Video Marketing: A Case for Small Businesses

In the golden age of content marketing, video is king. According to a survey by Wyzowl, consumers spend an average of 18 hours watching online video content per week – an increase of 7.5 hours since 2017. From YouTube to TikTok to Facebook and almost every platform in between, video is a dynamic, accessible medium that enables businesses to connect with a wide audience on a personal level.

In fact, a 2019 study reported that 93% of brands got a new customer because of a video on social media. When your audience sees a video, they’re more likely to retain your messaging and follow your call to action than they are with text. There’s some psychology to support this. The human brain processes images more quickly than text, and video also stimulates more senses. Therefore, you’re more likely to have a stronger impact in a shorter amount of time with video than you would with any other form of content. When strategizing the marketing content you want to use, consider the areas where video can propel you toward your goals.

Recommended: Online Video Tips for Small Businesses

Types of marketing videos

There are many types of marketing videos that can be used for different purposes. Regardless of the products or services your business offers, there’s likely a video format that will help amplify your messaging. Here are four of the most common types of marketing videos that might spark inspiration.

“How to” videos

Whether it’s a demonstration of how to use your product or an instructional video for something related to your business, this is an easy way to provide on-demand support for your existing customers while also reaching a new audience that may be looking for a similar solution. These types of videos can be longer, as long as you’re answering all the relevant questions a viewer might have. Consider including an outline of the different sections with timestamps in the description so your audience can fast forward to the part they need.

Example: How to Create Automated Collections (Shopify)

Customer testimonials

Customer reviews are among the most motivating factors behind purchasing decisions. With a testimonial video, you can curate the reviews that speak to the core of your business without sacrificing the honest, captivating impact customers’ stories can have. Longer testimonials can also be broken up into shorter cuts to use for sponsored advertisements on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Example: Apple Watch – Real Stories

Live streams

Live streaming is a relatively new trend that has taken off, especially in light of social distancing restrictions. Live streams are less produced and more spur-of-the-moment, so they’re perfect for creating authentic connections with your audience and providing a behind the scenes look in real time. You might choose to go live on the social media platform where your audience is already highly engaged, or you may choose to stream on a video platform like Vimeo or YouTube for more flexibility.

Example: Chewy’s Vet to Vet Live

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Chewy (@chewy)

Viral trends

Specifically for organic (non-sponsored) social media videos, virality is a huge factor for audience engagement. Staying active and engaged on social media is the key to identifying an emerging trend and determining whether it’s appropriate for you. The lifespan of a viral trend is relatively short, however, so it’s important to be agile and in the moment of what’s happening. Focusing too much on production quality or strategic planning can cause you to fall behind the curve, especially on trend-heavy platforms like TikTok.

Example: Wendy’s Tortilla Trend

@wendysWho needs the #tortillatrend when you could Wendy’s instead?

♬ original sound – Wendys

Recommended: The Secrets of Viral Video Success

Video marketing tools

Making successful video content doesn’t require a bunch of expensive equipment, although you can rent equipment from some local camera stores or Many smartphone cameras are capable of capturing videos in 4K or even 8K, which competes with many professional-grade cameras. A few inexpensive accessories like a ring light, tripod, and/or a lapel mic can also upgrade your production quality without breaking the bank.

Once you have recorded footage, user-friendly applications like Biteable, Adobe Spark, or Canva will provide the tools you need to edit your video. You can trim clips, add a voice over, and tie in custom branding elements to make a professional final cut. As mentioned above, however, a professional-grade video can sometimes seem out of place if the type of video you’re making or the platform you’re using calls for a more casual approach.

Also, keep in mind that longer doesn’t always mean better. Vidyard’s 2019 Video Benchmark Report found that 68% of viewers will finish a video if it’s less than 60 seconds long, but only 25% will finish it if it’s more than 20 minutes long. Capture your audience as quickly as possible by keeping the parts that are impactful and cutting the parts that aren’t.

Recommended: Top Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Why you should use video marketing

Video marketing presents a clear opportunity to engage a wide audience on a personal level in a short amount of time. Take, for example, the virality of Super Bowl commercials that speak to the hearts of Americans on a national scale. Not all video marketing campaigns need to be as highly produced as multi-million dollar ads, though. Sometimes low budget videos receive just as much attention, like this one from Gushers that has been viewed almost 7 million times. If you’re not currently utilizing some form of video content in your marketing strategy, you might be falling behind your competitors and missing out on opportunities for business growth.

Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is the editor of Small Business Computing. She is passionate about creating relatable, research-based content that helps small businesses thrive.

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