Junk Removal Made Easy

Junk Removal Made Easy

If you are trying to get rid of junk that has accumulated at your home or business it can seem like a daunting task.  Getting rid of junk can be easy.  Or getting rid of junk can be very difficult.  Junk removal made easy is what we want to discuss.

Let’s try to get rid of junk easily.  Well a little organization can help, so can a few key vendors.

Go through the stuff, if any is worth saving, and separate it into keep, sell, throw out.

Remember if you feel better call it clutter or stuff, if you call it memorabilia you might never let it go.  A few keep sakes are ok, but not a roomful unless you are planning a museum.

Get Organized - then get rid of junk

You probably cannot sell nearly as much as you hope.  Be realistic

Your treasurers and keep sakes just aren’t what others are looking for.  A garage sale can be a great idea, but price things to move.

Use the internet if you think something might have real value, unless you are clearing out your wealthy uncle’s house and he had expensive collection you probably won’t need an appraisal.

Roll-off dumpster

A roll-off dumpster can help with junk removal

Renting a roll-off dumpster is pretty simple.  Many of them are very affordable.

If you want a reliable and affordable dumpster rental company use Titan National for dumpster rental.

One of the great things about renting a dumpster from Titan National is the online ordering.  Order, schedule and pay for your dumpster online.

Full Service Junk Removal includes the people to grab and pack your stuff.

A full service junk removal provider like Waste Needs might be just what you need.

The Waste Needs team will come with a truck and team members to remove your unwanted junk or debris.

Garage clean-out, basement or the whole house can be handled by Waste Needs junk removal.

Set a deadline for when the space must be cleared out, then move forward with focus and dedication.  If you need empotional support from a firend ask for it.  But remember the junk won’t just go away some decision will be needed.

A high quality full service team like Waste Needs can make getting rid of junk and debris really easy.

Or do it yourself with a convenient dumpster from Titan National dumpster rental.

 

What are the Pros and Cons of Using YouTube.

First let’s consider the two main benefits of YouTube:

  1. It’s free to put video onto it
  2. It is the second most popular search engine

Those two reasons pretty much guarantee every business should have some content on the YouTube platform.  The more strategic questions are:

  1. Should I put video onto other video streaming platforms?
  2. Are there times when I should not use YouTube?

The answer to both of these is almost always yes.  You need to understand what you are trying to achieve with your video content.  Who will be viewing your videos and when?  What type of messaging are you hoping to achieve with video (explainer, instructional, persuasive, funny…).  Where in the consumer sale cycle do you want to use your video?

Common Video Use Cases

The table below shows a range of common use cases for internet video streaming.  As you can see depending on your specific case you may only want to use YouTube, exclusively use a private video hosting system, or a blend of both.   Most business will benefit from significantly from using a blend of YouTube plus a private video hosting platform.

Common Use Cases for Video.  Many businesses should use a private video hosting platform.
Common Video Use Cases – Private Hosting Platform Is Important

YouTube Pros and Cons

Business spend a lot of time and money on their website.  They write content to attract viewers to their pages, they spend money of internet ads to gain conversions and sales, they optimize pages for SEO and so much more.  They pay to have content written, graphics designed, and videos created.

Businesses invest heavily in websites.  Don't let YouTube steal your traffic.

Why are you investing so much in your website? 

To get traffic to it and generate revenue! 

Take a moment and review your website for the following two common mistakes:

  1. Placing your competitors’ ads on your website? 
  2. Suggesting your visitor leave your site look at something else?

You probably think this is a silly question.  But if you are embedding YouTube video onto your site, then you are doing both #1 and #2 above.  Remember YouTube also wants your page traffic.  Are you letting YouTube steal your website traffic?

This is when using a private video hosting solution makes sense.  You need to control the content on your site.  A private video hosting platform like TogoTiki will allow you to keep your audience and even create more powerful video experiences. As you video marketing strategy it is important to understand the YouTube Pros and Cons.

Using Video to Grow Sales

Marketing with Video

What is an Interactive Video?

An interactive video supports user actually touching the video during playback. This interaction will change the actual content and video that is being presented. The additional interaction can include calls-to-action, embedding other video, 360 imagery, surveys, questions, shopping carts or reservation systems.

How to use interactive Video

Interactive Video can eb very useful in a number of different use cases. Some of the very common uses for interactive video are training, virtual tours, product demonstrations, museum tours, and on-line courses.

Are Interactive videos difficult to make?

They can be fairly straight forward to create in most cases. They are an excellent way to add additional value to content you already have available. It is important to pick a good Interactive video creator platform and hosting provided. TogoTiki is an excellent interactive video platform.

