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Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Brilliant Businesses Contest (Video Contest)

March 19th, 2013 ::

Brilliant Businesses Contest

Up to your neck in expense receipts and other tax documents? After you’ve done your homework and checked out My Corporation’s Small Business Tax Guide and Notable Tax Changes for 2013, celebrate your business by entering the Brilliant Businesses video contest sponsored by My Corporation. Simply submit a video of two minutes or less explaining your business, what you do, or what makes your business unique. Think of it as a commercial for your business. You have a chance to win $1,500 and have your business featured on the home page of the website. Don’t delay: The deadline for entries is March 29, 2013.


Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Wideo (Online Video Creator)

February 20th, 2013 ::


Don’t be intimidated by all those online videos you see on other websites. You can create your own with Wideo. The videos are animations and can be used for explaining how your product works, how your company founders came together, or whatever your imagination comes up with. You can create, edit and share animation videos for free–it’s easier than you think. Insert objects, backgrounds and shapes or upload your own images and add text. Animate any object in as little as three clicks of a mouse.  Then build your story with animated scenes, and share your video with customers right away.


Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Screencast-o-matic (Screencast Tool)

January 15th, 2013 ::


According to Internet Retailer, 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. So how can you capture video for your website or promote your business by video on YouTube? Screencast-o-matic can help you create a “screencast” video of the activity on your computer screen and then upload it to the video channel of your choice or just save it as a video file to use on your website. With editing tools such as zoom, voice recording and text overlays, you can show consumers how to order, how to use a product or whatever information you feel needs a video to portray.

Why Haul Videos Are Hot—and How They Can Help Your Business

September 14th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Have you ever seen a haul video? If not (and you’re not a teenage girl), don’t feel bad. Haul videos are amateur videos where young women (for the most part) sit in front of the camera and show off their recent clothing, accessories or cosmetics purchases, describing each item in detail and talking about the brand and where they got it.

Kind of like those “unboxing” videos that show people’s hands as they unpack their new iPhones, iPads or flatscreen TVs and describe the parts as they’re taking them out of the box, the appeal of haul videos is hard for me to understand (and I love to shop). But for the teens and young women who are their target audience, they’ve been spreading like wildfire for a couple years now.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is one of several media outlets that have recently reported on the trend of haul videos. According to stats cited by the Post-Gazette, surveys by Google and digital research firm Compete found that four in 10 of shoppers who watched haul videos said they visited stores or retail websites as a result. What’s more, 28 percent of those who use online video to look at clothing spent over $500 on apparel in the past six months. Finally, younger users (18 to 34) were over twice as likely as older consumers to use video when deciding where to make purchases, the study found.

How can a small apparel or cosmetics manufacturer, accessories designer or clothing or beauty retailer profit from haul videos? Unlike big retailers such as Forever 21, Sephora and Macy’s, you’re unlikely to accidentally benefit from a raft of customers putting your products up on their haul videos and driving other customers to your store in a craze to buy the same items. Here are some ideas:

1)    Create a YouTube channel for your business and encourage your customers to post videos about products they’ve bought from you.

2)    Get more posts by holding a contest or offering some small reward (such as a discount coupon or gift with purchase) for those who post videos.

3)    Use analytics software to track mentions of your products or store and see where they come from. If you can track them to haul videos, see if you can link to the videos on your website, promote them on social media or otherwise spread the word.

Some companies send their products to popular haul bloggers (you can find them on YouTube) asking them to review the products. So far, though, this trend is still in its infancy, since part of the appeal of haul videos is the amateur nature.

Overall, the best advice on haul videos is to keep an eye on them and watch as they develop—because your customers surely are.

Image by Flickr user egonzalesmarquez (Creative Commons)

When Targeting Black Consumers, Understand Their Digital Behavior

June 20th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your small business marketing to black consumers? If so, a new Nielsen study offers some valuable information about how black Americans use the Internet, mobile devices, and video both online and on TV. Here’s some of what they found:

Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of mobile data services (based on ethnic demographic). They are especially active in text messaging and mobile browsing.

Black Internet users are extremely active on social media, spending 22 percent of their time online on social networks and/or blogs.

Black Americans were far ahead of other ethnic groups in some key online activities:

  • Black American men are 19 percent more likely than average to monitor their stocks and investments online.
  • Black American men are 16 percent more likely than average to read technology news online.
  • Black adults are 16 percent more likely than average to buy children’s clothes, shoes and accessories online.

