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By James Burchill

According to the Ad-ology 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast, small business owners are increasingly optimistic overall, and 46% plan increased marketing spending in 2011, up from 29% who planned increases in 2010. Email marketing and company websites continue to be the most popular online marketing methods, but 45% plan to do more with online video and 35% said the same for mobile advertising.

Interest in using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for business is up considerably over last year. While generating leads continues to be the top perceived benefit of social media, more businesses recognize the value of social media for improving the customer experience.

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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By James Burchill

Video marketing has been evolving on the Web for some time now.  From the viral videos of the comedians (think Red State Update) to the powerful short clips from giants like Apple, the WWW is definitely getting more visual.

To find information on how video marketing is best conducted, however, requires a lot of digging.  Stepping away from the usual “gurus” and “get-rich-quick” types and looking at what’s really working and happening is something that isn’t often done by commentators.  Mostly because these commentators are usually part of the guru stream themselves.

In trade journals and marketing conferences, though, professionals are talking a lot about video.  It’s the current “big thing” to capitalize on and is usually done hand-in-hand with social network marketing.

What Really Works in Video Marketing

Whatever your size or budget, there are some fundamental things that appear to work with video online.  First and foremost, aim for quality, but don’t over-emphasize it.  Studio-quality production is by no means a requirement for successful video marketing.  Outright garbage video, however, is just trash.

Quality video has several elements: picture clarity (not perfection, just clarity), good sound (again, not perfection), strong content, and a short duration.

The longer a video is, the less likely it is to be watched all the way through.  Optimally, most good online video that gets noticed and goes viral is almost always of commercial length – anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.  Some exceptions occur, of course, but 5 minutes appears to be about the limit.

Content is still King on the Internet, so above all else, be sure your video is packed with it.  You don’t have to motormouth like an auctioneer, but keep on topic and deliver good information.

What Doesn’t Work in Video Marketing

In preparation for  this article, I searched  YouTube for “product” and “opportunity.”  All I can say is that there are a lot of really, really badly made videos out there.

A lot of them.

Most have two things in common: they over-emphasize the “news” appeal of whatever they’re attempting to sell and they often put too much or too little effort into production.  If your customers wanted the news, they’d turn on CNN.  If they want low production values, they’ll watch cable access.   Be realistic with your production values, but don’t be so cheap that you attempt to make your video presentation using a 1Mp camera made in 1990 and your PC’s internal microphone.

The Future of Video Marketing

Video is not going anywhere.  It’s online and it’s here to stay.  It’s only going to get better, in fact.  So every marketing strategy, no matter its goals, will have to incorporate video in some way. Often, a video campaign can take place without the input or effort of the benefactor.

Apple Computers is becoming a master at this strategy as part of their overall mastery of Web 2.0 marketing.  Note how they manage to “leak” timely news and then sit back and watch the blogosphere, social networks, and video commentators take over and do their marketing for them.  For free.  The recent release (and lead-up to it) of the iPad is a great example of this in action.

Video marketing is definitely an integral part of the overall marketing strategy for future sales.  Broadly, it’s a part of the Web 2.0 revolution.  What do you think?

JAMES BURCHILL shows individuals and companies how to profit from the innovative use of Internet technologies, strategic content and social media marketing. You can find out more at James’ website and you can subscribe to his J-List and get over 40 articles, reports and advice on Internet Marketing today.

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