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January 17, 2010

10 Tips to Grow Your Business Using Online Video

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Lacking any information to the contrary, many businesses still think that all they need to do to get new clients is to put their name and face in the Yellow Pages or online social directories, get some professional looking business cards, a website and Voila! It’s the old adage “build it and they will come”.

Trouble is, that’s what their competitors are doing also and in this day and age, it’s just not enough.

Does Your Business Stand Out Online?

Most advertising on the Web follows a time-honored format, although some might call it a time-worn format as it does little to differentiate itself. You can bet that a high percentage of this advertising will be ignored and the money spent on it will be wasted.

So how does a company stand out from the crowd online?

Thanks to an oversupply of similar text, claims, and presentation – coupled with a short 21st century attention span – your website has less than ten seconds to move a visitor to action. If it doesn’t, that visitor will click away to another site, and then another. Therefore, it’s critical that you find a way to break through the noise your competitors are making. But even that’s not enough.

Statistics show that even the best-looking websites generate conversion rates of under one percent, so for every 100 visitors you do manage to get, less than one will call or email you. Sound bleak? Thinking of redirecting more of your advertising budget back to the Yellow Pages? Don’t. You’re on the right
track – you just haven’t leveraged all the power available to you online.

One-to-Many Communication. On-on-One Feel.

Most websites are little more than electronic versions of Yellow Page advertising. For the most part, they don’t encourage interaction beyond the obligatory “Contact me for more information” plea. These sites don’t encourage trust any more than their print counterparts. They don’t give visitors the
warm-and-fuzzy feeling that a face-to-face meeting would. But they can.

Searching for a local service provider online can be a daunting prospect, but even more daunting than the search is deciding which provider to use once you get to the page, especially since most websites promise the standard good service, competitive pricing and high quality.

So how does a business differentiate itself from the sea of competition? Web video makes this possible on a grand scale. Thanks to rapidly improving technology, it’s easier than ever to add that warm-and-fuzzy, face-to-face element to your site, replicate an in-person interview, and offer your visitors an opportunity to check you out before picking up the phone. With Web video, you can present an interview that addresses all the questions and concerns of potential clients. You can keep them on your site longer and give them insight into the “business behind the business.” In a way that wasn’t possible even a few years ago, business owners can now speak directly to their audiences and showcase their personalities and areas of expertise. This is especially helpful if you are a professional service provider.

Any business that relies on conveying trust-ability will benefit from this type of web marketing. Really, it’s one-to-many communication with a one-on-one feel. It’s the perfect ice breaker and an efficient means of generating the interest and trust needed to compel potential clients to make an appointment
and do business.

A high-quality Web interview placed strategically on your site is a huge timesaver for you and prospective clients because you reach a wide audience in minimal time. Potential clients get the information they need to pre-qualify – and pre-sell – themselves before they call.

Online video delivers some of the best ROI of any advertising medium today and if set up properly, actually ranks higher than text now by the major search engines like Google. Short of spending valuable face time with a potential client (often times a poorly qualified potential client) there is simply no better way to forge a personal connection with them. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you get the most of your online video marketing efforts.

10 Tips for Making the Most of Online Video

1. Make Sure Your Video is Professionally Done.

This is an absolute must. The whole point here is to establish credibility and trust, but you’ll do the opposite with a poorly executed and produced video. Yes, many of the videos you find on sharing sites are mediocre at best, but that is changing rapidly as companies begin to see the value of promoting themselves in this manner. In fact, a recent Permission TV survey found that 67% of 400 hundred top executives intended to focus their online marketing efforts on video in 2009. The rush is coming – find a personable, engaging interviewer and a top notch production crew to really stand out.

2. Submit Your Video to as Many Outlets as Possible.

While YouTube is the clear leader here, there are many other video sharing sites worthy of consideration. Here are some others you won’t want to pass up:

Google Video
Yahoo! Video
Daily Motion
MySpaceTV

MetaCafe
• Revver
Veoh
Blinkx
Break

3. Embed Your Video on the Front Page of Your Site.

Don’t hide what’s going to become one of your most effective selling tools on a dusty inside page. Get it out front. Customers and search engines will love you for it.

4. Find Out What Search Terms Your Potential Clients are Using
and Put Them in Your Video’s Title.

If you don’t know what words clients in need of your services are typing into Google and other search engines, get professional help or use some of the resources featured on this page. Once you’ve identified these terms, use the most popular in your video’s title.

