Small Business Video Marketing

Chapter 01: Small Business Video Marketing

Should a Small Business Spend Time and Resources on Video?

Marketing is a game of give and take. You can never equally invest in every channel or marketing activity and instead have to carefully decide where to spend your time and money.

Video marketing can seem like a frivolous expense, especially for small businesses who have to be even pickier with their available resources. But, consider these facts: By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. Users watch more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube. And, people retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10 percent when reading in text.

While video can seem like a luxurious marketing activity, it can actually impact every stage of your customer lifecycle, from onboarding to engagement to retention.

How Can a Small Business Do Video Marketing on a Budget?

You don’t need to invest in expensive, professional camera equipment to do video marketing. Instead, you can use the tools you already have.

Here are three ways to do video marketing on a budget:

  • Use your smartphone: The most important piece of video equipment is in your pocket: your smartphone. iOS and Android devices come with sophisticated cameras and you can get excellent video footage just by using your phone. Make sure you shoot horizontally for the best experience, stabilize your smartphone, and create good lighting.
  • Get the right equipment: Thanks to your smartphone, you already have the camera. Now, it’s time to think about the other pieces of equipment you’ll need. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on tripods or microphones. There are a number of quality options under $300, like the Manfrotto Befree Tripod, Rode’s VideoMic Me microphone for iOS and newer Android devices, and LED light set or cheap umbrella for lighting.
  • Think outside the box: Change your perception of video marketing. Videos don’t always have to be this big budget, highly polished thing. Think about different kinds of video that will still help you reach your goals. For example, if you’re just getting started with video marketing, producing screencast videos of slideshow presentations are an effective, inexpensive option. Or, use live video. Facebook Live is free to use and audiences aren’t going to expect a flawless production.

Small Business Video Marketing Strategy

Like any marketing campaign, your strategy is just as important as the asset itself. In other words, you should spend just as much energy thinking through your small business video marketing plan as you do creating the video.

Here are three steps to defining your small business video marketing strategy:

1. Decide what kind of video you want to make

Creating a video just because they perform well on social media isn’t enough. Instead, you need to understand your goals, your audience, and why you’re creating a video. This information will help you decide what kind of video you want to make.

Here are the most popular types of marketing videos you can choose from:

  • Company overview
  • Product or service demo/tutorial
  • Case study with customer testimonials
  • Infographic video about stats and data
  • Animated explainer video
  • About us
  • FAQ video
  • Live video

2. Think about your distribution strategy

Once you’ve decided what kind of video you want to make, you need to think about where that video will live. This is a two-part decision: first, you need to consider the more logistical side and decide where you’ll host the video. Will you upload it directly to your website or on a video hosting site like YouTube or Vimeo? Or, will this video live exclusively on social media, on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat for example?

The next step is to decide how you’ll get your video in front of your target audience. Hosting videos on your website, YouTube, Vimeo, or social media will bring in some organic traffic, but not enough to justify the ROI. You need to leverage your own marketing channels to get your video out there. Some options include:

  • Email marketing: You could add a product demo video in your welcome email to new customers or send a series of FAQ videos in your onboarding series.
  • Blog: Supplement your most popular blog posts with a video or create a whole new video series that can be featured on your blog.
  • Landing pages: Show a thank you video after someone fills out a form on a landing page or create a video to accompany a new Ebook and use that to entice visitors to download the content.

3. Track your success

Small business video marketing success will look different for every business. Some may want to use videos to increase conversions on a landing page while others may track engagement on social media. Whatever your goal is, make sure you define your success criteria and track the metrics over time.

Here are four metrics to track video marketing success:

  • Play count tells you how many times people pushed play on your video. Each play is counted once, regardless of how long that person actually watched the video.
  • Play rate is the percentage of visitors to your page who watch your video.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of people who click on a link in your video to the number of total people who viewed your video.
  • Heat mapping tells you exactly what sections of your video are getting the most attention and which sections aren’t.

Final Thoughts

The popularity of video marketing offers both opportunities and challenges. Its success clearly shows customer demand, but also means that every other business will also be investing in video, making it harder for you to create great content that stands out.

But, if you take your time, carefully choose the right type of video content, and understand how you’ll promote it, you can make stellar videos that resonate with your customers (and stay within your budget!).