Listing your local business on various online business directories is a legitimate and high quality method of creating backlinks to your website that Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing will love you for.
Furthermore, it provides your customers, suppliers, and other business who may want to interact with you an opportunity to know more about you from unbiased sources and from any corner of the world.
As a business, these listings especially on review sites enable you to get first hand, raw feedback from your customers about your products and services so that you can implement changes and even respond directly to them.
Below is a list of business directories we came up with that you may find useful. Please note that you don’t have to list your business on all of them but it’s better to look for those relevant to your industry and location.
1. ChamberOfCommerce.com- works best for business to business opportunities
2. Professional Associations. Very important for professionals like lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects, accountants and organizations requiring accreditation such as schools, colleges, universities etc.
3. Linkedin- great for professionals
4. Insiderpages.com- gives the inside scoop on local businesses
5. Yelp.com- an urban city guide where customers share their experiences with local businesses
6. BestOfTheWeb- arranges business by category and region
10. Local.com- lists information on local businesses with 20 million users per month
12. Localeze.com- distributes your information across directories and search engines
13. InfoUSA.com -provides consumer and business information
14. USCity-a national business directory
15. DiscoverOurTown.com-a travel and shopping directory for towns
16. HotFrog.com-fastest growing free online directory
17. Mojopages.com-guides users to best local businesses
18. Kudzu-provides users with info on health and life business providers
19. GenieKnows.com- search portal servicing niche-specific search users
20. RateItAll.com-provides fun and engaging local business reviews
21. CitySquares.com- connects business to urban and semi-urban communities
SEO and Web Marketing
In this article series on the top video marketing tools to create your own local business video, we have so far discussed the physical equipment and the physical location features necessary. In this final part of the series, we look at the software tools required to complete the video making process.
1. Video Software
After recording your video, you will want to upload it to your computer. Almost every modern video recording device has a USB cable connection so you can just plug it to your computer and upload directly. You can use the software tools that come with specifically for recording device and just follow the steps as prompted. If youâre up to it technically, you can also edit your video if you want using software like Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere, Corel Video Studio and other programs. Video software can help you edit your video to create professional effects such as changing background, improving the image quality, varying sound levels and other effects.
2. YouTube account.
Last but not least, you need to create an account for your local business on a video sharing site. YouTube is the most popular site so go ahead and create a channel where you can upload all your videos. Make sure you properly label your videos and optimize them with your keywords so that they are easily found in the YouTube search. Always have a brief description for every video with a hyperlinked website address so people can visit your website. Using video editing software, you can actually embed your website address text within your video.
I hope these series of articles have proved to you that you donât need to be a professional filmmaker to create a video for your local business. With the right tools and a little imagination, you can create interesting and well produced videos in very little time, at a low cost. Video marketing is possible for small businesses with little tech know how and operating on a tight budget.
In Part 1 of this article series on top video marketing tools to create your local business video, we looked at the first 2 tools which were a place to film your video and a video recording device. In this article we will look at microphones and tripods.
1. An external microphone.
External microphones are a must to get clear sound on your video. If you just used the inbuilt microphone on your recording device, you would end up with your voice drowned out by all the other noises around you. That would result in a poor quality video because either your voice would be inaudible or people would hear distracting background noises from your spouse, kids, or whoever else was in the vicinity as you recorded your video. Using an external microphone brings your voice to the foreground and makes it sound crystal clear.
There are a number of external microphones you can choose from:
â¢ Lapel mics- those are the type you can pin on your shirt or blouse near your neck and they require you to have a wireless transmitter. Because they are wireless, your videos will have a more pleasant look as you donât have to hold a microphone in your hand. They are also useful if your hands will be busy during the video recording such as if you were doing a product demo.
â¢ Hand microphones- these microphones are obviously hand held and can be either corded or wireless. Some people may not like the bulkiness of hand mics but they have their advantages. They are obviously less expensive than lapel mics with some costing as little as $10-15 and the corded variety donât require you to buy a wireless transmitter since you just insert them into your recording device. They are also particularly useful for outdoor recording if you cloth them with a windscreen or wind muff.
Tripods are obviously necessary whether youâre filming alone or someone else is filming you. If you are creating your video by yourself, you will place your recording device on your tripod and point it to where you will be sitting or standing. Make sure you run a few tests so that you make sure your body frame and your background is captured correctly and none are cut out of the video screen.
If someone else is recording you, a tripod is still needed so that they can shoot the video without shaking or moving around, especially if your video will run for many minutes. With a tripod, they will be able to film and follow your motions in a steady manner.
In the final part of this article series, we will discuss the software tools necessary to complete your video.
Creating your own local business video for your online video marketing campaigns isnât as expensive or complicated as you may imagine. Infact with a little help you can create your own video without resorting to a video production agency.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
1. A place to film
There are a number of places you can choose to film your video and with a little imagination you can find some awesome settings that will give your video a professional look. Here are some ideas:
â¢ Your home office- obviously not the cluttered kind, but you seated behind your grand office desk, computer beside you and family photos or a bookshelf in the background. You can also pin up a black or white paper to serve as your background.
â¢ A restaurant or bar
â¢ Parks or gardens- these provide a serene setting and ample space.
â¢ Buses, trains or other means of transport- this works well for those in the travel industry like travel agents or tour guides
â¢ Your business premises- these work well if your business setting would provide an ideal match to the content of your video. E.g. a dentist recording a video about veneers would obviously film in his dentists office surrounded by the tools and equipment necessary for the dental procedure
2. A video recording device.
You can choose from the wide range of different recording devices available such as:
â¢ smart phones
â¢ point and shoot digital cameras which have video recording features
â¢ video cameras such as the Flip video camera
â¢ Camcorder- these range from the hand camcorders to the large professional camcorders.
Each has its pros and cons but always make sure you use a video recording device that has an external microphone jack that supports stereo sound recording. This is because if you use the normal inbuilt microphone on most devices, your videos will have very poor sound quality especially if youâre filming outdoors. Using a microphone will filter out environmental sounds and cause your voice to come out clearly on the video.
In our next article we will look at 2 more tools- external microphones and tripods.