The world is going digital, and an abundance of media content makes it hard for a small business to stand out among the crowd. For a small business to survive, it has to get creative. This doesn’t mean developing content that has nothing to do with your business or searching for a viral goldmine that may never work. Instead, getting creative means developing targeted, on-topic videos that generate real leads and real customers. They can be the shot in the arm that any small business can use.
A Look At The Numbers
In a 2010 poll by Forbes in association with Google, over 300 executives at companies with annual earnings over $500 million reported that they get their information from video. Some of the key findings from that the study include:
- 80% watched more video content than a year ago, and regarded it as a critical information source.
75% watched business-related videos at least weekly, and 52% watched work-related videos on YouTube weekly.
- 65% visited a vendor’s website after watching a video. (The number may even be higher among younger executives who were not polled.)
- Over 50% share videos with colleagues.
- 59% prefer watching video to reading text.
This is, of course, just a small sampling of the population, and the study was conducted two and a half years ago. But it’s possible—perhaps even likely—that the numbers are higher among most consumers and continue to rise.
Why is Video So Important?
Attention spans on the Internet are notoriously short. Getting information across to someone is a delicate balance of engagement and brevity. Consider two different businesses, each with its own website. Business A has a long and informative section about who they are, what they sell, and customer satisfaction. Business B has a short 2-5 minute video explaining who they are, what they sell, and people talking about the product. Finally, the end of the video also has a call to action, directing the viewer to written text if he wants to know more. Which would you choose?
While Business A has the same information as Business B, the content isn’t memorable, engaging, or personal. Written passages may even suggest a lack of effort compared to Business B’s video. These days, web video can be made relatively inexpensively, while still looking professional and polished. Many web marketing videos for small business clients take between one and three days, and they don’t come close to breaking the bank.
The Ability to Share
The best part about marketing videos? They don’t have to sit on your website. There are many social networks that can generate more attention to your business. YouTube, for instance, uses targeted advertising: the people you want to see your video actually will, and you only pay when viewers decide not to skip your video. In addition, marketing videos are added to Google’s search index, and that increases your chance of appearing in search results.
Marketing videos are a great opportunity to provide information in an engaging way, and they’re more likely than text to turn potential customers into viable leads and promoters of your business. Videos are easily shared, affordable, and have a better chance of attracting your audience. They give small businesses a chance to gain a leg up on the competition.
Angie Picardo is a staff writer for NerdWallet. Her mission is to help small businesses stay competitive and save money with the best small business checking account.
Forbes study: http://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Video_in_the_CSuite.pdf