In the last few years, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have dealt with their fair share of challenges. From the pandemic requiring many companies to work remotely to a looming recession, succeeding in the fiercely competitive corporate environment is no easy feat.
No matter the size of their company, today’s business owners know just how important effective marketing is to their success, particularly in reaching new audiences and garnering more consumers. Increasing your customer base is a surefire way to bring your organization to the forefront of potential customers’ minds and build brand loyalty and trust.
Here is a deep dive into small business marketing, the importance of video marketing for your SMB, and helpful tips to boost your marketing video strategy.
Basic Marketing — A Key Element for Small Business Success
A good marketing plan can set your company apart from the competition, something every owner wants to accomplish. A widely used element of modern marketing is the marketing mix, also known as “the four Ps.” The four P’s include product, promotion, price, and place.
Essentially, all businesses need to address the four P’s in their marketing plan if they want it to be effective and boost profitability. Today’s marketing landscape is digitally driven, meaning companies leverage new digital platforms and technologies to get existing and potential consumers’ attention.
The Importance of Video Marketing
Video marketing is one type of content marketing that educates your audience about the products and services you sell. For example, retailers might feature a 360° video of a model wearing a new blouse in hopes of selling it to their target audience. Another example would be an auto-detailing company capturing a video of an employee performing an interior detailing job to impress customers.
Other types of content marketing include:
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Testimonials and reviews
An engaging content marketing strategy could bring your company to life and reach a new target audience. Around 60% of organizations use video marketing to reach audiences and 30% of marketers believe videos play a more critical role in their marketing plans than their websites.
Popular Video Marketing Tools
Video marketing tools — from video marketing software and editing to animation and livestream — are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes and types. Here are some of the top video marketing tools you might want to use for yours:
Plenty of other tools exist, but each one will have unique features. Some might be more expensive or advanced than others, which is essential to note if you or your staff are new to video marketing.
Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses
Marketers believe online video marketing is integral to any marketing strategy, but what are some of the benefits of producing video content for your organization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital aspect of modern marketing. Being a small business, ranking highly on search engines might be challenging when competing against large corporations.
However, video marketing can be a significant boon in your SEO efforts, helping you get to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages). Videos can drastically improve your SEO, so it’s worth the time and effort to produce even the most basic videos.
Build Trust and Rapport
If you want people to purchase your products or services, they need to trust you. Building a favorable relationship with your consumers is possible with video marketing.
A simple video of the CEO or other leaders introducing themselves helps both existing and potential customers to feel a human connection to your company. This helps build trust and loyalty and gives customers a personalized experience when learning about your offerings.
Boost Social Shares
Brands are leveraging social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to reach younger audiences, especially millennials and Gen Z. Take the insanely popular app TikTok, for example. The app revolves around videos and since it’s one of the most widely used social media available, businesses would be remiss not to create an account.
Video marketing on TikTok is blowing up right now. In a world where consumers are inundated with videos from brands and influencers on TikTok, it makes sense for SMBs to use the platform to follow other brands, create entertaining content and sell products and services.
Increase Customer Engagement
As mentioned above, customer engagement is key to your customer base. How can your business acquire potential clients or keep existing customers if they aren’t engaged with your brand?
A major benefit of video marketing is increasing customer engagement to build out your brand’s customer base. It only takes one video to go viral.
Expand Customer Base
It doesn’t take much to get started with video marketing. You only need a decent smartphone or an inexpensive video camera. If you have a marketing department, your workers can focus strictly on video marketing by drawing up scripts, organizing content to record, and other methods of creating engaging videos for your audience.
Videos help your brand achieve a good return on investment (ROI). According to a 2021 report from YouTube, 85% of SMBs with a YouTube channel saw increases in their customer base because their videos helped them reach new audiences.
How SMBs Can Start With Video Marketing
If you’re an SMB owner with little to no video marketing experience, you might feel intimidated or uncomfortable getting started with this new type of marketing. It’s okay to feel nervous or unsure of what you’re doing at first and it may take trial and error to get it right. Because video marketing offers such a high ROI, it’s well worth overcoming some obstacles.
You can also speak with a digital marketing agency to learn more about your options, which types of videos will work best for your SMB, and even outsource work if you cannot pay for a dedicated marketing team. Many digital marketing professionals are well-versed in helping other businesses succeed and have specialized knowledge or secondary education degrees in the field.
For example, partnering with a digital marketer with an MBA could be a major boon to your business. The median salary for an MBA graduate is $50,000 more than those with a bachelor’s degree, so it makes sense for these professionals to earn more than just a bachelor’s.
