These years, videos are the most effective tool for brands online to drive sales. According to Social Media Week, users retain up to 95% of a message from brands online if consumed in a video format. In addition, they mostly (in 75% of cases) learn about new brands and products by occasionally viewed commercials integrated into the content they currently watch.
Small business video marketing is also becoming a more widely spread approach over the years. The main reason for that is brand mass migration online as connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another is the recent advent of numerous tools that companies could use to produce videos themselves, study their audience, and target their ads.
In this article, we would like to guide you through critical tips regarding video marketing for small businesses to help you get the full advantage of your budget.
- What’s Special About Small Business Video Marketing?
- Video Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses: What Videos Do You Need?
- Develop a Video Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses: Key Steps
- Video Marketing Tips for Small Businesses: Blue Carrot’s Experience
- Final Thoughts
In years past, not many brands could afford to use video in their marketing strategy. In addition, marketers were limited in their choice of video format.
Traditional commercials were rarely more than one minute long and could only be shown on TV or advertising monitors indoors and outdoors. In both cases, broadcasting such videos was very expensive. There were other problems with video marketing as well: until recently, brands were unable to invest in showing promotional videos to some who are more likely to react to them.
The situation has changed over the years. Today, companies can effectively use the advertising budget, showing videos only to those who belong to their target audience and reach potential customers wherever they need it: on social networks, on websites, in applications, and offline stores.
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As a result, modern brands built marketing strategies where videos can strengthen every stage of the sales funnel. Explore more valuable insight here — Video Marketing Statistics: What Your Business Should Track in 2021.
👉 Today’s benefits of video marketing for small businesses include:
- Better brand awareness
- Higher conversion rates from new customers to loyal ones
- Increased sales
- Faster ROI on sales campaigns
Producing professional videos is still expensive; however, small businesses can now more accurately predict the results of a particular video campaign through analytics and targeting and thus take less risk
In addition to reaching consumers through paid promotion, small brands can also benefit from advanced algorithms on social media channels like YouTube and Instagram that choose what content users see on their screens. Since social networks are interested in increasing the amount of time people spend on their channels, the algorithms tend to show your regular branded page content to only those who are likely to react to it. A recent study published on HotSpot showed that over 54% of modern consumers want their favorite brand to share more videos online.
In a sense, small local business video marketing can have an even higher ROI compared to global brand campaigns. Typically, small local companies have a better understanding of target audience insights in part due to the phenomenon called local pride.
Modern marketers can expect their conversions to go higher at 34% if they use videos in their campaigns.
There are many types of videos brands can use in their communication with customers. On the Internet, you can find classifications based on artistic techniques, video duration, tasks, stages of the sales funnel, and the tools you use to interact with clients when your video is over.
You don’t need to know the definitions of these videos by heart to create successful small business video marketing strategies. However, to give you a basic understanding of the kind of videos a studio like Blue Carrot can produce for you, we’ve prepared a list of the most popular types of videos used by small enterprises:
Goal: Explain product or service, how it works, and why it is good; increase conversion rates.
This is the most common video genre and is a focus for Blue Carrot. Why? One explainer video can be used at different stages of the sales funnel, resulting in cost savings.
An explainer video features a short and captivating story about your company or product and ends with a call-to-action – to go to the site, catalog, or page of a specific service.
Learn more about explainer videos here — Explainer Video Guide.
Also, take a look at one more e-learning video for University example. We had to deal with the resource optimization and production units coordination in the most effective way to deliver 200+ minutes of animation overlays. And we managed to do everything on time.
Goal: provide a viewer with social proof that your product is great.
The advantage of testimonial videos is that they are easy to create. A basic video of this type is a small interview with your client, in which they speak about their experience of using your product and thank you for your cooperation.
Testimonial videos work well on both social media and your website. They increase potential customer loyalty and make your product more appealing. An advanced task is to produce a testimonial video featuring a client’s remarkable story. In this case, you can expect your content to go viral.
Goal: promote your product or company and raise brand awareness.
Typically, small businesses expect to impress their audiences with their commercials. Therefore, promotional videos are usually short (up to 60 seconds). They are shown to audiences who are not yet familiar with the company or the product at an early stage of the sales funnel.
On rare occasions, promo videos are created to remind customers of a company.
Producing an advertising video is expensive since the creative team is challenged to grab viewers’ attention, arouse their immediate sympathy and interest, and drive them to take an action.
Goal: increase user loyalty and give your brand a human touch.
As you know, people do not buy from brands but rather from other people. In most cases, they are driven by emotions. So an expressive company story will help you establish emotional contact with your audience and become more recognizable.
In corporate videos, the main characters are company representatives: founders, executives and employees. However, in a small business that often operates in a local market, the stories of people from the same region as the customers are always a safe bet.
