The video marketing age: A guide for small businesses.

Video is no longer just another tool in your digital marketing toolkit. Today, it’s a critical component in engaging your target audience online – especially on social media.

According to data from HubSpot, video is the second most-popular content type on social media for increasing audience engagement. Not only that, but 93% of businesses say they’ve acquired new customers thanks to posting a video on social media.

The benefits of video are far-reaching, but without a big budget or a video marketing agency to lean on, knowing where to start can be tricky. Fortunately, though, even small businesses can reap the rewards of video marketing with a little planning. We’re here to help you do just that.

Why video marketing matters.

Before we get into the thick of things, let’s first look at why video marketing is a great investment for small businesses.

The last few years have seen a major surge in video as a digital marketing tool. One of the biggest reasons for this is, quite simply, it’s effective. Eighty percent of marketers say video has helped them increase traffic to their website and generate leads for their business.

For example, including a video on a website landing page can increase conversion (people who take a desired action) by 80%. Online consumers who view demo videos are also nearly twice as likely to purchase than non-viewers.

And video isn’t going anywhere any time soon either. It’s estimated that by 2022 online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic – 15 times higher than it was in 2017.

In other words, if you aren’t at least thinking about ways to incorporate video into your digital marketing strategy, you’re at risk of being overshadowed by competitors. Conversely, adding video to your content marketing mix sooner rather than later could spell a major step-change in customer acquisition – no matter what industry your business is in.

Popular types of marketing videos.

Almost every internet user will be familiar with at least some types of marketing videos. But it can be a challenge to figure out which types are right for your business. Here are some of the most common formats – and what they’re useful for – to help you get started.

Live videos.

Live videos – think Instagram Stories or Facebook Live – are a great opportunity to answer customers’ questions and give people a behind-the-scenes look at your business. This can include live-streaming events, interviews, conferences or anything that your audience might be interested in. Click on the image below to view an Instagram Story from Go-To Skincare.

Demo videos.

As the name suggests, demo videos showcase how your product or service works in a simple, easy-to-understand format. This could be taking viewers on a tour of your shop, running through a process or testing a product.

Explainer videos.

Explainer videos are intended to explain your business’ core product or service offering in a short, easy-to-digest format. You’ll often find explainer videos on a business’ website homepage or product/service page.

Tutorial/instructional videos.

Tutorial videos offer practical guidance to teach your audience something new or answer a question. These videos are useful not only for showcasing your expertise but also helping attract new potential customers to your business.

Testimonial videos.

Potential customers want to know that your business is trustworthy – and one of the best ways to prove this is through testimonials. The most effective testimonial videos feature happy customers clearly describing the challenges they faced and how the business went above and beyond in solving them.

How to create your own marketing video.

As a small business owner, you probably don’t have the time to spend learning video editing software. And if you don’t have much experience in the video marketing realm, you might think your only option is to fork out thousands of dollars to pay for a video marketing company.

The good news is, even with limited resources, you can create engaging videos with just the smartphone in your pocket. Sure, they might not look quite as professional as, say, a traditional TV ad. But in the internet age, that’s absolutely fine.

Here are our best practice tips for creating great marketing videos on your own.

1. Have a goal.

Like any marketing tactic, there’s no point creating a video if you’re not clear on what you want it to do. Start by writing down one or two goals that will serve as guiding principles for your video. This could be something like:

  • Showcase my products or services
  • Explain what my business does
  • Grow awareness of my brand
  • Demonstrate that my business is trustworthy
  • Showcase my expertise in my industry

2. Choose your video format.

Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to figure out which type of video will best fit the bill. For example, if your goal is to ‘demonstrate that my business is trustworthy’, the best type of video might be a testimonial or a demo video of your team on the job. Don’t worry too much about getting the format ‘right’ – it’s more about knowing your audience and what they’ll be interested in. Which brings us to our next point …

3. Define your target audience.

Who will you be targeting with your video? Is it existing customers? People who know your business already but have never purchased from you? People who know nothing about your business? Consider your target audience’s shared traits, such as:

  • Age, gender and geographic location
  • Job roles and salary brackets, or budgets for B2B customers
  • Buying behaviours

From there, ask yourself:

  • What platforms does my audience use?
  • What questions does my audience need answered?
  • What does my audience want to know about my business?
  • What problems does my audience need solved?

Answering these questions will help you figure out what sort of video content you should be creating and where you should post it.

For example, let’s say you own a hair salon with a clientele of mostly women aged 20-29. You’ve noticed that a lot of customers have recently been stopping in to buy a sea salt spray that helps create beachy waves. With this in mind, you could create an Instagram Story (the preferred platform for your customer demo) with a tutorial on how to create beachy waves at home.

This type of video is perfect for the demographic, but it wouldn’t perform very well if the customers were mostly men, or in an older age bracket. That’s why it’s so important to really know your target audience – and use it to guide your video marketing strategy.

4. Create a storyboard.

It might sound intimidating, but a storyboard is just a tool to help you plan your video from start to finish. It doesn’t have to be a series of complex sketches or a Shakespeare-level script. A good storyboard is as simple as:

Introduction: This could be introducing yourself, a customer or an interviewee, or setting the scene. The engagement rate drops to 80% after 30 seconds on an average marketing video, so your intro needs to be snappy.

Example: Hey ladies, Rachel here from Yuzu Salon.

Problem statement: What question will you be answering or problem will you be solving? Here’s where you make the purpose of the video clear.

Example: Today I’m answering one of my most asked questions: how to get relaxed beachy waves at home.

Solution/answer: This is where you get stuck into the details. In the case of a testimonial video, you can let the customer do the talking for you.

Example: It’s actually really easy! I’ll show you a quick step-by-step on how to do it yourself in just a few minutes…

Call to action: Perhaps the most important part of the video, this is where you let people know what you want them to do next (which should align with your goal for the video).

Example: So there you have it! Super easy. Check out my profile for more tutorials or DM me to book an appointment. 

5. Get filming.

Now you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll! Have your storyboard in mind while filming but don’t worry too much about following a script. You want to be as natural as possible and let your personality shine through. Remember, as long as it’s not a live video, you can do as many takes as you like until you feel comfortable.

Best practice tips for video filming.

  • Choose a well-lit area. If you plan to film regularly, consider investing in a ring light.
  • Choose a location with minimal background noise.
  • Hold your camera vertically for Instagram Stories, or horizontally for video platforms like YouTube (for example, if you’re going to embed a video on your website)
  • If possible, hold your film device on a steady surface to reduce shakiness.

And that’s it! With these tips, you’ll be a marketing video producer in no time. When it comes to distributing your videos, our free social media template is a handy tool for planning your social content and staying on top of your schedule.

Videos, web design, SEO, SEM … digital marketing is a lot to take on for a small business owner. The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. Grow your business online and off with help from Yellow Pages’ digital marketing experts.