Over the recent years, video marketing has been gaining popularity as a way to market and promote companies of all sizes.

This means even smaller establishments are getting in on the action. In fact, a survey of 694 marketers and small business owners shows that:

  • 61% see video as a “very important or extremely important” element of their marketing plan.
  • 30% of marketers consider video as more vital for their marketing than their website.
  • 74% of marketers claim video has a better ROI than static imagery.

Clearly, its popularity is well-founded. Let's take a look at how small businesses can use video marketing effectively.

Why is video marketing important? 🎥

Visitors find videos engaging. It’s no surprise that 75 million Americans watch videos every day. The majority of young audiences (88%) turned to videos for entertainment in 2020, particularly during lockdowns.

Video is cheaper than ads but delivers similar, if not, better outcomes. Wordstream claims that small businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 per month for Google Ads. That’s a lot of money. On the other hand, you can start video marketing on social media by investing only your time and effort. Marketing professionals (68%) who use video believe that its ROI is better than Google Ads.

Video builds customer trust and loyalty. Different types of videos, such as intro videos, educational videos, and testimonial videos all have something in common: they convince viewers that your business is trustworthy and ready to assist.

Videos help market through word-of-mouth references. Consumers (83%) who enjoy branded videos are more likely to recommend it to their friends. And if you think it only improves brand awareness, it does much more than that. Word-of-mouth accounts for 13% of sales and $6 trillion in global spending annually.

Video increases your website's ranking in search engines. Consumers spend a considerable amount of time on a web page if they like what they see. Since most people find videos interesting, it directly increases your dwell time, a powerful SEO indicator that users find your content valuable. In fact, 83% of consumers spent more time on web pages with videos on them.

Videos are easier to recall. With videos, you can simplify concepts and dive even deeper in a short amount of time. Surprisingly, this information is easier to retain than reading a lengthy passage. 80% of consumers say that they still remember a video advertisement they saw last month.

Videos are easy to analyze. Your videos view and share count are a direct indication of how engaging it is. This will allow you to identify which strategies work and which fail to engage. You can use these video engagement statistics to formulate a more concrete strategy for the future.

How small businesses can get started with video marketing 👇

Don’t let your video marketing strategy stress you out when you’re just beginning!

With video, there will be challenges, especially with regard to time, skills, and budget. However, you can tap into your existing resources since it's not necessary to stage a grand production.

Here are a few steps you can take to enjoy successful results and create a visual marketing campaign to attract, retain, and convert customers.

1. Determine your campaign goals

You’ve probably heard this dozens of times, but it’s really important to establish what you want to achieve before you start any of your marketing efforts. The same holds true for video marketing.

First, you need to know what your target market is after. Where do they hang out? Are they on social media? Finding out how they behave can help you hone in on the right strategy for getting their attention.

It's also important to identify what you want to accomplish at the end. Picture what success looks like to you. Do you want to increase brand awareness, educate your customers, launch a new product, or do something else?

This step is instrumental when figuring out what types of videos or platforms can bring success to your campaign.

2. Plan your campaign budget and identify your costs

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to go all out if you don’t have the budget for it. Most businesses start their campaigns through social media, which can sometimes be relatively inexpensive.

💡 Pro tip: TikTok is a great place to focus your video content if you don't have a budget, as users prefer authentic content shot on a phone. Check out our beginner's guide to TikTok marketing here.

But if you’re going a different direction, say creating a how-to video, you might need to spend more on lighting and sound equipment and of course, a high-quality camera. Additionally, you might need to hire a scriptwriter and a video editor to polish your output.

3. Make audience-centric and interesting content

Your video content should focus on giving your audience an engaging and memorable experience. Find ways to make it interesting.

For instance, if you’re creating a product explainer video, you can use animation or live action to inject some life into the video content. Creativity is key to capture the attention of your target audience.

Also, avoid putting too much emphasis on your sales pitch in your marketing videos. It’s so easy to shed the spotlight on your products, but there’s a time and place for that — like company videos, product explainer videos, and testimonials — but not all videos should follow the same approach.

4. Share and optimize it on the platform

Once you’ve created your first video, it’s time to let it see the light of day. If you’re planning to put it up on your website, you can use a video hosting platform such as YouTube and Vimeo.

You should also look into ways to make sure the video performs well:

  • Ensure fast playback of your videos by optimizing them.
  • The videos are mobile-friendly and have low-bandwidth options for those with low bandwidth.
  • Optimize the videos for the search engines by adding a transcript, making engaging thumbnails, and so on.

The approach will be different if you’re using social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Additionally, there are best practices for each platform that you should be aware of, which we will explore a bit below.

YouTube video marketing best practices

YouTube is not only a video hosting platform, it’s also a marketing tool. The platform gets 30 million visitors a day. As such, if you already host videos on it, you should maximize the potential of the so-called search engine for videos.