When it comes to video:

  • Black Americans lead all other consumers in the amount of video they watch on television. They average 209 hours per month; the second-highest demographic, white viewers, watches an average of 150 hours per month.
  • Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of online video, averaging 6.19 hours per month.

What do these figures mean to you? Clearly, if you sell children’s products, technology products or services, or financial products and services, you’ll want to reach out to the black consumer online. And no matter what type of business you own, if you want to target black customers, you should make online video part of your marketing mix. Create videos and post them to your own website and YouTube.

Also consider traditional TV advertising on local cable networks. This can be surprisingly affordable for small businesses, and if you’re targeting black consumers, it’s still a worthwhile marketing channel. Cable stations should be able to provide information allowing you to target black viewers.

Get more details about the report at the Nielsen site.

Image by Flickr user viZZZual.com (Creative Commons)

How to Market Your Business With Online Videos

April 23rd, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Online videos are becoming a more important part of the marketing mix for businesses, according to a November 2011 study by the e-tailing group and Invodo and reported by eMarketer. Specifically, product videos are attracting and holding consumers’ attention, the study found. U.S. consumers who find product videos on websites watch them 60 percent of the time. In fact, 36 percent of respondents reported having watched at least five product videos on brand or retail websites in the prior three months.

So how can you benefit from product videos?

Keep it short: Videos should generally be kept at 3 minutes or less, while providing education about your product. A full 85 percent of survey respondents said they would spend at least one minute watching a video that educated them about a product they were interested in buying.

Demonstrate your product: Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would spend at least a minute watching a video that included a demonstration. If a video didn’t have a product demonstration, the percentage of respondents who would spend a minute watching dropped to 65 percent. In addition, 30 percent would spend more than 3 minutes watching a product demonstration video.

Provide useful information: Useful information is key to getting customers to watch more than once. Two-thirds of respondents said they would watch videos containing large amounts of information about a product several times before deciding whether to make a purchase.

Make it quality: In addition to information, good production values were key. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they consider companies whose videos have high production values more reliable, and 53 percent reported being more engaged with those types of videos.

Spread it around: Your website isn’t the only place to put product videos. Nearly half of respondents said they also view product videos on YouTube and 39 percent had done so on Facebook.

eMarketer predicts the most growth in online video in the next few years will come from new audiences such as seniors, who are becoming more comfortable purchasing products online. Already, eMarketer reports, a projected 170 million Americans will watch online videos this year. That’s more than half the U.S. population. If you’re not already doing online video, what are you waiting for?

Image by Flickr user pthread1981 (Creative Commons)

Is Your Small Business Using Video to Its Fullest?

June 22nd, 2011 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your small business capitalizing on the power of video for both internal and external communications? A new study shows that while many companies do use video in some form or another, many are failing to take advantage of everything video can do.

The study, conducted by BurstPoint Networks, found that companies are using video to connect with audiences including employees, customers, partners and more. More than 56 percent of respondents said they currently use videoconferencing technology; more than 50 percent said they currently use live video streaming or prerecorded video broadcasts.

The three primary reasons survey respondents cited for using video technology in their businesses were to replace in-person meetings (58 percent); to help with training, education and HR functions (62 percent); and to issue company broadcasts (44 percent).

Overall, companies are pleased with the results they’re getting from video. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed (73 percent) said there are better exchanges between executives and employees when using videoconferencing, and 69 percent said video technology improves their communications with external audiences as well.

But although the majority of companies are using video, there’s still lots of room for improvement. More than three-fourths (76 percent) of survey respondents said they would like to better leverage videoconferencing within their organizations, and 65 percent said they would like to stream video on-demand.

“The survey also found that cost is perceived as a prohibiting factor in video implementation, when in reality, due to technology developments, this is no longer the case,” said Tom Racca, president and CEO of BurstPoint Networks, in announcing the survey results. “As we are in a new era of video, implementing this technology no longer has to be a scary prospect.”

How can you use video in your business? Here are some ideas:

  • Record videos demonstrating your product or service.
  • Interview a key customer or industry leader about trends in your industry.
  • Record testimonials from satisfied customers and post them on your website.
  • Record events your company holds.

Post your videos on your website, your social media accounts and on YouTube.

