Sunday, May 8, 2011

Making Magic with Online Video - Austin Brooks, Professional Magician & Internet Marketer

Austin Brooks is vice president of an internet marketing company and moonlights as a professional magician performing for some of America’s top corporations such as Pepsi, Warner Brothers, IBM and Sony. He uses online video as a  marketing tool because video is the best way to demonstrate his magic act and full range of what he can offer to potential clients. For Brooks, it was important to have a professional looking website to showcase his magic act and having high quality video was definitely a trick he wanted to have up his sleeve. I caught up with Brooks at last year's Online Video Platform Summit where he spoke on a panel about "How to Choose the Right Online Video Platform for Your Business", that comprised of a cross-section of online video platform users in entertainment, business, and education who discussed their decision-making process and the features they looked for to help them advance their goals speak and best fit their needs.

Brooks says:
"For a small business, if you really want to push your services you need to start working on some kind of video strategy. It's not just about shooting a video and putting it up on YouTube and embed it on your website, it goes much further into using it as a credible tool for your business."
Brooks uses Brightcove to power some of the video on his website, but the path to finding the right online video platform manage and distribute his videos took some time. Troy Dreier, spoke with Brooks about his search for an OVP which is highlighted in the post, Case Study: The Magic of Affordable Video Delivery on

After some experimentation with YouTubeVimeo and several OVPs he came upon a Brightcove ad while leafing through an issue of StreamingMedia magazine and decided to give Brightcove a try.  After about 5 months as a Brightcove Express customer Brooks noted on his blog,
 "In my opinion, Brightcove is THE killer app for anyone wanting to market with video online. It has helped me increase sales in my business and made it easier to do so."
According to Brooks, Brightcove has several key advantages for small business video publishers, which he wrote in his own review of the platform. His favorite features include, smooth playback with no buffering, embed once and future updates are reflected, awesome analytics, professional grade video players, and the best customer support in the industry. Brooks uses analytics to grade the performance of his videos and as an editorial tool to both reshoot and recut his videos based on viewer engagement and drop off rate.

He has since moved to LongTail Video for his online video needs, with Bits on the Run as his OVP of choice to handle video management, transcoding, analytics, distribution, streaming and incorporated the JW Player 5.6 for a seamless cross-platform video playback experience on the web and mobile devices for Flash and HTML5.  This solution has offered him even more flexibility as well as more affordable pricing for content delivery.

Brooks says:
"If I could pass on any advise I would say, if you are a small business and you're looking to establish yourself online, you really need to look at video and figure out a way to constantly publish content on a regular basis; and if you do that you'll start to get a lot of followers."
Read his review of Brightcove Express here:
Along with this post: Austin Brooks Magic Touts Brightcove Express | Brightcove Blog

About Austin Brooks, Independent Magician, Austin Brooks Magic
Austin Brooks is vice president of an internet marketing company and moonlights as a professional magician performing for some of America’s top corporations such as Pepsi, Warner Brothers, IBM and Sony. He began his magic career at the age of 17 when he was accepted to the famed Chavez College of Magic. After two years of intense training, Austin was the youngest person to ever graduate from the college and ranked top in his class. At the young age of 19 Austin took his show on the road and performed all over the country. He performed for companies like Pepsi, Arm and Hammer, Virgin Records, numerous colleges and nightclubs and even spent 18 months in Las Vegas performing for various Casinos and Corporate events. While on the road he wrote his first book “Making Magic Art” and quickly sold out it’s first printing, becoming a must-read for magicians everywhere. The book was proclaimed the bible for “alternative thinking” in magic.

Always wanting to learn more, Austin set out to earn the rare title of Master Magician. To earn the title Master Magician is not an easy task. Not only must you master all of the styles of magic such as illusions, street magic, sleight-of-hand, comedy, and mentalism, you have to be able to perform your craft across all demographics and events. Austin Brooks is one of the few individuals in the world that have been given the title of master magician. Currently, Austin performs for America’s top corporations and elite parties. He develops products for other magicians and consults for feature films and television shows when they need a magic effect created for their project.

Updated 5/9/11 - Note on LongTail Video.