Yelp and TurnHere Parter To Bring Local Video To Small Business

Yelp and TurnHere Parter To Bring Local Video To Small BusinessVideo is still riding an incredible wave of popularity.  Users have an insatiable appetite for it, and businesses are discovering new ways every day to use video to help them grow their brand and customer base.  What's more… video seems to be increasing conversions for many online retailers.  That means that video can move past the "fad" stage and into the "certified business tool" stage. 

So it should come as no surprise that Yelp is diving into video.  Yelp, if you are not familiar with them, is a website for regular consumers to review businesses in their area.  One of Yelp's more popular services is their advertiser platform, which allows businesses to gain preferred search result placement in Yelp searches.  Those advertisers also gain access to extra features they can use on their Yelp listing… like the new video service.

Yelp and TurnHere Parter To Bring Local Video To Small BusinessTo provide and power this new video listing service, Yelp is partnering with TurnHere—one of the leaders in video production, and someone we wrote about last Fall.  Much like StudioNow, which was recently purchased by AOL, TurnHere leverages a huge network of filmmakers across the globe to help provide affordable video production services to businesses that previously didn't have the necessary cash to spend on such services.  In addition to having their videos appear on their Yelp listing, customers will also have options for having their video syndicated across the web.

Under the terms of the new partnership, Yelp's customers will receive two different options for incorporating video into their listing:  Standard and Premium.  Standard Video customers will have a 30-second slideshow made from a series of photos provided by the business, with background music and a custom narration.

Premium Video customers will get a 30-60 second custom-made video that will be filmed at their actual business location by one of the TurnHere network filmmakers.  Here's an example shared over on the Yelp blog of an end product spot for a Premium Video customer:

This has the potential to be huge.  Yelp attracts over 30 million unique visitors a month and is one of the most popular U.S. websites.  The only real question in my mind is the cost of that Premium Video level, which I can't seem to find information on (but it is just the first day the service has been announced).  If it's too expensive, businesses might not buy in.  If it's priced low enough, then this could bring small businesses to the world of video like nothing before.  The concept is beyond solid.

I spend most of my days consulting with small business customers, and all of them want to be "in" video.  The tipping point on video happened a while back.  Nearly everyone I meet with now has questions about YouTube and how they can leverage that for their business.  But the two biggest hurdles to small businesses diving into video head first are cost and expertise.

Small businesses seeking to get going with online video can either pay someone to do it for them, or create the videos themselves.   And, as I'm sure you've noticed, good video production is not cheap, which leaves the average American business owner to their own devices for creating video content.

Unfortunately, most of my clients are not videographers or filmmakers.  They're bakeries, or hardware stores, or mechanic shops.  Most of them don't have a modern video camera, and those that do probably aren't terribly comfortable with it.  And most of them have never written a commercial script in their lives… they're not writers, they're entrepreneurs.

What's missing is something in between… something that allows a business to have professional video content without a huge cost.  And that's the fundamental need Yelp and TurnHere are trying to remedy.  It will all hinge on how good the videos actually are, and how much buy-in Yelp can get out of their advertising customers.  If both of those pan out great… then there's no short-term ceiling on a thing like this.  Because believe you me… small businesses are salivating to get into online video.  They've seen it's power for bigger brands, and are actively seeking ways to harness that power for their own niche.  If Yelp and TurnHere can deliver the goods, it may bring tidal waves of small and medium businesses into the online video world.  And I say… the more the merrier.


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About the Author -
Jeremy Scott is the founder of The Viral Orchard, an Internet marketing firm offering content writing and development services, viral marketing consulting, and SEO services. Jeremy writes constantly, loves online video, and enjoys helping small businesses succeed in any way he can. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.reelseo.com/author/grantastic/ Grant Crowell

    I'm surprised Yelp hasn't been allowing for videos reviews of businesses submitted by customers and the general audience, like Amazon.com already is doing. That would influence me a lot more since its people I can relate to and follow.

  • http://twitter.com/dallasseoguru Mike Stewart

    Looking forward to speaking with you guys at DFWSEM this month. Quick question, how much is the price point on the videos? Are they similar to the ones on my site? Just curious. I am sure considering Turn Here and Better Video (DFW) and a few other providers seem to be entering the market aggressively. Cheers! Mike Stewart @ SMBSEO.com

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Thanks Mike. The guys at BetterVideo are great as well but they are
      targeting the IYPs of the world vs. the SMBs directly as far as Im aware.
      As for your pricing, believe it or not, though I dont know Yelp's prices, I
      would guess that they would be slightly under that (assuming that the
      advertiser pays Yelp for additional services). That being said, depends on
      what you do, how long of a video you produce, etc... lets talk when I see
      you in Dallas next week.

  • http://www.zpopmedia.com Scott

    Big news for all of us in the small business video world. It was only a matter of time until Yelp jumped into the game (my company was in discussion with them about video going 2 years back.) Big win for Turnhere!Jeremy, to your point about small businesses not being able to afford professionally produced video - surprisingly there are a number of production companies popping up to serve this market, offering quality video in the $400 range for businesses to use on their websites and syndicate on the web.I welcome any business owner or marketer reading this to visit our site at zpopmedia - most of the videos you see on our site were produced for under $500.More and more we are going to start seeing business directories using video on business profiles - almost every major market newspaper has a "yellow pages" style business directory plugged into their site, and in a few years video will be a major component of that.

  • http://www.harkenprods.com Neil

    Having the ability to leverage Yelp's customer base is brilliant. Didn't they also do this with Yellow Pages.com Many small businesses want high quality videos but cannot afford the typical $1,000 per minute that many of the smaller video production companies charge. The only way to charge less... is to make it up on volume.

    Turn Here has an effective model for the small business video. I produce solid on-line videos at Harken Productions and need to do the same. Increase volume and lower prices to be competitive.

    Quality is an issue when you have to produce something in 1-2 days for it to be cost effective. I am streamlining my process.

  • Samuel Beavan

    I'm fascinated to see how this progresses. In the UK directory sites such as Scoot and Yell offer corporate video production as part of their upgrade packages but the standard of video is pretty rough and ready. I think the animated slideshow and voice over model is a cheap and effective model for the smaller business to deliver their online message. Put simply there is less that can go wrong with this model and if consumers are used to high end advertisements, which they are, then trying to produce cheap video that truly stands out is definitely going to be difficult.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=683020554 Charles Grinbaum

    This is interesting. Does this mean that only "Turn Here" can produce videos for small business for Yelp? or can the rest of us also provide this service for small businesses? Is Yelp in a exclusive deal with Turn Here?

    • Scott Lee

      Damn their video sample blew chunks mang!!!