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Small Businesses and Online Video Equals Smart(er) Marketing

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According to ClickZ, it’s estimated that online video advertising is projected to grow 45 percent to $850 million and almost 80% of U.S. Internet users watched videos for roughly five hours in December 2008.

Including online video in an overall online marketing strategy is growing in attractiveness from marketing agencies and small businesses. Why? Video marketing is cost-effective, trackable, and now easier to develop. A video can further communicate the message of a brand, demonstrate how-tos on product use, and deliver news or short tidbits on industry-related topics. Some public relation agencies are using video to highlight client results. Other companies like SBTV.com and Universal Sports created a news channel that delivers small business news and athletic coverage in-between Olympics respectively.

Three reasons why video works:

Video helps search engine rankings. Google recently started populated video in search results and many SEO experts agree that video will appear in results more and more.

Video allows small businesses to gain exposure to a wider audience by video sharing sites like YouTube or Twango. More searches are done on YouTube than Yahoo and it comes in second after Google.

Video engages your customers. Adding a video to your home page increases the time people will spend on your site.

However, just because a video is made, doesn’t automatically mean customers will come-you have to promote it and create it right with the proper tags, keywords and descriptions. Here are some tips when creating a video:

  • Don’t spend an arm and a leg creating a video. There are many low cost options that are high quality and preserve a brand. One option I recommend is Running Stills. Click on the Costa Rica sample.
  • Do ask if you own the video after it is created. Many companies actually do not allow the client to own the video, or charge a monthly fee.
  • Don’t make your messages plastic. Use an authentic delivery if you are creating a how-to video for instant credibility and show the specific features or application in use so the viewer can mentally picture using it.
  • Do find out if the company producing the video will help you market the video. You can optimize the video for YouTube, but if you don’t ever end up uploading to YouTube, it will never be found in a search.
  • Don’t just create a video to create a video. Bad videos can reflect negatively on your brand so make sure your video has value and is useful and informative.

Do get your message across in as little amount of time as possible. Average video length according to Comscore is 3.1 minutes.

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