The benefits of digital video advertising have quickly switched it from a “nice to have” for larger businesses to a “must have.” Now, this status has begun to trickle down to smaller businesses.
Brands already embracing video ads have a distinct advantage over their competition.
Soon, video advertising for small businesses could become table stakes for all business owners. Without it, they may not be able to viably compete for new customers and overall sales.
In other words: video ads provide so many advantages that small businesses without a video marketing strategy may get left behind.
In case you’re not sold on this idea, consider that video is much more engaging than other forms of social media. That’s at least partly because video assaults all the senses. It contains movement, imagery, music, and gesticulations and all this makes it far more captivating, far more persuasive and potentially much more emotionally stimulating.
This is everything you need to sell to someone and it makes social media a considerably more powerful tool for selling and persuading – or just getting someone to care about and be interested in your brand.
Discover the benefits of video advertising and learn about six huge reasons your small business should consider video ads by reading on.
1. Digital Video Has Runaway Growth with No Signs of Slowing Down
First, business owners should know that digital video is not just a “fad.” It’s a legitimate trend that reflects our evolving use of technology.
Online video has become an absolute monster in the past few years with no signs of slowing down. People watch over 500 million hours of video on YouTube each and every day. An estimated one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos.
Video uploaded to newer platforms has also quickly caught traction. Since introducing native video for Facebook users in 2013, the platform has grown to have over 500 million people watch at least one video in a given day.
There are many reasons behind this upsurge in video production and consumption, but mobile is one of the most important to keep in mind. As smartphone adoption rates rose and device owners gained access to cheaper data plans, the simultaneous explosive growth in content production and attentive audiences created a full-blown phenomenon.
Over half of video content is now viewed via mobile devices, and mobile video saw 20 percent consumption growth last year.
Altogether, these facts show that if your business invests in videos, it won’t be stuck with something no one uses five years from now. Instead, not using video advertising could actually make your business feel like a dinosaur.
2. Most Marketers Are Buying into Video Ads, And They’re Seeing Real Results
While more consumers are watching videos, more marketers are also spending more money on video advertising. Comparing 2016 to 2015, marketers spent 53 percent more on digital video ads — $9.1 billion in total. Looking just at mobile video ad growth, spending increased 145 percent year-over-year during the same period.
And while video ads made up just 12.5 percent of overall digital ad spending last year, digital advertising as a whole eclipsed traditional TV advertising. TV has long been the king in the ad world since the 1960s. That fact that digital can unseat it is a big deal.
Also, many brands have begun to give video the lion’s share (56 percent) of their ad budget, signaling a larger sea change in the handoff between digital and traditional pay TV.
Overall, people have begun to pay less attention to traditional media outlets like broadcast TV and more attention to digital videos. Businesses using video ads will find bigger and bigger audiences over time. Those who stick to older forms of ads will have shrinking audiences.
This trend has strongly motivated marketers to pay attention. Currently, over 67 percent of brands say that they purchase video ad inventory on Facebook. The majority intend to spend more on video in the next year.
Since “programmatic ad platforms” can automatically match your video ad with people most willing to buy, the tremendous appeal of video content has helped marketers find big, high-value audiences and better conversion rates.
3. Video Sharing Helps Your Ads Go Viral and Expand Reach
A video is not only appealing but also highly shareable. In fact, traffic to video sharing sites has more than tripled. Also, 92 percent of mobile video viewers report that they regularly share videos with others.
Because video is so shareable, a single ad placement can turn into free exposures from people sharing your ad with friends and associates. Video ads, therefore, help small businesses get more value for their dollar.
Additionally, video ads that are blatant advertisements can still hold a high amount of appeal to buyers. According to one recent survey, four times as many people would prefer to watch a product-focused video compared to reading about it.
4. Video Communicates More Than Words or Images Alone
Video content combines sight and sound with motion to create a deeply engrossing experience. By combining moody imagery with soothing music, for instance, small business brands can make viewers feel emotion more effectively than images or text can by itself.
Consider that a two-minute explainer video can be capable of delivering over 200 words of script. It will also show deeper information with animations, visual cues and things like editing. Maybe this is why people say that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, 1 minute of video must be worth 1.8 million!
Additionally, people tend to remember video far more clearly compared to text. The average viewer claims to remember 95 percent of what they saw in a video compared to just 10 percent of what they read through text.
For small businesses marketing, these benefits mean that video advertising does more with less. Your viewers will get more of your message, enjoy it as an experience, and remember it better overall.
