The New York Times had a telling article on small businesses earlier this month.  The piece was called Small Players Seek an Alternative to the Expense of Pay-Per-Click and explained that, while Google Ad Sense was once a fantastic and affordable way of attracting web traffic, it’s become way too expensive.

It told the story of Tom Telford, who co-founded a company in 2001 that rents out vacation cabins in Georgia. He built the business with Ad Sense at 60 cents a click. 10 years later, he was working on a new company and the price for a click had doubled. He couldn’t afford to go down that marketing road again.

After doing some research into ways of turning up higher in a Google search, he realized there was an alternative to Ad Sense:

“The basic idea, Mr. Telford concluded, was that investing in social media content like blogs and Facebook pages could attract unpaid traffic.”

No kidding, you might say.

Writing blog posts about the best fishing holes in Georgia and other useful tips eventually grew Mr. Telford’s web traffic by 91% in 2012, compared to 2011, the article concludes.

I checked out Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals’ website and they have a nice welcome video too.  But it’s basically an ad.

We need to remember that the rules of good content apply to video too.

If you are doing a video promoting you, your product, and your company, how do you get them to stay past that first 5 seconds and keep coming back?

This is what members of the New York chapter of Ladies Who Launch, a group that helps women entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground, wanted to know when I spoke to them recently.


Like a blog post that promises to impart good information, the way to get people to click on your video is to show, tell, or teach something. And let’s not forget that Google owns YouTube so if you post it there your website is likely to jump up the page when you come up in any Google search.

 No one knowingly wants to watch an ad. So show them something, like my neighbor, attorney Andrew Smiley, does with his “Did You Know?” videos. Or guide them as child psychologist Dr. Heather Wittenberg does with her videos on rearing kids.

The proof that smart video gets results?  Heather contacted me and bought my book after watching some of MY instructional videos. 


Manoush Zomorodi’s video expertise comes from years of reporting and producing for BBC News and Reuters Television. She works with organizations to make better video and is the host of WNYC’s New Tech City. For more video tips and techniques, check out Manoush’s ebook Camera Ready: How to Prepare Your Best Self & Ideas On Air and Online and follow her on Twitter @manoushz.