Below is a list of goals you should have regarding your video marketing strategy. Consider using this basic guide to help you get started.
1. Create Your Brand’s Story
To appeal to a broad audience, your brand needs to include a set of foundational — also called “cornerstone” — videos. These videos should build your brand’s voice, identity, and mission.
They can also include your company goals or any new initiatives your SMB is launching. Rather than highlighting any specific products or services, be sure these “brand story” videos are well-edited and thoughtful and provide an excellent first impression for your viewers.
2. Use Customer Testimonials
Who better to speak about how great your organization is than the customers you already have? Including customer testimonials in videos will increase the likelihood of other people engaging with your brand.
Think of testimonials as a digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. In other words, existing customers can share raving testimonials about your company with others on video, citing excellent experiences they’ve had when buying your products or services.
3. Speak to Customers Directly
One great aspect of video marketing is it can be a two-way street. You can produce interactive, engaging videos for your customers to keep them interested and returning to your brand.
For example, you can create videos with answers to frequently asked questions, announcements of new products, deals or promotions on services, and more. Another potential tactic is to go live on apps like Instagram or TikTok. You can respond to customer questions, concerns, or positive sentiments in real-time, which is highly engaging to anyone using those platforms.
4. Highlight Your Respective Industry
An essential part of doing business online is illustrating your authority. For instance, if you sell bikes, you should know about recent trends in the industry, such as the advent of electric bicycles and new developments in helmet protection. Another example is the beauty industry. One significant trend is sustainability, so more and more cosmetic and beauty companies are pushing eco-friendly products that are not tested on animals.
Even if you’re a small business, it’s crucial to let your customers know you’re aware of these industry standards and are trying to meet their expectations. Highlight happenings in your industry in your creative video content to show your audience you’re staying abreast of the latest trends.
5. Be Authentic and Transparent
Ultimately, your video marketing strategy has to come to a place of authenticity. Consumers can easily spot disingenuous content online and you want to avoid that major pitfall.
If you’re transparent about your products, services, and company culture, your video content will land with your customer base. You can achieve authenticity by using real people in your content, such as genuine consumers and actual employees from your SMB.
3 Tips for Excellent Video Marketing Campaigns
After following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to creating engaging content for your video marketing campaigns. Below are some other helpful tips for video content and what to keep in mind when building your campaigns.
1. Experiment With Different Video Types
No two videos are the same, so you are free to switch up the types of videos you post on your website to social media channels. There are many video genres you can create for your SMB marketing campaigns. Here are some examples:
- How-to/tutorial videos
- Demo videos
- Recipe videos
- Top 10 list videos
- Training videos
- Animation videos
- Interview videos
- Advertising videos
This list is quite long and only covers part of the gamut of video types. However, using a mix of these videos will help keep your customer base on its toes. They might watch a top 10 list video of your best products and feel more inclined to watch a how-to video about the number one item. Be sure to experiment with different video formats to ensure your audience stays interested.
2. Identify Tools and Equipment
If you want to make long-term video marketing goals, it’s crucial that you invest in the necessary tools and video production equipment early. As an SMB, you know it’s important to budget appropriately to remain profitable. However, buying a decent camera, lighting equipment, audio tools, and video marketing software will help enhance the quality of your video content.
If you want to avoid purchasing the equipment, you can hire an outside party to film the content for you using their own set of materials. Whether you work with a third party or in-house, use high-quality video equipment to get the best results for your campaigns.
3. Pay Attention to Small Details
Video production is a challenging field to enter, especially with little or no experience. Spend time outside of managing your SMB to practice filming, editing, or any other aspect of pre- and post-production.
Train yourself to recognize small details in your videos. If you catch any mistakes early on, you can fix them and save your staff and yourself more time later. Paying close attention to detail is an excellent skill for any entrepreneur to have and video marketing specialists are no exception.
Building an Effective Video Marketing Strategy for Your SMB
The concept of garnering more customers to expand your customer base seems like an ever-moving target. Various economic, social and political trends influence consumer sentiment so fast — by the time you create content for your audience, they’re already onto the next trending topic.
In order to compete with other, larger organizations, it’s crucial to use all of the resources under the digital marketing umbrella. You can launch a blog or a podcast or simply create a YouTube channel to post-marketing videos for your current and prospective customers.
Video marketing is a sound strategy if you’re trying to improve your current marketing tactics. While producing videos might not change with the times, you can do your best to keep your content as evergreen as possible. Follow the comprehensive video marketing guide above and good luck with your video marketing journey.