Video marketing for small businesses: how to do it right
Small businesses have specific needs. Find out in this post the importance of small business’ video marketing!
Small business video marketing is video marketing designed to meet the specific needs of small and medium-sized businesses. In this article, we will look at what moves can be made to exploit the full potential of video in business settings to achieve significant benefits in terms of enhancing brand reputation and improving economic performance.
What is a small business?
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are defined as independent, non-subsidiary businesses that employ a specified number of employees. The upper limit of this number varies from country to country, depending on different production and economic contexts. For example, according to the European Commission, companies with fewer than 250 employees fall under the definition of small business, while the U.S. market specifies fewer than 500.
The European Commission makes a further distinction, classifying small and medium businesses into micro, small, and medium depending on the requirements they meet:
- micro enterprise, less than 10 employees and annual revenue or annual balance sheet total of less than €2 million;
- small enterprise, between 10 and 49 employees and annual revenue or annual balance sheet total of less than €10 million;
- medium-sized enterprise, between 50 and 249 employees and annual revenue of less than €50 million or an annual balance sheet total of less than €43 million (source: observatories.net).
Small businesses are thus generally those with fewer than 50 employees (while microenterprises have a maximum of 10, or in some cases five), and the value of financial activity therefore also contributes to the definition of small business (source: National and Action Plans on Business and Human Rights).
Small businesses: the backbone of our economies
The 400 million or so SMEs in the world today constitute the backbone of the economic systems of a great many countries. It is mainly small businesses that create jobs globally: they account for more than 95% of businesses and are responsible for 60 to 70% of employment.
The absolutely important position of small businesses is particularly evident within the European Union where they make up about 99% of all enterprises, create about 85% of new jobs, and provide two-thirds of total private sector employment (source: European Commission).
SMEs also play a crucial role in job growth in the global South, where they are often an integral part of global supply chains, both as buyers and suppliers. Closer relationships with employees, the local community, and business partners enable small and medium-sized enterprises to become bearers of innovation and social integration, actively participating in the economic growth of communities.
The decisive role of small business video marketing in brand-consumer communication
In a world continually shaped by new technologies, many of the traditional problems faced by smaller businesses run the risk of becoming more acute – difficulties in obtaining financing, lack of specialized technological skills, limited managerial capacity, low productivity, regulatory burdens, and outdated bureaucracy – digital tools make it possible to scale back the importance of economies of scale in many activities – consider the small revolution that has taken place in marketing, for example. And, it has enabled these businesses to increase their competitive potential (source: National and Action Plans on Business and Human Rights).
Let’s also consider the transformations in brand-consumer communication that have taken place over the past 15 years. Within the highly globalized and interconnected context that we have just described, video marketing initiatives undoubtedly rank among the most advanced solutions that have contributed – and still contribute to an ever-increasing extent – to achieving important growth objectives in terms of both business results and brand awareness.
On the consumer side, forecasts confirm an extremely promising picture: video will account for 82% of internet traffic by 2022 (source: Forbes). This is a fact that smaller companies absolutely cannot afford to ignore. Small business video marketing – video marketing designed to meet the specific needs of small and medium-sized businesses – was created precisely to extend the benefits of video content to small businesses.
There is no magic formula for achieving engaging and effective video marketing that applies to all businesses. However, companies can design and implement numerous actions. Before we discover them, however, let’s look at the critical issues and strengths of small business video marketing.
Small business video marketing: doubts and advantages
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners are still reluctant to include video in their marketing plan. There are basically three reasons for this hesitancy: they think it is too complicated, time-consuming, and costly.
- 64% of marketers consider videos the most difficult content to create (source: OptinMonster).
- According to Wyzowl, 23% of marketers do not use video for lack of time (or fear of wasting time), while for another 10%, high costs are the main deterrent.
In fact, as we mentioned above, thanks to the mass dissemination of digital technology, it has become much easier to overcome barriers to entry (lower than in the past) and start a small business, even with a small initial investment. And by taking advantage of the possibilities made available by the evolution of video creation and editing tools, small businesses can embrace video marketing without spending large sums and avoiding long and tiring production periods.
Thanks to small business video marketing, with limited budgets, it is possible to achieve considerable benefits: ranking higher in search results; helping users learn about and appreciate a product or service; pleasing consumers by offering them the medium they want; and building a stronger, longer-lasting brand connection.
1. Rank higher in search results
Embedding videos on your business website significantly increases the likelihood of ranking higher in search results on Google (and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo). And it is definitely worth it, especially since 75% of people never venture beyond the first page.
2. Help your audience learn about and appreciate a product or service
The products or services your company sells can be complex in themselves and therefore difficult to explain. Before buying them, it’s essential for your audience to learn how they work, their technical qualities, and their expected benefits.
