- Video marketing includes various types of content: Social, Explanatory, Educational, Testimonial, Demonstrative, and Advertisement. Each type serves a specific purpose.
- Video marketing is essential for small businesses: 91% of surveyed businesses use video marketing, and 96% of professional marketers consider videos an important part of their strategies.
- Some video marketing ideas we go over: User-generated content, educational videos, testimonial videos, showing your work, and telling your story.
- Platforms to post your content: Social Media, YouTube, Google My Business, Embed Videos in Blog Posts.
As a small business owner, you know how crucial it is to get the word out about your products and services — but do you know the best way to do so?
One great option is video marketing.
Video-based content has proven to be a powerful marketing tool over the last decade, bringing it to the forefront of most marketing strategies. Yet, for those unfamiliar with video content and how to best leverage it, figuring out the ideal video marketing strategy can feel daunting.
This article takes a deep dive into video marketing and how it can be used by small businesses to extend their digital reach and attract more customers. We cover everything you need to know, including six essential ways you can incorporate video into your business’s marketing efforts.
Though video marketing can feel intimidating to get started with, all you really need is a quality camera and some basic editing skills to begin making magic happen — and if you know nothing about video marketing, there are plenty of talented agencies and freelancers out there to help you along the way.
Read on to find out how your small business can use video marketing to boost your growth in 2023!
What is Video Marketing & Why is It Beneficial for Small Businesses?
The term video marketing is used to describe video content used specifically for the purpose of promoting a business and its products and/or services.
While there are many different types of video content you can create as part of a video marketing strategy, most of this content can fit into one of six categories:
- Social: Social videos are often posted on social media and are all about driving customer and follower engagement. These types of videos often feature “slice of life” content that can help to show customers the behind-the-scenes reality of a business, helping to humanize the business and begin building a sense of community around it.
- Explanatory: Explanatory videos are typically used by businesses to offer a simple explanation of how a product or service works. For instance, a tech company that sells smartwatches could create an explanatory video that takes customers through each feature of a smartwatch and how to use it. This is a great option for companies that sell more technically-complex products or services to customers outside of the industry who may not have a great base understanding of a certain product or service.
- Educational: Educational videos take explanatory videos one step further by explaining not only how something works but also how it was designed and the processes that go into its upkeep. Alternatively, educational videos can also be great for teaching your audience about your company’s history, helping to create an even more personal experience for the customer that helps to build your reputation and credibility.
- Testimonial: Testimonial videos can be created by either the small business or the customers themselves, with the customers serving as the main stars of the content. In a testimonial video, a customer gives a short and sweet review of the product/service and then goes into how that product/service has impacted their lives in a positive way. This is an excellent way to give your small business a more human touch that other customers can look at as a trustworthy source of information that convinces them to make a purchase.
- Demonstrative: Demonstrative videos are similar to explanatory videos but place more emphasis on physical demonstrations rather than verbal explanations. Like explanatory videos, this is good for showing how a complex product or service works, as well as simplifying the process for customers who may not be familiar with a business’s products or services to begin with.
- Advertisement: The final type of video content to know about is a traditional advertisement. This is like any ad you may see online or on TV — it highlights either the company as a whole or a specific product or service, briefly covering the benefits and then informing the viewer on how they can access what the company has to offer. Traditional ads will always have their place in video marketing; however, the newer forms of video content discussed above can help your business to establish a more competitive edge when it comes to marketing.
Video marketing has been on the rise since the early 2000s, with the invention of video-based social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok only furthering the popularity of this style of marketing.
According to a 2023 survey of 1,500 businesses across a wide range of industries, 91% of the businesses surveyed reported using video marketing as a tool in their marketing strategies.
The survey also reveals that 96% of professional marketers view videos as an “important part of their marketing strategy.” In terms of the type of videos these marketers are leveraging, social media videos take the cake at 71%, followed by explainer videos (70%), presentation videos (50%), testimonial videos (46%), and video advertisements (46%).
6 Excellent Ideas for Incorporating Video Content into Your Marketing
If you’re ready to begin including video content in your marketing strategy, look no further than this guide — we have provided you with six key ways to accomplish this feat.
You can focus on one of these ideas or a combination of several — the key to remember is to make it feel personal to your customers in a way that builds trust and credibility for your business.
With this in mind, here are six ideas for incorporating video content into your marketing strategy:
1. Leverage User-Generated Content Like an Ecomm Brand
User-generated content can include a wide range of different videos, from testimonials to demonstrations.
The key with this type of video content is that it needs to be user-generated, meaning it is created by your customers themselves. There is no better example of this than in the eCommerce industry, where eComm brands will often rely on their customers’ videos to promote their products.
