As More Users Consume Local Video, SMBs Need to Stay Ahead of the Curve

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On Monday, I discussed the increasing empowerment that local citizens feel in uploading, editing and curating video content from their mobile devices. I believe that over time this new torrent of user-generated and user-organized visual media will cascade into greater consumption and adoption of video over text as the preferred way to receive information. As that evolves, small businesses will need to create more original video content, giving consumers an easier, more descriptive way to assess their business.

But while I believe video is destined to become a mainstream media for local marketing, it is a lot harder to do well than it is to edit a snapshot on Instagram. Showing small businesses in their best light requires high quality video production and direction standards. So I think we’ll soon start to see video services pop up that act like ad agencies by helping small businesses create, produce and distribute their content across mobile and tablet platforms, and through local marketing channels.

The real estate industry was an early adopter using video for home listings — but even these videos require a professional finish in order to reflect favorably on the real estate agent’s marketing prowess. Companies like WellcomeMat have focused on helping real estate agents craft an effective home video listings for over five years, and are a good example of this new agency model.

“Homes aren’t commodities — they are always sold individually and every video needs to have a ‘director’ to bring out the best salable features,” says Rudy Bachraty, WellcomeMat’s marketing director. “The script needs to be written, and each video has a live ‘star,’ the real estate agent who needs to be coached on how to perform in front of a camera. Once the video is uploaded, it needs to be watched. Real estate distribution channels are incredibly fragmented and to top it off, the realtor needs to drive traffic through these channels with SEO and social media push. Realtors simply can’t grasp all the minutiae from production to marketing, because their business is selling homes, not figuring out how to make a video”.

Yes, real estate video is complicated, but in reality, all small businesses approach video marketing with similar issues. How to produce, what kind of marketing works, and how to distribute are not in the domain knowledge of most small business. Video will become as essential to small business as the website, and a new breed of local marketing services will develop around media technology.

Patrick Kitano is founding Principal of Brand into Media, a strategy group for social brand management solutions, and administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of Media Transparent, and contributor to Social Media Today, Daily Deal Media, and The Customer Collective. He is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email [email protected].

Image courtesy of Flickr user jsawkins.