Online Sales

NEW: Chris Thomas

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Video: It’s not the next big thing, it’s the big thing Right Now – and getting the video advantage is yours for the taking. Here’s how…

Video on the web. Will it help your online sales?

Chris Thomas

“Never stand in the way of a freight train.” It’s a comment often overheard in stock broking firms, and it usually relates to a sharemarket crash – don’t start buying when everyone else is selling.

Really what it’s saying is “the trend is your friend”, a phrase I’m sure you’re also well familiar with.

In online sales terms, the video freight train is gathering steam and I reckon the best place to be is onboard. With more and more internet users hooked up to broadband, (exemplified by YouTube serving well over 100 million videos per day), and Google embedding video in its new Universal search results, it’s going to continue to grow at a silly pace. 

OK, so far I’ve pretty much stated the bleeding obvious, but the question remains for us SMEs, how do we actually get a video produced that’s any good? Up until now, creating content has been easy. We’ve got a keyboard and website, so creating text-based content (along with a few pictures) has been a snap.

All the articles I’m reading tell me that online video is going to be big – but like you, what I want is some tips and some costs. Let’s have a look at what’s available to us.

As I see it, we have two options:

    Option 1. Head down the DIY path.

    Yep, grab your trusty DigiCam (or in my case, borrow someone else’s) and start shooting. This option is a little scary. You could potentially do more bad than good. But it’s cheaper, and if you’re pretty handy you could end up with a great result.

    One daunting aspect with the DIY path is just how to attack the project. Do you jump in front of the camera yourself or hire someone else? Or instead, just show some footage with a voice over? I guess not everyone wants to be a “TV star”.

    Finally you’ll need to invest in some video editing software (and the time to learn it) which will enable you to edit down your video, and add captions, music and voice-overs.

    Option 2. Get someone else to do it for us.

    You’re more likely to get a better result, but it’s probably going to cost you more to get it. But, like anything in business, I tend to let the people in niche industries do their thing because they’re usually pretty good at what they do. You focus on your core business while the “experts” do their thing.

A quick search at Google shows there are surprisingly few specialist online video content producers. Without endorsing any (seriously, I have no affiliation with any of the businesses below), and in no particular order, here’s a list of the one’s I’ve discovered:

Makes you want to get into the internet video business, with so few obvious competitors, doesn’t it?

At a recent conference I attended , most of the major web design agencies present signalled they already had, or were moving towards, offering video capability to new and existing clients. So if you’re interested in internet video, perhaps a call to a web design agency may also bear fruit.

Will it help your online sales? I think if it’s done right, you can get much more information across in a 30 second video ad than you can with a whole page of text. But like anything, you’ll need to weigh up your return on investment. Do this by asking:

    What’s my current website’s conversion rate? What’s the likely conversion rate improvement if I use a video ad? How long will it take me to break-even on the video ad cost?

The upshot is, it should pay off eventually and it might just give you that little “extra” advantage over your competitors to win that next sale, tour, lead, contract, demo, meeting, appointment, [insert your most wanted outcome here]…

 

 

Chris Thomas heads Reseo a search engine marketing company which specialises in setting up and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns, Affiliate Programs and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

To read more Chris Thomas blogs, click here .

 

Comment

Gordon Cramer from radio4smallbusiness.com.au writes: Well put! There is no doubt that video/web TV and much more are right here right now, and everyone from home based, to micro to SMEs just has to be in it. FYI, I have a DVD out next week Get Seen, Get Heard, Get Noticed that shows small business owners how to go about creating, editing and publishing their own promotional video clips. Best of all they can do it either with software they already have on their computers or that they can download for free. Enjoyed reading your thoughts!

 

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