Local Small Business Marketing Has One Key Goal
The goal is to be found when folks in your community or region are seeking the products and services your small business provides. And since search engines play a large role in finding those products and services, having your business found when online searches are made is crucial.
The video above was one we produced for our own company and it’s on the first page of Google for our most effective search phrases. It’s not only promoting our business and our services but it’s taking up real estate that could be going to a competitor. Here’s a step by step guide on how you can do the same for your business.
Videos allow a small business to accomplish three very important goals with their online marketing efforts:
- Show depth and personality – If you’ve ever read an email and wondered what type of emotion or tone the sender meant with their words, then you know how messages can get lost in translation. When potential customers are seeking a local solution to a problem, any advantage you can gain in the sales process is key. Videos allow you to go beyond text and add tone, personality, and character to the information you’re providing.
- Demonstrate expertise – Videos provide you a tool to build trust by showing that there is a real person behind the business that can answer the questions potential customers have. By adding a face and a voice to the information on your website, you can help customers feel more comfortable about doing business with your company.
- Push out the competition – Let’s face it, when it comes to getting business, competition is always a concern for small business owners. Optimizing video for search engine ranking gives you another element for search engines to list in search results. Each time your company is listed on the first page of Google for a phrase that matters to you, you’re essentially taking the place of a competitive option. Videos allow you yet another tool that can be listed in search engine results along with your website. If done correctly, video listings can take up room that would normally be held by the competition.
Content and Software
Videos do not have be complex, fancy, or even long. As for content, the general rule is to keep to a single topic and not exceed 2 minutes in length. As for software, many folks have smart phones and the video feature on the iPhone for instance is a great and easy way to get a high quality video done for your business topic. You really don’t need much more than that as the iPhone allows you to edit the video on the phone as well. For those without smartphones, both Macs and PCs now come with basic video editing software that can work extremely well. YouTube even offers the ability to record videos using just the camera and microphone on your computer. Whatever option you choose, make sure you have good lighting and minimal distractions around you.
If you’re going to use a smartphone, I’d also suggest getting an external microphone to increase the quality of the sound–I’ve recorded videos on the iPhone using both the built in microphone and the external and the sound difference is amazing on the external. You can find them online for about $30.
Where to Host Your Video
In the interest of using video to help with Google rankings, I would highly recommend YouTube for two key reasons that benefit small businesses greatly:
- YouTube takes care of the processing to ensure that folks can watch your video regardless of the device or bandwidth speed they have. That alone is invaluable.
- YouTube is owned by Google and Google respects its own products.
Best practice is to create a YouTube channel for your business and upload the videos to that channel. Then, use the embed feature to place those videos onto the appropriate place in your website. This will give you twice the exposure and value for your video, as YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine.
Tips for increasing your local search rankings using videos for your small business:
- The title should include a keyword phrase you are trying to focus on
- The first sentence of the description should also include that keyword phrase
- Be sure to list your website address in the video description field
- Be sure to list your company name, address, and phone number in the description field
- Be sure to list a few targeted keyword phrases in a list within the description field
Remember that your videos don’t have to be fancy or complicated. Keep in mind what your customers are looking for and how you can help. Be sincere and valuable in the information you provide and keep the selling to a minimum. Building trust through video means putting the needs of the viewer first. Doing this right can help make videos an effective marketing tool for your small business.