Videos are ubiquitous and it would be a no-brainer to brag about their reach. Their ability to reach a vast and varied audience with a short attention span is attributed to their versatility, relatability and brains capacity to retain and recollect videos better than text. However, what’s surprising is that there is still a vast majority of small business owners who shy away from video marketing thinking it’s not their cup of tea.

Common myths held by small business on video marketing

  1. Video production is a costly affair: Most small business owners think production and post-production could cost them dearly. After all, you will need lights, camera, microphones, editing software etc., for producing a video.
  2. Lack the expertise: People think that they need great skills for producing a video. Like the know-how of light up, camera operations, post-production and of course anchoring in front of a camera (scariest of all).
  3. Lack of idea: Most small business owners think there is a dearth of ideas to produce a marketing video. Don’t know what to make a video on? Don’t know what to say in the video? You are not sure what topics interest your target audience? The list of apprehensions is endless.

With this, most small businesses let go of a golden goose for they are wary of putting up a bad show.

Having said this, we are on a myth-busting spree!!!

Before we do that, it is imperative to understand why video marketing is important to small business. Video marketing was mainly leveraged by big companies as they saw the potential, and with the funds at their disposal, video creation was not a daunting task for them.

However, they too were overwhelmed with the response generated through this form of marketing. Audience engagement with videos was tremendous. This, in turn, promised a great ROI.

Simultaneously, videos became a potential tool to inform, educate and entertain audiences. It was much later that small businesses started venturing into this territory and were equally staggered.

With videos being the favourite type of content on social media (Animoto 2018), it is something that should not be ignored. There are scores of other benefits for small business that video marketing offers.

Builds a better understanding:

Consumer behaviour and how they perceive businesses has changed many folds. Today, they only interact with brands that they can relate to. If your brand doesn’t speak their language or if it doesn’t project the image that they can connect with, you can kiss your fortunes goodbye.

So how do you do that?

The reach of videos signifies that people are paying attention to the medium, making it the right choice to convey the essence of your brand.

Small businesses can use videos to establish a better understanding about their company -showcasing what drives the company, the people who are making a difference to the organisation every day, products, services, ideology and anything and everything that you can think of.

The cherry on the icing is all these can be done cost-effectively with a bit of planning.

Through video, you can explain any concept or idea within seconds, and it will be understood and retained better. Most internet users turn to videos to learn more about a service or product, making it the best option to communicate complex information to your audience.

Helps in making you familiar to your audience:

Businesses face tough competition, be it a niche or a local market. If there’s one thing that can get your business in a customer’s preferred list of companies, that’s familiarity! If a potential customer has come across your brand (not in a negative way though) then that’s the edge you get over your competitors.

Video content is the most shared content on social platforms, and it is also the content that stays in memory for a longer duration of time compared to the text. A branded video with your brand’s colour, name and a message will be connected to you instantly.

For businesses of smaller operations, video marketing is the best and cost-effective way to get their names in front of their target audience in a memorable way. So, when a customer is about to make a buying decision and spots you in the crowd (a familiar name among the rest), you would be their choice over your competitor.

Reaches Every Potential Customer:

In content marketing, content must vary while catering to different age groups. Textual content is rigid in ways; however, videos can be moulded in 100 possible ways to cater to each demographic.

Moreover, as videos are the most shared content on the internet, a video with great content will reach a vast and varied audience. If your customers are spread across different demographics, then video marketing is your best bet to cater to them in one go.

Helps your emails yield better:

One marketing technique that has enjoyed sustained popularity, is email marketing. The effectiveness of an email campaign for small business is undebated. For comparatively low costs, emails offer a good conversion rate.

With a catchy subject line, one gets a good open rate, but to get a good CTR (Click Through Rate) you require more than catchy sentences. A video, here, is the trump card.

The internet is inundated with research on the conversion achieved through video marketing. This is also the case with email marketing. When videos are embedded into emails, customers tend to click through it and are willing to spend the next few minutes watching it. Strategically placed CTA’s after the video or in the video are sure to incur engagement.

Surge on Search Engines:

Videos provide a double benefit for small businesses. Your videos can be uploaded on YouTube, which is the second-largest search engine after Google, and on your website and other social media platforms.

Google considers relevancy to users while ranking you in the searches, and if your videos are sought after on any one of the platforms, that will help you rank better in the organic searches, without investing a fortune in organic SEO.

Moreover, from the perspective of a visitor, they will love to watch a testimonial or a corporate rate video than read one.

