Video Marketing for Small Business Owners – Tips & Strategies
Tips from Ramon Ray, founder, SmartHustle.com
Video marketing for business is powerful. I’ve been leveraging the power of video for many years. Over and over and over again, people ask me, “Ramon, how have you been successful in your business.” Or I’m often told, “Ramon, we see you everywhere.”
Video is a large part of that marketing success.
It’s not just me; many business owners, especially business coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, and those who are selling their expertise (like attorneys, doctors, financial planners, real estate agents) are using video to GROW their business.
This growth is because they are building their brand, which grows name recognition and community, which leads to more sales.
Video humanizes and personalizes you and your personal brand.
Video helps you build a community of fans and followers that you can educate to buy from you.
Want to learn more about community building and personal branding?
I highly recommend you check out my book, “Celebrity CEO – How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive By Building a Community and a Strong Personal Brand.”
So how can you leverage video marketing in your business?
Answer Your Customers’ Questions.
You have customers, or potential customers, who come to you for your expertise and knowledge. If they’re not coming to you, you know the questions they have, or should be asking.
Even if you’re selling a product, I bet sales increase as people see your knowledge and can help them decide what product is best for them. Video marketing puts your expertise in front of your ideal customers.
So think, what are all the questions people have or should be asking and answer those questions. Marcus Sheridan’s book, They Ask, You Answer is all about this.
As you think of these questions, write them down. Maybe you start by writing down the first 3 or 4 questions. Over time as you leave a client meeting or think of more questions, keep a running list of items that you need to answer.
Along with these questions, write down a few key bullet points of the answers. You’re the expert, so you won’t need to write down an entire essay.
The answers should be able to come from your heart and mind quickly.
Now you have the basis of a script for your video. A script is essential and will help you quickly create the video.
Video Creation Tools
Your phone – It doesn’t take a lot to create a great video. All you need is your phone. If you are using a phone, make sure it’s not too old, but good enough to make a great video. I have a Samsung S10, and new iPhones also make beautiful videos.
I recommend you get a simple tripod. There are zillions of great ones. I use a video monopod like this for when I travel or even to the office. Tripods are made for DSLR professional cameras; you’ll want to get a cell phone tripod mount to hold the cell phone in place.
When I’m in my office, I use an external video camera, I use the Logitech Brio. I find the webcam quality built into many computers is less than ideal or poorly positioned.
Lighting is so, so, so important. When you create videos, make sure people can SEE you. You don’t want too much light; you could end up looking like a white sheet (if your skin is light). If you’re darker-skinned, like me, use too little light, your audience won’t see you well. Natural lighting and office lighting will work just fine. OR, do what I did, and invest in a clip-on light for your desk. There are SO many options.
I use two simple lights like this and clip them on my desk, facing me.
Audio is another essential part of a great video, make sure people can hear you. With my webcam or phone, in a quiet room, the sound is clear and of good quality. But, I also have several audio tools such as a lavaliere mic that I can put on my chest or a “shotgun” mic that captures sound right in front of it. Again there are so many options to consider, but you probably won’t need this as you’re just starting.
Editing Your Video
You don’t have to edit your video, but it could be a nice touch. Some edits to consider:
- Adding opening and closing music
- Branding your video with your name and company at the bottom of the video (called lower thirds). Important.
- One of my favorite tools for editing video on your phone is Magisto
Marketing Your Video
Now that you’ve recorded it, how do you MARKET your video? Creating a video is only HALF of the job.
Marketing your video is the most significant and time-consuming part of using video for business. Video marketing ensures that people SEE your video.
There’s so much you can read and study about video marketing, but here’s a quick summary and probably all you need.
Video marketing is similar to what you would do with social media marketing!
- For video to work, you must do it with some frequency. Weekly or so. Watch me talk more about this here. Just doing the video alone will have you SEEN more in people’s social streams and build your brand. But there’s more.
- Have a call to action. More often than not, your call to action will NOT be to buy your service, but instead, invite someone to schedule a call with you or download a free guide. You want to nurture and educate your audience before asking them to buy from you (based on my principle attract, sell, wow). See me talk more about that here.
- There are many social platforms you can post to – Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube – is there more? I don’t think you need to post to all platforms, but you should understand which platform your audience is using. Also, each platform is a bit different. The length of the video (timing), sizing, and orientation are different. LinkedIn is great for business, and YouTube is a powerful search tool; I use all the platforms in different ways. But FOCUS on one platform (maybe two) and get good at it.
Remember, the call to action is essential. What do you want your audience to do when they finish watching your video? You want them to TAKE ACTION!
Three Types of Video
As you explore video marketing for your business, keep in mind these three types of video.
- Showcase – this is the sizzle video, advertising video, or video that is polished and professional and used to showcase your business. It probably won’t change that much. You might refresh it every year or so.
- Education – this is the video that I reference in this article. You create and share them often, maybe a few times a week. You’re HELPING someone, making them smarter, educating them, and drawing them into your funnel. Getting their contact information or having them follow you on social, so you can BE TOP OF MIND and nurture them to keep thinking of you and eventually buy from you. When they’re ready for what you have to offer, they’ll think of you and BUY!
