While those numbers might have you thinking that the video market is too crowded for your small business to get noticed, think about this instead: 9 out of 10 people want to see more from the brands they love.
The pandemic has proven the importance of video as a tool for communication. But there are so many ways brands can use video content to engage, educate, entertain or inspire, from team onboarding to behind-the-scenes to customer stories and more.
If you aren’t already implementing video in your marketing strategy, now is the time to see how it could help you. Here are our tips on how small businesses of all sizes and budgets can step up their video content in 2022.
Focus on the story, not the sale
Like all business decisions, start with a clearly defined goal. What message are you trying to convey and do your customers care? You might want to educate users about a new product or feature, or communicate to customers the history or unique selling proposition of your company. While your end goal might be to “sell more products”, video should be used to show why you do what you do and deliver on that message.
People want to watch stories of people who have similar challenges to them. As a brand, you can tap into these emotions and answer all of their questions with quality video content.
Here are some ways to weave storytelling into your video:
- Interview a real customer who can tell a story about their experience
- Produce a two-minute explainer video of how your business got started
- Interview a thought leader in the industry
- Share stories behind the innovation of a new product
- Teach your audience how to do something new
- Film snippets of an event with attendee interviews and add them to a highlight reel on Instagram
Hot tip: If you’re shooting a testimonial, give lines to non-actors. While you want to guide their authentic story, customers are not actors. They’ll get nervous, so help them out by scripting them a few lines.
Repurpose your non-video content
One way to get started is to take a look at what has worked for you in the past. If you had a blog post, infographic, podcast or anything else that performed well in terms of engagement, clicks or leads, save yourself a bunch of time coming up with new ideas and turn this into a video.
For example, if you have an article that describes a step-by-step process, you could:
- Film yourself explaining the process on camera
- Record your screen to provide an easy tutorial and add a voiceover for a more professional sound
- Hire a freelancer to turn it into a whiteboard explainer or animated video.
Optimise for social
To get the most out of your video, you’ll want to use it across as many (relevant) social media channels as possible. But it must be optimised for the right platform – you don’t want to post a landscape video on your Instagram Stories, for example, so keep this in mind when filming and editing.
Choose the right length
If you think about how video is used in a social context, the overwhelming theme is that they are short. Sprout Social recommends the overall length of your video to be 60 to 90 seconds, but “shorter is always better”.
Audiences will have different retention across different platforms, so always have several cuts of your video at different lengths. If you are outsourcing, remember to ask your agency or freelancer to provide multiple edits. This is especially important if you are planning on putting a paid budget behind your video for targeted advertising (YouTube bumper ads are 6 seconds long, for example).
Hot tip: To make the process low-cost and repeatable, figure out how you can edit the content to be repurposed for different platforms and uses. For example, scenes from a product how-to could be turned into Instagram ads. Scripts from a brand video could be repurposed into talking points for your website or social media.
Regardless of which platform your video is on, one feature it should have is captions or subtitles. Captions are critical as it makes your content more accessible and gives viewers the opportunity to consume it in the best way for them.
Captions will also give your video a little SEO boost, making it easier for search engines to crawl and figure out what your video is all about.
Hot tip: Platforms like Facebook and YouTube have built-in auto-subtitling tools to assist with this – just double check the subtitles before you share it!
Speaking of search engines, if you’re uploading your video to YouTube don’t forget to fill out all the required information to help your video get discovered. This includes:
- Giving your video a unique title so YouTube knows exactly what your video is about
- Providing a full description and include relevant keywords that describe exactly what viewers will learn in the video
- Adding links to your website in the description
- Creating a unique thumbnail with the title of the video and your company logo, not just automatically choosing a thumbnail that is a frame of the video.
Outsource or DIY?
If you have the budget, you can outsource your video production to an agency that can handle everything from ideation to execution. Make sure there is a detailed statement of work that covers things like how many rounds of edits are included.
If you are using a video partner, tell them what emotions you want to evoke. Are you looking for a casual, chill vibe? Or perhaps something more timeless and awe-inspiring?
If your budget is a little tighter, you can introduce video into your marketing strategy with just your smartphone and the basic accessories – a microphone, a gimbal and good lighting. (Even Kmart has jumped on board the videotrain, selling cheap vlogging kits and ring lights).
Another alternative is doing the filming yourself and outsourcing some of the core assets such as the opening and closing sequence.
But if you’re ready to make a long-term investment in video production, it’s probably worthwhile investing in a more sophisticated set up. Kits like Wrappt provide filming accessories that turn your smartphone into a professional video camera. They also provide easy templates for you to follow while filming – then you simply send all the footage back to them for editing. Thinking long-term with your video will help you justify the expenses.
Promote, promote, promote
Now that you’ve gone to the effort of making a video, it’s time to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. Here are some different ways to share your video:
- Your website – This is a great place to start.
- Social media channels – Use snippets of your video and repurpose them for social posts. Just make sure you are using the right specs and sizes.
- Relevant online communities where your target audience hangs out, for example Facebook groups.
- YouTube – This is a huge search engine. Make sure you have a keyword-rich title and description – and tag it up!
- Email marketing campaigns – This is a great way to share your content. Simply include a thumbnail of the video and link it. (Embedding isn’t always best practice as it may cause loading issues for some users).
- Paid ads – You can have a full sales funnel approach by putting paid budget behind your video for promotion. Video marketing campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or TikTok, that can be set up to target a wider audience and help drive them further down the sales funnel.
Dipping your toe into video marketing doesn’t have to be an expensive investment with full-scale production, scripting, location scouting and storyboarding. Just make sure you are always focusing on what value you can provide to your customers.