Feel free to make your video sentimental or dramatic. Emotional response to your content occurs earlier than rational response. Use this genre at the second and third stages of the sales funnel.
Read more about video sales funnels here — How to Create a Successful Video Marketing Sales Funnel.
Goal: educate viewers, get more organic reaches, and establish a robust expert reputation.
Educational videos are useful, practical content for viewers that helps build a positive brand image and require a minimum of funds to reach the broadest possible audience.
A typical E-learning video consists of a subject or problem description, followed by a clear and informative story about resolving an issue on your own. E-learning videos can be quite long. Based on your customer research, you can even create a video course that answers the most challenging customer questions.
Let’s say you run a local flower business. In this case, you could create a video series about the symbolism of different flowers. Check out the e-learning video course for fintech case study we’ve made.
Goal: amuse viewers and strengthen your image, create an atmosphere that matches it, and share your brand values.
Not everyone can afford a video marketing strategy for small businesses that includes branded videos. The problem is that the ROI is difficult to predict: you can either hit the jackpot or crash.
A prime example of branded videos are those from sports equipment manufacturers in which customers perform extreme tricks. Essentially, you do not tell potential buyers directly about your first-class products but rather arouse their interest through unusual, somewhat surprising, or funny content.
If you already have experience creating a marketing strategy, working on small business video marketing strategies will not be difficult for you. It is crucial to understand how to integrate videos into your plan and drive your marketing metrics such as conversions, sales, and brand or product awareness. Here, we’ll go over the steps to create such a strategy and help you avoid common mistakes.
Any marketing strategy is meaningless if it has no purpose. We recommend that you make your goal as specific as possible. For example, it could be acquiring 100 new customers in two months or building your expertise in the eyes of potential customers.
More often than not, video can help you reach your goal faster. But this is not always the case. Therefore, a clear definition of your goal and then the methods of achieving it will help you to allocate the budget properly (read more about video pricing here), and understand whether you need local business video marketing.
👉 As usual, you need to develop a video marketing strategy for small businesses, if:
- Your target audience prefers social media where multimedia content dominates.
- Your brand message is complex and needs an easily digestible form.
- You have little time to impress customers, so your content should be informative and astonishing.
A lot depends not only on your marketing goal, but on your target audience as well. So at this point, make a list of platforms where you can reach these people, and then make a list of the actions you need to take to reach your goal.
For example, if your goal for your brand is to double your sales, and your audience spends a lot of time on YouTube, you might conclude that you need to increase your brand’s presence on this social network. However, how exactly do you do this?
👉 A list of characteristics of your target audience will help you here:
- Age and Gender
- Income Level
- Profession and Interests
- Fears and Values
- Typical Buying Behavior
- Difficulties or Challenges (with which your product helps)
To build video marketing strategy for small businesses, you need to introduce your audience to video content that will convince them that your product will be helpful to them. Use your audience’s fears, desires, and concerns to create a content plan and develop a style that resonates most with those people. Read more about styles and types of animation here.
Considering that how-to videos are the most viewed on YouTube, you should promote your brand on this platform.
Video-based marketing strategy features vary. Typically, brands use videos to promote their accounts on social platforms. In this case, brands get new subscribers, with whom they can communicate whenever they need it. It is a long-term investment that makes it possible for companies to reduce investment in advertising over time and reach people organically with branded content posted on their pages.
Less commonly, brands only invest in video ads on social media and third-party platforms. In this case, they receive instant sales and registrations but do not establish regular communication with buyers.
Now, let’s get back to the content plan.
A content plan is a calendar in which we mark the release dates of content on behalf of your brand and indicate the platform where you will showcase this content.
The more often you appear in a user’s feed, the more likely they will remember you and respond to your call-to-action.
👉 Since producing a professional video from scratch is time-consuming (for example, creating an animated 3-minute video in Blue Carrot takes six weeks), small brands choose one of the following budget optimization options:
- Create videos from static images
- Use high-quality microstock videos
- Release relatively few new videos but enhance their content plan with easier-to-produce static content like banners, photos, and illustrations
Video production is the most time-consuming step in implementing your video strategy. You can go to a professional video production studio or create one yourself. In both cases, we recommend that you carefully plan and manage all the production processes.
👉 Here are the steps that a branded video production necessarily includes:
- Creating a video concept: brainstorming and defining the critical idea of each video, and their format (for example, explainer, promo, or testimonial video)
- Storyboarding and developing a video style
- Record videos or create illustrations and then animate them
- Casting voiceover actors and recording voiceover text
- Soundtrack creation (mix music, sound effects, and voiceover record)
- Adding titles
We recommend that you shoot a test video as part of your content strategy to determine exactly how long it takes to create such content about your product or service.
