By Timothy Stansky, Propel Marketing

Shoppers are watching more videos than ever on their tablets and smartphones, offering yet another place to find business information.

A quick online search might include a link to a video that answers a question or shows more information about a business Ė even an inviting photo of a restaurantís award-winning recipe.

According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults 18 to 34 than any cable network. Yes, itís what the kids are doing. But didnít we all do this with Facebook?

Photos can become moving pictures

Simple ďbeforeĒ and ďafterĒ pictures on a website can show glaring transformations of a remodeled kitchen, a new roof, even an updated hairstyle. But thatís just the beginning when one local business can leave another in the dust by bringing those photos to life with image transitions and a logo that jumps out for attention.

Video grabs a prospective customerís eyes and ears for deeper engagement with:

Strong and inviting descriptions that trigger the imagination.
Music and a friendly voice to make a great start to the story.
Animated text, transitions, and logo movement to move the story forward.

Engagement is higher with two senses.

Watch the way people lean forward to watch a video on a small screen. And as it plays they all inch even closer, following the direction of the person who pressed the play button. The act of pressing the play button is a sign that the consumer is giving the business permission to tell them more and to keep moving ahead in the purchase decision.

Itís another way to tell your story

Customers still want to have confidence in their decisions on big ticket purchases and things that help them feel good. They just have many new sources of information to gather facts and make decisions with confidence. Search Engine Land notes a recent study showed that companies that produce digital video are perceived to be more engaged with customers!

Tell your businessí story with words and pictures in motion.

Itís affordable

You donít need a Hollywood film crew to create a video for your business. If youíre comfortable with the informality of using a smartphone to video your business, go for it! As an alternative, there are also affordable solutions that take a few photos of your business and products and turn them into a fantastic branded video. They bring your still images to life with eye-catching transitions, graphics, and professional production to create a 30 to 60 second video.

How to start

Try making a short video with your own phone or device.
Make sure that the video is in a format that can play on your website, on smartphones, tablets and YouTube.
Set up a professional YouTube account for your business to post and share from.

Better yet, find a reputable digital marketing company that can build Web-friendly videos AND set it up properly for you! Theyíll follow best practices and include all the right descriptions and keywords to help your video get found by searchers.

So what are you waiting for? Tell your businessí story, engaging eyes and ears with your new video ad.

Propel Marketing is an online marketing company providing digital solutions to local small- and medium-sized businesses: