It was a personal epiphany when in 2007, Google suddenly started blending in links to online videos in their first page search results. Copy-writing corporate videos was in my wheelhouse and local search was what I was learning and working on, so to have them suddenly mixed together meant a sweet new niche to pursue.
Fortunately Mark Robertson and ReelSEO had entered into covering this unfolding universe at that time, so in my first article ever here I wanted to quickly thank Mark and his team for starting and still serving as the true mentors in this space.
By being early birds, posting simple motion graphics videos similar to local TV spots for a handful of local clients in both big cities and towns, links to some of these videos held page-one Google rankings for tough keyword terms for a couple of honeymoon years.
Hanging on to the bullet train of advances in search, social, video and mobile since then, the situation now is that video content properly optimized and posted has several tentacles to help local businesses gain better Google visibility. This can also apply to small businesses in niche industries pursuing niche keywords nationally.
With the sea changes going on at Google in terms of squishing link spammers and making businesses earn their exposure, consistently adding new keyword-optimized video content to your website, Facebook and Google+ business pages in particular will become a permanent part of aggressive local business marketing.
So how does a small business, even one that's done the one-time here's-our-company video, manage to consistently get new search-optimized video content out the door? You do it by letting your customers know what's latest and greatest at your business by publishing video-newsletters.
Local businesses have been sending out newsletters for hundreds of years, from parchment to postal service to email. Video-newsletters have the same intent; to let existing customers know all the new and interesting things you have to offer them in order to keep them coming back to buy more. And of course ideally they'll tell their friends and family about what your business has going on in terms of new products or services, sales and promotions, your community or charity activities.
So what are the tentacles a video-newsletter can use to reach out with its easily-digested visual information?
Video Play Pages
First are video play pages for every video-newsletter, fully-optimized for deep indexing and rich snippets generation in Google search results. These individual pages can rank on their own in the main Google search results and in the Google Videos index, too.
Each time you add a new video-newsletter on its own video play page it contributes to your website's overall ranking criteria. Google is always checking to see if there's fresh material on your site, so consistently publishing optimized video-newsletters is an ideal 'content marketing' tactic. Over time, your website can build up a whole video section replete with video-newsletters, plus any other video content you create.
Video-newsletters are ideal for posting on your Facebook Business Page, your Google+ Business Page and Google Local / Maps Page, and even on Twitter.
Another sticky tentacle is e-mail. Based on a key assumption that today's video and mobile device oriented customers are not as likely to read lengthy passages of static text, then the e-mail newsletter is the perfect vehicle in which to deliver a video-newsletter.
Video-newsletters can also work as a solid conversion tool, meaning a viewer can be linked from a video-newsletter right to a web page that provides an offer, a coupon, an e-mail form. You can track real business being done and leads being generated.
From an understanding of the breadth of local online marketing activity that can theoretically be done, to the narrow width of time small business owners actually have to tackle it, running a hands-on video-newsletter program on one's own is just not in the cards. Remember how gung-ho people got with blogging only to see it peter out after a spell? This new customer communications tool is going to need specialty skills and a dedicated, on-going effort to make it pay off.
The fact remains that if a local business cares about the importance of being highly visible on Google and understands that consistently adding quality content to its web and social media sites is a core driver to get there . . . and that today's consumers are consuming online video at an extraordinary rate of growth . . . then a permanent video-newsletter program makes perfect sense.