- Personal – sometimes, it’s great to “let your hair down” and chill. Show your community the non-business side of you. Maybe show yourself in the garden (don’t reveal personal information about your house), or on a Friday, show your community on Instagram what you’re watching on Netflix.
Three Ways to Publish Video on Social Media
There are three ways to publish videos on social media.
You can do a traditional video on your phone or computer and upload it directly to one of the social platforms. Today the easiest way to upload a video to Instagram is with your mobile device; it can be challenging to do from a computer.
Videos are getting shorter too, like 60 seconds or less. Reels and TikToks have a short time limit but are engaging and powerful for marketing.
Live video is a powerful way to engage your audience. People love “live” or what seems like live, hence the popularity of The Bachelorette and Shark Tank.
A video story is probably one of the most powerful types of video. This type of video is available for a limited amount of time for your community to see. Hence, people rush to view it. Also, stories are often given more visibility in your audience’s social stream.
There are a few more ways, depending on the platform, but these are the main ones today!
What If You Don’t Do Video Well?
Most of the time, you’re doing just fine, and you’re too hard on yourself, if you keep doing video, you will get better and better at it.
Using a service like VideoSocials can help you collaborate and create videos with others.
If you think you’re TERRIBLE with video, get some practice by doing more public speaking. Speak in your church, speak at non-profit organizations, speak more at local chamber of commerce events.
Video Marketing for Business – In Conclusion
Video is easy to do. It can be a bit scary if you’re not used to it and are just starting.
- Be yourself. Resist the temptation to try to be like someone else.
- Be clear and to the point.
- Have a clear and straightforward call to action.
- Educate yourself. There are so many ways to create and market videos.
- Your first video will be terrible. Get over it, keep doing it, you’ll get better and better.
- Don’t stop at the video. Use marketing automation to nurture your fans and community to paying customers. Tools like Keap, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Mailchimp, vCita, Aweber, ConverKit, and many others can help.
- Don’t wait for PERFECT. My videos aren’t always perfect. I make mistakes; the sound is not always as good as I want it. JUST KEEP GOING. Over time you’ll get better and better. And if MOST of your videos are great, you’ll be fine.
- Focus on delivering great INFORMATION to the right audience and they’ll love you for it. Make your audience just a bit smarter when they finish your video.
BONUS Video I did all about how to use CONTENT to build your brand and grow sales!
6 Video Marketing Tips To Keep in Mind
1. Make it personal
There could be tens, hundreds, or even thousands of businesses selling what you sell. Showcasing your personality and uniqueness is a great way to differentiate yourself from these competitors. Through video, you can let the audience get to know your business on a deeper level. When you make an impression through sharing the personal details behind your business, it not only makes your video content more interesting, but also fosters engagement and leaves a positive brand impression.
The following example from McCrea’s Candies illustrates just how effective a personal video can be. Wouldn’t you would rather purchase caramels from a company with a video like this than one that only features photos and descriptions of their product on their website?
2. Show, don’t tell
Video is a visual medium, yet many business videos are very text-heavy, using titles and captions to spell out every little detail about a product or service. Rather than telling us about your business, show us through photos and videos. Video testimonials can also be a great way to show viewers about your business through the eyes of happy clients.
3. Less is more
As part of Animoto’s recent Online and Social Video Marketing Study, we asked consumers what they viewed as the ideal length for specific types of videos. We found that keeping your videos between thirty and sixty seconds is ideal. For more in-depth product videos, consumers are willing to sit for a bit longer, but not for much (1 to 2 minutes).
In today’s fast-paced, content-packed world, it’s no surprise that viewers are hungry for bite-sized content. Fifty nine percent of consumers indicated that a video being too long would strongly deter them from watching, and nearly two thirds of consumers prefer videos under 60 seconds.
4. Include your branding
Make sure viewers know the video is coming from you so they know how to find you when they’re finished watching. You can brand your video by adding your logo at the start and/or end or displaying a logo bug in the lower corner throughout. Make sure any text, images, and colors in your video are also on-brand.
5. Include music
Music is a great addition to video because it helps set the mood and makes the viewing experience more enjoyable. Make sure to select a track that fits with the atmosphere of the video as a whole. How do you want people to feel when they’re watching your video? Select a track that evokes those emotions. The following example demonstrates how to strike the right chord when selecting a track for your promotional video:
6. Call to action
Finally, help your viewers take the next step – whether it be to visit your website or to contact you – by including a call to action in your video. You can have on-camera talent actually tell viewers what to do next, include a text call to action during or at the end of your video, or even include a call-to-action button to let viewers click through to wherever you want to direct them.
By now it’s clear that every business needs to be incorporating video into their marketing strategy. With these six tips, you’re ready to get a leg up on the competition.
As founding CEO of Animoto, Brad leads the charge in driving Animoto to be the global standard for automated video creation. Prior to co-founding Animoto in August 2006, Brad spent eight years with Onyx Software, an enterprise software company. At Onyx, he was Director of Sales Operations and managed the national team of sales engineers. Previously, Brad managed Onyx’s Professional Services team and customer base in the western US. Through Brad’s career at Onyx he saw the company grow from a 17-person start-up to an 800-person public company, and eventually an acquisition. Brad graduated from Dartmouth College and currently resides in Oakland, California, with his wife and their two children, both of whom are stars of his frequent Animoto video creations.
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