Is Video Marketing Right for Your Local Business?

Video is a powerful way to market your local business on the Internet, especially now that so many Internet users have anywhere/anytime access on their mobile devices. More users are able to view and download video at any time, day or night, not just when they’re at home or in the office sitting in front of the computer. Video sharing websites are more popular than ever and often the first place people go to to search for information (think YouTube), especially ‘how-to’ information and if you’re a savvy local business owner you can use this to your advantage…

video marketing for local businessYouTube is one of the most visited websites in the world, and other video sharing sites are growing in their popularity too. As a result of their explosive prevalence, more marketers (read: savvy business owners like you) are turning to video as a way to promote their products and services.

Just about any type of product or service can be promoted through video, but it’s important to do it smartly. First understand the mindset of the customer. Perhaps there may be an occasional exception of people who just want to watch classic t.v. commercials, popular commercials or funny commercials. But generally speaking, they are not going online to be advertised to.

For the most part, people don’t want to watch commercials. They watch online video to learn something or to be entertained. If you want your videos to be viewed a lot and have the potential to go viral, then your videos should either be 1) funny, 2) entertaining, 3) controversial or 4) educational.

And if your free videos offer a heaping amount of quality content, they’ll have a real good chance of going viral and bringing in a lot of cash for you and your local business. Video is so powerful, not just in terms of the sheer volume of people watching everyday, but also because it is much more persuasive than the mere written word.

It’s true, some people respond well to writing, but many more respond better to video. Video can really help you get your point across to folks who are in a hurry (and nowadays, who isn’t) and it’s a good way to start the relationship of a potential customer getting comfortable with you and your services.

The goal is to create a video that immediately benefits your potential customers while relating to the services or products that you offer.

You can do this for any kind of product or service. For example, if you own a dog grooming business, you could create a simple ‘how-to’ video on the safest way to clip a puppy’s toenails. You could show how to hold the dog’s paw, petting techniques to keep the puppy calm and the most comfortable clippers to use.

Then offer a link to the product page where these cool clippers can be purchased (your product page, right?)…ah hah, now you’re starting to get it…

If you don’t want to post your videos to video sharing sites (although I don’t know why any business would refuse free advertising and website traffic…but hey, there’s always one in the bunch), you can post them on your own site or blog. You can also post the video on your sales page to increase your conversions and opt-ins to your mailing list or offer. (You do have a way to capture emails on your website, right?) Video can be an important selling tool in your business. Don’t neglect this opportunity.

Testimonials

“Kay has been a wonderful addition to our team of SCORE workshop presenters. Not only do her workshop topics draw record number of paid registrations and follow-through attendance for us, but her knowledge of the subject matter and delivery continue to engage audiences and leave them with tangible steps they can immediately take away and implement in their businesses.”

Alan Jacobs
Central Vice Chair | Workshop Chair
SCORE ® Counselors to America’s Small Business


“I was looking for a Graphic Designer and found you through a Google search. When I visited your website and read your articles about Marketing [previous website], I thought, ‘Wow, they really get it.’ It’s more than just designing a logo but understanding your target audience and keeping up on marketing trends and ideas.”

– Laura Ambrose, Gardeenia Floral Design Studio


“I definitely recommend her. I almost feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, if she gets too busy, she won’t be able to give us the personal time that she gives us.’ But affordable…Yes. Consistent…Yes. Meets the deadlines…Yes. Conscientious, and again, for us, a high value here at the Emmaus Community is creativity. I get all of those things in working with [her].”

– Pastor James H. King Jr., The Emmaus Community


“I just have 3 words…[Dang] You’re Good!!!”

– LaVanya Hardin-Wright, Unforgettable Cafe


“Thank you so much for developing such an awesome website for me!  Initially I was very reluctant to admit that I needed one desperately, even though I knew it would benefit my practice and bring me into the 21st century.  Well I must say your design far exceeded my expectations.

I really appreciated the way you were able to put my vision into a graphic design.  Also appreciated were the pointers you gave and utilized to make it pop up so easily.  I had a new patient to comment on how she found me on the web the first week you developed it!