5. Video Helps You Rank Higher for SEO and Social
You might not be aware of this, but YouTube (which is owned by Google) is actually the world’s second-largest search engine. It’s also the world’s third-most trafficked website. Not only is YouTube a great way to share your videos, the information you include (such as keywords and links to your website) can boost your search ranking, and that’s a big benefit.
These video results appear at the top of the SERP above text-based web pages.
By having your video more likely to appear in search results, you can get more clicks from search users directly in the SERPs. Having your video appear on the SERPs can also increase organic traffic by 157 percent compared to text-based web pages.
Put together: each video you make can generate more business with less effort.
6. Video Can Drive Serious Conversions
The addition of video to your existing campaigns can help convert more people more quickly. Research shows that customers are about 80% more likely to convert on a page that includes video – and they’re 64% more likely to make a purchase.
On top of this, using video anywhere on your website can drive engagement overall. According to studies, the average user spends 88 percent on websites that contain video. Additionally, blogs incorporating video tend to earn around three times as many inbound links compared to text-only posts.
Small business owners using both paid video ads and non-ad-related video content will, therefore, have an easier time finding more leads from multiple sources.
How to Get Started
The best way to get started with video marketing is on YouTube, which in some ways is similar to a form of social media. At the same time though, you can also be successful by using live video on platforms like Facebook, by uploading very short videos to Instagram etc., or by using videos through other social media channels. Even paid Facebook Ads let you incorporate video!
To get started creating video, then conventional wisdom is that you will need a good quality camera, some basic lighting equipment, a sound recording device etc.
All this is true to an extent, but it isn’t strictly necessary if you’re shy to go on camera or don’t know how to create that kind of content. In fact, a ‘video’ can be much more of a podcast with a static image and you talking over the top. Or it can be a slideshow with no talking at all! There are lots of ways to create video and the only thing you absolutely need is some basic editing software.
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Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.
What if we told you that Google might not be as important a resource for local search as you think it is?
You’d probably think we’re crazy. Nobody can challenge Google when it comes to search supremacy.
Well, when it comes to local search, that might not be true.
We’re not talking about Bing or Yahoo or any traditional search engine. Instead, the search option that might overtake Google in local search isn’t a search engine at all.
The social media giant is undeniably a powerhouse when it comes to marketing small businesses. And given how likely consumers are to connect with local brands on social media, it should come as no surprise that Facebook searches are making inroads against Google.
Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of Facebook local search for your business.
#1: Facebook Is Using Location in New Ways
As recently as 2015, Facebook’s search function was quite ineffective for local search. People who searched for businesses near them got incomplete (and often inaccurate) results.
Today, in mid-2017, Facebook highlights the locations of businesses at the top of their home pages and on the “About” tab.
Facebook’s search function defaults now to local search. Before, if a user searched for a type of business, they might get results from their hometown – or from halfway around the world.
Today, the search returns only businesses located within a couple of miles of the searcher’s location. That’s a huge improvement.
Another key change is that Facebook now recognizes when to use location – and when to leave it alone.
For example, a search for a type of business or an attraction – such as a restaurant or a park – returns relevant local results showing Places first, and then, local businesses as appropriate.
When a user searches for something else, such as a celebrity or book, Facebook disregards locations and returns other results that are relevant to the search.
#2: Facebook Local Searches Return Helpful Information
One of Google’s big advantages in local search is their ability to show relevant information – such as hours, distances, and maps – in their search results.
And now, Facebook does that too.
In fact, when you search for a business on Facebook, you’ll see a ton of pertinent data in your list of search results, including:
- Profile picture and other photos
- The street address of the business
- The distance from you
- Whether the business is open or closed
- The average star rating from Facebook reviews
That’s a huge amount of information – and it can make a tremendous difference when it comes to attracting Facebook users to your business.
Everything they need to know is at their fingertips, and that means that you’ll get more clicks, calls, and visits as a result of a Facebook search.
#3: Facebook Is Crowdsourcing Its Databases
One of Facebook’s value propositions for businesses is that it’s a social media giant with a huge number of users. As of June 2017, that number has topped two billion!
Two billion people have a ton of collective knowledge, and Facebook is now putting that knowledge to work for local businesses.
When a user checks in at a local business on Facebook, they get a series of questions about the business – questions designed to help other users learn about it.
For example, they might be asked:
- Does this business have available parking?
- Does your map show the correct location of this business?
The benefit of this type of crowdsourcing is clear. It ensures that anybody who searches your business on Facebook will have access to accurate and detailed data about your business to help them decide whether to buy from you.
