Whether it’s tuning in to the Harlem Shake dance phenomenon, searching how to cook a lamb roast or watching a screeching goat belt out a Taylor Swift song (admittedly, not our finest moment), we’ve all been guilty of getting caught up in the addictive world of YouTube at one time or another.
And with the average Australian spending more than 10 hours per month on YouTube, it’s a wonder that only four per cent of small businesses in Australia are making the most of the popular social media platform and building their brand presence through a YouTube profile.
Maroochy Chamber of Commerce President Ross Hepworth said it was important for business owners and operators to adopt new technologies and platforms like YouTube for promoting their business, in order to gain a competitive edge within the market place.
“By keeping abreast of the latest trends, business owners provide themselves with the best possible chance of engaging with their target market,” Mr Hepworth said.
“Studies show approximately 11 million unique Australian viewers currently visit YouTube every month, marking this social media platform as a key hot-spot for businesses to engage with millions of potential customers.”
With the upcoming Sunshine Coast Business and Workstyle Expo set to educate business operators about embracing enabling technologies and developing a strong brand presence, Mr Hepworth said the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce was providing locals with the opportunity to get their business noticed on YouTube and a host of other websites.
“As part of the 2013 Expo, exhibitors and sponsors will be able to have one of Queensland’s most experienced cinematographers develop a high quality video clip for their business at a heavily subsidised rate,” Mr Hepworth said.
“Ben Amos from Innovate Media will create the clips, which will be uploaded to YouTube, embedded in the Sunshine Coast Business Expo website and shared via the Expo’s Facebook and Twitter pages as a means of promoting local businesses.”
Mr Amos, who has recently partnered with the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast to establish the first video recording studio at the Innovation Centre premises in Sippy Downs, said videos often proved more effective than other promotional mediums like static banners and flyers, as they allowed businesses to show samples of their products and services in action.
“It can often be challenging to convey how a complex product works in a static medium such as a flyer or print advertisement, so videos are particularly useful for providing demonstrations and helping your target market to understand exactly what you can offer,” Mr Amos said.
“They are also a relatively cost-effective medium as business owners essentially pay a one-off production fee and can then upload it to various websites like YouTube and Facebook for free.”
“What’s more, if you can come up with a really quirky or funny video, there’s also a chance your clip will go viral and be seen by thousands of potential customers at no cost.”
Mr Amos said videos were also a crucial element in humanising a brand and bringing a personal approach to a business’ marketing strategy.
“Putting a real person in front of the camera encourages viewers to connect with and start to trust a business, making them more likely to purchase goods and services from that organisation.”
Mr Amos said while video promotion was a highly effective way of promoting a business, it did not mean more traditional promotional mediums like print and TV advertisements, signage and brochures were being made redundant.
“In my experience, video marketing works best as part of an integrated marketing campaign; it’s really important for business owners to consider the right mix for their business and choose mediums that work hand-in-hand to produce the desired outcome.”
Mr Amos said the videos he was developing for sponsors and exhibitors at the Sunshine Coast Business and Workstyle Expo were designed to drive online traffic to the businesses’ webpages, and also encourage potential customers to visit the Exhibition Hall at the upcoming event, which will be held at the Big Pineapple on 10 and 11 May.
With 70 per cent of exhibitor booths sold, businesses still have the opportunity to reserve a space in the Exhibition Hall and have a two minute video created for their business at a heavily reduced rate. The video production packages start at as little as $250 and are valued at more than $750.