The turn of the new year saw Google introduce a lot of changes to the operating systems of a variety of its platforms. This included increasing multiple new languages to its Maps platform as well as moving one step closer to infinite scrolling on their main search engine through the adoption of a ‘more results’ page. However, it is clear that the developments and changes did not stop there.
Google My Business has now got in on the act and it appears that the option to upload videos to a listing on this site has finally arrived. The ability to add a video to a local listing via Google Maps has been in place since August 2017 but January 2018 is the first time that this option is showing up inside of the GMB dashboard.
An official announcement from a Google My Business representative confirmed the development and the ability to access videos through the GMB dashboards. Merchants can now both view videos added by their customers as well as also being able to upload videos about their business for customers to view. It appears that the initial trial will support videos for up to 30 seconds but that this could increase as the technology advances.
The addition of videos to GMB looks set to make a major change about how businesses can market themselves and it undoubtedly has the potential to bind client and customer even closer together.
This latest development is part of a wider trend toward greater video engagement from Google and gives businesses the opportunity to put their best foot forward with a video that encapsulates the true essence of their business more succinctly than a simple image, or series of pictures, ever could have. The latest approach from Google will work as follows:
- Videos will appear in the overview tab of the Google My Business dashboard
- Customers will upload videos that can be found in the ‘customer’ tab
- Merchant uploaded videos will be able to be found in the ‘by owner’ tab
- All videos can be viewed together in the ‘videos’ tab
- After an initial upload, it can take up to 24 hours for videos to appear. However, once they are live they will display in much the same way where local photos do.
On top of uploading videos, merchants will always have the ability to flag inappropriate videos through access to their dashboard. Finally, native mobile support and notifications for new customer videos are coming soon.
Seven Reasons to Upload Videos to Your Google My Business Page
It doesn’t matter if you are a butcher, baker or candle-stick maker, the chances are that you need to stay on the ball to remain competitive. As a successful business owner, you don’t need us at LinkNow Media to tell you how important it is to keep up to date with the latest and most relevant online trends that will help your business grow and gain that competitive edge over your rivals. With that in mind, here are seven reasons why you need to upload videos to your Google My Business page:
- Show Customers How You’re Different: With so many businesses now competing for the same customers online, it really does pay to stand out from the crowd. If you want to make sure that your business can differentiate itself from the slew of other companies that provide services just like yours, then taking the time to create a video that encapsulates all the unique elements of your enterprise is a great way of doing this. Research shows that consumers will generally decide which company to call based on reviews and their website. If you can combine both of these things in an engaging and easy-on-the-eye video, then you stand a great chance of turning virtual visitors of your site into real-life customers. Not only is a video a great opportunity to speak directly to your clients, you can also build trust with them by putting a friendly face to your particular brand.
- Put Your Best Foot Forward: If you want to make sure that your business’s online presence is as visible as possible, then you need to do all you can to make sure that a potential customer sees the benefit of using your goods or service rather than one of your competitor’s—the great thing about a video is that it does this succinctly. And although it is true that a picture speaks a thousand words, the reality is that video does far more than that. So, whether you are a kitchen remodeling specialist or a landscape professional, you should want to get as much bang for your buck from your listing—and a video on your Google My Business page can do just that. A video provides you with the opportunity to point out specific details that may have otherwise been missed. A video can even explain how your service can help potential customers without having to pay for the product or service to discover this information.
- Explain What Your Business is all About: Recent research shows that more than half (52% to be exact) of all consumers say that watching product videos makes them more comfortable about future purchases. So, whether your business sells products online or in-store, providing clients with a video of the item will help move them along in their purchasing decision. So, for instance if you sell blenders, you could create a short video showing you or one of your employees making a delicious smoothie using a wide range of in-season fruit, nuts and vegetables. Similarly, if you are in the business of selling carpet-cleaning solutions, then a video may be the perfect way of demonstrating the effectiveness of your product. In brief, video shows customers what your business does rather than merely telling them about it!
