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Online video was once perceived to be an expensive option, but in the last few years it’s become a leading marketing strategy for small businesses. Here’s how video can help increase your online visibility and build business – without spending a fortune.

With the growth of online business, video has been pushed to the front of marketing tactics.

“Video enables you to communicate the complex and the long in a way that is simple and easy to understand. It’s definitely a key point of information for people online that businesses are utilising to their advantage,” Pulse Marketing managing director Lauren Brown said.

“If you only have people visiting your website for a couple of minutes, it’s easier for you to convey what you need to through video, than through text. You can keep it short and sharp, while effectively engaging them,” she told Dynamic Business.

More importantly, however, video has become vital for small businesses’ search engine optimisation (SEO). As Brown explained, Google owns YouTube and is structuring its search engine results to give prominence to sites that include video.

“If you want your product to be found online, you need to consider YouTube. Not considering it is like saying “I don’t want to worry about Google”. It’s really a search engine in itself. And it’s absolutely essential that you can be found on there,” she said.

Once you’ve got videos on YouTube – and distributed across multiple sites- its difficult for competitors to knock you from the top of the search. According to Brown, this syndication is vital in building business.

But what content is most effective? Surprisingly, one of the most effective forms of video is the ‘how-to’ guide, says Brown.

“Video can be such a brilliant way of training customers on how to use your product of service. And Google have done a spectacular job with that, by providing different information videos for different levels of learning,” she said.

The medium can also be used to provide solutions to clients and customers without them having to call.

“If a customer needs troubleshooting, they would normally have to spend time on the phone to your company to work out how to fix it- and that also costs you man hours. But if there is a video, it’s accessible any time. That provides a real advantage,” Brown added.

The main question for small businesses is: should they keep production in-house, or call in the professionals?

“There’s a misconception that video is costly- people think that because it’s expensive to produce a television commercial, it’s expensive to produce online video. But its not. Video can be done at a really good price, so it’s worth seeking professional assistance,” Brown said.

“If you’re the office manager, you don’t want to be getting the script and the talent together. That’s not your key area of speciality, so you’re not going to produce the best possible video,” she explained.

Brown advised that businesses take their vision to a marketing agency who can film it professionally, and communicate the right tone and production values.

“If you get it right, in terms of message and length, then the money you spend on a video will be worth it, because you’ll be engaging your customers in the most effective way possible,” she added.

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Carly McKenna

Carly McKenna

Carly McKenna is currently working as a journalism intern for Dynamic Business. She is also a third-year Media student at Macquarie, a music enthusiast, and a lover of all things literary.

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