The importance of video in marketing has been the mantra of marketing “gurus” since Google bought YouTube in 2006. Twelve years later, video has become a very, very big deal.
One third of Internet-users have a YouTube account (over 1 billion users). Over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook, every day. Social media videos get 12 times as many shares as text and photos.
Can you even believe those numbers? When it comes to video, small businesses may feel like they missed the boat. They may feel like they don’t have the fancy equipment, budget, and staff to make and share video content.
Never fear! Video content is getting easier to make, distribute, and amplify. Here’s 6 easy ways to incorporate video into your small business’s online marketing:
If you’re anything like me, Live video was a thing that happened when you make a mistake side-swipe and you suddenly realize Live video is an option. At this point, you have a panic attack, and you close the app as quickly as possible.
Users with the gumption to power through the panic will be rewarded immensely.
It may feel awkward at first, but Live video is a great way to broadcast authenticity for your brand. If you really, really don’t want your face on camera, use an extroverted employee or superfan to be featured!
Ideas for Live Video:
Show how your product is made: Without giving too much away, show how you you create an exciting product, or how you perform a service task for your customers. A friendly, funny narration goes a long way, and will humanize your brand much better than a stiff script ever could.
Host a live Q & A session: Every industry has misconceptions and myths. Address these common issues with a questions-and-answers session. Not only will this be a fun and easy way to engage your base, but it’s a chance to show off your expertise. Q & A sessions establish your business as an authority in your industry.
Contests and Prizes: Who doesn’t like free stuff? Incentivize viewers to watch your live stream with contests and prizes! Randomly choose an audience member, host a raffle, or funny comments contests have great yields. Make sure you’re not violating the terms and services of the social platform, though!
A Day in the Life:
You probably do things a little differently than any other business. Let those eccentricities shine!
Showing the audience your POV is a hypnotic and immersive way to help potential customers visualize your services. Action-shots of the tools you use, and the start-to-finish of a project speak much louder than a static image.
Ideas for A Day in the Life
Having trouble engaging with the camera? Act like the audience is a new employee. Take them on a tour of your facilities, show the company truck, break room, and introduce the larger-than-life characters you work with.
Your small business probably has an inspiring story. What better way to tell the story than in a brief documentary?
Tell the story of your business, from the scrappy beginnings. What got you into your craft? Early challenges? Was there a dark period in your business’s history that you overcame?
A good documentary is a series of stories, woven together into a larger story. A great way to get video content is to wrangle employees to tell stories about the business, from the funny little moments to the white-knuckle moments of strife. Once a worker gets going on a story, they tend to light up like you wouldn’t believe.
Once you have the stories filmed, edit it into a cohesive whole, and let the people see the true face of your business.
Ideas for your Documentary:
Photos from the good ol’ days
Your business’s past, present, and future
Keep it simple. Film on a Smartphone:
If your marketing video has to be transferred from VHS to digital, you’re going to have serious problems.
You may be downright sentimental about tape, bazooka-sized video cameras from the 1980’s, and vacuum tubes, but it has no business in modern marketing.
If your video resolution and quality is subpar in any way, customers will think less of your business. Thanks to huge leaps in streaming technology and smartphone advances, 1080p resolution is available in a good portion of modern smartphones.
If you don’t have a smartphone, there are plenty of affordable digital camcorders on the market. Make sure the digital camcorder is capable of 1080p filming, and is compatible with your computer.
Sound quality is an often-neglected aspect of videos, and bad sound has a devastating effect on a finished product.
Smartphones (generally) have decent internal microphones, and capture voice fidelity pretty well. Camcorders and DSLR cameras can be spotty when it comes to sound quality, so you may consider buying an external audio unit to get clean audio. Of course, this adds cost, tedium, and setup time to your production. A smartphone is your best bet for ease-of-use, and is therefore my recommendation.
Strut Your Stuff:
Your business has (hopefully) done something remarkable. Some businesses do amazing things all the time. Video is perhaps the best way to show the best your business has to offer!
Show the project that made you the proudest. Give some screen-time to your happiest customer. A pastry shop may display the most beautiful cake they’ve ever made, a dog groomer may showcase some amazing before-and-after shots, and a homebuilder may show a timelapse of an ambitious house in construction.
Think of video as the ultimate tour of your business’s capabilities.
Expand Your Reach
Is your video only visible on your 3 YouTube subscribers? If yes, does it make you sad?
Everybody and their mom is on social media. Some grandmas have gotten into it! The reason social media is so popular: It’s free!
Content creators (you!) should take advantage of these cost-free avenues for content distribution. Research platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and even newsletter marketing services, and start branded business accounts on the channels that are relevant and fun to your business. Spend some time engaging your audience, sharing content, and growing your social networks. It’s really amazing how big of a difference social media marketing can make to a business’s bottom line.
Ideas for Expanding Your Reach:
Engage with your community on social media (friend requests, invite to like your page, liking, commenting, sharing, etc.)
Post regularly, with relevant and varied content
Don’t be afraid to encourage people to subscribe, like, comment, and share!
Respond to everybody, in professional and authentic ways
Here at BizIQ, we love to hear customer success stories. If you have a small business video marketing success story, we’d love to hear it! Leave your triumphs (and bloopers) in the comments section below!