Video is hot in today’s business environment. Video simply engages people in a way that text and images cannot. According to the BIA Kelsey Group, viewers engage more after watching a video, and their requests for more information increased by 30-40% by clicks on website and 16-20% by phone inquiries. That is some pretty incredible engagement! There are numerous other studies that prove video builds brand awareness, increases customer interaction and boosts sales.
Luckily for small businesses, it’s never been easier to capture and distribute video. Don’t worry about videographers and fancy equipment; you can capture video with inexpensive video devices or even a smartphone. If you do shoot your own video, you can even edit it with online sites like Pixorial or Jaycut. Which leads us to our first tip:
- Keep it simple and authentic. Your goal is to capture the human element of your business, and allow people to connect with your small business on a personal level. Ultimately, you’re developing trust with your customers and prospects. So don’t use a script, be natural and personal! And, keep it short – under 2 minutes is best, otherwise you risk losing your audience. 30 seconds is all that is needed to capture people’s attention and connect with them.
- Optimize your video for search engines. Search engines like Google have algorithms that weigh video heavily when displaying search results. In fact, video has a 50 times better chance at making it to the top of search results than plain text does! There is a plethora of information out there on how to optimize your video for search engines, but a couple of the most important ones are: use YouTube as the platform to upload your video (see Tip #3 below) and use informative keywords. Instructional (“how to” or “learn”), and educational (“what is” or “history of”) keywords will get the best results.
- Put your video on YouTube and other video and social media sites. While YouTube is the most important platform to use for uploading your video, uploading to multiple video platforms maximizes your potential audience size and overall reach. Since videos are highly shareable and are very engaging pieces of content, make sure you are getting them out on Twitter, Facebook, and the other social media sites you may be using.
- Add video to your local business listings. Adding video to your local directory listings will set you apart from the sea of competitors and allow you to stand out from the crowd, guaranteed! You will be connecting with people at the point in time when they are researching and ready to buy, so this is a highly effective way to generate website hits and phone inquiries!
- Make sure your video can be viewed on mobile devices. Nielsen recently reported “The number of U.S. mobile subscribers watching video on their mobile devices rose more than 40 percent year-over-year in both the third and fourth quarters of 2010, ending the year at nearly 25 million people. These mobile video users watched an average of four hours and 20 minutes of mobile video per month in both the third and fourth quarter of 2010—a 33 percent and 20 percent year-over-year increase in each quarter respectively.” (State of the Media Report). We think those numbers tell the whole story!
So, are you currently using video to market your small business? Or, are you planning to? We would love to hear of your experience with video.