Last year, Google/YouTube and American Express launched the "My Business Story" program for small businesses with the aim of encouraging small businesses to tell their stories through online video. Back in June, our own Mark Robertson had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit where he was able to ask questions about the program directly with Lauren Goody of Google's "YouTube ZOO" and Rachel Chan, Director, US Media & Integrated Marketing Platforms at American Express.
Since launching the program, they've learned a lot about what small businesses need when it comes to marketing their business online with video. Google and American Express shared their experiences with Mark and we've got video of the panel to share with you courtesy of VideoNuze.
My Business Story & How Video Works for Small Businesses
Here are a few highlights and learnings from the panel:
Videos can Provide Personality, Awareness, and Reach
When a small business owner decides to tell his/her story, it humanizes the business, and it increases awareness, reach, and ultimately sales.
Lauren Goody said, "Online video can drive in-store sales up by as much as 6% and brand recall by as much as 50%."
Rachel Chan adds, "If you're a brick-and-mortar type business, you have a specific geographical space," explaining that video widens your reach, where you start getting people from outside your local area, and if you exist in the digital space, people can find you online easier. There's great value in putting yourself "out there." Also, video allows you to express your company in a different way.
Small Businesses Need to Learn the Whole Video Marketing Process
The idea of the "My Business Story" program is not just to show people how to make a video, but why they are making videos, and what they need to do after they publish them. Rachel Chan says, "Some businesses aren't ready for online video," citing time constraints and that all the time some business owners can spend is in running the business. Additionally, there are always some that are just plain, camera-shy.
Here's a video about the program they started last year. It was a contest where the winner would receive cash prizes for an AdWords for Video budget and their videos got on the front page of YouTube on Small Business Saturday:
Specifically, Moody mentions Khuraira Musa of Khuraira Cosmetics in Tenafly, New Jersey. Her video campaign was so successful that major brands copied her model:
Small businesses definitely need some education on how to make video work for them. The point of My Business Story is not only to educate, but to provide the small business with a number of free and paid tools, such as AdWords for Video and geo-targeting, to get these companies' videos in front of the right people. Take a look at the panel above and look into My Business Story. It's no longer a contest at this time, but they still run a forum where you can submit your "My Business Story" videos and learn more about the process.