How to get rid of ads in video

If you are putting your ads on a free service like YouTube – then you cannot get rid of distracting ads. Your customers may be drawn away, but hopefully you got some good exposure. If you are embedding videos on your own site then you should plan to pay for video hosting. This will get rid of the distracting video ads. A couple of the best video hosting providers are: TogoTiki (lots of extra features) and BrightCove.

How do I put a video on my web page

There are two parts to this answer. First, let’s look at how video in general is displayed on internet inn general. The video will need to be properly encoded for internet streaming and we highly recommend you create multiple files at different bit-rates — you won’t need to worry about the encoding and multiple bit-rate formats if you use a professional video hosting provider like YouTube or TogoTiki. Once you have the video properly encoded you need to place the encoded files onto a streaming server and place a video player and file reference onto your site. This sounds complicated, but that is why using a third-party that does all the tech bits really makes sense. A video hosting provider makes it simple. Upload your video (they encode, host it on their server, and provide the player & file reference) you just take a little code snippet and put it onto your page.

What is the best way to add video to my web page?

The short answer is to use a video hosting provider and let them do the hard technical aspect of hosting and streaming your video. You probably spend a lot of time and effort building your web-site and you want to engage with your viewer. You have written great content. You are working on SEO. Maybe you are spending money on ads. So why would you show them a video with distracting ads and potentially even content from your competitor!! Well if you use YouTube to put your video on your own site — you are losing your visitors! A private video hosting provider will protect you from distracting ads and content (Cat Videos). We love the additional interactive video features on Togotiki video hosting platform.

What is a multi-bitrate video?

Video files are generally very large. If you took the video from your smart and tried to play it on the internet without additional processing it would not play well because of its size. To get a video file to play smoothly over an internet connection it needs to be encoded into a streaming format. Since screen size and internet connection speeds can vary – we create different formats of a video. A lower bitrate format will be smaller in size and therefore play better on slower internet connection or small screen. If you are planning to put video onto your website, make sure your provider supports multi-bitrate video encoding and playback.

Section 508 Compliance for Videos

Do videos need to be Section 508 compliant? 

In 1998 the United States Congress revised Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  This revision included an expanded understanding and approach to creating and maintaining media content that is accessible to individuals that have either visual or hearing impairments.  Compliance is not mandated on private organization; however it does affect all federal agency and entities that are receiving federal funds.  Therefore, if you received federal funding you may be required to comply with Section 508.   

Web Access

What is a Section 508 Compliant Video? 

In short, a video is Section 508 when it has 3 basic elements: closed Captioning, video descriptors, and a compliant video player.  Closed captioning assists those with hearing disabilities.  Video descriptors (also known a descriptive narration) helps people with visual impairments.  And a compliant player can assist those with both motor impairments and visual impairments (key board navigation or voice commands).  The US government has a useful site on Section 508 compliance to help understand compliance requirements. 

How does the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) impact video hosting? 

The Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) of 1990 has been applied to internet-based video content.  It applies to federal, state and local governments (including public colleges and universities).  Additionally, “places of public accommodation” are subject to the ADA and may need to comply with video transcription requirements.  For more information about video accessibility requirements this article by the National Association of the Deaf explains When is Captioning Required

Who needs to be Section 508 Compliant? 

Compliance is not mandated on private organization; however it does affect all federal agency and entities that are receiving federal funds.  Therefore, if you received federal funding you may be required to comply with Section 508.   

Can artificial intelligence help deliver closed captioning for internet videos? 

Yes, a variety of artificial intelligence tools are available and can be very effective at generating transcripts for spoken words.  When selecting a provider for this service you should ensure that it provides some mechanism for you to edit the automatically generated transcripts, since you are responsible for providing a high level of fidelity of transcript to the spoken word.  A provider that can integrate the video hosting and transcription is an ideal combination.  Togotiki offers a solution that combines video transcription creation and video hosting.  You might also be interested in learning about the Togotiki tools that can help make your interactive video and virtual tours Section 508 compliant.

You should also consider how 360 virtual tours are meeting the Section 508 requirements.

Best 5 Video Hosting Providers

Top 5 best video hosting platforms for 2020?

Selecting the right video hosting provider is largely about features you need (now or in the future) and pricing that fits your business model.  Most video hosting providers base their pricing around two variables: Features and Volume.  They bundle combinations of features together at increasing monthly rates (free, basic, pro, enterprise…) with additional chunks of volume with each more expensive plan.  So picking the top 5 best video hosting platforms is nearly impossible, but here we create the best contenders across a wide range of factors.

If the feature you need for example is “email collection” and it is only available in their “Pro Plan” you might have to pay $25 to $30/month (or more) for your first ever video and you don’t even know if anyone will watch it.  That might be a bargain if you know will have 60 videos using “email collection” and expect every video to be watched dozens of times day. 