I was also impressed with how quickly you were able to put it together with only a small amount of my input. You are truly gifted and talented and it has been a pleasure working with you.”

— Terri’ Foster, D.P.M., Foot & Ankle Wellness Center


“Thank you for the prompt, professional service! The website is beautiful and receiving many compliments!”

– Dr. Martins Adeoye, Elemental Center For Personal Development


I look forward to doing business with you again and often.  Thanks again for a job well done.”

— Pat King, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Past Marketing Workshops & Speaking Engagements Include:

  • How To Get On The 1st Page Of Google
  • 5 Best Keys To Managing Your Online Reputation And Customer Service
  • How To Grow Your Business Using Hidden Assets You Already Have
  • Search Engine Success For Newbies

Past Hosts Include:

  • SCORE Chicago
  • City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
  • Wintrust Bank & Beverly Bank in conjunction with SCORE Chicago
  • The Illinois Institute of Art — Tinley Park, IL
  • Moraine Valley College — Palos Hills, IL

Instructor Appointments:

  • Paris Business College — Downtown Chicago

 

Help! My Site Has Been Hacked…Now What?!?

One time (this was a few years ago now) I received an email from a visitor to one of the authority website’s I manage alerting me that they got a warning message upon landing to my site. The message told them that my site contained malware and that they shouldn’t proceed with navigating to it.

Needless to say they proceeded to the site anyway, that’s how they left me a message on my contact form. Panic stricken, I decided to investigate. I use a Mac so I don’t get viruses or warnings such as this. I wouldn’t have known anything about it if not for the feedback of the visitor so I’m very appreciative to them for taking time out to contact me.

I was, however, already growing increasingly suspicious because I noticed that my site was disappearing from the search engine results for the keywords I had been targeting and ranking for for oh, about a year or so. So I hop over to Google’s Webmaster Tools only to discover…

Yikes…My Site Has Been Blacklisted!

OMG! Prior to checking GWT, I’d contacted my hosting provider who ran a check for me (on the wrong site…duh) but lucky for me, they also told me which tools they used so I was able to backtrack and perform the same diagnostics on the right site.

So the Google Websmaster Tool showed me the code that was malware on my site but they didn’t tell me where it was so that was of no help…arghh.

Another site, called Sucuri, was much more helpful. This free tool ran a scan of my site and told me exactly which pages the virus code was inserted on. So I then logged into my cPanel and entered the File Manager. I navigated to the pages that had the code and usually found the malware code somewhere at the bottom. The sad part though, was that I couldn’t find all of the pages Sucuri referenced and each time I removed code and did a rescan, the code would pop up on new pages.

Coding is not one of my favorite ways to spend a Friday night, to put it mildly, and after nearly five hours of trying to ‘do it myself’ and staying up to quarter to 3 o’ clock in the morning, I finally threw my hands up in complete surrender and purchased Sucuri’s monitoring and malware clean-up service for their yearly fee of $89 US dollars.

Even though I do backup my sites regularly, I didn’t want to hassle with uploading a fresh version of WordPress, reinstalling the theme I was using and reupload all of my content (over a year’s worth). Plus, my anxiety started to kick in and all I could imagine was losing all of my blog posts. The very idea of it still gives me shivers.

Anywho, I waited patiently as the monitoring service fixed it, while trying my best not to panic. But at least now I knew why my first page search results had mysteriously vanished.

The trials and tribulations of an online marketer, I guess…

If you’ve been hit by malware and Do-It-Yourself is not your thing, consider checking these guys out…they saved my proverbial butt and I’ve been a faithful customer ever since.
secure your site

Later that day… I received a response to my malware removal ticket saying they couldn’t get in with the access details I’d provided. So that Saturday afternoon, I double-checked and gave them updated details. By Monday morning, I had an email in my inbox from Sucuri saying the malware had been removed. After confirming that I’d been ‘un-blacklisted’ in my Google Webmaster Tools account, I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. Whew, that was a close one.