The stats show a 157% increase in organic search engine results when embedded on the website, and 64% of consumers said that video directly influenced their decision to purchase a product or service (Swish). What more could you ask for?

Informs and educates your customers:

Your business might be local, but still, there are things that you want your customers to know about you, however, this also applies to your competitor.

Videos are a great tool to gain leverage over your competitor and effectively communicate your business’s USP to your audience. Video content can be specifically designed to communicate your business message and because it is bound to get shared, your message will reach the intended destination.

Knowing about the benefits certainly doesn’t ease the apprehension of having one produced. So, let’s get a hang of how to produce a video from scratch.

Video production

Video production is a three-stage process, divided into pre-production, production and post-production.

1. Pre-production:

Planning is the most crucial step in pre-production. Firstly, know the purpose of your video. Do you wish to inform, educate or entertain your target audience? What is the message that you wish to put across? Think what kind of video suits your purpose – an explainer video, an intro video for your product, a testimonial etc. This sets a clear direction for you to follow.

Next, sit down to think about your target audience, their pain points and how the video could solve that, and their taste. Having a clear idea about your target audience is crucial. Unless you define your audience, your video will yield no conversion. It is essential to know their demographics and preferences. To hit the mark, be knowledgeable about your target audience.

Next step in planning is scripting. You may be tempted to skip this step thinking you have it in your mind. But beware!! The script is the foundation of any video. Write the script keeping the what, why, how in the mind. If you are a first-timer, it is better to stick with Intro-middle-conclusion format – with the intro being the problem and the conclusion being the resolution of the problem.

If you are good at drawing, you may prepare storyboard as well. The storyboard comes in handy while setting up the scene, they are time savers too, as you have a reference to cross-check.

Most videos are viewed on mobiles and viewers have a very short attention span. Hence, a video should be around 1-2 minutes and not more than that.

Hunt for a suitable place to shoot. Make sure the place is well lit and void of noise and distraction.

Choose the right people for the right job. If you are single-handedly manning the ship, be sure about the roles that you need to handle. Prepare yourself so that you don’t end up frustrated, as you venture into uncharted territory.

Now about equipment for video production, markets are flooded with equipment ranging from low to extremely high costs. But as someone just venturing into video marketing, you need not spend heavily on these gadgets; instead, concentrate on the essentials. Camera, microphone and light are bare minimum requirements. If you don’t have an SLR/video camera, see if your phone would suffice. You definitely need a mic, search for one that can be plugged to your phone, in case you are using your phone.

It is advisable to use natural light, but if the script requires you to shoot indoors, then a light that fills your face or minimum space would be enough.

Clarity of voice and picture should not be compromised at any cost

2. Production:

This is the stage where you put all the planning to practice. If you have a storyboard, abide by it. No matter what type of video you are doing, art is important. Check out different videos on YouTube for inspiration. Extravagance is a thing of past, just make sure every frame is visually appealing (although minimal).

Once art is ready, place your light and camera, check through the camera if there’s enough light and also the visual beauty of the frame. With camera angles, you can be creative, but make sure it is not annoying. Also, if you don’t have a tripod, place your camera/phone on a stable surface at eye level (unless you are experimenting with a different angle).

Practice makes you perfect, if you don’t have a glib tongue, then practice to perfection. Don’t compromise, go for re-takes if needed and settle only for the best.

Videos can be casual too. Videos of a finished product that’s about to undergo packaging, bytes of your teammates, birthday celebration or in-house employee award celebration, all these works well in building your image.

3. Post-production:

This is the stage that most dread. However, the internet is overwhelmed with online editing software, where you can import clips from your device, do basic editing – such as, choosing the right take, cutting the beginning or the end, syncing with audio, inserting other video, adding title etc – and then export the final video in a format that is suitable for social platforms.

Research well before choosing an online editing software, check out the features, formats supported, the flexibility of editing, fonts and rushes provided by the app.

Types of marketing videos for small business

“What do I do?”, “I can’t think of any topic to make a video on!”, “What kind of video?” – do these questions seem familiar? Well, to most small business owners they do!

Trust me when I say, most companies face this predicament every now and then. But the good news is that there’s no shortage of the types of videos that you can do for social video marketing. Here are a few examples:

Educational

If you wish to educate your audience about a service, or your company, or about a specific feature that you often get asked about, then this type of marketing video is what you should be thinking of.

Educational videos should be very specific and detailed. However, the tone of your presentation can be formal, casual or a mix of both depending upon the subject.

