How To Effectively Use Video For Your Small Business

Cover image for Videos for small businesses

The benefits of video marketing for small and local businesses are virtually endless. 

And we’re not just talking about your typical tech startups. 

ANYONE can reap the benefits of video marketing. 

From family-owned bakeries and fashion boutiques to local cafés, anyone can use videos to grow their business. As consumers’ #1 favourite type of branded content, they’re pretty much the best way to interact with your audience. 

They’re also ideal to reach customers in your local community and start a conversation. With social media targeting, it’s super easy to target your video content to reach potential customers in your vicinity.

On top of that, Facebook groups for enthusiasts in all niches offer great distribution channels to reach relevant audiences. 

And did we mention? 85% of small business owners even agree that videos deliver excellent ROI. So they also deliver an excellent bang for your buck! 

What’s more — a whopping 96% of consumers say they find video content useful when making a purchasing decision. 

So the bottom line is…  videos for small businesses and local brands provide unparalleled opportunities for growth. 

Convinced, inspired and ready to kickstart a video marketing strategy for your business? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, we’re going to cover: 

  • How you can use videos for your small business 
  • Best examples of each type of video content 
  • Tips to optimize your video’s visuals, audio and lighting 

Ways small businesses can use videos 

If you’re new to video marketing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With so many types of video content out there, it’s difficult to know exactly where to begin. 

That’s exactly why we put together this guide of all the ways small businesses can use videos to grow. 

We’ll tell you:

  • The types of videos you can make
  • What each video content type should include 
  • The best examples for inspiration

So let’s get started! 

1. Introduce yourself and get the word out (Explainer Videos)

One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is raising awareness of their brands and products. 

Explainer videos can be great for introducing your brand to the world while engaging your audience. Use them on your website’s landing page or homepages to drive traffic and hook your audience. They’re also a great way to kickstart your video marketing strategy. 

Explainer videos highlight how your product can solve a potential customer’s pain points. They use storylines to show how the product can benefit the customer and add value, rather than just listing its features.

They also help break the barrier between you and your audience and familiarize customers with your brand. 

Explainer videos can be of three types: 

  • Animated videos 
  • Live-action videos 
  • Screencasts videos 

Which style you choose to make should depend on your brand, message, and budget. 

When you think explainer videos for small business, you might think famous hits like Dollar Shave Club, for example. The startup spent just $4,500 and one day shooting their video, which raked in 12,000 orders within 48 hours. Not to mention, it’s got over 26 MILLION views today. 

If that isn’t a testament to the growing power of explainer videos for small businesses, we don’t know what is! 

2. Show them who you are (culture + story) 

Buyers like to know who they’re buying from. In fact, customers who have a positive emotional association with a brand are 8.4 times more likely to trust the company. 

And what better way to build trust in your audience’s mind than with company culture or story video? 

People connect with people — it’s that simple. And so, videos featuring your team helps humanize your brand and unveil the people behind it. They’re also a great way to tell your company’s story and show off your brand personality.  

Suppose you’re a local or homegrown business bakery with a long history, for example. Use videos to tell the story of how your business was started, and what inspired it! 

Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What are your brand’s missions and values? 
  • What it’s like to work at your company and the type of employees you look for? 

Use the answers to tell a story that makes your audience feel like they’re a part of your brand. Share them through your social media channels and ‘about us’ page to give viewers an insight into your brand.

These videos can be funny, wholesome, inspiring or even emotional — whatever suits your brand personality and helps your audience relate. 

These videos can be funny, wholesome, inspiring or even emotional — whatever suits your brand personality and helps your audience relate. 

They’re great videos for small businesses who are looking to scout new talent and grow your brand. They show prospective employees what your company’s environment is actually like. After all, they don’t say “you attract your kind” for nothing! 

One of our personal favorites is this company culture video by Zendesk. We love that it’s simple and straightforward, featuring a bunch of employees at different levels. 

The video is lighthearted and highlights what each employee enjoys most about their work. It also shows co-workers collaborating and playing games, talks about employee benefits and mentions volunteer work. It’s essentially a holistic look at what it’s like to work at Zendesk. 

3. Demonstrate your and position as an industry leader (vlogs)  

Another great way to build your audience’s trust is by establishing yourself as an industry expert. As a small business, your founder and employees are likely to have industry-specific expertise in whatever your niche is. 

At the same time, buyers and professionals are always on the lookout for valuable, industry-specific knowledge. Potential customers are even more likely to trust high-quality brands and look for signs of credibility before making a purchase. 

Whether you’re a SaaS startup with industry expertise or a florist with expertise in flower arrangements, you’re guaranteed to have knowledge that can help your audience. Use videos to share this knowledge in the form of tutorials or how-tos, for example! 

