Belfast Telegraph

Why online videos are a big hit for small firms

By Gary Grattan

John Logie Baird, father of television, could never have imagined the huge impact his invention would have on the future.

Since those first grainy images flickered into life, the moving image is now at the core of our daily lives.

With the rapid increase in technology, video is now literally at our finger-tips - whether it be on our home PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

After Google paid a staggering $1.65bn to buy YouTube in 2006, it is now ubiquitous. What this means for businesses is that any which don't have a video presence on their website will rapidly drop down the ratings in search engine results pages (SERPS).

For small and medium-sized firms especially, getting on the first page of the major search engines is imperative as it signposts customers to you - not your competitors.

The ideal is to have a multi-media website which will be sought out by 'blended searches' - thus the better your mix of content, the higher your business will appear up the search engine listings.

The statistics simply speak for themselves...

  • A web page featuring video content is over 50 times more likely to achieve a page one listing on Google (source: Forrester).
  • YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google, now generates almost 500 million unique users per month.
  • In four years' time 90% of consumer internet traffic will be video-led (source: Cisco Visual Networking Index). It's currently estimated at 75%.

Google and other search engines are even developing voice within video recognition software to pinpoint important search data, eg key messaging words. However, even at its most basic level, video simply demonstrates products and services in a way that words and photographs can't. And a growing number of small to medium firms are realising that. In 2009 UK online advertising overtook TV expenditure for the first time, proving an 'online' presence levels the playing field.

Whereas a TV ad is out of the question for many small companies, online videos are now within their reach.

Gary Grattan is a partner in Millar Grattan Media

Belfast Telegraph