Free Custom Professional Videos for Local SMBs?

Free Custom Professional Videos for Local SMBs?You probably saw our recent post about new research released by Borrell and Associates which predicts the rapid demise of traditional yellow pages, and the rise of online video in its place. Following the release of that research, Citysearch, a leading online local destination (also known as an internet yellow pages directory, or IYP) is taking a pro-active approach to capturing market share as soon as possible.

They have announced that through the end of August 2008, they are giving new customers a FREE, custom produced, online video.  Furthermore, they are allowing customers to embed the video on their own website which is a welcome departure from the methods in which other IYPs currently offer online video products.

UPDATE:  So, I have tried to take advantage of this for my business numerous times, and for the life of me, can not find anything on their site about it.  Not only that, but I went to the new customer sign-up area and there was no mention.  Guess this is something you have to specifically ask for?  Anyone know.   Not very useful if SMBs cant figure out how to take advantage of the offering.

Here is the announcement:

Citysearch, a leading online local guide and an operating business of IAC, today announced it is offering free online video for local businesses when they sign up for a Citysearch account now through the end of August 2008. Existing customers can also take advantage of receiving free video by simply contacting their Citysearch representative for further details.

When signing up for a Citysearch business account, merchants will receive a free, custom, professionally shot and edited 60-90 second video vignette of their business that is featured on their Citysearch profile page on the http://www.citysearch.com website. Citysearch is also giving customers the ability to embed their video in their own website.

According to comScore MediaMetrix, U.S. Internet users viewed more than 12 billion online videos during May 2008, a 45 percent increase from a year ago. Last year, Citysearch successfully introduced online video as a tool for local businesses to reach their customers. With the current free video promotion, more than ever before, Citysearch is now affording local businesses the chance to take advantage of this easy and engaging way of reaching their customers.

"Video is a powerful online tool for local businesses giving them the unique opportunity to share their story while allowing users to experience the ambiance of the business and establish a connection prior to visiting," said Jay Herratti, CEO of Citysearch. "Citysearch has found that local advertisers experience a high click through rate on their videos, demonstrating increased user engagement. Citysearch is excited to be fostering this high value connection between consumers and our local merchants."

"Due to Internet video's general appeal and ease of implementation as an advertising medium, we anticipate strong adoption by local businesses over the next five years, driving the U.S local video ad market to $1.5 billion by 2012," said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media, The Kelsey Group. "Citysearch's new offering represents a great opportunity for local businesses to take advantage of video without the expense."

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About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

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