The Small Business Guide to Video Marketing

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You’ve likely noticed the trend toward small businesses using video marketing to propel their campaigns. Better cameras in smartphones have brought the ability to record to the masses. Everything from amateur instructional videos to professional-quality productions now appears on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. The type of video you produce depends on your budget and resources.

According to a survey by Wyzowl, about 85% of businesses use video for marketing. They talked to 656 marketing professionals and online consumers for their thoughts on both watching and creating videos. Around 96% of consumers said they watched explainer videos to learn more about a product.

If you aren’t focusing on at least some video marketing, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach users on a visual and emotional level. Fortunately, it’s easy for anyone to start making promotional clips. If you’re wondering, “How do I make a video?” then follow the steps below.

Video Marketing Guide

1. Choose a Goal

You may have already searched for some ideas, such as “How do I make a free business video?” One step many instructions skip over is figuring out what your purpose is for the video.

There are many different reasons why companies choose a visual medium. Think about what benefits you hope to gain by creating a video. Do you want to inform users about what you do? Perhaps you want to showcase a new product or service.

Think about the result you want for the effort and write it out. Keep the objective in mind as you work on the project.

2. Decide on a Video Type

There are many video types, and figuring out which one meets your needs takes brainstorming. Start with the kind with the greatest likelihood of having a significant impact on your business, such as an explainer video. Then consider:

  • Awareness: Help get your name out there and entertain your target audience.
  • Engagement: Get users to take action, such as sharing your video, making a comment or tapping into the consumer’s emotions.
  • Education: Teach your audience something new about your product, offer how-to advice or share details about what you do and why it benefits your users.

Within each of those categories, you can go with an animated video, use real people, go with B-roll footage or even utilize stock video. Stock video would be the least desirable, as it isn’t unique to your brand, but it works in a pinch.

3. Know Your Audience

As with nearly any aspect of your business, knowing your audience gives you an edge over the competition. Dig into the analytics of your typical buyer. What makes them tick? Even knowing their age ranges helps you figure out which emotions to tap into as you create your video.

A younger crowd may care more about the causes you embrace, while baby boomers will look to the details of what benefits you provide. That isn’t to say all age ranges don’t care about a good cause, but their focus might be different. It pays to know who your customers are.

4. Write a Script and Storyboard

Before you begin filming, write out a script for your video. Create a storyboard outlining the different beats of the video. Your filming and post-production work goes much faster when you have a blueprint for what you want the finished product to look like. You’ll also save time in the filming of the video, which helps with budgeting.

Whether your video is animated or features real people, you’ll want a storyboard so you know the main elements you need to get across and what the shots will approximately look like.

5. Choose Personalities

Once you have a script written, think about the players you need to create the storyline. You may need real people, such as employees or the company CEO, to talk on film. For animated videos, you need a character people relate to. Even if you’re using still shots and putting them into a video, you may need a narrator or voice-over actor.

Your budget also determines who works for you. If you have a larger budget, you might hire a professional videographer, a local actor and others. On the other hand, if you own a small mom-and-pop shop and have a minimal budget, your crew may consist of your employee filming the video on their iPhone and you doing the talking about your business.

Have the people involved run through the script enough to be highly familiar with it. You don’t just want someone to read verbatim, though. It will come off as unnatural and stilted.

6. Learn Basic Video Skills

Spend time studying essential video-taking and editing skills. What type of location do you need for proper lighting? Should you invest in equipment such as studio lights, the best video editing software and special microphones?

As you shoot more footage, you’ll learn tricks of the trade, such as cutting down on background noise by shutting off machines. Read as much as you can on the topic, pick the brains of people who know more than you and study your videos for elements that need improvement.

7. Place the Video

Once you shoot and edit the video, you must decide where to place the finished piece. Your website is an obvious choice, but you can either stream from there or embed it. Many businesses put their videos on YouTube and then embed them on their websites. Uploading to a third-party site gives you a presence on the social media site and can get more eyes on your video. You also save precious space on your servers.

Additional options include Facebook, Vimeo and other social media sites. You can even try out some live stream options to see how your audience reacts.

8. Tap Into Emotions

One of the key elements of a powerful business video involves tapping into user emotions. At the core of what drives people is a pain point. What is the problem your typical customer faces? What is bringing them to your site in the first place? Once you know what the problem is, it’s easier to figure out the emotions behind the issue.

For example, if you sell memorial markers, why does the client look for information on your stones? Because they miss their loved one or worry the people won’t remember them now that they’re gone. You can reassure them by showing how your memorial products commemorate life in a personal way that’s unique to your company.

How Video Can Help Your Business

Video grows in popularity every year. Use the medium to show off the pros of your company. Reach people who wouldn’t spend time reading an article but who love to absorb videos. You don’t have to create perfect material right away — you just need to get started and learn as you go.

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