Last week we let you know it was official – social media boosts exposure and traffic for SMBs. We even talked about how small businesses see a bigger return from social media than their larger counterparts. Huzzah! With that in mind, it’s time to look at how small business owners can use social media channels to their full potential.
And one of the best places to start is by looking at your SMB blog and finding new ways to capture attention.
As a small business owner, one of the most effective ways to get involved in social media is to start a blog. Through blogging you’re able to establish yourself as an industry authority, you build a community, increase your exposure, and you give the search engines a reason to visit your site regularly. You’ve probably been using your blog this way for some time now. And that’s great! But it’s time to up the ante. How do you do that? By adding video to your blog and creating a new way to interact with users and show off your brand.
Below are 5 reasons why you should add video to your small business blog. You don’t have to be scared.
1. A different way to express yourself: Ever take a step back and look at your blog only to feel like it doesn’t “sound” like you? You know that when you talk about your business and your industry in person, you’re full of excitement, your hands flail and you’re overwhelmingly passionate about it. But, for some reason, you’re having a hard time translating that into print. If that’s the case, this is a perfect opportunity to connect with customers directly by using video and allowing yourself to simply talk to your audience. Grab a Flip camera, turn it on, and be you. Talk about the things you love about your company, what you think needs to be changed in your industry, where you think things are going, etc. When you “just talk” you’re able to connect with people on a different level.
2. You create a more personal community: Not only does video change the way you express yourself, it also changes how your audience responds to you. When someone can hear your words and look into your eyes while you’re speaking, it creates a much more personal connection than simply publishing words on a page. Strategically using video to talk about sensitive industry topics or to explain your stance on a controversial issue can really help you win over your audience and let them see where you’re coming from. As a SMB, if you’re looking to create a highly personal connection with your audience, try throwing in some video and letting them see you every once in a while.
3. Another way to respond to customer issues: One of the most successful ways to use videos is to create product tutorials or use it to address customer hiccups. Sure, you could write a blog post about how to attach a basket to your child’s bicycle and it would probably be helpful, but it would be even more helpful if you included a video. A video that showed each step and let people know what it was supposed to “look like” as they were going through the process. As Prasad Thammineni noted in his post on creating winning small business video he noted that customers want to know how a product or service works before purchasing it. Using video is the perfect way to show them and to help them feel more comfortable.
4. You create another rankable asset: When we talk about getting involved in social media, one of the goals is always increased exposure – both from the user-side and the search engine-side. The more quality “stuff” you give Google to rank, the more likely it is that a potential customer will find you when they do a search related to your business. And this is where creating videos for your blog (or Web site) can really separate you from the pack. By hosting your videos on YouTube, on Vimeo and on other online video sites, you give yourself more rankable assets and increase the odds that you’ll show up for important keyword-related searches. Google knows that users love video and we’re starting to see it appear more and more in the results pages. As a SMB, the fact is you can’t always compete on a page-level with Fortune 100 companies who are given extra authority simply for being a large brand. However, by using video and appearing in the universal results, you can find new ways to outrank them by claiming your territory in video, images, news, etc. When you can’t get in the front door, try the window.
5. You get used to speaking on camera: You probably don’t have hopes of a mainstream film career, but you still want to show people you can be comfortable on camera and in front of an audience. Why? Because when a local reporter or someone in your industry wants to talk to someone for a news story, you want that person to be you. And by showing them you have a history of delivering (and not freezing up on camera), you increase the odds that the person they’ll want to talk to is you!
Those are some of the big benefits to adding video to your small business blog. And don’t forget! If you are going to use video (and you should), you’ll also want to create transcripts for your videos to help the search engines understand what you’re talking about.