#4: Friend Posts and Local Search Are Integrated
Would you be more likely to frequent a local business if you knew your friends liked it?
If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. That’s because social proof is a huge driver of business in digital marketing.
Even reviews from strangers on sites like Yelp carry a lot of weight, with 88% of people saying they read reviews at least some of the time.
Facebook now uses Friend check-ins and posts in combination with local search.
What does that mean? When you search for a local business, you might see an announcement that the business was “visited by friends.”
You can click to see which friends have visited. And when you search for a business, you will also get Friend Posts in your search results so you can see what your friends have to say.
#5: Facebook Has Created City Guides
Which would you rather do when you visit a new city: go to a business that caters to tourists or visit one that the locals love?
If you’re like a lot of people, you’d choose the latter option. Now, Facebook local search makes it easy for people to find out what the locals say about your business – and for locals to get to know about your business in a new way.
In addition to displaying business information such as location, hours, and reviews, the city guides also show which friends have visited each business listed.
Make the Most of Your Facebook Profile
Want people to be able to find you on Facebook? Here are some quick steps you can take to make it easy for them.
- Fill out your profile completely. Make sure that your name, address, and phone number are listed properly and consistent with other online listings.
- When you put in your address, check to make sure that Facebook displays a map with a pin at the top of your profile. (It should show up automatically, but doesn’t always!)
- Answer as many questions as you can, even if it means simply answering “no” to questions that don’t apply to you. This eliminates the need for crowdsourcing and ensures accuracy.
- Activate Facebook buttons like “Call” and “Make an Appointment” to streamline the interaction process.
- Add additional business categories if they apply to you. You only need to provide one, but adding additional options can broaden the chances that people will find you.
Providing Facebook with the information needed to help searchers find you is easy – and can have a huge impact on your traffic.
Google Still Matters…
… But Facebook matters too when it comes to local search.
Take a few minutes to optimize your business description and page – and see the difference that local Facebook traffic can make to your business.
Learn more about digital marketing by visiting JVI Mobile Marketing or by contacting us!
What’s Your Local Score?
Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.
As a small business owner, you understand the importance of establishing an online presence. Without and well-built website and a presence on social media, your potential customers are driven to your competitors. But how can you be sure that you are reaching a local audience? That’s where Google My Business comes into play.
So What Is It?
Google My Business is a reinvented tool for small business owners. It has been an evolving product under several names for years, but I think it finally hit its mark with this “reincarnation”. All of Google’s tools are located in one, easy to use location. Even better, the service is free. This means that you now have a way to control your business in the virtual world at absolutely no cost to you. Here’s what you can do with Google My Business:
- Google + – Maintain your presence on social media site Google +. You can update your status, share messages, link to other sites, and post media all from your business page.
- Reviews – You can manage your page ranking and reviews from one main page.
- Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps.
- Hangouts – If you choose, you can hold video chats with colleagues or customers.
These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business. But more than what you can do, what is important is how it helps you.
What It Does For You
With Google My Business, you can respond to negative reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see how what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.
You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, information, and maps on one platform. This allows you to be sure you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.
As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can see where your customers are located and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.
The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform to be not only a benefit to your business, but you will find it to be an extreme time saver.
To sign up with Google My Business, simply navigate to the platform and click Get on Google. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.
If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!
Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now
As you have read, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You’ve got to use it! So what four things can you do right now, right from the comfort of your desk? These:
- Set Up Your Profile
Take the time right now, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply clicking on the “Get On Google” tab on the https://www.googlemybusiness.com site.
- Add Images
Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos, or your staff on the job.
- Manage Reviews
You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.
- Leverage Insights
Take a look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search. You will also see the amount of activity on your Google + page and the demographic details of your audience.
What Local Search Experts Have to Say – Do You Agree?
As with anything, everyone has an opinion. Now that Google My Business has had time to sink in to the minds of the masses, local search experts are offering their opinions. Here’s how some of the experts are weighing in:
Street Fight: According to Street Fight, GMB is a step forward, but more dedication to simplicity is necessary.
SIM Partners: Google has shown that it is committed to local business space. A bulk upload process would be helpful, but Google has shown its interest in serving the needs of the small business owner. https://www.simpartners.com/google-my-business/
Mike Blumenthal: While Google My Business is a strong step forward in the service of the SMB, users may be left wishing for specific upgrades.
The Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore
Think that you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:
There are more than 500 million users registered with Google +. If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers are being driven to your competition that has chose to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredibly flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner should be making the most of.