video marketing ideas for small business

For small or startup business owners, video marketing might seem like more of a luxury than a necessity. Video content continues to gain popularity and prevalence and this type of marketing will only become more vital in building brand awareness and strengthening customer relationships and engagement.

Luckily, video marketing is no longer only available to big businesses that can afford expensive television advertisements. In fact, 6 out of 10 consumers prefer watching videos online over watching TV. 

Video is in the hands of the people now, literally and figuratively, and even the smallest businesses can take advantage of this medium without going over budget. If you’re not sure where or how to get started, don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best video marketing ideas for small businesses below, along with what you need to know before you start shooting.

Creating Videos on a Small Business Budget

Thanks to rapid technological innovations over the past decade, you no longer need an expensive camera or extensive productive crew to make, produce, and publish share-worthy video content. All you really need is a smartphone with a decent camera, an external microphone, an internet connection, and a little creativity.

Why do you need a microphone when your phone or computer already has one built-in? According to Steven Robertson of YouTube, as much as 90 percent of viewers don’t care about video quality at all, whereas audio quality can make or break viewer engagement. That being said, a cheap tripod wouldn’t be a bad idea either—$20 is a low price to pay to avoid shaky videos that look like they were shot during an earthquake.

You don’t need fancy software to shoot or edit your videos, especially when you’re just starting out and don’t know what content or style will best suit your brand image and your audience’s tastes. Most phones and computers these days come with free video recording and editing software that are serviceable enough. Additionally, many full-featured video editing platforms offer a free version with a simpler set of tools. 

It’s best to keep it simple—you can always upgrade your editing later once you better understand your viewers. 

You also don’t need to hire actors, set designers, or anyone else to make your videos. Some of the best video content is simple, straightforward, and personal—authenticity is key to building trust and rapport with your audience.

Creative Video Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

To begin, consider what exactly you are trying to achieve by utilizing video in your marketing. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Sell more products? Inspire your audience? When choosing the format of videos to begin your marketing campaign, always keep your primary goal in mind.

Do you need some inspiration of your own? Here’s our list of truly creative video marketing ideas for a small business like yours to grow your reach, increase response rates, and boost revenue.

Introduce Your Identity and Values

What feels more personal to you, a written biography or a personal introduction? Video provides an excellent medium through which to make positive, lasting first impressions and for increasing brand awareness. This is a great place to start with your first few videos. Consider trying:

  • An introductory video familiarizing the audience with who you are, who’s on your team, what you do, and what your core values are.
  • An origin story video that gives viewers an idea of where you’re coming from and what your company is trying to achieve.
  • “A day in the life” type videos that spotlight the processes behind your products and services.
  • Educational videos that provide value to your customers while showing off your product or service features and your team members’ expertise.
  • Updates and announcements letting your audience know about upcoming changes, the current status of your business and offerings, etc.

Showcase Your Products or Services

Photographic proof doesn’t carry the weight it once did now that photo editing software is readily accessible to so many people. A good photo editor can adjust an image in a snap. Video, however, still takes much more effort and skill to manipulate without detection, making it the perfect medium through which to instill trust in the quality of your offerings. Consider trying:

  • Product demos showcasing new or top-selling products, including the benefits they provide and any competitive advantages they may offer.
  • Teasers for upcoming products or services to ramp up interest the way movie trailers do for soon-to-be-released films.
  • How-to videos demonstrating how to use certain products or services, especially those that may be more complicated or involved or that customers have struggled to understand on their own.
  • Social proof videos, such as testimonials or videos showcasing your products in action. Consumers consider peer reviews far more reliable than a company’s word alone and being able to see the person reviewing the product instills far more trust than a quick text blurb.

Build or Strengthen Community Relationships

Video is an incredible tool for spreading awareness, motivating viewers to take action, or simply inspiring feelings of goodwill—and by extension brand loyalty—among your viewers. Consider trying:

  • Call-to-action videos that tell a clear, relatable story about the problem you’re trying to solve (and why it matters), how you’re trying to solve it, and what actions the viewer can take to help make a difference—such as donating to a fund or sharing the video with others.
  • Live streams in which you directly engage with your audience, such as a live Q&A session or a quick tour of your workspace or facility. Be sure to record and share these discussions after the fact as well.
  • “Thank you” videos acknowledging your appreciation for your audience’s support. Personalized videos might be nice to send individually if you have a small client base, or more generally addressed “thank you’s” can be shared quickly with your audience as a whole.
  • Videos sharing user-generated content, such as videos of your products in action or content created for a contest.

None of the video marketing ideas for small businesses above are restricted to businesses within this or that industry. Starting a fashion design business or opening a boutique shop? Sharing testimonial type videos of real customers wearing and enjoying their purchases can help your company quickly gain traction. 

Looking to grow your small environmental nonprofit organization? A call-to-action video showing the natural beauty of the land you’re trying to preserve can boost donations and awareness for your cause. 

Regardless of your industry or budget, any one of these video marketing ideas for a small business could make for a great starting point from which to grow.

A Few Video Marketing Best Practices for Small Businesses

Perhaps the most important factor to keep in mind when creating your videos is shareability. After all, “viral” video content only goes viral when people are willing to send it to one another. This dissemination is what gets a video the views necessary to generate results.

A shareable video is:

  • Concise. While there is a time and place for longer video content, your main focus should be on short, easy-to-digest clips that can be viewed and shared as conveniently as possible. There’s a reason short-form platforms like TikTok caught on; videos that are only a few seconds or minutes long are much more approachable, easier to fit into a busy schedule, and easier to share across multiple platforms.
  • Valuable. Every one of your videos should do at least one of the following: entertain, educate, or inspire. The goal of a video is always for your viewers to walk away feeling like their time was well-spent—otherwise, they won’t share it, nor will they be likely to watch or listen to your next one.
  • Inclusive. Take care not to alienate potential viewers whenever possible—you never know who might be watching your content. Often, a family-friendly approach is best since it will be easy to share with the widest audience possible without fear of a negative outcome.

And of course, the more easily your video can be shared, the more widely it will be shared. To maximize this potential, try to keep videos under 30 seconds—ideally around 15 seconds—in length. If they are being shared via MMS, save them as MP4 files. MOV files work as well in a pinch but are slower and slightly less convenient when sent via MMS. 

Using videos in text message marketing (MMS marketing) allows your content to reach a wide but carefully targeted audience as quickly as possible. Direct your video to those people who will be the most likely to not only engage with it but also pass it on to others. After all, people are 1.5 times more likely to watch videos on their phones these days than on their computers.

To get the most people to watch your content as soon as possible, embed your videos in MMS (multimedia) text messages. This skips the step of your users having to click through a link or two to watch your video. The fewer clicks it takes to reach your content, the more people your content will reach.

Ready to start sharing a few of your own video marketing ideas for small business development? NorthText’s easy-to-use text marketing platform makes it easy to compose and send SMS and MMS messages alike—including video content. Call or text us anytime at (312) 869-9070, or reach out to us online today to get started. We will have you up and running in a matter of minutes.

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