The idea of coupling video with directory listings is hardly new. In fact, I was involved in some yellow pages trials as far back at 1989 that were focused on exactly this idea. Of course, yellow pages publishers being yellow pages publishers, a lot of testing revolved around video ads for pizza parlors -- something I call the Pizza Paradigm. And perhaps because all this testing was centered on one category of businesses that really couldn't make very effective use of video, I formed an early opinion that video and B2B directories just didn't mix too well.
Times of course have changed. And I had a light bulb moment this week when I saw a press release from the publisher in India that operates IndiaMart.com. It's selling video to the Indian businesses that list in its directory in order to help buyers in distant countries build trust and confidence in them as potential suppliers. Brilliant! An absolutely spot-on, high value and best of all legitimate use for video in a directory.
Just days later, an announcement appeared from local yellow pages and rating site Yelp, indicating it too was adding offering video upgrades to business listings. This reminded me of another thing that's changed in recent years: the cost and complexity of video production has dropped dramatically, eliminating one of the other great barriers to use of video within directories.
The timing could be right to "go Hollywood" with your data product. Imagine how you can bring your listings to life with videos. This one from Yelp offers some inspiration.