Everyone knows YouTube is one of the most effective ways to reach today’s consumer. But with so much competition, it can be difficult to make sure your video stands out. Many small businesses would love the opportunity to appear on YouTube’s high-profile homepage.
Thanks to a partnership between Google and Amex, you just might get that chance. The business giants are teaming up to give businesses the chance to put together a video telling their own unique stories. On Small Business Saturday, YouTube will post the winning video on its homepage ad, exposing the winning business to a possible audience of millions for the day. The winner will also get a $5,000 digital media plan that may include ad banners and video advertising.
In addition to hosting the contest, YouTube is now offering a free editing tool to allow small businesses to put together videos for the site. To get to the tool, go to YouTube’s My Business Story channel.
The winner won’t be the only video to be showcased on Small Business Saturday. YouTube will feature 36 small businesses in the ad on its homepage. In addition to using the free video you create to enter the contest, you can also use it on your webpage and social media sites to tell people more about your business.
All you’ll need, according to YouTube, is a video camera and Internet access. Shoot video of your business, making sure to showcase the more unique aspects of it, and use YouTube’s editing tool to pull it all together. YouTube even provides a collection of free graphics and music to enhance your project.
“Google research has shown that companies who use video can expect better customer engagement and retention,” Marisa Currie, Google’s product marketing manager, says. This new tool will allow companies to create videos without paying large rates to a video production company. You can use existing video clips or photos or create a new video.
This contest allows the online video site to play a part in Small Business Saturday, a day when consumers are encouraged to “shop small,” patronizing local, small businesses rather than large retail chains. This year will be the second annual Small Business Saturday, held the day after the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.
In addition to sponsoring the event, American Express offers several tools to help small businesses succeed on Small Business Saturday. Through its Small Business Saturday Facebook page, American Express has printable signage to let your customers know you’re a participant. The site also includes tools to help you get the word out about your participation through social media.
To check out the competition, go to YouTube’s My Business Story Gallery. A map displays the videos submitted thus far by location, and you can click to watch the different videos. It’s also a great way to get video ideas for your own business. YouTube has two pieces of advice for small businesses creating videos: show your enthusiasm and be yourself. Great advice for any marketing venture.