10 Ways for Small Businesses to Use Video

You have a small business or run a nonprofit organization and you are wondering if video marketing is for you. The answer is almost certainly, yes. According to Brainshark, video is projected to account for 74% of all Internet traffic in 2017 and a majority of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best return on investment. So how can your small business or nonprofit make use of video for promotion? Here are some ideas, accompanied by videos we've produced for our clients.

1. Introduce yourself
A short and simple 2 to 5 minute video introduction to your business for your homepage can be an effective way to reach your audience. Such a video should tell who you are, what you do and why the viewer should care. E3 Coaching used this approach to explain their philosophy on triathlon training. 


2. Demonstrate a Product
Do you have a demonstrable product or service? Create a video to demo it. This works particularly well for things that move like toys, machines, electronic devices…even software. Remember to highlight the very best features of your product and let people know what it will do for them. While this type of video may be a bit longer, remember that less is more.  Keep it short and simple. Industrial fan manufacturer Go Fan Yourself found this technique to be helpful for showcasing their new Z-Tech HVLS Fan model.

3. Tell a story
Not all businesses or nonprofits have products that are easy to demonstrate. Many small business provide professional services and while you might demonstrate their effectiveness with graphs and charts, telling a story can be much more effective.  A story can separate your business from other similar ones. Whether it is the story of how you started, the story of lessons learned along the way, or a story of how you helped a particular client or clients, video stories are a great way to make your business memorable. Preschool of the Arts needed to show how their approach to early childhood education resonated with children, parents, and teachers alike. The primary focus was on showing the experience of children, and the perspectives of parents and teachers were interwoven as well. 

4. Spotlight a company achievement  
Has your business reached a milestone? Or maybe you have been named on a “best of” list or received an industry award or some other honor. Celebrate it with a short video that you can share with clients and potential clients on your website or through social media. Social media, in particular, gives the opportunity to reach a large audience through tagging and sharing. Including a link back to your site brings added traffic. Visit Madison (the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau) presented Spirit of Hospitality Awards to local hospitality and tourism industry leaders, including Nick Topitzes, and featured each awardee in a video. 

5. Spotlight an employee
The most successful video marketing makes a personal connection. One way to do this is to put the spotlight on an employee. Good old-fashioned employee of the month style videos can put a face on the company. Of course naming an employee of the month implies that there will be a continuing series, however producing a series of 2-4 minute employee videos over time can pay off in two ways. First, it will show what the qualities the business values in its employees, thus appealing to customers with the same values. Second, allowing the employees to share to their social networks will increase the reach. Another video in the Spirit of Hospitality series allowed Joey Connaughty to be highlighted for her professionalism and dedication.

6. Spotlight a customer or client
Customers or clients too are an important face of the business or organization, and can make a personal connection. If you have a customer who is interesting in some way, or has a special relationship with your business, tell their story in a video. They too can share the video to their personal networks…and spread your message. To help the nonprofit organization Madison Dental Initiative show how providing free dental care to those in need could impact lives, a client shared his personal story.  

7. Share testimonials 
Another way to spotlight the positive experience of your existing customers, clients, or end users is testimonials in video form. It shows that people like your product or service enough to speak for you. It is important to choose individuals who are comfortable on camera and do not need to speak from a script. A stiff or overly nervous delivery may not seem as sincere. Alumni of the University of Wisconsin Master's in Biotechnology program described how the training they obtained in the program helped their careers.

8. Promote a Special Event
A very short video can be used as a mini advertisement for your sale or other special event. Consider including a video-specific code or coupon for viewers only, or use it for social media advertising or a Google AdWords campaign. To show the high-energy, fun atmosphere of It's Glow Time 5K "running meets disco" events, a promotional video used dance music and colorful scenes of participants. 

9. Create a Brand Personality
No matter which kind of video you choose for your business, make sure the “personality” of your business shines through.  To do this you need to avoid blandness. Using people, whether the CEO, employees or customers can help, as people are often attracted and engaged by other people. You can also try humor or creative visuals in order to exhibit your business’ values and personality. Monroe Street Family Dental created a series of videos to explain different aspects of their unique approach, and used scenes from their environmentally-friendly clinical space to create a sense of warmth and a neighborhood feel.

10. Demonstrate or explain an idea
There are some things that are simply easier to show than to write about. Think about all of the valuable information your business can share with clients or customers: quick tips, techniques, step-by-step processes, or even explanations of how something works. Short, bite-sized videos are perfect for showing the insight that your company or organization can offer - and viewers will want to share them with their friends. Bike fitting expert Craig Watson used video to show how cleat position affects road cyclists, including close-up shots so viewers could see fine details of cleats positioned properly or improperly.

11 (Bonus!) - Create a YouTube Channel
Setting up a YouTube channel for your business or organization is free, and easy as well. YouTube is owned by Google giving the potential for great searchability and visibility, plus you'll be able to track metrics about which videos are most popular, how many minutes viewers have spent watching, and other helpful analytics.  If you publish your videos on YouTube, be sure to include a descriptive title, as well as relevant tags and category information to help you get higher rankings.

Thinking about incorporating video into your marketing strategy? The Focal Flame video production team offers flexible solutions. With marketing professionals, scriptwriters, videographers and video editors on staff, each project is tailored to your need. Contact us today!


- by Suellen Adams