Ready for a Close-up: Funding Small Businesses through Video

August 12, 2015

10:00 pm

The truth is that video is dominating the Internet. Estimates suggest that by 2017, online video will comprise almost three-quarters of consumer traffic. With video as an emergent strength, it makes sense for new businesses to use the medium as a source of funding.

Getting (Kick)started

Kickstarter is the first word in crowd-sourcing. To date, over 9 million people have donated over $1.9 billion in order to fund 90,000 projects. Kickstarter focuses on the arts, offering a funding platform for a wide array of projects including endeavors focused on dance, fashion, music, and publishing. There are a host of genres supported on Kickstarter, but the idea of crowd-sourcing extends beyond the creative arts.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The idea of seeking out a number of backers to support a project is not a new idea. However, the internet makes an idea that dates from the time of great composers and writers—Mozart, Beethoven, Twain, and Whitman sought funds from patrons and benefactors—viable in the 21st century. In fact, more than viable, crowd-sourcing is really an ideal way for artists and entrepreneurs to carve out a niche in the increasingly crowded marketplace.

Lights, Camera, Action

For new businesses, it can be a struggle to get started. Funding a new venture is tricky, and getting investors to commit to an untested idea or product is a risk, especially in uncertain financial times. This is where video to saves the day. Video marketing appeals to a wide audience. YouTube, for example, gets one million unique visitors each month.

Think about the potential exposure a new business can get by posting a clear, concise video to that site. The traffic to YouTube makes it more than worth the time and expense to create a video. With new subtitling features available on YouTube, it is easier than ever to use video to reach the broadest possible audience. Videos are also affordable. With ubiquitous video technology, it is easier than ever for a new business to create professional-quality video on a budget.

An Authentic Appeal

Videos work because the medium allows for authenticity in a way that print media does not. A video puts the business owner or entrepreneur in the spotlight. A successful video explains the point of view of the business owner, allowing the audience to form a true connection to the person behind the product or service. Videos build trust in a person, a product, or a brand.

In addition, video is dynamic. Viewers can see a product or business in action. The creative process is on full display. In fact, over half of video viewers commit to watching at least three-quarters of a video. With a lot of people invested for a decent amount of time, video marketing makes sense for businesses. And, when viewers see the visual evidence of how a business is tapping into an unmet need, they are over 70% more likely to buy a product. And, even if no purchase is made, over 90% of viewers find videos to be helpful and informative.

A Picture’s Worth

A thousand words sounds significant. 1.8 million views per one minute of video is simply staggering. Still, that is finding of researchers studying the impact of video marketing. Videos are viewed often and, often, in full. Studies show that consumers are 1.8 times more likely to buy a product after viewing a video about the product.

In Conclusion

Video is the future of marketing. Thanks to the Internet, no other medium reaches as wide a consumer base. By clearly demonstrating an unmet need, new businesses can display their products and services with passion and authenticity. Viewers respond to videos that show the personality of a product as well as the personalities and inspiration behind the product. More than ever, the personal connection between businesses and viewers cannot be discounted.

 

Image Credit: Flickr/Eko Priyanto Lo

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Alex Espenson is a recently retired business owner turned consultant, with a passion for entrepreneurism and marketing. When he isn't writing or consulting, you can usually find him out on the river with his fly rod, or hiking in the hills near his home in Boulder Colorado.

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