An overwhelming majority of people (96% of those surveyed by HubSpot) report watching explainer videos to learn more about a product, and 88% say they were convinced to proceed with a purchase after watching a video.
Indeed, an explainer video gives potential customers the opportunity to show how a product or service solves a problem.
3. Pleasing consumers by offering them the medium they want
88% of people (up 3% from last year) would like brands to make and distribute more video (source: Wyzowl, 2022). We can say with reasonable certainty that video content is the medium of choice for network users (and therefore also for consumers).
So, why not take advantage of a tool that is growing stronger year after year? All that remains is to offer consumers the content proposition they actually want to enjoy.
4. Build a stronger and longer lasting brand connection
Watching a video provides both auditory and visual stimuli. Video creates the conditions for a significantly more immersive (and therefore more engaging) experience than that offered by an infographic or blog post, however enjoyable and well-argued this content may be.
The activation of both areas of our brain, which occurs during viewing, testifies to a lively and sustained interest in the story we are consuming. This mechanism, which has neurological and biochemical underpinnings, is critical for small businesses that struggle to make their brand recognizable and depend on the loyalty of their customers.
5. Increase conversions
98% of marketers contacted by Vidyard reported that video converts the same or better than any other form of content. Conversion rates increase in the case of websites that use video. Among the analytics capabilities that digital technologies enable, one that is particularly valued by marketers and sales is using video viewing data in lead-qualifying actions to engage prospects or target ongoing negotiations.
So far we have tried to provide an overview of the doubts (few) and strengths (many) that can influence small businesses in choosing whether or not to develop video marketing projects. Instead, we’ll now look at the main steps to address when designing a video marketing strategy.
Here some tips to create an effective small business video marketing
Here are the actions that you can still take to create incisive and engaging videos, even without a huge budget or lots of time.
1. Establish your goal
Before you start creating your videos, you need to define your intended goals as precisely as possible. The question to ask yourself, then, is inevitably, “What is the purpose of my video?” Below are some examples of possible goals and the type of video best suited to them.
- Increase brand awareness – Company video
- Increase sales – Product video
- Educate customers – Explainer video (also tutorial or educational)
- Increase company credibility and trust – Social proof video
From this point on, every decision you make to create your video should be in line with the goal you wish to pursue.
2. Choose the type of video
To help you save time (and money), here are three types of videos, differentiated based on desired outcomes, that every small business should make.
Company videos offer audiences a chance to learn about the company’s history and mission from an insider’s perspective. And consumers appreciate it. According to Accenture’s report From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand:
- 64% of consumers prefer brands that communicate their purpose honestly and without wavering;
- 52% say they are more motivated to buy from particular brands if those brands decide to put themselves out there and choose to stand for something bigger than their products and services.
Product videos show a product “in action” by highlighting the practical benefits of using it, in one or more contexts. In 2021 as many as 96% of people surveyed by Wyzowl used videos to learn more about a given product or service.
The caution here must be to bring out the product’s ability to solve customers’ specific problems. By itself, a product description has little value.
Social proof video
Social proof is that particular attitude that comes from the idea that the actions and opinions of others influence our behavior. When it comes to small business video marketing, you can use the authority and influence of people outside your company to create social proof and fuel positive feelings and perceptions toward your brand. Customer testimonials and product reviews, video collaborations with brand ambassadors and influencers, or even video content generated by your customers on social media are all interventions that can help reinforce brand authority over the most valuable activities.
3. Adopt the necessary tools, including turning to an authoritative partner
Even before we start shooting, we need to identify what equipment is essential for creating our videos. It is therefore necessary, first of all, to make a reflection that considers the budget actually available and the result you intend to achieve (creative, in the sense of “artistic” and functional rendering, from the point of view of the intended objective).
A clarification is needed: those who claim that good equipment or specialized skills (those of scriptwriters, video makers, illustrators, animators, sound designers) are irrelevant in the video creation process underestimate some fundamental aspects. Of course, a smartphone and a microphone may suffice for filming: it all depends on the quality of the video we want to achieve and its intended use. In the case of videos for social networks, for example, spontaneity and the live-action effect matter much more than the accuracy of production.
Even though production and editing costs have come down considerably, proper equipment and skilled, experienced operators are still necessary for obtaining a film-quality video. Again, it depends on the communication objective we are aiming for.
The best alternative for effective small business video marketing, which allows us to achieve excellent results without having to contact a team of professionals, is definitely to rely on an authoritative partner who is not only able to provide advice at every stage of the production process but can propose and implement the best technological tools for each specific need. This is the case with platforms for video creation and automation, solutions that enable the linking of data from different sources to stage the stories imagined by brands, shifting the focus from personalization to conversions.
Copywriters, video creators, digital marketers and developers: this is who we are! Young, passionate, geeky and very keen on media and technology. Fancy to meet the team? Contact us or submit your cv, we love talented people.