I must confess that I missed the U.S. Small Business Administration’s press release, which was distributed about a month ago inviting “aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners and others” to attend National Small Business Week events to be held May 12-16, 2014. Fortunately, Jordan Fellows, a Senior Associate at the Bateman Group, reminded me in time that National Small Business Week is this week!
Now, I realize that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year. So, I wouldn’t have been able to show my face around town if I’d totally forgotten to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Thanks, Jordan, I owe you one.
Jordan was also able to arrange – on short notice – an interview with Brad Jefferson, the CEO and co-founder of Animoto, who took time away from making the company’s latest epic video, The History of Animoto (sorta), to talk with a former ink-stained wretch and ReelSEO contributor about Small Business Week and small businesses.
Greg Jarboe: I almost forgot this was Small Business Week. It’s not one of the holidays that I’ve marked on the calendar held on my refrigerator with magnets. How are ReelSEO readers supposed to celebrate this seasonal event?
Brad Jefferson: Most people don’t know that Small Business Week has been around since 1963! As an entrepreneur myself, I look for opportunities to support startups and small businesses whenever possible, but having a week dedicated to the awareness of small businesses is a great reminder for all of us to support small businesses. Last year on the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week President Obama tweeted: “America’s small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a nation.”
Whether it’s eating at a local restaurant you’ve never been to before or telling your friends about a cool small company you know and love, there are a lot of simple things you can do to support small businesses and promote entrepreneurship. At Animoto, we will be featuring several small businesses on our company blog to honor the week. The National Small Business Week website also has a list of local events to help support the cause.
Greg Jarboe: Animoto recently conducted a survey on how small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can capitalize on video. Which ones would you suggest are worth remembering during Small Business Week?
Brad Jefferson: The key takeaway from our survey was that people want more video from businesses and brands and are eager to watch it. We found:
- 73% of consumers are more likely to buy after watching a video,
- 71% of consumers said videos leave them with a positive impression of a company.
- A whopping 95% of consumers find video useful in researching what to buy,
- And 93% say video is helpful in comparison shopping
Despite these compelling findings, creating business videos may seem daunting for small businesses. Yet, with video maker services like Animoto, any company can easily get their start in video by creating a simple company overview video to place on their website, Facebook page and YouTube account. After getting the hang of video creation, small businesses can move on to product/service demo videos and customer testimonial videos. During Small Business Week, we challenge small businesses around the country to give the people what they want by creating at least one video for their business.
Greg Jarboe: Many small businesses still shy away from creating online video, worried they don’t have the time, money or expertise. Should they just bang pots and pans together to scare away their fears?
Brad Jefferson: Just a couple years ago these were valid fears as it used to take lots of money or time and expertise to create a professional-looking video that was “on-brand.” Luckily, those days are over with services like Animoto that not only help you create the video but also guide you through what to do with the video once it’s created. In minutes, you can now turn out a video that looks like a professional video editor did it for you. Leave the pots and pans in the kitchen and start adding video to your marketing strategy today - unless of course you want to include the pots and pans in your video.
Greg Jarboe: Finally, what do you think needs to happen to make Small Business Week as big as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday? Should we add the Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength, or Festivus Miracles?
Brad Jefferson: Not sure if that would work, however, it is an occasion “for the rest of us!” (Hat tip to Seinfeld). But, there are some strategies that small businesses can use to generate more buzz during the week. Businesses can offer Small Business Week Specials and Discounts to drive sales or hold events throughout the week to connect with their customers. I’d personally love to see all small businesses in the country create a video during Small Business Week this year and post it to their FB page or Twitter page to thank their customers and encourage them to visit. Animoto can certainly help with that!