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Web Video is quickly becoming a popular tool for targeting and marketing to new customers. In fact, “video capability” was the single fastest growing feature that small businesses added to their websites, according to a report by Cisco Visual Networking Index. The study says that Internet video is more than over one-third of all consumer Internet traffic, and will approach 40% of consumer Internet traffic by the end of 2010.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably wondering if web video is right for your company. Adding video to your website will allow you to engage your customers in ways that can’t be done with words on the screen.Â For example, if you are an accountant, you can demonstrate your thorough bookkeeping with customer testimonials. If you are a landscaper, you can show examples of your yard work. And if you are a makeup artist, you can provide step-by-step tutorials or tips to explain how customers can achieve a striking appearance from day to day. Entrepreneurs can even create commercials that are never meant to air on television because the web allows them to target their niche audiences virally through social media for less money.
If you use your imagination, there are very few reasons why you shouldn’t be able to use web video on your website, but below are three reasons why you might want to delay it.
You want to serve an exclusive audience. Adding video to your website could exponentially increase your customer base. That’s a great thing for most businesses. But some entrepreneurs might be cautious about entertaining unfamiliar clients. For example, a traveling make-up artist might be wary about visiting a new client’s personal residence and prefer to service customers who were referred to them by current clientele or acquaintances.
Even in this situation video can still be an asset. If you provide a service that requires trust, intimacy, and patience, such as applying makeup, providing massages, or supplying healthcare in the home, then video excerpts of you in action will help demonstrate to potential customers that you are someone they can welcome into their homes without concern. Try a service like Screencast.com, which will allow you to password protect your videos so only authorized users can access your content. Beginners can start a free account that includes 2GB of storage and 2GB of bandwidth.
You don’t have the time or can’t afford to implement web video in a professional and creative way. There is no bigger business turnoff than a bad video. An unprofessional video implies that you don’t place much emphasis on the quality of your work. There are hundreds of companies like Pixability.com and Turnhere.com that will shoot, edit, launch and promote your videos for $500. But not everyone can afford $400 to $700 a month to hire an outside company for video production. Don’t fret. With time, a few common resources (a short film was shot on the streets of London using a Nokia N8 cell phone), and a lot of resolve, the average entrepreneur can publish high-caliber videos on their site without the high price tag.
But if you have neither time nor money, then it is best that you hold off on implementing your video strategy until you do. Otherwise, you could end up turning off more customers then you attract. Even if your video looks great, you might be losing out on valuable customer analytics if you are unable to set up and take advantage of search engine optimization.
You are not able to handle the subsequent influx of traffic. Video can increase your lead conversion rate (the percentage of leads that subsequently become customers) by more than 80%, according to case studies done at EyeView Digital.Â Also, since Google bought YouTube, video has had a prominent place on Google’s search results page.Â There’s a possibility that your page will appear at the top of keyword searches describing your product or services resulting in hundreds of emails and phone calls.
It can hurt your business if you have not built a solid workforce to respond to all of the new inquiries you receive. This is especially true in this new social media age where people will review your customer service or lack thereof on not just one, but dozens of other sites like yelp, and on your company’s own Facebook and Twitter pages.
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