As you may not know, I have a wealth of experience both marketing and developing search marketing solutions for small and medium sized businesses, including solutions for local, organic, paid, social, and video search placement. From what I have seen, there are relatively few video advertising/marketing platforms that are designed at their core to support online video marketing and video SEO for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).
"It's an exciting time to be involved in online video marketing" – Mixpo
There are certainly plenty of companies that focus on video production services for SMBs; and there are plenty of search engine marketing (SEM) firms, newspaper companies, internet yellow pages (IYPs) and other entities that target SMBs with online marketing services. However, the few outlets that do offer video solutions, in particular, the IYPs, have done a lousy job in my estimation.
I consider a few core concepts of particular importance when for marketing/advertising for SMBs. Small business advertisers tend to gravitate towards more direct response vs. branding. With that in mind, advertising solutions should:
- have conversion elements as part of the creative
- be measurable
- be effective
- be easy to implement
I think that this is even more important with video advertising as advertisers have a difficult time enough understanding new marketing concepts such as video search marketing. They will need to see results.
So far, most of the solutions that I have seen for video services for SMBs are lacking these core concepts completely. Most do not offer tracking and most that I have seen are limited in terms of providing exposure to the video. Certainly none that I have seen provide a turnkey video marketing solution that can end up dominating the SERPS.
One excellent solution that I presented earlier in my post, Enabling Video SEO & Online Video Marketing for SMBS, is that of Mixpo.com.
I sat down with Glenn Pingul, VP of Marketing at Mixpo, to get their take on video marketing for SMBs:
What do you feel are the "pain" points in terms of video services currently available to SMBs?
Small and medium sized businesses have never had the opportunity to market their businesses effectively with video. In the past, the costs have always been prohibitive to create videos (even 30 second commercials) and the media cost, even in local spot television, has been too expensive.
Our online video advertising platform is designed to enable online video advertising for SMBs and is a perfect complement to search engine marketing and local publishers who already serve SMBs.
How do you solve the creative challenge some SMBs have for video production?
Our platform is designed to be flexible around the creative component allowing SMBs (or their partner agencies) to either: 1) have custom video scripted, shot and produced for under a thousand dollars; 2) re-purpose their own videos, photos or audio; 3) leverage our stock media assets to create a new Video Ad. We think a big part of the opportunity for online video is the ability to go beyond traditional offline commercials or the reliance on stock video. SMBs should be able to create video ads that reflect their brand – in an affordable and flexible way.
Online, SMBs have some many options for creating authentic advertising that connects with customers: infomercials, testimonials, product demonstrations, walking tours, etc., than JUST re-purposing television commercials or even using stock.
What do you see the impact of universal search on video advertising?
We see the impact as potentially huge. Search, universal or otherwise, is all about providing relevant information in the right context for consumers. In some of the recent articles we've written, some commentators seem stuck on thinking of online video advertising as either "hit them over the head" banner ad videos or :15 second commercials. Online video, as we said earlier can be so much more informative but still be entertaining and of great quality. Regardless, it has to be relevant and within the context of what the consumer (searcher in this case) is expecting. If a search result is relevant AND in video – it should be a more powerful way to communicate than just plain text.
You've been working with clients, under beta, for some time. Can you share some initial insights?
Yes, we've been working directly with SMB advertisers for almost two years, listening, seeing how they market online (by themselves or through partners), getting a grasp for their pain points, and understanding how video can help them market better.
Number one: They are focused on driving measurable results. They feel that a lot of their offline efforts lack accountability, and their online marketing, although more measurable, is too hard to decipher – hence the importance of working with partners that serve SMBs well already and providing performance metrics that show how video impacts conversion, time on site, and even where customers are coming from.
Number two: It has to be turnkey. SMBs have little time to "invest" upfront without seeing a pay off. That's why a lot of them are stuck using old media, for example, Although they can't measure it, they are at least familiar with it. Our video platform is very intuitive and easy to use – and understand what Video Ads are working vs. not. But our belief is that most SMBs that see the power of video, right now, will want to work with a trusted partner who already helps them market online, via SEO, SEM, email, etc.
Number three: It has to be easy. Both in terms of flexibility and easy on the wallet. SMBs we've worked with know that the video they put up today is not the video they may want up tomorrow. Having the ability to make changes easily and keep their Video Ad fresh, or promotionally relevant is important. For example, a lot of them have complained that it was so expensive to get their web site up that they don't want to get nickel and dimed on the changes. Having a platform that allows them to make changes to optimize their Video Ads over time, that does not cost them for every "change order" is critical.
Talk about Measurement and Optimization a little More?
It all comes down to creating interactivity with viewers. Our platform is designed to help SMBs drive action and interaction with customers. We measure everything related to the Video Ad and because our Video Ads are built off a "playlist" notion, the contents within the Video Ad can be changed easily and quickly, regardless of where the Video Ad is placed. It's the ability to build in interactivity into the Video Ad, a studio that allows the business to change or update the Video Ad, and the measurement of all actions within the Video Ad that allows for optimization.
If you have any questions for the guys at Mixpo, let me know and I'll find out some answers. Thanks to Glenn Pingul for spending the time with ReelSEO.
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