Picking the best video hosting platform is a bit of personal exercise, I prefer vendors that grow with me.  I understand that as my videos are watched more, they experience greater cost – so it makes sense for me to pay a bit more for the service.  After all I am paying for results (more video plays).

Pick a good video hosting provided that balances price and functionality to meet your needs.
Video can be expensive to produce and you want to get the most value from the effort. Picking the right hosting solution and make a big difference in results and budget.

I made my selections below based upon considering the following as basic marketing tools you would want when getting started: email collection, video embed capabilities, social sharing.  I then considered what type of features can growth with your business.   The Top Five Best Video Hosting Providers for 2020 are:

Brightcove – strong player in the medium to large business arena.  Packed with features even in their starter plan, but pricing is unlisted.  It has to be on the recommendation list, but might not be a good fit for smaller business.

TogoTiki – A la carte pricing for everything for a marketing campaign can be bundled up at $12/month, including multi-bitrate encoding and playback.  Additional bandwidth and storage are reasonably priced.  Many unique capabilities including 360 virtual tours, automatic transcript creation, powerful organization/meta data tools, geo-location capable, Episode & Series playlists, Hotspot features, great for agencies and professionals

Sprout Video – The “Seed” Plan starts at $24.99/month and includes the basic email marketing tools plus a generous 500GB bandwidth/storage. 

Vidyard – The Pro Plan is $300/annual and includes basic marketing tools and 20 embeds so it is good starter program.  

Marketing with YouTube

When should I use YouTube in my video marketing strategy?

YouTube is a powerful video hosting platform and the number 2 search engine behind Google (its parent).  Its business model is to use your content and then sell ads around it.  It wants to keep viewers on YouTube so they watch more ads.  All of this is fine and can work to your advantage, if you plan for it.  Planning means knowing “why”, “where” and “when” to use YouTube.  Creating videos can be expensive and time consuming, so you want to get a good ROI for the effort.  It is a great place to run an engaging and fun video ad so that people are thinking about you.  But make sure to include enough information to get them to your site. You need to understand how to use YouTube for marketing your product and website. Otherwise, you are just creating free content for YouTube.

Make video content that is worth watching
Video Creation Can Be Very Expensive

If you are serious about generating internet sales you ultimately want visitors to come to your site. YouTube can be an excellent point to start that awareness and get viewers to your site. But be careful not to send your visitors back to YouTube once you get them to your site. A common mistake is to embed your YouTube video on your own site, while this might seem like a cheap easy option it often creates one of a variety of problems:

  • Viewers is shown ads for your competitors
  • Viewers are distracted by other content and leave your site (YouTube wants them back!)

A better solution is to put videos in YouTube, plus use a private video hosting solutions that will not pull your viewers away. Use the private hosting provider to embed videos onto your site. A couple of the best options for video hosting are Togotiki and Brightcove.

Video Marketing 101

What is the difference between video marketing and video hosting?

Video marketing is the usage of video content to promote your product or service.  You can use a wide variety of video genres to support this marketing effort.  Some of the popular genres are: explainer videos, how to videos, and testimonial videos.  Video hosting is about how you deliver the video to the viewer.  Unlike pictures or text on the internet videos are large files and bandwidth intensive. 

You have three basic choices when it comes to video hosting. 

  1.  You can go with free hosting providers like YouTube that insert ads in and around your content,
  2. you can build/rent your own servers video hosting servers,
  3. you hire a video hosting service provider. 
Video Hosting Requires Massive Server Power
Computer Server Room

A popular solution is a combination of options 1 and 3 above.  Using free providers for awareness and search opportunities but then channeling customers toward you privately hosted videos that can be delivered ad free and branded to drive conversion and loyalty.   

Should I host my own videos?

Expect to invest in extensive bandwidth to host  videos  Bandwidth
Video Hosting Requires Extensive Network Bandwidth

Hosting your own videos is tricky business.  It can be done and many cloud data centers can help you with setting up a nice size VM with plenty of memory and tons of internet bandwidth.  So that part can get knocked out pretty quick, and if they offer a scalable solution you can just keep making the VM and storage larger.  But video hosting and streaming is more than just servers, memory and bandwidth.  What formats will your videos be created in and what formats will you convert them into for streaming?  How many bit-rates should you support?  Do you need a global content delivery network (CDN)?  Do you expect lots of simultaneous viewing?  Do you want to capture leads in videos? Are you prepared and staffed to monitor/test performance across devices and browsers (hint not all videos play on Apple).  Hosting your own video is possible, but there are many very affordable options you should consider before doing it yourself.  Check-out the following video hosting providers: TogoTiki ,  Brightcove, Vidyard

How to use videos in Real Estate Sales?

Do videos sell real estate? 

