[Video] Why Small Businesses Should be Using Video Marketing to Stand Out

(Updated 6.13.22)

We watch nearly 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day. That’s a staggering statistic when you think about it. And that’s just YouTube. Think about all the other social media channels and streaming services where we consume video content.

Video has quickly become our preferred medium for content consumption, entertainment, and learning. Smart brands realize this and take action to create more video content to engage with their target audience.

In the past, video has been somewhat off the table for small businesses. Barriers included cost, lack of equipment, and lack of expertise/resources. Fortunately for small businesses, updates in technology have changed things significantly and leveled the playing field.

In lieu of expensive video equipment, we can now capture high-definition video content using our mobile devices – the iPhone 13, for example, is capable of shooting in 4k and rivals most professional cameras.

Small business marketers can grab a tripod made for mobile devices, a cheap mic, and maybe a small lighting kit and create very affordable videos with surprisingly high quality. This effectively eliminates the cost barrier that kept video off the table for small businesses in the past.

The video below is from a podcast episode I recorded with Sue-Ann Bubacz. While the footage of me is awful (I was having some lighting issues that day), you can see that Sue-Ann has a nice background, solid lighting, and flawless audio.

Video: Sue-Ann’s podcast leverages a backdrop and ring light for lighting

Beyond Sue-Ann’s engaging personality and her level of expertise in the marketing space, the production value is excellent (at least on Sue-Ann’s end). And she doesn’t use a ton of expensive tech to make it happen.

You can do the same. Let’s start by looking at some of the types of videos you and your brand can create to stand out as a small business.

Types of videos small businesses can create

One of the most important questions to ask when creating video content for your small business is “What types of video does your audience want to see?”.  

There are a ton of great types of videos available to you, but the types you should focus your efforts on really depend on what kind of content your audience wants to see.

Here are a few of the most popular video formats to consider for your own small business.

Thought leadership – Videos that showcase your expertise in your field are great for businesses like marketing agencies, consulting or business services, legal services, tech companies, and others. The expertise of your team can help build connections with the target market and present your team as leaders in their field, lending credibility to your products or services.

Image: Thought leadership video series created when I was leading the marketing department at W&M school of business

Product demos – These work great for industries with a product that benefits from showing potential users how the product works. A great example would be the SaaS space. A demo walking potential users through the ins and outs of your software platform can eliminate the need for in-person demos and can show the value of your platform.

Image: Product demo video example from Airtable

Explainer videos – These are excellent for breaking down complex subject matter in a simple, easy-to-understand overview. Animated explainer videos are much more engaging than basic text on a product page and can help you capture the viewer’s attention and imagination.

Image: Explainer video we created for a client in 2019 that gave an overview of the benefits

Testimonials – Testimonials work great for highlighting existing customers who love and benefit from your products or services. These types of videos help prospective customers visualize themselves using and benefiting from working with you. 

Image: Customer testimonials from healthcare professionals we worked on for SE Healthcare (SaaS company)

These are just a few of the types of videos your small business can create to connect with your target on a deeper level.

One of the most important considerations when choosing the types of videos you use is the viewer’s stage in the funnel. Whether a prospect is discovering you for the first time or they are deep into the consideration process and looking at other vendors, you should have video content that’s targeted to where they stand along that line.

This will help you more easily convince people to take that next step to begin working with you.

The value of using video in your marketing

The right video content can help your business stand out from the competition by telling your brand’s story visually. Adding video to the content on your website can help enhance your site by keeping visitors around longer and engaging them on a different level. 

Posting your content on YouTube gives your small business another opportunity to show up in search. YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine – 2nd only to Google. If your video content is optimized properly, it can pop up in front of prospective customers looking for the expertise, services, and products you offer.

Video marketing is a powerful tool, and the stats prove it. In fact, a recent study showed that 89% of video marketers say video gives them a positive ROI. Video allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. This strengthens relationships and keeps your customers coming back. Plus, they’re likely to share the video content if it strikes a chord.

Think about it. When you read something, what are you missing? The personality.

Video marketing takes site visitors beyond the page and allows you to showcase real humans talking about your business. This creates a deeper connection with your audience, especially when it’s a client. Client testimonials give that much-needed that can help you rock your marketing.

Beyond your website, video enhances your efforts on channels like email and social media. If you’re marketing to your audience the right way, you’re leveraging multiple channels, so consider how you can work video into the different channels you use.

Video plays well with all types of channels, so you can effectively enhance the impact of your email, your social media, and other marketing efforts, beyond the impact that video will have on your website.

Here’s an example from Served Up adding video directly to Twitter posts rather than linking out to their YouTube channel.

Image: Example of uploading video directly to social media platforms

Other video platforms to consider

Today, YouTube isn’t the only video platform in town. Shorter attention spans and changes in technology led to the popularity of video-sharing platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

TikTok, for example, has skyrocketed to immense popularity in short order. The channel boasts around 1 billion subscribers. That’s a lot of potential eyeballs for your video content.

TikTok video for your small business

On TikTok, however, you won’t be posting the same type of content we talked about earlier on a channel like YouTube. TikTok is where you can really let your brand’s personality shine.

And for your small business, it’s a chance to create quirky content that gains in popularity and expands the reach of your brand.

Street Brew Coffee is a great example of a small business that blew up using TikTok. The low production quality videos helped users connect more easily with the brand, as opposed to high production quality videos that may seem more commercial.

Check out this example of a video on TikTok from Street Brew Coffees that has over 11k views.

Image: TikTok from Street View Coffees showing the value of TikTok for small businesses

Instagram video marketing

TikTok isn’t the only short-form video platform on the market. You should also look at Instagram for your small business. The Reels and Instagram Stories features can both give a major boost to your brand’s exposure.

This is a nice example from NapoleonCat, an up-and-coming content production platform. It uses the Instagram platform to present a video that walks viewers through the product.

Instagram is a really useful way to engage your small business audience with video and boost the profile of your brand. Launched as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram has placed a strong focus on becoming known for their video. And it has worked.

Studies show that over 60% of small businesses stated they leverage Instagram for promoting their brand.

Both Instagram and TikTok, among other platforms, offer tons of value for small businesses looking to boost their profile and engage with their audiences in a fun, visual way.

Final thoughts on the value of video for your small business

Video can also help your team be efficient and help you conserve valuable resources. For example, if you’re a SaaS company, your sales team can save time by sending a pre-recorded demo video to prospects rather than scheduling a half-hour (or longer) online for an in-person demo.

There’s obviously still a place for in-person conversations – relationships and engagement are super-critical to your success – but for small businesses with limited resources, pre-recorded video can save lots of time in the right situations. 

There are so many different ways that video can help you stand out, fill gaps of information that your competitors are missing and really make lasting connections with your audience. Get together with your team and start planning to determine what would work best for your small business. 

Video marketing is such a powerful tool. Don’t miss out on leveraging the power of video! 

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