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Like any social network, the Independent Grocer Network consists of member-posted content in the form of blogs, discussions, photo and video galleries.
I'd like to discuss the last item on this list: videos. As we've seen from the surge of content on YouTube, video is increasingly becoming the medium of chose for delivering content, whether it be a professionally shot and edited video highlighting a new technology or a quick smartphone video of an event. Each has it's merits and drawbacks. While professionally-done videos are great for delivering a wealth of information, they are often expensive and time-consuming, and have to be planned ahead of time.
Quick phone videos are great for capturing spur of the moment events -- events for which you don't have time to recruit a videographer and set up professional equipment.
We're seeing the same thing occur on the network. Indeed, the most viewed page since the site was launched was a video of a reporter covering ECRS' new Raptor scanning system on the floor of the NRF show. That page saw in excess of 400 views to date.
At IGN, we welcome both types of videos -- professional and amateur, and would like to encourage our members to upload them often.
Here are some types of events that are just made for video, and we would love to have as part of our multimedia section:
New store openings: This is one event in which many retailers actually do use professional video teams to document new concept stores and grand openings. As you edit these videos, upload a couple of short clips -- three minutes or less -- to the video gallery with a couple of notes about what being shown. This is also a great way to get other retailers' views of new concept departments, etc.
Community/Charity events: Post highlights of fundraising events or other events you may sponsor, such as walk-a-thons, bake sales, and especially Halloween costume parties!
Sustainability efforts: Retailers love learning different ways they can be good corporate citizens, and this is one area in which most retailers are comfortable sharing -- post some videos highlighting new green equipment you installed, a tree-planting one of your associate attended, or the new air curtain at the front entrance to the store.
Unique promotions: Show off some of your unique in-store promotions. Enlist your category merchandisers to describe what went into the unique promotion.
Instructional videos: Videos that educate, such as Windham IGA's Bob Buonomano's meat-cutting videos posted on the network -- are a great educational tool -- especially for those new to the business.
Anything interesting that is food-related: Maybe you came across an interesting food truck concept while visiting a park on your day off, or an art gallery thaqt featured paintings of produce. Snap a quick video of it -- members would love to see them.
Remember, we want the network to be educational, but it should be fun, too.
Plus, these videos don't even have top be your own. If you come across something interesting on YouTube, IGN enables you to post the video on the site with just the YouTube link.
With your video contributions, IGN will continue to be a great information-sharing platform for the independent grocer.