the business’ own messaging and real-time social media onto the screen. The custom networks can operate with or without sound; all of the video content can be overlayed with optional subtitles.

It's Relevant TV

An experienced editorial team screens the included licensed TV programs before delivery to the businesses. All of the programs that we distribute are family-friendly.  We keep all political coverage short, to the point, and truly unbiased. It’s Relevant gives each business 50 categories of video content to choose from. This ensures that the programming isn’t just risk-free, but is topically oriented to visitors of the specific business. The business easily controls the messaging and social media syndication.

Learn from the Election

This election season, one thing was obvious: the campaigns understood the power of television. They knew that messaging seen on TV will stick in people’s minds and influence their decisions. This is why we saw the campaigns push their  surrogates to TV. The lazy TV networks were happy to invite them on because it saved money and filled their airtime.

TV has tremendous power over decision making. Don’t be lazy with yours.
Make sure your TV is working in your best interest as a business owner.

Written By: Jonathan Krackehl, President & CEO of It’s Relevant TV