Video's New Generation: Driving SMB Awareness and Engagement

April 7, 2016 Peter Krasilovsky

Video for SMBs is entering a new generation, as it becomes more oriented towards online and mobile and can take advantage of cheap and easy video tools.  Now, it is up to SMBs to rethink  and get more engaged with their video strategies.

Just 17.5 percent of SMBs have video on their Website, according to BIA/Kelsey.  Another 12.3 percent have  video posted on YouTube.  Facebook, Vimeo and Twitter also apear to have gained some traction.

SMB Video has actually  gone through several transformations. First, it was mostly about inexpensive,  late night TV commercials (i.e. used car dealers.)  It then made a partial transition to SMB Websites and directories. But these videos were often under-viewed due to their low quality production. Moreover, they were isolated islands:  the search engines couldn’t find them.

What a difference a few years make. Today, SMB videos can be produced on smart phones for little or no cost,  or at a higher level by networks of trained videographers. And video search has become so sophisticated that videos can be found across the Internet via search engines and other platforms.  They can also be found as sponsored content  (or “native advertising”) on an increasing number of  publisher sites.  

Video provides an extra added value for SMBs – it drives up their search ranking.  Video can also be easily attached to emails and promotions, and greatly drive open rates, click-through rates and the length of Web site visits.   

Here are a few facts about collected by Media Distribution Solutions, an SMB video services firm:

  • Having video on your website makes it 53 times more likely to show up on Google
  • Video causes people to stay longer on your site by an average of 2 minutes
  • Video is shared 1200% more than photos and texts combined
  • Emails with videos get 50% more clicks compared to emails without video.

Since last year, there has been a new twist to video: live events.  Facebook, Twitter and Meerkat are among the sites hosting live events. On Facebook, for example,  the live video can be enhanced by personalized, responsive features, such as live reactions (Emojis etc), or shared with friends or collleagues.

Another new twist is the use of video to drive actions.  Companies can now add  information to their videos such as email contact forms, embedded URLs, coupons and clickable phone numbers. They can also learn about their viewers via various analytics dashboards. For instance, they can learn whether  consumers unmuted the sound, finished the video, or clicked to stall the video and print out a coupon.

Ultimately, nothing really matches video for user engagement and open rates. SMBs seeking to be in the vanguard of tech marketing will be thinking strategically about how to implement it.

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