Take a look at this example of the eCommerce brand ASOS, which created its own hashtag as part of a previous marketing campaign to go along with photos of customers wearing clothing and accessories from the ASOS online store.
The hashtag — #AsSeenOnMe — encourages customers to post videos and photos of their outfits, which can then be reposted by ASOS on their various social media platforms, as well as on the company’s website. Not only does this show what the brand’s products look like on real people (rather than models) but it also acts as a form of free advertisement since the content is also posted to the customers’ accounts.
Though this campaign is no longer in effect, it still has long-lasting benefits for the brand, as customers continue to use the hashtag across various social media platforms but especially Instagram.
2. Create Educational Videos For Your Customers
As we discussed earlier, educational videos take your video content to the next level by providing the customer with key insights and knowledge they may not have otherwise been privy to.
When it comes to making excellent educational videos, there are three essential tips to remember:
- Make the Videos Highly Valuable to the Customer: When making an educational video, you must ensure that the information you are sharing is of high value to the customer. Your ultimate goal should be for the customer to walk away feeling like they learned something new that they can apply in their day-to-day life. This establishes your brand as not only trustworthy but as supportive of your customers on an individual level.
- Use the Videos to Highlight Your Brand’s Ethics & Values: Educational videos give you one of the best opportunities to emphasize the values and ethics of your brand. Today’s customers are more concerned than ever with finding businesses and brands that align with their personal values, so working these into your educational videos can be a great way to attract more customers. For example, if your company does charitable work, you can create an educational video about the charity and how your brand helps.
- Find Ways to Make Your Educational Videos Interactive: Whether it’s hosting a live-stream event that customers can attend or being highly active in the comment section, it is crucial to make your educational videos as interactive as possible for the viewer. This encourages them to engage with and share the video, helping to spread it even further.
One key consideration for educational videos is that they should not feel overly-salesy. You don’t want your products or services to be the main focus of this type of video — instead, you want to position your brand as a trustworthy authority on a specific matter related to your business.
Of course, you can still mention your products or services, but you need to frame them in a way that makes it clear that your products and services are key tools to achieve the educational goal you are presenting to your audience.
There is no better example of this than the digital graphic design brand Canva.
On Canva’s YouTube channel, the brand takes viewers through all different types of tutorials on how to create effective content for marketing, design, copywriting, and much more.
Take a look at this Canva video on how to create eye-catching Facebook ads using Canva’s Facebook ad maker to see how the brand incorporates its products in an educational and tasteful way.
3. Incentivize Customer Testimonial Videos
If you have ever tried to get customers to create testimonial videos for your business, you know how hard it can be to get them to commit to the assignment. Even if they agree to make a testimonial, it can be difficult to get customers to follow through when they are responsible for the filming process.
One way to incentivize customers to create testimonial videos is to do it yourself — create a dedicated filming corner in your brick-and-mortar business with a camera set up and ready to film for any willing customers who want to give your company a great verbal review.
However, if you do not have a physical storefront, then you need to get more creative.
Incentivizing customers to create testimonials often comes down to finding the right reward to offer in exchange. For example, you could offer customers a 15% discount on their next purchase if they make a video testimonial. If your customers happen to be businesspeople as well, posting their name and business name along with the testimonial can be a good trade-off that gives you both some extra exposure.
When it comes to companies leveraging testimonials in this way, the productivity and communication platform Slack really sets the golden standard.
Slack lends its clients its in-house production team to help create beautiful and well-thought-out testimonials that are as visually interesting as they are verbally compelling. Plus, these videos are often made in an interview-style format, which adds to the credibility of the resulting testimonial content.
Check out this example from Slack’s YouTube channel: How Spotify boosted ad sales revenue and streamlined operations with Slack.
4. Show Your Work (By Filming It)
For some businesses, the name of the game when it comes to winning customers is showing your work — and there’s no better way to do that than with a before and after video.
This type of video content works exceptionally well for companies like landscapers or cleaners who take a messy setting and make it pristine. For example, a landscaping company could bring along a videographer (or simply record videos on their phones) of what a yard looks like before they begin and then what it looks like after they have completed their work.
When creating this type of before-and-after-style video, it is important to be as thorough as possible. You want to get as much footage as you can to find the very best before-and-after shots to feature.
In terms of the ideal length of a video, it depends on where you are posting it — YouTube tends to favor longer content that shows the entire process, while users on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok prefer to watch short-form videos that are three minutes long or less.