Product

Product videos are the best option when you wish to introduce a new product, or a new feature added to an existing product, or how do you make your product, or how to use your product etc. If you are into the food industry, for instance, you can show a quick video of how you make your speciality. You may do it with or without the voice over. Even a short video would be engaging.

Testimonials

Testimonial videos are highly valuable for they increase the company’s credibility and standing in the industry. Also, when uploaded on the website, it boosts SEO efforts. Customers tend to overlook written testimonials while at the same time give value to video testimonials.

Instructional

The internet is full of how-to videos. People often rely on instructional videos showing them how to do a thing. There may be scores of videos related to your industry or product, but the trick is in instructing most comprehensively and entertainingly. Visual appeal, clarity, presentation all of it gets counted. Select your niche and think of something that hasn’t been done before.

Storytelling

Storytelling is the most engaging form of video marketing. Since time immemorial, humans have been captivated by stories and this decade is no different. Stories with a human touch, stories that people can relate to, stories with emotional value get engagements. If your story touches someone, they are bound to share it for the world to see. So, think about what story you would like to tell your audience.

Team Bios

Your customers would love to see the real people behind the products or services they use. This is like giving a human identity to a company. This will help your local business as your potential customers will start identifying your staff. Also, showing that you care for your team builds on the company goodwill. You can have a new joiner intro video, team event videos, and other fun videos.

Tips and Tricks

People love the information that can help them. Quick tips and trick videos are the most sought-after videos on the internet. Industry or niche-specific tips will help in establishing your expertise in the field. This kind of video marketing can potentially increase foot traffic to your local business.

Announcements

Your email text announcements can be overlooked or forgotten, but videos are sure to get clicked. So, you have a new product, change in policy, change of branding etc., videos are the best medium to convey. Also, before launching a new product, you can create a hype around it through this type of product marketing video

FAQs

At the core of content marketing lies problem-solving. People often look for answers, and by far most of the content generated and circulated on the internet is related to answering common doubts/ concerns. FAQ videos can make your website interactive and will establish your leadership in the industry. Start by making videos on the questions highlighted on your FAQ page.

Facebook Live

Facebook live videos are quite a rage these days. However, if you want to be noticed, use it sparingly. Use Facebook videos for announcements, events or special occasions only. Live videos carry value, overdoing them can hurt your image.

Event videos

Events are the best time for videos, and you will have no dearth of topics to showcase. You can categorise the videos into pre-event, main event and post-event videos. You can also live stream the event on your website.

Other videos

You can do a quiz video or start a challenge (like the ice bucket) or share a case study.

By now ideas may have started flowing in before you forget to write them down so you may get back to them when you are ready to take up video production.

How to promote videos on social media?

Now that you have ideas for creating a marketing video and know how to create videos for marketing, we will focus on ways to promote them. For any small business, this is the best and the most cost-effective way to market your products, services and your company. So, here’s how to promote your marketing videos on social media.

1. Instagram:

You might have heard that Instagram is all the rage these days. However, did you know that videos are as popular as photos on Instagram? With Instagram Stories, IGTV and videos ads, videos have got a boost on the platform.

The Instagram Story that disappears in 24 hours is a great way to connect with your audience in a more personal way. Most people pay attention to stories, but exercise restraint as not everything qualifies as a story post.

2. YouTube:

There is no need for talking about YouTube. Anything video, YouTube must be the source. Being the medium dedicated to videos, you can’t risk ignoring this social media giant. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want your video to appear in searches.

  • Tag them correctly
  • Write appropriate description
  • Do not make it private (unless intentional)
  • Add Call To Action
  • Ask your viewers to like the video and subscribe to your channel.
  • Be relevant with the information you impart
  • Offer value, as there’s high competition in there.
  • Respond to comments professionally – both positive and negative.
3. Facebook

It is needless to mention the relevance of Facebook for video marketing. With billions of active users, it’s a channel that cannot be missed. However, if you wish your videos to enjoy a good reach, it should have good engagement. If Facebook sees that your video is liked and responded by many, it will provide a greater reach to the video. So, the quality of content and its relevance to your target audience is highly important to soar on Facebook.

Also, it is better to use native videos (uploaded directly to the platform) than sharing from YouTube, as native videos enjoy better engagement for, they play automatically.

4. Twitter

Twitter too promotes videos and there is a diverse base of people regularly following Twitter. It is easier to build engagement with your audience. Stick to the short format videos with a concise, engaging and clear message.

Content of your video makes all the difference. Reach and engagement of your video depends on how effectively you have got your message out.

Here’s another read on How to use Business Page to interact in Facebook Groups for visibility

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