Back in December I posted a preview of the new YellowPages.ca beta site featuring Canada’s largest collection of local business videos. See original post, “A Deeper Look Into Canada’s SMB Video Portal by YellowPages.ca”
I am happy to report that a new home page was just launched and now features all the videos from the video channel. On the home page you will see videos targeted towards your latest searches which is great for discovery as well as finding. Here is a screenshot:
This is pretty cool for local businesses in Canada. Now videos for their businesses will appear on 2 high-traffic websites in Canada. The YellowPages.ca Video Channel and the YellowPages.ca YouTube Video Channel.
If content truly is king then you need to have a lot of content to pull off a portal dedicated to videos for small and medium sized businesses in Canada. Yellow Pages Group, Canada’s leading directory provider, is one such company that can make this come true and have just launched its Canadian Business Video Portal. Connected to Canada’s leading business directory, YellowPages.ca, the content of its video portal is both rich in breadth and depth.
For small businesses in Canada who are using video as a means to attract new customers this is a real win. First Yellow Pages Group launched its Canadian Business YouTube Channel, second it incorporated all its videos into its iTunes, Blackberry and Android applications and now it further distributes this content through a dedicated video only portal that connects consumers back to their profile page on YellowPages.ca. This kind of reach for a business owner for video advertising in Canada is truly unprecedented. Check out some of my previous posts on the above topics; youtube channel and mobile applications. NOTE: as of this posting, the videos on the YouTube Channel from Yellow Pages Group has received over 589,000 views, which is pretty decent considering these are informational about local businesses and not entertainment videos.
So let’s take a walk through of the video portal:
The Home Page
First thing you will notice is that this site uses IP detection to automatically assign a city – in my case Calgary, Alberta. In some cases you may notice that the city that is defaulted is not your city at all – this is an issue with IP detection and your host provider may be routing from another city. No worries though, in the top left hand corner you can simply change your default location.
The layout is pretty simple – navigation categories on the left, main video content in the middle and related videos to the right. Recently added videos are located towards the bottom of the page. Here is a screen shot of what I see this morning. What is neat is that if you refresh the home page, you will get a new profiled video so the site is changing all the time.
What good is a video channel if you can’t share it with your friends. Every video has 4 social elements – Add to Facebook, Add to Twitter, Copy URL and Embed Video. The Embed Video is nice for any small business owner who wants to add their video to their website. The Add to Facebook will load Facebook.com directly and the Add to Twitter will launch Twitter.com.
Example of the Add to Facebook feature:
Example of clicking on Embed This Video:
After you copy the code, here is what the embedding actually looks like. In this case I have decided to use the video from Universal Ford Lincoln Sales.
There are 17 main categories in the video channel, but with tens of thousands of videos you need further refinement options. Here is an example of clicking on the Automotive, Sales and Services category and what the refinement by category looks like. If you are searching for a business by name, you can also sort alphabetically. Other popular categories include; Eat In & Out, Health & Beauty, Home Improvement & Real Estate and Travel and Accommodations to name just a few.
If you select Automobile Dealers-New Cars, you will get a nice small list as follows:
Destination for Any Click on Business Profile
Throughout this video portal you will notice links that say “See Business Profile”. All these links will go to the profile page on YellowPages.ca for all these businesses that contains some pretty rich information. Here is the example from Universal Ford. You will notice the video, link to website, opening hours, products and services and other features such as weather conditions, driving directions and what’s nearby.
As local business video is becoming more and more part of the buying decision, I think more and more Canadians will be demanding a richer experience. There truly is something about video that makes the experience so much richer than simply text on a web page.
I hope that you found this walk through interesting. If you have comments, please leave them in the comments section. As the Director of Business Development for Yellow Pages Group, I can ensure you that your comments will reach the right people.
I was updating my personal profile within Google today and adding links to the various videos that I have been part of lately. One in particular was my interview with Omar Sachedina of CP24 on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 for the Yellow Pages Answers services, business category data provided by YellowPages.ca. Here is a replay of my video interview with Omar Sachedina:
Related to the answers service, I also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight just how easy it is to get started using Yellow Pages Answers. Before are some screenshots:
You will notice that the service starts with welcoming you and immediately gives you access to the Answers Help along with a box to post your first question. Before you can start posting a question, look to your right under “Options” and select join.
Second – you have two options to join the answers service, using your Facebook Account or signing up for a new account.
Most users select the signin using your facebook account. If you select this option, you will be presented with the following:
Third – you are finished. Now you can start to post and respond to questions within Answers
This service is a great way to solicit recommendations from your social network or people with the answers network. I did a post back in July on the most unique questions asked using Answers service, many of which now have answers to them.
If you have used the answers service and would like to comment or have suggestions, please post to my comments section or send me an email directly to dsieben … @ … gmail … .com ….
Over the past two years I have attended all the Kelsey Conferences, for those of you know familiar they conferences focus on the directional, vertical and local search markets in print and online. One common theme that has grown in popularity over the past 24-months is the emergence of video in the small to medium sized market.
I started to surf around YouTube to see if I could find local businesses in Canada taking advantage of this medium. One company, Oliver Jewellery in Toronto really jumped out as a local business who really gets this medium. Rate and review Oliver Jewellery in Toronto.
The first thing that impressed me was that one of his television commercials has been viewed over 42,000 times, has had 173 ratings, 277 text comments and been a favorite 415 times since January 1, 2008. To put this into perspective – I conducted a search for “toronto” in YouTube and this one video would have been within the top 400 videos which is pretty impressive considering this is a local business with one location on Eglington Avenue West competing with all types of videos under this particular search term.
Here is the Oliver Jewellery Commercial that I was referring to above:
The second thing that impressed me about this local business is the fact that his YouTube username channel has 11 videos uploaded including some self-promotion with WWF superstars and 76 subscribers.
This is a very good example of a local business taking their local television commercials and broadcasting them beyond the reach of the local television stations. All of this is good, but the key question is whether this is driving business. Regardless if it is or not this is a good example of cross-media mix for a local business.
The other big player in the local Canadian Small Business YouTube space is Yellow Pages Group with their branded YellowPages.ca YouTube Channel. Currently this channel has over 900 local videos with the top video from Yoga et Massage pour vous – Montréal with over 3000 video views since upload on September 20, 2008.
If you want your business listed in the YellowPages.ca YouTube Channel – check out the Showcase Bundle.
Interested in reading more about local video optimization – check out the following post at Praized Media “How to SEO Local Video Advertising“.