1. Use keywords and CTAs

YouTube allows users to tag their videos with common keywords, which makes them searchable.

prAna, a sustainable clothing line, uses hashtags such as, #SustainableClothing, #SustainableFasion, #ecofriendly, and #SustainableLiving on almost all of their videos. They also add a CTA in the description section  Doing so has helped them generate over 125, 000 views for this video despite only having 28,000 subscribers.

💡 Pro tip: You can also add a CTA at the end of your videos for more impact.

2. Diversify your videos

Consumers want variety. And this also extends in the type of entertainment they want to consume. Some ideas you can try are:

  • Testimonial videos
  • Q&A videos
  • Unboxing videos
  • Facilities tour
  • Special events
  • Behind-the-scenes of a launch or ad campaign
  • Influencer marketing.

3. Take the time to read comments

It's crucial to remain on top of YouTube engagement on your channel, so always read the comments.

After uploading a video, you should monitor the comment section to address questions or concerns. Nate Schoemer, a dog training school owner, took it to another level by gathering some of the most common questions he sees on his videos and using them to create brand new content.

Source: YouTube - Nathan schoemer

Instagram video marketing best practices

Instagram is home to plenty of small businesses. In fact, the platform released a sticker to support small businesses during the peak of the pandemic last year. By putting this in their Stories, people can easily show support for their favorite local establishments and small enterprises. It enables followers to discover new brands to support, making it instrumental for brand awareness.

Instagram offers many ways to use video marketing:

  • Reels
  • Stories
  • Posts
  • IGTV.

1. Keep videos on your Instagram feed short

Instagram videos tend to be short, lasting up to 60 seconds. But a HubSpot study found the ideal video length for Instagram is even shorter: just 26 seconds.

Next time you’re coming up with video content ideas for the ‘Gram, don’t worry about overstuffing your post. Just be direct to the point, and save long-form content for IGTV.

This Pura Vida video featuring TikTok star, Madison Bailey, lasts about 30 seconds, and several others are even shorter.

Source: Pura Vida Instagram

When creating product videos, be it for your feed, reels, or stories, make sure to tag the products. This is a must for those with an ecommerce store, since Instagram isn't so keen on sharing links at the moment. Currently, link-sharing is only available on IGTV.

Clothing brand Carve Designs does it in all their reels. They’re already doing a great job showcasing the product — might as well make it easier for their audience to hit the purchase button.

Source: Carve Designs

3. Simplify the viewing experience

Instagram automatically mutes videos on people’s feeds. If your audience doesn’t know what your video is about, they are likely to scroll past it. One workaround is to add subtitles to capture your audience's attention.

By simplifying the viewing experience, they can consume it more quickly before they get distracted by everything that’s happening on Instagram.

GrandTies, a kitchenware brand, provides subtitles for their how-to videos. While it doesn't match word-for-word, Instagram viewers will easily understand the video's point and tune in.

You can also improve the viewing experience by using simple language in your video and explaining everything clearly.

TikTok video marketing best practices

TikTok is rapidly becoming the go-to video platform for consumers of all ages. With an engagement rate of 18%, TikTok overtook Instagram (3.86%) and YouTube (1.63%).

The best part is that people on the platform are fond of content that's raw and authentic. In a Nielsen study, TikTok found that three out of four users were confident they could express themselves freely on the platform. This means you don’t have to go all out when creating TikTok videos - all you need is your smartphone and a dash of creativity.

1. Post often

When implementing TikTok marketing, remember that the app rewards creators that regularly post videos. If you’re planning to utilize the platform, make sure you have a consistent content calendar. Start with posting a few times a week, and increase the frequency once you’ve gotten used to it.

Peace Out, a skincare brand, makes it a point to post every day — and it’s serving them well. They currently have 1.8million collective likes for their videos.

Source: Peace Out

2. Benefit from user-generated content (UGC)

Since you have to post regularly, it’s normal to hit a wall when generating ideas. The good thing about TikTok is that your users can fill in during a creative slump — through UGC. You can also do this on other platforms (like Instagram), however, TikTok audiences really enjoy getting involved, so it works better there.

Another way to complete your TikTok social media calendar is by leveraging trends. And it’s fairly easy to spot what’s hot on TikTok. You can take a look at what successful TikTok stars are doing and jump on that bandwagon quickly before it rolls away.

Don't miss details like the type of music used in a video since the TikTok algorithm is different from other platforms. In general, the platform shows you videos with the same music or sound as the one you liked, so they work similarly to hashtags. If you post a video with a trending song, chances are you’ll end up on the list of recommended videos for people who have liked videos with that song.

The bohemian fashion label Free People used the ubiquitous outfit transition we see on TikTok to introduce their new line of reversible workout clothes. To top it off, they also used the song Everyday, which currently has 2, 369 videos associated with it.

Source: Free People

Your small business can succeed with video marketing 🙌

Video marketing can help your small business take off, thanks to its huge growth potential. Getting the right clients is more important than going viral, and video marketing can assist you in achieving that goal.

It might take a while to see results, but if you are consistent, you will definitely see results.