Generally, you can create a long-form video for YouTube and shorten it down for social media platforms, killing two birds with one stone. Plus, you can use one piece of content to promote the other, helping you to spread your reach further across all the platforms you use.
To see a great example of this, check out this video from Top Notch Lawn Care that drew in a whopping 12 million views: SHOCKING Backyard TRANSFORMATION For Elderly Woman – SATISFYING RESULT.
5. Use Drone Footage for a Unique Perspective of a Physical Property
Drone footage is very commonly used by real estate agents and companies to show off physical properties — but it can be great for many purposes.
While real estate is certainly the most popular example of how to use drone footage to show off a property, it can also be used for any business that features a physical property as one of its main perks. For example, a summer camp or campground could use drone footage to show off its grounds, facilities, and more to make it more appealing to visitors. In the case of summer camps, this can be especially important for easing the concerns of nervous parents before sending their kids off for the summer.
To see several great examples of drone footage used for a variety of purposes, check out the drone and aerial footage portfolio of the photography company Life Outside the Lens.
6. Tell Your Story
The sixth and final way to make the most out of video content in your marketing strategy is to simply use video to tell your story. As we covered earlier, customers want a more personal look into the behind-the-scenes of your business, such as how you got started and the values you have built your business around.
However, you cannot simply sit down and tell your story from start to finish and call it a day. Instead, you must find a way to tell a compelling narrative that is sympathetic to the viewer and inspires them to research your business further.
Let’s quickly cover the basics of compelling storytelling:
- Start with a strong narrative hook that captures your audience’s attention (i.e. “10 years ago today, I took a leap of faith and left my corporate job to start a small business.”)
- Establish an emotional connection with your target audience (i.e. “When I jumped into the unknown of entrepreneurship, it was not without fear — I had to find a way to feed my family and keep a roof over our heads. This made my journey not just a new adventure but a necessity.”)
- Spark your viewer’s curiosity by highlighting a key element of your story (i.e. “I had always loved both landscaping and cake decorating, so I decided to find a way to combine the two.”)
- Highlight both your triumphs and failures to humanize yourself (i.e. “Those first few months were challenging — I barely got more than two orders per month. But through perseverance and passion, I marched onward, and soon the orders began rushing in.”)
- Leave your audience on a note of hopefulness (i.e. “My journey has proven to me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, no matter who you are or where you come from.”)
An exceptional example of a “tell your story” video comes from the brand Mascon Leather — on the brand’s YouTube channel, the video “The Real Story Behind the Brand” raked in an impressive 28K views, a major accomplishment for a small business.
The Best Places to Post Your Marketing Videos as a Small Business
Now that you know what types of video marketing content you should be making, it’s time to figure out where to post them. Here is a quick breakdown of the four best places to post your marketing videos and what each is best suited for:
- Social Media: Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter all relish video content, with users flocking to videos oftentimes over photos or text-based posts. In general, short-form content is best for social media, such as short explanatory videos or customer testimonials. You can also use social media to link back to longer-form content on YouTube or your official business website.
- YouTube: Speaking of YouTube, if you’re not already on the video-based platform, you should create your channel today. YouTube can work wonders for small businesses, especially those that have a compelling story to tell with their business backstory or day-to-day work. As we saw earlier with the landscaping video that pulled in 12 million views, YouTube can be just as great for blue-collar workers as it can for influencers and tech pros.
- Google My Business: Google My Business is the profile that shows up when someone searches for your business on Google. As the business owner, you have the privilege to edit your Google My Business profile (after claiming it on the GMB platform). Part of these editing privileges includes uploading your own photos and videos, giving you the chance to post your marketing videos directly on your Google My Business profile.
- Embed Videos in Blog Posts: If you have a blog for your business, writing a blog post on the same topic as one of your videos can be a smart way to work your video content into your blogs. Most blogging platforms make it simple to embed a video within a blog post, allowing you to decide when and where it appears on the page.
Final Thoughts: Getting Started with Video Marketing
Starting your journey into the video marketing world can be one of the best decisions you ever make for your small business. Not only can it extend your digital reach but it can help to make your business a household name in your local community and region.
We leave you today with these final three takeaways:
- If you are unfamiliar with video equipment, it can be well worth the investment to hire a freelance videographer to help you create beautiful video content.
- Though the quality of your videos certainly matters, what matters more is the substance of the video itself. If you are not telling a compelling story, a stunning video will do little to attract the attention of your target audience.
- Have fun with your videos! Your customers will pick up on your attitude when you are on camera, so make sure to have fun throughout the production process — and let that fun translate into the end result as well.
With that said, good luck with your video marketing endeavors as a small business!