More and more people are shopping online because it’s easy, fast, safe and convenient. In addition, they are using Google and other search engines to find products they want to buy. According to the latest BIA/Kelsey User View Wave survey, nearly all consumers (97%) used online media such as search engines and comparison shopping sites for research before purchasing locally. The internet has become an integral part of local commercial activity.
Therefore, the most effective way to boost your sales and income is to market your products and services with the help of a business blog.
A business blog has five major benefits:
- It’s easy, simple and quick to set up.
- It’s extremely cost-effective to start and maintain. You can even start with a free blog using services such as blogger.com or wordpress.com.
- It’s a great way to interact with your prospects and customers. They can give their suggestions and feedback as comments in your blog.
- It’s easy to promote using free social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also upload your videos on YouTube for free.
- It has the potential to become a valuable asset over time and can earn additional income through ad revenue and sale of online products.
Unfortunately, you may no longer gain much benefit from an ordinary text-based business blog. Since thousands of new websites and blogs are being launched every single day, it’s almost impossible to be noticed among a million other blogs in your niche. However, you can stand out from the competition by using a simple but effective tactic: adding videos to your business blog. Videos also help you to gain a higher page rank in Google and other search engines.
According to a recent comScore report, 82.5 percent of U.S. internet users watched online videos. In addition, more than half of the consumers who viewed videos on online retail sites found them useful in making a purchasing decision. Online videos gave them more information and made them more confident about deciding which product to buy.
In response to these reports, both online retailers and traditional businesses are rapidly adding video to their websites and blogs. If you are a freelance writer, the best way to stay ahead of your competitors is by using a video blog to develop a personal face-to-face rapport with your prospective customers.
You can use three types of online videos in your blog to attract prospective clients:
- Sales videos: give relevant information about your services and products, especially its benefits. For maximum effect, ensure that your video is short and to the point, preferably not longer than one or two minutes. Add captions and images to improve engagement with your viewers. Finally, provide a specific call to action and offer an attractive incentive for taking immediate action such as a discount coupon or a free bonus.
- List-building videos: persuade viewers to sign up to your email or mailing list in exchange for a free gift or discount coupon. You can then stay in regular touch with your subscribers and provide them with useful information as well as promotional offers.
- Educational videos: contains frequently asked questions about your products and services. You can use these videos to educate your customers, build trust, provide customer support and increase repeat sales.
You will find that creating short videos for your business videos is much easier than you imagined. You can easily shoot, record and edit short videos using a simple web camera and free software such as Windows Movie Maker.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that posting a video on your blog is easier than creating a text-based blog post. You can add a short transcript below your video post for viewers who prefer text. If a picture is better than a thousand words, your videos can be better than a million words to promote your business!
23 January 2013
Rohi Shetty is a medical doctor, Vipassana meditator, writer, editor, translator and blogger. His short stories and articles have been published online and in print.