How Online Video Can Boost Your Firm’s Bottom Line

Eight great ideas for small and midsized businesses

shoot a one-minute show that gives viewers three pieces of valuable advice from your area of expertise. An independent podiatrist, for example, could show runners three ways to improve their stride, while a hair salon owner might reveal three tips for maintaining shiny hair. “Be sure to include a place where viewers can leave feedback, and a link to your company’s Website,” says Johnson.

Target specific geographies. Online video allows small businesses to effectively “geo-target” specific geographic areas, according to Campanell. A Chicago-based automobile repair shop, for example, could create a short spot that speaks directly to viewers in a specific city or region, instead of the entire Internet world. “You can take new footage or a part of a commercial that you’re already running on TV and expand your reach by geo-targeting online,” Campanell says.

Create buzz. Online videos shouldn’t be direct ads, but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn into terrific viral marketing tools. A seller of skincare products, for example, could create a video highlighting five ways to care for your skin. Messages such as “Tell your friends about our products,” or “Take this video and post it on your own blog” inserted into the video itself can “go a long way in creating inexpensive buzz for your products or services,” Johnson says.

Set up lines of communication. Unlike traditional advertising, online video marketing gives companies ways to set up lines of communication with their potential, current and past customers. “Video allows you to communicate with customers in a very public manner,” says Johnson, who advises firms to use comment and feedback sections to encourage that interactivity. “Through online video, you can actually find out how you can serve your customers better or what improvements can be made to your products or services,” Johnson adds. “That’s the power of video.”

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