Image by Flickr user Jeffrey Beall (Creative Commons)

Small Biz Resource Tips: mybrainshark

March 14th, 2011 ::


Your Web marketing guy tells you to do it. Your competitors are doing it. Your employees are requesting it. If you’re not doing online video presentations, you’re missing out on a great learning and sales tool. With mybrainshark, small businesses can create, narrate, share and track on-demand multimedia presentations for a variety of uses such as promoting a business, sharing expertise, raising awareness or teaching a seminar. You can even insert survey questions, collect feedback and analyze data. Oh, did we mention, it’s free? Just enter your email address and you’re registered.

Network Solutions’ Go Granny Campaign Wins Big With Social Media by Increasing Sales 500 Percent

February 10th, 2011 ::

Network Solutions® Go Granny parody video featuring Cloris Leachman (http://networksolutions.com/video), which was launched to coincide with Super Bowl weekend, has won the public vote in the social mediasphere. Online sentiment about the Go Granny video campaign has been a whopping 97.5 percent HIGH POSITIVE, attracting attention from social media bigwigs like Guy Kawasaki, Scott Monty, Liz Strauss and Jason Falls.

“Customers, bloggers and the social media community have given Go Granny the thumbs up,” says Sanjay Gupta, Head of Marketing for Network Solutions. “We are thrilled to see a 500 percent increase in .CO domain sales and attribute much of that success to the huge splash Go Granny made in the social media channels, which was complemented by promotional pricing.”

On the Friday of Super Bowl weekend, Network Solutions launched the Go Granny video on its website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, blog properties, Twitter streams, online banner ads – all this was followed by a three day social media blitz. On game day Go Granny/Cloris Leachman was celebrated as a social media sweetheart.

During this three-day span, the Go Granny video campaign received more than 18 million impressions on Twitter and a whopping 14 million impressions on leading blogs that praised Go Granny versus Go Daddy. AdAge said, “Network Solutions’ Go Daddy Parody Surprisingly Close to Real Thing.”

On Twitter, Network Solutions engaged their audiences by using the @Go_Granny Twitter handle to launch a three-day dialog about Go Granny’s preparations for her big game party.  ”Go Granny” became a trending topic as a result of engaging with social media heavy weights and with Lisa Stone, Co-founder and CEO of BlogHer, and her massive online community of women bloggers. The BlogHer community caused a “twitter-flurry” of goodwill for @Go_Granny throughout the weekend.

Network Solutions’ Facebook page featured a custom “Go Granny” tab where fans and friends engaged in lively commentary about Granny and her escapades, in addition to timely posts on Network Solutions blog properties that supported the effort.

The huge success of the Go Granny video once again proved that Network Solutions understands the power of the Internet and leveraged it like it does for small business customers every day.

Online reactions to Go Granny included:

@darrenrovell (CNBC) Network Solutions fires back at GoDaddy ads w/amazing “Go Granny” viral http://is.gd/AzlkmA (via @NetSolSocial

@JasonFalls: By the way, I would take @Go_Granny over Joan-Rivers-O-Plastic every time!

@WriterChanelle: Hmm still prefer Network Solutions ad with Cloris Leachman @Go_Granny over Go Daddy ad.

@AltosGroup: @Go_Granny stealing @GoDaddy’s thunder? #sbads #altos

GrowSmartBiz 2010 Conference is on Nov 5 so Save the Date!

August 11th, 2010 ::

Coming this fall is the second annual GrowSmartBiz Conference being held on November 5, 2010 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. Last year Network Solutions launched this conference and it was MC’d by Alex Orfinger of the Washington Business Journal. This year the Washington Business Journal is partnering with Network Solutions to make this a bigger and even better event than last year.

We listened to your feedback and this year we also plan to have multiple content tracks to really take this event up a notch. If you are interested in reserving your booth space before August 27, call 703-258-0800.

Register Now!

Our GrowSmartBiz registration site is up and running! Tickets are $79 per person and if you want to bring a group of 10 the cost $69 per person or $690 for the group. You can register at


If you are curious as to the quality of content, here are some videos from the 2009 GrowSmartBiz Conference.

This is an event not to be missed. We will be announcing more in the weeks ahead so fill out the form below and we will let you know the details as they are announced.

If you are curious as to the quality of content, here are some videos from the 2009 GrowSmartBiz Conference.