A Flip Video camera in every marketers and customers pocket

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

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I love my Flip video camera.
It is a small and inexpensive digital video camera that I take with me on every business trip. You never know where a great video interview might present itself like the one I did with Scott Monty, Ford's digital and multimedia communications manager or where an idea that is best told in video such as Do you sell camels? Which I filmed outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia might pop up.

Marketers should carry one to interview customers, employees and industry analysts and post the video on your site or your blog. You can shoot short clips showing how your products are made or used.

No professionals required

This thing is so damn easy to use. There's a big red button on the camera to start and stop the filming. If you want to get fancy, there is also a zoom. That's about it. Even a technology challenged person like me can use it. The "flip" name comes from the USB drive built into the camera that flips out, making it simple to upload videos to YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sharing sites. Really, it's that easy.

When people push back on the idea of creating a corporate blog or writing an ebook, I always suggest making some simple and short videos with a Flip as an easy way to create valuable content that helps to get the word out. Hey, did I mention that this is easy?

Some companies have started experimenting with providing cameras to employees and even customers.

For example, Sven Patrick Larsen, Chief Marketing Officer for Zemoga, a digital agency based in Bogota, Colombia told me that he gives custom designed Flip video cameras to all of his employees and customers.

Zemoga puts what they call a "Z Portrait" onto Flip video cameras. "The customized Flips started as a cool employee and client gift but they've quickly become an essential tool for all Zemoga team members," Sven says. "We've used them at work (to capture client meetings, discovery sessions, and interaction tests), home, and play and our clients and team members have spread their experiences (and the Zemoga brand across the Web). It's a terrific example of empowering clients, giving up control of the brand message, and seeing it spread like wildfire as a result!"

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Customized flip cameras