Small Business

C. Norman Beckert: Make online video work for your business

Idaho district director for SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired ExecutivesApril 16, 2014 

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C. Norman Beckert


Over the course of the last several months I've had several SCORE clients ask if adding video to their websites might enhance their marketing and sales. My response was affirmative, but I thought it best to consult with an expert.

One of my SCORE clients is Monique Diaz, a video producer and content strategist with Publix Productions ( Monique started her business four years ago and has served customers in the Treasure Valley and beyond.

One primary benefit of using online video is increasing customer engagement. This comes in the form of more views, shares, likes, comments, website traffic and, potentially, sales.

Online video can be a little longer than traditional TV ads, allowing for meaningful connections to develop between business and customer. Online, a company can spend a minute or two sharing its brand story, highlighting customer testimonials or demonstrating special features of a product. Our own SCORE website,, uses a one-minute video to highlight several client testimonials promoting SCORE's no-cost mentoring services.

YouTube is the second-largest search engine next to Google. Since Google owns YouTube, Google ranks video as a richer asset. What does this mean for businesses? Companies that regularly post video online will come up higher in organic Google search rankings. Video and search engine optimization work together.

Monique described five uses for online video:

1. Email marketing. Add video to your company or organization's newsletter. About half of marketers who use video in email campaigns see increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding.

2. Social media campaigns. Create a weekly or monthly video series. Clips less than a minute are best.

3. Testimonials. Seeing is believing. Customer testimonials establish an emotional connection. The audience wants to see and hear from the real person. This creates trust. Replace the text-based quote.

4. Product demos. Video is great for concepts that are hard to explain. Don't just tell people, show them.

5. Video series. These give customers a reason to come back to your site. A company's website should not be a virtual billboard. Also, customers tend to stay on a website longer if it offers video.

Distribution is just as important as content. Creating quality video content is a great first step. Then a strategic online distribution plan needs to be put in place. For most businesses, a video production's value is determined by its viewership and level of engagement. A great production with very few views is not a good value, so invest in distribution along with content strategy from the start.

Undoubtedly, video is an important component of any marketing plan, especially when you consider that 188 million Americans watched 46 billion content videos in September of last year alone.

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