Web video is finding its place as a dynamic medium for content and advertising on the internet. Sites like Microsoft's Small Business Centerfeature short clips to woo and inform customers, and whole TV shows have streamed online as a way of attracting viewers offline. Growing businesses don't have to go to that extreme, but video can certainly be an effective addition to any website.
"All small businesses should be considering web video, but it depends on what message you're trying to send to your audience," says Jeff Stibel, president and CEO of web-hosting and design company Interland. The growth of broadband connections has been a big enabler, but businesses should know a bit about the technological sophistication of their web users before splashing video across their sites. "The biggest challenge is to make sure it doesn't interfere with the user experience," says Stibel. "Don't use technology for technology's sake."
Content creation is easier than ever before. Businesses can test out ads, elaborate on their work or products, or show video tips regularly to keep surfers coming back. An increasing number of phones and many digital cameras now have the ability to shoot short clips. Video can be an effective way to get more complex messages across to your web users and enhance your overall web presence. Expect the popularity of web video to grow as surfers become savvier and internet technology continues to expand their capabilities. Says Stibel, "If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video with sound is worth infinitely more than that."