There are more than 27.9 million small businesses in the United States. From the mom and pop shop around the corner to boutique PR and marketing agencies, small businesses are all vying to reach their online target audiences. With so many businesses trying to both get attention and to secure online sales, it’s difficult to stand out from an already saturated market. Difficult, but not impossible. How? Buy actually creating MORE videos.
A recent study completed by the team at Promo.com surveyed hundreds of small business (SMB) marketers from around the world to find out exactly how they create, share and track their video marketing program. To help small business owners better navigate their online marketing efforts, here are five reasons why video should remain a top priority.
1) A great video can take less than 20 minutes to create
The creation of online videos, especially for marketing purposes has been democratized. Use a tool that has an all-in-one system built-in: lower thirds, music, visuals, easy transitions and an ability to download in all social ad formats. Promo.com analyzed data from their 1M+ users and found that 76% took less than 20 minutes to create a publish-ready video. This demonstrates that small businesses do not need to lose valuable resources to create their online content.
You can create videos fast, but they still have to be good. So, what works?
- Hook the viewer in the first three seconds.
- Tell a story
- Select on-brand music
- Create curiosity or connection
- Include a call-to-action
A tried and true method — the Hero’s Journey. Instead of making your brand the hero, make your audience the hero. Use your promotional video to tell a story about the trials of your hero, the advice received from the mentor (that’s you!), and the ultimate victory waiting at the end.
2) Ads are the most popular type of video content among SMBs,with social videos ranked #2
It’s essential that every video you create has a goal. With ads being the most popular, an ad-style video can differ from non-ad videos. In fast, some companies are even using user-generated content as supplemental ad content. They either repurpose it, as is, or package it together with their own branding to ensure it meets their online guidelines. Either way, it’s allowing someone else to tell a story through your brand and alleviates some of the internal pressure to constantly create.
While choosing a goal is based on your marketing needs, the message is focused on your audience’s needs. Once you’ve set your goal, you should naturally be able to translate it into a message that will communicate it with your target viewers. The trick is doing so in the most effective way possible.
Your message should be brief and to the point, conveyed in a clear and compelling way. If it’s a sale, consider adding a sense of urgency (for a limited time only) or a sense of exclusivity (for subscribers only).
The three most important things when building out your video ad are the following:
- Footage – You set your goal, you composed a message now it is time to string it all together. A strong start is crucial to get people watching, so find visuals that stand out.
- Text – Once you’ve selected your footage, write the text that will accompany each frame. Don’t write something that you can show visually – there is a reason that you’re creating a video and not writing an article. Also, when writing your copy, keep in mind that text and visuals need to go together. Make sure the copy coincides with your footage in seamless rhythm, not random or out of place. If you’re not sure what to write, go back to your intended message and articulate in the shortest (but catchiest) way possible.
- Music – Choose a soundtrack for your video. Music has the power to set the tone so make sure it compliments your message.
3) Video marketing can easily be done inhouse
There’s no need to hire a professional videographer or production studio to launch your video marketing efforts. In fact, investing in the strategy and identifying the right in-house tools can be even more valuable. Make a plan, identify the tools, delegate appropriately and actually do the work and you’re already a step ahead.
Online programs and apps make it easy for anyone to create and edit their own high quality videos on their phone or laptop without having to outsource. This allows businesses to get exactly what they want in a short amount of time and for a low cost.
It’s important to have at least two sets of eyes review your videos. At a very basic level, assign one person to create and one person to edit (i.e. review). Watch and rewatch to ensure that the graphics, fonts, and colors are consistent and correlate with your overarching message. Also, when viewing your video, keep in mind that most videos are watched on mute, so it is vital that your message comes across with or without sound. Even if you are using a voice-over, it is important to include captions as well.
4) Most SMBs prioritize social media to gain attention
Almost every social network allows you to upload videos (and now third-party tools are working to allow native uploads to save time). Whatever step you take to get there, you need to either promote or advertise your video to reach your audience.
Remember that your distribution strategy is no less important than the video creation process. Build a spreadsheet that covers all of your marketing channels to make sure that you don’t miss an opportunity to get your video ad in front of the right eyes.
I recommend that your strategy includes social networks (a whole world unto itself), your website, blog, various landing pages, your emails list and other online communities.
5) Video marketing can be done affordably
It’s a misnomer that all videos are expensive or take up an inordinate amount of time. Investing time into a video marketing strategy specifically for your small business is an investment in saving time in the long run. When your strategy encompasses a specific format, style, brand, voice, etc… videos become easier to make over time. Along with knowing your brand voice, creating a video marketing editorial calendar can help you break your video schedule down into a more manageable process. If you know what ‘s coming you can plan accordingly. Typically small businesses don’t have large video budgets, and that’s okay. In fact, 35% of all small businesses don’t even pay to boost their videos online at all. Another 41% spend $500 or less a month to boost their videos online.
“However, in order to achieve great results and compete with the big brands, SMBs have to up their game by creating more videos, test different visuals and messages and experiment with different audiences. Allocating even a small budget for advertising on social channels can really be a game-changer for SMBs.” said Tom More, CEO at Promo.com.
Break down your video marketing strategy into 6 types of videos for 2020 and begin to create a flow that works for your small business:
- Teaser video – Teaser videos are short videos that are designed to entice your audience and get them excited for what’s coming next. For your business, it can be a new product launch, a new website, a new service, a new app update, or anything else you’re introducing to the market.
- “About us” video – This type of video is meant to introduce your business to the world. It can be short or long, depending on the message you want to convey. Think of it as a “this is who we are” video. It lets the audience know the who, what, where, when, why, and how of your business in (typically) less than a minute.
- Testimonial video – These videos are exactly what they sound like: videos that highlight real customer testimonials and feedback. Social proof is a powerful tool and there is no stamp of approval stronger than a satisfied customer.
- Advertisement video – This is the online version of your “commercial.” It gives you the opportunity to promote your business, your products, or your services with vibrant images, music, and more.
- Thank you video – Your loyal customers helped make that happen! Thank you videos are quick and to-the-point
- Promotional video – Where your traditional video ad is akin to a general television commercial, the purpose of a promotional video is more specific. Promotional videos are created and distributed with a certain target in mind. This can be anything from an event to a discount or promotion.
If 2020 is your year to take on video marketing, it’s never been a better time to do so. There’s a ton of information online to ensure you’re not re-creating the wheel — and also lets you see what has worked and what doesn’t. Take some time to think about what videos resonate best with you and keep your attention — use it as a gauge for your own brand. Adding videos in as a significant part of your marketing matrix will ensure more eyes your brand this year.
*Disclaimer Promo.com is a Sevans Digital PR client,*