The buzz on the internet regarding YouTube and video marketing is taking the internet by storm…and for good reason! YouTube has over 80 million visitors per month and on average YouTube viewers spend 164 minutes online everyday. Several industry developments in recent years have contributed to these changes, for example, broadband high-speed internet is becoming readily available and more affordable for most households. The cost of consumer video equipment and video editing software is reaching affordable levels bringing down costs running around to the point where a very good quality home studio can be assembled for under $500 and comparable video editing software for your PC or MAC can be purchased for as low as $100. There are several video sharing websites such as Vimeo, Flickr that make hosting videos relatively low cost or in some cases free. In addition, many newly designed smartphones and iPhones are capable of creating short fairly good quality videos and many people are using their mobile phones to upload their videos to video sharing and social media websites.
In some cases, as outrageous as it sounds, you don’t even need video equipment or software, as video creation business services such as Animoto will combine current pictures, images or mini video clips from your business and create compelling 30 second to 10 minute videos with sound and sophisticated transitions that you can than use to promote your business or service. If you are a solo professional, freelancer, independent contractor or small brick-and-mortar business you should consider including video marketing in your small business marketing mix and it makes more sense now more than ever!
And contrary to most people’s perception, the buzz is not all hype, you can find real results and social media statistics regarding developing video and other rich media tools reported by social media industry websites like Mashable or eMarketer that report industry information regarding the growth of video marketing and consumer video usage. According to eMarketer, in 2009 over 178 million viewers were watching 33 billion videos online and many were downloading them on their phones! And 42% of these same mobile users accessed the internet through their phones. Most small businesses should be able to find ways how they can be included in this vast viewing audience.
A compelling short video will help your small business in the following ways:
1) Build Credibility. Create informational and how-to videos for your product or service. Make sure the video’s content answers the problem, pain or predicament that your client or customer needs answered. Your objective should be to create value for your target market and the subtle benefit is that your video will position you as the expert or go-to guy or gal who can provide the solution that your client or customer is looking for. Statistics show that including video in your web landing pages and long sales letter microsites can double your conversion rates. You can also create video DVDs that you can give to your customer or client. For example, a wedding photographer can sell wedding these videos to his clients or a salesperson can use good quality customer testimonials to show prospective clients.
2) Build Visibility and Improve Google Ranking. Google loves videos especially those that are posted on the most popular video sharing sites, but the biggest one of them all is of course Youtube, now owned by Google with more than 80 million visitors per month. Video content improves your ranking 52 times more than written text. You can promote your website by including linkbacks to your site via your videos and distribute and promote your video with services like Tube Mogul and Traffic Geyser. And with YouTube building your video “channel’ is relatively easy. There are a growing number of good books on Amazon or at your local bookstore that can help you get started with planning, creating and editing your marketing videos, one excellent resource for beginners is YouTube for Business:Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller.
3) Build Community. You can create a video for your business and by using the most popular social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, or MySpace promote your business or service via these platforms. Posting your video on these sites creates linkbacks and contributes to your overall website Google ranking as well as improves the conversations you can start with your current customer base.
While video marketing should by no means be your small business’ only marketing tool, for some businesses traditional offline marketing methods may be more effective, but the time has arrived that you can definitely find compelling reasons to include video marketing in your online and offline marketing mix.