How your small business can use video marketing

How your small business can use video marketing
Jeremy Mason
Jeremy MasonMP Video Production

Posted: Tue 28th Sep 2021

The way your business uses video marketing will depend on the size of your company and the industry you work in. Other factors, like your budget, knowledge and customer base will all affect what you can achieve with video content.

But, no matter what type of business you have, there’s always a way to take advantage of video to boost your marketing efforts.

In this blog, I look at three examples of videos that your small business can use to grow its audience reach and increase its number of inbound leads. There's also a checklist at the end to help you get to where you need to be.

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Three types of videos used in marketing

Product videos

Perhaps the most obvious use of video in a small business is to produce content about your products or services.

These videos typically sit on a product page of your business website but could also be re-versioned into posts for social media or used in the sales process. For example, if potential clients want to know more about a product, you could produce a more extended version to send out as part of your sales pipeline.

Make product videos work for you

  • Keep them short. A couple of minutes long at the most – you can communicate a great deal in that time. Remember that the online attention span is short so avoid boring potential clients.

  • Pay attention to the benefits. What can your customer gain from your product or service? Why do they need this, and how will it enrich their lives?

  • Build a YouTube channel. As you produce several different product or service videos, put them on a business YouTube channel. If you optimise the videos properly, this can act as a perfect lead generator for your company and create inbound leads to your business.

How-to videos

How-to videos, or instructional videos, can be used as part of the post-sale process to provide excellent customer service after someone purchases one of your products.

These forms of videos demonstrate to clients that your business genuinely cares about them getting the most from the product or service. This, in turn, will encourage repeat sales, as your customer will feel cared about and looked after.

And there’s genuine demand from consumers for this type of content. How-to videos are the most popular content on YouTube, with over 85% of viewers saying they use the site to learn something new.

Make how-to videos work for you

  • Break it down. If you sell physical products that require some form of assembly, show how to do this in a step-by-step video guide.

  • Offer hints and tips. Share insider knowledge about how to get the most from the product.

  • Service-based businesses can use how-to videos too. If you're an accountant, you could produce video content about how to complete a tax return. A plumber could explain how to fix the washer in a tap or a gardener can show how to prepare a garden for the following season.

  • Give your videos an edge. How can your content differ from those in your field who are doing the same thing? For example, making them comical as well as informative or finding a highly charismatic spokesperson in your business to present them.

  • Be consistent. Create guides to show up regularly on your social feeds. Over time you will become regarded as the go-to expert in your subject.

Expert videos

Expert videos, commentary and thought pieces can position you and your business as specialists in your niche.

Whether your video is commenting on new developments within your specialist area, providing thought pieces or giving an insight into your industry, this type of content is an excellent way to build your profile.

Make expert videos work for you

  • Pick your platform. This kind of content sits well on a professional platform like LinkedIn.

  • Be engaging and offer value to your audience. Provide a new perspective or unearth genuinely unknown facts.

  • Create regular, consistent content. This will increase your authority.

  • Be patient. It will take time for momentum to build. As word of mouth spreads about the excellent quality insights you offer, your audience will grow.

  • Keep the content punchy and relevant. For LinkedIn videos, look at a time frame of up to five minutes.

Other ways to make the most of video

Beyond these three main types of video content, I’d also encourage you to think about using videos that aren't necessarily broadcast to any specific audience.

Video can be tremendously powerful when you use it embedded in emails, for example. Apps like Bomb Bomb Email allow you to record a short video to then embed it in an email. These emails typically get a much better open rate than regular text-based emails.

Video is a really efficient way of communicating. You can say so much in a short space of time, and the message you wish to portray is clear and personal to your business.

Essential checklist for new video marketers

I understand that to anyone new to the medium of video marketing, the prospect of learning a new skill can seem daunting. Creating a video is an involved process, with plenty of planning necessary to create that perfect tailored content.

However, I believe that video is perfect for any size of business, and want to help as many people as I can find success through this powerful medium. That's why I've created this checklist of everything you need to consider before you pick up a video camera.

So, before you grab your gear and start making content, first ask yourself these questions:

1. Who is your audience?

Your desired audience will determine the type of video content you'll create. If you produce videos before figuring out who your audience is, you'll have no idea whether or not they'll be effective.

Useless videos are a waste of time and money, so always make sure to know your audience first. Do some audience research, think of your target customers, and that will give you a good idea of who your audience is.

Invest time in profiling your customers, really understanding who they are, and importantly, where they visit online. It is also vital to think about their needs and wants, and how your product or service helps solve their problem.

This is a great starting point in working out what you want to create. Remember, it's not about you, it's about your audience and how you can best serve them. Always keep your audience at the forefront of your mind.

2. What do you want your video to achieve?

What should your video accomplish? Do you want to educate, entertain or sell a product? Is this video a means to get more clients, or to retain your existing clients?

Or, perhaps this is a means to recruit more employees or create a new sales tool for your current employees?

Video is a hugely powerful medium with many uses, helping with a multitude of aspects of business. So make sure you plan and create your video with a specific goal in mind. Focus on your primary business goals first and then start from there.

3. What topics will you cover?

Before you start filming, you need to have a plan of what you're going to do over the course of that video.

The pre-production of filming is probably the most important step of your entire filming process. It's essential to know what your video will discuss, so that when it's time to record, you know exactly what you need to do.

Your plan doesn't need to be precise down to the smallest detail, but you should at least have a solid outline of what you'll be talking about and what you'll be showing visually.

If you're comfortable memorising and reciting lines, feel free to write a script. However, it's important to be natural and conversational in your videos.

So perhaps instead, develop some talking points or topics that you'll want to cover, then naturally converse about them on camera without a script. Natural conversation is a more appealing to your audience as it comes across as more genuine and less like a sales pitch.

4. What resources do you have?

You need to think about what resources you'll have to acquire or create, to produce your video content.

Do you have an audio/visual production team that can film and edit the video, or will you be doing it yourself? Do you have enough budget to hire a freelance video producer or are you going to purchase the equipment and software to create and edit the video yourself?

Also, ask yourself how much time you have to devote to filming, editing and promoting your video. If you don't know the first thing about producing video content, do you have the time and patience to take courses and learn how to use all the necessary tools and equipment?

The head count, budget, skill level and time you have at your disposal, will determine how far your video content can go. It'll decide whether you're able to invest in creating higher end animated videos for example, or whether you should start with a simpler, more straightforward type video recorded on your phone.

HubSpot multimedia content strategist Megan Conley was asked what she recommends for marketers who are just starting out. She noted the importance of allotting resources to make your first marketing video as comprehensive as he can be. Video, at the end of the day, is about investment.

Not just in money, but also in time and commitment. Yet that investment will pay dividends once you grow and expand your audience over time, by producing content that truly serves your audience needs and turns browsers into customers.

I hope this checklist gets your gears turning and inspires you to think about what video you can create for your business.

Relevant resources

Jeremy Mason
Jeremy MasonMP Video Production
I help businesses create effective video that empowers their businesses to grow. 20+ years broadcast TV experience fused with deep knowledge and enthusiasm for all things digital marketing - and - in particular, video marketing. I'm passionate about video and its power to transform businesses if created and implemented in the right way. We live in an incredible time where anyone can create, publish and broadcast (thanks to social platforms and the likes of YouTube) - without having to jump through the hoops as you would have had to previously. This presents a massive opportunity for businesses to engage with new audiences, and foster ongoing relationships with their existing fans. I love: video, business, music, planes and tea. Not always in that order.

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