Alternatively, listicles can be great for sharing content like roundups that are entertaining and educational. They also help establish your company as the go-to guide for all things related to your nice or industry.

This is great for driving brand awareness, securing your presence as an industry leader and building your audience’s trust. 

Post your vlogs on Youtube, Facebook Watch and Instagram TV (IGTV) for maximum interaction. Better yet, create a series of videos and curate a playlist around your vlogs! 

Vlogs can also be made by repurposing existing blog posts. Simply turn your informational blog posts into snackable, short social videos to increase their viewership. You can even include them in newsletters and listservs to further expand their reach! 

Take Moz for example. The SEO company’s founder, Rand Fishkin, has been starring in a series titled “Whiteboard Fridays” for years. He uses these videos to educate his audience on his area of expertise — SEO. It allows him to interact with his audience, demonstrate expertise and build respect for his brand! 

4. Give them an insight into your process  (BTS)

Customers look for brands that build their trust organically and relate well with their audience. Potential buyers want to feel like they know you, and how you make the products and services that you sell. 

One way to give viewers an insight into the action behind your brand is with behind the scenes video content. It’s simple, it’s cost effective and it’s the perfect type video for small businesses.

Like culture videos, BTS content is a great way to let your brand personality shine. Especially for small businesses, this is key for building a relationship with your audience and getting the word out there. 

BTS videos are also super versatile. They show customers how you make your products, or what a day in the life of an employee is like. You can even get creative and share videos featuring exclusive company events like retreats, team building or training. 

If you’re a local fashion boutique, for example, Instagram videos can be great to show customers how you design your products and what inspires them. For small businesses in the health foods or restaurant industries, BTS videos can be great for sharing recipes that customers can try at home!  

This humanizes your brand and gives your audience a way to relate to you, authentically. 

Take this video for small business for example – Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, for example. The video features the founder, Jeni, talking about the inspiration for her Salted Caramel ice cream.

As she talks about the production process, the video shows viewers exactly how the ice cream is made. As the title suggests, it’s a “peek into their kitchen” and gives the audience an insight into the brand. 

5. Show off the people behind your brand (Team bios) 

Along the same lines, showing your customers the people behind your brand can make all the difference. As a small business, your team is likely intimate and focused on caring about customers and providing the best services. 

You can use team bio videos to highlight these friendly, personal and customer-centric qualities that viewers will love. 

Create a video that features one of your team members and introduces them to your customers. 

Include a mix of professional details as well as personal fun facts to make them all the more relatable! 

They’re great videos for small businesses who are trying to build relationships and driving more sales.

For example, they can be used as part of your email signature in follow up sales-related emails. This leaves a positive and personal impression on potential leads and increases the chances of conversions! 

6. Give customers third party social proof (testimonials) 

There are few things more powerful for a brand than social proof. 

Getting rave reviews and starting a positive conversation about your brand can be a great source of growth. In fact, 90% of customers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by positive reviews. 

Videos featuring user testimonials are excellent for building a potential customer’s confidence and driving conversions. They prove that despite being a new or small business, your brand is reliable and worth the customer’s money. 

While written reviews are pretty common, video testimonials add a face to the name and make the reviews more relatable. This also makes them more authentic and organic rather than seeming like a hard sell.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind: 

  • Make sure the customers you feature align with your ideal target audience and buyer persona 
  • Brief your customer on the topics you’ll cover, but don’t prepare a script (you want to stay authentic!) 
  • Maintain a conversational tone so your subject feels comfortable and the video seems natural and organic 

Looking for some more tips on testimonial video production? Head over to this blog for everything you need to know. 

Check out this endearing video testimonial by Steve & Kate, who run summer camps for children. The video features a bunch of children talking about their experiences at camp, and what they loved about it. It’s authentic, cute and really highlights what Steve & Kate offers in an organic way.

Parents are likely to be hesitant about sending their kids on camp for the first time. Video testimonials like this one can be great for building a sense of trust with potential customers! 

Tips to keep in mind 

Incorporating video into your business’ content marketing strategy has become easier than ever before. 

You no longer need professional equipment or a huge budget to make high-quality videos. Thanks to smartphone technology, video production for small businesses is easy and accessible. 

With excellent camera quality, it’s possible to film video clips and make great marketing videos straight from your mobile device. It’s just important that you optimize your video recording, audio, and lighting to create the best possible video. 

If you’re wondering how to make a video for your small business, this is the section for you. With these tips, you’ll be ready to kickstart your video marketing strategy! 

1. Video shooting tips 

One of the biggest telltale signs of an unprofessional video is shaky or blurred footage. 

You NEED to stabilize your smartphone videos so that they’ll look professional and go easy on the viewer’s eyes. 

