Business/E-Business
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8/27/2008
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Online Video And Growing Businesses: A Formula For Success

Does your growing business need more proof that online video is an effective, easy, and cheap marketing tool? How about more anecdotes from a smaller business that posted online videos and got really good results? No problem.

Does your growing business need more proof that online video is an effective, easy, and cheap marketing tool? How about more anecdotes from a smaller business that posted online videos and got really good results? No problem.I have been encouraging smaller businesses to take advantage of all that online video has to offer for some time (even as my editor Ben Tomkins cautions smaller businesses to proceed carefully with this marketing tool).

I cited some compelling research from FindLaw that I found in a column by Glenn Pingul on Search Engine Land regarding attorney's Web sites: The research reported that consumers typically visit an average of nearly five Web sites (4.8 actually) before deciding which attorney to select. When lawyers added video to their respective Web sites, however, this number decreased fairly substantially, to 1.8.

Pingul has a follow up column on Search Engine Land in which ihe reports that that stat from FindLaw generated a lot of "buzz." (Not surprisingly considering the very impressive results.)

Minda Zetlin, a reporter from Inc. Magazine, contacted Pingul about an article she was writing on how smaller businesses can use online video. Her article makes some interesting points that should get smaller businesses thinking.

Zetlin highlights Li Read, a managing broker of RE/MAX Salt Spring on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, where 80 percent of the home buyers come from outside Canada. Read uses online video ads to create a slide show "walk-through" of homes for sale, and to help customers get to know her. She also uses a video ad in which she talks about herself and her home-buying philosophy.

As Zetlin point out the "video ads are fairly new, and Read can't say for sure whether they've led to any specific sales. However, 0.58 percent of people who see an ad for her properties click on it to play the video, and 1.69 percent of those who see the ad about herself do so. This compares with a traditional online advertising conversion rate of 0.1 percent, according to Pingul."

In his column, Pingul adds that "her VideoAds are definitely driving engagement. With over 20 VideoAds on her site, viewers are watching, on average 60% to 90% of the VideoAd, some of which are over 6 minutes long."

Another thing that Pingul points out is that so many of Read's buyers are not local. He writes: "So many of us in the space focus on local, but with the ubiquity of the Internet today, even locally focused business segments such as real estate would be remiss to ignore the potential of making their inventory available to interested 'outside' buyers."

He also notes -- and this is a crucial point for smaller businesses  that video is still a way to help businesses stand out in search results. He writes: "For now, as video is still relatively new for businesses, those that jump on using video early will take the lead."

What are you waiting for?

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