Every business wants an edge. Whether it’s developing the latest, greatest product or delivering the utmost level of customer service and appreciation, an edge helps a company stay competitive within the marketplace. Perhaps it goes without saying, but reaching and engaging with as many consumers as possible should be square one for any business, no matter how modest its aims. Today, online video marketing offers the quickest and most cost effective way to reach consumers, build a compelling brand identity, and boost revenue.

Businesses that turn to social media advertising immediately save money by forgoing outdated, ineffective advertising methods. Companies can assemble a simple but effective video within a day or two, literally on a shoestring budget. The technology for online video production is accessible to everyone, and it’s becoming cheaper all the time. When the video advertising campaign is successful, the return on investment is almost immediate.

Research has shown that viral videos are more memorable and engaging than traditional media advertising. When people like a video enough to share it with friends, it counts as free advertising — the best kind. The most successful online video marketing campaigns don’t force the message down viewers’ throats. Viewers recognize heavy-handed salesmanship and quickly move on to other things. An effective video communicates brand identity and engages the viewer without being overbearing. When companies strike this delicate balance, the public feels a sense of interest and trust, which translates to more sales and brand loyalty.

With the help of social media marketing services, a well-produced video can take on a life of its own. These viral videos have a way of implanting themselves in the public imagination. For a company with a small marketing budget, reaching 500,000 Youtube views, for example, would be a profound achievement. Each one of those views represents a possible sale or new long-term client.

Video promotion helps potential customers find a company with the services they’re looking for. The major search engines, such as Google and Bing, tend to place video search results near the top of the first page of listings (assuming the title and keywords are well considered and appropriate). Ranking highly in search results, especially when the result is a video thumbnail rather than a text blurb, quickly grabs the attention of web surfers on a mission.

Video advertising reaches a huge audience. More people are online now than ever before, and that number is growing every day. On the other hand, TV viewership has basically leveled off. Not only is the online audience growing, it’s growing in every single demographic group. At the end of the day, the more people that see a company’s video, the more chances there are for conversions (new customers).

The sky is the limit for online video marketing. There are no rules in this new environment, and the difference between a viral video and one that goes nowhere is often difficult to define. What’s beyond dispute is that the online marketplace is where advertisers need to concentrate their efforts, both now and for the foreseeable future.