Not too long ago, businesses who wanted to advertise on the internet were limited to images and banners; the static, boring billboards of the web.

After a little time browsing, they were easy to tune out, just like billboards are after you’ve been driving long enough.

In order for businesses to engage customers online, they resorted to a number of ploys that were ultimately foiled. They included email blasts (email hosts quickly learned how to divert these useless messages into spam folders), pop-up ads (free downloadable software can now block these ads from appearing, and some browsers even come with this feature already available), the ubiquitous banner ad (the easily ignored billboards of the internet), and a host of other attempts.

There was one problem, though: none of them were very good at luring in customers. The conversion rate from a user clicking on an ad to actually buying something from the advertised website was low. And now it is falling even lower. For a business looking for a decent ROI (return on investment) the status quote has to change.

So what is a business to do? Get creative, of course. And that’s where business video ads and social media come into play.

If you’re a user of Facebook—and who isn’t these days? —You’ve already seen ads popping up in your news feed. With the advent of the Facebook smartphone app, people are exposed to these ads literally everywhere they go. And it’s not just Facebook that businesses are targeting. Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are just some of social media websites that businesses are also targeting with ads.

Business Video

Business Video Marketing

But perhaps the most promising and exciting social media site for businesses is Vine. In case you’re not familiar, Vine is a website that allows users to upload six second videos. Much like how Twitter limits you to 140 characters per Tweet, Vine limits your videos to six seconds. Ostensibly, Vine videos are supposed to be fun, short, and sweet and homemade. But advertisers have found ways to sneak in their products for advertising. This is also known as stealth advertising. It’s not quite subliminal advertising, but thanks to the six second limit, it does border on it.

But how can a company successfully market their product in only six seconds? The average television commercial lasts at least 30 seconds. Here is their secret: say you’re a soda company and you’re looking to sneak a can of your product into a Vine video. You don’t make the video about your product; you make a fun business video that features your product. With the soda example, perhaps show two friends engaging in wacky hijinks as they fight over a can of your soda. It’s basically product placement. Movies have been doing it for years: a business pays a film company to feature a shot of their product in the movie. It’s called product placement and it can get quite expensive. With Vine videos, however, this product placement doesn’t cost a dime.

And just like that, business marketing videos just got more efficient and effective.

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