Social media and video marketing are increasingly more important in the internet marketing efforts of businesses. More people are online and searching for business information than ever before and videos that businesses create and then promote can increase the exposure businesses get and the ability to build their outward image and communicate a specific message. All of this can be wrapped up neatly in a short video that is tastefully shot and skillfully produced with even small features such as text, images, and transitions.

Businesses have been using this for some time, however, only a limited percentage of businesses have been using them to their fullest potential. Now a joint venture between Google and American Express called My Business Story invites businesses to record a video describing their business’ background and ‘story,’ and helps them leverage it for optimal gain. The initiative offers businesses assistance in the form of an editing tool that can help them put the finishing touches on videos in the form of small features like text.

The idea is for business owners who do not especially have video expertise or video departments to be able to understand the process and competently upload the videos themselves and then ultimately be able to leverage them for optimal marketing gain. The initiative recommends the businesses to post the videos on their company websites, but also social media pages such as Facebook and Google +, and the My Business YouTube Channel Page. From there, businesses can promote the videos and profile it in their communications online. My Business Story follows Google’s Get Your Business Online initiative which I discussed in a previous article, and in a two-part blog post regarding its impact in developing markets. The current initiative follows suit in the sense that it empowers businesses to use the resources that are available to them online, offering them assistance to get started.

The 3 Things Marketers Should Do
Based on the outlook of who the initiative is catered to, the majority of small businesses utilizing the initiative’s offering will not be doing any additional videos. As such, they need to maximize their time and create the most impactful message possible. Stories and background information are very important in creating an emotional attachment and creating awareness. However, in the short time that the businesses have on the video they additionally need to:

  1. Create a core message, not necessarily a slogan, but a core message that all of the video’s content supports whether its “local at a fair price” or “simply the best…” – the viewer needs to walk away with a concept associated with the company.
  2. Detail who exactly your customers are early in the video so those who watch it can know immediately how the products and services relate to them.
  3. Offer valuable description about how your products are great and different than the competition’s products.

It may seem simple, but many businesses will unfortunately miss the mark. The inherent limitations when doing one all-encompassing video force the creators to use the time and video efficiently making it essential to include these three key points. If they don’t, they end up with just an attractive fun video that doesn’t stick with customers. So instead they want to cover the essential elements in an interesting way so customers not only remember your company name, but your central message. After this point, SEO Companies can assist businesses in the marketing of the video on the various website and social pages, as video content now shows in search engine results pages (SERPs) and thus its details can be optimized.

For more information regarding how businesses can best construct a video in terms of proper messaging, how to utilize video marketing, and finally how to optimize video details and posting them for maximum SEO gain, you can reach out to me in several ways – directly via email at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com or twitter @ryanwbudd.

There are a lot of online marketing options these days.  Social media alone hosts a party of solutions.  We know (through SEO best practices and a series of 2011 Panda updates) the production of content is important.  We also have come to understand (especially considering the popularity of social media) that the dissemination of content is also integral, elongating the reach of marketing initiatives, offering a better chance to secure consumer relationships.

An aggressive brand is likely to look back in wonder at the accumulation of tools and online real estate, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest accounts, one or more company-related blogs, and a range of non-textual content (pictures, videos, podcasts, infographs).  What do you do with all the online real estate?  Like savvy, offline property owners, online brands need to make the most of real estate to produce revenue.  Consider the following dissemination suggestions, helping to build a community out of content:

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool for making connections.  Depending on your business model, it may make sense to spend more time on the social platform than less.  However, what we do know is that people like using Twitter for coupons.  Does your brand offer coupons, discounts, or host ongoing sales?  Make sure content associated to discounts and savings are made public on this real-time news platform.

Company Blog

Outspoken Media did a post a little while ago about the wane of corporate blogging.  While your business may find it beneficial to devote resources elsewhere, hosting ongoing posts on a company blog addresses several needs.  First, it keeps fresh content on your site, which pleases the search engines.  Secondly, it curtails the need for ongoing press releases as PR trends shift.  Lastly, it provides opportunities for branding and transparency (a company blog can be an extension of ‘about us’ sentiments).  If resources are devoted toward more offsite initiatives, such as guest blogging, don’t completely neglect your company blog(s).

Pinterest

Have you explored Pinterest?  The site is fairly new; so, it is likely brands have not realized all the things to do with it.  Todd Bailey offers Pinterest tips.  I like one suggestion regarding leveraging brand-related pictures.  This is especially advantageous for retailers of clothes, art, furniture, and beyond (items of consumer interest deserved of a rich, visual experience).  Depending on services/products a brand offers, particular modes of media are better suited for marketing.  Let’s consider video.

YouTube

‘Content is king’ and ‘user is king’ are two, common mantras in the online marketing community.  Both are true; it’s about providing the kind of content your user desires.  In modern times, content is podcasts, pictures, textual articles, videos and more.  YouTube offers impressive usage numbers, making it prime real estate for a number of business models.  Is your brand properly communicating with consumers?  Would some messages be improved via video production?

Facebook

There’s been discussion about how Facebook counts its active users (and names its celebrities) but online marketing professionals can’t deny its benefits.  People use Facebook.   What a brand needs to research is the how and when regarding respective customers.  I wrote about working on the weekends; posting and engaging fans on Facebook may be more beneficial during traditional “off” hours.  When are the best times to leverage Facebook to connect with your target market (is it during ‘your’ off hours?)?  Is some brand-produced content better suited for the platform and percentages of your consumers using Facebook?