5. Make Your Tags and Descriptions SEO-friendly, too.

Most video sharing sites let you tag videos with keywords and post a short description, so get the most out of these by sprinkling in the search terms you’ve identified.

6. Don’t Forget Your Thumbnail.

A thumbnail is a still shot from your video that appears along with search results. Don’t waste this opportunity to present yourself in the best light possible – choose a key moment from your video, preferably one where you’re smiling as you speak with your interviewer.

7. Link Back to Your Site.

Put your URL near the top of your video’s description. You’ll get a higher search ranking and potential clients will quickly learn where to go for more information.

8. Interact With Your Viewers.

Most video sharing sites allow viewer comments. Use this opportunity to answer questions, respond to comments, and further promote your business.

9. Consider a Pay-Per-Click Campaign.

Natural search engine optimization, while effective, takes time to bear fruit. In the meantime, you might want to jump start the process with a pay-per-click campaign that gives you a sponsored search listing. You can learn more about PPC advertising at:

www.google.com/intl/en/ads

• sem.smallbusiness.yahoo.com/searchenginemarketing

• advertising.microsoft.com/search-advertising

10. Add New Content Often.

Search engines look for it and so do potential clients. Keep your content fresh and up-to-date and keep visitors coming back for more.

With an ever-increasing stream of competition, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. These days standing out means maximizing your online presence and leveraging the technology to present the unique advantages of you and your firm. There’s no better way for a growth-oriented business to build a solid and secure future than by using effective and affordable online video.

Use these free resources to get a handle on the terms that potential clients are using to search for you right now.

Wordtracker
Google AdWords
Keyword Discovery
• KwMap
Google Trends


Diana D’Itri is co-owner of IDR, LLC, a media production and marketing company. Since 2002, Diana has helped business professionals all over the U.S. to differentiate themselves from their competition and increase web conversions through online and cable television broadcasting. www.idrbroadcasting.com

15 Responses to “10 Tips to Grow Your Business Using Online Video

    […] 10 Tips to Grow Your Business Using Online Video […]

    avatar Ravi Kant says:

    That is the best video marketing article i read ever. really useful Diana, keep posting

    Wow! Great article.
    These are some great tips for using video online. Thanks for the links to the online video posting sites.

    avatar Matt Kaplan says:

    I conducted the survey mentioned above at PermissionTV. We’ve since changed our name to Visible Gains and have created new “VideoApps” to make it easy for marketers to integrate video into their marketing campaigns, educational programs, and sales processes. Check it out at http://www.visiblegains.com

    avatar Mortgage loan modifications says:

    I am considering doing some video marketing for my mortgage loan modifications site. I will certainly use your tips. Thank you for all your great ideas.

    While I totally agree with all the points made, the video’s produced by her company are boring has h*ll… Especially after commenting how important it is to have a professionally made video.

    avatar Charles Kaluwasha says:

    This article has come at the right time when I am thinking of shooting a video about how I started my online business from scratch to the point where I am able to add content to my site. I have to find a top notch production crew.
    Thank you for the tips!

    These 10 tips are very useful and effective and with the help of these tips now we can promote our business with the help of online videos!
    It looks like a very great idea!
    Thanks for sharing this useful info with us!
    Cheers!

    avatar bambang s says:

    thank you verymuch for your nice information about video marketing

    just keep posting

    avatar Thomas says:

    Always make sure you properly title your video and provide content describing the video around it so that the search engines have an easier timer deciphering what it is about.

    The best part about online video (at least for now) is how fast you can see the results show up in Google’s University Search results.

    Quickly jumping ahead of any of your competitors who are not using it.

    That is as long as the Titles,Meta tags,and right keywords are used properly.

    avatar David Lakins says:

    Some great tips Diana. Only yesterday was presenting the merits of video to over 100 delegates at a Guerilla e-marketing seminar. I am confident there is an angle to use this type of media for most businesses – it’s just finding the right approach to focus on.

    avatar Wade Pupek says:

    With the easy integration of video and other media with most CMS solutions it is now easy to add video to any site. Having the video embedded on a page or creating your own youtube like module for your website is much easier then most people think.

    Great information, I will definitely use some of these tips for videos.

    Thanks a bunch!

    avatar Stephen Monday says:

    Great advice Diana.
    Thanks for posting links to the popular video sharing sites. I am convinced that people like to see a face attached to a Website offering professional services.

    It is more personable than text alone, and generates more positive responses.

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