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Google and Amex Want to Make Your Business a Star




Google and American Express OPEN know that every small business has a big story. To help them get their stories out for the world to see, they have teamed up to launch My Business Story, a free tool that lets entrepreneurs create professional-quality online videos to educate customers about their company and show why their stories are unique. The tool was launched as part of the national My Business Story contest for small businesses to mark Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26.

The My Business Story contest will judge the best video submissions based on the roles the businesses play in supporting their communities, showing exemplary customer service and demonstrating innovation.

The My Business Story tool lets business owners use existing photos and videos to tell their story or shoot new ones. Videos and photos that are uploaded will be paired with the creator's choice of free music and graphics available in the tool.  The tool also provides a helpful tutorial video, examples of completed videos with step-by-step instructions and director's cuts.

The 36 regional winners (three per region) will each receive $5,000 worth of digital marketing support and be featured on the YouTube homepage on Black Friday. The YouTube homepage is viewed by 20 million Americans each day. Entries must be submitted by Nov. 15.

The two companies also encourage small businesses to share the videos they created on their social networks and embed them on their business websites. Google research has shown that companies that effectively leverage video can expect better customer engagement and retention; researchers found that online video boosts brand recall by 50 percent and likability by 26 percent.

Google and American Express OPEN developed My Business Story it help businesses support the Shop Small movement and Small Business Saturday, a national initiative launched last year in response to small businesses' most pressing need—more customers. Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday.

Follow Ned Smith on Twitter @nedbsmith.