The Move to Video and How Small Businesses Can Take Advantage
If you’ve been paying attention to social media, advertising, and content marketing, you’ll know that there’s been a shift toward video and that it is now the preferred medium for many consumers. This evolution is exemplified by the addition of live streaming options on platforms like Twitter and Instagram as well as the huge investments Snapchat, Facebook, Apple and others have made in premium video content. Because of this change there are many reasons why entrepreneurs should be looking to create video content in order to grow their businesses.
On this topic, I recently came across a great video from Sean Cannell of Think Media all about how small businesses can utilize video content. While the entire clip is worth watching if you have the time, I thought I’d recap a few of the highlights:
C + AVL
In his presentation, Cannell breaks down the elements of a video clip to a simple equation: C + AVL. Starting with the latter initials, AVL stands for audio, video, and lighting. First, Cannell points out that having good, clear audio is just as important if not more important as having quality video. After all, if viewers can’t hear the speaker in the video or there’s some annoying interference, they’re very likely to turn it off. Of course video quality is also important to a certain degree, although entrepreneurs shouldn’t feel the need to spend thousands on a camera just to create online content. In fact their money might be better spent investing in lighting, which can often improve image quality greatly.
At the end of the day, even the best audio, video, and lighting mean nothing if the content itself isn’t up to snuff. Most of the time those viewing online videos are more interested in what the clip offers them in terms of information or entertainment and are less concerned about the technicals. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t still strive to improve your video production quality but, like you’ve probably heard said before – content is ultimately king.
Facebook Live and Facebook ads
As Cannell notes, Facebook’s algorithms have taken to prioritizing video content. Furthermore the social media behemoth puts even more of an algorithmic emphasis on live video. Because of this there’s a definite incentive for businesses to go live when possible. These live broadcasts could be as simple as showing off a new product or sharing a testimonial from a loyal customer.
One downside is that, even with the priority live video gets on Facebook, its algorithmic news feed means that many of your followers might not see your posts. However you can boost your video with just a few dollars, amplifying its reach to your current followers. Similarly you can add other targeting parameters to find new customers. With this, you’ll be turning your video content — live or otherwise — into what will hopefully be an effective Facebook ad.
YouTube’s search potential
Another eye-opening statistic Cannell shares is that YouTube is currently the second largest search engine on the web. Of course in first is their parent company, Google. Both of these facts mean that small businesses can actually use their video content to rank for targeted search terms and improve both their online and foot traffic.
Not only can videos have a major impact by ranking on YouTube but top video content can also appear in Google search results. In fact Cannell cites two studies, one noting that 55% of search results include videos and the other finding that videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page for Google queries. With stats like these, it’s no wonder many small business owners are now beginning to see the value in creating video content.
While blogs and basic social media posts are still important tools for small business owners, there’s a major shift toward video happening before our very eyes. Despite some perceived obstacles, such as investing in equipment and potentially hiring production staff, the truth is that entrepreneurs can start creating video content with as little as a smartphone. So if you’re looking to reach new customers and grow your small business, I highly recommend checking out Cannell’s full presentation and start thinking about how your business can take advantage of video content.
Also published on Medium.