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7 Reasons to Use Online Video for Your Small Business

I’m not going to lie to you – my very first video was a dud – the lighting was bad, the sound was muffled and I wasn’t looking at the camera. Despite those flaws, a couple of hundred people watched it – what if I had done one that was really good? I learned from that experience that online video is a great way to help people understand your business. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many more is a video worth? Here are 7 reasons why you should consider using video to promote your small business.

1. Get Attention

There’s no doubt about it – video gets attention – and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you even like the topic. Our eyes and brains are trained to look at moving images (must be all those years of watching TV). Get your customer to look for even a couple of seconds and you begin to win the battle for attention.

2. Highlight Personality

As a writer, I believe in the power of the written word, but I have to admit that the spoken word combined with great visuals can be just as powerful. There’s no better way than an online video to introduce yourself and your business to your target customers. You might be saying exactly what’s on your about page, but people will be able to get to know your personality and begin to connect.

Wistia’s video series does a good job at explaining sometimes technical products or services, while still maintaining their fun personality.

3. Show and Tell

Show and tell doesn’t just work for schoolkids; it works for everyone! That’s one of the reasons that YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine (good call, Google). People are always looking for information on how to do things – and if they can see it, they can understand it. Fact sheets and product sheets can be very dull – a commercial video production is a better way to help people understand products and services that are hard to explain in words. It’s just more exciting.

4. Provide Customer Service

If your customers have questions, why not use online corporate video to respond to them? It’s something software developers already do well but any business can use this technique. And you can help your customers feel even more connected by showcasing their stories. Use video to show how they use or respond to your product or service – they will be your best salespeople.

5. Be Shareable, Go Viral

Want your content to go viral? Unless you plan to post pictures of cats with funny captions, video is a good bet, says Mashable . You can increase your chances of virality by doing  a parody of something popular like this recent male version of the Dove Real Beauty campaign. Remember the humor of the Old Spice videos – yes, it’s a big brand, but there’s no reason your business can’t do the same. And when you have a video there are dozens of places to upload and promote it, expanding your reach.

Kevin Allocca, Trends Manager at YouTube, discusses why videos go viral (TED Talks in 2012).

6. Mobile Users are Watching

There are plenty of predictions about the growth in mobile and tablet use over the next five years. But there’s another trend also worth keeping an eye on – the rising use of these devices to watch online video. Watching video on tablets and mobile grew 110% and 87% respectively in 2012, and those devices now account for 8% of all video viewing. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to figure out that more mobile devices means even more mobile video viewing.

7. Enhance Your Local Business Listing

You already know local search is hot, right? So when you list your business in local business directories, a cool landing page video will help your listing stand out, bringing more potential customers your way.

The truth is that your business can’t afford to ignore online video any longer.  There’s no doubt about it – video marketing has power. Are you going to use it?

Additional Resources

Why Short Form Video is the Future of Marketing – Fast Company

14 Ways to Promote Your Latest YouTube Video – Problogger

The No Hype Guide to Video Marketing on YouTube – Convince and Convert

Written by Sharon Hall
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.