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The Best Tips and Techniques for Small Business Marketing Videos (in 2021)

July 9, 2021

One way to grow your customer base and increase traffic is through taking advantage of the many benefits of video marketing for small businesses. With short attention spans and overwhelming amounts of content everywhere you look, short and engagingvideos are a great way to engage with your audience and attract new customers to your small business. 

Video marketing, one of the top small business trends of 2021, is as relevant as ever and is only growing in popularity. In fact, in their 2020 report, Wyzowl found that 89% of marketers said that video gives them great ROI, and 80% said that video has directly increased their sales.

As a small business owner, you can create amazing marketing videos without having a fancy video crew. You can make videos that perform well on the internet and social media by just using a smartphone or a computer. 

This article provides both video marketing tips and video and photo techniques to help promote your small business. 

 

6 Video Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

 

1. Vertical videos


In today’s world, almost everyone has a smartphone, and mobile video consumption has never been higher.
75% of all video plays are on mobile devices and 92% of users who watch video on mobile will share it with others. 

Since most people hold their phones upright, vertical videos make sense. Vertical videos take up the entire screen on a cell phone and can grab viewers undivided attention when scrolling. 

Tech companies like Facebook and Instagram have created platforms like IGTV to enable people to capture videos in both vertical form and view them full screen. To get the most out of your vertical videos you will want to keep them short at 15 seconds or less to get your message across and grab attention.

Keep this in mind when creating new content or posting on social media platforms.

 

2. Go live and use social media

One way to take advantage of video marketing for small businesses is to use social media. There is no better way to connect with your customers and audience than to speak to them directly. 

With the rise of live streaming, you can interact with your audience at any time you want. Many of your customers who follow you are interested in hearing about new offers, products, or events. You are now able to go live on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

You can schedule a live video Q&A session with your audience so that they can join in and ask questions in real time. This can be a great way to help your customers feel like they are a part of something special and give you the opportunity to present yourself as an expert in your field. 

Posting stories on your social media accounts throughout the day shows your customers that you are active and open. This puts your small business top of mind and can help attract customers to come in store or buy a product that you are showcasing. 

It is also important to repost stories from your customers. You can do this on instagram or facebook stories if your customer took a photo or video and tagged your business. This helps create more exposure for your small business and also make the customer feel included. 

 

3. Use Video Marketing to Educate Your Audience about your Small Business

An effective way to position your small business as a leader in your industry is to share knowledge and educate your audience. Educational marketing videos can be how-to videos, tutorials, or sharing knowledge on a topic that will benefit your customers.

These marketing videos can involve sharing tips, tricks, and behind the scene operations in your small business. For example, you might share how to make a latte at home, tips for interior decorating, or a tutorial on how to apply skin care products. Whatever your niche is, it is important to capitalize on your expertise and share it with your audience.

 

small business owner recording a marketing video


4. Testimonials

Happy customers can sometimes sell your product or service better than you and be your biggest brand advocates. That’s why getting video testimonials from your best customers can greatly benefit your small business. 

Having first-hand accounts from customers is more effective than hearing the same pitch from the business over and over again. Many people go straight to online reviews to see if a product or service is worthwhile, and video testimonials are much more effective than one online sentence. 

Try contacting a few happy customers, shoot their testimonial on your phone and edit it down to have the most important parts. You can post these clips across your social channels and website or even use them in email campaigns to existing customers. 

 

5. Share your story

A great way to connect with your audience is by simply adding a video to your homepage and socials that outlines what you do and the problem you solve for your customers. These marketing videos can be more effective for your small business than cramming everything into a paragraph on your website and they show who you are right away. 

Customers like to relate to who they are buying from and showing off who you are and what your small business is all about helps this. It’s important to highlight your culture and help your customers get a better understanding of who you are behind the scenes. 

This can be done by filming quick chats of people on your team, capturing your company outing, or showing off any inside traditions you may have. 

 

6. Use attention grabbers in your small business marketing videos

Since there is so much content out in today’s world, small businesses must focus on having a great attention grabber to capture their audience. No matter the type of small business marketing video, the beginning must be intriguing for viewers so that they continue to view the rest.

Facebook for Business says that 65% of people who watch the first 3 seconds of your marketing video will watch at least 10 seconds. 45% of those will watch for 30 seconds.

