5 Tips for Using Online Video for Local Search Marketing

March 23, 2011 - Digital State Marketing

For small businesses, getting noticed online is a challenge, particularly when competing with big brands with large marketing departments and seemingly endless marketing budgets. But more and more local companies are finding success cutting through the clutter with online video. Statistics show that video improves online visibility and drives more action online than plain images and text. For example, according to the BIA Kelsey Group, viewers engage more after watching a video, with clicks for more information increasing by 30-40% and phone inquiries by 16-20%.

Unlike the hefty price tags associated with TV advertising, online video is affordable for businesses of any size, and is a great way to boost your local search marketing campaign. Whether you choose to create a video yourself or hire a pro, marketing your business with online video doesn’t end with the production. Remember, videos need to be seen. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your video marketing:

1. Aim for Authentic, Actionable Content

It is important to be authentic and personal. After all, this is your big chance to highlight your strengths and show what really makes you different. Being personal also means that you can show your small business roots, and capture customers in your local area. The video should be short and to the point, and the less scripted the better. People are over exposed to and fed-up of typical sales pitches, so creating an authentic video that captures the human element behind any business allows customers to connect on a personal level.

It is important to include a call to action in your video, giving your customers a reason to contact you. Be sure to include your website address, telephone number or email address. This will not only encourage potential customers to engage with you, but also you can measure the results of your video and overall local search marketing campaign.

2. Optimise Video for Google Search

The introduction of blended or universal search has changed the search game. Search engines now display more and more videos, images, blogs, maps, and books in their results. These new search algorithms weigh video heavily, giving you a great opportunity to increase your relevance in search results (and even achieve that coveted first page ranking on Google). In fact, Forrester Research ran an experiment on the top-searched keywords and discovered that videos have an 11,000-to-1 chance of appearing on the first page of Google’s results, while text has a 500,000-to-1 chance of making it on the first page — in short, video has a 50 times better chance than plain text for getting to the top of search rankings.

3. Add Video to Your Facebook Page

Most likely, your Facebook fans are already customers — the social network gives you the chance to strengthen existing relationships, build your brand, present special offers, as well as find some new customers as you reach into the extended networks of your current fan base. Social networking sites such as Facebook are great for local search marketing. They give you the chance to find potential customers in your region, and raise your business profile in the local community.

4. Put Video on YouTube and Other Video Sites

YouTube has quickly grown from a network of user-generated content to become an invaluable repository of content. Next to Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine, with more than 3.5 billion queries a month according to comScore. YouTube and other video sites are great vehicles to reach an audience who might not find you otherwise. Best of all, you can create a branded YouTube channel and host your videos without incurring any bandwidth costs. And don’t worry — you don’t necessarily have to create the next viral sensation to find success on YouTube. Small businesses can create valuable new relationships and build sales without generating a million views.

5. Add Video to Your Google Local Business Listing

By adding video to your business listing on Google Local, you’ll be able to tell your story and connect with those people who are looking for your products or services, at the very point in time when they’re actively researching or ready to buy. This ultra-targeted form of marketing is highly effective for driving clicks and calls. And amid a list of company names, addresses, and phone numbers, an engaging video brings your listing to life and sets you apart from the crowd.

Most Importantly – Get Started

There’s no time like the present to get started with video. While spare time is always in short supply for the small business owner, online video can be less time intensive and is a relatively low cost local search marketing tool compared with other advertising initiatives. Most importantly, video will reap dividends in both the short and long term.