Do not, under any circumstances, plan to release the video the next day after titles have been added. Almost every video requires several rounds of edits before final approval and publication.
So the day has come. Your video is ready, and you publish it or launch a paid video ad campaign. What’s next? Be prepared that your first results will not be as prominent as you expect. Reach and conversions grow exponentially as you regularly post more and more content.
Regardless, the analytics of each video can give you valuable insights concerning the target user behavior and help you make your following videos more effective.
👉 Keep your eye on indicators like the following:
- Call-to-action clicks, reactions, comments, and video shares
- Key facts about your audience (age, gender, location, etc.)
- Engagement rate
- Video saves
- Average watch time
- Traffic source
Take note of which videos bring you closer to your marketing goal and adjust your content plan accordingly. If possible, conduct an interview with some of your viewers to explore even more insights.
Blue Carrot is an animation studio that creates videos for businesses that want to increase conversions at different sales funnel stages or improve their brand awareness.
Our team does not create small business video marketing strategies from scratch. Still, we know how to help you create the strategy by asking specific questions, optimize video production and create business animation that will help you reach your marketing goals.
As usual, in-house marketers and strategists are engaged in the development of video strategies for small companies. In some cases, small businesses also turn to marketing agencies to create an effective video marketing strategy. It is often the case with tech startups and other innovative companies that can’t take advantage of time-tested approaches and are unwilling to take risks.
As an animation production studio, we’ve created a list of video marketing ideas for small business that can be a starting point while creating or validating your video strategy:
What works better, one high-quality video or several low-quality clips? Of course, marketers will give you different answers, but we know how to help you get the most out of it, if you took the first option.
Create your video considering that you will release it on different platforms (list them and collect their technical requirements) and in different situations. Video explainers are an excellent example of this approach asthey can be used at various stages of your sales funnel.
Video marketing is all about sharing new content with users on a regular basis. Small companies often lack the resources to create high-quality tutorials several times a week. Still, they can increase the amount of content they produce by leveraging drag-and-drop tools they have at their fingertips.
Live videos are accepted on many social media platforms. To create such content, you only need a mobile phone with a camera. Screen recording works well for digital products. Often, users are interested in looking at the interface of your applications or sites. There are also tons of tools for animating text boxes, series of photos, and other static elements. Explore Pixaloop, Adobe Spark, and Textro.
The video you display on your landing page determines the impression you make on a potential buyer. Your business may not benefit much from relying solely on video in its marketing strategy. Still, an attention-grabbing video, instead of a banner and text on the first screen of your site, will likely bring you outstanding results. According to recent statistics by TechJury, videos can boost conversions of your landing pages by 86%.
At Blue Carrot, we offer a variety of high-quality animated videos to enhance your sales funnel, including explainer videos, promotional content, E-learning videos, and more. As a small business, you can generate buzz around a video by asking us to prepare shortened, full-length, and extended versions.
Shorter video versions will help create a sense of anticipation for your audience. Extended versions will make your potential customers follow your social media page updates.
Wondering how long should a marketing video be? Check our article.
Another low-budget way to get good footage is to ask your clients or customers to record short videos for you. While recording yourself on camera is stressful, you can motivate clients to take this step by convincing them that their opinion is important to you, and it will help hundreds of people make the right decision.
Testimonials and video reviews from customers inspire trust in the audience and don’t have to be of high quality. On the contrary, if your video looks non-staged and a little amateurish, it will inspire even more sympathy and trust.
Video is king, but there is no direct correlation between your video costs and how many people it attracted.
You can use relatively affordable artistic techniques like whiteboard, 2D animation instead of 3D, and actual filming of actors to create short-form content. At the same time, the use of 3D graphics can reduce the cost per minute of your video if you need a series of videos or long clips (more than 5 minutes).
Want to learn more about the explainer video cost? Check out the article.
EXPLORE OUR CASE STUDIES:
🥕 Explainer video animation example for Blundermail
🥕 Animated explainer video case study for Handle
🥕 Animated explainer video for financial product – Kalgera
Small business video marketing has several differences from approaches that work for global brands and markets. First, small brands often can’t invest in numerous high-quality professional videos, so they repurpose videos they already have.
At the same time, small businesses are closer to their audiences, and their video content often resonates more than the content of global brands. The first reason for this is the local audience pride, and the second is better knowledge of audience insights. Therefore, it is easier for a small brand to have a better video campaign ROI.
Typical benefits of video marketing for small businesses include higher brand awareness, reaching a wider audience with product offers, and building a loyal customer base faster.
Blue Carrot is an animated explainer video agency for both, small and medium businesses. We take over the production of animated content, help you avoid typical animation mistakes and we will be happy to implement your marketing strategy right now. Check out our educational video showreel and feel free to get in touch.
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