Yes, videos sell real estate. And it is not just because of the current pandemic.  Buyers are extremely busy and the ability to review multiple homes safely and conveniently from their phone or PC helps them better use their time.  It also saves sellers time because those that do visit your home are further into their purchasing decision, since they have a decent idea about your house after watching the video or virtual tour. 

Finding buyers one by one is hard work, let video help.
Family looking to buy real estate

Videos help give a buyer a better sense of layout and perspective on a home.  Photos are still important but a quality video really helps.  Plus some services like Zillow will rank a home higher in their search results if you have a video. 

How can videos sell real estate faster? 

People who are serious about buying a specific house will want to go through it.  But we only have so many hours in a day to show a house.  With a high-quality video tour or a 360 virtual home tour, multiple potential buyers can all be looking at your house at the same time.  This is how videos sell real estate, they generate quality leads. It is also easier for them to share the information with others for feedback and ideas, again expediting the decision-making process and generating more qualified leads. 

Is it worth having a professional make my home video tour? 

A professional real estate photographer is valuable
Professional Real Estate Photgrapher

A professional will not just be able to get the right angles and lighting, but they can add technical value on where to host your video and the best format and quality level to use for your video home tour.  But it is also possible to take a great video with a good smart phone.  Be patient and practice a few walks throughs as you make the video yourself, consider using a free or inexpensive desktop editor to clean-up the video.  A professional can definitely add a tremendous amount of value and quickly turn around a high-quality product.  Plus, if you are considering a 360 virtual home tour it will require a special camera to get the best results.   Both 360 virtual tours and videos sell real estate.

What is the difference between a video walk through and a 360 virtual home tour? 

A video walk though in its most basic form can be create on your smart phone (hold it landscape) and walk though the house showing all of the main rooms and features.  They can get more sophisticated with a bit of editing and narration.  But the basic concept is pretty straight forward. 

360 Virtual Tour Illustration
360 Virtual Tour Concept

A 360 virtual home tour use a specialized camera that has multiple lenses pointing in different direction that capture the entire room in a single image.  A viewer can then use their mouse or finger to swivel the image around to see the entire space.  If you have special software you can connect multiple 360 images together so that a user can move from space to the next.  High-end 360 virtual home tour software includes features like hotspots to and picture-in-picture videos to really add depth and persuasion to the tour. 

What is a 360 virtual home tour? 

With a 360 virtual home tour a potential buyers can walk through your home almost like they are actually in it.  They can swivel the images right-to-left and up-and-down with their finger or mouse to get a 360 view.   A 360 virtual home tour use a specialized camera that has multiple lenses pointing in different direction that capture the entire room in a single image.  A viewer can then use their mouse or finger to swivel the image around to see the entire space.  If you have special software you can connect multiple 360 images together so that a user can move from space to the next.  High-end 360 virtual home tour software includes features like hotspots to and picture-in-picture videos to really add depth and persuasion to the tour.  Below you can see I have embed a simple sample 360 Virtual Your created and hosted on Togotiki. It shows how a user can navigate between locations or drill into a specific point (hot spot) to get additional information (video, photo, 360 image, 360 video).

Do I need a special camera to make a 360 virtual home tour? 

Yes, a special camera is the best way to go for a quality 360 virtual home tour.  You can try to work with stitching panoramic images together from your smart phone to achieve a similar effect but generally speaking the quality is not that great and it’s a lot of work.  360 cameras range in price from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars, and you can tell a difference in quality as price increases.  For example, the higher-end camera will take pictures that do not loose quality as you zoom in on specific point, cheaper camera will get grainy.  Typically a camera in the $300 to $500 range will take quality pictures for virtual home tours, after all you will still have standard photos that can handle the tight zooms on detail areas.  A 360 virtual home tour is about providing spacial context to the potential buyer. This article reviews some top rated 360 cameras

How to create a 360 virtual home tour? 

When creating a 360 virtual home tour you want to start by planning your route through the home.  This will help you identify each of your camera positions.  Once you have the positions identified you can check to see if the staging looks right. 

As a general rule you should try to make your camera (360 photos) placements within a direct line of site of each other (see fig 1), though sometimes this is not practical or needed.  It does help a viewer more easily follow the tour if they can see where they are going to and how to get back.  

Once you have the 360 images you want you will need to organize them into your software or presentation system.  Some cameras come with their own proprietary software, just make sure before you do a lot of work in it that you can use the final product (file) in your MLS system or website.  For the easiest solution look for a product like Togotiki their platform lets you stitch all of your 360 images together, plus add hotspots, gelo-location and picure-in-picture video and much to your 360 tour.   Togotiki provide HTML5 compliant embed codes and/or links for you to share your tour, they handle the entire back-end hosting. 

Planning 360 Tour Route
How to plan your 360 Virtual Tour Route and Camera Positions