How to Start Video Marketing Your Small Business

Lights, camera, grow! We’ve all experienced the power of a great marketing video, whether it’s an emotional advertisement, an arresting interview, or a helpful explainer. Video marketing is everywhere these days, and for good reason: according to one study, online videos generate three times as many monthly visitors to a website as plain text posts do.

The promise of online video has transformed how companies market their products and how consumers choose what to purchase. If you’re ready to start marketing your creative e-commerce shop or small business with online video but don’t know where to start, here are a few key things to consider before yelling... ACTION!

Why Video?

Video is one of the most effective ways to market a product or service online. Video is  600% more effective than print and direct mail combined. It increases website conversions by 66% and it helps viewers retain 95% of a message you want to convey (as opposed to the paltry 10% they remember when reading text-based content).

Creating a Strategy

If you want to create a marketing video that produces results, you’ll need to start with a strategy. Start by answering a few questions that will help you outline your goals.

1. Who is your Target Audience?

How old are they? What platforms are they on? How familiar are they with your work? Knowing information about your potential audiences will help you determine the platform and messaging that you need to create in order to help them toward making a purchase.

2. What Messaging do You Want to Get Across?

What problems are your customers looking for you to solve? Knowing your audience’s larger context will help you create content that resonates with them. Determining their problems ahead of time will help you outline your video’s messaging and tone.

3. What is your End Goal?

Is it to increase brand awareness? Launch a new product? Convert a new customer? What is the action you want your audience  to complete after they watch your video? Establishing that will help you craft its overall vision.

Choosing a Platform

Since videos can be used across countless verticals, it’s important to understand which channels work for your brand and target audience before you unveil your content. Not all videos will work on every platform, so knowing which you want to target ahead of time, is key.

Website

The first and most obvious place to have a video is on your website, but different pages of your website require different types of videos. Knowing where your video will “live” can play a huge role in the type of video you should create.

Landing Pages

If you’re offering a service, placing a video on your landing page or a website’s home page has been shown to increase conversions by up to 800%. The best place to put your video is above the fold, where the highest number of visitors will see it. Since any video on a landing page will serve as an introduction to your brand, it should also introduce a problem or pain point for your audience, and directly address how your product or service will help them address it.

One extra tip? To make sure your message reaches audiences that might be watching your video at work or in public, make sure that it can be clearly understood with -- and without -- sound.

Product Pages

If you have an e-commerce website, you might want to consider placing product videos on your product pages. A recent study found that 64% of website viewers are more likely to make a purchase after viewing a single product video. Want to make the most of your video budget? Product videos often lend themselves to being good social media content too. Use them to create platform posts or advertisements and they’ll do double-duty by increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to your site.

About and/or Services Pages

Service pages and About pages present a unique opportunity to educate new customers on the history of your company, the services that you offer, and what makes you unique. Explainer and animated infographic videos are the most common type of marketing videos to use on these pages, because  they are the perfect place to catch new customers on their first journey to your site. If you don’t have a large marketing budget for a full production video, software like Animaker can help you make animations or you can learn how to use Adobe software on Skillshare  

Social Media

If you’re not using videos on your social media pages, you may want to start. Nearly 93% of businesses reported gaining a new customer as a direct result of a video posted on social media. That’s no surprise when you consider that videos can be shared up to 1200% more times than links and text posts combined. Just remember: it’s important to consider your customer every step of the way. Make sure the video you are posting speaks to the audience you want to reach on social media, otherwise you may not see the returns on investment you are hoping for.  

Email

If you find that your email open rates have decreased or engagement rates are low, you may want to consider using a video inside an email campaign to spur more activity. A recent study found that introductory email click-through rates increased by over 96% when the messages included a compelling video. If you’re thinking of sending a video to your email list, try to be as customer-oriented as possible; the types of videos that are most effective for converting a new customer can be quite different from those that work with a returning customer. Always remember to ask yourself, “If I were a new customer looking into this product or service, what information would I want at this particular time, from this particular brand?”

Creating Your Content

Videos have less than seven seconds to capture a viewer's attention, and once audiences tune in, it can be hard to keep them engaged. If you’re thinking about making a marketing video, there are a few ways that you can make sure your content is compelling enough to keep audiences hooked for the course of the clip.

Get to The Point Early

If viewers don’t know why you want them to watch a video, they will switch it off. You’ll need to get your point across quickly (within the first few seconds) so that they understand what they are watching, and feel excited to see more. What does that mean in practical terms? Don’t create a long or boring introduction to your video. Instead, start by previewing what your video is all about so that you entice your audience to stick around.

Spark Emotion

Big gameday commercials are known to lean on pathos to endear themselves to audiences. When you spark sympathy, curiosity, or shock,you generate an instant emotional response that will help to draw them in and hold their attention for longer.

Use Contrast

Using before and after footage is a great way to show how well your product or service works. Presenting that kind of contrast is often used for health or beauty videos, but can work great for any business that is offering a service or product. If you offer a service,  try presenting a visual representation of a client before and after you are hired; a great example might be a home staging company that shows pictures of a home before and after they’ve staged it. If you’re selling a product ,you can instead show off how well your product works over its competition, just don’t show any logos beyond your own for legal reasons.

Be Unique

There’s a reason that the Harmon Brothers’ mattress commercial has 172 million views; their approach to showcasing their mattresses with the help of a nursery rhyme character and raw eggs was unique enough to cause a stir (and memorable enough to stick with audiences). Not the creative type? Hire a video production company to help you make a more compelling storyboard before you begin shooting.

And a final tip…

If you are in the position to hire actors for your video, look into the number of social media followers they have before you sign any contracts. Influencers can help extend the reach of your video by posting it on their own platforms after you’ve exhausted your own channels. Not using actors? Get your friends and family to post your videos to their channels to reach as many eyeballs as possible.


Interested in learning more about how to create videos to market your small business? Check out Skillshare’ class with Powtoon, Introduction to Video Marketing: Plan, Produce & Publish to Drive Results, here.