Ideally, you should use a tripod to stabilize your videos and shoot in the best angles possible. There are a number of different affordable models that clasp onto your phone and are totally worth the investment. 

If hand-holding your camera, try bracing the smartphone against your body to prevent it from shaking too much. Or better yet, prop it up on a steady surface to minimize movement.

Also, rather than panning during shots to change perspective, it’s better to cut from one shot to another. This ensures more seamless transitions and a cleaner feel to your video. 

Some other general tips to keep in mind:

  • It goes without saying, but always remember to clean your camera lens before you start shooting
  • For sit-down videos, ensure that your background doesn’t distract from the message or subject of the video
  • Always use the back camera of your smartphone — the quality is far better than the front-facing camera 

2. Audio tips 

Apart from visuals, the sound is the most important aspect of any good business video. 

Your video could have super high-quality visuals and stellar editing. But fuzzy, unclear and disruptive audio will make your viewers click away really quickly. 

Because of this, it’s super important to follow these tips to create an effective and immersive video experience: 

  • Shoot in a location with minimal background noise to reduce distractions that take away from the main narrative of the video
  • Consider investing in a portable microphone like this one that we love and use. It’ll help you deliver crisp and clear audio, even on a budget
  • If you’re shooting outdoors, pick a day that’s not windy because these noises will be difficult to edit out
  • Remember to mute your device or put it on airplane mode before shooting. This prevents notification sounds and vibrations from disrupting your audio! 

3. Lighting tips 

Good lighting can make or break your video’s visuals. While you can edit brightness and contrast to some extent in post-production, it’s generally better to shoot in optimum lighting. 

Smartphones have smaller lenses and image sensors than professional cameras. This makes it all the more important for you to pay attention to the light source you use when filming. 

Keep these general tips in mind to make your video’s visuals seem as natural and high quality as possible: 

  • If you’re shooting outdoors:
    • Make sure that the sun is not behind the subject as this will lead to backlighting 
    • Don’t place the subject directly under harsh sunlight as this could lead to an overexposed effect or lens flaring 
    • Avoid filming at midday as the sun will be directly overhead and cast unflattering shadows on the subject
  • If you’re shooting indoors
    • Use natural light if possible — sit next to a window or natural light source 
    • If you’re shooting at night, make sure there is sufficient lighting on the subject to avoid grainy footage 
    • Avoid overhead lighting that creates unflattering shadows — place a lamp or other light source close to the subject’s eye level 

And most importantly, avoid mixing inside light with outside light as it risks looking unprofessional. Natural and artificial light have different temperatures, and mixing the two can lead to uneven lighting!

Looking for video production tools that are affordable and easy to use?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve curated a list of the best online video tools out there. From creation, editing and screencasting tools to the best audio and stock footage resources, we have it all! 

Optimizing your videos 

Now that you know everything there is to filming great videos with your smartphone, it’s time for post-production. In fact, how you edit your videos and put them together has a HUGE impact on their effectiveness. 

Thinking of posting your video on your social channels or sharing it through Facebook, for example? 

Well, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. 

These pointers are crucial to your video’s success, engagement, and viewership — no matter which platform you’re making content for. 

1. Captions

Now that most social media platforms offer autoplay features, 85% of Facebook videos are watched silently. This means you need to ensure that viewers can understand your video, even without sound. 

Include captions or subtitles on all your social videos to boost shares by 15% call to action click-throughs by 26%

2. Thumbnails 

Thumbnails form a viewer’s first impression of your video and often decide whether or not they watch it. It’s really important to optimize your video’s thumbnail to encourage viewers to click on your video. 

Ensure they make good use of lighting and color, be emotive and convey the subject of your video. 

facebook-thumbnail

3. Optimize title and description

Just like with blog posts, it’s super important to optimize your social videos and make them more search-friendly. 

Choose strategic and descriptive titles that incorporate relevant keywords to make your video easy to find. This will also help them rank higher on search engines, automatically increasing your viewership and reach! 

facebook-transcripts

But the list doesn’t end there. 

There are a number of other important tips you need to know and use. 

Head on over to our article on social media video marketing for the 10 key actionable tips you need to optimize your video strategy. 

How Studiotale can help you 

how-studiotale-helps

So there you go! 

That’s everything you need to know when it comes to video marketing for your small business. 

Go forth and make video content that’ll get jaws dropping and help your brand grow! 

For more tips and strategies, subscribe to our blog here

If you’re still unsure of where to start with your video marketing strategy or need guidance from a video expert, don’t worry!  

Simply reach out to Studiotale and leave the rest to us. As a leading startup video production company, we’d be happy to help. 

Don’t hesitate! Start a conversation with us today 🙂  

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