- Video Converts Online Visitors Into Real-Life Customers: A recent survey of online conversion techniques showed that video, more than most other forms of online marketing, is responsible for converting visitors to a website into paying and loyal customers. Sure, it may be easy to spot a picture, but the fact of the matter is that most of us probably scroll right past them – even the shiniest ones – without even realizing we have done so. By contrast, a video catches your attention like very little else. Also, by adding a sense of humor, some music or an engaging or relaxing setting you can frame your product or service as a must-have that any reasonable consumer simply cannot do without. Instilling certain emotions in a consumer is far easier to do with video than it is with a single image, and doing so will cause them to be more likely to use your service. One point that is important to remember is that videos on your GMB listing are not direct advertisements for your business. However, if a consumer is going to go to the effort of watching a video on your GMB listing, then there is a far greater chance that this person will visit your site, call your office or who knows, even visit in person!
- The Chance to Go Viral is Real: Unless you have lived under a rock for the better part of the last decade, you probably are familiar with the term ‘viral videos’ and know how impactful and ubiquitous they can be once they explode on YouTube. So, even if you have only the slightest knowledge of social media, you still have the potential to create a video about your business that could blow up and attract all kinds of visitors to your business. Some of the most popular viral videos are ones that harness the power and personality of your business and create a funny or heart-warming story that users want to share and click on over and over again. What’s important to remember is that digital marketing isn’t simply about converting new clients, it is also about promoting your brand’s visibility. So, if you are lacking in inspiration, then why not go online and have a look at some of the amazing viral videos that have been made with very little money. If they can do it, then so can you!
- Educate Your Customers: At LinkNow Media, we are firm believers in the mantra that educating customers about your goods and services is a great way of empowering them to make the right choices about the what they need and what they want. And generally, we find that customers who have been pointed in the right direction will reward the business that showed them where to go. So, if you are the business-owner who produces a good or service that is niche or a little misunderstood, then providing people with answers to common questions about your industry can help you build trust while also encouraging them to choose your company over one of your competitors. So, let’s say you work in the financial services or taxation industry then by providing detailed explainers and primers on the services you provide as well as the industry more broadly, you are helping individual and commercial customers learn more about something that they may have previously known very little about. An important point to keep in mind about these videos is that the ultimate goal isn’t necessarily to sell—although that is an added bonus—but rather helping people understand your industry and how it can benefit customers from all backgrounds.
- SEO Loves Videos: If you have spent any amount of time trying to improve the SEO of your business’s site, then you are probably familiar with the term ‘content is king’. There is no doubt that when it comes to your website’s ranking relevant content is up there as one of the most important factors in Google’s algorithm. However, one mistake that many people make when it comes to content is that they exclude video content and regard it in a different category. This is a mistake and one that needs to be rectified if you want to make sure that your site’s SEO is as strong as possible. The fact of the matter is that Google is very aware of the fact that consumers love videos and, as a result, they can positively impact the ranking of your site. At the moment, it is probably too soon to tell the impact that videos on a GMB listing will have for your site’s SEO but all signs point towards it being a very positive and important factor that need to be considered closely moving forward.
The Growth Potential of Video
Let’s face it, it’s no coincidence that Google My Business has now evolved to the point where it includes video content. At present, video already makes up 64% of all Internet traffic and research shows that it looks to reach over 80% by 2019. Unsurprisingly, the increase in popularity that video currently enjoys has now spread to advertising and marketing.
All pointers indicate that spending on advertising will almost double in the next four years, to the point where $14.38 billion will be the total spend in this sector. Video content looks set to grow across all online platforms too with the average rate of growth on mobile devices being approximately 65% each year. Desktop growth in video advertising also looks set to rise with an average 11.5% per year.
Finally, it appears that this growth spurts looks set to impact on advertisers of all sizes including SMBs as well as larger businesses. Evidence of this wide-spanning increase is visible by virtue of the fact that in 2015 there was a 71% increase in the number of small businesses (those with an annual marketing budget of less than $10,000) using video regularly as part of their advertising efforts. For those SMBs with a budget of more than $10,000, the increase was 131% in the same period.