There’s a lot of buzz these days around small businesses using online video for promotion. There appears to be some justification for all the hype. If you haven’t jumped into the online video pool just yet, consider that after viewing an online video advertisement consumers were motivated to take some action: 47% went to a Web site, 19% requested information about a product or service, 18% went to a store to check out a product, and 17% made a purchase, according to March 2008 data from The Kelsey Group.
What this means is that small businesses need to keep pace with this shift. Gone are the days of marketing strategies built solely around print and TV. The good news: As the number of advertising opportunities has grown, advertising costs have become more affordable for small businesses.
Today there are a number of cost-effective online video production services that have been developed specifically to address the needs of small businesses. With the help of companies like Spot Runner, TurnHere, VisibleWorld, and Mixpo, you can experiment with online video without making an enormous financial commitment. CityVoter has showcased a number of these videos on its local guides for small businesses, and they frequently show up very high in search results because there aren’t a lot of local business videos on the Web yet.
These videos are quickly becoming an important resource for many consumers searching for business information before making a purchase either online or offline. While online video may sound like just one more path for prospective customers to find you—along with digital photos, it’s one of the most important. So take a closer look at online video—it just might be an effective extension of your current marketing activities.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.