Some examples of attention grabbers can include a startling statistic, or a surprising anecdote that makes people think “tell me more.” Attention grabbers can even take place in an enticing cover image or a compelling video title. 

This means that the first 3 seconds in your marketing video is your chance to capture the viewer. It’s important to include an attention grabber to begin your small business marketing videos so that they stand out and are actually watched. 

 

5 Photo and Video Techniques to improve your marketing videos


Creating content doesn’t have to be hard. Even if your only tool is a phone, there are some quick and easy ways to ensure your small business marketing videos and photos are representing your brand well.


1. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

Whether you are on a Zoom call, filming yourself talking or taking a selfie with friends, the lighting on your small business marketing videos and photos matters. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Indoor

  • Always have the subjects face the light source (ideally a window) so that the back of the camera/phone is facing the window. 
  • To avoid any shadows or dark spots try to face it directly, positioning yourself a few feet from the light source. 
  • If you are inside a lot and needing to film/photograph but don’t have access to natural light, consider a cheap external light source such as this one

 Outdoor

  • Avoid shooting in direct sunlight. Look for open shade as this will create a more balanced and flattering look for your subject – this can be under a tree or next to a building. 
  • If you have the option to shoot during golden hour, don’t hesitate. Golden hour is the hour leading up to sunset (and technically sunrise, but we’re going to assume you’re still sleeping then) and the afterglow that occurs immediately after sunset. 

Bonus tip for iPhone users: if you want to manually adjust the camera, tap and hold the screen until a yellow box comes up. 

You will see a sun icon to the right of the box, and if you drag the sun up it will brighten the scene, and if you drag it down it will manually darken the shot. 

Indoor lighting image

Indoor lighting

Outdoor lighting image

Outdoor lighting

 

2. Get Closer 

There is an old adage from photojournalist Robert Capa that if your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.  Capa’s work got up close and personal – to where you could see the emotions clear in his subject’s eyes. 

From group selfies to taking employee headshots, knowing when to fill the frame with as much of the subject’s face as possible can have a huge impact on your imagery. 

Whether that means cropping out the negative space from a photo or just taking a few steps forward before taking the photo – you will be glad you made the adjustment. 

Get close and get closer

Get close and get closer

 

3. Composition

Most people don’t need a creative background to have an innate sense of whether something is designed well. From an architectural piece to an article of clothing – humans are very good at appreciating good design.

The same is true with small business videos and photos. One of the best tricks to remember is called the rule of thirds (see the photo below). 

The idea is that if you place your point of interest on one of the four intersecting lines, people’s eyes are naturally drawn to those points of the image.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to utilize negative space. Photos with a lot of negative space lend themselves nicely to graphic design repurposing and social media announcements. 

Bonus tip for iPhone users: Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Turn Grid on

Composition – using negative space

Composition – using negative space

 

4. Small Business Videos: Listen Closely

Audio is one of the immediate factors that people judge the quality of a video by… Is it crisp and audible? Or do you have to strain to hear what is being said? 

Whether you are shooting small business videos with a phone or a camera, the answer is the same: external microphones. 

Regardless of your device, you’ll want something portable and high quality (and affordable) like this one.* 

After you have the sound recording down, ask yourself if the music you’re using in your videos is fitting and doesn’t sound stock. If not, look into a music subscription website like Artlist.io.* 

Having quality music in your small business videos will help give them a creative edge over your competitors. 

Check out an example video of our small business borrower, Georgias restaurant, created by our very own videographer: click here

 

5. Be Stable

Followed closely by audio quality is stabilization. If your work is too shaky or your photos are blurry, people won’t give you the time of day. 

Blurry photos most commonly happen in low-light settings. Here’s how to avoid them:

You can widen your stance and pull your camera away from your body with your camera strap tight around your neck so that it absorbs the vibrations. 

If you still aren’t getting stable photos, put your device on a tripod. While handheld video is definitely possible, it’s difficult to get much usable footage without some sort of stabilization. 

For mobile devices, check out a simple handheld grip like this one* from fantaseal, or this camera stabilizer.* 

Your small business videos and photos will get better with practice.  You can always do internet searches for more inspiration. Above all, always approach your storytelling from a point of authenticity and honesty and your audience will resonate with what you have to say. 

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