With everything small business owners have on their plate, it's probably difficult to imagine finding the time to produce and post videos on your Web site. But there are some compelling reasons to do it:

  • It's cheap. You can do it yourself with a cheap digital video camera or even a cellphone that has a video camera built in. You could also tap your local high school, community college or community radio station for talent to help you create low-cost but better-quality video.
  • It attracts visual learners. As we've all learned in recent years, different people learn in different ways. Some people learn best by seeing things demonstrated rather than reading or listening to someone talk about it. Adding video allows you to better reach visually-oriented customers.
  • It builds your search results. Google has added content such as blogs, video and images to what their engine indexes and returns in search. Recently, the company said such content is returned in one of every four searches.
  • It promotes your products or services. For retailers, what's more likely to make a sale - a static picture on your Web site of your chain saw, or a video that shows how quickly it can cut down trees? If you're a service business, video allows you to interest prospects by offering free samples of your trainings or seminars.
  • It gives good customer service. Instead of handing them a lengthy installation manual, customers can play a video on your site and learn how to set up your product.
  • It's personal. If you have a mediagenic company executive who could simply talk to the camera about what you do and why you're better than the competition, it can be very welcoming. It feels friendly and makes customers feel more comfortable contacting you.
  • It taps into the power of YouTube. Besides posting your videos on your own site, you can also post them on YouTube. Roughly one-quarter of all Internet users visits YouTube each day, viewing hundreds of thousands of videos. It's an increasingly popular place to find how-to information, and using YouTube gives your business a chance to find entirely new customers from outside your existing network of contacts.
  • For more, read "A Guide to Video Search Marketing for Small Businesses," by David Ingram of Search Engine Land.