3 Reasons Video Should Be Included in Your Small Business Marketing Mix

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.

Wedding Favors – Beach Gifts to Please Your Guests

You might be planning a beach wedding, or perhaps you are simply planning to use a beach theme for your wedding arrangements. Either way, it makes perfect sense to please your guests by giving them appropriate wedding favors. Beach themed wedding favors that match up with the romance of your seaside setting are best. They enhance your wedding’s ambiance and will become a tasteful memento from your ceremony. Your wedding day will be fondly brought to mind whenever a guest sees your favor in their home.

You want to please your guests but also be easy on your budget. This article will help you choose beach-related wedding favors that can do this.

Placing a votive candle inside a small beach bucket or pail creates a simple but appropriate seaside wedding favor. To make these favors, you need to buy plastic beach pails. They can easily be found in hobby shops, so buy several in various colors. Also buy some colored sand while you are at the hobby shop. Fill each bucket about one-quarter full with colored sand, then set a votive candle into the sand. After you tie a brightly colored ribbon around the bucket you are finished! These beach wedding favors are both simple to make and inexpensive, but they also perfectly reflect the ambiance of your ocean-side wedding. Your friends and loved ones will think of your ceremony fondly whenever they see them.

Seashells are another tasteful, inexpensive choice for wedding favors with a beach theme. Hobby shops, craft shops and party supply stores carry unbroken shells. You want shells which are all roughly the same size. While you are still in the store, also pick up some inexpensive fishing net material. Cut the fishing net into small squares and place a few seashells in the middle of each one. Pull each square’s corners together and then tie up the corners with a piece of pink, blue or coral colored silk ribbon to create attractive favors. Your wedding guests will cherish them.

You can also use magnets with a beach-related shape and design to make lovely favors for your beach wedding. Use magnets shaped like seashells, starfish, palm trees or some other object that evokes your seaside location. Your guests will probably prominently display your favors on their refrigerators. They will see your favors daily and will be reminded of your wedding day.

Place-card holders are another type of favor for a beach theme wedding. They will brighten your reception and at the same time, provide a treasured keepsake for your guests. Wedding and gift shops often stock inexpensive place-card holders that have shapes related to the beach or ocean, such as starfish, seashells, sailboats and dolphins. Use these on your reception tables to hold small cards that specify the names and table numbers of your guests. When they return home, your guests will be able to replace the card with a photo and use your favor as a delightful alternative to a traditional picture frame. They will appreciate how they can put your favor to use, and they will often be reminded of your ceremony.

For practical, inexpensive favors, beach themed bookmarks top the list. Look for something durable like plastic or chrome bookmarks instead of simple paper. Bookmarks topped by palm trees, starfish or even flip flops are easy to find and perfectly match your beach wedding theme. Bookmark favors are practical, too, and guests who love to read will especially appreciate receiving them. The bookmark will be even more treasured if you place it in a small album of photos from your wedding or a book of romantic poems.